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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I'm new to this and am having trouble deciding on how I should set up my 20gal long aquarium. I would like to include a water feature with my internal filter, live plants and am also having trouble deciding whether I should completely seperate the land from the h2o with plexiglass or do a false bottom under it. I am worried that the false bottom will just make the tank get dirty faster, even with a substrate divider. I would like ideas of cheap/almost free ways to get the effect desired. My husband works at lowes and I'm planning on getting many of the needed pieces from his scraps. If I do completely seperate the land from H2O do I need a teralite/lava rock/gravel bottom layer for drainage? And I would also like to know if silicone and great stuff are easily removed from a tank (without scratching) for 10-15yrs down the road. Any and all ideas, designs, and out right step by steps will be very much appreciated. -- by the by, the reason for cheapness is that I have been out of work since Feb --

PLEASE HELP
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hi again,Well I found tons of Plexiglas PVC, and styrofoam around the house. So im still trying to figure out the design.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm actually just going to start out small for a couple of FBTs that dont actually like to climb much, I live in Texas so its hotter than normal in my house so I need plants that will tolerate this. Any ideas on the basic setup would be helpful.
 

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20 gallons is small, but it can be done so long as you plan things out and manage the space you have to work with. Check out this link, and try looking through all the paludarium entries from the last few years.

2011 AGA Aquascaping Contest

Here is one that will surely catch your interest. It is for a fire belly toad and looks to be about 30 gallons....Its actually only 3!!! Talk about managing space and using proportionality to your advantage!

2006 AGA Aquascaping Contest
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hello again,
I have a better idea now that I bought a few things, but now I realized the internal filter I bought doesn't work and was wondering what kind of filter/pump I should get for my palidarium. It will only be about 4 inches deep and I dont know enough about maintaining water in an aquarium to choose the right kind and how to setup any kind except for the hang-on filter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So not many people offering any help, but I got my filter working and have the setup down but now I need an opinion on if I should build a barrier between the water and the false bottom. I have heard that fire bellies can drown and dont want them to go swimming under the false bottom (3 1/2" above tank bottom) and not be able to remember to come back out... I dont know. PLEASE HELP!! ASAP
 

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I wouldn't build a barrier. Personally, I think it's more practical to assume from day one, that under your land area will be wet, than to think that you can keep water where you want it. Water will eventually find it's way into your planted area, it's easier to let it be there, than to plan for it to be dry and have to drain and dry it out.

That said, using eggcrate with window screen is super fast construction. You should be able to have a lot of shore line in a 20 gallon long with shallow water. I'd probably use foam, rocks, or cork just to hide the edges and supporting parts of your false bottom, and let it be dark underneath. moss will eventually fill in and the structure will be invisible. Then i'd probably use clay from 1" above water to the top, with similar accents (stone or cork or foam) here and there to continue the shoreline on up.
 
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