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Old 01-03-2020, 02:46 AM   #1
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2ft Paludarium Build

Hi guys. It's been a while since I've been here. I'm building a paludarium as a little project over the school holidays and I thought I'd document the process. It's been years since I did a proper tank build so bare with me.

So far we have:

2ft tank - haven't measured it but just by eyeballing it, it's 2 x 1.5ish x 1.5ish.

Expanding foam - Parfix foam fill. I've used this on many projects over the years and never had an issue.

100% silicone - Selley's

Coco hanging basket liners

Lava rock - collected over the years from various LFS.

Eucalyptus branches - collected and dried these myself.

Zipties

Mesh pond pots

Cococoir block

Matrix garden floor panels - can never find eggcrate around here so these are a perfect replacement.

Fibreglass fly screen mesh

Super glue Click image for larger version

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Old 01-03-2020, 02:50 AM   #2
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First thing was to clean up the tank. It's been sitting around for years so needed a lot of work to clean up. I used white vinegar, water and razor blades to get most of the hard water deposits off. Click image for larger version

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Old 01-03-2020, 02:59 AM   #3
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I used the floor panels, mesh pots and zip ties to construct the main shape of the platform. It took many hours and heaps of changes before I was happy with it. It is going to sit just about the waterline to allow the plants somewhere to grow without getting waterlogged.

I left a large space under the platform and in the corner to allow equipment to be hidden. This is almost the final design I went with. Forgot to take pics of the final design.

I lined the top of the platform with the fly mesh. This will help stop the growing medium from falling into the water below. On top of that I tied on some of the coco liners. Click image for larger version

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Old 01-03-2020, 03:52 AM   #4
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Turned the tank on its side and siliconed the platform to the glass. Once it was set enough not to move, I turned it right ways up and arranged the lava rock and branches. I used the spray foam to fill the gaps. As usual, I ran out. Will have to get some more. I will let this lot cure overnight before carving the foam to the desired shape. Click image for larger version

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Old 01-03-2020, 06:50 AM   #5
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Once you do this is it permanent or can it be removed. I've always wanted to do a paludarium but have been a bit confused about how to build the ground part.
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Old 01-03-2020, 07:43 AM   #6
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With a razor blade and a lot of patience definitely removable.
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Once you do this is it permanent or can it be removed. I've always wanted to do a paludarium but have been a bit confused about how to build the ground part.
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:52 PM   #7
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Thank you. Is there another way to build up the ground or is this just the safest? I imagine doing it this way prevents erosion.
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Old 01-03-2020, 05:34 PM   #8
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I'm far from an expert. It depends on what you plan to keep. You can use glass or acrylic dividers or build up hardscape to create a land mass. I wanted an area that wouldn't be constantly wet so I could plant an assortment of my house plants. I stalked dendroboard for ideas then made it up to suit me.
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Thank you. Is there another way to build up the ground or is this just the safest? I imagine doing it this way prevents erosion.
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Old 01-03-2020, 05:47 PM   #9
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Thanks, I haven't made one before and want all the advice I can get. I might eventually turn my 20g into one.
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:25 PM   #10
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Do it! It's fun to try something different
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Thanks, I haven't made one before and want all the advice I can get. I might eventually turn my 20g into one.
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:27 PM   #11
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Carved the cured foam and started attaching smaller rocks over it with silicone. Click image for larger version

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Old 01-06-2020, 04:14 AM   #12
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Finished gluing on rocks and covered bare spots on the terrestrial part with silicone and cococoir. I also finished off the waterfall area (last pic).Click image for larger version

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Old 01-06-2020, 04:18 AM   #13
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Today I added substrate (coco coir, peat moss, orchid bark, sand, charcoal) and started planting the 'land'. I really like how it's coming together! Next step is a diy filter, getting the waterfall going and filling with water. Click image for larger version

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