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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey Everyone,

Thank you to everyone who has been answering my many questions over the past few weeks. I am finally ready to get going on my Viv. My plan is to document and photograph each step of the process and when done compile all that I have learned / materials and methods used to a pdf file to help other new viv builders.

Tank - ExoTerra 18x18x24

Background - GreatStuff + Silicon + EcoEarth
Waterfall - Carved GreatStuff + DryLok
DriftWood - Malaysian Drift Wood, Mopani, Cork Bark
Substrate - AGB + Leaf Litter
False Bottom - Egg Crate + PVC Supports

Plants - Coming as soon as I figure out what I have

I will be posting photos starting tonight of the progress I have made so far (not much). Please feel free to point things out that are wrong or make suggestions as any point in this build. Again thanks for all the support this forum has provided!

***All Photos as progress will be appended to this initial post to ensure they are easy to find***
 

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There is a new post that mentions the use of Titebond III which you may want to consider instead of the Drylock...Drylock as far as my experience goes, dries white...and after having gone online about the III, seems as though it may be better to use...just suggesting you take a look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have purchased a gray DryLok and I plan to add acrylic paint to achieve the desired color. I will have to look into the titebond is it a wood glue or am I looking at the wrong thing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well it looks like I can't edit the first post anymore so I guess you will just have to skip through this thread to find all the pictures :( I will also put them up on a blog if you want to see them all in one place!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
First Round of Pictures

The Tank:


Preparing To Silicon The Background Area of the Tank:
--Following the instrucitons on NEHerp I am doing an initial layer of black silicon before doing the great stuff foam.


First Silicon Layer Applied:


Supports for The False Bottom:
--I drilled the supports so that water doesn't stagnate inside them.


My First Attempt at making Vines:
--I used some normal rope, split it up into its smaller fibers and then covered it in black silicon (very messy) then I dipped it into a box full of eco earth and sphagnum moss. Did about 6 inches at a time. I like how they look but not sure how well they will hold up, we shall see.



Some shots of the Plants I currently have:
--Currently housing them in a small tank with a false bottom and sphagnum moss as a substrate.
--Need to get some broms would love advice on best place to get them.





Hopefully my second can of greatstuff will arrive soon and I can get working on the background / waterfall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks, building a vivarium has been a dream of mine ever since I was really young.

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk 2
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think I'm going to go with titebond 3 instead of silicon, so much praise for that method. Any reason I shouldn't?

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Made a little more progress.

I made a rough skeleton of where the waterfall is going to be so I don't have to use so much greatstuff.





The Backside of the egg crate


Here is the drift wood I will be using.



I finally got my second can of greatstuff today. I think my plan now is to get another tube of silicon and figure out where the wood will be going and silicon it in place. Then I will fill in the background with the foam.

As always please let me know if you see something wrong with my plan or have any advice.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Lots of progress has been made!

Top of waterfall covered, what a mess. Was starting to doubt if it would look good:


Waterfall and back wall covered in greatstuff, with first piece of cork foamed in. Pretty flat right now will go back to add depth.


More wood attached and minimal carving done:


A lot of carving refoaming and carving later we are getting closer to having the background and waterfall shaped. Still need to add some more foam around the plant cups and blend them in and add some details to the wall but progress is being made.


Next step is to finish carving foam in the plant cups and then drylok the waterfall and make sure it functions!
 

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I have a question about your vines. Are they rigid enough to wrap around larger pieces of wood? What kind of rope did you use? Thanks

Sent from my Android Tapatalk App!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I used regular type not sure what it's made of but it's not nylon. They are certainly flexible enough to wrap around branches. I used some wire to give them some rigidity so that they can be shaped better. Now I just to find a place in the tank to fit them!

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looks really good...did I miss the access point for your pump?? hope it comes out exactly as you visualized....like the way you are using your wood...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am going to use an external pump / filter. I read to many horror stories of people having to tear apart tanks to get at broken / clogged pumps so I decided it would be best to spend a bit more money and get a good external pump. If you look carefully in the back right corner you will see a patch of duct tape. This is covering a pvc pipe that goes to the false bottom for the pump intake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Room Art


This is after the first layer of drylok, currently have two layers on but haven't taken a new photo. I think I will do four layers and then some color layers.

Thinking about getting the cascade 500 filter to power the waterfall.


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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have two layers of drylok down but the bigger change is I have finished foaming in all the pots and shaping the background. Its a bit hard to tell from the photos but there are lots of bumps and cracks. I didn't want it to be flat do I did a lot of shaping.



 
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