I guess its offical... an upgrade?

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angelbearpuppy
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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

Post by angelbearpuppy » Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:14 am

I think it will look really good when you finish. I can only hope to be able to do something similar one day.

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I have owned Hermit Crabs for 2 Years

I have 1 E named Monkey and 2 PP named Shy Guy and Little P

I also own 1 PP named Dory who stays in my classroom

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aussieJJDude
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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

Post by aussieJJDude » Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:16 pm

RiNiKy506 wrote:I’m loving your progress, it’s definitely turning out great! Your doing an awesome job! Image


Rod♡Salty♡Bob♡Squirt♡Crabina♡Who
»-♡-> Our Purple Pinchers <-♡-«
angelbearpuppy wrote:I think it will look really good when you finish. I can only hope to be able to do something similar one day.

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Thank you both! I may consider adding some white cement - and actual cement - on top with a few batches mixed I'm with various oxides for different hues to mimic real rock... was talked into that one by my family - which is a little surprising since they don't really enjoy my crabs as much as I do.

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Motörcrab
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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

Post by Motörcrab » Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:07 pm

I'm very curious to see how the concrete/cement works out being stuck to the foam. I know in landscaping they add dyes or possibly different shades of sand in order to change the color, i'm not sure what methods would be safe to use with crabs though. Also depending on how wet it is applied it is possible to smooth it a bit using water and a sponge to give different textures, basically how they make sidewalks and floors smooth, not that you would need to make it like that. Even as it sets up you could even "scratch/carve" textures or even add various stones into the wet concrete/cement.

I'm looking forward to more updates.
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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

Post by aussieJJDude » Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:54 pm


Motörcrab wrote:I'm very curious to see how the concrete/cement works out being stuck to the foam. I know in landscaping they add dyes or possibly different shades of sand in order to change the color, i'm not sure what methods would be safe to use with crabs though. Also depending on how wet it is applied it is possible to smooth it a bit using water and a sponge to give different textures, basically how they make sidewalks and floors smooth, not that you would need to make it like that. Even as it sets up you could even "scratch/carve" textures or even add various stones into the wet concrete/cement.

I'm looking forward to more updates.
I've done similar in the past, think it was 2013 when I upgraded from a 20g and a 46g tank to a 64g. We had some spare styrofoam sheets left over, as well as some styrofoam unit thingy - like used in TV packaging - and created a multilevel hide/level for shells and food. Crabs loved it, and it lasted for around 6 months until I stepped on it... could of still used it, especially if I patched up the broken part with silicone but decided against it cause I didn't know how well the silicone would 'seal'.

So I expect it to be the same - and vivarium people have also had great success in using cement. Its just recommended for the first layer to be quite runny, and the subsequent layers become less viscous, and a little more like proper cement.

I wouldn't add dyed, rather sand - oxides. Oxides tend to be rather inert, and as long as the oxides are comprised of anything toxic - like arsenic oxide, as a random example - I do think it will be fine. I do want to do it a little more research into the matter, and see if anyone thats kept frogs have done similar... frogs are extremely delicate, so if it works for them, I'd be a lot more comfortable in it working in my application.


The concrete already has some stones/rocks/gravel mixed in, so once I do my first layer in concrete, it will look quite rugged and rustic IMO. While carving the foam helps create texture, the addition of rock/gravel of different sizes really help IMO.

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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

Post by aussieJJDude » Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:11 pm

Thankfully. Concrete is done. Something I'm extremely glad about, and happy to see that the major part is completed.

FTS
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LHS
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MID
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RHS
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Top down
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'Cave system' - partially inspired by beaches from Broome, Australia.
ImageImageImage

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RiNiKy506
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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

Post by RiNiKy506 » Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:17 pm

Just amazing!


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angelbearpuppy
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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

Post by angelbearpuppy » Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:14 pm

Wow that does look amazing

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I have owned Hermit Crabs for 2 Years

I have 1 E named Monkey and 2 PP named Shy Guy and Little P

I also own 1 PP named Dory who stays in my classroom

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Motörcrab
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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

Post by Motörcrab » Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:19 pm

That's hard-core! So you just add thin layer after thin layer of concrete? How thick did you make the concrete? Your crabs are going to love this!


Last edited by aussieJJDude on Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Mild swear word... changed :)
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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

Post by aussieJJDude » Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:39 pm

Thanks so much guys!
Motörcrab wrote:That's hard-core! So you just add thin layer after thin layer of concrete? How thick did you make the concrete? Your crabs are going to love this!
The first layer was a thin, basically watery layer. This is kind of like the primer, and helps the following layers to adhere a little better - according to research! After that, the next layer or two was a little more thicker, but I found that the concrete adhered better not only to itself, but also each individual stage if it was still rather watery - and also help reduce seams!

Concrete is around 5mm - 15mm, it really depends. Some areas needed a thicker coating just due to how the foam was structured, where a thicker layer helped support the background. But overall, most areas are 2 layers, but some trouble spots are around 5 layers....

I really do hope the crabs will love this. They better honestly! ;)


And small update. Siliconed some EE/coconut chunks to the background. This can be a useful medium to grow epiphyte plants, such as mosses, broms and vines. Plus helps break up the concrete a little.... I do think my 'too much' gene went a little wild on this one. Was hoping for a more subdued look, but hopefully it will pull together...

Image

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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

Post by aussieJJDude » Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:06 am

Managed to scape out the salt water pool. Some coral sand, rubble and misc. shells for substrate, and a few coral skeletons to complete the look for now.

I will be purchasing a couple of small peices of live rock to help complete the pool, and help keep it cycled - so dont have to worry about weekly 100% waterchanges. And a small powerhead, or move the powerhead from my current fish tank onto the new setup.... which reminds me, I forgot to take into account that I will have wires running into the setup... and now have to think of a way to blend the wires in somewhat...

Woops!

She is in!
Image

And the pool...
ImageImageImageImage

Edit: I need to do a test fill again since I did move it around a lot to concrete the thing... even though the seams look fine, there could still be issues that I want to test for now rather than worry about later type of thing.
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Crabs || Fish || Shrimp || Snails || Plants || Insects

25G Nano Freshwater || 64G Freshwater Community || 90G Fancy Goldie Pond || 64G Crabitat
I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying'... They're just things I forgot I had planned to get || Self Designated 'HCA Pic Fan' 2012+

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angelbearpuppy
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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

Post by angelbearpuppy » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:14 am

Wow. It still looks amazing.

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I have owned Hermit Crabs for 2 Years

I have 1 E named Monkey and 2 PP named Shy Guy and Little P

I also own 1 PP named Dory who stays in my classroom

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odelayheehoo
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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

Post by odelayheehoo » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:47 am

Wow, that looks outstanding! They are going to love the natural ocean pool!

I am curious to see how you add the substrate with the divider.

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RiNiKy506
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I guess its offical... an upgrade?

Post by RiNiKy506 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:25 am

With your pool, your filter. How are you going to get it to the water? I wanted to do something like that but was unsure of how to keep the water clean. I love the shells and stuff in the bottom of your pool. Everything looks so natural, you’ve done an amazing job!


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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

Post by aussieJJDude » Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:27 pm

Thanks guys for that!
RiNiKy506 wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:25 am
With your pool, your filter. How are you going to get it to the water? I wanted to do something like that but was unsure of how to keep the water clean. I love the shells and stuff in the bottom of your pool. Everything looks so natural, you’ve done an amazing job!


Rod♡Salty♡Bob♡Squirt♡Crabina♡Who
»-♡-> Our Purple Pinchers <-♡-«
Yeah, thats partially my issue. I forgot in my excitement to build this that I needed a small 1 inch PVC running along the back for wires into the pool.... :lol: I didn't realise until now, and had a scap piece I was going to use for it. My two options is to either leave it be, and somehow work wires into the design or consider adding a bulkhead at the back of the tank/pool and use that to run any wire I may need out of it.


Down the track, I may just drill a bulkhead, to neaten things up. But for now, I'm just going to try and hide the wires, since i don't have a diamond drill bit and really don't want to go out an spurge on it when there's still a large risk I may crack the glass... I'm still not 100% comfortable with drilling glass, Which I know many have done it fine... and it's meant to be rather easy, but I really don't want to take the risk type of thing. :)

So as for filtration, in marine aqua its done a little differently from freshwater tanks. A filter unit tends to accumulate waste, resulting in nitrate buildup. While this is fine for freshwater - plants or water changes remove it/ reduce it - in marine aquariums a small amount of nitrates can lead to issues, such as algae or invertebrate die off (neither one should be an issue for me, since at this point in time I really don't really want to stock the pool, since it needs to cycle). This is when the live rock comes in. The live rock acts as the filter - as well as the sand bed to a degree, once colonised with organisms/bacteria. The one thing that is required is to have a pump/powerhead to move the water... Which I do plan on getting. I really want to avoid airstones as the spray has the tendency to get everywhere, so if I can reduce salt buildup on everything and keep it in the pool... it be nice.

But a small filter unit such as an air powered sponge filter, an internal powered filter or HOB (hang on back) will do the job nicely for most setups, particularly in smaller bowls. I just want this build to be my way of dipping my feet into marine aqua, since I've always wanted to have a marine tank and this was the perfect excuse to do so!
Crabs || Fish || Shrimp || Snails || Plants || Insects

25G Nano Freshwater || 64G Freshwater Community || 90G Fancy Goldie Pond || 64G Crabitat
I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying'... They're just things I forgot I had planned to get || Self Designated 'HCA Pic Fan' 2012+

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Re: I guess its offical... an upgrade?

Post by aussieJJDude » Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:53 pm

Another update...


Managed to plant it out with a few plants. Also did the water test, seems to be holding up well.

Image Image Image Image Image Image

Plants include:
- various broms
- pothos
- christmas catus
- Peperomia prostrata
- ficus pumila 'variegated'
- syngonium podophyllum
- java moss
- christmas moss
- hoya species




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Crabs || Fish || Shrimp || Snails || Plants || Insects

25G Nano Freshwater || 64G Freshwater Community || 90G Fancy Goldie Pond || 64G Crabitat
I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying'... They're just things I forgot I had planned to get || Self Designated 'HCA Pic Fan' 2012+

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