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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone. I've gone back and forth on posting a build thread for this tank. There will be nothing unique or breathtaking about it. Certainly not even worthy of being near so many of the builds here. If anything, it may help other noobs like myself.

This is only my third tank build. I did twin Exos orginally but had to halt the build thread as all three of these tanks will be on the same Mist King system and and a Herp Keeper. The orginal plan was for me to have 2 18 x 18 x 24 Exos. The first would be used as an early grow-out for 5 green and bronze Auratus froglets on a temp basis. The second houses a proven pair of nom. Leucs.

This 50 gallon was supposed to house my favorite dart (today), orange Terribilis. So why the change of heart? Those little tiny Auratus are growing like weeds. Far more quickly than I anticipated. They all run amuck like a pdf streeet gang, exacting revenge on anything that crawls.

Here's the issue. As froggers, we all have a responsibility for providing proper habitat. I know that it's only a matter time before food competition becomes an issue in such a small tank. So, they get the nod to meander in the 50.

For now, the Terribilis will have to wait. Fortunately, Mrs Zoomie has given the nod for a 75-90 Gal in the living room. The Terribilis will be able to watch movies with us !

This is a simple build. Specs thus far:

Tank - 50 Gallon aquarium (36 x 18 x18)
Lighting - Twin Exo Compact CFL's. 4 bulbs 26/100
Background - Great stuff on siliconed glass
Drainage - 3 inch false bottom
Substrate - ABG Mix
Plant's - misc

This is a great footprint for a medium sized tank although I would prefer 36 x 18 x 24 to give me a full 18" to landscape. I'll have to excercise care with the false bottom and depth of substrate so the frogs wont bump their heads.

Let me grab some pics real quick.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I had taken a number of pictures. They were all shot at 1 1/3 under exp. Looks like they were all shot at midnight. I'll retake today. it was a crazy frog chore filled day yesterday.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
OK, a few pics.

First, the aquarium. 50 Gallon 36" x 18" x 18".



Some generously slathered and I mean slathered silicone. I intentionally left ridges and roughness for better adhesion of Great Stuff. That is painters masking tape. I wanted a clean line in the front corners.



In fact, I taped the entire front pane up because I seem to get silcone and great stuff on everything! I believe that every piece of clothing that I own has at least one silicone skid mark on it.



While waiting for the silicone to cure, I gathered the wood we had in order to try and put something together. I came up with this:





Overhead





Two of the pieces of wood have fantastic personality with lots of roots. I really wish we would see more of this style of wood in the hobby. Put this stuff in the hands of members that can really design tanks, and something fantastic would surely be created.



 

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Thanks Brandon.

I found them in a little pet shop store here. The same place I bought the tank. I try to support small business since I am a small business owner myself.

I'm going to talk to the owner tomorrow to see if she can't call the vendor and get a bunch more. I will happily stack the stuff up. Power trade items for sure ! lol
 

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Thanks Brandon.

I found them in a little pet shop store here. The same place I bought the tank. I try to support small business since I am a small business owner myself.

I'm going to talk to the owner tomorrow to see if she can't call the vendor and get a bunch more. I will happily stack the stuff up. Power trade items for sure ! lol
The pet store here has a bunch but he won't come off of any.
The guy who owns the place has some gigantic peices in this 9ftHx5ftW enclosure and they are as big as the enlosure. It's all one peice too :eek:
Petsmart carries just small peices.

Don't you hate how they cut the peices so flush tho?
I hate it sometimes....takes away the organic look a bit :/
Yours doesn't look so bad tho.
 

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If those pieces are grapewood, you might have some problems with molding... which is basically why it isn't used very much. Some have had some pretty good success with it, so it might be worth a try, but just a fair warning.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have used a bit of it in the other two tanks. It does mold initially, however, the clean-up crew (spings/isos) knock it out pretty quickly. Very similar to cycling a fish tank, now that I think about it.
 

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Definately awesome looking wood.. Will have to try to get my hands on some like that around here. I need some for my 18x18x24 exo.
 

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Zoomie, I love love love that rooty wood. It looks fantastic.

Goal for weekend: travel to turnagain arm, search mud flats for wood 1/8th as cool as Zoomies.
 

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Yeah what's up Zoomie?
Having buildersblock? Lol


Beth I sent you a PM >_>
 
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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
um..... am I the only one that is worried on how quiet Zoomie has gotten with this build? It unlike him to go more than an hour or so without updating us.
I would be deeply insulted by this comment except that sadly, it's true. Truth supercedes insults every time ! :D

Actually, Mrs. Zoomie's sisters are in. There are flippin curling irons everywhere and lots of hen clucking. I tried to maintain the masculinity of our home by wearing some really tight polyester shorts and a wife beater tank. Sadly, I was forced to flee when the conversation turned to my mother in law's undergarments. I was only able to re-enter after they left for a few days.

I did get a few things done. I have had to delay completing the background as Mrs Zoomie threatened me with a plethora of compound fractures if she and her ilk returned to a home wreaking of fresh silcone. Danged smelly girls !

Backing up a bit..........note small chunks of tape on top frame. These are visual markers laid down when wood was test-fitted prior to spraying foam.



I used three cans of Great Stuff. The blue can. It expands less. I started 4 inches from the bottom of the tank and worked my way towards the top. I did the back wall of the tank first and then filled in the sides. Other than pre designing plant cup locations, I just wanted a background with lots of bumps and cracks. Nothing special, although I did leave two small spots open to create indentations. Nothing really exciting here. Just cookie cutter, plain Jane tank build.

A couple of sections:







The tank supervisor. He kept staring which creeped me out a bit.



Now I slapped everything back together to do a quick test fit. Other than screwing up one particular pot, I placed everything where I wanted it.



The one thing that really pleases me about this build is that I did a great job of protecting floor space. Even with the amount of wood being utilized, it uses very few contact points on the floor. The frogs will be able to move under or over much of it. Here is an overhead shot.

 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I then had to clear all of the foam blocking the pots. I also drilled holes in the foam to ensure that the pots drain properly.

If you want a phenominal tool to trim/carve this foam, go down to your local Wally and find a grapefruit knife. For those that are unfamiliar, they have are a fine tooth, double sided blade. I will be happy to take a picture of it if anyone wants to see what it looks like.









I have all of the background substrate bone dry now. I will grab some brushes at Lowes tonight so I can finish up the background tomorrow. Woohoo !
 

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Zoomie, after the clear silicone and before the GS; did you put anything inbetween the 2? looks like you maybe put down some black silicone or is that the light reflecting off the clear making it look black?
 

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I'm not reading anywhere that he used clear silicone. From the pics it looks like he used black silicone from the start, and lots of it!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Dart is absolutely correct. I used black and SLATHERED it on. I left as rough a surface as possible to give the GS good grip. Black was used to black out the sides and back of the tank so the color of the GS (baby diaper yellow) does not show through the side of the tank. What's the technical term ? It's icky.
 

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so it was black from the beginning and looked clear with a either at the angle you took it or the flash did that. i always use my laptop when i'm on the forum and that could be it too. anyways keep it going:p
 
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