Paludarium Prep?

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New Member
Jan 9, 2024
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Georgia, USA
I’ve been daydreaming about a paludarium for a while now. I was thinking a 20 gallon, long tank, with rocky islands in the middle? Maybe stock it with loaches and some simple schooling fish? I’ve never done anything like a paludarium before. Can you keep tiny crabs in there? How do you keep the dirt from getting into the water? What kinds of plants can you use in the land feature? Anything I should avoid? I have a lot of questions and curiosities! If anyone has experience with paludariums I’d love some advice.
I'm also in a similar position. I am in the process of collecting materials for a re-scape of my 60L which will become a paludarium.
(never had one before)

I've been using this playlist for inspiration and tips on making one.
How bout a painted turtle in a paludarium . He can come onto the land area to rest.
The tank is only 20gal, and painted turtles get to be 5-10in long, so I think that'd be a pretty tight fit... In a much larger tank though, aquatic turtles can be great for paludariums!
I'm also thinking of a small one ( 10 gallon ) thinking a screened cover for air exchange, they are commonly available for 10 gallons... & thinking a big rock, near half the tank size, but only half as high, & covering that with a big chunk of moss out of our woods ( there are several patches that go several square feet, I could scrape an 8 inch square out off ( not sure if it would continue to grow on a bare damp rock, or how much dirt I'd have to leave under it...) then filling the tank about half full I want to do a couple brightly colored vampire crabs... but that might not be enough real-estate??? for more than one... also been thinking about what can go into that small of a water part... maybe some floating plants & or Java fern in the water... just getting ideas
Here are some process pics from my first attempt at a paludarium. (my current one doesn't really have process pics) A quick scroll through will show you how I did my land areas. I'm sure there are other and probably better ways. :)


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