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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

This is my first ever post on Dendroboard. So I hoppe you can help me along with the construction of my 2nd ever viv.

3 Months ago I build a small Exo Terra viv for my Ecnomiohyla myotimpanum.






Here's the little bugger


But I think it is kind of boring for the frog, and for me... so I decided to go BIG.


Last week I finally got my 150 x 60 x 65 CM (59 x 23.6 x 25.5 in) tank.

Yeah 585 Litters / 154 gallons of pure beauty.

Heres a picture of the monster.



(here with a soccer ball so you can see the size of it)



I call the proyect THE SWAMP THING because if all goes ok, I will transform it into a little mexican swamp.



PS: Yes, my english suck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well...

First thing I did (before I even got the tank) was to go out looking for drift wood.

But here on Mexico City we don't get the service from The Driftwood Store, so I went to every petshop on the city and all the mayor markets and couldn't find a decent or big enough pice of wood.

Plus I was looking for a hollow tree trunk style.

The solution?

Near to my house is a place with trees older than 100 years, so a month ago the town government decided to cut all the branches that where heavy and damaged (NOT TO CUT THE TREES) so when the windy season hitts the town no one gets hitted by these huge falling death traps.

And while the town workers where cutting the huge branches, I was on the ground collecting all what I could find usefull.



This is a tree branch that has little branches comming out of it. But if you turn it upside down, It looks like a tree trunk






And this is what I liked.


The huge pice of wood is what I wanted as my hollow tree trunk. Of course it's now hollow and weights more than 9 KG (20 pounds); so I took out my drill and other handy tools and 3 weeks later...







I decided to cut all the root like branches so it can be more stable.

Next step.

Day dream with Photoshop!!!

I'm very lousy using photoshop, but I started to try some designs and explore on what I could do with the wood.

Here's my posible future design.

FEEL FREE TO SUGEST ANYTHING!

First attempt



Second Attempt



Third Attempt



Last and favorite attempt



As you can see, I want it to be like an almost 360 view tank. Just like Grimm's design.

Yes. Grimm, you inspired us all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
THIS is the place I want to copy or emulate.


It's a National Park called Camécuaro. It's on the mexican state of Michoacán.


It's one of the most magical places I have ever been. I even shot a movie there. Awesome place.

Sugestions for how to mimic it?
























The trees are called AHUEHUETES and can live up to 600 years, maybe more.
 

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wow. Man, that place is beautiful. Absolutely breathtaking photos.

-Troy
 

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Did you want to have it set up as a palaudarium with water in it or as a vivarium? I'm sure you can replicate the tree roots for 3/4 of the back and have a branch sticking out like the first picture on the opposite side.
 

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I can't seem to find it now but I remember someone around here building very nice looking roots and vines using polypropylene rope (yellow plastic) and covering it in silicone, peat and dirt until it was the desired texture and colour. Then they put it in place to allow the sillicone to harden up.

Maybe make the shape you want in styrofoam. (Roots, rocks and tree.) Cover it all in mortar and paint the rock parts to look as you want them, and then silicone some bark from the type of tree you are copying. Of course I am making the assumption that you can easily get that bark.

Edit: there should be a couple of green buttons just below your post on the right hand side. One will have a picture of scissors and that's the one you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I have been meaning to try Montezuma cypress in a riparium setup. They might grow pretty well like that.
Yes they are mazing. I'm planing to try my luck with Bonsais.


I guess they'll look nice.

Here is what the edit looks like.:)



Thanx man! But I can't make it apear on my posts! It's soooo weird. I already contacted the administrator. Hope Kyle can help me.


Did you want to have it set up as a palaudarium with water in it or as a vivarium? I'm sure you can replicate the tree roots for 3/4 of the back and have a branch sticking out like the first picture on the opposite side.
It's going to be a Paloudarium. But I still don't know what kind of frog/lizard to put in. I don't like crowded Vivs so I still dont know.

The only thing certain is that it will not be a Tropical vivarium. I want it a bit cold.

I can't seem to find it now but I remember someone around here building very nice looking roots and vines using polypropylene rope (yellow plastic) and covering it in silicone, peat and dirt until it was the desired texture and colour. Then they put it in place to allow the sillicone to harden up.

Maybe make the shape you want in styrofoam. (Roots, rocks and tree.) Cover it all in mortar and paint the rock parts to look as you want them, and then silicone some bark from the type of tree you are copying. Of course I am making the assumption that you can easily get that bark.

Edit: there should be a couple of green buttons just below your post on the right hand side. One will have a picture of scissors and that's the one you want.
I'm very lousy with the hand crafts. I already spent more than 100 bucks trying to make fake rocks. I read all the threads here but I totally SUCK.

And about the tree bark... well, al these trees are protected by law. You see, they are as old as the aztec culture, so they are huge and people love them. If someone sees me trying to cut something from them... some one will beat my ass.

So, that's not an option.




I don't think I can make it look identical, but if I capture the essence of the place; I'll be happy.
 

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THIS is the place I want to copy or emulate.


It's a National Park called Camécuaro. It's on the mexican state of Michoacán.


It's one of the most magical places I have ever been. I even shot a movie there. Awesome place.

Sugestions for how to mimic it?
























The trees are called AHUEHUETES and can live up to 600 years, maybe more.
are those your pictures?

But regardless, gorgeous environment
 

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I can't seem to find it now but I remember someone around here building very nice looking roots and vines using polypropylene rope (yellow plastic) and covering it in silicone, peat and dirt until it was the desired texture and colour. Then they put it in place to allow the sillicone to harden up.

Maybe make the shape you want in styrofoam. (Roots, rocks and tree.) Cover it all in mortar and paint the rock parts to look as you want them, and then silicone some bark from the type of tree you are copying. Of course I am making the assumption that you can easily get that bark.

Edit: there should be a couple of green buttons just below your post on the right hand side. One will have a picture of scissors and that's the one you want.
this one?

http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/parts-construction/57563-pics-my-new-constructed-vivarium.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Here a little update.

Hope the pictures don't get erased like in the other post...



I started to work on this a couple of weeks before I got the tank. So... I bought lots of eggcrate sheets, electrical ties and build my false bottom

IMG_0021.jpg IMG_0024.jpg

I covered it with a plastic fabric I found at Home Depot, and then I cover all with a second layer of YUTE fabric. I don't know the name of it in the US but its a natural fabric made from weed plant.

Then I reinforce the structure to support heavy weight with more eggcrate.

I want it to be extra strong, cuz I suck at making fake wood or stones and because of that I intend to use the real thing. Yes IT WILL BE HEAVY AS HELL

IMG_0025.jpg IMG_0027.jpg IMG_0028.jpg

And this is how it looks inside the tank.

IMG_0020.jpg

And here with the Tree Trunk and my experiment to make the root system using wood.

IMG_0005.jpg

I Made a mistake cutting all the root like branches from the tree trunk, and now I have to fix it placing some new pices of wood to make it look like its own roots.



*All the white dots are parts of eggcrate that fell over the tank. I'm leaving a mess here. I need to be tidier
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
are those your pictures?

But regardless, gorgeous environment
No, they are not my pictures.

I found them on google. Just type "CAMECUARO" and you'll get thousands of pics.

I been in the place though, and I know it perfectly. I shot a shortfilm there, and it's magical to swim in there early in the morning when it's still covered in mist and the water is damn cold.


About RAF's root method, well... I already tryed. Like I said I SUCK at this kind of things. I already spent a lot of money trying to copy his tree like backgroung and I got a lot of bad results.

Here's another Photoshop of what I want it to look like.


IMG_0003.jpg
 

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This is gonna be a sexy tank! Are you doing a background?
 
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