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Old 10-07-2020, 03:57 PM   #1
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Semi-Submerged Base for Terrestrial Habitat Above Aquarium

I'm planning a 2' x 2' x 4'H terrestrial habitat to install above 1/2 of my 160-gallon fresh water tank. The base is key as I want a "connection" to the tank for semi-terrestrial inhabitants, a watering hole and "ground" water for plants.

Below is my idea. It will be made from 1/4" Lexan and likely supported on small Lexan cylinder "legs". Some notes follow as it's difficult to draw this in a way that explains the "pond".


The above view shows the main base outline. It will have walls about 10" high all around to include the cutout for the "pond". It will be lined with landscaping fabric.

In the side view you see the bottom of the "pond" as a dashed line. It's a solid piece of Lexan. There is no wall at the front--only the sides and rear. The rear wall of the "pond" will be heat formed to make a sort of beach with the sides cut to fit. I'll use some sort of aquarium safe adhesive to permanently affix some light aggregate to the "beach".

The entire base is semi-submerged with the aquarium water level noted.

I'll put a fairly thick layer of medium aggregate in the base with some undyed cellulose sponges on the base strategically located and extending above the aggregate level. Then a rich soil (above the maximum water level) on top. The purpose of the sponges is to bring aquarium water into the soil for any plants that can't tolerate submerged roots. Meanwhile the marsh-type plants that need submerged roots are also happy. I hope this will eliminate the need to water the land area.

Has anyone done something similar? If so how did it work. If not what are your thoughts?

Thank you!
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