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92g Hermitses of the Faery Woods! (Pics)

Discussion in 'Say Cheese' started by JediMasterThrash, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. Here's a link to the full gallery of pics of the latest incarnation of my 92g crabarium:
    http://jedimasterthrash.boldlygoingnowhere.org/cornertank/faery2 <--

    A couple samples:

    Here's my previous iterations
    "Mystical Mountain"
    "Mystical Waterfall"
    "Action Platform"
    "Crystal Platforms"
    "Subterranean Habitat"
    "Crabazonian Jungle"
    "Mythical Valley Crabarium"

    Like I mentioned last time, I was starting to run out of ideas for organizing the second levels and placing the toys. I decided that I was being constrained by two things: the waterfall and the bonsai. Mostly the waterfall actually, it just ended up that the bonsai didn't make it into this iteration. But as it turns out, the waterfall and the bonsai were always the corner stores of my crabarium. They were required pieces, the most important pieces. First I place the waterfall and the bonsai, and then fit everything else around them. Because they kind of defined my tank. And the crabs loved both of them.

    But they are also large. And most importantly, there is only one place that the waterfall can go: into the corner. If you have a normal tank, you'd have 4 options. But having a corner tank like I do, there's actually only one corner. So the waterfall and water pools always had to go into the back corner, and that meant that the second levels always had to be in the front half of the tank. Now I made good use of this in the past: by filling up the front curved window with 2nd levels, I made the 'tat seem fuller and bigger, and it shielded the crabs from outside light and motion.

    But really, the space is more optimized by having the 2nd levels start in the back corner. For one, it makes it easier to access the water and food bowls if they're not in the back corner. And it gives the humans a good view of the whole tat. And I can make the levels taller, since crabs can't get out the back (but they could get out the front if they tried hard).

    So I did it. I moved the water pools (sans waterfall) to the front right, and did a long 2nd level in the back corner and left side. Because there isn't a perfect right angle on the front corners, there are extra gaps around the water pools that crabs could get into. Previously, since I always had the support columns (upside-down cups) in the corners of the pools, the crabs could get trapped. However, to solve it this time, I used one less support, and moved the supports away from the corners. You can see this in one of the first few pictures. Now, if a crab falls into the corner, he can dig through the sand to escape under the pool without getting trapped.

    I ended up going with 3 different heights for 3 sections of the second levels. The shortest and tallest are still my stacker cubes, which are the greatest thing ever for second level structures. Until I found what I found at Target in the clearance shelves they have by the front door. They had these fold up locker shelves (back-to-school stuff). They're only 2.50, and come in black or white. They make excellent second levels! They don't take up any surface/floorspace room. But they create a very big and solid 2nd level. I'm gonna buy some more next time I'm there for future use. And they aren't annoying to snap together like those cube systems are.

    I think this might be the first time I ever used one of those coconut climbing walls for an actual climbing wall. I never could figure out how to make it work before, since the velcro wasn't strong enough. But I wedged it behind the second levels, which are now along the back wall, and it stays up perfectly. And the crabs have been enjoying climbing on it.

    When we were on vacation in June we stopped at a Hobby Lobby (wish they had some of those in the twin cities). All the baskets and plants were half off. So I got 4 baskets, and used 3 of them. I just love the ones that look like twigs wrapped together. It's different than the usual wicker I use. I wasn't sure about them before, but I think they look great now. And I got a ton of fake plants. I ended up only using one of those new ones this time, it's the swampy-looking tangly green stuff that lines the second levels. When I decided to use that, it set the theme for the show, kind of a swampy theme. None of the others from Hobby Lobby really went with a swampy theme, so we'll use those next time.

    But a few months ago I stopped at a garage sale and picked up 3 bags of plastic foliage for 1$ each. And two of those ended up fitting well. One is the ferny thing I wrapped around the cholla log. The other is the flowery grapey thing lining the front.

    I didn't know what to call this crabarium iteration, since "Mystical Swamp" or "Mythical Quagmire" didn't sound so complimentary. I thought maybe "Secret Jedi Planet" :). But once the big white flowers came in, my wife said it looks like a faery land. And that's kind of a happy swamp, with the faeries and the elves. But no hobbitses, just Hermitses! Watch out, they trickses you!

    Instead of my usual "lessons learned from a deep clean", I have 3 specific lessons, so I'll make 2 specific posts for each of them.

    The third is: deep clean at 6 months! Once again we always have stuff going on on the weekends and I was supposed to deep clean back in April, but it kept getting put off until August :-O And then a couple weeks before the deep clean I lost a couple crabs. Whenever I let my tank go without some kind of deep clean (or partial deep clean) for longer than 7 or 8 months, I lose a couple crabs because of it. So just make sure you do your deep clean or a partial deep clean every 6 months.

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