Pond style aquariums (or paludariums)

Igneous

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Hello everyone,

While searching the internet I came across a really interesting way of 'scaping' a tank. They are called "pond-style aquariums". Which basicly is a very low rimless tank with a (small) sloping land area that includes emersed plants, much like you'd see on the edge of a pond. The result is a natural looking tank with lush plant growth a little tech involved.
Due to the lack of humidity I'm not sure if these tanks would be fitting for most salamanders, however the way that these tanks are scaped is something that we can apply to a paludarium aswell.

Here are some examples, let me know what you all think about these "pond-style aquariums".

 

SJNewt

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Hello everyone,

While searching the internet I came across a really interesting way of 'scaping' a tank. They are called "pond-style aquariums". Which basicly is a very low rimless tank with a (small) sloping land area that includes emersed plants, much like you'd see on the edge of a pond. The result is a natural looking tank with lush plant growth a little tech involved.
Due to the lack of humidity I'm not sure if these tanks would be fitting for most salamanders, however the way that these tanks are scaped is something that we can apply to a paludarium aswell.

Here are some examples, let me know what you all think about these "pond-style aquariums".

Hey friend, I’m currently working on one as we speak. I’ll send pictures once o get back to my place.
 

MnGuy

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I really love these types of setups. I wonder what the maintenance is like, and how they keep the plants, rocks and water surface from getting dusty and filmy. I have several indoor plants in different pots, and regularly have to wipe the leaves by hand.
 

SJNewt

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Ok sorry it took longer than I thought haha. So the Hardscape is completed and now just working on final plant positioning. Tank is 90x45x45cm. Water level in the front is 6in. with a small step up on the right side of 2 inches deep. Disregard the sand as it’s not cleaned up yet and the driftwood up front will be moved. Open to any suggestions!
 

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SJNewt

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Can’t figure out how to take pictures of aquariums so bare with me haha.
 

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Herpin Man

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They look great, but without an escape proof lid, they won't work for salamanders.
 

MnGuy

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Ok sorry it took longer than I thought haha. So the Hardscape is completed and now just working on final plant positioning. Tank is 90x45x45cm. Water level in the front is 6in. with a small step up on the right side of 2 inches deep. Disregard the sand as it’s not cleaned up yet and the driftwood up front will be moved. Open to any suggestions!
That looks really great! Keep us updated on your progress! You should start a separate build thread.

What do you plan to keep in there aside from the shrimp? Like someone else said, it's not safe for newts or salamanders (or any amphibian). They'll find a way out.

Good luck.
 

SJNewt

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That looks really great! Keep us updated on your progress! You should start a separate build thread.

What do you plan to keep in there aside from the shrimp? Like someone else said, it's not safe for newts or salamanders (or any amphibian). They'll find a way out.

Good luck.
Thanks! Hopefully finalize planting tonight. I’m making a custom acrylic lid so I can keep my newts in there. I have one marbled newt there now that seems to enjoy the hardscape. Has anyone made their own kid before?
 

Ste Holmes

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Thanks! Hopefully finalize planting tonight. I’m making a custom acrylic lid so I can keep my newts in there. I have one marbled newt there now that seems to enjoy the hardscape. Has anyone made their own kid before?
Hi SJ Newt. Your tank looks brilliant! I'm in the research and development stage of a similar pond riparium for some Chinese fire bellies. I love the look of plants growing out of the tank but as mentioned above I know that newts are notorious escape artists. Any chance you could share some info on the custom acrylic lid? Cheers, Steve
 

SJNewt

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Hi SJ Newt. Your tank looks brilliant! I'm in the research and development stage of a similar pond riparium for some Chinese fire bellies. I love the look of plants growing out of the tank but as mentioned above I know that newts are notorious escape artists. Any chance you could share some info on the custom acrylic lid? Cheers, Steve
hey Steve I’m sorry for the delay. I just went to the local hardware store and bought some generic acrylic sheets. I’ll send you the dimensions and pictures of finished product.
 

Elysium Plants

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Hi guys,

I just joined Caudata yesterday, specifically for this exact subject. I first came across the paludarium thing four or five months ago and spent every waking moment since then planning out my first one.

I’m one of those “go big or go home” types, so it’s going to be a pretty ambitious build. I’m not even remotely interested in going naturalistic on this one; it’s all about the “wow” factor.

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to score a 40G tank with hood and lights off Craigslist for a paltry fifty bucks. Going to use black substrate and rocks for contrast. All aquatic and terrestrial plants will be white and green variegated. The terrestrial portion will house poison dart frogs and will separate the two water features. One will house a GFP axolotl. The other will be home to brightly-colored freshwater shrimp and fish.

Going to be running CO2 off a 20lb. tank through an SR Aquaristik dual-stage regulator. Planning two waterfalls, each equipped with an ultrasonic fogger. Will be swapping the basic aquarium light out for a Finnex Planted+ LED rig (comes with some pretty awesome features!) and a blacklight.

Each component will have a dedicated timer to make the most effective use of light, CO2, etc. As the sun starts to go down, the lighting will do the same. At dusk, the lights will go out and the blacklight and foggers will kick on.

“Wow” factor, right?

The one concern I have is that it might be too ambitious a project for a 40G. Thinking to get a 100G and save the 40G for something else.

Always open to feedback/constructive criticism/suggestions.
 

Elysium Plants

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As an aside, I’m a horticulturist by trade. My niche is mainly rare, strange, bizarre plants. If anyone wants suggestions for plants that are a little more special than the commonly available stuff, I’m always happy to talk shop. Same goes if you run into any problems with your plants and need a diagnosis.

P.S. This is the kind of stuff I’m talking about. Begonia darthvaderiana in my living room.
70C89C8C-CEF4-4C27-959A-82003AB4B149.jpeg
 

Elysium Plants

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I thought I’d share an update with my “work in progress”. I finalized the acrylic lid but would definitely recommend a table saw if you plan on trying one for your own set up. The Dremel can be a bit tedious but was able to get the job done.
That’s a good-looking build. How many gallons? What lighting/filtration are you running?
 

SJNewt

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Thank you! It’s a 45 gallon tank (90x45x45cm). Lighting is 24 inch Full Spectrum (ONF). For filtration I’m running two Delta 60 (UNS) canister filters. One of the UNS canister filters Is running through an ADA mist wall. The water run off from the ADA mist wall is collected in the back of the tank and forms a stream running to the middle of the tank. The second UNS filter is creating a waterfall In the back right corner of the tank. There’s still some accent plants that are being added and the aquatic portion of the setup isn’t finished.

I can’t seem to find nice lush moss growing locally in Pasadena so I’m trying to order some Kyoto moss online. Also, any good online source for plants/moss that anyone can validate?
Elysium, my only regret this far is that I wish the tank was bigger. Happy to help with any planning ideas that you’re trying to work out logistically as well.
 

Elysium Plants

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Thank you! It’s a 45 gallon tank (90x45x45cm). Lighting is 24 inch Full Spectrum (ONF). For filtration I’m running two Delta 60 (UNS) canister filters. One of the UNS canister filters Is running through an ADA mist wall. The water run off from the ADA mist wall is collected in the back of the tank and forms a stream running to the middle of the tank. The second UNS filter is creating a waterfall In the back right corner of the tank. There’s still some accent plants that are being added and the aquatic portion of the setup isn’t finished.

I can’t seem to find nice lush moss growing locally in Pasadena so I’m trying to order some Kyoto moss online. Also, any good online source for plants/moss that anyone can validate?
Elysium, my only regret this far is that I wish the tank was bigger. Happy to help with any planning ideas that you’re trying to work out logistically as well.
Smexy stuff, Newt. I have some really nice pillow moss on hand at the moment. Would be happy to share it your way. Regarding a good online source for plants and moss, well...I’m online as we speak. As long as I have at least two of whatever you want from my collection and are willing to cover the shipping, I’m always more than happy to share with a fellow plantsman. Only thing I’d ask in return is that you do what you can to pay it forward and share the stuff I share with you with others.

Love your build, man.
 

Elysium Plants

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Thank you! It’s a 45 gallon tank (90x45x45cm). Lighting is 24 inch Full Spectrum (ONF). For filtration I’m running two Delta 60 (UNS) canister filters. One of the UNS canister filters Is running through an ADA mist wall. The water run off from the ADA mist wall is collected in the back of the tank and forms a stream running to the middle of the tank. The second UNS filter is creating a waterfall In the back right corner of the tank. There’s still some accent plants that are being added and the aquatic portion of the setup isn’t finished.

I can’t seem to find nice lush moss growing locally in Pasadena so I’m trying to order some Kyoto moss online. Also, any good online source for plants/moss that anyone can validate?
Elysium, my only regret this far is that I wish the tank was bigger. Happy to help with any planning ideas that you’re trying to work out logistically as well.
Also (sorry, just want to pick your brain a bit), how long have you had this tank up and running and how happy are you with the canister filters? I’ve read conflicting reports. Will probably end up going with a full sump, even though it’s going to cost me. I figure in the end strong filtration, heavy planting, CO2, strong lights, and nutrients might mitigate for all that I intend to do in such a comparatively small tank. Thoughts?
 

Elysium Plants

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Also (sorry, just want to pick your brain a bit), how long have you had this tank up and running and how happy are you with the canister filters? I’ve read conflicting reports. Will probably end up going with a full sump, even though it’s going to cost me. I figure in the end strong filtration, heavy planting, CO2, strong lights, and nutrients might mitigate for all that I intend to do in such a comparatively small tank. Thoughts?
And water changes. Twice a week, ~25%, I’m thinking. Water here is fairly stable in terms of pH, GH, and kH.
 

SJNewt

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Elysium I apologize for the delay. I’ve been very happy with the canister filters this far and the tank has been cycling for a few months now. I had thought about drilling some holes in the glass for the filters originally but decided to use the external canisters as it seemed more modular if I had to make changes to the tank in the future
The scape is more land based so the aquatic portion is very easy to maintain. In regards to water changes I’m doing 50% once a week.
Also thank you very much for the plant offer!
 
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