The "I have no idea what I'm doing" first build thread.

Discussion in 'Construction & Parts' started by Brad_, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. Brad_

    Brad_ Member

    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Victoria
    I'll start this as a place holder for updates to my adventure in building my first vivarium. This is repurposed reef after 20 years playing with corals.

    I've just received my new lights today, dual LED units, Beamsworks SE QUAD lights (cheap Chinese product I hope I don't regret).
    I have most of my substrate supplies in the back of my car, using leca for a drainage layer, covered with landscape cloth separating it from the soil mix (coco fiber, orchid bark, sphagnum moss and carbon)
    Building a background out of foam with some wood accents, I have some cork flats arriving tomorrow, hopefully theyre usable for my design concept.
    Friend of mine has a shipping container of driftwood I'm trying to access, looking for the right center piece. I have one I love, but it's way too big and I'm not sure I can cut it into anything as nice.
    Going to hit up the garden center locally that has a huge selection of small tropicals, and will scrounge up some cuttings locally from other hobbyists.
    The tank is drilled, so mister line and humidity meter probe will come up from the bottom in a conduit to the top of the background. Yes, this will be sealed.
    Having a glass lid made, and building a screen slit for the back of the tank.

    Here's a shot of the bare tank with the way too big piece of wood. More to come as I get brave enough to start building.


    [​IMG]
     
  2. Brad_

    Brad_ Member

    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Victoria
    Oh, and given the size of the tank, I'm building the background outside the tank in a mock up frame. That should be interesting :)
     
  3. erikm

    erikm Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    882
    Likes Received:
    521
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Burlington, ON
    Looks like you are off to a good start. I would recommend window screen instead of landscape fabric.

    That piece of driftwood looks killer.. I say go for it :)
     
    BCMosaic likes this.
  4. Brad_

    Brad_ Member

    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Victoria
    What are the pros/cons of the covering material? I see more people using the cloth in builds vs screen. I also wanted to taper the covering into the edges over some gravel to avoid the sight of the bottom, and screen might be tougher to do that with.

    And ya, this is an amazing piece of wood, but almost squeezed in corner to corner, and I'm worried that once planted, there will be very little room in there.! If it were 20% smaller....

    As I mentioned, a buddy has an entire shipping container of wood, I bet I can find an equally nice piece in a smaller size. On a side note, is there much of a market for driftwood? I think he wants to sell it all off.
     
  5. erikm

    erikm Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    882
    Likes Received:
    521
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Burlington, ON
    Test it out. Take a large piece of landscape fabric, grab all four corners and then pour water into the middle of it. Watch how fast it drains :)

    Not sure about a market for driftwood in Victoria, but here its popular, especially for fresh water aquariums.
     
  6. Ethan A

    Ethan A Contributing Member

    Messages:
    338
    Likes Received:
    101
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Victoria B.C.
    I second using window screen; the fabric takes forever for water to pass through!
     
  7. Brad_

    Brad_ Member

    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Victoria
    i guess my thought was that since we're only adding water via misting, drainage time wasn't all that critical. Can't say I really care either way, I have the cloth and enough left over screen from the vent to use either.
     
  8. Brad_

    Brad_ Member

    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Victoria
    Update: Just received a giant box at the door. I cautiously ordered 5 pieces of large size zoo med cork flats off Amazon.ca, and based on reviews and complaints about sizes, only ordered 5 pieces as samples. Well, I could not have asked for better pieces, and now I have enough to fully cover the background. Maybe too much! :) I may have to rethink my design now.
     
    erikm likes this.
  9. Carlos

    Carlos Contributing Member

    Messages:
    636
    Likes Received:
    518
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Burlington
    Lol I change my design builds almost daily. Just don't over think things. And ask questions
     
    erikm likes this.
  10. Brad_

    Brad_ Member

    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Victoria
    Here's a quick shot of the tank with some of the build pieces laying around. Skipped the over sized driftwood and settled for a smaller piece that I cut off, a petrified rock and the cork I just got. Lights are no, fans siliconed to the chassis (dumb design) and one day closer to building the background.
    Mist King showed up today, need to figure out how to mount the nozzles near the front with the line coming up rear center. Hmm.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Brad_

    Brad_ Member

    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Victoria
    Finally tackled the background, here's the foam curing in the mold

    [​IMG]
     
    erikm likes this.
  12. Brad_

    Brad_ Member

    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Victoria
    Well, that went reasonably well. Here is the partially planted viv, still a bit of work left.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. pygmycory

    pygmycory Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Victoria
    I love your plants.
     

Social Sharing