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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, thought I'd make a thread to show you my paludarium which houses a Sorong green tree python and various fish/invertebrates :) It ONLY (lol) took about a year and a half to make! (after changing my mind about 12 times and several 'disasters').

Everything including the glass tank itself, rock structure, stand and lid were constructed by myself, so will try and give some insight as to how some things were made, as I couldnt even count the hours I have spent on here researching how to make various things! I did have many more pictures of the build process but unfortunately some lowlife stole my phone with all the pictures whilst on holiday.

Firstly, to save searching through this thread, heres a pic of the finished viv:




It is 36"x36"x24". I still want to get one more piece of redwood for the left hand side to cover the water heater, but apart from that I'm quite happy with how its all turned out.


As it started out about a year and a half ago:




When all the goodies arrived (sorry about some of the rubbish pics). Including a Fluval 205 external filter and Reptile Radiator:




This was my first idea when I was contemplating day geckos as the inhabitants of the vivarium. The 'Temple' has a hole in the eye symbol at the top, which the filter tubing was connected to. The water flowed down the staircase and into the water bowl section at the bottom, which also housed the filter intake. I was really pleased with this design, however as it was one of my first attempts at something like this it unfortunately eventually leaked in the bottom water section (Disaster #1 of about 20, haha!), and so I stripped the tank, during which I decided to go a different direction...











If anyone is interested I still have the 'Temple' apart from the bottom water/food bowl section (Which I can easily tell you how to make again.) If you want to make me an offer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I've always loved paludariums, vivariums with large water features, and so decided this was the route I wanted to go down.

Test fill:




How it initially looked. I really liked the look of this 'Island' design, and intend to attempt this look again in the future, however in my naivety, I used real rocks which weighed a bloody ton, and due to the polystyrene underneath the whole tank being in two pieces and becoming slightly dislodged when we placed the tank on top, a crack formed in the bottom (Disaster #2!), cue 100 litres of water all over my living room floor at 3am!




As I said, unfortunately I dont have any of the pics of the making of the lower 'Rock' part of the final vivarium, however I'll try to explain it anyway for anyone wanting to attempt something similar. I used insulation polystyrene bought quite cheap from places like Homebase/B&Q, glued it together and carved it to shape, similar to this which is a vivarium I made for my brothers bearded dragon:



The polystyrene was then covered in concrete, left to dry, then painted with acrylic paints. I used a very dark grey as the base colour, then used a drybrushing method each time using lighter and lighter greys until the final coat was pretty much white. This method makes the 'Rock' look much more detailed and realistic.

One of the things I spent the most time researching, was how to seal the structure, as concrete leaches lime into water, and so could have been potentially harmful to any fish. After many, MANY hours researching I came across this, which is brilliant stuff (just dont get it on your hands!):




After about 4 clear coats of this, this was the result:






Various pieces of wood I had acquired were then screwed onto the wooden panel which was glued onto the top of the 'Rock' structure. Holes were drilled into the side of this panel to make 'planting' and removing the artificial plants for cleaning easier:



It was around this time I also got the little guy who was going to live in this enclosure, if I ever managed to get it finished! For the time being (and as he was still far too little!) his home was a RUB, lol.

Diego :flrt: :




I then installed the Reptile Radiator, thermostat, hygrometer, lights and misting system to the lid which I had constructed, and lowered it onto the tank.




A look into the cabinet, which includes Fluval 205 canister filter, Exo terra RS400 misting system, air stone (on the towel so it doesnt buzz and annoy the hell out of me!) and equipment for water changes:




The tank was planted with artificial plants (I did consider live plants but felt this easier in terms of maintenance). And once he was big enough, Diego was let out into his new home :2thumb: :




For anyone wondering, I incorporated a side door into the tank design for easy access for cleaning/maintenance:




How the tank looks as a whole in my living room:




A side view:

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
One thing I love about this setup is seeing the gtp hanging out over the water, although it does mean I have to be extra vigilant when he defecates! Luckily it hasnt happened and hopefully wont as he has a favourite spot which he usually uses for that which is easy enough to clean! The water is also great for keeping up humidity levels:






Some of the aquatic inhabitans, nothing too fancy or difficult, including Angelfish, Neon Tetras, Red Platys, Fancy Tailed Guppies, Loaches, a Rock Shrimp, Golden Apple Snail and Green x Leopard Discus:








A quick photoshoot with Diego, cant wait till His blue dorsal stripe comes through fully!:












Exploring his viv:







Has been great fun making this and I've learned a hell of a lot (and made a few mistakes which I've learned from too!). I'll be much more confident now though thankfully at attempting my next projects, which will also be in paludarium form, including another attempt at an island themed viv, and a 10ft burmese python enclosure involving a LOT of water ;)

Thanks for looking


Chris
 

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Why didn't you use rainbow fish so it would be much more closely biotopic? Instead you've used a lot of Central and South American fish....

Some comments,

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Why didn't you use rainbow fish so it would be much more closely biotopic? Instead you've used a lot of Central and South American fish....

Some comments,

Ed
Its not meant to be a biotope :) With regards to the water section I wanted something simple which looked good and yet easy to maintain, I did consider discus but did not want the difficulties of their water softness needs.
 

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Very cool and a nice job. I hope all grow well for you.
I do agree with the post about your choice of fish.
First of all I feel you have a strange combo of live bearers & egg layers. Second, why SA fish and not have fish from Indonesia (like a school of rainbows)?
Otherwise you have a beautiful set up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Lol why do they have to be from the same regions? As long as their parameters are met?

The angelfish etc were just fish that appealed to me in terms of aesthetics and their maintenance, the large majority of those who will see the tank would not know/care what regions the fish were from so this was not really a consideration for me as I was not going for an authentic 'biotope', just something that was aesthetically pleasing :)
 

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Its not meant to be a biotope :) With regards to the water section I wanted something simple which looked good and yet easy to maintain, I did consider discus but did not want the difficulties of their water softness needs.
I think Ed was giving you an out to build a second for the Green Tree Python and to drop an Emerald Tree Boa in the current tank ;).
 

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Great job! Im not too fond of fake plants myself, but this looks great! I like the idea of it being easier to maintain, especially with a snake in it. I would def. be worried about the snake eating those fish at some point, but I guess there is only one way to find out.

Anyway, great looking tank, beautiful snake, thanks for this post.
 

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Great job! Im not too fond of fake plants myself, but this looks great! I like the idea of it being easier to maintain, especially with a snake in it. I would def. be worried about the snake eating those fish at some point, but I guess there is only one way to find out.

Anyway, great looking tank, beautiful snake, thanks for this post.
The fish are really safe...
In my experience with similar enclosures at a zoo, once the snake goes to the bathroom, your going to see a spike in ammonia and nitrite from both the fecal material and the urates. Sensitive fish are probably going to be problematic. I would also suggest getting some small wire brushes because if the urates dry on the wood they can be difficult to remove.

Some comments

Ed
 

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I love this setup. One snake that I have always wanted, but never pulled the trigger. As for the fish they look great. Easy, simple, and nice to look at. Your canister filter should be more then enough for filtration IMO.
 

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Very nice :)

I love chondros! Its just the perfect display animal.

This is where my beautiful 1.0 Sorong from 09 lives:


Still need to put in a few plants (Which i have already ordered, and should be here in a few days).
Heres just a picture of him:
 

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That is really nice. The silk plants actually look real good.

I have never really been inclined to keep snakes, but green tree pythons do pique my curiosity. I like that they are good subjects for keeping with a planted display.
 
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