Thinking about doing a Paludarium(half-n-half)

outlaw
  • #1
This is my idea. Right now the tank is full of 20Gal worth of water. It has cycled water, gravel and filter on it.

254.jpg

My wife wants to get a frog or two and I still want more fish...what better way to have both and save the space another tank would've taken(no room for another atm). I would use the HOB that I have on there now, and rig up some tubing to it to extend to the edges of the "land" for the intake. I am thinking with what I read(very little so far) on frogs that they kind of "coat" everthing, I would try to do a skimmer(line going to surface in "Front" view) to help keep the water surface clean. I would have a total of 4 intakes(suction power permitting). The filter is rated at 118GPH, which I figure should be sufficient since I don't plan on having the tank near full. Probably about half or so, and even then, I could always seal off around the land so the water doesn't get into the empty cavity...or let it and let the fish go back there? The water would go down a waterfall/river type effect back to the water as seen in the top and part of the front view. It would empty back into the water in the middle of the intakes to try and create a flow from the middle out to the sides where the intakes are.

What do you guys think so far? Any ideas and criticism welcome
Thanks in advance!
 
Coryd55
  • #2
I just made a paludarium last weekend. Well I finished it last weekend. I will attach the three threads of pictures and my progress. I will tell you what I think about it as well.







Well I really love my paludarium first of all. It is very aesthetically pleasing. Ok so you have a 20G tank which is a decent size for a paludarium(mine is 29G). Sorry if I totally scrap your plan but I learned from mistakes and don't want you to have to do the same. First I would advise against trying to bend the plexiglass in some fancy way. Just to straight pieces and cover it with something. Unless you are very skilled with plexiglass or lexan you will be going through it like a fat woman through ice cream. There is a point to which you can bend it and then it will break it has to be very precise. As I understand your paint drawing You want to have a L shaped water area and a square of land. That is easy enough I suppose. I would suggest measuring the length and height you want your plexiglass and then going and getting them cut(get 1/4") and then using GE Silicone I 100%(Window and Door it is in a blue and white bottle) you wilicone the pieces heavily to the glass then to eachother. Silicone on the inside corner and outside corners. Then once you have done that I would put a pile of slate or flagstone silconed together to the left of the land area. I would leave some slots for fish to get in and out of in the wall. You will then put your HOB filter with extra intake tube so it reaches the water. Then when it flows back out of the top it will give it a water fall effect. Also you can put the heater behind the wall. As far as frogs go I would get a Whites Tree Frog. I love mine and they don't require TOO much space. They need more vertical space and tree space than land space. I would take some pvc pipe or some sort of material and cover it in cork bark or some material that resembles bark. Then take that and silicone it to the glass of the tank to recreate a branch for the tree frog. Then you can find a curved piece of cork bark to simulate a tree trunk and make it appear as if the branch is going into the tree. You could put a vinelike air plant on the branch to give it a natural look. Also if the silicone does not hold to the PVC or cork bark I would take a green plastic coated wire and wrap it around the cork bark to hold it to the PVC. You could probably put one land plant in there. Maybe a filedendron(sp?) or some similar plant. Remember when you are picking fish that you no longer have anywhere near 20G. You have cut it in half vertically and taken away a large portion with you're land mass. I would figure you will have abuot 5 gallons or so of water. Not much can fit in there so that limits you. I hope that helped and if you have any questions at all you can ask me I would be more than glad to help.

PS LET THE SILICONE CURE FOR 24-48 hours and leak test it. BEFORE you put any animals in leave it running for a few days to make sure everything works! I had this problem I was so eager to get my frog in and then I had a problem with my waterfall. I ended up straightening everything out but I would have fixed it with no stress on the frog had I waited. If you have any questions about a different type of frog or anything else just PM me or post on here again.

Thanks and hope this helps.
 
Coryd55
  • #3
Also you can scale down this plan if you want more water space. It will be more difficult but you will get more water in the end.

Here is also another slightly more difficult method but you have more variability on the shape of your land and water.
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Thanks and yes it did help. And actually I did read your post and it looks really nice. Also seen the one where the guy used the pink insulation to mold everything. I do understand that There will be almost no type of fish that could go in the tank, but would I be able to get a couple/few guppies or something of similar size? I still have to do more reading on fish and how big they get so I can see exactly how limited my choices are.

Thanks again.



**update**
What if I keep the cliff idea but indent it into the "dead space" to create more room. I know it isn't a lot but would be better then it would have been. Also what if I leave opening in it for the fish to swim in and out of it. Just camo it a little bit so you can't really tell there's nothing in there? Do you think it would be ok to do 2 baby cichlids in there until they got big enough to be moved to the 46Gal?

Something like this?

255.jpg
 
Coryd55
  • #5
I'm not sure how you would separate land and water if you do the indention below the land. I'm not so sure abiout the baby cichlids. I will post more extensive in a minute gotta go eat.
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Well it looks like we will be continuing on with this. My daughter and I bought the gravel yesterday (Black w/ few blue and 2 bags of purple).

Also, not sure if this should go in here, but I bought a piece of ceramic tile to use as the shelf but didn't think of it until breaking it, that the painted part of it might not be good for the tank. Does anybody know if this is going to harm the fish or frog/s?

I can get slate from the store too if I need to go with it. Plus I think I need to get it anyways to use as the "supports" for the shelf to give it a kind of natural look. The guy at the LFS said I wouldn't be able to use my HOB because it won't be able to pull the water up that far. So... just to spite it, I bought a ft of 5/8 tubing, finished breaking the intake tube, and stuck one end of the tub to the remaining intake and the other end on the "strainer" so it doesn't suck anything it's not suppose to in. It works! Not sure how long the motor would last or if it is any different then pulling it from a full tank. Either way I figure I really have nothing to lose. If the filter craps out, it is already broken and I can buy the one he recommended or it will work for a good long while.

here is the new idea...still room for ideas and criticism.

114.jpg
 
mcdonald.kk
  • #7
I have a degree in ceramics and nothing comes to mind about it being dangerous to your fish. Is it just plain clay or does it have a glaze on it? If it is plain clay it should be fine. As a tile it will have been fired and the material fused together (vitrified). If it has a glaze on it I would be a little more cautious. In order to develop color in glazes artists use minerals that chemically react to each other and the firing process. Some of these can be dangerous (but boy do they make pretty colors! =p ). You see this safety issue come up with mugs and plates and stuff. With a glaze there is silica in it that has melted and turned it into a 'sheet' of glass covering an object. the problem is when cracks appear in the glaze surface allowing minerals to leach out (which is bad if those minerals are toxic). So...you said you broke the tile. If it has a glaze on it and if the chemicals used in the glaze are toxic they could potentially leach into the water. Get back to me if it has a glaze and I'd be happy to help you figure out if it is safe. Oh by the way, the functional ceramic wares produced these days are very safe and non-toxic so even if there is a crack in a glaze I wouldn't worry about it.
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Whoa, didn't know all that. Thanks! If it does have a glaze on it, it is very thin. It does have coloring on the top, tints of green and red. Kinda looks like the ground in a forest with the different shades. I took a picture of it last night not thinking anybody was going to reply any time soon. I can get it posted when I get home. Thanks again.
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Well, I talked my wife into letting me buy a 5 pack of Slate tiles. They are 16x16 and with the crack of a standard hammer, break fairly easy. Not sure how the neighbors feel though as we are in an apt. If I remember correctly, someone stated if you put the hydrogen peroxide on it and it doesn't bubble, you are ok. I am taking that word. I did put it on there and no bubbles. There are even spots that kinda look like rust, but do not bubble. I will post some pics in a bit after I am done breaking the slate.
 
andy65
  • #10
its not hydrogen peroxide to test if a rock is OK its vinegar!
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
oh nos!!! Wish me luck then! Going to do it now. Is there a way to make it safe if it bubbles?


Thanks!!!!


VICTORY!!! I think. lol There was a very tiny spot, and I mean tiny. probably the size of a couple pin head bubbling in the "rusty" colored spot. The regular type of rock seemed to be ok.
 
andy65
  • #12
nope
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Was editing above as you entered that. Would this still be ok?
 
andy65
  • #14
as long as it does not fizz. Is there going to water flowing on/over it?

If there is not going to be water on/over it it will be fine.
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Kinda. This is going to be one of the "levels" for the frog/s to climb on. There may not be water directly on this area. I can put this piece higher then the water level, but it may(probably) still get wet though as there is going to be about 10gal of water and a waterfall.

I also planned to silicone gravel to the pieces. Would that help eliminate this issue?
 
andy65
  • #16
hmmmm...
That "rust" spot weirs me.

I would say glue that "rust" spot over. Then you should be fine.
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
There is but there are random spots on it. I don't think it is actually rust though. Just has a rust type look. I'll try to get some pics posted.
 
andy65
  • #18
pic would be GREAT.

The vinegar test shows that that spot will raise your ph if water comes into contact with it.

Hmmmm I am not sure what you should do. Wait to see what some of the "older" members say.
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
I would just need some fish and make sure the frogs can handle the higher ph then? If I can't do fish, its not a huge deal or if we can't do frogs, my wife would be disappointed but if it is just the ph, at least it's not the end of the world. Thanks for the info. Pics to come shortly (few min) if you are going to stick around.
 
andy65
  • #20
no,no,no, it not the end of the world.
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
Here are the pic's I took so far of the slate. The vinegar tests are the last 2. The very last pic is my attempt at getting a close up of the "rusty looking spot"


119.jpg


120.jpg


121.jpg


122.jpg


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125.jpg


126.jpg


127.jpg
 
andy65
  • #22
the rusty spot fizz at all?
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
There was a very tiny spot, and I mean tiny. probably the size of a couple pin head bubbling in the "rusty" colored spot. The regular type of rock seemed to be ok.
 
andy65
  • #24
that Fizzed?
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
by fizz, do you mean bubbles building up? If so, no.
 
andy65
  • #26
yes I mean bubbles building up.does the "rust" shine when you the stone back and forth in the light?
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
No it doesn't shine. It appears more of a dark red then rusty red when I looked closer.
 
andy65
  • #28
you'll be fine! It's just different color in the slate.
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #29
oo0000oooo almost forgot to mention, it is kinda "dusty". If you brush your finger on it, some of it will rub off...think it's anything to worry about?

Cool, thanks for the help!

Now, I just need to get the correct silicone so I can start "pasting" the rocks where I want them. and clean up my mess... motherfu$$er! lol But I wasn't doing this outside, its about 15 out there.
 
andy65
  • #30
make SURE that it is 100% silicone rubber. I got some from Wal-mart or I think people around here said the you can get 100% silicone rubber from lowes or a store like that.

I am now off to watch my dvd of Pope John II, Wonderful man he was!

EDIT
Give it good wash and scrub.
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #31
Yeah, that was my mistake, it has "bioseal" in it. Didn't catch it at the store. Just saw 100% silicone, but double checked google and it said no good basically. Going to return it for the other stuff.

Thanks for the help. and enjoy the movie.
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #32
Some pics in progress.

HOB Filter still running with about 2-3" of water in it.

143.jpg

"Glue" I am going to use for the rocks.

144.jpg

Front shot of setup on towel.

145.jpg

Front shot of setup on towel.

146.jpg

Rear shot of setup on towel.

147.jpg
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #33
Some more pictures

Setup with partial water

148.jpg

Setup with water.

149.jpg

Waterfall closeup attempt.

150.jpg

Waterfall closeup of the side attempt.

151.jpg

Waterfall from the top.

152.jpg

The water is still kind of colored from the rocks being dirty. I cleaned them off with water and a sponge/scrub pad only for this.
 
darkwolf29a
  • #34
Looks good.

And, interestingly...that's the same slate I use. It's not a big problem at all. I do find that it flakes sometimes, so I end with some in the gravel.

And the silicone is the same stuff I use as well.

You're doing it right. Just make sure to follow the directions and let it cure for the 48 hours it asks for.
 
BoSox Fan7
  • #35
What kind of frogs and fish are you getting? Post some more pics.
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #36
darkwolf- Thanks... Since you used this slate before, have you had any issues with the "rusty" spots? So far it has effected some of the rocks. But I have a floss filter which turns orangish-red then I rinse it and start over. I haven't used the silicone yet, but don't have to worry about not letting it cure long enough.. we aren't in a rush. I just wanted to buy it now so I can play with it like a little kid and a building block set. lol

BoSox- I think the LFS said Red Bellied Frog (or Toad). The other LFS said I could "TRY" danios as they are a little quicker if the frog did try to eat them. We don't currently have anything fish/frogs in the tank yet. The last few pics are as far as it is right now. I am probably going to change it up a little bit. I have a lot of slate left. Might use some in our Cichlid tank though. If you would like, I could get a picture of the setup with clear water.
 
BoSox Fan7
  • #37
Ok.
 
outlaw
  • Thread Starter
  • #38
Yesterday, Did some work on it.. just siliconed the rocks to the slate/tile


28.jpg


29.jpg


30.jpg


31.jpg


32.jpg


Hope this works for now. Have to let it dry now.



Today, it seemed to dry very nicely, I can put more rocks or whatever on it and not have to worry about the slate.
 

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