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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!

#21 kizno1

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 04:53 PM

looks good what are you putting in it

#22 GobyMaster

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 05:21 PM

Looks really good so far! I love the landscape. Have you thought about what you want put in it?

#23 Forestpisces

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 10:22 PM

Wow i love this scape, really natural looking

Good job :good:

#24 Mikaila31

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 06:51 AM

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


LOL I had very little faith as well. You saw the tank after I cleaned it too, there were like 50 death ladybugs in there! The tank hung around for a week before I started working on it. Initially I planned to make the wall out of plexiglass.... that failed completely. Most of the build has been me staring at the tank surrounded by bits of rock and containers of various substrates, just trying to will it to go together like it did in my head.

So! I was working on my waterfall thing. When my land area started to go to mud, I had to give up on it for a day to let it dry out. During this time I removed a lot of the dirt/mud on the land side down to the sand layer. I added a lot more sand an then recapped it with the dirt/mud. I managed to get the waterfall idea to work fairly quickly once it wasn't so muddy. My waterfall is more of a trickle than anything, but I kinda like it more that way. I also built the rock wall a little higher.

I still don't know on inhabitants, I plan to let the tank just run for a about a week before I add anything. I though tadpoles would be a really good choice, so much so I went to go get some from the river. But it appears they have all turned into little toads already. There's the ADF I have, but IDK about him. The water area is about a gallon. Any ideas?

Oh..... this post would of had some pics, but photobucket is temporarily down. So, you have to wait till morning. LOL

edit: (morning= somewhere between 10am-1 central time)

Edited by Mikaila31, 06 August 2009 - 07:02 AM.


#25 Johng89

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 07:55 AM

has to be one of the best mods ive seen
nice one 8-)

#26 Mikaila31

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 04:53 PM

So to do the waterfall/ trickle thing. I cut a little bit off a black garbage bag, and lined my stream bed with it. Tested it to make sure it caught most of the water, then I filled it with tiny rocks. Cut my tubing to length, then hid the end of the airline under some rocks.
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So its almost done! I tossed alot of moss in there to help hold the dirt back. I'm still getting some dirt washed into the water area, but I'm hoping that will clear up eventually. Either way though I expect to have some algae issues in this tank, until it gets stable. I still want to work on the plant scape, I haven't touched the water area yet, it definitely needs some plants.

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#27 oswoldy

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 05:37 PM

AWESOME! :good: Just one question though, could you not place the pump/filter on its side that way you could hide the pipe under the gravel?

Mike

#28 Bebobb

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 06:52 PM

Kick ####, so what is going in it?

#29 OneOnion

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 08:26 PM

Omg man thats pretty awesome. :good: Greeeat job. I mean, it looks like a real pond/pond-side/whatever they call it. I would live in there :lol: if I was the size of a tadpole :P! I like the idea of tadpoles, I could see them living there nicely. Too bad they're all toads now. I really wanna try that now! But I don't think I'm good enough.:P

Edited by OneOnion, 06 August 2009 - 08:27 PM.


#30 Sean W.

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 11:09 PM

freaking awesome man, i look at this post every day, waiting for you to update it again...


looks absolutly bad ###### man, great job, keep the pictures going...


how about puting a newt in there? they like cold water... but idk if a gallon would be big enough for one...

cant wait for the next set of pictures




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