30 Gallon Paludarium Build

oOturquoiseOo
  • #1
I'm so very excited!!

Can I use any brand of spray foam or does it have to be great stuff?

I have so much planning to do! Eek!

So far the plan is:

30 gallon rimless
Eheim 2215 to create a waterfall down over the background
Possibly an in tank filter - currently cycled in my 10 gallon
"plastic canvas" to make the land areas and the background
The background will rise above the back of the tank
The tank will have nerite snails and shrimp
Fluorite substrate
Driftwood
Big rocks

Not much else is planned yet. But I'll post pictures of the progress
 
oOturquoiseOo
  • Thread Starter
  • #2
Eek! Officially started this today!

30 gallon rimless tank.

I'll add progress pictures as I go along.

Going to add the foam tonight. Cups and basket added to put plants in after.

I can't wait!
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psalm18.2
  • #3
Interesting.
 
stella1979
  • #4
Awesome! I'll be watching.
 
Lorekeeper
  • #5
Love Paludariums, but it takes a really good scaper to make them look natural.

Looking forward to see what you come up with!
 
oOturquoiseOo
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
I'm hoping I have a half a chance at making this look good. Haha!

Now I have to shape the foam tomorrow. Hopefully I can get it somewhere close to the idea I have in my head. Then I have brown silicone to put over the foam..

Eek.
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Coradee
  • #7
Sounds like a fun project, look forward to seeing it progress
 
oOturquoiseOo
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Carving up the foam. Far from done.

Channel at the top carved to fit the spray bar.
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Fanatic
  • #9
Very interesting! I have terrariums, and I can’t do this with them, because I keep crabs that need to burrow, and that would steal space from them.
 
Lorekeeper
  • #10
Looking good so far!

If I had the space, I'd have a paludarium. Sadly, I've only got space for one or two small tanks at a time, and I love my reef and planted tanks... One day!
 
oOturquoiseOo
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
All siliconed and STINKY!! My whole house stinks and I have windows open

Can't wait to start planting it!
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Fanatic
  • #12
Looking really good!
 
oOturquoiseOo
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Looking good so far!

If I had the space, I'd have a paludarium. Sadly, I've only got space for one or two small tanks at a time, and I love my reef and planted tanks... One day!
I've been watching your 5.5 gallon thread. I'm jealous! Haha!

I'm sure you'll have space one day if you really want one. You make space! Haha!

Looking really good!
Thanks! I am really loving how it's coming together.
 
Goldiemom
  • #14
Looking good so far!

If I had the space, I'd have a paludarium. Sadly, I've only got space for one or two small tanks at a time, and I love my reef and planted tanks... One day!
If I had the talent and the time I'd do it. No clue how to even start but can't wait to see this one finished.
 
oOturquoiseOo
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
If I had the talent and the time I'd do it. No clue how to even start but can't wait to see this one finsihed.
YouTube!

If I had the talent and the time I'd do it. No clue how to even start but can't wait to see this one finished.
I'm sorry about the rushed you tube response! I was distracted. Haha!

You tube is where I found instructions. There are a lot of really great videos.

Basically you need something to build the internal structure, usually people use egg crate (the plastic grid that is put on fluorescent lighting) but I couldn't find it anywhere. I used plastic canvas.

Then you have to plan it out and build the structure and cover it with spray foam. Great Stuff pond foam is black or dark brown but I couldn't find it so I used the professional formula. When it's cured you have to carve the foam into a shape you like. I used a steak knife because a serrated blade works best.

I added plastic cups with drainage holes drilled in them to plant when everything is done.

Then you cover all the foam with 100% silicone in brown or black. Usually this is when you would press coconut fibre into it to help it look even more natural. Again, I couldn't find coconut fibre so I just left it. The joys of living in rural Newfoundland. Haha!

When the silicone is cured and you can't smell vinegar anymore the next step is to aquascape the water section or do the dry start method if that's what you decide.

I've seen people use a pump or power head to create the water fall section but I have an unused canister filter with a spray bar so that's what I have decided to use. You have to plan for the filter/pump when you're building the structure and carving the foam. And place for a heater if you need one too.

You can complete enclose the platforms under the water with egg crate but I decided to leave them open to give the shrimp and snails more space. Since I will just have a filter intake and heater there it won't need to be covered (aside from the sponge on the intake.

Also plant the upper section with plants that love water/humidity. Then light it and enjoy ️

I hope that is a tiny bit useful
 
Goldiemom
  • #16
Can’t wait for finished product!
 
oOturquoiseOo
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
oOturquoiseOo
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
I started a build thread. I don't know why I didn't think to continue in this one.
 
oOturquoiseOo
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
We painted a homemade stand/cabinet (all 2x4 inside) black and moved the tank to its final spot. Dh is totally on board with putting shelves here and filling the whole corner with plants.

I need to build something to hold the light up there now. I don't have a conduit bender thing so I can't do that. I may look for nice brackets and just attach them with a little wood.

There is still a faint vinegar smell. I'm so impatient. I want to plant it NOW! haha!
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Fanatic
  • #20
We painted a homemade stand/cabinet (all 2x4 inside) black and moved the tank to its final spot. Dh is totally on board with putting shelves here and filling the whole corner with plants.

I need to build something to hold the light up there now. I don't have a conduit bender thing so I can't do that. I may look for nice brackets and just attach them with a little wood.

There is still a faint vinegar smell. I'm so impatient. I want to plant it NOW! haha! View attachment 430530

Really nice! It's going smoothly I see
 
KirkyTurkey
  • #21
Following!
 
oOturquoiseOo
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
It's been a week and a half and I still smell vinegar!! Ugh! When is it going to stop?! I'm so impatient. Haha!
 
Fanatic
  • #23
It's been a week and a half and I still smell vinegar!! Ugh! When is it going to stop?! I'm so impatient. Haha!

I would try to put a fan on the tank or take it outside to air out.
 
oOturquoiseOo
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
Thanks! I'll have to try the fan because, well...


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aussieJJDude
  • #25
If your up for it, I would reccomend using peat fiber. Pretty similar to coconut fiber, but readily available.
 
oOturquoiseOo
  • Thread Starter
  • #26
Thank you but how would I attach it now that the silicone is dry? And is it safe for shrimp?

I'm in a tiny rural town 2+ hours from the closest town with a pet store. We have a hardware store here but it is not well stocked
 
aussieJJDude
  • #27
Thank you but how would I attach it now that the silicone is dry? And is it safe for shrimp?

I'm in a tiny rural town 2+ hours from the closest town with a pet store. We have a hardware store here but it is not well stocked
You may have to use a small layer of silicone... nothing major, and it should easily dry in 24 hours.

Peat is shrimp safe, but contains a lot of tannins so keep an eye on water quality to ensure that pH doesn't swing rapidly.
 
oOturquoiseOo
  • Thread Starter
  • #28
You may have to use a small layer of silicone... nothing major, and it should easily dry in 24 hours.

Peat is shrimp safe, but contains a lot of tannins so keep an eye on water quality to ensure that pH doesn't swing rapidly.
Thanks

I'm still waiting for this silicone to cure. I don't know if I want to add more time. Hahaha!

I have tons of plants to plant the top so I'm hoping once it's filled in the background won't be very noticeable. I have a 20 gallon terrarium completely full of plants I plan to put on the paludarium. I'm just itching to get planting
 
Fanatic
  • #29
I just realized that in almost every post by you ends or has the word "Haha!" in it
 
oOturquoiseOo
  • Thread Starter
  • #30
Yeah... I'm not good with expressing tone on the internet and I worry people will misunderstand me.
 
oOturquoiseOo
  • Thread Starter
  • #31
FINALLY getting started.

Bare tank, putting in the dirt, and having a window next to the tank sure makes draining the water fast and easy.

Next step is to wash the dirt off the glass and cap the dirt with fluorite/sand. And then I finally get to plant! Woohoo.
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Fanatic
  • #32
oOturquoiseOo
  • Thread Starter
  • #33
Yes. Ugh.
 
Fanatic
  • #34
Goldiemom
  • #35
So interesting. Thanks for sharing this. Is that snow outside? This Southern gal is amazed at all of it.
 
oOturquoiseOo
  • Thread Starter
  • #36
Yes! Tons of snow still. But we had a few days of upper teens (C) and a ton of rain last night. Yesterday morning those Christmas lights were only sticking out a tiny bit right at the top.
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stella1979
  • #37
Feels like summer here already. :hungover:
 
Fanatic
  • #38
Feels like summer here already. :hungover:

Yes! I was outside most of the afternoon, it's about 80 degrees now!
 
oOturquoiseOo
  • Thread Starter
  • #39
I'm so jealous! But, I'll deal with it to live here. I love Newfoundland
 
Lorekeeper
  • #40
I wish it felt like summer here... It's a nippy 59 :/
 

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