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40 gallon Long Native paludarium

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#1 Leo1234

  • NANFA Member
  • san clemente, california

Posted 29 December 2017 - 02:16 PM

My plan is to make a 40 gallon paludarium that looks similar to some of the waterfalls I've seen in the pacific northwest. I need to check the dimensions of the aquarium, but I'm pretty sure it is
48in long x 12in wide x 18in tall. 

I was thinking of having a rock cliff on the right side of the aquarium with a waterfall. I was thinking of adding some ferns around the waterfall on the cliff. The waterfall will pour into the stream that spans the rest of the tank and will be in the front 8in. the back 4in will be  the shoreline for the stream and be covered in plants. The substrate for the stream will be gravel. The water will be 5in deep.

I was thinking of adding some fathead minnows because of how hardy they are.

I might post a picture of the design once I get a good picture.

How can I make fake rock for the cliff?

#2 Carie

  • NANFA Guest
  • Tolono, IL

Posted 31 December 2017 - 10:27 AM

I have done rocks, streams, and waterfalls in two paludariums. The first was a 225 gallon for a nature center, about 15 years ago. The second is about 40 gallons, built up from a 20 gallon long tank. This is just this year, and is in my home. We are still tweaking the mechanics. Anyway, what I use for building rocks, stream beds, and waterfalls, is a product called Magic Sculpt (also spelled Magic Sculp). It is a two-part epoxy putty that comes in different colors. It has a good working time, is non-toxic, and waterproof. I like to use brown, black, natural (gray) and even a little green sometimes, and marble it to together a little. This gives it a natural look. It can be easily textured as well. It can also be ground down, carved, or drilled, if needed.  I used to buy it from the manufacturer, but they don't sell it to individuals anymore. The best source I have found, with the most colors available, is http://www.artplace....lpt-epoxy-clay/    


It isn't real cheap, but it lasts forever, and has many other uses. There are other similar compounds, some for sculptors, some for plumbers. The plumbers putty sets up much too quickly to sculpt with. You get much more working time with the products made for sculptors. 


Oh, I visited the nature center with the 225 gallon tank last summer, and it was still looking fantastic. The rocks and other structures looked like they did when I first constructed them. 

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