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Old 05-05-2005, 11:51 AM   #1
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Location: Sheboygan WI USA
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Need suggestions for Tank top DIY Terrarium

Hi everyone.. I have been contemplating doing this for a while.. and am getting more serious. I have a 75 gal freshwater tank. In it, among other things, are 2 turtles. They currently have 2 basking areas already.. there are the type that are affixed to the side of the tank with suction cups the the "island" floats wit the water level. Well, I think I want to build on top of my tank a terrarium enviroment. I would like to "Extend" the ramp on one sid eto go much higher... and about 1/2 a ft to 1 ft above the tank have the ramp goto a green area. On the tamp, I would like water to flow down it like a small stream. I have one of thos fountians that you can but and have the water pump already for that part of the project.. I also thing that much give some bonus filtering sore of lie ka BIG biowheel (just not wheel shaped).. lol Above the tank I would like there to be grass growing and maybe some other plants. I would put some lighting on the top of that too of course I would need to be able to open a door so I can do maintanince on it.; I would like to to be the entire area of the tank... sort of operate like a canopy. I would like the sides to have and much "view as possible either using chicken wire, screen, or plexy glass. I would like the view to be on aLL sides as my tank is like a divider between 2 rooms and is ment to be viewed from all sides. Anyone handy out there who could build it with me/for me ? or just someone who could come up wit the plan for it? the tank is 18" wide and 48" long., Please keep in mind that I would need access to the actual top of the tank to feed the fish and other tank mantanice (water change, cleaning allege from the glass below the lights, replacing tank bulbs, etc) Also.. would it be safe to put that much weight on top of the tank? or would I need to brace it to the stand? Thanks in advanced for all your help. If someone in my area were to help me with this and had the wood to do it, I would be open to give them the tank I have for sale in the forums including the stand and everything. Thanks again!

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Old 05-05-2005, 11:55 AM   #2
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What you want is possible, but would be best done with a whole new tank, etc....just to ensure structural integrity, and because building something like that from the bottom up will be a whole lot easier and more successful than attempting to append/jerry-rig what you already have....it would also give you the opportunity to increase the size of the whole unit, so that your tank holds a volume of 150G+, which you will really need as your fish and turtles mature.

G. A. Christian Bilou, Herpetologist
Founder/Director, Reptile Rescue Alberta
Past-President, Calgary Aquarium Society
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Old 05-05-2005, 01:08 PM   #3
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I am sorry but there is NO WAY I couidl get 150g+ tank into my apartment. I have enough troubles gettign the 75 in here...and the tank is only a year old... so it isn't that old... But thanks for the suggestions
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Old 05-09-2005, 12:00 AM   #4
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I did something like that with my 75. It wasn't very hard or expensive, it just took some time and effort.

The best solution I could come up with was an open-top tank. I got rid of my old hood and build a frame that fit on top of may tank, about 4" above the top of the tank, and another 2" below. It sits on the lip the same way a normal hood would.

For the "dry land" area, I built a background for my tank out of styrofoam on plywood, carved it to look like stone, and covered it in cement. It only stick out from the back of the tank about 2" most of the way up, but then at the top it overhangs like a shelf about 2/3 of the way over the tank. Just be creative to make it look like real rocks. I worked in some waterfalls and little pools, and rigged the return of my power filter through them.

This way, you can put some houseplants (pothos, philodendrons, bromeliads) in the top, with their roots in the water. They grow faster than water plants, and pull out alot more nitrates too.

Any questions, send me a PM.

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