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14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I stumbled over this forum via Grimm's spectacular Peninsula build.

Since I saw it (and read the whole thread, as well as a lot more here on the board), it got me thinking about building my own.

The more I thought and read about it, the more I loved the idea.

And here I am.

In this thread, I'd like to keep track of building my 76G (120x40x60 cm) viv.

This is the setup I'm planning:

(Excuse the bad, incomplete 3D Mockup..but just to give an idea of the dimensions.)

Giesemann Pulzar LED HO 65W
later accompanied by a bluetooth interface

Black pond foam
Silicone + peat moss
And of course...roots.
One drilled hole for the fan cables etc.

Air circulation
2x 120mm BeQuiet! Silent Wings 2
(hidden behind the background)

Misting system
"Micro-Rain" (from a local german retailer) with 4 nozzles

Floor features
Two drilled holes for in/output of water
False bottom with eggcrate
Fluval Stratum or equal, orchid bark, orchid charcoal, leaves

Thought about an Eheim Universal Pump 300 inside a small glass aquarium - but do I need filter medium or should I only add fresh water regularly?

Inside the small glass aquarium with the water pump, I'd add a heating rod to moderatly heat the water. Would that be sufficient in a constantly heated room with approx. 18-20°C?

Ikea Besta 120x40x64 cm plus, on top, another Ikea Besta with 38cm height.
(The idea is to create a pretty high base, so instead of the ugly tech features (misting system etc.), the viv itself is in view while standing in front.)

I'm not sure yet how to plan the top part.
Perhaps I'll let the company that'll build the vivarium add glass bars on the long sides and one in the middle, to lay glass elements on.
I definitely want it sealed to keep humidity high and food cultures inside, and it should look as non-distracting and "clean" as possible.

I already found my center piece root, and am currently waiting to receive a bunch more for the background to choose from.

Guzmania theresa
Catopsis moreniana
Guzmania purple
Peperomia glabella
Bulbophyllum grandiflorum
Bulbophyllum arfakianum
Pleurothallis megalops
Dendrobium oligophyllum
Masdevallia minuta
Marcgravia sintenisii
Limnobium laevigatum

So..I'm totally excited already and can't wait to start. :)
Hope you'll enjoy this worklog.

- Pia

14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks :) Will do!

I already built the ventilation system - which was really easy.

Vivarium Ventilation with 2 x 120mm

I used the same setup as Grimm, of course with variations.

- 2 x 120mm BeQuiet! Silent Wings 2 - these are probably the quietest fans available.
- Y-Adapter for 2x 3pin to 1x 3pin
- Extension 3pin cable
- two wire clamps
- power supply, can be regulated from 3V to 12V

Attached the two 3pin cables to the y-cable, and to this, the extension cable.

Cut off the end of the extension cable.
Removed the wire wrapping from the red and black cable.
As the yellow cable is not needed, I left the wrapping on.

Cut off the end of the power supply cable and removed the wire wrapping.

Attached the cables with the wire clamps.
(I didn't use the grey wire clamps also shown on the picture. The grey-orange ones I used were a lot better.) works. Running with 7V, you really have to listen close to barely hear the fans.

Planning of the drill holes:

Sorry, all in german. ;) But you get the idea of the placements.
The first one shows the bottom, the second one one of the sides.

I really took a lot of time planning these, considering the diameters of the cables running through, which pump I will use and what diameter the hose for it has, the tank stand and its shelf placement, etc etc.

I'm still a bit afraid of holes on the ground of a vivarium and the risk of leakage, but this is simply the best option to hide them.

And in the end, the chance of leakage if the fittings are installed correctly is quite low, I think. (And my insurance agrees, haha.)

So long, thanks for reading! :)
- Pia

14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi guys,

my aquarium and the furniture will arrive until the end of the month. :)

So in the meantime I got....

the ADA Amazonia substrate

all the pvc pipes for the water feature drillings

the roots I ordered, plus one more (and I can't decide how to arrange them)

and some kind of egg crate for the false bottom,
ropes in different sizes and flexible tube for the fake roots,
weed blocker,
duct tape and teflon tape,
sealant gun,
acrylic glass.

So my next steps tomorrow will be:

- cutting the false bottom to size and covering it with weed blocker
- cutting the acrylic glass to size, to house the two fans

Ridiculously enough, I just couldn't find black aquarium silicone and the black pond foam at my local hardware store. Meh. So I'll order these.

Unfortunately, no awesome "real" progress yet, but I'm already so excited and a bit nervous about creating the background.

So long,
- Pia

13 Posts
What is the egg crate look-alike called at Bauhaus? We have a local Bauhaus but I have not found anything close to what you have yet. Regards Johan

14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's called "Kiesstabilisierung", I found it in the outer area of our local Bauhaus where they sell all the bigger building material, and also the gravel it is originally meant for. One sheet is 80x40cm and around 5 Euro. I spent such a lot of time searching for the egg crate everyone is using, but it doesnt seem to exist in germany. -. -

14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hah! Thank you!

I would have never, ever ever thought of this word. I was always looking for "Kunststoffgitter", "Plastikgitter" and such.

14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Today I spent half the day on the planning of the layout.

Here are the 3 Layouts I came up with - I like the 3rd one best.
Just imagine the rope being the water area and the newspaper being the foam + silicone background...
Please excuse the messy surroundings. ;)

Layout 1

I really like this big root, but as a center piece, it doesn't seem well-balanced as the smaller stump is a little too big imo. And it just doesn't.."flow".

Layout 2:

Layout 3:

This time I took the root from layout 2 standing upright and combined it with another smaller root.
So when fully grown in, it will hopefully look like one big root.
I really love this one and I think this is it.
(I forgot to put some pieces in the corner back. There's one root sticking out, under or in which I can perfectly hide the pvc pipe for the waterfall.)

Fan funnel

And I also spent an awful lot of time sawing, cutting and breaking the funnel pieces for the fans. I only managed to nearly finish one, but the inner pieces on which the fans will rest still have to be cut.

It looks like a hardware store exploded in my kitchen.

What layout do you like best? Or would you do it completely different?

Thanks for reading!
- Pia

14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Finally...I was able to start building the background.

I used the black Touch 'n Foam to combine the three roots.
I built styrofoam bases for the two ventilation funnels to save some of the foam.

When this layer is dry, the whole rest will be covered, and the roots made of pvc tubing and ropes will be added.

I also decided to use Elastopur instead of black silicone to cover everything - rabu92 used it in his project and it seems to be easier to apply.

How long would you wait before adding another layer of foam? 24 hours or several days to be sure?


14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you!

Yesterday evening I turned the "to-be-a-background" around, and the foam really didn't cure on the bottom, so it was good that I waited before applying more.

Today I cut and painted the mesh for the vents, and I also painted the inside of the ventilation funnels.

I placed the mesh, another branch and some more styrofoam in the middle, and applied the polyurethane foam on everything standing upright.

So now it finally begins to look like what I imagined.

The next step will be somewhat more complicated..I need the ventilation funnels to be open on top (to replace the fans if needed). So I'll have to come up with some idea how to create a "backplate" to get the front higher without getting any foam into the funnels. Perhaps I'll just use some leftover material from the funnels and some scrunched up kitchen bags I will cut away later.

14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
More background work.

I used plastic fence and and duct tape to create the base for the rest of this background piece, as there still had to be room inside to access the fans.
Of course the fence and the duct tape will be removed later.

It worked quite well!

In the meantime, the Elastopur, xaxim, and some moss arrived, which I'll use to cover everything.

But for now, I will have to wait for more of the spray foam to create the rest of the background - I initially bought 3 cans, but used them all up for this part already.
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