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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One year into my 38g reef tank, which is going strong, I came across pictures of a terrarium on our local reefboard. I have a small 3/4g tank in my room which supports a tiny tiny reef (hermits and a few coral), but I think I'm going to change it into a terrarium instead. I'm working on a mini water fall, with a few plants inside (that can fit!).

Any good starting points? I plan on using a false bottom. The tank is about 5x5x5". Yes its really small, but I've worked out some plans, and hopefully it should look pretty good. I'll post pics as I starting building away.

I'd like to use some corkflat for my background and build around it, but i'm having a heck of a time trying to find any locally. Would anyone be willing to ship any left overs to me? Of course I'll pay for shipping and your time. I only need a tiny peice (under 5x5").

TIA!
 

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There is no way you will be able to fit that all in that tank. The false bottom and substrate alone will be at least 4" (you have to fit a pump for a waterfall below the substrate). Thats your entire tank already. Not to metion, cork bark would eat up about another 2" and even if you maximized space by leaving out all of that stuff, its still not big enough to house any frogs.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
d

you could just coat the back and sides (maybe) with brown silicone and press in some peat moss, chuck a few small rocks in there and some gravel in the bottom and them a little soil. You wouldnt need alot of soil for plants that small. You couldnt use a pump though, that is definite. that could work, but I dont think frogs would survive and it would be sensitive to water (in other words, jsut a LITTLE water would flood it and enough could evaporate in a small amount of time to dry it out too much.


check that. you could use a pump, but you would have to have it outside with an outside sump with hoses going through the little cube. more trouble than its worth. Just get a 10 gallon and go for it. 10 gallon would be cheaper by the time you were done with trying new things!
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
bleh. Way to be clear on my side. :roll:

Sorry I should of been more clear. I'm not actually looking at keeping frogs at this time. NEVER in anything that size. Just looking at supporting plant life right now. If I can keep that going fairly well, then I'll move to a bigger tank for frogs.

I guess this really isin't the right board to be posting on, but I've seen some nice tank setups in the pics here that I thought I'd ask.
 

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Even without frogs, there is no way you can physically fit everything you want to in that tank. I understand what you are trying to go for with this, but you are severely underestimating the size of everything you want to put in this tank. You might be able to pull this off in a 2 1/2 or 5 gal.
 

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Maybe you could mount one small Neorogelia. on one small piece of cork siliconed to the background. I have no idea how big you viv is but there is some real small broms, orchids, and cool plants that might work. A false bottom and waterfall seem out of the question though.If you really want to build a cheap but nice viv i would start with a 5 or ten gallon tank at least. This way you could actually put some cooler plant variety in there. I think this is an okay place to talk about vivs, even you arent putting frogs in there. Im not sure though. Good Luck
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I've planned most of it out in AutoCAD to make sure there is space, and so far, there seems to be quite a bit. The water pump is going to be external, so I figure the top of the eggcrate will be 1" from the bottom of the tank. I have enough room to move it up to 1-1/2". The higher I go however, only means that the plants will be growing further out of the tank, which really isin't a problem.

The corkflat is really just for the back of the tank, and to cover up whats behind the tank. Moreso to act as a mini waterfall. I was going to silicone some rocks to the surface as well.
 

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I like this project. Don't let them tell you it can't be done. Just prove them wrong. You will want to select very miniature plants for this. Neo. liliputiana would be a good choice as would some of the tiny little orchids. Try this one: Psygmorchis pusilla. They are tiny and bloom great in vivaria. I think you should think about a nice little spider or something that might be able to thrive in the tiny space and make it a true viv.

Of course I hope you realize that a larger tank, even with frogs, will be a piece of cake compared to this project.
 

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Now that he has explained the details, there is no reason why he can't fit everything. He is not creating an enclosed environment though. From what was explained, he plans on having the plants growing out of the top of terrarium. I think the whole thing is a neat idea myself, but I would go to a 2 1/2 Gal (Definately still a 'nano'), and then make it a true enclosed environment. Or do anything you can to make your current tank fully enclosed. I think it would be much more appealing this way. Just my opinion though.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I had a 5.5 gallon, with a waterfall/stream, a few different plants/moss and 2 auratus froglets. I pulled it apart after about 4-5 months. It was kind of cool looking, but the stream took up to much space.


-Tad
 

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khoff said:
Now that he has explained the details, there is no reason why he can't fit everything. He is not creating an enclosed environment though. From what was explained, he plans on having the plants growing out of the top of terrarium. I think the whole thing is a neat idea myself, but I would go to a 2 1/2 Gal (Definately still a 'nano'), and then make it a true enclosed environment. Or do anything you can to make your current tank fully enclosed. I think it would be much more appealing this way. Just my opinion though.
I agree it would be more interesting to me as a completely enclose tank but a 5" cube? How cool is that? I could see a tiny neo., a Psygmorchis, and maybe a Draba in the bottom with a little water seep. Maybe a thimble of open water in the middle with some azolla. It could be really cool. Oh, and don't forget the spider. Ooh, better yet, a flower mantis!
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks all for your comments and info! Greatly appreciated! Yeah I certainly should of been more clear from the start. And I'm glad to hear that many of you think its possible. I'm sure anything is, just takes time, and more time to plan ;)

So I dropped by a few pet stores, and picked up some items.

For the background, I found some Natural Cork Bark by T-rex products, nice and cheap, and has a sort of rock look to it.



For my substrate I got some Forest Bed Expandable Substrate (coconut fibers) link). I got a small brick, which is more than I need, but I'll just put some in a bowl, with water, let it expand, and put it in. Lastly, I picked up a variety of gravel rock to use.

Had some eggcrate, and window screen material around the shop, so I cut up some peices to use in the tank.

And lastly I picked up some planter charcoal to use under the substrate. I started cleaning out the tank, so i'm ready to start on the false bottom.

Anything i'm missing so far? What else is recommend for the substrate? Also can I use normal GE silicone I? Or should I be using another type?
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
About closing up the top, its still all up in the open (no pun intended!) right now. I'd like to put some type of lighting if possible. I'll think about closing up the top. Even if I don't, i'd prefer the plant life to stay within the tank itself.

I guess I should post a picture of the tank, here it is:



You can see the filter on the outside which uses a U-tube in a sense. I've already tried to put a tube to extend the U-tube right at the bottom, and it still works fine once primed up. The u-tube will be covered with the corkbark, and i'm going to slice a small slit in other peice of corkbark, and work it around the water return, so it looks as thou the water is coming right from the middle of the rock.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Gujustud said:
About closing up the top, its still all up in the open (no pun intended!) right now. I'd like to put some type of lighting if possible.
isnt that blue thing a light?

i second the reccomendation for neo. liliputiana, they are great little bromeliads.

Landon
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
2mnytnx said:
Gujustud said:
About closing up the top, its still all up in the open (no pun intended!) right now. I'd like to put some type of lighting if possible.
isnt that blue thing a light?

i second the reccomendation for neo. liliputiana, they are great little bromeliads.

Landon
Yes it is, however I don't have that specific one on my tank. I gave mine away, and had previously build a LED light stand for when I used the tank as a nanoreef (see image below), however since it didn't end up being quite bright enough, I changed to a DIY 13w 50/50 bulb instead. Who knows, maybe I'll retry the LED light back on this setup. Again everything in the works, and changes daily ;)

Where could I find neo. liliputiana locally? Any speciallty stores I need to check?

I've got pretty much everything I need to start on it. Just need a few questions answered:

1) Since i'm not having any animal's in the tank, am I safe to use GE silicon 1?
2) Substrate: So far, Coconut Fibers (see link in previous post), planter charcoal, and a little rock gravel. Anything else I should add? Moss?


 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
if your DiY light will still allow plants to grow out of the top (i imagine it would, temp would be a problem otherwise in a nano reef) you could use that 50/50 bulb. ive used actinic over a viv (for evening effect), and on a FW planted tank. all my plants grew well with it.

i found the liliputiana at http://www.fantasticfrogs.com i think. ill find them and post the link (if this isnt it). they are a rarer form than you see in the local stores. if you have a specialty tropical plant store maybe, but ive had no luck with the shops here.

Landon

that is where i found it. here is the direct link --> http://home.att.net/~a.j.calisi/Bromeliads.html
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So the building finally begins! I finally got around to starting some of the major work. Mainly creating the background and false bottom.

All pictures are in my gallery on my website which you can view here.

Just a few pictures of the building:

False bottom with small section for mini pond.


Background: Cork Bark, with some gravel. You can see where the water is going to flow out from. I haven't tested it yet (first thing tomorrow morning after the silicone dries.
 
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