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Old 05-13-2011, 05:40 PM   #1
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20l vampire crab paludarium build thread

Ok so I figured it's time I consolidate our discussions on this to one thread. Leak test is passed so tonight I will start with the "great stuff" foam and river rock..maybe some driftwood. I couldn't find any small peices like I wanted unfortunately So here's the first pic. I ended up using two peices of plexi so I'll have shallow pool across the front and two levels of land area. You guys that have done all this before feel free to throw any advice my way..I just know I'm gonna mess it up somewhere!
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Old 05-13-2011, 05:50 PM   #2
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I'm getting so impatient, waiting for this to be finished haha I ordered my silicone today to stick in my silicone, but its going to look nothing like yours. Very basic, mine will be sadly I wanted to have a go at the foam thing, that I've seen and think your doing but after reading countless sites, I don't think I could pull it off lol.
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Old 05-13-2011, 07:16 PM   #3
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Oh trust me, if I can do it, you can do it LOL. I've never done anything like this before..and I'm completely prepared to have to start over at some point because I've messed up To seal the plexi in I used GE I for basement/kitchen/attic.

My LLLReptile order came today! Yay! Now I have all my substrate components. I picked up a tube of black silicone from them also..not sure if I'll need it but at 3.99 vs. 9.99 I saw at petco, I had to grab one. So substrate is going to be equal parts orchid bark, sphagnum moss, coco-fiber, and calci-sand. I still can't decide what to use in the water part though. Smallish natural looking gravel I guess. I don't think sand would give the look I'm going for.

The filter is going to be either AllPet.com - Pet Supplies or AllPet.com - Pet Supplies, whichever ends up fitting best. The water area is actually going to be pretty shallow so not a whole lot of filter options, but it doesn't need anything very powerful because it's only going to hold a few gallons.
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:36 PM   #4
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Looks good so far! I actually just got supplies to start my vampire tank today :P i was thinking of doing plexi walls again, but then I saw this: Caring for frogs

Looks like a neat idea, so I'm gonna try it out. Are you going for a foresty look? I would put sand on the water side, I think that would be closest to what they would naturally be in.

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Old 05-14-2011, 03:13 AM   #5
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Ooh, looking good so far! Love the scape idea!

Wow Adeebm! That page is fantastic! Now I REALLY want darts... O-O Might have to move my crabs again lol...

I saw some pics of the crab's natural habitat and it looked to me like they hung around the banks of streams and puddles.

Oh oh, check out these filters if you see them: Tom's Mini Internal Filter and Hagen Elite Mini. I've used both in small tanks and they are really quite nice. I particularly like Tom's because it comes with a nifty spray bar.
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Old 05-14-2011, 03:52 AM   #6
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Yes my husband and I having been drooling over that page! Now he wants me to move my fish out of my 29 so we can turn it frog or newt tank

I am going for a kinda of foresty look..I guess. I don't have that large of a plant selection to choose from so I'll do the best I can with it. I'm not sure sand would give the look I want..I'm still undecided..I had them in a tank that was gravel on one side and sand on the other and they were almost always on the gravel side, but I don't know if that had anything to do with the substrate.

Ok I already ordered those two filters but one is similar atleast..that one you posted is a hagen elite mini for up to 3 gals and the one I ordered is a Hagen Elite filter for 5-10 gals..I picked it because it looked small and is designed to sit at the bottom. Plus it's what allpet had which is where I was already ordering a bunch of supplies. Their prices are awesome. But if I can't fit it in right the little sponge filter will work for sure and will do fine for such a small amount of water...with such little bio-load since they aren't even in the water that much..atleast mine aren't.

I ordered 3 more crabs. I'm assuming that ideally I would end up with my 5 being 2 males and 3 females?
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Old 05-14-2011, 05:15 AM   #7
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I hope so! I can't say much on the breeding dynamics of the crabs... Haven't had mine long enough. Your filters are definitely fine, just pointing out a couple that I've had success with in small water volumes.

To give you some tips with Great Stuff... Wear gloves! If it gets on your fingers it takes a week or so to come off. I know from experience, haha. It's also a lot easier to put your rocks in the pre-hardened foam and then worry about clean up after the foam has solidified. I used a wire brush to get into the nooks and crannies of my rocks on my paludarium. Also, don't work with the foam immediately after it looks like it's hardened because there will be some pockets inside that are still liquid foam.

Lay out your rockwork/woodwork idea on a flat surface before you put it in the foam. It'll be a lot easier to just transfer them on like pieces of a puzzle rather than figuring out the scape right after you've sprayed the foam down. I tried this before and it's a pain in the patoot. Oh and lay your aquarium on its side so that the surface you're gonna put the rocks in is horizontal. You might want to support the back of the panels with something so that the silicone isn't stressed.

One last thing, which is totally optional, but you may want to wet your rocks before you put them in, just to see how they look when wet. Some grey rocks turn a dark black and some white rocks might look clear. Just sayin'
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Old 05-14-2011, 12:52 PM   #8
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Looking cool, cant wait to see the end result!
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Old 05-14-2011, 07:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by LemurLad View Post
I hope so! I can't say much on the breeding dynamics of the crabs... Haven't had mine long enough. Your filters are definitely fine, just pointing out a couple that I've had success with in small water volumes.

To give you some tips with Great Stuff... Wear gloves! If it gets on your fingers it takes a week or so to come off. I know from experience, haha. It's also a lot easier to put your rocks in the pre-hardened foam and then worry about clean up after the foam has solidified. I used a wire brush to get into the nooks and crannies of my rocks on my paludarium. Also, don't work with the foam immediately after it looks like it's hardened because there will be some pockets inside that are still liquid foam.

Lay out your rockwork/woodwork idea on a flat surface before you put it in the foam. It'll be a lot easier to just transfer them on like pieces of a puzzle rather than figuring out the scape right after you've sprayed the foam down. I tried this before and it's a pain in the patoot. Oh and lay your aquarium on its side so that the surface you're gonna put the rocks in is horizontal. You might want to support the back of the panels with something so that the silicone isn't stressed.

One last thing, which is totally optional, but you may want to wet your rocks before you put them in, just to see how they look when wet. Some grey rocks turn a dark black and some white rocks might look clear. Just sayin'
Well, boy am I glad I was too tired to get to the foam last night. LOL I had not planned on gloves Thanks for the pointers I was gonna make a mess of things

Oh and I just read your rescue escapade thread and enjoyed in tremendously lmao
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:00 PM   #10
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Yeah haha that was quite the fun night... All those fishies are now enjoying the paludarium.

Also, just to clarify: the foam will not support the rocks if it isn't solid. When I say "pre-hardened foam" I mean before the foam has hardened, not solidified foam that is already hard... Alright, now I'm confusing myself. Basically, you wanna put the rocks in the foam right after you spray it.
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