My own Giant Orchidarium/Paludarium!
Well, it's been pretty dead here lately, and I've been thinking of my dream tank. I realized it would have to be pretty huge in order to stop me from wanting more terrs (because i want so many orchids that I would want more and more terrariums to put them in). So I came up with these dims.: 5 x 4 x 2 feet. That's 5' high, 4' wide, and 2' deep. I'd make it deeper, but it needs to be able to fit through a doorway, as we discussed on the other Giant Orchidarium thread. Taking several good ideas from that thread, I would want it on casters, I would make three walls out of plywood and line it all with pond liner, and i would have a single sliding glass front. Mine differs in that I want a 1.5' deep water pool at the bottom, in which I would like to keep a few discus. My husband is VERY pumped about this, since he used to keep discus and misses them. I would have kind of a rain wall along the whole back of the tank, which would be getting its water from the pool at the bottom. Lots of nice fish poo water to fertilize all those orchids! =) I also considered an automatic misting system (instead of the 'rain wall'), but wouldn't the misting heads get clogged with fish poop? Or should I have a pre-filter, like a fluval but not a fluval (DH doesn't like fluvals because they are difficult to clean and service), and would the nutrients from the poop still be dissolved in the water? Another problem I can forsee is the water quality. Obviously I would not be stocking it to maximum density as I'd rather err on the side of 'not enough' fish than too many, but discus are very heavy feeders and waste-producers, so I'm worried that they won't work, and that I should just stick to some cardinal tetras or other 'more boring' fish. Am I under-estimating the ability of all the plants I will have in there to use all of the cr@p?
Also, does anyone forsee any design problems? I would like some kind of 'ground' area with dirt (or other substrate), so I'm thinking of somehow seperating a main, possibly bow-shaped (like a reverse bow-front tank), area for the fish from the sides and back corners to allow for this. I don't want just a box with coco-panels and/or driftwood. Any other ideas for how to make the overall landscape look interesting and to maximize the space? I'm having major problems visualizing that in my head. The dutch vivs will be a definite source of inspiration, but I know that gary, you have a fair-sized set-up, right? How did you do yours? Post pics already! =)
And yes, of course I will still want more tanks. One for cool-growing orchids, for example. I am also still interested in frogs. Does anyone know if I would be able to put some in the 'Super Viv'? Specifically, what would work better: Fire Belly Toads, Red-Eyed treefrogs, or PDFs (azureus, more specifically)? I figured that the poisons secreted by FBTs wouldn't be good for the discus or other fish, and that the treefrogs would enjoy the height of the tank, but I really want PDFs. Hmmmmmmmm. . . and to save some money, I might just use my current tank (85 gals) as the water part, and just somehow attach a track for the sliding glass front, and build the rest of the plywood around it, except for the front, to allow for fish viewing. Oh yes, and obviously the entire thing would be lit with a metal halide.
Is that enough for y'all to begin fantasizing? =)