Step 1 / 20
Everything starts with a good planning ! I have created a model in 3d software.
The dimensions of the tank : 40" wide x 40" long x 28" high
The wooden furniture and the gallery will be painted matt black, highlighted with golden finish corners
In the gallery we see the 9 LED heat sinks, and two small fans (in the corners but not visible in photo) that will provide aeration of the tank and the effect of "light breeze on vegetation".
Step 2 / 20
After 9 months of preparation and mature reflection, I am ready to develop this third project.
Work began, I started assembling the gallery
pic #@ - Painting gallery in black
Step 3 / 20
The furniture is now assembled, have yet to paint it.
I do not know if the dimensions make the same impression, but it's very ... BIG
pic #2 - Painting the furniture black, We can see the plate of extruded polystyrene installed on the furniture, to receive the tank.
I will create (later) two doors to close the furniture, or will install two small black curtains, I see
Step 4 / 20
I've assembled the glass using silicone
After 1 week that I let it dry, I added the water and found that everything is OK :)
Step 5 / 20
Initially I wanted to paint the aluminum angle iron bomb "golden" for the golden effect, but in view of the result of said paint (what I expected) it proves to be very disappointing.
So I decided to take one at a corner, the 24 carat gold leaf. The result is now more than appointment
in the 1st pic, you can see the difference :
#1 The left stick has not been worked, it is aluminum.
#2 The middle is spray-painted "golden" trade.
#3 And finally the last is plated 24K gold.
Step 6 / 20
Willing to make a most natural plants irrigation, I thought long to a true system of rain "natural" (without the effect of cow pee). It took me a long time, reflection, and imagination to succeed in developing this system and develop this idea
t's a little rain falling from the entire ceiling surface, the flow of the drops is ideal
delicately watering the plants and decor, without any washing.
The soundscape so characteristic of the rain is there. The magic starts at the instant it begins to fall...
Rain water that is used is totally devoid of limestone, splashing on the glass are not dirty, and even clean them.
The mist of foggers is heavier than air, it is usually located at the bottom, But when the rain is activated, the humidity increases instantly. Which at effect allow the mist to rise and extend to the entire volume of air from the tank, Creating a warm, soft, airy and saturated with moisture.
The rain runs randomly "alternate" with other systems that generate climate. Thus, rain, wind, fog, and waves can therefore sometimes be found in use simultaneously and add up as in nature.
The technical part of the system and its operation remain secret, I will not expose anything more about the rain. There are more than a dozen ways (more or less effective) to realize, I just imagined a rain that is adapted to the constraints and possibilities of this project.
You can see how the rain falls in this video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfJZrzMztss#t=19
Step 7 / 20
Installing the Sandy Beach
Shaping a natural sand island of the Seychelles. I delayed taking the pictures because the water is not yet fully returned clear and limpid. In the coming days it will get better.
I will have to finish later "trap pump" by making a hidden cover.
Step 8 / 20
Creation of the Gallery LED lighting
These are the LEDs that this time still have retained my attention (high-power).
I thus made nine spots 30W each for a total workforce of 30,000 lumens spread over the entire surface of Paludarium. And once while walking "waooow" efficiency is there ...
For this series of photos, I temporarily placed a potted plant and a branch of driftwood, to better assess the effectiveness of light on objects. Plants will obviously installed without pots during final placement of plants.
The lights went reflected in the glass, amplifying the impression of a larger volume.
The spots are placed so that the light never reaches the eye directly
unless really placing themselves in against-diving.
Step 9 / 20
Rocky Scenery, Shell & Marine Pests
After various attempts at sculpture rocks in expanded polyurethane foam, realism does not always suited me ... Out of curiosity, I tried with real rocks, and I was immediately hooked.
This time I could not expect more "natural", that is exactly what was needed after all
I expected, even began to realize barnacles artificially by molding from real specimens. The result was very fair and clear, but the inclusion of materials that I tested did not allow me to retain this method because they were not resistant in time when immersed in water.
Ideally the conventional resin would have perfectly fit the bill, but I'm not a fan of his tedious for use as small objects. Especially as he should then paint them, which would necessarily have been less realistic than the natural.
So I boiled and soaked in alcohol at 90 ° true "barnacles" retrieved on molds trade, to sterilize and to install them "as-is" without risk paludarium. To finish paste them "falsely disorderly" on the rocks and decor.
As for the rocks, the details and realism of the true barnacles could not be more perfect.
Also, you can see in some places ( pic #3 ), the skeletons of small marine worm,
reproduced using a pastry bag filled with "fix-all acrylic.
Step 10 / 20
Installation of Driftwood
Here are the different driftwood that I picked to the river. I found many beautiful things, roots / vines to wood wavy, but not yet the "structural" main root that I wanted. This does not prevent me in any case begin to contend with what I've found.
The finest roots will be braided and used later finishing for natural air creepers.
The woods are positioned plume. They intermingle with rocks and will be used to support plants that together, form the vegetated island.
It may seem at first glance that there is too many branches. But must be placed his vision into a three-dimensional context to see that not everything is on the same level of depth.
As being cubic in shape, the vessel extends to a depth of as much as its width. I must therefore make the most of the potential offered by the air volume of 700 liters, using it in height, depth and 360 °, while trying to preserve the visual lightness of the whole.
It would have been a shame not to make full use of all that space.
This amount of branches sees himself therefore justified because (with some rocks) are the only materials intended for planting plants. And as all the vegetation will be Aerial, nothing will therefore build on the glasses.
This appears for the moment a little "dry" and "lifeless", but keep in mind that the branches will be vegetated and sometimes completely covered with moss.
Also I chose to use only the natural elements to make the structure of the set.
(No polystyrene or MPE, everything is done with wood and rock).
in pic #3, you can see the waves Pump (in the bottom right corner). it will be hidden later.
Step 11 / 20
Creating the decor : Natural Aerial Lianas
The lianas were also planned artificial initially but I gradually opted for an all-natural decoration, as much it completely go. So I selected the finer branches of driftwood, to to intermingle and let it hang of the decor.
A little staging, lianas come to life, and the wild side appears.
Also, in order to conceal the electrical and son pipes unsightly pumps that will cross the stage, and especially instead of of hiding them, I planned to diverted their presence by braiding the same way as lianas for a fully integrated concealment in the background.
We no longer see what is right before our eyes...
Step 12 / 20
Climate System - The Mist
For the mist I used three foggers (misters ultrasound). Concealed by small rocks.
Electrical wire are painted in tone branches. It must also interleaved real vines and moss to improve their camouflage.
The mist generated by these foggers is heavy, it is located at the water's edge when operate alone. But when the fan is turned on, the fog moves and spins in the air.
As soon as the rain will soon be reactivated, the mist will "scope" by the high humidity generated by the rain. The mist will then slowly and uniformly spread throughout the volume of the air saturating humidity.
pic #3 - black-and-white to emphasize the mysterious atmosphere that take the Island in the mist.
Step 13 / 20
Climate System - Waves
To avoid constant static effect on the surface, pumps waves (or pump vibration) brew 150 liters of water and gives it life.
The waves are also randomly assigned to alternate with other climatic phases.
The second beneficial effect of the water current is the dispersion of sand dunes forming underwater. What makes the beach more natural.
Step 14 / 20
Installing the Vegetation
These are the mosses which in this project will serve as a substrate for plants, replacing the artificial technique geotextile felt, usually used for some years in this discipline (this technique just took over the principle of nature to retain moisture).
The mosses resume the role they play in nature ie, provide root support for plants and maintenance of their water needs.
A completely natural and living substrate, it works so well for millions of years it did not need changing.
Plants benefit from the rain as in the wild. Looking more closely, nature is really well done because when they fall on the leaves, the drops are automatically channeled to the major branches dripping stems, all leading directly to the roots. The substrate thus receives water directly provided by plants, it is moistened and kept moist at least until the next automatic start of the rain.
As the water used is free of limestone, the leaves do not suffer from the rain.
The plants were mainly found online about Ben's Jungle, Karnivores and Le Jardin du Pic Vert.
The current vegetation consists of 25 different varieties of plants including: Ferns, Mosses, Creeping & climbing, Different Orchids and Bromelia
Step 15 / 20
Mist in the Morning
When the freshness of the night made up more moisture, you can see a misty morning scenery if foggers are running at that time. Phenomenon disappears when the light is gradually raise the temperature and slightly lower moisture (if the rain has not intervened).
Step 16 / 20
The Trap Pump
The hatch is made to conceal the pump. More importantly, letting the water but not the sand, the entire range acts as a natural filtration ... The pump draws the inside which is then re-sent on plants and decor via the system perfectly clean rain water.
Made of polystyrene, holed four sides and insulated with felt, the pump draws filtered by sand island water without risk of suck up sand.
pic #2 - creation of camouflage hat : The frame is made of polystyrene topped with a small square of felt, coated with acrylic sealant, and encrusted with sand.
pic #3 - The hatch in place covered with sand on the edge to hide the ends. can you spot it ?
Step 17 / 20
The pump hose camouflaged
camouflaged as wooden branch, I recovered the bark that I surrounded and silicone to the pipe.
It was then vegetalized like traditional branches with the mosses to blend perfectly with the rest of the decor.
Besides, you had probably not noticed on previous pictures ...This "branch" has become the support of the small fern "Polypodium vulgare."
Ultimately, it is the only artificial part inside the tank,
with technical elements (pumps, foggers etc ...).
Step 18 / 20
Evolution of Vegetation - 2nd Month
Two months have passed since the installation of the plants. It was good to do a little state of play.
Vegetation grows perfectly from the beginning I was pleasantly surprised to see it particularly adapted quickly.
The principle of planting (the moss) that I experienced in this project (for all plants) works wonders, the rain did its job perfectly, and I did not need to intervene since.
The need for action and the regular addition of water, because although the tank and the ceiling are "almost" sealed (very little moisture or heat from escaping into the room), ventilation reinjected into the tank, the hot, dry air from the gallery lighting "almost" closed circuit. Despite the paludarium to need about 30 liters of water added weekly. (no, there are no leaks, I have checked)
Climatic conditions inside work perfectly, and the lighting (LED High Power) also participates in large part to the success of this proliferation. Climbing plants (Ficus, and Vanilla) rises pierce the light. The Lebermoos begins to well invading the rocky edge of the island.
The proliferation of micro-algae in the water by the passage of the sun in this season will change once more the uniformity of sand. But this is not a bad thing the contrary is that more natural. (However, the water remained perfectly clear, even if a slight green tint the color now).
Step 19 / 20
Evolution of Vegetation - 6 months
Six months have passed since the installation of vegetation, a small summary of winter images is required. The life goes on inside the plants always grow as much. I added an Jasminum Sambac (or Arabian Jasmine). It flourished in soon after
We can see that the branches of driftwood begin to ward off humus on their surface. This is the result of the renewal foam, which gives more nutrients to new mosses and plants that grow there.
The bottom of the water is obviously messed with the time, but it has the advantage of accentuating the natural effect.
Water is however quite clean and clear, it is only on the bottom that accumulates the development of cyanobacteria.
Step 20 / 20
Evolution of Vegetation - 1 Year
A year that the project is running alone, I did not intervene it, I chose to "let do".
Some plants have disappeared, others have proliferated, as expected the ficus pumila "repens" and especially the foam "Lebermoos" literally invaded the project.
We can see the algae accumulated at the bottom of the water, creating a thick carpet.
pic #3 - is after a big cleaning of the water area and the hobbing plants "invaders."However, I left a part dirt in here and there on the sand to keep this little wild effect.
you can see many more close up pictures of the final result here : http://miniscaping.com/miniscape/preview/1148
I hope you have enjoyed and maybe inspired from my work, please feel free to comment below, I will be very happy to hear what you think :)
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