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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was reading on the vivaria site about how they do some things, mounting wood included. They drill into the wood and then use basically kebab skewers pushed through the wood into the cocos panels to hold them. I just can't believe that the skewers don't rot and let the wood drop after a few months. I am kicking around the idea of taking a 90 gallon aquarium and making a vertical tank out of it. If I would do that, I doubt I could/would find a piece of driftwood I like that would be tall enough for the tank. I was thinking of mounting wood, and came upon that. I know I could use a few gallons of spray foam, but I really don't want to use it. I really like the cocos panels and definitely plan on using them. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
j
 

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Actually that spray foam (great stuff) is pretty durable and even small amounts bond very tightly to both wood and glass. You could get away with a lot less than a few gallons holding a pretty large piece of drift wood. Then you just have a small area to cover with silicone/peat etc. Another idea if you are set against the foam would be wiring the wood to the panels. I don't know how solid those panels are but you could drill "anchor" holes in the back of the drift wood and "anchor" holes in the panels and wire them together.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi!

Keep us posted if you decide to turn your 90 gal. into a vertical tank. I was toying with the idea of doing that with my empty 125 gal. It would be interesting to say the least.....
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was kidding about the gallons part, however, as I said, I'm just not a huge fan of the spray foam. I do like the suggestion of drilling hooks to put in the cocos panels. It seems a lot stronger than just a skewer. I think when I get some more money I'll go get a new tank and do it. The main thing is the lighting will be expensive to penetrate down 4' or so to the bottom.
j
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm thinking you would end up with some unnatural and bizzare growth behaviors in the plants. Who knows if it would disorient the frogs too.

-tad
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mark Pepper did that in some large tanks-- had them lit by small 18" lights half way down the tank. I think I'll use metal halides to light it the whole way down-- they really seem to be bright. I like the idea a lot and am thinking about doing it sooner.
j
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I would be carefull with using metal halide lights. Some of them generate more heat than halogen lights which can get real hot.
 

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Yeah watch out for the heat from the metal halides, I've got them on a reef tank and they generate some serious heat, enough to raise the temperature of 90 gallons of moving water by 3 to 4 degrees in short order, and thats with two fans blowing right on them. You may be better off with one of those new big flourescent "spiral" bulbs. They provide really good lumens/watt with minimal heat. That combined with a really good reflective hood and you should be able to focus the light so that it penetrates to the bottom of the tank. If you have a hydroponics store near you they usually have a lot of different types of bulbs on display and you can feel the heat generated, get an idea of how far they penetrate etc.
 

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I think I would try and use a power compact quad style light for that. you can find them at wattages from 27 to 96 watts, I think I would go right for the 96 watt. I'm using a 70 watt halide over our 37 gallon day gecko tank, I chose that for the fact that it provides uv and radiant heat. The compact flourescents acutally give off more light for a watt of power, and the light usually looks a little more natural.
As others have mentioned, be careful of the heat, whichever light you choose, I've seen power compacts crack glass lids pretty quick when placed too close, you definatly wouldn't wan't that to happen with a 90 gallon vertical.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That sounds really cool but it would be a logistical night mare. U'd have to have it front opening and just the sheare weight of a huge peice of glass woul break the silicone holding the hinges. U would have to do some sort of thing with multiple front opening doors or have it open horizontally. Also what would u put in there a whole bunch of thumbs, i'm not sure if there would be enough room for a terrestrial species on the ground. I dont know it sounds really cool but it might be difficult to do
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well first of all, I planned on having the top be on one of the sides (say the left), and then have that be the entrance. It wouldn't be in one piece, and would most likely hinge. Since the top has the brace in it, I may just make the bottom piece solid glass and do a combo glass/screen homemade piece for the top half. I have long arms and could access the rest of the tank from that without too many problems. I think the lighting would be one of the biggest issues, but If you think about it, this wouldn't be necessarily any taller than the displays at the National Aquarium, so a few small compacts stacked. With regards to frogs, I don't keep any outside the lab, so this is purely for plants. The bottom of the tank (if placed the way I mentioned) is still around a 15 or 20 gallon equivalent, so it would be large enough for D. tinctorius group frogs.
j
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've wanted to do this for a while now with an 80 gal (48x18x21) tank I've got down in the basement (currently housing a few Masdevallia spp. orchids)...but when it came to using it for frogs, everyone so far as said: "They won't find food and they'll all die." Whether or not that's really much of a problem, I have still been thinking about using it to house plants, just like you. And like you, I have been having trouble with figuring out lights to get the bottom light really well.

Halides are the best option--they put out more PAR and intensity per watt than anything else (even PC's...not sure what that one guy was talking about). But heat and UV can be a concern, especially if you plan on being at all exposed to the light being emitted. PC's are the next best option, but I still think it's going to be hard to find a setup that will still get decent light. You could probably fit a couple 96W Powerquads or a few 55W bulbs, but it's still going to be fairly shady down toward the bottom. It might just be that you use what you've got and work with the different microclimates within the tank. Lighting the tank from the side is an option...but I'm not sure how you would pull it off without it looking like a science experiment in your living room.

As for wood, I have quite a few large pieces I have collected, and was planning on securing them with some Great Stuff along the edges, and maybe cocos panels, etc. The majority of the background would be actualy materials, but just the gaps would be filled and securing done by the foam.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You know, you got my little brain cooking on that one. There's no reason why I should just use a little great stuff to hold the big pieces of wood in place and then cut the excess off. I could then patchwork the cocos panels on the rest of the backing. Good idea, thanks for it. I was talking to Joe, an I think those 4 compact fluorescents will be the way to go.
j
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Cool; keep us updated. I can learn from your mistakes. :wink:

What are you planning on keeping in there?
 

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been thinking about this for my large tnak in my rack as well. I want to use some liana branches form black jnugle for the waxys and great stuff would hold thme in well, but I'd also do the rest of the tnak in it, because I like the looks. I was also wondering about how I'd light a 4' tall tank.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Lighting vertical vivariums

Hi, I have several "Giant" sized vivariums containing some of my "smallest" of frogs species.. (various pumilio in one and imitators in another) My vivariums dimensions are 4' H x 3' W x 2.5' deep I light these each with a two compact lights fixture from Aquarium Home Supply (96 total watts, I believe) These are quite bright and they do get somewhat hot, but nowhere near as hot as Halides, If you copy nature you can put low light plants on the bottom such as shade mosses, ferns and saligenella (sp) and keep your bromeliads higher up in the vivarium to benefit from the high light this should work just fine. The people at Aquarium Home Supply are very helpful... they may be able to guide you to your exact need. PS, I know you know what I'm talkin about Mr Yeager, you always have a seminar on "how to" build different style and size vivariums at IAD.. I do know how you feel though when I first planted these giant vivs costing about $200-$300 in plants alone you definitely want to know if it will thrive.. Hope this helps and good luck.. Peter Keane
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you, that did help. To me the hardest thing right now is figuring out what lighting I want to use. I took some new pictures of my other 90 gallon, so I'll have Corey put them up here soon. It's growing in and doing a lot better now that it had some time to grow. If I get some money come in from work etc, I'll get working on that tank and will keep everyone posted. Regardless, I'll need to get some nice driftwood before I do anything, so that will take some time.
j
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'm actually going to get the rest of the things I need to work on the tank (cork) hopefully this weekend at the MARS show. I decided to switch tank sizes so I'll have room to put it in the lab so it's now a 60 gallon high tank. I'll get pictures up eventually when it's done.
j
 
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