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5Gal Paludarium Build Thread


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#1 Mikaila31

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 07:50 PM

I picked up a 5gal bow tank at a garage sale for $2, it came with a crappy HOB that doesn't work. The tank also has some weird residue on it, mainly on one side. I've tried tons of things, soap, vinager, heavy cleaners, I can't get it all off. Anyway I plan to make my first paludarium. I've gone through and read a few build threads on small tanks, most seemed to use a foam molded base for the land area. I don't like the idea of that, So this is my attempt a making a base out of rocks I found (its shale/flint or something similar). I will be using silicon to attempt to make a water tight barrier. There is also a tentative plan to make a waterfall. I have a elite mini internal filter, the plan is to have this little filter pump water up a section of airline tubing to make the waterfall. Tube will have to go through the rock wall and dirt area..... :unsure:

Here is what I'm starting with.
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Edited by Mikaila31, 27 December 2009 - 07:01 AM.


#2 Mikaila31

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 03:57 AM

So its been going good so far, I have the rock wall a little over half built. Once it is finished I will let it sit for 2 days so the silicon can cure. Then I plan to water test it, fix any leaky spots. Let the silicon cure, water test it again. Hopeful it will be water tight then I will fill the land side with dirt.

Anyone know any good inhabitants for this tank?

These are my detailed plans. Big box is the top veiw and little box is the side view.
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#3 GobyMaster

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 04:08 AM

Your planned layout looks pretty promising!

I'm not sure what species of amphibian or fish could be kept in a tank that small....what are the dimensions?

I know that Poison Dart Frogs can be kept in tanks as small as 10 gallons, but I'm not sure about a 5 gallon...maybe you could keep one or two max in the tank, but like I said, I'm not positive.
Whatever you decide on, I'm sure they'll be happy there, the layout looks pretty neat.

Keep us updated!
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#4 Mikaila31

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 07:19 AM

Here is my rock wall so far.
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#5 Bebobb

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 11:40 AM

Nice, makes me want to set one up for myself. I am going to go reasearch them.

#6 Mikaila31

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 06:46 PM

Here is my hood modification. Took about an hour to do. I actually wasn't planing on doing one, but when I took a close look at the hood I realized it had a double socket. The modification was just moving the original socket so it was more centered in the hood so I could use both sockets. Its running 2 13watt CF now, the socket is only rated for 25watts, but I think it will be OK. The bulbs are temporary, they are 2700K I will probably have to order bulbs with a higher K rating cuz the stores don't seem to carry them.

Blurry shot of Before. - I had already taken off the reflector and shield around the socket
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After.
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#7 Bebobb

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 09:00 PM

What do you plan on putting in this? I am thinking about a poison dart frog for mine in the future, If I do set one up. The odds of me setting one up are 6 in 10.

#8 Mikaila31

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 01:49 AM

What do you plan on putting in this? I am thinking about a poison dart frog for mine in the future, If I do set one up. The odds of me setting one up are 6 in 10.


I was thinking a ADF for the water. I have one who is a trouble maker. I keep putting him in this netbreeder, but he keeps getting out within 24hours. I'm kinda worried he might try to climb out of the water area. I'm trying to convince myself he's not that stupid, but who knows...

Anyway I finished the rock wall and as expected it leaks like a dog chewed hose. I'm thinking it might be best to just fully encase the back of the wall in silicon. My process of Water testing it, letting it dry, adding silicon, letting it cure, and testing it again is taking to long.

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Edited by Mikaila31, 31 July 2009 - 07:08 AM.


#9 timmyboynorwich

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 09:31 AM

Really like the look of what your going for there, make sure you keep us posted!

#10 paul_219

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 08:47 PM

WOW nice building

#11 yvez9

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 04:19 PM

I'm not sure what's wrong with the rock wall leaking?

usually in a paludarium, the water is everywhere in the tank. the land area just comes out of it like an island.
That's why you use egg crate or styrofoam to create a piece of dry land with the water running underneath it. You could very well use a rock as well.

I've never built one but almost did in June when I moved my snake to a 50 gallon tank so I researched.

#12 bae1994

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 04:41 PM

you should get a mist maker from p@h for 15 quid it would be cool

#13 Mikaila31

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 06:47 PM

So I filled it will dirt and am doing my first tests on it. My wall was close to leak proof, but not really :P. I'm thinking of building the wall another inch higher, its not really level either. I mainly want it higher so I can fully submerge the filter. The plants currently are a lot of native WI plants, I will be adding some emersed aquatic plants to the land area eventually. I haven't finished the waterfall thing yet.
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#14 shelaghfishface

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 06:55 PM

oh wow

ill be honest when i first read it and saw the tank that you were going to use i thought " oh thats going to be naff a waste of time"

im eating my words now :blush: and i apologise for having such litte faith in you( not u as much as the whole project), youve done a fantastic job and i am literally gob smacked!

and i also think that one of those small smoke machines would look fab, really rain foresty

congratulations :) and again sorry :blush:

shelagh xxxxxxxx

#15 bae1994

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 07:01 PM

wow very cool

#16 Sean W.

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 09:06 PM

FIinalllyy! you posted more pictures!

ive been on the edge of my seat anxciously antiipating an update...
and you deliverd! it looks great man, looking forward to more pictures

#17 noop

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 05:58 AM

cool. this looks like a fun project, i wanna do one

#18 Gill

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 02:14 PM

That is a very promising Scape. Like that way you have built up the slate wall. :good:

#19 chelbel

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 08:34 PM

I didn't have a clue at what you meant until I saw the finished product. It looks fab :good:

#20 matalan

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 08:56 PM

I think it would be awsome if you set your next target a larger version, using normal plants for the top 'waterfall' bit and aquarium plants for the undergrowth, and some fish would look awsome, Seriously good idea which has worked well!




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