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Thread: Nano Vivarium Setup

  1. #1
    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr SCas's Avatar
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    Nano Vivarium Setup

    Convinced my biology teacher and my parents to let me build a vivarium for an ecosystem project. This is the 4th vivarium build I've done, so i wanted to expirement will also staying on a very low budget. I also had most of the stuff laying around from previous builds


    Equipment and price list

    - 5 gallon nano tank $5
    - lamp $free
    - eco tech 60w equivalent 5000k $1.87
    - masking tape $free
    - silicone $free
    - expanding foam $free
    - net cup $free
    - background mix $free
    - drainage layer $free
    - substrate divider $free
    - abg mix $free
    - small cork peices $free
    - sphagnum moss $free
    - leaf litter $free
    - cork bark $free
    - ficus pumila snowflake $13
    - maiden hair fern $5
    - cryptanthus pink star $6
    - tillandsia ionantha fuego $2
    - springtails $free
    - dwarf white isopods $free
    - leachie poop (aka fertilizer)

    Still need to get some mood moss and a lid, but thats it, excited to get this all finished and see how it does

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  2. #2
    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr SCas's Avatar
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    So the tank i got was a glo fish tank, so it had some ugly neon pink silicone on it, so i scored up the silicone a bit, then put a bead regular black silicone over the front 2 seams (the 2 in the back are going to be covered by expanding foam for the background) then i smoothed out the head with a gloved hand and removed the masking tape. Im just waiting for it to cure overnight, then when i get home from school tomorrow ill begin working with the background

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  3. #3
    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr SCas's Avatar
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    Got a lot of work done over the past couple days. Got a lid and managed to finish the whole background. Now all i gotta do is let it cure and then do all the substrate layers, plant it, and add the microfauna

    Heres some pictures of my procces

    Also still looking for some moss

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  5. #4
    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr SCas's Avatar
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    Alright, finished the vivarium today! I got all the extra background mix off and took off some excess silicone from the glass and rim. Then i added the substrate layers, water, planted it, and added the microfauna. Also made some pins to hold the ficus to the background out of some paperclips.

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  7. #5
    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr SCas's Avatar
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    Still looking for some moss for the foreground

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    SCAPE Member Pro SCAPEr geektom's Avatar
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    That looks amazing, Cas! Great job!

    Does the expanding foam stick to the glass on its own?
    I am an old dog trying to learn some new tricks...

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    Moderator 2000 posts, Star SCAPEr Nick Shades's Avatar
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    Oh wow. That is gorgeous. I think i know what i will do with my son's BP setup, now.

  10. #8
    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr SCas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geektom View Post
    That looks amazing, Cas! Great job!

    Does the expanding foam stick to the glass on its own?
    Thanks, the foam should stick on its own, but you can clean the glass with cleaning alcoholic to make it stick better i think

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  11. #9
    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr SCas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Shades View Post
    Oh wow. That is gorgeous. I think i know what i will do with my son's BP setup, now.
    Thanks lol

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    SCAPE Member Jr. SCAPEr DanielN's Avatar
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    Look nice Cas

  13. #11
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr glenCOCO's Avatar
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    very cool, giving me ideas for my next tank! how/when did you add the background mix? looks like the expanding foam dried before you added the layer as it looks like you trimmed the corner a bit. did you use something else?
    Last edited by glenCOCO; 03-12-2019 at 10:06 AM.
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  14. #12
    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr SCas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielN View Post
    Look nice Cas
    Thanks

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    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr SCas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenCOCO View Post
    very cool, giving me ideas for a next tank! how/when did you add the background mix? looks like the expanding foam dried before you added the layer as it looks like you trimmed the corner a bit. did you use something else?
    Thank you, i added the background mix last (in terms of building the background) the order is foam, carve, silicone, smear silicone everywhere, then put on the background mix. You want to carve the foam not only because it looks better, but because the silicone needs the spongy like texture of the carved foam to adhere to. If the foam isnt carved, the silicone wont stick. If you want to learn more theres plenty of people on YouTube who have videos that can show you what to do. Some notable people are serpa design, mike tytula, reptiliatus, and joshs frogs

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr drc69's Avatar
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    Wow. Nice job. Great setup.

  17. #15
    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr SCas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drc69 View Post
    Wow. Nice job. Great setup.
    Thanks

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  18. #16
    SCAPE Member Jr. SCAPEr DanielN's Avatar
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    Cas . what kind of foam is that? is that Great Stuff from Homedepot?
    Do you put cover on that completely sealed to trap moisture inside?

  19. #17
    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr SCas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanielN View Post
    Cas . what kind of foam is that? is that Great Stuff from Homedepot?
    Do you put cover on that completely sealed to trap moisture inside?
    Yes its great stuff foam, you HAVE to make sure its either gaps and cracks, or pond and stone. Those two are animal safe, any other one is toxic. And yes i have a lid to keep the humidity up

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    Sergeant of Marines 3000 posts, Grand Master SCAPER John7429's Avatar
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    Nice!



    New Tank Build Thread!


    Dont insult me with your low-balls


    Currently running: 270g monster fish, 180g monster fish, 180g planted (coming soon!), 90g community, 75g cichlid, 2x 7g planted, 6.7g planted, 2g planted, 2.5g opae

    Reptiles: 15+ turtles/tortoises, 1x uromastyx

    Birds: 1x African grey, 2x double yellow headed amazons, 1x umbrella cockatoo, 1x sun conure

    1x dog

  21. #19
    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr SCas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John7429 View Post
    Nice!
    Thaks

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    SCAPE Member Jr. SCAPEr Redchigh's Avatar
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    Interesting idea with silicon.
    I always used krylon fusion or plasti-dip.

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