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Idea for a paludarium undergravel filter

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This came from a discussion with @ecarter, I am starting a new thread. 

Side view:


So under the land section you have a water reservoir. Inside the reservoir is the water pump which pumps water to the land section ie: a waterfall or something. The water flows down the land section into the water section and thru the undergravel filter plate. The water rises above the Reservoir Wall and into the reservoir. 

On the Base for Land Section, your would need a removable panel to access the reservoir to install or work on the pump. 

If i built this, the reservoir wall would actually extend to the Base for land Section with an ~6" opening for the overflow. I would also figure out how to install a sponge filter here. This would have to be below the access panel so you could remove it for cleaning. 

With this design, the water level stay constant. One issue I see, you may need alot of water to get things running like the waterfall and the reservoir may have little water left in it once everything is running. But you could just overfill the system, no worries about flooding.



Edited by madmark285
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Interesting. I've seen some stuff like this online (linked below) when I was trying to figure out how to get a sump connected. The roadblock I had with it was that I don't think I could get the land structure looking natural. I don't have the chops of some of these vivarium people with making fake rocks, etc.

But what I like about your design is that the water reservoir is under the land area. It seems like such a shame to waste all that space with just substrate or foam or whatever! What is the reservoir wall for? 




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Here's the other version I was playing with. You get a waterfall and filtration with the HOB, then some more filtration through the gravel. The underground return space could be a lot bigger, I guess. I would screen it off so nobody could get in there, too. 

In the end, I'm not sure it would get me anything more than just having a HOB filter over the water with the land section hollowed out to allow for water (and some kind of pump to keep things circulating.  


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On 4/24/2024 at 9:13 AM, ecarter said:

I don't have the chops of some of these vivarium people with making fake rocks, etc.

I can't make fake rocks, so use real landscaping rocks from Home depot. Lots of utube video on how to do this. You glue the rock's together using super glue & cotton balls. Pack wet play sand on exposed side, spray foam on the back side to hold it all together. For the Great Stuff foam, after it sets you cut off the smooth top layer. Cover it with silicone and pack substrate around. 

Your 40 gallon tank should have tempered glass on the bottom, it can hold alot of weight. I been building a 75 gallon Mbuna tank, here are the rocks i will use. The entire bottom of the tank will be rocks. 


On 4/24/2024 at 9:58 AM, ecarter said:

You get a waterfall and filtration with the HOB,

I don't think a HOB filter can lift the water that high. You should use a canister filter for this application. Just run tubing or PVC pipe for the water features and foam it all in. 

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