after getting tired of useing small aquariums (i've got 15 of em ranging from 2.5 to 55 gals) i decided to try and build a terrarium. a nice BIG one. overall, the completed tank will look something like this: currently, it looks like this the viv is being built in 4 pieces: Base (bottem of the real pic) - a 1ft tall area with front opening doors. it will store a 10 gallon aquarium (or two), a filter (or two) pluming and pipes. Dirt Bin (upper piece of real pic) - a 1ft tall area that will hold 3 inches of gravel and 8 inches of dirt. Viewing Area - haven't decided on its exact height yet, but it will be 3ft or less. its the area you look threw (duh ). the windows on the front will also be the doors. in the model, its all windows. i'm no longer planning to have the back and possibly the sides windows. might cover then up with plywood and make a mountainy background. Hood - another ~1ft area. will house the lights, some heatlamps (no clue on how many or what size yet, but some will be controlled by a thermostat or timer), possibly a sprinkling system (ahh, realistic rain in a vivarium ) as for landscaping: at one end thier will be a 2 foot tall mountain with a cave or two or three. thier will be a waterfall flowing from the top of the mountain into a river that twists and turns threw the plants and hills and empting into a 2 or 3 gallon pond. the ground will have tons of tropical plants and mosses. am also planning to make various underground caves in the ground for the critters to hide in. am also strongly considering making the back look like a cliff face, so will probably silicon slate and sandstone pieces together to make a back for it, it will probably have smaller viney plants coming down from it. the mountain itself will also be made by hand out of slate and other flat stones from the local area. the caves inside will possibly be just made out of scrap plywood. for plumbing: the waterfall goes into a river which empties into the pond. the pond has an overflow drain that will be concelled in a small cave. the drain pipe will flow down to about 3-5 inches below the dirt level, then it will loop the tank with a perferated pvc pipe to keep the soil moist. afterwords, it just empties out into the gravel thats also used for the soil drainage. the gravel also has an overflow pipe that will keep the water 1/4 - 1/2 inch from the soil. this pipe empties out into the 10 gallon aquarium that will be undernieth the viv. the terrarium will have a filter on it to keep the water clean. the aquarium will have 2 pumps going from it. one leading to the constantly running waterfall, and the other leading to the top of the viv for a drip system to keep the plants along the back cliffwall moist. possibly a third manually controlled pump for the rainshower stuff that will be in the hood. thier will also be a a pipe to directly drain the pond with a hose conenction and another one for the soil drainage area. for wildlife: thier will be tetras and mollies in the pond. as for wildlife i got no clue, i know its not good to mix species, but with the viv being very large and offering plenty of hiding spots, if thiers a mix of species, they might find it easy to get away from each other in the various areas. i'd love to have small frogs or toads in it hopping around on the bottem, but i also love lizards. some wildcaught stuff could include salamanders, north american millipedes (they grow to about 4" long and thier small babies would be nice food for other stuff), red spotted newts, any other nice/flying insects i catch like moths or fireflys.