150 gallon construction progress - lots of pics

back2eight(South MS)March 8, 2006

Okay, I made lots of progress on my tank. It is not finished yet, but I will post what I have. I have more pics and I am posting a fairly detailed construction journal on another site. I will post a link to it if anyone happens to be interested in viewing it, but it contains the same pictures, just more details.

This is the start with the foam and wood in place.

These are my tillandsias that came in the mail. I was very pleased with them! Great big healthy plants with roots, not cuttings. Some of them had pups on them, and several were in bloom.

This is the left side before placing the substrate.

And this is the same side with substrate in place and some tillandsias mounted on the background

Full tank shot with left side done for now, just needs planting, but with the right side still needing to be done.

Okay, this is the completed waterfall/water area, right side of tank. It didn't turn out as well as I wanted it to. The divider was already in the tank (used tank) and I didn't remove it but I should have.That's okay, the pump is old and will probably cut out on me shortly, so I may redo the water feature when that happens. It is goung to be some time this summer before I get my frogs to go in it, so I have time to let it run for a while and to make changes if needed. This is all very preliminary, I just did this today.

Top view of the same side

Full tank shot of what I have completed so far. I still have to plant the bottom now.

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Fantastic job! =) I think it looks great! I cant wait to see it when its all done and planted! two green thumbs way up! =)

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 8:44AM
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sahoyaref(Alberta z3a)

Where did you order your tillies from? They look great! The only place I've ever ordered from was Black Jungle, and i was thoroughly NOT impressed. Quite the opposite, actually. The plants were small, had no roots, they made some substitutions without telling me (even though I specified NO substitutions), and all but three are dead now. Only one ever flowered, and then it died.

Your terr. looks good! I really hope that water feature works out for you. I tried the partition thing once and it did NOT work for me at all, so I know what it's like to have to re-do everything. And with such a nice big enclosure, you may not need a fan at all.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 1:54PM
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deadhamster(Z5 MI)

Looks great back2eight, and those broms are fantastic.


    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 4:30PM
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back2eight(South MS)

I am not happy with the water feature. I was gone all day today and didn't get to work on it, but I am going to change it around a lot. It is leaking on the right side, and instead of trying to fix the leak I'm just going to go with it, I'm going to make the water purposely go off of that side as well, and enlarge the water area. I can't explain it, I'll just have to show you when I am done.

I did pick up two small fish today at the pet store. I thought it would be a good idea to use them as my "canary", if you know what I mean, to see if they die or manage to find a way to get under the false bottom. So far so good.

sahoyarer, I ordered them from ebay, of all places! They were very cheap, and very nice and healthy, with lots of roots, and pups growing. They didn't send me little cuttings like I was expecting for the price I paid. I was very pleased with them.

deadhamster, the partition was already there and I just decided not to remove it. I don't like the way it looks with it in there, but it actually made setting up the tank easier with it there. I will plant the rest of my plants tomorrow, but cannot redo the waterfall until I get some more silicone.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 11:05PM
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Looking good I can only imagine how it will look once you get it planted and things begin to fill in.

I am jealous of your Tillies they look great. I have to buy them singly around here and they are always way over priced and often glued to some tacky little nick-knack.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 8:10AM
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back2eight(South MS)

I planted it last night. I waaaay over planted. I wanted it to look "filled in" from the start. Be honest with me and tell me if you think I need to pull some of the plants. I know that I will need to once they start growing, or else let the ones that do well just grow over and kil the ones that don't. If you think it looks good for now I'll leave it, but if it needs to be thinned, tell me and I can pull some out. Feedback please!

That is the far left side.

That is the middle. I don't have a picture of the right side yet, I am redoing the water fall, and I have some aquatic plants coming to me in the mail, and some moss. The fish that I put in there died.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2006 at 9:26AM
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back2eight(South MS)

I made a few changes with the plants, took some out and rearranged a few. Here is another pic.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2006 at 10:48AM
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Although I think your set up looks really great, (the little angels kinda different)I know that a couple of your plants will very quikly out grow the others and if left in place will kill most of the others, including your broms, by blocking the light, so as long as you trim them back or remove them you should be fine, I kinda made an alocasia a mini by mistake, I forgot (more than once!) that it was in the yard, where it almost dried out many times, it ended up looking almost dead, but after forgeting to water it many more times I managed to pay more attention to it and kept the soil moist, I ended up with many smaller plants that dont seem to grow taller than six inches, so maybe with some time you can do the same with some of your plants? =)

    Bookmark   March 10, 2006 at 2:52PM
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I think it look quite nice with all those plants. I don't have that sort of free planted type of terrarium right now, but I did before and I tended to over plant things too, I was always pruning and change things around, and constantly tweaking the plants and the landscaping to suit my current tastes at the time. I always tried to keep one end dryer that the other and if a plant didn't do to well at one end I would move it to the other side, if something started to over grow the other plants I would just keep it pruned back, or sometimes remove it entirely if it just wasn't working out.
I don't think there is any such terrarium that you can just set up and never have to do any grooming on a regular basis, or if there is I never achieved it. Besides, I think you would lose interest if you don't keep looking for ways to improve it or fiddle with it. That's all part of the enjoyment isn't it?
Sorry about your fish by the way, perhaps you just put them in to soon. Not much water in there, not much of a buffer, it wouldn't take much to drastically change the PH of the water. It looks quite brown (tannic acid?), my guess is that it if you did a PH test you'll find it on the acidic side of what most fish are comfortable in.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2006 at 3:48PM
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back2eight(South MS)

I'm sure it is very acidic. There's lots of sphagnum moss in there.

I know there are plants in there that will outgrow it, but I will trim and/or remove them as I need to. I will have one side drier than the other so I can move plants around if they are not doing well. I had so much fun with this one that I want to redo my tomato frog tank, now. I think I will do it without a background, though, simply because it would take too long before I could put them back in there. I will put them in a sweater box while I work on their tank, and then put them immediately back into it, I might even do that tonight or tomorrow. :)

    Bookmark   March 10, 2006 at 4:19PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

There are a bunch of plants that will get too large but if you're into terrariums you also get into bonsai lol.
I suspect there is no such thing as a "perfect " setup anyway. You can always change things around as it matures.
How was the divider used for in the previous setup??
I have made some progress on my setup.Planted 60 specie of plants and it looks bare lol i suspect I'm getting way too much light but of course that will change with summer.
I've been taking pix when I remember lol and the whole disc. came back blank!! have never had that happen before.
Oh well. I think yours looks pretty good

    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 8:52AM
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back2eight(South MS)

This tank was used in a pet store, and it had a water area on one side and a terrestrial area on the other. You know how pet stores are always mixing species, it had fire bellied toads, newts, I don't know what all, probably about 8-10 different types of animals in it. The labels and price stickers were still on it when I got it, that's how I know.

I have already moved some plants around and took a few out that were not doing well. I guess I have plenty of light, because the ones that were wilting were the ones that are low light plants. They had to come out. I'll take one more pic as soon as I finish the water feature. Thanks for the comments! I can't wait to get frogs in there.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 9:03AM
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I would advise against keeping the croton plants in the tank. I heard that they are considered poisonous if insects put in there to feed frogs eat them first. Otherwise, all the other plants seem okay. You might have some trouble if the soil of the african violets doesn't dry out regularly between waterings or the leaves on the african violets get wet. African violets prefer to be watered with a container of water underneath their pot. The air plants look very nice and natural where you put them. I'm sure any frog would love to live in that tank with all the plants, water feature, and tree branches.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 12:06AM
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back2eight(South MS)

I didn't know that about the crotons, thanks! I'll do that. If I can remember which ones they are...

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 9:17AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

You've got different crotons One has yellow polka dots on green leaves, three(?) have very narrow leaves with red, orange and yellow on them and one has big leaves with all three colors on it, especially the veins. I don't know if they are really harmful or not but I know which ones they are!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 9:08PM
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back2eight(South MS)

About the crotons, I asked people on Dendroboard, and since I don't feed crickets to my dart frogs it is okay. A lot of them use crotons in their tanks. The only problem is that they will outgrow the tank. So I will either have to remove them after a while, or do a lot of pruning. I am going to leave them in. The problem is crickets eat plants and then if the frog eats the cricket it can be harmful. The FF will not be eating the plant, so these plants are safe for dart frog use. I will not put them in with my tomato frogs!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2006 at 1:49PM
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