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RandallW201's 40B Build Journal
#1
Well guys, I've started to construct my viv. This will be my first viv build and I hope it all goes well.
As you can see in the pics below I used eggcrate for the false bottom/foundation structure. The brown stuff is plastic crafting canvas or cross-stitch fabric. I created a slope with it so it wouldn't just drop off. There will be a small puddle in this section for aesthetic purposes as well as a point where I can reach the bottom of the enclosure to siphon the water out when needed. My next step is to line with fiberglass screen and weed fabric. Then it will be on to silicone the tree fern background into place, and then adding substrate and planting.
Oh yeah, you might ask... What is that semi-circle ring that's on there? Well, I'm glad you asked. That's my makeshift retaining wall to help hold my substrate in place and keep it from all ending up in the pond due to the small "hills" that I've built.

Hopefully when its all said and done the only unnatural thing you will see when looking in the viv will be the MistKing mister heads I plan to add.

Spoiler Alert: I'm adding some thunderstorm effects LED's to the setup too... 8)

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#2
And now the weed block fabric has been applied.

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#3
Looks good so far. I will be checking back to see how it progresses.
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#4
Sorry, I'm a little behind on the pictures. But this is what I have so far. I'll try and get more posted later when my camera charges back up.

This is the tree fern panel background. I matched them up best I could. I have since filled in the gaps with brown silicone and then pressed some blended up tree fern fiber into it to make the background seem solid. I'll get a pic posted on that a little later.
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I did the same here by using brown silicone and then pressed gravel into it so that you can't see the plastic canvas and so it'll look more natural.
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Here I'm just kinda playing with location on its stand. As for right now I'm just going to wrap a sheet over the stand I built until I can find/get the paneling I want to put on it.
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This is a picture of my planted aquarium and stand I built with the paneling I'm wanting to match on the dart frog vivarium.
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#5
Ok, so its been a little while. I've managed to get a little more done over the past couple of days.

So, like I stated I was needing to fill in the gaps with brown silicone and tree fern that I blended in the Magic Bullet. I think it turned out ok, especially when it gets covered by broms, epiphytes, ferns and moss.
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While I did that I also sealed the small gap at the bottom of my plastic canvas to prevent rock from getting under my false bottom.
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Believe it or not the hardest part was getting the screens made so that they would not bow inward. It was beginning to make me very mad as this is not the first time I've made window screens and they kept bowing inward and/or looking like crap. It took a few tries but I finally figured out if I tape the framing down it wouldnt pull inward when I spline the screen. Once I figured this out it worked like a charm.
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After everything dried it was time to add substrate. I used ABG mix and added about 3 cups of coco fiber to each gallon of ABG. I like how the pond looks natural and you don't see any sharp 90 degree drop offs or plastic. That was my entire goal.
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After this I rubbed down the tree fern panels with java moss and NEHERP live moss and then mounted my brom and epiphytes wrapped with spag moss and NEHERP live moss with toothpicks.
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Hopefully tonight I can get it planted with the wife's help on positioning. Big Grin
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#6
Very nice build. It looks like you are trying for a 'land' version of all those cool planted tanks in the Fish Aquarist Magazines.
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#7
I am kinda. I have an interest in aquascaping and landscaping so of course it would be no different for this build as well Wink
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#8
Ok, this week has been really hectic but I finally got around to planting the viv up last night. All thats left is to let the plants acclimate, moss spread, and then add some leaf litter.

I sure hope the two cypts color up a nice red color. They were shipped to me bare root some I'm just assuming they had a loss of nutrients and needed to be planted... Any ideas or advice?

Here are the pictures.

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#9
Only thing I would add is some more hiding spots maybe a hut or get some nice driftwood my love to hide under the wood just nice places for them to hide


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#10
Did you seed the tank with Isopods and springtales


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#11
Looks great though


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#12
Yes, it has been seeded with isopods and springtails. It will also get leaf litter once the plants have established and moss has spread. The frogs will also be getting their coco hut thats with them now added to this viv once they are transferred over
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#13
Well, its been a while. Thought I'd post some progress pics.

For my very first viv I think it is going awesome so far if I can say so myself. Since you all have last seen it I've added more NEHERP Live Moss everywhere and their new moss slurry to the tree fern panel background. You can see its starting to put out new growth.
I've also added a coco hut, two monkey pods, and some oak leaf litter.
Recently I added some java fern, chain sword and some species of cryptocoryne that I can't remember exactly which.

And to top it off since aquariums were my first love I could not resist the urge to add a few small Tiger Endlers to the small pool. If they live, great. If not, oh well I'm not out anything. And I doubt I'll be having to feed them as there is an unending supply of springtails that like to go swimming.

Only thing left that I have to do on it is add my led strip lighting and a Mist King mister and this baby will be complete.

Its funny as the wife was totally against me setting up another "responsibility" in the house. Nor was she thrilled that I was bringing "toxic" animals into the house with our two cats. But now that I have this setup she has mentioned a countless number of times that I should break down a few of my, oh I dunno five fish tanks, and transform them into more viv's. I think we are both eyeing my 75 gal African cichlid tank with the possibility of Auratus, imitators or ventrimaculata.

BTW, the frogs are in there. They are just hiding in the leaf litter as they were not thrilled about me cleaning the glass right before I took the pics.

Anyhow, on with the pics...

This is some form of an African Violet (Silver Skies I think its called) I picked up at a local botanical gardens sale a few months back. It is spreading like crazy. I'm about to have to start trimming it back.

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If you look closely you might be able to see a few of the fish...

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#14
Very nice! I particularly like that last pic with the reflection.
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#15
Thanks! Its too bad I couldn't get my own reflection out of the glass.
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#16
This is the tank you have my frogs in
Wow it looks great I'm sure they are happy


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#17
Yes sir, this is their home. They really enjoy hunting down the springtails through all the plants, moss and leaf litter. Every now and then the larger one will come out to the front corner to watch tv with us. LOL!
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#18
Very cool I glad they are doing very well and it looks like they have a great home very nice job
I starting to build vert. 10 gal for thumbs
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