Dendroboard banner
1 - 20 of 73 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
305 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys...

So after 6 months of planning (1 year total experience), gathering materials, researching, and practicing fake rock wall construction, I'm finally taking the plunge to build a sophisticated paludarium.

Thanks to the guys at Cold Blooded Pets (I'm in the process of creating their new site: check it out), I was able to pick up the largest exo-terra that's made - 36" x 18" x 24" --- for a mere $179.00 brand new!!! (Someone definitely made a mistake, because I bought my 36 x 18 x 18 for $250.00 last year)

I also got the matching cabinet, because I had limited space, as you'll see... I wanted something that would fit perfectly... the cabinet was only $129.00, so I wasn't too worried.

Plans for this tank include:
-- rock wall using foam / grout / epoxy method.
-- misting system
-- drip wall
-- 2 filters (1 internal / 1 external)
-- waterfalls + pond
-- all the plantlife one could ever hope to have
-- 6 leucs

Hopefully, I'll have this badboy completed by September... but no rush!


don't mind the color - didn't bother changing my cameras white balance.


sitting next to my 18" cube - for size reference


sitting next to my 25lb cat - for size reference


macro of metal tabs built into desk. they slide right into the 4 corners of the tank to prevent slippage.. just in case.


I got sick of having so many CF sitting around in silver domes on my other tanks (see 18" cube above) - and the 36" exo hood is just waaay over priced, so I decided to go with the nova exteme... slender and high quality. Metal housing, 2 T5HO bulbs - one 10,000k and one 6,500k), and even individual reflectors. jolly good times. no more fans on top of my tanks to keep the heat down.


The background that came with the tank will partially be used, I'm going to cut it in half and build the rock wall in 2 pieces on top of it, then reassemble in the tank after the pH has been lowered to legit levels using vinegar. I'm not about to lug this tank out to my garage and back when I do the wall, so the entire process has been premeditated.

-----

And so it begins. I'll be updating each week as the project progresses.

Cheers!

Check out my Flickr for more photos as the project progresses
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
305 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Subscribing :)
I won't let you down :) All the fine people here on the board have taught me a lot (including you) from all the questions and trial / error... I just need to add my creative touch, and we'll be golden.

ps. Ive been following your threads too... we were trying to learn how to create rock walls at the same time!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,260 Posts
Nice, glad I've lent you some help in the past. I figured I would take the plunge and go for the rock wall this time around. I'm getting tired of smelling silicone and making my eyes water while applying.

I'm also biting the bullet and getting habacrete. Expensive but what the heck...it's only money ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
305 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nice, glad I've lent you some help in the past. I figured I would take the plunge and go for the rock wall this time around. I'm getting tired of smelling silicone and making my eyes water while applying.

I'm also biting the bullet and getting habacrete. Expensive but what the heck...it's only money ;)
Keep me posted on that, I want to see if it's as spectacular as the hype says it is.

Also, use swimming goggles as you silicone... you'll be good. heh
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
Will that exo fit on the cabinet? I always imagined the stand should be larger than the viv xD.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
305 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Will that exo fit on the cabinet? I always imagined the stand should be larger than the viv xD.
yeah... this cabinet was designed specifically for this tank. the tank is 36" wide and the cabinet is 37" I believe. Since it's such a snug fit, they put the pins in so it won't slip off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
541 Posts
Count me in! I'm experimenting with floor leveler as a substitute for grout right now. It dries within minutes and is easy to sculpt. Cheap too!


Nice tank BTW!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
305 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Count me in! I'm experimenting with floor leveler as a substitute for grout right now. It dries within minutes and is easy to sculpt. Cheap too!


Nice tank BTW!
Keep me posted on that stuff Nick!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Hey Bud, I purchased this same size viv. You inspired me to get one after i saw your other build and then I watched how it grew in. I liked how you did your levels and added different levels to mine. I will post some pics soon so you can see mine and maybe I will be able to give you some inspiration.

I love the size of this thing. You are gonna love it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
305 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hey Bud, I purchased this same size viv. You inspired me to get one after i saw your other build and then I watched how it grew in. I liked how you did your levels and added different levels to mine. I will post some pics soon so you can see mine and maybe I will be able to give you some inspiration.

I love the size of this thing. You are gonna love it.
Cheers dude. it's all about people helpin' people. haha. send me a pm when you get some photos up!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,348 Posts
Oh that stuff! Does it mix / mold as well as grout?
I think the important thing to understand is that virtually all of these mixes are comprised mostly of portland cement. The only real difference is the additives. That said - the floor leveling cement has acrylic admixes in it that allow it to be spread very thin while retaining its strength. This is a property I felt would be useful for the task at hand. I'm sure that many grouts have similar properties as well. I've seen excellent results on here with both materials. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
305 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think the important thing to understand is that virtually all of these mixes are comprised mostly of portland cement. The only real difference is the additives. That said - the floor leveling cement has acrylic admixes in it that allow it to be spread very thin while retaining its strength. This is a property I felt would be useful for the task at hand. I'm sure that many grouts have similar properties as well. I've seen excellent results on here with both materials. Good luck!
man, I can't find this stuff anywhere, even lowes!... oh well... I shall press on!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
305 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Haha - sorry I guess I should have mentioned that it has been discontinued . . .

This is what I'm using now . . . sorry! I think it's pretty similar and worked great for my last wall.

Available at Lowes . . .
hahaha... yeah, I figured as much when I was like... "this isn't the same packaging they use now, that stuff must be old!"

is the dry time the same? that's a main concern for me!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,348 Posts
is the dry time the same? that's a main concern for me!
It's similar. I'd say that the dry time for the multipurpose stuff is perhaps a bit longer than the floor leveling cement. Either way it dries rather quickly in the thin layers that we apply. I actually had issues with the floor leveling cement drying too quickly and setting up in the bucket!
 
1 - 20 of 73 Posts
Top