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New here, Few Questions
#1
Hello all, I am new here. I have been browsing the forum for a few days now and I have a real itch to start up a viv with a couple or maybe three azureus.

first off, about me. 19, college student. I started off with freshwater fish at age 12 or 13. I quickly moved on to saltwater fish only and for about 4 years now, I have been hooked on reef tanks. My most recent tank was a 125 sps(the hard to keep pretty colorful stick corals) and clam tank but had to condense into a smaller tank due to moving into a dorm. however I am moving into a large apartment this september and boy do I have plans! Here are some pics of my old aquarium

[Image: DSC00484.jpg]
[Image: DSC00468.jpg]
[Image: DSC00448.jpg]

I have also have had a leopard gecko for about 6 months now. I love both life forms so much that i have been considering combining the two. At times i have had 7 aquariums ranging from .5 gallons to 125 gallons in my room, so i am used to having a jungle in my room and i am now wanting to have a true piece of jungle in my room.

So, I have a 55 gallon aquarium which im thinking of putting a waterfall on the left side that will flow into a small pool, then into a winding "river" that spans the tank and make the very right... say 1' of the tank a "pond" about 5-6 inches deep. to house maybe a cardinal tetra, orange neon tetra and black neon tetra, or maybe 2-3 danios.

so now to my questions if you are still reading this.

1. I have searched around for info but havent been able to find what i need. I have seen that most people construct false bottoms with with gravel beneath. How exactly should I go about doing my water feature, make an eggcrate/screen false bottom and leave the right side bare tank, then use glass sheet and silicon to make a barrier? I am thinking of drilling the side(or bottom if it isnt tempered glass), and making a wet/dry sump(if you froggers arent familiar with what a sump is, it is basicaly a smaller tank that serves as a filter).

2. will there be excessive nutrients that make their way into the water, or should good filtration take care of this?

3. I see that many people use foam to construct their background. We aquarium people also use that stuff( i believe it is called great stuff). Is there a certain place to purchase this stuff or can i find it at lowes? also, How do you get the mulch, dirt, or whatever to stick in it so well? do you sprinkle it while it is still wet, or coat it in silicon and then sprinkle mulch stuff on it?

4. now, about FF cultures, do you just need to get a starter culture, start growing adults and then start making your own cultures, or do you need to keep buying larva?

5. Does anyone know of a GOOD step by step build similar(does not have to have fish in it) because i would like to know all the steps of setting up the ground layer without asking the bajillion questions that i have


Thank you to anyone who could help answer my questions

mike
newbie to darts.
I have had many years experience with freshwater and saltwater reefs(especially reefs!)
i also have a leopard gecko
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#2
WOW - first of all...your SW tank is beautiful. Your clams are amazing. I tried to do a clam tank but lost them when I accidently dropped my entire can of kalkwalsser (sp?) in the tank. It killed every coral and clam I had. I cried like a baby because I loved my clams.

Yes, you can use Great Stuff for your background. I have used it one on of my tanks and am in the process of using it again on another tank. You want to use a coat of silicone first, then the foam, then silicone and press the dried coco-fiber into the silicone. I am actually going to try a different method with a viv I am doing now. I am going to use cement binder mixed with the coco-fiber to help it attach to the silicone, GS backing better and it will give it a little rougher texture so the frogs can climb on the background. I have noticed my frogs can't grip the background I have now which is the GS, silicone, cocofiber deal. The cocofiber won't stick to the silicone if it is wet so it has to be 100% dry.

Fruit fly cutures - easy as can be once you get the hang of it. Buy the mix, and a live ff culture (Joshfrogs.com is my favorite place and media - great price and awesome customer service). You just make the media, use your filler (coffee filters, excelsior) and add flies and in 2 weeks you will have more flies. Always start your cultures from a fresh batch of flies. For instance, the first batch you get shipped to you, start 2 cultures from those, then once those cultures start producing new flies, use that new culture to make more cultures. I have 4 frogs and I make 2 cultures a week.

Good luck..it is a wonderful hobby to have...just like your saltwater tanks.
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#3
thanks for the info!

yeah, i loved that tank... i believe that i had 7 clams ranging from 2" to 10". That really really sucks about dropping that kalk in your system Sad

I swear, last night i looked through every post on the first page of the viv. construction page and still do not know how i should construct the bottom of my tank...
newbie to darts.
I have had many years experience with freshwater and saltwater reefs(especially reefs!)
i also have a leopard gecko
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