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Discussion Starter #1
I recently broadened my horizons from just a turle geek to a turtle, snake, and frog geek.

I have been researching on this board for weeks on how to build the perfect viv, and i really dont think there is a right answer. My gf was helping me with ideas in the begining; now she wants nothing to do with what has become an obsession lol

I purchased a 40 gallon breeder off craigslist for 35 bux. I created a false bottom, and did my own Vert kit. I am pretty set on a water feature and began a rock GS drip wall to a creek to a pond adjacent. This is a lot to cram into a 40 gal vert and will need to build another viv soon :) My progress is slow as i run around trying to find pieces i need and order new stuff.

Im confused as what to use on my drip wall. I have Ace Bonder and Drylock. Which is better? Underwater features?

Also the PEAT i purchased looks like dirt. Is that the right stuff to mix with cocofiber and silicone and press into a GS background?

I ordered a glass hole saw and hope to cut a hole toward top of tank for electrical wires... hope its not tempered...

Do i need to seperate my pond portion completely from the rest of the false bottom or leave it all to flow??



Here you can see pump access hole, which will be covered by a fake rock.

 

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I have been researching on this board for weeks on how to build the perfect viv, and i really dont think there is a right answer. My gf was helping me with ideas in the begining; now she wants nothing to do with what has become an obsession lol
Isn't that just how it always goes.

You're right though, there isn't a right answer (albeit, there are IMO definitely wrong answers lol). I'm sure you'll do great and it looks like it's already shaping up nicely.

Is the big PVC pipe in the back for hiding wires or for the water feature?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The PVC is the begining of a buttress root/vine system and doubles as hiding the vinyl line for the water feature. Ill be adding smaller pvc melted around it along with rope. Covering with an Ace bonder cocofiber mixture i think...
 

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I would not use the Ace Bonder. It will not work if you submerge it. It MAY work for the drip wall, but only until the acrylic begins to degrade. If you must, use the Drylock, but a true 100% epoxy is the best way to go if you want long term results.
 

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I recently broadened my horizons from just a turle geek to a turtle, snake, and frog geek.

I have been researching on this board for weeks on how to build the perfect viv, and i really dont think there is a right answer. My gf was helping me with ideas in the begining; now she wants nothing to do with what has become an obsession lol

I purchased a 40 gallon breeder off craigslist for 35 bux. I created a false bottom, and did my own Vert kit. I am pretty set on a water feature and began a rock GS drip wall to a creek to a pond adjacent. This is a lot to cram into a 40 gal vert and will need to build another viv soon :) My progress is slow as i run around trying to find pieces i need and order new stuff.

Im confused as what to use on my drip wall. I have Ace Bonder and Drylock. Which is better? Underwater features?

Also the PEAT i purchased looks like dirt. Is that the right stuff to mix with cocofiber and silicone and press into a GS background?

I ordered a glass hole saw and hope to cut a hole toward top of tank for electrical wires... hope its not tempered...

Do i need to seperate my pond portion completely from the rest of the false bottom or leave it all to flow??



Here you can see pump access hole, which will be covered by a fake rock.

To your first question, I would not suggest using dryloc or ace bonder. You need something with a water tight seal if you want it to last. Silicon or epoxy should do the trick

To your second question, yes the peat should look like dirt, but there is no reason to mix it with coco fiber seeing how it looks almost identical to peat. Use one or the other.

And I don't know if I fully understand your last question.
 

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I believe the last question is "should i create a solid barrier to separate pond from false bottom?"

The answer is not if you don't want to, let it flow freely, just make sure the water level is below the substrate level, otherwise, you'll be waterlogged.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
so i should cover the river and drip wall with silicone, and thats all? what is the purpose of ace bonder and drylock everyone uses?
 

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Slightly new direction

I decided that the "river" feature in this tank would take up much needed floor space, so Ill save that for a bigger tank.

I created a rock wall out of chunks of styrofoam on the left, which will be covered in concrete.

Open section in false bottom for pump, which will be surrounded by filter foam. Tubing goes up tree, across top to a proportioning valve, then to a manifold to the rock feature.

Also doing "euro" style vents on botton of the vert and not sure how im making the top vent yet. I made a screen frame one, but i may do something different to increase visibility.


Here is is freshly siliconed and false bottom set in.


started the tree on the right with heated pvc and rope, and "glued" in the rock wall, planters, and a few film canisters.
 

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so i should cover the river and drip wall with silicone, and thats all? what is the purpose of ace bonder and drylock everyone uses?
generally people use silicone with something stuck in it - anything from peat, to cocofiber to even sand. The ace bonder would be to strengthen concrete and some people are using drylock instead of grout or concrete these days.
 

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I did my fake rock wall or waterfall with different pieces of styrofoam. Basically just like you did. But when i did it, i used the grout and cement method. I never heard of the drylock method since its new im assuming. Recent threads showed amazing results.



This is my experiment
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So far everyone said drylock is no good, so im going all concrete
 

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So far everyone said drylock is no good, so im going all concrete
I would just use grout...not real concrete.
You're gonna have to do a vinegar soak to reduce the pH of the grout in which you have to soak the fake rock for weeks.
Since you already have it on there idk how you would seal it.
There is a product called Sheilds All that is a non toxic acrylic sealer but it has a shine to it.

I've always wondered about acrylic paint....to paint it and leave it be like that or will the paint eventually come off...
Or paint it and us a clear epoxy?

We all need to come up with a crystal clear easy method to seal faux rock.
I know Shields All wil work for sure but that shine throws it off.
Won't drylok hold up in water?
I just wish there was a clear answer lols
I really don't wanna do a 2 week vinegar soak myself lol
I'm gonna research it more...
Hopefully someone can help us both with this
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Nope, Im using real concrete. Underlayment actually, but real concrete. A couple builds on here turned out nice. I will be spraying with vinegar for a few weeks but oh well.
 
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