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  1. #1
    Connorfood is offline Newbie
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    Cool Crested Gecko Paludarium - 30gal work in progress


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    I just got a new 30gal tank for my juvenile crestie (Rico) this christmas and went strait to work making it into a somewhat hacked together Paludarium. I started with a small wall of river rocks down the middle, and filled the back half with zoo-med hydroballs so as to avoid rotting ecoearth in the wet side. I then laid down a mat of Fiberglas mesh, and layered on eco earth, plants, and a top layer of forest moss. Filled the front with water, and allowed the back pump to filter as it created the waterfall through the mouth of the back wall.

    Problems:
    The pump got clogged and stopped working almost immediately. Never put a submersible pump somewhere you can't get at it to change the filter, especially during the first week or so of the build, as there is a lot of silt in the water that will quickly clog it. I have a new filter just sitting in the water, but the placement is ugly, and the cord is running through the middle of the terrarium because it was an addition after the substrate was added.

    The rock wall started collapsing, forcing me to lower the level of the water.

    My fish died almost instantly (always allow the water to settle for a few weeks before trying to introduce fish)

    all in all, a decent first attempt, but despite all my work and planning, it did not work out near as well as I would have liked. This is to show where I'm starting, I'm currently in the process of planning (waiting on a few more parts) the rebuild. I will try to keep up with the posts as I work on it, and keep you all up to date with what is working and what is not. The plan right now is to have an angled glass wall instead of the rocks, to keep the water and land completely separate. I'll give more details of the plans in my next post, check back soon as the glass should be back from the cutters any day now!

    Connorfood

    P.S. the pictures are as follows:
    1-Front view, notice the ugly pump placement
    2-the mister (half the reason I wanted to make a Paludarium, the other half is for a waterfall)
    3-Rico's favourite place to hang out, his DIY magnetic rock ledge
    4-Side view showing the layers, and the failed pump (note Rico hiding top left)
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    Last edited by Connorfood; 02-04-2013 at 09:04 PM.

  2. #2
    thorrshamri's Avatar
    thorrshamri is offline Moderator/The French Viking Moderathorr
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    I would be concerned about the risks a crested gecko runs in a paludarium to die from drowning...unless there are several ways out. Remember their toepads won't stick like normal once wet.
    "Thorr Geckos" private breeder in Normandy.

    Ptenopus kochi + garrulus garrulus, various Uroplatus species, several Pachydactylus and Hemidactylus species, Ch. angulifer & turneri , Gehyra marginata, Afroedura loveridgei, Ptyodactylus ragazzi, H. caudicinctus, Homopholis wahlbergii & fasciata, Paroedura picta...

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  3. #3
    Connorfood is offline Newbie
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    not to worry, I have already tested Rico's swimming ability, its actually quite superb, he's able to swim across the sink and climb out, and when tested in his current situation he was able to get out without difficulty. Crested Geckos seem to have much better ability in water than people give them credit for. I am not at all concerned as he has shown time and time again he is perfectly capable of getting out, even by swimming to the glass wall and climbing out vertically.

    Thanks for the concern though, and keep the critique coming, its always good to get other peoples thoughts, because theres no way I can think of everything myself, as my first attempt proved :P

    Connorfood

  4. #4
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    I didn't think of the drowning thing. Good thing you checked it out. This is a really cool setup, even if it didn't turn out quite like you wanted it to. Is this the one you're gonna put the L. williamsi in?

    ~Maggot

  5. #5
    thorrshamri's Avatar
    thorrshamri is offline Moderator/The French Viking Moderathorr
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    Interesting. After all, cresteds are often found near riverbeds in the wild.
    "Thorr Geckos" private breeder in Normandy.

    Ptenopus kochi + garrulus garrulus, various Uroplatus species, several Pachydactylus and Hemidactylus species, Ch. angulifer & turneri , Gehyra marginata, Afroedura loveridgei, Ptyodactylus ragazzi, H. caudicinctus, Homopholis wahlbergii & fasciata, Paroedura picta...

    FORUM RULES HERE! PLEASE READ THEM CAREFULLY, ESPECIALLY NEWCOMERS TO GU! http://www.geckosunlimited.com/commu...les-rules.html

  6. #6
    Connorfood is offline Newbie
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    no that is the 30gal tank that Rico is in, its getting upgraded first, I'll start a second thread for Kelly (the L. Williamsi) when I start on hers. I will likely do something similar to the setup that I had for rico when he was a baby in the smaller 12" x 12" x 18" tank that kelly inherited.

    I will try and post schematics of the plan for Rico's rebuild tomorrow if I get the chance, theres a definite upslope with grip for easy escape from the water onto the land though.

  7. #7
    Connorfood is offline Newbie
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    Default Step 1

    Okay, so I was going to try to create, and post a schematic tonight after school, but instead I got a call during Physics that my glass was ready. Naturally I skipped tutorial and went to pick it up, along with a few more supplies, and got strait to work! I'll let the pictures speak for themselves, in order:

    1- Rico with the new glass and silicone
    2- Rico guarding the glass fiercely
    3- The gruelling job of taking out all the Hydro-Balls
    4- Oh look, the lost/clogged pump
    5- Getting ready to make the beach
    6- Started putting the aquarium gravel down
    7- I laid down the silicone
    8- Then spread it out
    9- Then dumped the gravel on it
    10- The mostly finished beach piece, ready to start drying

    look for the other 8 in the next post (max 10 pics per post)
    Last edited by Connorfood; 02-02-2014 at 06:06 PM.
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  8. #8
    Connorfood is offline Newbie
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    Default Step 1 part 2

    11- Oh yeah, the tank is still a mess
    12- THEY'RE ALIVE! the two submersible pump/filters and the mister
    13- It's amazing what a wet cloth and some elbow grease can do
    14- Demonstration of the toilet roll stands for the first glass section
    15- A close up of the rolls (thin slit to hold the glass, larger slit so it doesn't stick to the silicone along the edge of the glass
    16- The back section in place
    17- Another angle of the back section, spot glued and supported
    18- Two of the glass pieces unwrapped (note the $25 hole in the large one)



    This is as far as I'm going tonight, gonna let what I've done cure overnight. In the morning I'm going to layer on the silicone to make it water tight, and place and spot glue the shelf section in place before I head to my morning class. If all goes as planned everything should be in place by tomorrow night, and ready for the first leak test by thursday. I'll update my progress again tomorrow, but in the meantime, does anyone know of a good place to get thick hollow bamboo for a water feature?

    Connorfood
    Last edited by Connorfood; 02-02-2014 at 06:06 PM.
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  9. #9
    Connorfood is offline Newbie
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    Default Step 2/3

    Okay so I got a lot done today, this morning when I woke up I put in the main shelf section before I left for school. I stopped by the local garden centre on my way home and picked up a nice piece of bamboo and 3 new plants for when I'm done. When I got home I put on the beach piece and after sealing the tubes attached them as well.

    I know I'm being a bit optimistic by installing all the pumps and whatnot tonight before doing the leak test tomorrow, but I really hope there are no leaks, because it will be hard to get in there and fix any if there are. I layered on that silicone so hopefully I'm good.

    As you can see, there is a 3 inch hole in the shelf, with a T connecter siliconed on, and a tube going out to the backdrop. This was the best way I could think of having wires go from the water section to the top of the tank without coming out front. The tube goes to the back wall then up to about an inch above the waterline, that way the water doesn't all just go through the tube and into the land section. That part should work. We'll see tomorrow night, if all goes well I'll be planting tomorrow and have some hopefully good looking pictures ready by the end of the night for now, here's where I'm at now:

    1- The shelf, glued in and supported by the 3inch T junction
    2- I stuck tape to the outside as a guild for where to put the silicone before putting in the glass (learnt the hard way that putting the silicone on the insert leaves silicone all over the walls as it slides into place)
    3- the completed tube section (with the mister hanging out because its cradle is still curing)
    4- Side view, note the pump on the side under the shelf, and the tubing going to the background then up above the beach wall
    5- bad flash, but here you see a front view, showing the waterfall pump with clear tube going up and through the black pipe, and up to where the waterfall will be.
    6- Showing the waterfall exit (top left) along with the first of 3 magnetic bamboo troughs that will be adjustable to allow me to change how the waterfall looks on a whim
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  10. #10
    thorrshamri's Avatar
    thorrshamri is offline Moderator/The French Viking Moderathorr
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    Great job and thanks for the pics and all the details, I have no doubt it will be helpful to other GU members.
    "Thorr Geckos" private breeder in Normandy.

    Ptenopus kochi + garrulus garrulus, various Uroplatus species, several Pachydactylus and Hemidactylus species, Ch. angulifer & turneri , Gehyra marginata, Afroedura loveridgei, Ptyodactylus ragazzi, H. caudicinctus, Homopholis wahlbergii & fasciata, Paroedura picta...

    FORUM RULES HERE! PLEASE READ THEM CAREFULLY, ESPECIALLY NEWCOMERS TO GU! http://www.geckosunlimited.com/commu...les-rules.html

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