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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys.

I am really interested in makeing a paludarium with my 10 gallon tank, that I want to house guppies (has a few already) and fire bellied toads.

I need to know how to make a land area, and a waterfall, and still have the most amount of roomn for the guppies to swim. I also need to have it the lightest possible, and i would like not to have to silicone anything to to the tank. And I need to not have to spend a whole lot...so any ideas? Thanks, and sorry for me being picky.

_Fish man
 

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I made the very thing you are asking about. I used chuck gadd's design and scaled it way down for a ten gallon.
Chuck's Aquarium Page
The styro and paint and pretty cheap, it's the epoxy that is a little pricey. You can't spray paint styrofoam, it will melt. Why are you opposed to using silicone? I think it would be hard to make stable without being siliconed in place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I meant to say i would prefer not to silicone anything, because I might want to make it a fisk tankagain, not a paludarium, but I definatly do for now, and probably until I move or something. I will use silicone if i have to. I dont have a lot of money to spend, so I want to make it as cheap as possible.

Thanks. Oh, also do you have pictures? I would love to see some.
 

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Chuck's Aquarium Page

Pics of Chuck's paludarium are there.

Fish_man33: If you could update this thread often with pics of your construction, that'd be awesome.

yoink: Do you have pictures of yours? I never even thought of a paludarium until I saw this thread right now! And if you don't mind me asking, how much did it cost to build it all?
 

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I don't remember exactly how much it cost. I already had the paint and sand. The sheet of styro wasn't more than a few bucks. I think the epoxy was somewhere around $20, and I used it all. I regret not taking any construction photos now, but I do have some that show the setup along the way. I cut the styro down to size, make sure it will fit into the tank. I cut a smaller piece and glued it to the back piece with liquid nails. I tried some foam board adhesive the first time, but it took weeks to dry. After the main piece was glued together, I make a waterfall out of great stuff expanding foam. The waterfall is powered by a whisper mini pump and flows through a chamber behind the waterfall that is full of filter floss. Sanding the foam to shape is really easy, but messy. Once I had the final shape, I covered the entire piece in epoxy, front and back. You can paint it the color you like after the epoxy has fully dried. I then put a couple more layers of epoxy on the front(visible) side, throwing some sand onto the epoxy as it dried. Lastly I siliconed some coconut fiber sheets to the back. I hoping it gets completely covered with moss one day. The tank holds about four gallons of water.
Here is what it looked like when first started up.


Side view with some terrarium moss in it.


Waterfall in the beginning


Shot of it grown in a little bit. Shultz aps is the substrate on the land section.
Moss from backyard.


Here is what it looks like now.


Here are my toads.
 

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Awesome pictures. =)

I might look into it for a nano tank or something. I have a 7 gallon nano now that have some shrimp in it. I might get another for a paludarium. Thanks again for the pics and explanation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey zoink...You said that you used a Whisper mini filters, how exactly did you do this ( I have one on a 5 gallon, and I could just switch them) and also, are there other ways to create a fals bottom for a tank this small? I am not against using the styrofoam, but I want to view all the possibilities. by the way...your tank looks awesome.

Thanks
 

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Hey zoink...You said that you used a Whisper mini filters, how exactly did you do this ( I have one on a 5 gallon, and I could just switch them) and also, are there other ways to create a fals bottom for a tank this small? I am not against using the styrofoam, but I want to view all the possibilities. by the way...your tank looks awesome.

Thanks
Thanks for the compliments. I took the small pump out of the bottom of the whisper mini filter and attached it to a small plastic piece that then went into a tube. The tube leads to the bottom of the waterfall chamber. You can see the pump in the first pic. I originally had a larger pump, but the flow was too great. This one is perfect with the pump set on it's lowest setting. I know nothing about false bottoms or why you would use one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I was under the impression that a false bottom was something that was not really connected to the bottom, but was like you have yours, With nothing underneath the styrofoam. Sorry if I am mistaken.

I am still looking for other ways to complete this project, to find the best way for me. I was thinking maybe to Put some driftwood in there, and make land some toher way. ACtually, I mainly want to know how to make the land the best possible. Weight is not the biggest issue, but I would prefer to keep it down. Rocks is an option.

Tahnks
 

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In the 46 gallon paludarium construction pictures, I *think* a false bottom is where it seems as if the land area is actually built up from the bottom, but in fact, is false. That's where the filter/pump/tubing goes.

If you're going for rocks to build up the land area, I don't think it's a false bottom anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Turns out my dad had some styrofoam lying around that he didnnt need to use iany more, so I got a couple pieces of it (I washed it thoroughly). I am copying alot of the things on your tank zoink, filter, styrofoam, toads, endlers (well, I am having a couple guppies) size, I am almost completely copying your sesign too, sexcept with a little more land area, and the land is going to be on the opposite side. So yea, I still have a couple questions. Is there anything cheaper to use than Epoxy? Do you have to use the "great stuff" expanding foam , if so, where do I get this.

I am taking pics of the process, so no need to worry :)

I just need a couple things claryfied before I get startedon the whole thing.
 

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Great stuff at your local hardware store. Buy the gap and crack can. Never used epoxy before but, everyone who uses the foam for water application and painting seems to use it so if I went that route I wouldn't cheap out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
See, i was thinking about using some type of glue, thats non toxic, and doesnt dizzolve in water. Some glue is actually made from fish parts I believe. Well, also, what exactly does the 'great stuff' do?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
GOt the Great stuff, and the silicone... Couldnt find enough epoxy at home depot (only had the little itty bitty ones) CAN fiberglassing resin work? People use it on there boats, so... yea the great stuff was about $5, silicone, somewhere around$4. I will post more picture soon. Oh and I got a really good idea, instead of siliconing the bacround to the glass, silicone on several suction cups, and attatch that way. That way you cantake off the backround (if you want too) and you will have extra spce in the back for tubing, or a heater and stuff liek that. What do you think of that idea?
 

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your pics are not showing. but from the look of your photos in the link, it going to be great! keep up the good work. what plants you planning on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Right now the plants I have in mind are... moss, and a lot of it, land moss from my yard, and hopfully some java moss. Also I will be getting 1 or 2 java ferns, and I have 1 small stem of elodea. I am kind of new to aquatic plants. Oh, and I think maybe an african orchid (if this is safe) and One of those furry plants, I think called Lambs ears (if those are safe). Ya, and there are new pics posted on the Website (link in previous posts)
 

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I'll tell you what has and hasn't worked for me as far as land plants. Spider plants, backyard moss, pennywort, HC, anubias nana, and a couple red wendtii crypts all do pretty good. I had a hosta once, but it got big quick. I've also killed plenty: sundews, venus flytrap, pitcher plants, and some plants and mosses that were collected locally. Let me know when you are ready and I can probably send you a small starter pack of stuff that will do well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hey yoink- I would love a starter pack! That would be great. Also Do you think that Silicone, or finerglassing resin would work instead of epoxy (could not fine any in large amounts) Thanks!
 

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I don't know about the fiberglass resin, I've never used it. As long as it is inert when dried it should work. The silicon might work, but would be very messy. I read that someone was using some sort of polyurethane or something called casting resin. It was here or plantedtank, not sure which.
 
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