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Discussion Starter #41
Really cool! Plants will love it in there. Sorry if I missed it will you include fish in the water area?
Thanks! There will indeed be fish in the water area, haven't decided on what to stock it with yet. Although I would love some small apistos, and I've read footprint is more of a factor than depth with them so they may be perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
Girlfriend lost the camera charger so in the meantime here's a crappy cell phone pic. The plant decisions/placement are not finalized yet and I still need to find some very high light plants that will be suitable for the upper planters.

Planted some dwarf baby tears in the little pool next to the waterfall in the hopes that they switch to an emersed state and form a carpet poking out of the water.

The plant on the right is a peace lily, not sure if this will stay but in the meantime it takes up some space.

The vals in the front will not be staying, I just threw em in there for cycling purposes.

That ivy-esque plant (species unknown, however it resembles Ficus pumila var. minima) on the left doesn't have a permanent location yet. I like where it is on the ramp, however I don't want it stopping the toads from climbing back on to land. I would be ecstatic if it started creeping up the planter on the left (the coco fiber thrown into the grout should be great for it to grab a hold of), however I also want some to remain hanging in the water. The white clouds (the only occupant of this tank at the moment) really enjoy them in the water and can very often be seen swimming through the leaves, an awesome effect with the backdrop of bright green and the fish so close to the surface.

I got the moss from my lfs a couple days ago, a huge patch I managed to cover most of the lower platform with for only $3. However the moss between the left cave and shallow pool isn't doing so well. I'm assuming it's the light intensity because the moss on the far left and right is doing fantastic, and they're shaded by the planter ledges. Fortunately there's a bunch of low light, medium light, and high light zones, so I'm just gonna let them do their own thing. Hopefully the different zones will do some landscaping/aquascaping for me.

As for the construction, I'm generally quite pleased with it. The only negative aspect I'm seeing is the sealer turning cloudy after being submerged. Though hopefully over time bacteria and algae will have grown and died repeatedly on it until it's no longer noticeable. If you look at the water feature where it dumps into the aquarium portion you can see it's already turned from milky colored to a dark greenish-brown.


 

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Discussion Starter #44
I really like your rock work a lot. It looks awesome. Any idea when your gonna be picking up some toads?
Thanks! :D

Probably in about 2 weeks, as soon as I get back from a trip down south.
Right now there's about 11 or 12 white cloud minnows and I just threw some Red Cherry Shrimp in the other day, and everyone looks happy so the toads are definitely on the way.

Still struggling to find a suitable plant for the upper ledges though, I was hoping to get it mostly planted before I introduced the toads.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
I think some thing that would trail down the ledge would look good. Maybe a peperomia would work well for it.:)
Just googled it, looks great! Definitely gonna be keeping an eye out for it. Maybe that combined with some bromeliads for the upper ledges
 

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Discussion Starter #47


Good news everyone!
Found my gf's camera charger, let the pic deluge begin. First off with some pics of a hitchhiker snail that found his way up the waterfall and into the upper pool.. and the very high surface tension that's up there.

 

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Discussion Starter #48
Next up, some pics of the ivy grabbing a hold of the lower platform and the ramp. Also the moss that I collected for free outside my door, which is flourishing compared to the 'frog moss' I paid $3 for. Last is the entrance to one of their caves with a moss entry rug (they wouldn't wanna get dirt on their nice dirt floor), with some of the ivy's roots creeping in from the left.

 

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Discussion Starter #50
Here's a pic of a baby snail that rode on its parents back all the way up to the tiny pool next to the waterfall, at first I thought it just had a large growth.





The next project I'm starting on (out of impatience waiting for the touchscreen and sensors to get here from Hong Kong for the 5 gallon project) is the DIY fogger for the paludarium. Just bought a humidifier earlier today, I'll post some pics up tomorrow once I've finished rigging it up.
 

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Very nice paludarium! It turned out great.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
Price List:
$6 for the humidifier from a thrift store
$6 for pvc adapters and hose
Total investment: $12
 

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Discussion Starter #55
The increased humidity has caused the terrestrial vegetation to grow a beautiful bright green, it's insane the difference it made, especially since I usually only turn it on 15-30 minutes a day on it's lowest setting.

A new dilemma has also come up. The snails have been populating like crazy, I feel like I see 10 new snails every day. This has led me to come to two possible solutions:

1. The 5 gallon shrimp tank had a snail infestation recently as well, except a much smaller species. I dealt with those by using assassin snails. They're still at work but it seems the battle is being won. So one solution could be introducing quite a few assassins to the tank.

2. The second solution changes my future plans a lot more. It's based off the fact that the snails love to climb out of the water and explore the various pools of the water feature. Sometimes the water is flowing over the edges of the waterfall (and they can only get in to them if it's overflowing) and sometimes the outside is completely dry, meaning the snails get stuck in the pools. Doesn't seem to bother them though, I've seen a couple generations mature in the pool at the very top before the outlet gets clogged up and the water starts overflowing. Once that happens most usually migrate back down into the water portion. The lower waterfall pool is usually overflowing constantly so they always have access to that one, as well as the calm pool next to the waterfalls. Anyways, my idea is to introduce pea puffers to the tank. Then hopefully they have a sustaining supply of snails from the pools above. The problem with this approach is I don't think a pea puffer would get along well with the fire belly toad, and I know it would decimate the RCS. I could live without the RCS, but I definitely want a couple amphibians, as that's what I built this tank for.


I would love to hear your opinions
 

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I would just stick with assassin snails, especially if you already have them. My 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #57 (Edited)
This seems to be the general consensus on the other forums as well.
The decision has been made!

I think relying on a food supply like that could be risky too, and I don't want to have to buy live and frozen food for the pea puffer every week if his supply goes dry.
 

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Discussion Starter #58
My next dilemma is what plant to use for the water feature :confused::confused:

Preferably something dark green, that will hang over the edges of the basins. I sorta want green hair algae, except minus the algae part. This way the water has a path to follow, as it sometimes tries to drip into the soil if the flow is too strong.
 

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Discussion Starter #59
I'm also trying to work on proper ventilation now. My plan is to have the system re-circulating the air as a closed system most of the day, then at 'sunrise' and 'sunset' have it evacuate the old air and bring in fresh air.

Would this be an acceptable route to achieve air movement while retaining humidity?

Also my plan is to build it using computer fans, is there any system you would recommend over a computer fan?
 

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Discussion Starter #60 (Edited)
Found a very large shrimp in the little pool next to the waterfall the other day. I still have no idea how he got up there but he was just chilling in the baby tears. Then I moved the light to take a picture and he darted under the ledge, so this was the best picture I could get:






The vine has been doing incredibly well. I should probably get in there and do some trimming soon.





 
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