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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all!

This is my first post and my first venture into vivariums. I've been into planted aquariums before but I've been wanting to do something with both a land section and a water section for a long time. Plants will be the focus, but I hope to be able to keep some kind of amphibia as well in addition to the fish.

My build will not be a traditional vivarium build, and I hope that you will be able to help me along so that I don't screw up too badly. My tank is 100x60x40 cm and I'll be using a 150 l sump together with it. The main idea is to have a open system, with no visible technology, that simulates a peat moss biotope. I'm rather flexible about the biotope though, it's more the natural look and the general feeling I'm after.

The setting I'm trying to emulate is when a small creek meets the swamp. Water will be pumped from the sump, flow across the land section and empty into the water section. Mosses, grasses and carnivorous plants will dominate the land part and floating plants and peat will dominate the water part. I'll probably either go with killifish or wild-caught Bettas and galaxy rasboras for the water part. I have no idea if there is any amphibian that could deal with this type of environment (constantly wet, open, low pH, probably rather low humidity). Could you please give me some suggestions? A "non-gaudy" type of small frog or toad would be optimal.

As of now I have ordered the tank and built the stand. There will be a lot of technology involved later on, but I'll let that be another post. Right now I'm waiting for plumbing parts and then I'll begin on the hardscape.

Thanks!
 

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I was obviously too stupid to figure out how to add images in the text. Help me out please :)
you have to upload them with any hosting site (flickr, photobucket,etc...)
then generate tag codes

it uses
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'll try to post regularly then :) I was able to add the thumbnails without using a hosting site, seem weird if you couldn't also add them to the text..

Anyways, the images show how I've drilled the tank for plumbing to the sump, the sump(s) I'll be using and the current look of the whole thing. The sump will host a large filter, pumps for oxygenation, heater, UV, RO and breeder "tanks" for raising fry or tadpoles. Ok, I have no idea about how to raise tadpoles, so say fry :) In addition, the sump will act as a refugium where I raise microfauna and shrimp for feed for the fish and (maybe) the land dwelling guys. Depends on if I can find something that can eat stuff in the water.
 

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That is one sexy, clean looking tank. Is it ADA?

And Im not sure what your design ideas are, but maybe this one will inspire you a bit. Its definitely one of my all time favorites, it has a very nice shoreline, and has similar dimensions to your tank. Not quite a swamp, but the majority of the substrate is definitely under water.



When you say you want this to be an "open" system, I take it you wont be adding a top to this tank. If so, I dont think there are many amphibian options that wont climb out of the tank, especially not in the dart world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nope, the tank is custom made. That sure is a stunning tank, but only partly along my line of thinking. For one it's a rainforest tank and I'll be aiming for a subtropical swamp. That will probably not be possible due to lack of a chiller, but it's that look I'm after. So no orchids, bromelias and so on. I'm also aiming for the "life among death" feel of a swamp where decaying plant matter is a prominent feature. The submerged feel to that tank is spot on though. Thanks for sharing!

You're right about the no top part. I was afraid that the climbing would be a large issue. What about some small toad? They are lazy, right? :)
 

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Grimm that is a stunning paludarium, almost as crisp and clean as your recent build. Everyone here can always count on you for inspiration!

Rasmus, I'm very interested in your thoughts, I think you are going to have a pretty hard time with a few aspects of your plan but that is the fun of this hobby. I really enjoy a crisp clean tank, if you could make yours as crisp as that palu and Grimms recent build, but still do your thoughts of the life among death, this tank will be stunning and best of all something out of the ordinary, and it will also give Grimm a run for his money ;), ( which will hopefully spark a new project for Grimm so we can all enjoy his in-depth amazing build threads :cool: ). Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Haha, given that this is my first attempt at this vivarium thing I'm afraid that your trust might be somewhat misplaced. But thanks for the confidence vote! I'm hoping that this tank will be a bit different at least. I will for example not build a background as I have seen most people do. Since I've been into aquascaping for a while, maybe I have picked up something there about how they approach the whole thing. Then there is good different and bad different.. :)
 

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That is one sexy, clean looking tank. Is it ADA?

And Im not sure what your design ideas are, but maybe this one will inspire you a bit. Its definitely one of my all time favorites, it has a very nice shoreline, and has similar dimensions to your tank. Not quite a swamp, but the majority of the substrate is definitely under water.



When you say you want this to be an "open" system, I take it you wont be adding a top to this tank. If so, I dont think there are many amphibian options that wont climb out of the tank, especially not in the dart world.
Is this one of yours?? Would love to be able to get more information on it--I love the appearance...firebellies would be great in it along with Neons...
 

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Is this one of yours?? Would love to be able to get more information on it--I love the appearance...firebellies would be great in it along with Neons...
Haha hell no, I wish I had hardscaping skills like that...Just google "ADA Aquascaping Contest Seah Ming Chuen" and you should find a good link.

And Ramus, I have faith in this build too. Not to many people have clean centerpiece tanks like that and then massacre the inner design lol. Plus Swedes are awesome at mostly everything lol

As for frogs, wouldnt something jumping around completely flatten delicate sundews, bladderworts, and other cps? Maybe try one that is completely aquatic. The only species that comes to mind are those african clawed frogs. They are super bland as far as looks though....Have you concidered those awesome little crabs as a land animal? A member here by the name of Mellowvision has an amazing little crab palu that could help you also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Uhh, those African clawed frogs are an eyesore. The bloated yellow ones even worse. Hmm, maybe I should take it easy with my frog bashing on my first day at the frog board :)
You have a valid concern though, especially since sundews are on the top of my list of plants I want to grow. I will have to choose the fauna with respect to that. That's why I'd like a small toad. I view them as crawling more than jumping. I think I'll grow bladderworts submerged, but I don't think those will be as sensitive as the sundews anyways. I'm also worried about how the decay theme will affect the carnivorous plants due to nutrient reasons. RO is your friend, but maybe not good enough. But hey, this could go in a million directions, I'd be surprised if it ends up anywhere near what I'm imagining :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I missed the part about the crabs. They are real cute and funny, but they are a bit off biotope (as far as I know). Also, amphibious crabs would kill my fish. But I'll keep it in mind! Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Not exactly the look I'm going for, but very interesting! Is it possible to find any more info on the tank? Thanks!
 

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Uhh, those African clawed frogs are an eyesore. The bloated yellow ones even worse. Hmm, maybe I should take it easy with my frog bashing on my first day at the frog board :)
If they arnt overfead, Asian floating frogs (Occidozyga sp.) look like miniature bullfrogs. They are small too, so they wouldnt trample your plants as bad as a larger species. See the size of the frog compared to the duckweed in this photo:



Ive never owned them, but have always thought they would be cool to have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks to the both of you! The frogs look great on those pics. I like the natural/dull look of them, which I think will fit with what I'm planning. I wasn't able to find any videos of them though. The "floating" part might indicate that they have the same spread-legged-and-dead-in-the-water behaviour as African clawed frogs, which is not really what I want. Has anyone kept them who can tell me a little more about their behaviour?

I haven't gotten the pvc stuff yet, but I've started to think about the hardscape. I would like to know how good the expanding foam stuff adheres to the glass. Since it will be submerged there could be quite a lot of uplift. Does it stick to silicon? If so, maybe it would be good the smear the glass with silicon first?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Finally! My package with plumbing stuff was lost but now it's found. I know what I'll spend this weekend doing!

I've siliconed small T-shaped pieces of acrylic to the bottom and sides of the tank to prevent the foam from "unsticking" (hey, this is not my first language :)) because of its buoyancy. Now I'll start with connecting the sump and playing around with the overflow. This is one happy puppy!
 

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