Mudskipper paludarium- an alternative solution

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Mudskipper paludarium- an alternative solution

Postby hx » Wed Apr 20, 2011 5:41 pm

Hi all.

I didn't want to go the traditional "sloping sandbeach"-route in creating a habitat for my mudskippers.
To start with, I had three Periophthalmodon septemradiatus males. This is not the most aggressive nor largest species of 'skippers, but it still wants to form and defend a small territory.
What I wanted was to create a habitat with multiple spots where the fish can hide from each other's sight.

I started with an old 140 gallon sump tank:
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I disassembled the sump to replace the old, scratched front glass with a new one and painted the trims:
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For hardscape I wanted to make a DIY root system with multiple little shallow pools and an inbuilt plumming to circulate water in the pools.

A sketch:
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Platforms and volume of the scape:
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Roots bent of pvc and added volume with foam:
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A bit of shaping with a knife:
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A stage after a few layers:
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Hardscape pretty much finished:
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Glued in and the first test was very succesfull. All the pools were filled up with just one pump feeding the plumbing system in the scape:
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The mudskippers are using the whole scape and seem happy with it:
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FTS, early stages:
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BOOOOO!
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The tank is still maturing. Water is kept at 1.002-1.003. I'm trying to find plants that would co-operate with me, but haven't had too much luck yet.

There, thanks for looking!
"There is no name for what I'm going to be when I get big."
-Tom Robbins
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Re: Mudskipper paludarium- an alternative solution

Postby EmilyMarie85 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 5:55 pm

Wow.

That looks so awesome!
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Re: Mudskipper paludarium- an alternative solution

Postby Crissyloach » Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:57 pm

Wow! Looks great! I love the 3rd last pic -- LOL!
Image

Current betta count...Too many. :P
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Re: Mudskipper paludarium- an alternative solution

Postby plaalye » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:49 pm

I love it! Very very cool!!

How was it fitting the new piece of glass between the existing sides & frame. It would seem difficult?

A stage after a few layers:

Layers of what??
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Re: Mudskipper paludarium- an alternative solution

Postby hx » Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:17 am

Thanks, guys!

plaalye wrote:How was it fitting the new piece of glass between the existing sides & frame. It would seem difficult?

A stage after a few layers:

Layers of what??


It was a bit difficult, since the end glasses are in between the long sides and had to be taken out first. But still doable. I cut the silicones with a thin cut-blade knife.

Layers of grout. Grout is cement, fine sand and coloring powder. A few colors was used.
I mix some concrete additive acrylic polymer to it before brushing it on. It seals the cement partially and gives strength to the structure.
"There is no name for what I'm going to be when I get big."
-Tom Robbins
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Re: Mudskipper paludarium- an alternative solution

Postby Matt » Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:16 am

That's brilliant. :-)

How do the plants do with salt in the water?
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Re: Mudskipper paludarium- an alternative solution

Postby hx » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:27 am

Thanks.

There are several species of plants that should do ok in the low salinities.
I'm not havin' too much growth yet, even though I tried to acclimate the plants during a few months.

But we'll see. My hopes are high. Java moss and Riccia are doing fine, a couple species of Crypts are surviving, java fern so-so. Vallisneria is growing and reproducing... Lotus seems to survive as well, but grows ve-ry slow-ly.
"There is no name for what I'm going to be when I get big."
-Tom Robbins
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Re: Mudskipper paludarium- an alternative solution

Postby starsplitter7 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:58 pm

Absolutely fantastic. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Mudskipper paludarium- an alternative solution

Postby Diana » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:51 pm

I had Mondo Grass (Ophipopgon japonicus) survive in an emersed 'skipper habitat, salt level at 1.004.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ophiopogon_japonicus
Everything else died.
Try acclimating the plants over several months, starting them in hard water, and adding just a tiny amount of salt each week until the plants are in the water similar to your 'skipper tank. It takes them a long time to acclimate.

Beautiful job on the root and layers!
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!
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Re: Mudskipper paludarium- an alternative solution

Postby NancyD » Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:46 am

Wonderful!
Image
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Re: Mudskipper paludarium- an alternative solution

Postby hx » Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:13 pm

Thanks, starsplitter7 and NancyD.

Diana wrote:I had Mondo Grass (Ophipopgon japonicus) survive in an emersed 'skipper habitat, salt level at 1.004.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ophiopogon_japonicus
Everything else died.
Try acclimating the plants over several months, starting them in hard water, and adding just a tiny amount of salt each week until the plants are in the water similar to your 'skipper tank. It takes them a long time to acclimate.

Beautiful job on the root and layers!


Thanks for your 2c.

I acclimated the original plants in the tank for 2 months from 1.000 to 1.003. Might be something else going on along the salinity, but pretty much all I got was algae and either no growth or just dying plants...

Mondo grass is new to me, gotta look into it!

Thanks again.
"There is no name for what I'm going to be when I get big."
-Tom Robbins
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Re: Mudskipper paludarium- an alternative solution

Postby cider » Tue May 03, 2011 4:07 am

wow ! just saw this...love your hardscape and love your mudskippers !! Awesome job , must be a joy to watch them :D
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Re: Mudskipper paludarium- an alternative solution

Postby hx » Tue May 03, 2011 5:48 am

Thanks!

I'm no photographer. I certainly am no filmmaker.
But here's some overall footage of the tank, shot with a Nokia N8 phone.


http://www.youtube.com/user/hexisan?fea ... 9LNrbVcpe4
"There is no name for what I'm going to be when I get big."
-Tom Robbins
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Mudskipper tank
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Re: Mudskipper paludarium- an alternative solution

Postby SgtMajWiggles » Tue May 03, 2011 2:29 pm

Hx - this is such a cool build! Is that a turtle on the far right in the full tank pic?
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Re: Mudskipper paludarium- an alternative solution

Postby hx » Tue May 03, 2011 2:39 pm

Thank you, Sarge.

No, no turtles in there. The round thing in the back right corner? A coconut shell.
"There is no name for what I'm going to be when I get big."
-Tom Robbins
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