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Old 05-22-2014, 10:14 PM   #1
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Building 15 g Paludarium

Hey Everyone,

I've got a 15 gallon acrylic tank that I'll be turning into a paludarium in a few weeks. I'm drawing up the plans and putting together a list of materials now, but I have a few questions you guys can hopefully help me out with.

I'm going to have a sort of in-tank sump running the length of the back wall and about 3 inches from the back wall. I'll have the heater, pump for the waterfall/drip wall, and the filter medium behind the sump so I can still have access to it after the hardscaping is done. My concern is bonding the acrylic structure for the sump to the acrylic walls of the tank. I'm assuming silicone won't work for this application, but I'm really not sure what direction to go. Any suggestions?

I'm also going to be using natural cork wall tile attached to the tank-side of the sump wall to hide everything behind it. The natural cork wall tile will run from the water line up, but it will be constantly wet due to the drip wall. Can I use silicone to attach the cork to the acrylic, or will this be a problem as well?

I'm sure I'll have some more questions as I get deeper into this build, so thanks for the help and you can expect to hear from me again soon. I'll be taking pictures the whole way through so those will be up in a few weeks as well.
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:33 PM   #2
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What are you going to stock it with
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Old 05-28-2014, 04:35 AM   #3
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I'm thinking a pair of Eastern Newts and some red cherry shrimp. I'm not sure which species, but I do want to have a few fish that stay in the mid to top of the tank. I was thinking some type of danio?
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Old 05-28-2014, 11:55 AM   #4
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For a tank that size and the limited water area I would recommend around 5 Endlers. Cool little nano fish.
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Old 05-28-2014, 02:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rcherry View Post
I'm thinking a pair of Eastern Newts and some red cherry shrimp. I'm not sure which species, but I do want to have a few fish that stay in the mid to top of the tank. I was thinking some type of danio?
You will need a cooler water species to co exist with the newts as they're a nothern species. Possibly white clouds?
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Old 05-28-2014, 03:43 PM   #6
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Thanks for the fish recommendations, I'll definitely look into them both. I was planning on keeping the tank around 70 to 73 degrees so a cooler water fish would be great. You think I'd be asking for trouble if I tried to keep some type of small crab, maybe a fiddler?

Does anyone have any experience trying to attach cork bark tiles to an acrylic tank wall? I'm hoping silicone will work for a long term hold.

I was also wondering about how big of a pump I should go with. I plan on having around 7 or 8 gallons of water, but the pump does need to raise the water column to about 16" for the waterfall, and tubing will also be split off of that to run a drip wall.
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Old 05-31-2014, 01:09 PM   #7
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Hello,

Figured I'd add some pictures of how the build is going so far. I cut some oaktag to the exact inside dimensions of the tank and drew out a rough sketch of what I'm looking to do. The left side egg crate base is complete, I started the right side but ran out of zip ties.

The left side top portion is covered in screen already because I plan on stuffing those two sections with peat moss and having a continuous trickle flow through it. I'll be growing carnivorous plants in that area (venus fly traps and hopefully sundew).
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:09 PM   #8
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You think I'd be asking for trouble if I tried to keep some type of small crab, maybe a fiddler?
The crabs are warmer water too and fiddler crabs are brackish water crabs(i believe redclaw crabs are too) so they need a small amount of salt which would torture and kill the newts.
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Old 06-24-2014, 06:03 PM   #9
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Thanks for the stocking assistance, I'll be staying away from the crabs. As of now I'm just thinking Eastern newts, red cherry shrimp, and some small schooling fish that can handle temps in the mid 70s.

I have finished the egg crate skeleton, I'm still working on laying out the pond liner for the waterfall section. Hard to get a good picture of it though.

Because a portion of the egg crate sits directly against the inside wall of the tank, it will show through. Do you guys have any recommendations for a semi permanent paint I can use to cover that portion up? I would be painting the outside of the tank. I'd love to be able to peel it off if I ever break this tank down.

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Old 08-03-2014, 04:06 PM   #10
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Slowly planting the tank, just ordered a few more species for above/at the water line. Still thinking about what the best way to cover the white egg crate would be, any suggestions? I'm also planning to add a fogger at some point, but really haven't looked into it much at all yet.
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