Paludarium Design Review

Fro my final project I will be constructing a paludarium.  for those of you who don’t know what that is, a paludarium is a part water part land naturescape.  I will be using this paludarium to house my indian dwarf puffer Penelope.  I’ve made several aquariums in my day but never a paludarium.  I’m excited to see how it turns out.


To start out I took a gifted 29 gallon tank and disassembled it into individual panes of glass.  I did this because the old tank was leaking and I wanted to cut the glass into a unique shape for this build.  I decides based on my drawings to cut the front panel in half to give a more open viewing of the above ground section, while also being able to retain water.  After looking at my drawings I didn’t really like the way that the side panels were so square.  For this reason I decided to cut the side panels at an angle down towards the front pane.  I did need to leave a flat part at the top of the tank in order to hold up the LED strip light that I will be using to light the tank, and grow the plants.  After taking the tank apart, I cut and reassembled it to the specifications in my drawing.  This took an awfully long time but the tank turned out to be incredibly strong and more importantly water tight.  This is basically the extent of what I’ve finished thus far.

Next up in my plan is to build the planter boxes for the land section of the tank and to construct the background to hide them.  For this part of the tank I am thinking that I will use some sort of carved foam technique and then coat the foam in a cement mixture to give it rock-like texture. I’ve never done this before however so I will have to do some more research on what will be safe for the fish.  After That I need to begin construction on the waterfall that will act as the return from the canister filter on the tank.  For this I am thinking of using a stacked rock technique. I’m hoping I will  be able to create a multilayered waterfall that will drop softly into the tank without too much noise.

After that I will need to create my soil mixture which I have designed to be constantly wet without breaking down or introducing mold into the system.  This will help to achieve my goal of making a densely planted, jungle- like scape.  The solid layer will also have a drainage layer that will help both to drain the soil and to keep the humidity of the tank high.  Speaking of this, depending on the types of plants that I put in the tank, I may have to occasionally spray to keep the humidity up.  For plants I have selected a variety of large and small leafed ones.  This will help give a sense of scale to the tank.  I will also be using different mosses in the tighter areas of the tank.

For the aquatic area of the tank I will be using a variety of wood, rocks, and plants that I have been able to harvest from my other tanks.


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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Hey Ben,

    This is such a cool design! I think its awesome you were able to cut such thick glass! Im curious, are you thinking of putting a lid on it or something just incase there is splash back or something of that nature? I am curious to see how this is going to turn out.

  • Hunter Meissner
    April 4, 2021 11:42 am

    You seem to have put a lot of thought into this design. Making your own panels for the tank after being gifted a tank was a good idea. I’m interested to see what you will create for your landscape while still being able to not harm the fish. One question I have is what type of animals you will be putting into your tank? I’m excited to see your final product.


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