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45g paludarium/vivarium

Discussion in 'Paludariums' started by Orion, Feb 28, 2006.

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  1. Orion

    Orion Member

    I don't really know if this constitutes a paludarium because there isn't a huge amount of water in it. I guess I can just stick with calling it 'where my critters go' cage. ;)

    This is my first real attempt at setting one of these up. Years ago I took a 10 gallon tank, silicones a piece of glass in the middle and setup land on one side and water on the other for some frogs and toads. Worked surprisingly well at the time.

    None of these photo's are great so look over them please.

    Last fall I started out making a faux rock background for what was going to be a fish tank. I used the tried and true styrofoam/concrete method for the background. After it was all said and done, I was never really happy with the tank. So I decided that it could make a nice terrarium setup.

    Over a weeks time I was able to remove the background from the back of the tank and remove most of all the plumbing for filters. I knew that I wanted to use the background in the newsetup, so I was carefull not to break or damage it. not that I could do to much to it, it was made out of concrete and weighed in at about 20lbs.

    I knew that I wanted a water area, so this is where I first began. I wish that I had taken more detailed shots of everything while I was doing it, but I never think to so that untill it's too late. I took some scrap acrylic that I had around and used a heat gun to bend it into a basic shape that I wanted. I then used silicone to secure it to the tank walls and to the floor. I let that sit for a day then did a wet test. Found a few small leaks, so I let everything dry, re-siliconed in a few areas and tried it agian a day later and no leaks so I was good to go.

    I wanted a water fall type setup to further increase the humitity inside the enclosure. So instead of getting a pre-made water/irrigation manifold I made one out of a small length of PVC pipe and some brass fittings I found at my local hardware store. I didn't have a lot of space for control valves for each of the four tubes, so I cut each one the same length to make sure that each had the same amount of water comming out of it. For a pump I bought an Exo-Terra waterfall pump. Works great so far.

    I could go on and on about what I did an why, but they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll shut up now. ;)

    Full Tank shot (agian sorry about the quality)

    Wet area, this is also the cool side of the tank.

    The homemade water dripper

    Don't laugh to hard at me for this. I made the screen top out of window screen frame. By the time it came to make the access door I had run out of good idea's so I just used what worked...:eek:

    This is the lighting setup. I had built the top when I was redoing the tank for fish, and thought that it would be a shame to waste it and not use it. Only real modification that was needed to use it is that I had to cut out to holes for the sockets of the clamp lights (heat lights) to stick out of the top. Right now I'm using a 60w and 40w incandecent bulbs for heat and it's working out well. Keeps the tank at or around 85F in the basking area side and around 77 on the cool side.

    The top with the lid closed:

    In the past few day's I've added a sword plant that will be grown emersed in the water, and I took some styrofoam to float an anubias nana 'coffeefolia' in the water as well with only the roots in the water. I do plan on adding some terestrial plants, but will have to redo the substrate to allow for better drainage. Right now there is only about a half inch layer of coco fiber on the bottom.

    That's about it. I'm pretty pleased with it being a first timer. Of course every time I look at it I think of about a hundered things that I could have/should have done differently. But over all I like it.

    Like I've said, this is my first 'real' one that I've done. So if anyone sees any flaws or other mistakes in this please let me know. I'm open to all and any advice and really looking forward to some feedback on this setup.

    This was designed with Green Anoles in mind, but I think that I've left enough options open that I can easily cater to other species as well. We would like to add some more critters to it eventualy.
  2. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    It looks great to me! :D :D very creative..and no worries about the rock on the lid..I had to do it puuhhhlleeennttyy of times to prevent my escape artists form getting out
  3. Orion

    Orion Member

    :D Thanks!

    I wouldn't be so worried about them getting out if it wasn't for the fact that we have a cat and a dog. We turn the larger crickets loose just to give them something to chase down and fight over.
  4. CodyW

    CodyW Elite Member

    Looks good Orion. Replace the plastic plants with some real ones and you'll have a very impressive viv that will grow and change with time.
  5. Orion

    Orion Member

    haha, I'm busted. That's the general plan to graduate to some real plants. I've had quite a bit of experence with fully aquatic plants, so I'm very excited to try my hands at more species.

    Speaking of plants, I stupidly bought some at Petsmart being labled and sold as terrarium plants. One was a peace lilly and the other lucky bamboo. I discovered that these can be poisonous when ingested. I don't have a fear of my herps eating the plants but rather the crickets snacking on the plants and in turn passing any poison along to the herps. Is this a valid fear or am I just being to paranoid about it.
  6. CodyW

    CodyW Elite Member

    I don't think you have a problem unless the insects are consuming chemical toxins.

    Lots of aquatic plants do well in vivariums, ie java moss can be grown terresterially. My viv has swords as a marginal plant and they are doing fine.
  7. Orion

    Orion Member

    Cool, then I may stick them back in the tank then.

    I already have some java moss spread around a few places and I just got a sword the other day to stick in the 'pond' along with a medium size species of anubias. I also have some java fern that I'm going to steal out of another tank to try out in this one.
  8. zaroba

    zaroba Elite Member

    looks great!

    laugh at the screen top? why? if it works fine and does its job, who cares what its made out of.
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