Mangrove Tree Vivarium
by, June 27th, 2012 at 10:01 PM (2906 Views)
Hey Guys - Finished my 2nd attempt at making a mini jungle and figured I'd post some pics of the process! I let it grow in a little it and currently only have 2 Phyllobates Bicolors living like kings. Hopefully a King and Queen
Well here goes:
I skipped a few steps in pictures up until this point but basically I made small ledges and cliffs out of egg crate. The plan being in a 55 g tank I'd have a feature of about 5 gallons of accessible water.
Then attempt to start carving some mangrove stumps and roots growing into the water.
Here you can see its a little rough but I was still laying out the location of everything
By this point I had an idea of where the two big tree pieces would fit. I also started to GS the filter/waterfall compartment.
I also GS the egg crate water edge and painted it using a mix of Drylock and Acrylic paint (non-toxic). Boring pictures of fake rocks I know but Iif anyone would be interested it would be you guys reading this lol
I felt I got the idea across that they were rocks. And also if anyone is worried, there were enough slanted carvings and ledges to get out of the water for safety reasons.
Ok so back to my trees! After happy with the placement it was time to paint these guys and a few other branches I made. Same mixture with the Drylock but tons of brown paint.
It took a few coats to get it acceptable to me. I'm still not sure about them but I figured plants and grit will cover them.
Now I started to add some accents like portion of background using the old GS/silicone/substrate mix method.
Here I tried an experiment... I made a little shelf. I thought filling it in like a pot and having plants along the ledge would look cool. As of now one of the frogs uses that area as his little sleeping spot so it must be good
So here it is with the water in it... I think it looked great and awesome and everything. But in the end I saw this maintenance wise... A pain in the ***. Even after I got all the debri etc out I knew this wasn't worth it. Under the land portion was a mess and the only way to it was access panels I made (under the substrate). So I counted my losses enjoyed it for a week and drained it. In the long run I think the inhabitants would enjoy the exrtra land space more.
Here on the bottom are the two buds chilling out and waiting on the leaf where food is dropped. They rival my Axolotls in mooching.
This is the set up with substrate on the bottom level and some leaf litter. Sorry for the fogginess. Weather here been wacky so my temps don't match the room.
Thanks for viewing, obviously if any of you guys have questions I'll be glad to answer. Even any advice input is greatly appreciated. I promised I'd take a few months off before I do another build but petco has a $1 a gallon sale. Just picked up a 40g breeder I plan to build a vertical viv out of. Maybe I'll do a live build log of that this time around.
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