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  1. #1
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    Talking 55 Gallon Paludarium Build with underwater cave

    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


    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.



    Then I siliconed the support and side cave wall in


    The blue tape indicates water level




    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.



    The air camber is filling up


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



    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

    I need to order the underwater led light that will light this cave red.

    This kind of explains how its look.




    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
    Last edited by LankyB; 08-04-2010 at 6:43 PM. Reason: Fail at linking





  2. #2
    Senior Member x916krew's Avatar
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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
    110g - Semi planted Community tank
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    10g - Semi Planted Dwarf Puffer tank
    5g - Cherry Shrimp



  3. #3
    Senior_Member user_name's Avatar
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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!
    Quote Originally Posted by kyhokie View Post
    I bet your favorite website is overstock.com. Hey-oh!



  4. #4
    Senior Member ohbly's Avatar
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    That's a really interesting idea with the underwater cave. What creatures are you planning on putting in there?



  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by x916krew View Post
    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
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by ohbly View Post
    That's a really interesting idea with the underwater cave. What creatures are you planning on putting in there?
    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. #6
    Senior_Member user_name's Avatar
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    Good luck with the vampire crabs, they will cost you big bucks.
    Quote Originally Posted by kyhokie View Post
    I bet your favorite website is overstock.com. Hey-oh!



  7. #7
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    Cool

    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
    [FastFly67] 12:53 pm: i'ma buff something else on you
    [msjinkzd] 10:14 am: and I have a powerful butt and an excellent swing



  8. #8
    Encouragement..Yes! SafaditM3's Avatar
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    Great concept Lanky! Do you have anymore updates for us?



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  9. #9
    Ripariumist Chrisinator's Avatar
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    I love Paludariums and Vampire Crabs! Good luck!
    38G Planted Tank 10G FBT Paludarium



  10. #10
    Seafood Lover mellowvision's Avatar
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    what happens if a crab dies inside the chamber?



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