Paludarium project

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Steve71
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Paludarium project

Post by Steve71 »

One of my other main interests in life are aquariums. I've been a big fish keeper for a number of years now and one thing that I have always wanted to do is build a paludarium. For those that don't know what that is, its an aquarium/tank but it has water and land areas to it. This one will probably only have about 6" of water then the rest will be all built up with soil and plants. I also plan to incorporate a couple of my ficus bonsai trees into the build inside it. Going to do a waterfall as well as use an ultrasonic fogger so it has a very tropical look to it.

Picked up a used 75g drilled tank about 2 weeks ago so decided to finally start building this since I have thought about it for the past year. Decided to rip out the in wall tank and foam carved rock wall I built about 4 yrs ago and then frame that area in and dry wall it to add about 30sqft of new alcove area which is where the new 75g paludarium will go. Still have to do the ceiling, floor, tape/mud/sand/paint but got all the framing and roughing in of dry wall done now. About another week or so of work on this area and that will be done so I can start working on the tank itself then.

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JTSpeedDemon
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Re: Paludarium project

Post by JTSpeedDemon »

What critters are you going to have in it?
Original Cadillac A stamp AE RC10 with Hot Trick parts! That's how I roll! 8)

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Steve71
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Re: Paludarium project

Post by Steve71 »

Haven't really decided yet. Will have some fish but probably some smaller community style rather than my normal cichlids I keep. Maybe a betta and some tetras or something of that nature. Haven't decided yet if I am going to do something on the land area or just keep it plants without anything living on the land.

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Re: Paludarium project

Post by Steve71 »

New area for the Paludarium project is done now. Finished up the framing & drywall a couple weeks ago, so spent the past few days doing the sanding, painting, flooring and lighting. Went with a color called Sandy Sage which I thought would have a real natural / earthy look to it which should go well with the heavily planted tank. Wanted a contrast for the floor so went with a white/cream pattern to help designate the area better so it didn't just run all together with the rest of the shop/office. Now I can start working on the tank itself soon.

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Re: Paludarium project

Post by Steve71 »

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Paludariums always look much nicer rimless so just got done removing the tip trim. Next will be cleaning it up and resealing.

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Re: Paludarium project

Post by Steve71 »

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A lot of the nicer looking paludariums usually have a custom front panel that is cut much lower than the rest to give unobstructed view of the plants and land area above the water line. So my plans are to take this bottom panel from an old 55g that I have and get it cut down to 8" height. I've already gave it to ol' polarized glasses/LCD screen test to see if it was tempered and it does not seem to be so should be cut-able. Took quite a while to clean it up though. Part of it was painted and spent a couple hours with vinegar & razors to get it as clean as I possibly could so it cuts without issues.

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Re: Paludarium project

Post by Steve71 »

Took the 12" x 4*" piece today to the harware. Not only lucked out that its not tempered, but the cost for them cutting it down to 8x48? $2.00.....BOOM! ;)

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Re: Paludarium project

Post by Steve71 »

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Been workin on the paludarium tank a bit more lately. Got the top and bottom trim removed so it will be rimless, removed the front glass and replaced it with a piece of glass I had cut down to 8". Scraped out all the old silicone and cleaned it all up and just resealed the tank so just curing up now. Slowly but surely.

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Re: Paludarium project

Post by matt1ptkn »

I've always been interested in doing something like this and having some fish with maybe some newts and frogs or turtles or something. Its looking really good. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product.
Matt

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Re: Paludarium project

Post by jwscab »

it looks like the bottom glass is just that, on the bottom, with the sides glued on the top face? How do you support the glass without a bottom frame on it's base? Do you place something soft under it like rubber or cloth or something? Very curious, glass heavily loaded with water/dirt always makes me apprehensive. My 29 gallon has held up forever, but it's got plastic frames and I figure it's got some foam or rubber inside there too.

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Re: Paludarium project

Post by Steve71 »

A plastic trim is actually not needed on tanks no matter the size. The trim is siliconed on from the factory basically just to prevent edges from getting chipped as well as to prevent cuts from sharp edges. I will finish wet sand mine to avoid that issue. With acrylic tanks you need to support the bottom fully because acrylic can bow from weight. On my 240g acrylic when I built the stand I made sure I sanded the top very smooth since the whole bottom is supported. With glass though the only thing that needs to be supported are the 4 corners because the bottom panel is 3/8" so it can support as much weight as could be filled into the tank. So when I build the stand for this it will just be supporting the 4 corners and the center will be unsupported which is the standard for glass stands.

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Re: Paludarium project

Post by Steve71 »

Took some time today to get back to work on the paludarium. I decided to airbrush a sky with clouds onto the back glass, then back lit it with a full spectrum LED light to give it a more realistic pop. really happy with the way that came out. Built a stand for it now but still have the skin and finish the stand. Starting to plant some of the bonsai trees and plants to form islands. Just mocking up rocks right now to get some ideas, still have a lot more to do till it is finished but starting to get into the fun part now at least.

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Re: Paludarium project

Post by Steve71 »

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Put about 8 more hours into the paludarium today. It's enjoyable, yet so frustrating. Trying to get rocks just right so the waterfall runs down correctly and get the flow adjusted right. Then making sure certain plants are above water and other with roots in water. Definitely a lot more goes into one of these than I first anticipated. About halfway done now, starting to shape up nicely.

Video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZuUYFEjkJM

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Re: Paludarium project

Post by RC10resto »

Looking good 8)

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Re: Paludarium project

Post by matt1ptkn »

This project is really turning out great! I did have to chuckle a bit though when I saw this photo:
Steve71 wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:30 am
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It strangely reminded me of this famous island:
sponge-island.jpg
You do fantastic work!
Matt

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