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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know there have been a lot of 18x18x24 builds posted lately, but I did some things a little different and I would like some opinions or warnings and maybe a suggestion or two on planting. This viv is for a pair or trio of bastis depending on how the sex ratio turns out with the 3 juvies I just bought.

I went old school with a cork bark and GS background. I overlapped some of the cork pieces to get more ledges and a 3D effect.
Here is the cork with the trimmed down GS. I use the flexible GS so I can just trim it by digging at it with my fingers/fingernails.


Here's the GS covered with brown silicone and coco fibers.


I forgot to take pics of the false bottom, but I just used egg crate and 3/4" PVC pieces laid on their sides attached with cable ties. Not so many dead spots with the PVC on its side and I don't have to cut accurately.

Here is the weed cloth cover. Not all weed cloth lets water pass through it quickly. I got some that did. I folded the edge of the cloth down, over the edge of the egg crate so you can't see the white. I made a clay mixture out of 1 part laterite, 1 part sodium bentonite and 1/10 part Calcium Carbonate and made patties out of the clay to replicate the clay in the forest, but left gaps for the water to go through. I used some remaining clay like plumbers putty to seal the weed cloth around the edges so soil wouldn't get under the cloth.


I forgot to put in an access tube to the false bottom until after I put in the ABG mix, so I had to go back and cut the cloth and crate to fit in the access tube and sealed it with clay as well.


It just struck me that this is sort of a self indulgent thing to do, but I am almost done, so I am going to finish anyway.

The wood is a mixture of Malaysian driftwood and grapewood. I have a couple pieces of manzanita that I may add later. The access tube is covered by a small rock. The substrate is homemade ABG mix with a half portion of "Flourite" gravel in the mix.


Here it is planted. I have numbered the plants so I could ID them better. The second pic shows the plants on the floor better. The bottom will be covered with a mixture of oak and magnolia leaves before the frogs get introduced.


1. Bulb. elassoglossium
2. Neo. 'Janet Sue'
3. Neo. Inca x Fireball
4. Pep. sp. 'Panama"
5. Nephrolepis exaltata 'Elzevir'
6. Codonanthe sp.
7. Neo. 'Shamrock'
8. Begonia U074 (moved to the floor)
9. Bulb. lasiochilum
10. Bulb. ovalifolium
11 Haraella odorata
12. Bulb. alagense (small form)
13. Monstera sp.
14. Beg. elaeagnifolia
15. Diodonopsis erinacea (Masdevallia)
16. Unknown Large Leaf sort of vine from Eric M
17. Pep. 'Glasshouse' (might be a IDed species, but I couldn't find it)
18. Philo. sp. 'Ecuador'
19. Pep. sp. 'Fosteri'
20 Beg. lusonensis
21 Beg. prismatocarpa



I am thinking that I might want to put a small brom like Neo. punctatissima rubra in the lower right hand corner, but I don't want to shade out the little orchid or the NOID. Do you think I should just wait for the NOID and orchid to fill in the area or go with a small brom?

Thanks for making it through the whole post.
 

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Nice tank, but question about the substrate. First off, where'd you find orchid bark so small? I couldn't find the small stuff so I used cypress mulch. Also, do you have sphagnum in the mix? It's very nice so far and with another brom or 2 and a few more vines it will be an incredible tank!

Oh and don't forget leaf litter ;)
Here's some plant suggestions. Neo. Midget doesn't get very big and with my midgets, as they are old they get a nice dark green and pup a lot, and when young are bright green with purple dots all over. Mine has 4 pups 1/5 of full size and delivered to me with a pup on it. Mother has 3 inch diameter and is 5 inches tall, and the pup that's full grown is about 5 inch diameter and 4 inches tall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nice tank, but question about the substrate. First off, where'd you find orchid bark so small? I couldn't find the small stuff so I used cypress mulch. Also, do you have sphagnum in the mix? It's very nice so far and with another brom or 2 and a few more vines it will be an incredible tank!

Oh and don't forget leaf litter ;)
The orchid bark is just standard small sized orchid bark (fir). I happen to live near a place called CalWest Orchid Supply where I can buy it in bulk, but they ship as well.
Yes there is a portion of sphagnum, but the recipe calls for finely milled sphagnum. I mill it by crunching it and rubbing it in my hands while it is still dry. :)

I am a little hesitant about adding more broms that would shade out the begonias and orchids. The broms I have are very tad friendly and I hope they will supply enough sites for the bastis. If not, I can add film canisters. There are several cuttings in there that should fill in nicely.

Yup, as I said somewhere in there, I plan on adding lots of oak and magnolia leave.

Thanks for your input.
 

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Good looking tank......Will be awesome once it grows in.
 

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The tank looks great. The only thing I would suggests for future builds is to turn the tank so you open it from the side. I think it gives a more unobsructive view of the whole tank specially with the view of the floor space. I did that with my tank and makes for great viewing. Just a thought though. I also really like the inca fireball bromeliad
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The tank looks great. The only thing I would suggests for future builds is to turn the tank so you open it from the side. I think it gives a more unobsructive view of the whole tank specially with the view of the floor space. I did that with my tank and makes for great viewing. Just a thought though. I also really like the inca fireball bromeliad
The problem I see with opening from the side is that you can't line up your tanks side by side. Even if you had a stand alone tank you would have to reach around your tank to access it. In addition, the venting on the ZooMed is designed to keep the door fog free, not the sides. I could see the sides fogging up and making viewing more difficult. However, I haven't done it, so maybe reaching around and side fogging are not as much of a problem as I would think.
 

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I can see why someone would turn an exo sideways to hide the split doors...but most everyone has substrate up to the door on the zoomeds, so it really wouldn't make a difference. Tank looks great, I'm really diggin that elaeagnifolia.
 

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I didn't realize you were setting up several tanks next to each other. I set mine up where I could still get to the side where the door is. As far as the glass I planned on using a magfloat. I'm still learning and just built my First zoomed and saw someone else who turned their tank and liked the way it looked just my opinion though
 

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I didn't realize you were setting up several tanks next to each other. I set mine up where I could still get to the side where the door is. As far as the glass I planned on using a magfloat. I'm still learning and just built my First zoomed and saw someone else who turned their tank and liked the way it looked just my opinion though
what's a "magfloat"?
 

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Tank looks great... can't go wrong with and old school method!
As far as broms go, since it's gonna be for pumilio, I would add a couple more in there... unless of course you're planning on using film cans as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Tank looks great... can't go wrong with and old school method!
As far as broms go, since it's gonna be for pumilio, I would add a couple more in there... unless of course you're planning on using film cans as well.
Maybe I will add a couple more broms and move some of the orchids from the background onto the grapewood or add another branch to mount the orchids so they don't get shaded out.
Maybe I can mount a brom to the driftwood at the lower right and on the cork just above the NOID. That would form sort of a brom questions mark.

FWIW, the N. Shamrock and the N. Janet Sue both have pups on them so there will be more broms in there by the time the frogs go in anyway. However, offering a greater variety of shapes and sizes couldn't hurt. I have heard that some people's pumilios actually prefer axials of smaller narrow leafed broms in which to deposit their tads.
 

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Oh sorry I forgot I was not on the reef forum lol it is a two side magnet to clean the glass with a scrubber on one side you can usually pick them at most pet shops that sell fish
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Mine melted away right off the bat. :( JVK
I'm sorry Jesse. Did they melt in your viv or even before that? The first one I ever got melted in my viv and then came back about a month later from what I thought was a dead stick. They certainly don't seem to like being too wet on the top or the bottom.

If you want to try again for the cost of shipping let me know.
 

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I'm sorry Jesse. Did they melt in your viv or even before that? The first one I ever got melted in my viv and then came back about a month later from what I thought was a dead stick. They certainly don't seem to like being too wet on the top or the bottom.

If you want to try again for the cost of shipping let me know.
Don't worry about it Phil, I didn't want to whine to you about it. It melted away in a 32 oz. pretty much instantly. It was a bit banged up in transit, but that's no biggie. The shipping/packaging was excellent, I would have left positive feedback if you had a page:rolleyes: I've heard about Begonia being hard to ship,no worries. Everything else you sent is doing great! JVK
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I didn't take your post as a whine. I don't really have that species dialed in yet as to what they like and don't like. I have a couple mother plants that seem pretty stable, but cuttings in vivs are kind of hit and miss. Since there were 3 rooting cuttings in the pot, I hoped you would be good. If there is a next time, expect a freebie
 

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phender, how did you mount the broms? yours mounted great and I spent an hour just trying to keep ONE from tumbling down.
 
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