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Constuction Journal (56k beware)

I just finished a new 29 gal. viv. and took some shots throughout the process. I hope this might help some others in setting one up.

I started out using a slide in background that I had made for my other 29 gal. viv. Here is a post that gives some info on it.

After mounting the background, I cut a piece of egg crate to fit the inside of the tank, leaving it an inch shy from the front glass, and a section in the back corner for a power head/pump to be hidden in. Then, laying this on the floor of the tank, I placed the wood I wanted to use for the pond shore line, in the position I wanted it. I then traced the outline, of back side of the wood, on to the egg crate. After cutting the egg crate along the line I traced on it, I cut out some risers to lift up the false bottom to the proper height, and used zip ties to attach them together, and great stuff to attach it all to the glass.

[Image: DSC04504.jpg]

The next step was to attach some #7 mesh to keep things from getting under false bottom. (used for knitting or something like that, can be found in walmart craft section) I also finished the hidden pump chamber, which has a box made out of the #7 mesh, with fiberglass window screen in between it and the egg crate.

[Image: DSC04508.jpg]

This shot shows how the wood fits in place, and how the false bottom fits up to it. I have drilled a hole in the wood, that I will run a tube to, from the pump, for a trickle effect from the inside of the knot. Also, notice how the background doesn't fit together very well. It has shrunk after drying, and I will be fixing this later.

[Image: DSC04513.jpg]

Leaving the gravel in place, I used the foam to fill the space under, and behind the wood to make the pond walls, and to seal up any gaps that frogs, or tads, could get under. The water will be able to flow from the pond to the pump, through the gravel layer under the foam.

[Image: DSC04515.jpg]

back side.

[Image: DSC04516.jpg]

To fix the background, I decided to make a drip wall, with a few channels running down, for the water to travel in. I used a piece of hard air line tubing, used for the air stones in an under gravel filter lift tubes. I channeled out a gap for this to run across the top of the background, with a few holes drilled at the drip points. I sealed the end of the tube buy slightly melting the end, and used pliers to pinch it closed.

[Image: DSC04559.JPG]

Channels covered....

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After letting everything dry, I tested out, and adjusted the water flow. The shot I took of the pump, with the lines attached, didn't turn out well. What I did, was used three lines of airline tubing, and slid them into the pumps output nozzle. They fit pretty tight, but still allowed some water to flow out around the tubes. This was not a problem for me, as I was wanting some extra circulation under the false bottom, and also ran a tube from the pump, to the opposite side of the tank. I then wrapped the pump with no-see-um netting for a final prefilter.
I then placed the #7 mesh and fiberglass screen, on top of the false bottom.

[Image: DSC04586.JPG]

Time to start the landscaping Big Grin
I started out stuffing the gap along the front, in between the glass and false bottom. Next I used straight orchid mix as the bottom layer, for good drainage.

[Image: DSC04589.JPG]

The final steps were the hardest part, for me. The terrain, and plant placement. I plan on switching some of them around, and adding/removing others, but wanted to see it planted, and get the cycle going, so I used what I had available, and will be able to swap what I want to, when I come across them. I used the bendable vines to route the power cord up to the top. It runs along the backside of the vines, attached with thread wrapped around the larger vine and cord. :wink:

[Image: DSC04649.JPG]

I'm pretty happy how it turned out, even though I am not completely finished. Let me know what you think! And if you have any questions, or suggestions, let me know. Big Grin

looks good but I would suggest resizing your photos so the whole post is easier toi view and read. As it is now you have to scroll left and right to read each sentence.

Looks great and is a very helpful post

Yeah, I am surprised this forum post's them full size. Usually, they down size them, and you have to click the image to open it full size . I'll try and post them a different way.
Thanks for the comp. :wink:

[Edit] I uploaded some smaller shots to my host, and seems to be fitting in the page now. Let me know if you still have to scroll. Thanks!

Yeah you still have to scroll a little, but not much at all. That looks really good, Im working on my first viv as well, I need to start today. Think I should take pictures?

Big Grin
Looks great though.

Wow, I wish I had seen your method before I did my vivs. I could not figure a good way to get the "lake" effect and still have an access hole for the pump at two different leves and stiil look good. Guess what I will be doing to my 55 gal. tank?

Thanks for great pics, even if you do have to scroll, they print fantastic!!!

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