Pondquaria

eldaldo

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cool, does it have a way for inhabitants to fin their way in and out of it?
 

peter5930

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At the moment, semi-aquatic species could climb out of the first tank, but once I've finished it, there'll be an overhang around the perimeter of it to keep things from escaping. The second tank already has a 12cm overhang of 4mm twinwall polycarbonate around the perimeter. They aren't intended as wildlife ponds, and I don't want things wandering in and out of them.

The overhangs will also provide the inhabitants with protection from birds and cats that might otherwise perch on the rims of the tanks and try to pick them off, and both tanks will have wooden trellises above them to provide shade, further protection from birds and prevent fouling from leaf fall.
 

scuwiffpixi

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WOW what a great idea!!

I wish I had one in my Garden! A much more interesting alternative to a normal pond!

Well done!:proud:

What are you going to put in them?
 

peter5930

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They'll all hold axolotls for the time being, but that might change over time as my circumstances change.
 

Jennewt

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Very nice! An impressive bit of work.

I also obtained a bunch of tanks that had holes drilled in the bottom, formerly owned by a fish breeder. After trying various things involving PVC fittings, I ended up just sticking a piece of glass over the holes with silicone sealant and using them as normal aquariums.
 

scuwiffpixi

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Are you going to breeding them or are they just a hobby? Just wondering/being nosy :p

You have loads of space for quite a few Axies! :happy:

great keep us posted of your progress!
 

peter5930

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Very nice! An impressive bit of work.

I also obtained a bunch of tanks that had holes drilled in the bottom, formerly owned by a fish breeder. After trying various things involving PVC fittings, I ended up just sticking a piece of glass over the holes with silicone sealant and using them as normal aquariums.
It would have been a lot less work if I wasn't always driven to try to do things the novel, experimental way instead of doing them the boring, safe way, but I've learned a lot about the compatibilities of various plastics and sealants, figured out methods for joining pond liner to acrylic panels in a manner which accommodates movement and flexing under a tenth of an atmosphere of pressure and developed a feel for how heavily built wooden structures need to be to hold back up to a metre of water.

My tanks came with the original gaskets and PVC overflow pipes, and I might find some use for some of them, but I'm likely to do the same and just seal up the holes for most of the tanks. One use I can see for the holes in some of the tanks is to cover them with mesh and use them as drainage holes for terrestrial habitats. I've occasionally had to use airline tubing to siphon water out of coco coir substrate that has become waterlogged, and having a drainage hole in the bottom of terrestrial setups would prevent that from happening.

Are you going to breeding them or are they just a hobby? Just wondering/being nosy :p

You have loads of space for quite a few Axies! :happy:

great keep us posted of your progress!
I'm going to breed axolotls along with other amphibian species, partly as a hobby, partly because I hope to make a little income from it and partly as a scientific endeavour. I'm particularly interested in the potential for artificially selecting for certain behavioural traits in axololts, and I've observed a broad enough range of personalities in the ~50 axolotls that I've raised so far to convince me that there's ample variation for artificial selection to work on.

The majority of my axolotls are largely indifferent to my presence, but some will approach the surface of the water in anticipation of being fed with varying degrees of confidence. A few respond when I make eye contact with them through the glass by turning to face me and meeting my gaze, and will approach me until they reach the glass. One swims back and forth near the surface of the tank whenever I enter the room and then waits just below the surface of the water and tries to take a fish pellet from my fingers, but will ignore any pellets that I drop, even when they fall right past it's nose. Another one will slowly creep towards me through the aquarium plants like a cat stalking prey, doesn't mind my hand coming near it when I'm cleaning the tank, which causes most of the other axolotls to dart away, and even chases my fingers around the aquarium if they come too near it's face.

My plan is to raise a large number of axolotls and observe their behaviour, picking out individuals which exhibit traits such as tameness towards humans, high levels of physical activity, diurnal activity and endearing behaviours, and using these as the basis of further generations of axolotls which, I hope, will become increasingly friendly and interactive towards humans, less skittish and prone to getting stressed, will develop more complex and interesting personalities and will be more lively. It's a long-term project, and I expect to wait a decade or two before I begin to see significant results, but I've little doubt that it can be done.
 

scuwiffpixi

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Wow what a project! I hope that you are right on the developing of personalities of Axies! What a great experiments with genetic memory. Good luck!!:D
 

Dcerdeiras

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Nice Tank!!! You've inspired me to do this myself on a smaller scale (20 gl). I'm actually almost done, but I'm having a problem finding a sealant that can bind glass to pond liner. How did you do that?
 

peter5930

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Will you post a pic when you're done?

It took a lot of experimentation to figure out how to seal it. I found that butyl joining tape gave a good bond between the acrylic panels (should work for glass too) and the various pond liners that I tried it with (PVC, polypropylene, butyl rubber and polyethylene). I applied 2cm wide strips of butyl tape to the edges of the the panels and overlapped the panel edges with about 1cm of liner, applying pressure all around the edges to bond the liner to the panels. I then applied 10cm strips of butyl tape around the edges so that 3cm of tape covered the panels and 7cm covered the liner, so there was tape on both sides of the liner where it overlapped the panels.

Butyl tape doesn't have enough strength to hold the liner in place, and since it doesn't flow like liquid sealants, it tends to leave tiny channels that water can leak through, so I cut 3cm-wide strips of 4mm-thick rigid plastic that had formed part of the packaging of the acrylic panels and screwed them into the wooden frames around the panels so that they overlapped the panels and applied pressure to hold the pond liner firmly against the panels.

I covered the plastic strips with more butyl tape to prevent water from leaking out through the screw threads and covered most of the butyl tape with strips of pond liner to protect it from punctures, tearing and UV damage. I then applied several layers of Everbuild Weathermate sealant all over the remaining exposed areas of butyl tape and overlapped it a bit onto the acrylic in order to seal up any remaining channels that water could leak through. Everbuild Weathermate is an isoacrylic external sealant that's compatible with most things, including butyl tape, acrylic and various pond liner materials, and it doesn't seem to be particularly harmful to aquatic life.

I filled and emptied the big tank at least 6 times before I got it completely sealed, but the leaks always occurred near the bottom of the panels where there was about 0.1 atmospheres of pressure from a metre of water to push the water through any weak points, and I didn't have the same difficulties with the smaller tank where there's only 0.05 atmospheres from 50cm of water on the bottom edge of the panels.
 
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