Monday, November 22, 2010

River Tank Aquarium

(Click on pics for larger versions)

As I've mentioned, I've been constructing a terrarium. A really huge one. An aquatic vivarium, to be precise. It's a 95 gallon bow-front triangular tank, in which I've built up the back with hidden risers and then rocks on top with a land area consisting of gravel and a sunken rectangular planter in the back. I've had to install a triangular rigid black wire screen in the back for a basking heat light and an exhaust fan to provide the reptiles with a hot basking area in the rear with lower humidity than the rest of the tank. There is a submersible heater and powerhead filter (overkill!) and I've planted live mosses, sphagnum and frog moss and such, and pothos, and wandering fig, and a phalenopsis orchid, and even a small patch of venus fly trap. I have two lizards; a bahama anole (that exact type of little brown lizard that is scampering around absolutely *everywhere* in Florida) and a long-tailed grass lizard, and a nice assortment of tropical fish. Oh, and one aquatic african frog, too. And a White's tree frog.
The water part, in front, is about ten inches deep, and is tinted dark (blackwater) by the peat and tannin in the driftwood. It's natural, and doesn't hurt the fish. Right now, the fish are a few basic ones, because they have a good chance of not living through the first month due to the progress of the nitrification cycle. Eventually, I'll have some really great, unusual tropical fish in there too. A mudskipper for instance, is a necessity.

So here's a few pics for you to get a sense of the thing. This tank is HUGE. That bowed glass front measures 48 inches from side to side and two feet in height, and if I try to reach the back corner reaching in from the front, I can't even do it. It's over a yard away.

The plants are really taking off, of course, in such a greenhouse environment, so it's only going to get greener. Also, those plants underwater are live plantings as well.

Eventually, perhaps another lizard, maybe a gecko. And a red-eyed treefrog. Yeah. And a school of cardinal tetras.