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Old 11-13-2010, 04:07 AM   #1
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40 Gallon Coldwater Paludarium Journal

Heya folks!
I've had this 40 gallon sitting around for a few months now, just waiting for the opportunity to spring to life. Paludariums have always been very inspiring to me and after I made a little one in a 5.5, I knew I wanted a bit more space!
And now finally, I've got some time to devote to a new tank.

Here's the plan:
Create a budget-ish Chinese/Burmese stream bank biotope. Using equipment I have, low light plants in the water portion, and fish that naturally live in cold water.
About 15-20 gallons will be water, with 8-10 gallons reserved for the land portion.

Equipment Checklist:
40 gallon Tank and Stand - $40 off Craigslist
Dual T12 shop light using 5500K Bulbs - Scavenged from gf's backyard
Tom's Mini Internal Filter - Have (Might buy a second one)
Acrylic separator between water and land - Free, but have to make
Great Stuff for shaping bank and sealing- Have
Silicone for sealing up Acrylic - Have
Substrate/Rocks - Have

Aqua-flora Checklist:
Various Crypts - $5, moving some from other tanks
Chinese Water Ivy - Have
Mosses

Land Flora List:
Maidenhair Ferns
Moss - ?
Perhaps an Orchid - ?
Need suggestions

Fauna:
8-10 x White Clouds - Have 8
8-10 x Glowlight Danios - Have 5
Possibly a newt to occupy the terrestrial portion.

And now for photos!

The tank:


The Lights:


The Layout:
The blue arrow is flow away from the filter, while the red is the intake line. There will probably be more stones in the water, but those grey blobs give you an idea. I'd like the crypts on the densely planted end to be emergent, so it may be shallower there.


These tanks are really the inspiration behind this project:
2009 AGA White Cloud Biotope Entry
2007 AGA Paludarium Winner
30 Gallon Paludarium How-To

Here we go again!
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Old 11-13-2010, 11:35 AM   #2
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I can tell this is going to be an awesome journal already. Great job with outlining your plans. I look forward to seeing what happens next.

After seeing that image of the newt in the third link you provided, how can you not go with one?
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Old 11-13-2010, 03:13 PM   #3
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Man, I'd love to have a semi-aquatic newt, but as I keep reading over on Caudata.org they really do best in a newt-only set up. A fully terrestrial one to hang out on land would be cool, but fish are first!

Today's goal is to clean and reseal the tank, the previous owners mentioned they had it for quite a while so it could use some spiffing up.
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:46 AM   #4
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Tank is resealed and currently curing.

I'm gonna start prepping a 10 gal to house the White Clouds and Danios in similar conditions to the paludarium. They'll be able to get used to each other and the environment. (Plus it'll help ease my MTS )

If I'm using a filter from a cycled tank, substrate from a cycled tank, and some used substrate that's been sitting in a bin for a while, is a cycle going to happen within the transition tank?
The filter/gravel are being used now, and they're the main carriers of our friendly bacteria, so I'm not sure if a cycle will happen or not. I'd also be using driftwood/plants from the running tank.
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Old 11-16-2010, 09:02 AM   #5
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At worst you may see a mini cycle.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:25 PM   #6
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Danios and White Clouds are temporarily rehomed! They're schooling together too. I was worried that the Danios might still be too shy, but they really enjoy the company of the white clouds.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:51 PM   #7
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Looks like a great project. Can't wait to see results. Maybe this is what I should do with my empty 29gal tank that is sitting in the garage...
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Old 11-17-2010, 03:21 AM   #8
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Tomorrow's goal is to cut and shape the acrylic divider between the land and water sections.
Found the coolest piece of driftwood at my LFS today:

Probably not gonna use it in this set up, but by itself it scapes a 10gal. Pay no attention to the mess behind it. :P
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:18 PM   #9
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Alright! Movin' right along. I siliconed in the land/water barrier today, that'll take another couple of days to cure. The fish seem pretty happy in their 10 gal right now, I don't think they'll mind waiting.



The real fun begins this weekend! Filling and checking for leaks, adding my hardscape, and maybe planting a bit on the terrestrial side.
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Old 11-21-2010, 03:46 AM   #10
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Playing with foam! I picked out a few rocks from around my house, kinda still working on fitting them in the foam, but it's coming along.




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Old 11-21-2010, 11:56 AM   #11
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The first two tanks you provided a link for didn't show up on my computer, but the third one is awesome!!!! I can't wait to see how your's turns out.
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Old 11-22-2010, 01:47 PM   #12
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Do you let the foam harden and then file it away into the shape you desire?
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Old 11-22-2010, 02:24 PM   #13
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At first my plan was to shape it after it hardened, but now I'm thinking I really should've played with the foam a bit more before I put it all in there. So, I'm gonna rip out most of it, re-foam and place rocks in it as it hardens. I'd love to dedicate a day to doing this, but right now school + work have me pinned.

In other news, it held water overnight!

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Old 11-23-2010, 03:50 AM   #14
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Looks like I'll have to put this project on hold for a few weeks. I've got final exams and art projects up the wazoo as this semester ends... And I work on the days I'm not at school, but it'll make a great project for winter break. Hope you guys can wait.
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:48 PM   #15
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Make this your main art project.
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:14 PM   #16
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Heh, I already did that with an earlier project. I tore down that tank pretty quickly after I presented it, but once I get some time to put it back together I'll post some pics.

Bad news is that making the tank doesn't exactly fit the criteria of the last 6 or so projects I have on my plate.

Good news is that my winter break is 5 weeks long, so I'll have plenty of time to play with aquariums.
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Old 11-24-2010, 07:30 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LemurLad View Post
Heh, I already did that with an earlier project. I tore down that tank pretty quickly after I presented it, but once I get some time to put it back together I'll post some pics.
Why did you tear it down??????

Quote:
Good news is that my winter break is 5 weeks long, so I'll have plenty of time to play with aquariums.
Five weeks long!!! Lucky!!! Mine is only 2 :/
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Old 11-24-2010, 10:19 PM   #18
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The tank ended up being covered in fabric as opposed to the metal that I had planned to use, so I just tore it down because I didn't want to stress the fish while I fixed it up. See, I had a friend of a friend of a friend cut the metal sheet because I didn't have access to proper tools at the time and they majorly screwed up the design. :/

Would you like some pics of what it looks like now? It's pretty goofy...
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Old 11-24-2010, 11:20 PM   #19
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Sure!
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:27 PM   #20
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Here are the pics of "Habicat - The Perfect Pet of the Future"
Part cat, part fish. Ended up looking like a gerbil.
Oh, I do have a pic of it up and running. The eye lights up bright blue at night.


Here's one of the metal sheets, I'll fix it with my Dremel when I get a chance.
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