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Thread: I redid my tank

  1. #1

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    While on vacation last week, I managed to dedicate a full day to tearing down, moving and rebuilding my 55 gal tank. It was a chore well worth the effort, I'm very pleased with the end result, have just a few more finishing touches to complete and plants and animals all seem to be happy. A few highlites and tips are as follows:

    As I said in an earlier post, the Anole I originally purchased turned out to be gravid when I got her, I ended up with 3 babies. Momma is still laying eggs, but she seems to put them in open spots rather than buring them, so I don't expect any more (lets hope). The pet store I got her at took back the two youngest and I kept the first born and mom.

    I divided the tank in half (just in case jr is a 'he&#39[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img] by glueing two 12 inch square mirrors back to back so that they went from the bottom of the tank to the top. The fit is almost perfect, just a small gap between the tank top and the screen cover; I used a piece of balsa wood that sits on the frame to close this area off. Now everyone has there own room LOL. The only issue is one side has the back of the mirror showing at the top, I'm thinking a piece of mylar would be good to cover this with. So, tell me, where to buy mylar at? I haven't a clue as to what I'm looking for.

    Moms' side has her favorite tree (a coffee plant) and favorite vine type plant (chameleon) which came from my back yard. It is a thug but I have it in an undrained container. The plant reaches to the ledge along the top of the tank which is mom's favorite hang out. I managed to get a mini water feature in her area. I took a small acrylic box, put an airstone in it, then filled the box with acquirum stone. The box is dug into the floor of the tank against the partition, then I used the same gravel to create a dry creek bed along the floor. The water just barely bubbles over the stone at the top of the box. Mom was a little stressed about this a first, but has gotten use to it now. I surrounded the box edge in large lava rock so it looks like a neat little pool with a creek running to the other end. The rest of the plants are a spider plant, a false arial, a couple of ferns, and a bromaliade; all in their pots buried in the substrate. The substrate is a hefty layer of lava rock, a layer of peat (most of what I had in before and didn't remove) and then I tried the econo earth (much cheaper than peat) on top. Oh, I forgot, my experiment, I've buried a pot that has some carrot seeds in it, if they germinate, I hope they will be good food for the crickets (I'm a cricket dumper LOL) Various pieces of cork bark (love that stuff wish it was a little cheaper LOL) is scatter around to look like cliffs, logs over the creek, and to hide the tops of pots that may stick out. (Husbands only rule was no plastic is to be seen LOL)

    Jr. side has his/her favorite tree (china doll) which might be a problem cause it likes to get big, it is getting some yellow leaves dropping off. Also a couple of curly leaved ming arials that are doing great. In the corner by the partition, I used a plastic shower tray (it is designed to fit into the corner and has large suction cups along the wall edges) I covered the front edge by glueing LFS Moss (used acquirum silicone) then lined the inside with LFS, there is drainage slots on the front end. My two unknown Nepths are in this tray as well as a small grape ivy plant. The tray sits on a cermic candle stand (the kind for large round candles) the pots are covered with LFS. A gold fish plant is buried in the floor and it should grow well along the bottom for ground cover. No water feature on this side, just various pieces of cork bark and larger round stones scattered along the bottom.

    The Nepths love this set up, every leaf is pitchering and each pitcher is larger than the last. I know I'll need to figure out some way to trellis them up soon, I hope to use the grape ivy if I can get it to climb up and cover the wall behind the nepths.

    The Anoles are both very tolerant and tame as I'm always in and out of the tank putzing with this or that set up. I don't handle them often (of course I had to move them out while I did the major work) I just slide the tank top over and reach in. I'm sure they know me as their food source and are not at all afraide. They love it when I come to mist every day and will get under the mist when they are shedding.

    Well, this is rea llllll yyyyyyy long, sorry to take up so much time and space. Hope everyone enjoys the concept. I'll have to get some pics soon and figure out how to post them.

    Oh, and now I'm dreaming of the next set up, saw some beardies at the pet store that I'd love to have. Might need to add another room to the house first LOL----AGAIN, I've got the fever LOL
    Linda in PA

  2. #2
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    hey im on as a guest but that sounds like a great set up you have there, love to see some pictures of it, posting the pictures of the neps will probaly get you to figure out what kind it is, well it sounds TOTALLY cool, glad your having fun with it!
    Kevin [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

  3. #3

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    Sounds great with the anoles [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img]). I never got my anole eggs to hatch though...odd... how did you do it?
    Taproot, Anti-Flag, The Casualties, Alkaline Trio, Eleventeen, Deadsy, AFI...what's not to love?

  4. #4

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    Thanks guys,

    Ceph---I really didn't do anything, nature just took its course. I had found maybe 3 eggs that had been laid in the open (like on top of leaves, or on the ledge at the top of the tank). I figured they were duds from the research I did, and I actually removed these. Then low and behold, one day I was misting the tank, saw what I thought was a cricket in one of the trees, and when I went to shake it down, saw it was a baby Anole. A week and a half later another little guy showed up and the third less than a week from that. The eggs must have been down in the pot, I never went looking. I think the temps and conditions of the tank were just perfect to hatch them. I was surprised the crickets didn't snack on them, but I suppose the crickets were off on their own little baby making projects cause I had a ton of babies from them too.

    At the time, the daytime tank ranged in temp from mid 70's to low 80's (at the bottom of the tank--top was 90's to 100) and humidity pretty high (at least over 75 most of the time, I don't trust my hygrometer to say for sure what it really was). Temps are changing a bit now as our weather is getting cooler, the furnace just started to come on the last few days. Temps seem to be sufficient still but I'm not sure how they will stay.

    Kevin, don't be a guest anymore, come on out and play. We love new people to talk to LOL
    Linda in PA

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