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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone, it is time for another build for me. I am attempting a 30 gallon glass paludarium build that is very much inspired and copied from FlyingSquirrels 29 Gallon Paludarium Build. I will be using a small pump to circulate the water and will set up a few outputs of integrated tubing so I can keep my options open and experiment with water flow.I will use an internal fan to keep air circulating and humidity up, since there will be no vents to the outside. I will be using the common greatstuff + Silicone + peat moss for the background, an egg crate false bottom, but will be trying to copy Squirrel's idea for the plexiglass retaining walls.
Now for the dreaded setup pictures, why isn't there plants in there yet dammit!

Two drilled holes for drainage:


Egg crate pump shaft, plexi-glass retaining walls with holes drilled in it for water flow, and home brew bucket spigots (thank you San Diego for providing close home-brew stores)


Top view:


Side Views:



Egg crate false bottom created and covered in window screen. Also using water plant bag to cover plexi-glass retaining wall. Added internal fan vent shaft with opening covered in window screen, I had also siliconed the inside to hide the white portion of the corrugated plastic


Top View: I ended up cutting the excess fabric from the wall.


Side Views:



Possible arrangements I had proposed to myself:



That is all the progress photos I have for now.
 

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I literally just finished the same tank lol, mine just has a waterfall down the middle. Anyway, good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I literally just finished the same tank lol, mine just has a waterfall down the middle. Anyway, good luck!
PM me with some pics of your tank would like to check it out.


I have foamed and carved and should be updating with pics soon. However I wanted to get some input on using something other than silicone covered greatstuff at the water's edge, I've heard of titebond 2 and drylock and mixing one of these with sand or something else, I don't have any experience with these methods, any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
:UPDATE:
So I have completed attaching the ghostwood and Malaysian driftwood to the background and carving out the foam to flow a little more. I will be sanding the spots I didn't foam to prepare for sealing it, hopefully this weekend but we will see.
I am still looking for thoughts for the drylock and titebond on the substrate retaining wall area.

Let me know what you think of the setup so far.



Top View:


Left/Right Sides:
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Very nice! Any thoughts on inhabitants?
Unfortunately since its a paludarium there wont be any PDFs, however I do plan to get at the very least some small fish, I will be doing some research on these forums to see what others have suggested and used. But since I am pretty new to fish I'm sure I will have some questions. I plan to acclimate the water after everything has been set up for a bit with some hardy feeder goldfish ;)

I am always up for suggestions while I research, but i'm sure everyone will have a better idea once its a little further along.
 

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Suggestion for critters. Newts, and Shrimp or Tetras.

If you looking for real fun, you can get newt eggs from local breeders and raise them aquatic to land. Assuming you will have an easy transition from the water to land. Depending on the amount of land, you could go a terrestrial variety like T. shanjing. Or you could go with more aquatic species like to keep critters in the water, and fancy plants on land. With the 30G you could go with crazy things like P. waltl or T. dobrogicus. I'd avoid paddletail newts though, they are jerks.
Caudata Culture Species Database - Salamandridae

Shrimp and or Tetra's are great because with the range of colors, you can have something that Really pops or is more subtle, and both don't mind the slow moving water in a palu. It would depend on the other inhabitants obviously.


Just a few ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Suggestion for critters. Newts, and Shrimp or Tetras.

If you looking for real fun, you can get newt eggs from local breeders and raise them aquatic to land. Assuming you will have an easy transition from the water to land. Depending on the amount of land, you could go a terrestrial variety like T. shanjing. Or you could go with more aquatic species like to keep critters in the water, and fancy plants on land. With the 30G you could go with crazy things like P. waltl or T. dobrogicus. I'd avoid paddletail newts though, they are jerks.
Caudata Culture Species Database - Salamandridae

Shrimp and or Tetra's are great because with the range of colors, you can have something that Really pops or is more subtle, and both don't mind the slow moving water in a palu. It would depend on the other inhabitants obviously.
Just a few ideas.
Doverish,
Thank you for the information/link. Yes I will be thinking about putting in tetras, I have seen other do shrimp but hadn't thought about that, I like it thought.
The background is pretty vertical and won't be easily climbed if needed. As far as the transition portion, I will have to see how it comes together when I start filling in the water portion with gravel rocks and plants and try and get the water and land portions to flow well together. Newts would be a new field for me and that link lists more than I have ever seen, will have to sit down and see if that would interest me, but for now its just fish / shrimp.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
:UPDATE:
Small update, I have finely carved to my hearts content trying to get the form I can work with and might work best with the flow of the wood along with filling in any missed spaces and holes with the great stuff foam.
At first I was only going to cover the background with gorilla glue on part of the background that touched the water but decided to try something different and covered the whole background in the gorilla glue. I used a half peat moss and half coco-fiber mixture and am happy with it so far. It took forever to prep the coco-fibers since it came in condensed brick form which I had to hydrate to break apart then dry out before I could press it into the gorilla glue, since water is the catalyst for the glue.

(Front)

(Top)



I tested and filled up the tank with some water, got some of the excess/loose peat moss mix off the background. I had the top spigot valve open in the back, and this was slight on a slant, but this should be about the max water level in the tank.


I will need some assistance though. I bought some CaribSea Flora Max Planted Aquarium Substrate and filled the water section up with it, however when adding water it seems to cloud up very easily. So it will get cloudy when agitating the mix, kind of like charcoal in water and after a while it will settle to the bottom mostly but still have the water wont be fully clear. I have cycled the water once or twice, adding the water through the pump shaft as to not directly agitate the aquarium substrate. I am new to water setup, treatment, care etc. I'm curious if I just need a few more cycles of water to get the water more transparent and maybe add custom filter pad housing around the pump. I'm currently just using tap water and but want to get more info before I start using RO/Mix in there. I should be getting some more info from my local aquarium store soon, probably some PH testing strips so I can get it ready for its small inhabitants.
 
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Tank is looking good!

The floramax is cloudy when agitated for a while but after a few days it should settle and won't be so cloudy. Ive used it in several aquariums and it just takes some time to settle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Tank is looking good!
The floramax is cloudy when agitated for a while but after a few days it should settle and won't be so cloudy. Ive used it in several aquariums and it just takes some time to settle.
Thanks Jake, and its good to know it will setting down after being agitated.


So after a recent trip to the San Diego Zoo, I finally was able to check out the 'Insect House' in the kids section since i wanted to view the tanks they had set up there and it was very nice seeing all the tanks and their inhabitants. When I was there I saw a cool bug, a Sunburst Diving Beetle (Thermonectus marmoratus). I didn't see much discussion on the these forums about them, just mentioned on this thread. The thread mainly focuses around butterflies so I did some research of my own. Found some info on 'The Reptile Blog' and some more on 'Connected By Pets'. As long as I'm not keeping frogs I thought this might be a possibility, however since their diet is mainly invertebrates I would not be able to have cherry shrimp...for very long at least. It was said that 'most diving beetles do not molest fishes' so I am curious if tetras would be safe even though I think they are small and would be targeted. There were quite a few notes on how ravenous of feeders they are and can cannibalize each other if not fed a steady diet, some things to consider.

Some notes about them that I thought were interesting or appropriate:
-Temperature range: 70-82F, fits well with the tropical environment.
- Food: brine shrimp, fish flakes, freeze dried foods (along with other) can be shared with fish
- Grouping: may be housed with fish, snails, crayfish and larger freshwater shrimp.
- Size: 0.5-10mm / Saw a mention of someone keeping 50 in a 10gallon tank, seemed like a bit much.
- Lifespan: 2-3 years, good length of time especially if they can reproduce
- Cost: $10 each seems a bit steep for these little critters.

Any thoughts on these little guys or has anyone had any experience with these beetles?
 

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Man, the prices on that invertebrate site seem anywhere from a little high to outrageously high. You might try contacting Ken The Bug Guy; he doesn't have that particular beetle on his list at the moment, but he often posts things on other classified sites that aren't on his website; maybe he has them, or can point you to someone who does sell that beetle.

I don't know what the collection laws for beetles is in CA, but the sunburst diving beetle is a native of southern CA, in slow-moving desert streams where it's apparently fairly common. If legal, maybe you can collect your own?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
KarmaPolice's 30g Paludarium - Sunburst Diving Beetle?

Man, the prices on that invertebrate site seem anywhere from a little high to outrageously high. You might try contacting Ken The Bug Guy; he doesn't have that particular beetle on his list at the moment, but he often posts things on other classified sites that aren't on his website; maybe he has them, or can point you to someone who does sell that beetle.

I don't know what the collection laws for beetles is in CA, but the sunburst diving beetle is a native of southern CA, in slow-moving desert streams where it's apparently fairly common. If legal, maybe you can collect your own?
I was thinking this too, would need to do some digging on those laws, unless someone could point out where to find those laws...and some digging in the streams if they could be collected. I would have to be careful since "Diving Beetles can bite – hard!". I have only seen simple crayfish in the creek in the past near me, but I probably just didn't look hard enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
:pLANTING UPDATE:
So I ended up going shopping for a piece of furniture to hold this larger tank, I don't trust any silly low end target shelves to hold this piece. I got a nice piece and will want to end up putting doors on it to hide all the standard necessities below.
I have cycled the water a few times and finally filled up with some RO water, and will need to let the water mature for a couple days before I can add some test fish in there. I have also finally planted/pinned/strapped some nice plants into the tank. I hope you will all let me know if you think it looks off or over crowded. As i'm sure most of you have experience with, I will see what does well and what doesn't and change its placement or replace all together.

Enjoy:
Neoregelia 'Babe'
Orchid ID needed please


(Middle) Pleurothalis alata, (Bottom) Unknown Neo. (Right) Marcgravia Rectifolia *I believe*


Dendrobium concinnum


Lepanthes calodictyon


(Top) Microsorum linguiforme, (Left) some form of lemmaphyllum?, (Right) Pleurothallis brighamii *I think*


Aechmea recurvata 'kiwi'


(Above) Pleurothallis peperomioides, (Below) Restrepia lansburgii


Licuala aurantica palm


Microgramma heterophylla *I'm blanking on the name if thats not it*


ID please :)


Lemmaphyllum microphyllum


(Middle) Bulbophyllum plumatum (jacobsonii)


FTS:
Personal favorite of top section



& Googles automatic editing






Plants not individually shown:
Neoregelia 'Small Fry'
Neoregelia Olens ariel?
Iguanura tenuis Palm
Chamaedorea cataractarum palm
Sundew carnivorous plant, some small seedlings spread above in the substrate.
Leccanopteris sinuoss
Bolbitis Sionplicifolia*
Anubias SP. (Water)
Anubias barteria var. nana (Water)


I'll be looking for suggestions, when I initially planted the tank I felt it was too crowded, busy as an initial planting. I also didn't want to give up any of the cool plants, but might be forced to if they don't acclimate. I believe I want to replace one of the Neo. broms, either the center one on the end of the driftwood or the one on the very right with: "Neoregelia puactatissima V. rabra" which has a nice darker red with dark spot/stripes. I am planning on getting the low end mist king, but until then hand spraying it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
What about some mossy frogs?
Some vampire crabs would be cool in this setup just not sure if its too steep.
I'm not familiar with mossy frogs at all, but I'm pretty sure along with the vampire crabs that their wouldn't be enough land/surface area for them to rest on, the background is pretty vertical.

Sinningia muscicola?
Sammie, Thanks for the ID. I'm sure if its not muscicola then its close enough.
 
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