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Withers

90 Gallon Freshwater Paludarium

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Withers

I don't know if people care about freshwater tanks on this site, but I've been here a long time and like this community too much to go somewhere else. I've set up a new paludarium! It's a 24x24x36" enclosure with a 30 gallon blackwater tank on the bottom 1/3rd. The top 2/3's will be for dart frogs, an electric blue day gecko (if I can find one) and a lot of exotic orchids. It has an internal air circulation system, a fogger and a mistking misting system. Lighting is handled by 3 NanoBoxReef Flares in a freshwater array. I've just barely begun planting, which will take me months. 

e7vUvG8.jpg

 

So far it's the worlds most excessive betta tank as this is the only inhabitant.

wlYmUMC.jpg

 

5RqZFgR.jpg

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WV Reefer
4 minutes ago, Withers said:

I don't know if people care about freshwater tanks on this site, but I've been here a long time and like this community too much to go somewhere else. I've set up a new paludarium! It's a 24x24x36" enclosure with a 30 gallon blackwater tank on the bottom 1/3rd. The top 2/3's will be for dart frogs, an electric blue day gecko (if I can find one) and a lot of exotic orchids. It has an internal air circulation system, a fogger and a mistking misting system. Lighting is handled by 3 NanoBoxReef Flares in a freshwater array. I've just barely begun planting, which will take me months. 

e7vUvG8.jpg

 

So far it's the worlds most excessive betta tank as this is the only inhabitant.

wlYmUMC.jpg

 

5RqZFgR.jpg

 

Looks great.  I cant wait to see it with all the plants!  😃

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OldManSea

That is a very nice enclosure!  Is it a commercial model or is it custom?  I really like the size.

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Withers
Just now, OldManSea said:

That is a very nice enclosure!  Is it a commercial model or is it custom?  I really like the size.

Thanks! It’s semi custom. The bottom 1/3 is a deep sea rimless tank. Then I built the rest out of 1/4” glass and attached it to the aquarium. 

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OldManSea

Excellent work.  I look forward to seeing it develop.

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Firefish15

Nice looking setup so far! Love the hardscape and background!

I actually work in a herpetology lab right now, so I take care of a couple of varieties of dart and tree frogs. Phyllobates vittatus, Phylobates terribilis, Dendrobates auratus, and Agalychnis callidryas. Plus some others. :lol:

 

 

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Withers

Awesome! I've always been drawn to the thumbnail species myself. I'm looking at either some morph of Ranitomeya sirensis or potentially a variety of Oophaga pumilio if I can find it in me to pay that much money. I loved searching the tank and finding new froglets popping up in my last setup. And finding the male transporting tads.

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Tigahboy

That betta is living the life of luxury.  Sweetest paludarium I've ever seen.  Granted, this is the first I've ever seen.  :)

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Firefish15

Those pumilios sure are striking! Yeah, the vittatus in our vivarium breed pretty often too.

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Withers
2 hours ago, Tigahboy said:

That betta is living the life of luxury.  Sweetest paludarium I've ever seen.  Granted, this is the first I've ever seen.  :)

Thanks!

 

Hopefully the betta keeps his coloration. I know the marble gene is active their entire life so he may end up looking a lot different a few years from now

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Withers
5 minutes ago, Firefish15 said:

Those pumilios sure are striking! Yeah, the vittatus in our vivarium breed pretty often too.

Oh yeah they're nuts. I really like red head histrionica too but those are hundreds of dollars each. But man they're gorgeous

-Image result for red head oophaga histrionica

 

Then again I just dropped $150 on plants so I guess it's kind of relative. Spend $500 on frogs but then get to sell the froglets at $150 a pop? Might be worth the effort. 

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Justind823

Very cool! I love it 

 

Any plans to add more fish down the line?

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Justind823

Great looking DIY on the glass. Did you also DIY the background?

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Withers

 

1 hour ago, Justind823 said:

Very cool! I love it 

 

Any plans to add more fish down the line?

Definitely. For sure a group of Rummynosed Tetra and a group of pygmy Cories. Past that I'm not sure. Maybe some CPD's or potentially Cherry Barbs. It's kind of up in the air until I see how the betta fish reacts to more fish. 

1 hour ago, Justind823 said:

Great looking DIY on the glass. Did you also DIY the background?

I did! It's just great stuff foam with cork panels pressed in, then some substrate siliconed to the great stuff. It looked like this with just the great stuff foam in place:

2rd916g.jpg?1

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Thunder Goose

This is great! I've been thinking about setting up an orchidarium, possibly with some helps (dart frogs are an option). This makes me want to include an aquatic area for some rasboras. 

 

Keep updating us, I look forward to watching your progress.

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Withers

New plants from www.glassboxtropicals.com

 

I got one of their $50 mystery boxes for orchids and one for tropical cuttings and I'm pretty pleased with what they sent. The Mondolena is a $30 plant on their site and each orchid is about $20 so all in all I saved quite a bit going this route. A few of the plants aren't even on their site. Hopefully I can keep it all alive. I also found that testing for ammonia in a blackwater style tank is super annoying as the tannins in the water look exactly like ammonia on my test scale. 

 

Terrestrial plants

gXaqImm.jpg

 

Epipiphytes

EJ32SzH.jpg

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East1

This looks awesome, if you're putting in Ranitomeya I'd suggest putting in some limnobium or something floating on the water surface, there's a high chance they could get stuck under the dry area if they get into the water. 

 

Also I like your avatar, that short was cute

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Withers

Thanks!

 

I'm actually revising the plumbing because my drain was insufficient for the pump so I had it turned down to basically nothing there. I had originally cut the drain from 1.5" to 1" to make things easier but yesterday I rebuilt it as a 1.5" drain all the way down. Now I'm slowly ramping it up till the water level gets right up against the bottom of the land area to prevent that issue when I get frogs :)

 

I'm also talking with Dave to figure out a better way of mounting the lights. The goosenecks don't allow me to get the reach I need to really penetrate the water area. Should have opted for the hanging kit after all I guess. 

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Arce

Awesome build. I've wanted to set one of these up. I'm not into the frogs and such but love the freshwater/plants aspect of it. How hard it is to care for some of those orchids and plants? Are there any really good resources to learn more about building a paludarium? I've done basic google searches but never found much.

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Firefish15
3 minutes ago, Arce said:

Awesome build. I've wanted to set one of these up. I'm not into the frogs and such but love the freshwater/plants aspect of it. How hard it is to care for some of those orchids and plants? Are there any really good resources to learn more about building a paludarium? I've done basic google searches but never found much.

Try Dendroboard. It's like NR, but for dart frogs and vivarium construction. Probably more relevant to what you want to learn.

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East1
30 minutes ago, Arce said:

Awesome build. I've wanted to set one of these up. I'm not into the frogs and such but love the freshwater/plants aspect of it. How hard it is to care for some of those orchids and plants? Are there any really good resources to learn more about building a paludarium? I've done basic google searches but never found much.

If it's just for plants, it's pretty easy to set up something like this just using a dripwall for orchids and mosses, you can drop me a PM and I can help you make one if you'd like 

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Withers

Yeah if all you want are plants I've seen some awesome paludarium style planted tanks. 

 

For the orchids it's really just a matter of pairing what your environment is to the care of the orchids. Everything I'm getting should do well in a highly humid, high light environment. I can control the misting schedule and lighting schedule so it's just a matter of trial and error and watching closely for under or over watering. 

 

Here's one of my favorite paludariums I've seen on instagram lately that you might be interested in. It uses a drip style wall to water the plants from the aquarium section:

He has some great videos that show exactly the steps he used to make it. 

 

 

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Arce
10 minutes ago, East1 said:

If it's just for plants, it's pretty easy to set up something like this just using a dripwall for orchids and mosses, you can drop me a PM and I can help you make one if you'd like 

 

Great, ill PM you. Appreciate it.

4 minutes ago, Withers said:

Yeah if all you want are plants I've seen some awesome paludarium style planted tanks. 

 

For the orchids it's really just a matter of pairing what your environment is to the care of the orchids. Everything I'm getting should do well in a highly humid, high light environment. I can control the misting schedule and lighting schedule so it's just a matter of trial and error and watching closely for under or over watering. 

 

Here's one of my favorite paludariums I've seen on instagram lately that you might be interested in. It uses a drip style wall to water the plants from the aquarium section:

 

Wow that is awesome. Ill have to look that up on insta. Thanks for the info. 

 

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billygoat

Well this is looking absolutely gorgeous. I am eager to see it change as the plants grow and fill in! Kudos to you for such a great job on the DIY construction as well.

Projects like this one make my saltwater tank feel like a fishbowl 😄 

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Withers

Ordered some bromeliads. It's starting to look like a proper dart frog tank now

nlrGLX8.jpg

 

 

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