Setting up a Paludarium


The equipment




I chose to use an “All Glass Aquarium” brand fish tank. They have been around for many years and I have never had a problem with them. I have read horror stories about some other makes and being from the old school my old ways die hard. If it works I stick with it.




The All-Glass standard size aquarium is made with care to assure that it can stand up to almost any application. Designed for both tropical or saltwater set-up, these aquariums come in a wide range of sizes as well as black, walnut, oak and cherry trim styles.


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To complement the fish tank I will use a matching versa top. These tops are made to fit into the aquarium frame. I will be modifying the top to incorporate some screen material for ventilation. I may even make one whole side screen. We will see.




These glass tops are perfect for reducing evaporation and keeping fish from jumping out. Suitable for tropical or saltwater set-ups, each Versa-Top™ has a Super-Flex™ Hinge that allows the lid to stay open without holding for easy feeding. A clear vinyl back strip can be easily cut out to accommodate a heater, filter and other accessories. These tops are available in black and oak trim styles.



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I am a firm believer in lots of light. Although the water areas will not be deep, I plan on having terrestrial as well as aquatic plants. The more light the better. I may even supplement with more light.




Brighten up your aquarium life with twin-tube lighting. Twin-tube fluorescent aquarium lights are specially engineered to create a new level of lighting for your aquarium. Dual tube lighting gives you increased light output for more beautiful displays of your aquarium set-up. Each light includes two full length fluorescent tubes that evenly distribute light in your aquarium. The fluorescent ballast is mounted inside the light housing and gets longer life because of aluminum heat dissipater’s and extra vents.


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Although Filtration is said not to be needed in these set ups, I am from the old school and wish to have some in mine. I chose the Dueto because I have heard good things about it and it appears to be the smallest submersible power filter available. The following is the manufacturers write up and pictures, as well as my actual photos of the parts.


Duetto Multi Filter by
Aquarium Systems

 The Duetto Multi Filter features separate components for mechanical, chemical and biological filtration which allows for easy cleaning and replacement of the mechanical and chemical filters without disrupting the biological filter. With an adjustable aeration feature that mixes filtered air with pumped water to improve oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange. Can be positioned vertically or horizontally in the tank, allowing it to adapt to many applications.



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I have never used this filter before. I believe it is new, but have read good things about it on the message board.


MICRO-Jet Adjustable Flow Miniature Pumps

 Exceptional pumping capacity with the smallest size. Ideal for the small environments and low water levels in terrariums.



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This also is a new product for me. I chose this one because of its compact size and its ability to accept a hose on the end of its output.


Top Fin Aquarium Heaters

Printed circuit board technology to maintain accurate temperatures, energy efficient, moisture-proof and precision design. Lifetime guarantee. Recommended size – 5 watts per gallon. CSA approved.



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I was going to use an existing submersible heater I had. The length of the heater made it impossible for me to hide it. I chose this type because I can mount it on one of the wall of the tank. Although I prefer Ebo-Jagar, They do not make one that suits my needs. I will keep my fingers crossed!


Various plumbing fittings used
to connect the two sides together

 I purchased the plumbing fittings at my local Home depot. These include the 1/2 inch PVC piping, two 90° elbows (one of which is threaded to accept the barbed fitting), two straight connectors (one of which is threaded to accept the other barbed fitting), two barbed fittings (one to connect with plastic tubing to the micro jet the other to add force to the flow at the other end.) and a tube of aquarium safe sealant.



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Next: The Construction

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