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Building a "ocean"

Discussion in 'General questions about care.' started by crabbbychris, Oct 13, 2008.

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  1. crabbbychris

    crabbbychris (Micro Crab)

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    Actually I been keeping the hermies mostly in the upper unit and no one in the lower unit while the sealer is drying. I also have kept the top off (well sitting at an angle) so it will vent while it dries and get fresh air in and help in drying. Right now everything is happening all in the upper tank for a few days.

    I had some of those wooden hut / caves previously.. had a little but die for no reason that could be found. He was just hanging out of his shell. Someone said probably mites... SO I did a deep clean and deloused all the hermies just to be safe. I read on this site somewhere that anything wooden is where mites like to hide.. so it all got tossed.


    As far as the hernies and escapes...no problem there. I cut a 4" by 4" hole in the bottom of the top tank. Now I also set the top tank on a piece of plywood for support (and the plywood also helps keep heat in the lower tank.
    Of course I have a 4" by 4" hole in the exact same place in the plywood that matches the top tank. The top tank sits flat on the plywood.. so no way a hermie can find a way out.
    They seem to love it.. gives them more things to climb on and the extra tank gives them more places to go. I also added some cargo netting in the lower tank for more climbing 'stuff'.
     
  2. crabbbychris

    crabbbychris (Micro Crab)

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    OK.. I know we talked a lot about this.....
    Appreciate all of you nice folks input.
    This is the final design...
    Everything in and working.
    You can see in the bottom tank on the left the ocean (pond, lake, whatever... lol).. and it has the filter so the water stays clean
    They seem to like it.. I've saw them splashing around in it and around it quite a bit.
    I got a couple log 'huts' for them to hide in... been in a couple days... but so far they seem to not use them.. They crawl on TOP, and laze around on top,.. but not so much inside... hhuumm
    I changed the vine I had going from level one to level two and put in a 'cargo net' type thing for them to climb on. Looks better, and it seems easier for them.
    To celebrate getting all this done,.. I went out and bougt two new crabbies yesterday. I got 10 now. Guess that'll be enough for a while. Gotta name ALL the little fellas something
     

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  3. chermo

    chermo "Second Molt In Progress"

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    I really like it good job. I hope to have a bigger tank soon and I will maybe do something like you have but I may use mice/gerbil/hamster tubes and have the glass cut on the side so they can get into the other tank by going through them. I may actually have to use ferret tubes but either way I like the idea of having 2 tanks for them to access.
     
  4. Lukems

    Lukems "First Molt In Progress"

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    Wow, Nicely Done, Looks Fun!
     
  5. Hildegarde

    Hildegarde "Preparing For Third Molt"

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    Fantastic! Only one thing. The picture of the water side is a bit dark, so I can't tell. It would be a good idea to put in some netting, like the one on the back of your tank. That way every crab would be able to use it-just as an additional safety feature.
     
  6. cheryl

    cheryl Hi, I'm New Here!

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    Hi. I'm Cheryl. I've had hermits for over a year and just got striped leg marine hermits 4 months ago. They live in the same tank because I did make an ocean. The problem I had with sloping gravel from the shallow end to the deep end is that is too much of a mass of gravel to keep clean. Imagine all the stuff growing in there because water can't circulate. What I did instead was to make the slope out of plexiglas. It could be as wide as the tank but not siliconed to it. Gravel can be safely epoxied to the plexi slope to provide traction. Water will be able to circulate under it.
     
  7. Mckenny

    Mckenny "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    Hi Cheryl--Welcome!:)
    Your tank sounds neat---can you share some pictures?
     
  8. crabbbychris

    crabbbychris (Micro Crab)

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    HI Cheryl...
    Thats a good idea... Hadn't considered that I have some plexiglass that I could use here already. SO I assume you just made a ramp completely out of plexiglass and covered the slope with the gravel.
    Let me ask what you used to glue it down with,.. and also how sis you keep the front end of the plexiglass from wanting to float up in the front.. I know pliexigalss is pretty light and with that much water in it seems like it would float. That gravel isn't very heavy.
     
  9. cheryl

    cheryl Hi, I'm New Here!

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    Yes, I'll continue. I've been gone eating turkey.
    My tank is a twenty long. Gravel, whisper internal filter, compact flourescent light and 75 watt heater. Only 1/2 full with instant ocean water about 6" deep. Five happy marine hermies.
    One end of the aquarium has a plexi deck 12"x almost 12" (to fit inside the tank) It rests on four large plastic pony beads that were epoxied to the inside of the tank one inch above the water level. This deck has a slightly bent edge so the edge that rests over the open water touches the water a little. (Why? the land hermits toes will get wet and they won't bail out over the edge into deep water.)
    Then there's the ramp. 6"x over 12" and bent into a ramp shape with about 3" of flat deck at the top. (the 3" of flat space will sit 1/4 " under water. This is the beach for both kinds of hermits.) This is permenantly attached to the deck with epoxy. My first ramp and deck were covered with epoxied gravel. It did not look comfortable so my new ramp and deck are covered with natural burlap. Soft to walk on. I also like the burlap better because it lets some light down to the water beneath it. When soiled it can be replaced.
    There's more to make my two PP's and two eccies happy. I modeled a square tube out of plexi that hangs just above the burlap deck and up through the tank canapy. They crawl up through the 'hermittrail' with the aide of more burlap and fish netting. This will lead the lttle crabs to the dining hall; a 10"x18" plastic storage container that sits on the aquarium light. I cut a hole in the bottom so the hermittrail could come up inside. They can also leave the dining area to go to the "rec room" through another plexi tube I fitted into another plastic box. Both boxes have deep substrate. The dining hall is at a 70% humidity just from the aquarium below. The rec room needs misting. Both are heated from sitting on the tank light and an under tank heater in the bedroom that comes on at night when the light goes out.
    The eccies come down all the time and sit with the marines in the shallow salt water. The PP's stay up stairs almost all the time.
    I bent all plexi and cut plastic boxes with a torch. (Cut plastic? watch those fumes! Heat with torch and cut soft plstic with exacto knife. Do not overheat; the plastic will 'go away.) I used two part aquarium safe epoxie putty where large things (like where the plexi tunnels fit into the plastic boxes.) were joined. Velcro to tighten the joint between the canopy and where the hermittrail went through it. And two part epoxy (any brand) for securing stuff like burlap. Mix extremely well, un mixed material will be toxic. Let all this stuff cure for days.
    Sorry, no pics. I have not learned trhat yet. My question is I never see the Eccies going into the salt water more that 1/4" deep. Does this mean their fresh water bowl dosen't have to be very deep? I hear sometimes they have to be. It was fun telling my story, Thanks.
     
  10. heidi

    heidi "Never Molted"

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    have tried several fresh water ponds and fountains for my pp's never stay working pump burns out they get clogged with everything and no matter how often you clean them the stuff is always in the hose and then eventually to the moter :(
     
  11. heidi

    heidi "Never Molted"

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    your pics are great love the two tanks together if you get more pics i hope you post them soon great job hope everthing runs smothly for you
     
  12. cheryl

    cheryl Hi, I'm New Here!

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    CrabbyChris I like your tanks! How did you cut a hole through glass?
    Heidi, switch to a duetto or cascade submergeable filter. Either can be rigged to be a waterfall or fountain.
    My marine hermies are picking the burlap off their ramp. I'll need to think of something different.
     
  13. crabbbychris

    crabbbychris (Micro Crab)

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    thanks for the positive comments
    I'll try to take a few more pics and post the here soon.
    I tried cheryls idea and it works great...
    Made me a ramp out of plexi-glass... stuck the gravel onto the ramp and it fit right in there perfect.
    I also changed my lighting system. I originally had a 22" long flouresent bulb to supply heat and light. It didn't seem to quite getting the job done since the tank was so large.
    I took it out and replaced it with a duel light system.
    It's hard to explain,.. but asically it like a light you see outdoors (like you'd get at Home Depot for about $5. Has two places that a light bulb screws in, and it is adjustable as far as to where it points.
    I screwed this to the roof of the tank... screwed it at the very far end over where the pond is.... pointed BOTH bulbs towards the other end (toward the opposite end of the tank) I kept the bulbs as far up as close to the top as I could. I have one regular bulb 50 watts... and one infared bulb (also 50 watts).. so one of the bulbs is on 24 hours a day. Seems to keep the temp and humidity almost perfect now in the tank. If I do have a slight problem, I can slide over the top and open up a crack for the tank to 'breath' to let the humidity come down some. (if anything it is usually too high)
     
  14. crabbbychris

    crabbbychris (Micro Crab)

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    As far as cutting a hole I your tank.. this is what I did...
    Mark the bottom of the tank where you want to cut it.
    Then I used a glass cutter, and scored the glass... make sure it is on a solid surface.
    I then scored the glass on the OTHER side... make sure you score it in EXACTLY the same place. I used a piece of tape and used that as a marking edge.
    I then took the little "ball" part on the other end, and lightly pecked on it until it started to crack.
    When mine started to crack, it came out in pieces... not sure how they'll work. I'm sure they'll all do something different...
    Then as it starts to come out just gently break out the pieces until you get to the scored places. Use the little end of the glass cutter that has the different sized slots.. and use the one that mose closely fits your glass thickness.
    I did have a place where I had a 'run' and the glass split a few inches past the score marks... but What I did was took some tape and taped it on both sides. I did thise just to give strength to the glass and help support it... since it won't be holding water, or moisture a crack won't be a big deal.
    Now as an additional step... I took a tool like a dremel, or something similar and sanded the rough edges off of the glass where I cut it. Hace to be careful here and go slow if you decide to do this...
    Even when I did this I too some good heavy duct tape and put it over the edges of the cut... letting it wrap itself onto the inside (bottom floor) and the outside (very bottom of the tank) this covers up any sharp or rough edges that may be there.
    Hope I explained this well enough..
    Feel free to PM me if you have any questions
     
  15. emmac350

    emmac350 "Fourth Molt In Progress"

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    Cheryl - could you post some pictures of your ocean tank? My boyfriend has been wanting to do a combination fish tank/hermit crab tank but we were having trouble trying to figure out how to make the fish side hermit crab safe. The fish tank would be a water source for the land crabs.

    Another idea to replace the burlap and the pebbles is just scoring the ramp with a dremel tool or something similar.
     
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