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I need a different setup for my hermies. they seem to like spending some time out of water, not a lot of time mind you, and rarely fully out of the water (usually with their eye stalks and nippers stuck in at least) but they are determined. It'd also make feeding them a bit easier as I could put more varied cuisine out on dry(ish) land :scared: I got a little bit inspired by Graeme's tanks, and have been pondering how it can be done so as to incorporate a Fluval 2+ (or similar), heater, and possibly be semi-removable (larger modular pieces tacked on with silicone or something) I'm also not sure about materials, what types of epoxy can be used? Any types of expanding filler? Can you use bushrock or basalt? could I grow any plants on the land part? And um, I'm still undecided on the theme, I'm really wanting something that will look speccy without too much financial outlay and that can be either constructed outside the tank or added to over time, as I'd like the tank to be emptied, modified and refilled within 48 hours as the inhabitants will likely be 'bucketting it' during the renovations Last question, is siliconing limpet shells onto things considered cheating? Should I gather some live limpets (bit worried they'll drop dead)?

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I haven't done this sort of thing but I think expoxy anything gives off fumes. I think you're basically limited to aquarium silicone. Anything natural should be okay, dwarf mondo, lucky bamboo and any of the low light house plants (leaning towards an asian/tropical theme that way) could grow in a tank if given some soil under the sand or rock... do hermits dig? Dead limpets would smell awful... I say cheat.

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I'm pretty sure that there is a yacht hull varnish that is OK (once the fumes are gone and its fully cured that is) but I have no idea what brand or type. I wish PondTite was clear!

EDIT!!!!

http://www.bondall.com/CustomContentRetrieve.aspx?ID=5391

YAY!

And these guys have clear too!

http://www.crommelin.com.au/listPro.php?id=7

I'm a little worried about the SW aspect for the plants, I thought maybe I could get away with some grasses or succulents, but not entirely convinced. Do you think bamboo and mondo would handle salt?

I think they dig a bit, don't seem to burrow, more like furrow and divot :lol:

Right there with you on the limpet thing :lol:

LINKS:

http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/nftt/index.php

http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/46g_construct.htm

http://www.plantedtank.net/articles/Paluda...oto-Journal/28/

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Callatya

I will let you in on a little secret - I cheated.

In every tank that I have made if you look close enough you will see that all the terrestrial plants were all potted plants and the pots sat inside of a slightly larger pot in the background. All of these potted plants could be removed very easily and watered seperate to the water in the tank. This was done on purpose because some of the potted plants have fertilizer in the soil that I do not want in the tank water.

The pots in the backdrop were siliconed in position and hidden as best as possible, the size varied depending on the size of the pot plant.

For example have a look at the " Garden Fountain" tank first with plants

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then without

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note the two blue plastic pots

All you need do is build your background out of foam siliconed into place - painted with your pondtite or whatever ( I use a product from CSR called Emastac) and coated with sand etc and have a couple of pots for your plants. You can have salt water in the tank and fresh water for the plants. Just keep the lip of the pot above the maximum height of the salt water.

When you design your layout allow an area for easy acess to your pump. In the above tank the whole "steps" area lifts out for access to the pump and heater, and the area behind the "gate" is where the leads come out of the tank. The "fence" is actually sushi mats painted and silconed to the tank.

Hope this helps.

Graeme http://ausaqua.net/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cool.gif

P.S. DO NOT USE EPOXY if leaches and poisons your water

Edited by xysti53
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Thanks! http://ausaqua.net/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cool.gif

Pots make life much easier http://ausaqua.net/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif (though um, that probably means improving my gardening skills a tad, backyard looks rather crispy at the moment)

When you say foam, are you talking expanding foam, styrofoam, or compressed foam matting type stuff?

Ideally I wanted to go with expanding foam covered in sand and rock grit (onto either picture frame glass or acrylic so it can be moved) topped with bushrock, like a little overhang area.

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Callatya

When I talk about foam I mean the everyday kind - white polystyrene.

Here are a couple of different photos that you normally don't get to see of the display tanks

The Mexican tank from the back

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and The Waterfall Tank from the back

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As you can see the bcakgrounds are built using foam - the Mexican was one large block carved to suit then another slighly smaller Carved and siliconed on top. The really white piece of foam is actually the back of the Wall - which was made using a thin sheet of foam and coating it with plaster. The red roof tile are poly pipe cut in half and siliconed in place.

The Waterfall was made up of a number of differernt shaped blocks all siliconed together and fitted so that access could be gained from where the pot plants sit or through the front of the waterfall

The Fountain Garden from the back and looking down into the access opening

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And lastly the Fountain Garden with the stair section lifted

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As you can see the Fountain Tank used the background sheets, you can get at your local aquarium shop, cut to suit then attached to blocks of foam and a thin sheet of foam was then siliconed on top for the ground.

The taps you can see control the flow of water from the filter to the fountain and the return outlet.

What you need to do is decide on the design you want then measure everything twice and prepare everything outside of the tank. By that I mean all cutting carving painting covering with sand etc. Have everything ready to put in the tank. Then drain and dry your tank out. Very importantant that you dry the tank.

Then start to silicon everything in place. Don't be scared to use heaps of silicon. Once finished you need to leave for at least 48 hours to allow the silicon to set properly. If you fill it too soon your foam will come loose and float on you.

All this sounds easy and it is but you must have a plan on how to do it and coming up with a plan that works is probably the hardest thing. Don't forget that when you work out the design you need to allow for filtration and access to it.

Hope this is of some help.

Graeme :)

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Excellent work Graeme! I've seen styrofoam used to make convincing volcanic rocks and sandstone for tanks as well.

I wouldn't hold much hope for live limpets Abbey - you could give it a try but I tried a few times and once got them to live in my 3' tank but they never left the glass (they got polished off after a couple of months by a morula that snuck in with some rock :) ). Bembiciums and nerites are pretty common on rocky shores and are good hardy algae grazers that tankmates can't tidy off too easily - but they climb a bit too...

Edited by PeterJ
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Haha! I know where to get those :) And they are oodles easier to 'liberate' than limpets, I always graze my knuckles with those. I saw a hobby modelling site today that talked about expanding styrofoam spray, so I'm thinking I might go to some of the geekier places around town and pick some brains :)

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Callatya Be very carefull using spray foam - it relies on air contact to keep it set. If it is placed in an airtight container it reverts back to liquid form very slowly. In a Tank you notice it starting to fall apart after about 2 years. I have used it to make backdrops before but only on small scale and only where I knew it was tempoary. You need to built a revese mould so that you can get the foam to set in the shape you want then when you actually use the foam in the mould it needs to be kept under pressure until set overwise it does not conform to the mould. Graeme

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