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20 long terrarium musings

Discussion in 'Terrariums, Paludariums and Vivariums' started by jbradt, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. jbradt

    jbradt this is bat country

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    hey all...

    after lessons learned from my 10 gallon project, I'm ready to move to the next level. I had to shut down my fish tanks recently, so all of the sudden I'm left with a 20 long to play with. I've already cut a top for it out of 2 old glass tops that I had lying around. I have a good idea how to deal with lighting and humidity, So I feel pretty good about that. The thing I've been really thinking about is the input/outtake for the self watering function. What I have now is functional, and works flawlessly; but I'd like to make it a bit more elegant and less intrusive.

    I have a stand for the tank that has an open top, So I'd like to work the plumbing through the bottom of the tank, with the reservoir sitting inside the stand. What I'm thinking about right now is to drill 2 holes in the bottom of the tank, on opposite sides. One for input/drainage, one for volume control. The input would be a 5/16(ish) hole with a bulkhead and coupler which would be hooked from underneath to a pump in the reservoir. While the pump is on, it will push water into the tank. When the pump shuts off, it ill act as a drain. The other hole will be attached to a standpipe type overflow system to ensure that the water level remains as a constant maximum. The standpipe will be attached underneath to a return going into the main reservoir.

    I guess in short, that's where my idea stands. Any thoughts at all are festively encouraged since I'm running from total speculation here. Thanks in advance for any thoughts. I'm really excited to make this functional while still being a cool show piece.
     
  2. jbradt

    jbradt this is bat country

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    So here's where I'm at today...

    I went to lowes and spent some time looking at PVC fittings. I got pieces sufficient to basically build a bulk head on each side. On the intake side (left) I trimmed the fitting inside the tank with my dremmel so there is about an 1/8" lip. On the standpipe side, I just attached a 6" piece of PVC tubing. This will be cut to the appropriate size later on. I ended up getting gasket material and custom making gaskets for both sides. here's a really bad pic.

    2012-02-15 17.19.31.jpg

    Underneath, on the input side I've got adapters down to a nipple for 1/2" tubing which will be connected to the pump. The standpipe side is still open as it depends on how the reservoir turns out how it will drain.

    Which brings me to my question. I'm looking for a 10g(ish) reservoir that will fit in the stand under the main tank (28" x 10.5" x 19"). I'm looking into plastic tubs and what not, but it doesn't look like there's commercial products availible that will work. I've also thought about trying to water proof the inside of the cabinet and use that as the reservoir. Anyone have any ideas on how this would be best done?
     
  3. jpappy789

    jpappy789 Plants need meat too

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    Million dollar question...whats goin in it?
     
  4. jpappy789

    jpappy789 Plants need meat too

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  5. jbradt

    jbradt this is bat country

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    No laughing at the handicapped... it's not nice.

    This is basically a step up from the 10g... both size and design wise. This one will be for helis (and maybe cephs depending on how the humidity works out. I think it'll make a much more pleasant tank as a show piece. The 10g will then become for germinating/propagating.

    In the way of an update... I found a 10g plastic waste basket that fits inside the stand perfectly. By my calculations, it'll take about 6 gallons to fill the tank to the point I want, so it should be plenty. Now I'm just waiting until I can get a couple more parts and a pump to start testing it out. I'm hoping to have plants in it by next weekend.
     
  6. PaulJ69

    PaulJ69 CP addict

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    Wow upgrading already!
     
  7. jbradt

    jbradt this is bat country

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    Yeah... the 10 is a great proof of concept, but I want to be able to have separate spaces for adults and juvies. Plus I want to be able to use the 10 for germination of seeds and for cuttings and such.

    I'm going to get the pump today, so it should all be coming together soon!
     

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