Dendroboard banner
1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
666 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I realized I have never taken the time to shoot pictures of the entire process while building a Viv and figured why not start now...

This 24"x18"x24" Exo will house my trio of Benadicta once its fully planted, seeded, and the little guys have grown up a bit.

First step was to coat the glass with a thin layer of Brown GE2 Silicone (I use old business cards to spread it as thin as possible).



Next was to create the false bottom.. I made the structure out of eggcrate and left a little space (about and inch) between the false bottom and the front of the tank (this will be filled with pea pebbles and hide the false bottom). I bring the eggcrate as snug as possible to the sides and back of the tank (I will fill in the small gap with Great Stuff once it is screened and in place).



Once I had the false bottom fitted and zip tied together I used black screen and wrapped the whole structure, using more zip ties to hold it together.




I added a second tier of egg crate to bring the root structure to the top of the tank (the next couple pictures will explain). I also used a small ammount of Great stuff to secure the false bottom in place and make sure nothing could get below.



I wanted to create a Tree Butress effect and decided to use some larger pieces of plumbing for the basic structure.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
666 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Next was to get the two pieces in place to start the basic structure of the background.



I was pretty good about taking pictures throughout, but here is where I screwed up..:/
I cut several pieces of smaller pvc and made the framework for the opposing/ smaller butress that will not stick out quite as far as the first. here is the pic after the first round of GS on that side.



Once the Great Stuff had hardened a bit I broke up some cork bark and placed it in the space against the back of the viv (this will be where I mount most of the broms).

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
666 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here is where the fun begins.. I went to the dollar store and got a back of really cheap/ flexible steak knives and began carving away. I think I went through about 6 cans of great stuff and honestly craved 4-5 cans worth back out when finished. This process took a few days, as I would add more Great stuff, carve/ shape, then add more GS.. this is also where I begin to create planting spots and carve the holes for film cans.





 

·
Registered
Joined
·
666 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Once I was pretty happy with the carving I covered the entire structure in a thin layer of Silicone. I have found that if you leave an area of GS uncarved the silicone will not hold over time and it will peel, so I carved EVERYTHING. I am a bit anal and I hate to see an area I have missed once the tank is set up, so I find that the first coat of silicone assures I wont see a spot of unsighlty gs in the future..






After the entire thing had been covered in silicone I went back and added more smaller pieces of cork bark and great stuffed into place.



Gotta go to work.. but ill add more soon!

Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
359 Posts
Take a vacation from work, we really want to see this roots finished ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
666 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok back from work!

Here is the diamond drill I used for the 1/2" bulkhead in the bottom corner of the tank. I used a ring of hot glue to hold water and took my time (which seems to be taking longer each hole so I think my bit is getting a little dull). I am going to be ordering a mistking in the next couple days so I am drilling the glass up top as well (hopefully with this bit)






Once the tank was drilled I moved on to the coco fiber stage. I applied a second layer of silicone in small sections and pressed in coco fiber while it was fresh. Once the whole thing had dried for a few hours I tipped the tank upside down over a sheet of plastic to remove all the extras. After a quick vaccume job with the suction extention, i went back and touched up the few areas I had missed.



After the tank had cured a few days I added the substrate (peat, coco fiber, sphag, orchid bark, lump charcoal), a ton of leaf litter,and the pea pebbles for the front pond area. I also began seeding the Viv with tropical springs, white woodlice, grey woodlice, and giant grey springs.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
666 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This morning I was walking by the temp tank and spotted the smallest of the three out in the open, he didnt seem to mind me..



I have restrained from cutting several pups for quite some time because I had been saving them for this tank. I finally got to add them today and I am super excited! Here is the viv as of tonight with just broms. I will update the species list once I add the rest of the plants over the next few weeks. I also added a two packs of moss mix powder so after a few months the tank should be one green mess!

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
359 Posts
Looks great, thanks for sharing!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,029 Posts
tank looks even better than the last time I saw it! You're going to have no problem breeding these guys when the time comes.

I really think those benedicta are going to display some nice variation when they fully pattern up (as much variation as benedicta are known to display that is).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,367 Posts
What type of moss mix powder did you get, and where did you get it? I have a few types of moss already, but more variation makes for a nicer end result. Plus as a powder, I think I'll be able to get it shipped no problem.


Oh yeah...Looks friggen wicked. Can wait to see it covered in green.
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top