This is my paludarium. I created this to house freshwater fish along with some fauna and flora. I will put some poison dart frogs in when I am finished putting in the flora.

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Step 1: Cutting Styrofoam

I started out cutting the styrofoam to my desired measurements and found the design that I wanted using a hot knife I took the hot knife and melted out a spring that will be coming from and siliconed them together.

Step 2: Cutting Out the Spring

I started cutting out the stream that comes from the spring that I will be putting in the corner(see picture 2)I then coated itin concrete to help seal the styrofoam.

Step 3: Making the Spring

I heated up a metal rod and made a hole from the top of the spring down to the bottom so I could hook a hose for the water( I was going to use a pump but this was an eye sore in the tank) from the return on my external filter. I then took the top part of the spring siliconed it down so it looks like a hole coming from the side of a mountain. I then siliconed rocks along the bank and in the stream so it has a more natural flow. Next was to do a water test, I didn't like the flow I was getting(that was another reason to go with the filter return instead of a pump).

Step 4: Background and Side

I made the background from another piece of styrofoam and melted little cliff caverns and took a piece of cork wood to use on one of the sides I painted the main piece with non-toxic acrylic paint. I then pieced everything into the 40G breeder tank(sorry no picture for this step) once I had it siliconed down I then did another water test to see how it would hold up. Success! Next was draining it back out and started to put finishing touches .

Step 5: Added Flora Max Plant Food and Water

I put in my flora max plant supplements and added the water so I could run it through to leach out any impurities. Over the next couple weeks I continued to let it run and did a water change every other day(notice the pump and line it was horrible looking). I added some moss along the back and sides. I also put in a fogger to help with the humidity.

Step 6: Flora

I put a couple plants in:Golden Creeping Jenny, Parlor Palm, Ficus repens, Anubias barteri v. nano and Amazon Sword.

Step 7: Fish

I added some neon tetras and red claw crab will be putting more in when I get a chance. My Amazon sword died I didnt have enough light for it and that brings us to my next step the canopy and new lights.

Step 8: Canopy and Lights

I took a piece of styrofoam and notched out little circles so I could silicone the connector base's in I then wired it all together and made little groves to keep the wires in place. I used 10 white LED 9wt hang down bulbs and 4 blue LED hang down lights and ran one strand of red LED from corner to corner hooked them up and they work great I then painted the styrofoam black and added the support walls to it .

Step 9: Finished

I am still working on it to make it look better and add more fish and fauna to it.

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    5 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Very nice set up! I love all the live plants you have going in there. Just a heads up if you haven't owned them before: dart frogs can be tricky! Also, those red claw crabs can be a little territorial, so they might not be a good roommate for a small frog. This looks like paradise for newts and salamanders though!


    3 years ago

    Wow, gorgeous! Thanks for sharing how you made this.

    1 reply