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Old 09-10-2015, 03:32 PM
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: North Wales
Posts: 17
Default Mantella waterfall build

Hey guys! So, this is my first time posting on this forum and I thought I'd share with you my latest build project. I'm not especially good with my hands - I can safely say that this was my first experience of using power tools! - so when I first considered putting this tank together, I had to come up with a simple, relatively cheap method that even a DIY novice like me could achieve.

So, here it is. My conversion of a 12 gallon tank, in which I plan to have two golden mantellas. This post will be picture heavy and I'll try to include as many stages of the build process as I can so you can see exactly what I've done.

First of all, the tank itself:

This was originally used to house my crested gecko when I first got him but he quickly outgrew it and I upgraded him to the tank next door.

The lid had unfortunately warped under the heat lamp and rusted in the humidity so I had to discard it. There's just no way that puppy was going to prevent fruit flies escaping.

I ended up tipping the tank up on its side and making my own door out of plexiglass. It was a fairly simple process, put together using clear, aquarium safe silicon. Success!

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 10-10-2015, 12:29 AM
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: North Wales
Posts: 17

Phase two: Waterfall construction!

This was by far the easiest part of the whole build. I bought a bag full of small pieces of corkbark for a ridiculously low price on e-bay and, once they arrived, proceeded to lay them out in the tank.

I stuffed bits of rolled up newspaper underneath different pieces to create different angles, in the hopes of diverting the water flow into the right hand corner. Once I'd decided on all of that, I just siliconed everything down and puts weights (read: rocks. Big 'uns.) on them to keep them in place (the sophistication of my methods is unmatched).

And this was the result:

I left a few centimetres of space on the right hand side, where I'll be putting the airline tube from the pump, the idea being that I can hide it behind the largest piece of cork bark and water will trickle down from there. What you can't see in the picture is that that side of the cork bark isn't siliconed completely in place, so the pump should be able to fit behind it without dislodging it entirely.

Because this tank is small (though quite large enough for its future inhabitants) I wanted to save as much room as possible when constructing this waterfall. Most other methods I've seen either require that the pump and tubing be hidden behind egg crates - which would have taken up far too much valuable floor space in a tank this size - or that it be siliconed in behind expanding foam, rendering it impossible it remove the pump or airline tubing should it need maintenance.

And this was my solution to the problem. So far, so good, I think!

Next up: The Background.
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Old 10-10-2015, 01:20 PM
s6t6nic6l's Avatar
Ultra Citizen
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,445

looks great so far

you want to start another build thread in the AMPHIBIAN section where it will be greatly appreciated watching this kind of enclosure for these sized phib's come to fruition.

good luck with the project
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Old 10-10-2015, 11:57 PM
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: North Wales
Posts: 17

Thanks, I'll do that! I wasn't entirely sure where the most appropriate place to post this was so I was hoping someone would make a suggestion.
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amphibian , build , mantella , waterfall

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