Dendroboard banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I decided to learn off of previous mistakes and try again. I'm utilizing some different ideas I've found on here and trying out some new things as well. I'd like to put a pair of D. leucomelas in here eventually... but it'll be a while before I'm finished.... interested in ideas as well.




PVC corner for easy access to the pump/plumbing. This way I can make adjustments as need or easily change the pump without disturbing the vivarium.


planning to split the tubing into several different cascades and drips in the back wall over the wood.

I'm actually considering putting another hole in the PVC with a tube leading through the driftwood for fog from an ultrasound fogger in the PVC tube... wonder if that would work? I'm putting a removable top on the PVC to keep any adventurous frogs out so the fog wouldn't have anywhere to go unless I put some vents in the PVC through the background...


everything in place... the PVC pipe is siliconed on both side to keep any frog from finding a way to the back.




plastic zip-ties to anchor the landscaping fabric to the egg crate false bottom.



planning to add great stuff behind the wood and around the PVC. Then I want to carve the foam and create a fake rock wall on the right side and around the PVC... I want to have some shelves/holes in it for mounting bromeliads too. I'm debating between a kitty litter clay, a thin concrete/peat mix over the foam (I'd protect the glass of course in case I don't like it), or some other method... any suggestions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Looking good!

I didn't see any in your pics, but I have seen it suggested that notches be cut in the false bottom "legs" to prevent water from collecting in the tubes. Seemed to be a good idea so I did this myself.

Good luck with the build from here. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
:) No problem.

I feel like I have gained so much from this forum already and it's nice to give a little back when I can. :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
instead of drilling holes or adding notches, I decided to go the easy route and stick an extra egg crate layer under the false bottom to allow water to drain through the pvc legs. Then after much debate, I decided to go to the trusty Great Stuff, but I also wanted to carve a rock wall on the right side...




Once cured, I carved the rock wall on the right... I used a heat gun (gently)... to accelerate things a bit...


From there I was debating about what on earth to do about the fake rock. I have never made a fake rock and I've never used clay in a vivarium... I read up on the kitty litter (I'm a broke school teacher so the cost is perfect) but my concern was that the kitty litter clay over the GS wouldn't stick, especially on the overhang. I did some practice runs and sure enough, my fears were right. So I played a bit with the concrete method (had some concrete in the garage) but I wasn't real happy with my results. I thought about painting, but paints can be expensive so finally I tried an experiment. I ended up finding that if I laid the silicone on thick, I could work it into the foam and clay, creating a much more flexible and crack resistant rock face. In my practice run, I used a small piece and dried it completely with a heat gun... I got very few cracks and the ones that did form were easy to smooth over with some extra clay.


the tools...



I worked in the first layer a piece at a time, making sure to work in the silicone. It was actually soaking through the clay a bit and I kept mixing it in.





After heating it with a heat gun, I actually didn't mind the small cracks. I was very careful not to over heat the acrylic glass, then gently smoothed over the clay with some fresh moist clay. I made 3 holes in the rock for plants and one hole for a tube I installed into the PVC pump access to vent fog into the vivarium. I plan on putting an ultrasonic fogger into the pump access which should build up and get forced through the one vent opening in the rock wall.


a view of the pump access.

I used the typical coco fiber/silicone method on the rest of the background:



a view from the top, the pump access cover in place:


a planted preview:


I'm waiting on the silicone to fully cure before I turn on the waterfalls/drip walls in the background. The water flow is fully adjustable through the pump access and they should pour out in three places around this bromeliad:


Getting ready to add the substrate, but not sure what other plants to put in. I'm planning on a mix between moss and leaf litter this time... thinking some small oak leaves would be awesome. What do you guys think? What plants would work well here? I'll post more pics as soon as the pump is on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,878 Posts
I think it looks nice so far... interested to see what the water feature will look like.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,367 Posts
Looks nice. The background sculpting looks good. Too bad I didnt see your thread sooner, or I would have suggested you make a "box" out of the eggcrate, instead of just a platfrom. Not quite sure how you plan on hidding it now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
348 Posts
nice viv. Very clean and tidy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I'm actually thinking about painting the front, but in the past I've used a black adhesive coat carved out with a razor blade to cover my work. a full box makes WAY more sense though...

I did some initial planting but I could definitely use some suggestions. I'm not sure I want to go crazy because I like the background, but was thinking about some small creeping fig? or some smaller tropicals for variety? I'm not sold on the moss this time either... I'm thinking I might want to go for the leaf litter look but I'm not sure.










I've been experimenting with the planting a bit... trying to revive that Tillandsia.

I've got a fog vent in the rock wall so my plan is to drop an ultrasonic fogger into the PVC... I think the fog will be trapped in there (with the top on) and forced through a fog vent in the base of the wall. I'm not sure if it'll work, but I thought I'd give it a try.

Sorry for the crapy cell phone photos... heading out of town for the weekend now... I'll take some better photos when I get back.

You guys have any suggestions? I'd like to use it to house a pair of Leucs
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,426 Posts
I like this so far. As for plants I'd first suggest that you make sure the broms are fully upright... if they aren't they can't hold water. To be completely honest though I don't love the look of broms in this tank. I'd go with some oak leaf creeping fig, some ferns, peperomia, etc. A nice aroid or two could look awesome. And the moss doesn't look too nice IMHO... I'd replace it with a nice layer of leaf litter. If you want to keep the moss then maybe just have a small area with it and keep the rest with leaf litter. I don't like the look of pillow moss (and it usually never does well and just dies) so I'd have to suggest some riccia or java moss instead.

I hope the light you have over it right now isn't the one you'll be using permanently. I'd suggest T5 lighting if you can afford it. 6700K for the bulbs too.

Good luck with this. It's looking great so far.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top