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55 Gallon Paludarium Build with underwater cave

Discussion in 'Terrariums, Paludariums and Vivariums' started by LankyB, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. LankyB

    LankyB AC Members

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    I plan on contructing a paludariums with a large land area but still plenty of water for a few fish. I am going to use acrylic to make a box for dry land area in the one corner. Then use foam and slate style rocks to build a nature looking stairway to the land mass. On the opposite side I am going to have an underwater cave with a water fall sitting on top of it. All along the back wall I will use foam, silicone, and coconut husk to make a back drop. I want plenty of plants to make it look as natural as possible.

    I got the idea for the cave from a product from http://www.crabhomes.com they are underwater air pockets for crab to get out of the water underwater. I loved the idea and thought I would adpat it to be intergrated into my palu.

    My naked tank pictures were accidentally erased before I could upload them and I don't have my nice camera for another week so I apologize for the crumby iPhone pictures I promise the image quality will be better in the future.

    At home depot I picked up some foam and some black silicone
    [​IMG]

    I cut a three pieces of acrylic sheeting the cave ceiling, side, and a support. I put a notch in the back corner of the cave ceiling so I could run an air line in and siliconed everything into place.

    [​IMG]

    Then I siliconed the support and side cave wall in
    [​IMG]

    The blue tape indicates water level
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    After more than 24 hours to cure I decided to test it out. I need to see if the silicone is strong enough to hold the pressure of the air and water. I filled the tank with water.

    There were two leaks in the corners that my buddy held close while we pumped the air into the cave.

    [​IMG]

    The air camber is filling up
    [​IMG]

    The underwater cave air camber is full and it looks like the sela is holding aside from the corners

    [​IMG]

    It was important to me that the water line be above the cieling of the cave that it looked like a cave and not a wall holding back water
    [​IMG]
    I need to order the underwater led light that will light this cave red.

    This kind of explains how its look.

    [​IMG]


    I am so excited that it looks like it will work and I am driven to keep working I will try my best to keep this updated with pictures. I welcome all suggestions and questions.

    LankyB
     
    #1 LankyB, Aug 4, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2010
  2. x916krew

    x916krew AC Members

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    I like your idea for the cave but wondering why you chose black silicone. I think clear might have helped it blend in a little more since your tank already has clear silicone.. Looking forward to seeing how the finished product looks like
     
  3. user_name

    user_name Senior_Member

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    I can't wait to see this finished, I look forward to tons of pics! ps. cool idea with the cave!
     
  4. ohbly

    ohbly AC Members

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    That's a really interesting idea with the underwater cave. What creatures are you planning on putting in there?
     
  5. LankyB

    LankyB AC Members

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    I chose the black because from the reading I have done the clear tends to turn white with age and when this is completed the black will be barely noticable

    I love watching my fiddler crab so I wanted something a little more exotic looking so I plan on having Vampire Crab Geosesarma sp. I also wanted a decent size school of smaller fish so I was planning on having Galaxy Rasbora.



    I got the land area cut and siliconed in I am going to test for leaks later tonight. Right now I am waiting on the rocks the tank will really start to take shape when I get those in.

    My other excitement is the Hydroponics store that just open with in walking distance of my house. I picked up some clay granule balls to help with drainage, I could spend a lot of money in that store.
     
  6. user_name

    user_name Senior_Member

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    Good luck with the vampire crabs, they will cost you big bucks.
     
  7. Mustang Boy

    Mustang Boy AC Members

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    i think this is a great project but i have a question. how do you plan on switching out the air in the cave because with time it will fill up with co2 from the hermit?


    also i dont know how practical it would be but i think it would be cool to have a plant in the cave area although it would be impossible to prune it and i dont think red light will help it grow too much
     
  8. SafaditM3

    SafaditM3 Encouragement..Yes!

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    Great concept Lanky! Do you have anymore updates for us?



    subscribed
     
  9. Chrisinator

    Chrisinator Ripariumist

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    I love Paludariums and Vampire Crabs! Good luck!
     
  10. mellowvision

    mellowvision Seafood Lover

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    what happens if a crab dies inside the chamber?
     

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