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I thought I would post a little project I’ve been working on lately.

I made this 14”x20” (35cm x 51cm) cylindrical vivarium out of 1/32” polycarbonate (Makrolon) sheet with a 1/4"x16”x16” base. The top is 3/16” glass with three 3/4” holes drilled for ventilation and one 40mm fan providing circulation. The lighting is supplied via three 6W CREE LED spotlights. The subject piece is made from one large (cut roughly in half) and one small Hygrolon liana accented with a few small pieces of cork bark; I may add another piece of liana, but I think I will let this all settle in for a bit and see what I think a few months from now.

This is my first try with Hygrolon; so far it has been doing a good job of wicking water – the upper parts seem to only get the ambient moisture, as opposed to wicking it up from the base, but the moss on those parts seems to be getting sufficient moisture, regardless. The lights seem to be doing okay – the moss has put out some decent growth and the Peperomia sp. ‘Banos, Ecuador’ has responded nicely as well – I will have to wait a while to decide for sure; I may end up replacing/supplementing them with a Jungle Dawn or something. These shots are a few weeks old, taken just after adding the Pearcea; I just added some leaf litter today, which has given it a nice touch.

I went for another Ecuadorian biotope on this one. I may still add a plant or two – such as Microgramma piloselloides or some sort of micro/mini orchid – along with a liverwort or filmy fern, but for the time being this is the plant list:

Pearcea hypocyrtiflora
Peperomia sp. 'Banos, Ecuador'
Pleurothallis niveoglobula
Sphyrospermum buxifiloium
Trichosalpinx sp. 'Ecuador'
Various mosses - including Black Jungle moss, NEHERP moss, Manuran's low-growing moss and some local moss (the majority of what you see in the photos, this one has done really well so far - it started as just a few small pieces).

I realized after taking the full tank shots that the reflections produced within the cylinder are kind of distracting – I may try a white background for the next update and see if that resolves the problem…

(click on the photos to resize)








Pearcea hypocyrtiflora








Peperomia sp. 'Banos, Ecuador' – hopefully I can get a nice carpet of this one going!






Pleurothallis niveoglobula








Sphyrospermum buxifiloium




Trichosalpinx sp. 'Ecuador'





 

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Gorgeous! I also have a similar tank - I wanted to put in a tarantula, but that project failed. In the future I'll do something like this your viv!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all of the comments everyone - much appreciated!


Is it built on a false bottom?
Yes, the side that has the substrate built up has a small egg crate false-bottom underneath. The Hygrolon lianas are offset to the side of the false-bottom and go right down to the base.


did you form the markon sheet into the cylinder and if so do you have a visible seam?
I ended up simply bolting the two ends of the sheet together, with stainless steel hardware, creating a 3/4" overlap - if you look closely at the first photo you can just barely make it out in the back. The seam is actually concealed quite well due to the positioning/twisting of the lianas - you hardly notice it when you look at the tank in person.


Do you have any pictures of just the hardscape?
No, unfortunately I don't - I'm always more interested in the final product of something that I rarely take the time to photograph the actual process.
 

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goodness your creations are wonderful!
 

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i love this.

i am doing a very similar build in the next year or so but with the epiweb "kaos" structure. i am helplessly drawn to centerpiece structures, especially when they contain a few orchids.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Do you think you put frogs in this viv?
No, I don't think so. It would be a cool concept for a Ranitomeya tank with a few modifications - mainly just the addition of a hinged top for easier/safer access for maintenance (right now the whole cylinder lifts off of the base, making it difficult to control potential escapees).
 
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