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Old 02-01-2012, 03:19 PM   #1
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Riparium Waterfall Idea - Need Some Input

Trying to conceptualize this idea for my 30 riparium. I'll be using a canister filter as the source, pulling water from the aquatic side and transfering it over to the terrestrial area. I'm envisioning a waterfall coming down the side and flowing towards the water side over the barrier.

With the canister as the source I know I'll have to pool the water somehow prior to coming out of the waterfall, otherwise it will have enough force that it will simply blow the water across the tank. I'm thinking about piping into a piece of PVC pipe with a cap on the bottom and then overflowing from the PVC onto a rock structure, then using foam to create a river flowing toward the divider.

I've done some looking on the internet, but haven't really found anything that fits. Anybody have any experience with this sort of thing?
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:51 PM   #2
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I've built a water feature into my poison dart frog viv and I can say water doesn't always flow how you think. That being said I like your idea for pooling the water, not sure on how you envision building it but if you do ceramic balls on the bottom of the tank deep enough to cover the filter this can be your water reservoir. The balls will also add to filtration, the other option is a false bottom (google it to get details as I've never done one) with the outlet of the pump you will want to size some hose to fit it tightly (hose is easier to work with than pipe allowing more freedom and room for error) I would then build up a little mountain using great stuff expanding foam or the black pond foam. Another option is to use rocks and silicone them together. Foam will allow you to carve it out the way you want including your river. Then using black silicone you smear the foam completely and press in your desired substrate, soil or coco fibre or both are common and I would use small gravel for your river. The options and ideas are endless for this technique. Before foaming you will want to have your pump line and water feature planned out. As far as avoiding creating old faithful I like your idea of using a piece of PVC and a cap on the bottom to create a pool, I would take it one step further by putting a cap on the top to prevent spray out of the pool. I would conceal it with more foam and/or small stones and a fake plant- like a bonsai tree. Just keep the top cap removable and tinker with the size of the PVC before hand. You want to have a good sized reservoir and have an opening feeding your river sized to keep up with the pump, you can also split your river to run two rivers different directions. Have the river or rivers flow into a pool at the opposite end of the tank from your filter so you circulate the water fully, the pool is as easy as just making a depression in the ceramic balls if you go that route or carved foam if you opt for a false bottom. I would also size the pump to circulate the amount of water in the bottom to maximize flow and circulation while not over powering the water feature. White water rafting to my knowledge is not a sport pursued by animals.
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:56 PM   #3
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So carving out the foam, you just carve it after it is dry or do you work it when its wet? As for the black silcon suggestions on type? Since this will house fish I obviously need something aquarium safe and the aquarium silicon I've seen is typically clear. Hhhhhmmmm does GE type I come in black? Sounds like another trip to Home Depot is in my future.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:06 PM   #4
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I prefer to carve when it's dry. I attempted it when wet and failed miserably. It's pretty sticky and can cause a mess.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:16 PM   #5
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Ok, thank you - that was kind of what I was thinking, but wasn't sure. Saw your crested vivarium over on the vivarium forum. Seems a little slow over there?
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:48 PM   #6
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You definitely want to carve after it dries. Use a hot knife made especially for carving foam. If you have a good soldering iron with replaceable tips you can make one by using a piece of wire instead of the soldering tip. I think GE silicone1 comes in black. if not use DOW 995 sealant (wont be available at HD or Lowes but amazon has it).
Looking forward to seeing what you come up with this time. I have plans to do one in the future too.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:52 PM   #7
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I just used a razor, but it would make more sense to use a special knife.

I completely forgot about that thread! I actually finished it up. I had to put in a fake plant since I couldn't find any climbing fig that was grown out enough. Oh, and I picked up a crestie last weekend<3 I'll update it. Thanks!
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:00 PM   #8
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I actually prefer to carve the foam with a steak knife but either way works, I too am stoked to see what you come up with. If its going to house fish I would look into doing a false bottom with either foam or raised up egg crate material. The ceramic balls can be difficult to keep in place if you dig a deep pit. My viv only has a shallow pool so I got away with it. If you use foam I would cut it an inch small at each side/end then fill in the gap with gravel so its nicer to look at then foam. As far as the foam to use you will want an open cell foam like is found in a filter that will allow water to flow through, if flow is a concern you can cut a channel through it from your pond to your filter and plug up the end with filter floss so you don't suck up the fish. Again make the channel big enough to support good water flow so you can keep current in your pond down. The only issue I can figure with foam is concealing it in the pond, perhaps silicone and gravel are the solution.
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:05 PM   #9
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Here is a pic of my PDF viv with water feature, the pump is in the back left in ceramic balls and pumps up to the top drift wood and runs down to the second drift wood then onto cork bark and into the pool. The cork bark was needed to direct water flow or it ran everywhere. The plants have grown in really nicely now.
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:05 PM   #10
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I found this yesterday while I was doing some reading.
http://badmanstropicalfish.com/vivarium/vivarium.html
It shows a false bottom.
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