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I finally finished my hex paludarium that I have been working on on and off for about a year. I just planted it this weekend, so apologies that it doesn't look particularly lush.
The idea is a terrestrial island in the middle of about 5 inches of water. The goal was to have a planted paludarium that is viewable from all sides.



(For full resolution images, go here: )
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/srHl6C3OFDmfO_gTebx7jn_ClqgDR60qzic35G8UoYk?feat=directlink



The aquarium portion has eco complete black for substrate. The filter is integral-- It is actually just a pump that draws water in through the walls of the island support. The island support is a double wall of egg crate. The outermost layer is a wrap of weed-stop fabric, then the outer egg crate, then a sheet of trimmable filter floss material, then about 1.5 inches of biological filter media. I used a combination of ceramic rings and LECA. Then another layer of weed stop fabric around the inner wall keeps the substrate out of the center-most area, which is just big enough for 2 pumps. One pump runs continuously, bringing water in through the filter and sending it back out into the water. The other runs only several minutes a day, sending water up through the tree to water the terrestrial portion.

The water does pick up tannins from the coir, so it is a bit tea-colored, but it is clear. It will take many water changes before the tannins improve, so I am not really sweating it. The planted portion is decidedly low-light, so there is java moss and other lower light plants only.
Currently there are tetras, which like the current, a panda mollie that is not so crazy about it, and an albino cory cat.



The island has artificial rocks which rim a terrestrial substrate, and the center trunk is coir and binder around a pvc tube. Water can flow up the PVC to saturate and water the land portion. I will still have to mist it by hand about once a week.





There is air circulation by an internal fan. Run at 12v it keeps it mostly clear of condensation.



The lights are DIY LED. I think I should add lenses to 6 of the lights so the penetration of light is better.


The top has a living DIY silicone hinge.



It has to mature a bit more before I can add frogs. Because of chytrid, any fish-store fish need quarantine for minimum 6 weeks before you can have dart frogs around them. There are rocks on the side and back so frogs can get out of the water, but a few more exit points will be added. Because of the very small land foot print, I think only 2 leucs will be living in it. Also needs leaf litter.
 

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1. its going to be difficult for frogs to exit the water if they fall in

2. that really isnt much land for 2 leucs
 

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Agreed.

This doesn't look too PDF friendly to me, with the minimal space and dangerous water depth.

Leaf litter?

It is looks good though as a display piece. I would just think about finding an animal better suited to the conditions you have.
 

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You should design a Viv around the PDF you choose.

I agree with everyone that your Viv is not PDF friendly. Overall it's a great. Adding more land and having a little pond it's prbly only way.
 

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Good points. Although I already noted it needed leaf litter. And that it would have more exits from the water. I am not commited to having the leucs. I also have another 20g without water that they could go in.
 

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Very cool viv! However as said before, definitely not PDF friendly. Have you thought of Vine Snakes? with some additions to your center stump to create some branches they would love something like that (as long as you arnt attached to your fish, they tend to hunt them). They are a diurnal species and are extremely active.
 

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I like the viv and have a hex sitting around that I'd like to try somethin similar with one day. Any pictures of the walls in process? I'm curious to see more of them. As for the leucs, I'd agree with everyone. A pair or trio of RETF's or other tree frog would do well in there, especially if you add a few vines and/or branches for more climbing area. They don't need a large floor space and that setup can easily be turned into a rain chamber for conditioning and breeding attempts.
 
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