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Mini Paludarium

Discussion in 'Ripariums & Paludariums' started by dentex, Apr 3, 2016.

  1. dentex

    dentex New Member

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    Hello!
    This is my fist attempt at making a (small) paludarium. It's also my first thread, excluding the presentation one.

    The tank is 18l, cm 40x19x24h.

    The lights are 4 x 3W LEDs in a DIY fixture, dimmable, connected to my other aquarium's RPi Controller (see homepage link for details).

    I used a 250l/h pump, trimmed to push less than this, buried under some gravel and the hardscape. The pump outlet has been split in two, pouring some water at the two top corners of the tank via the two hoses.

    I'm finishing a (almost) step by step setup video. I will post it when ready.

    For this project, I collected some local limestone, small woods, mosses (they should be Rhacomitrium canescens and some kind of Sphagnum) and some unidentified small plants, all for the emerged part.

    For the underwater part, I added some really small pieces of Flame moss, what should be some Pellia (or similar) and a few stems of Hydrocotyle vulgaris (not inserted at the time I took the shots). I wish to add more aquatic plants, that now I don't have, and let them crawl and/or grow out of the water.

    It's an experiment... I'm unsure on many details. But considering the small investment, it's more than worth it. ...And I love this stuff... It's also an opportunity to learn something useful before attempting a more serious work

    Please tell me what you think and if I forgot something into the description.

    I apologize for the pictures taken with the smartphone and an improvised dark background. Better ones coming soon.



    uploadfromtaptalk1459706212516.jpg uploadfromtaptalk1459706220818.jpg uploadfromtaptalk1459706227296.jpg uploadfromtaptalk1459706233767.jpg
     

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  2. dentex

    dentex New Member

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    Just for completeness, I'm putting some pictures about how I've arrived at the latest layout.

    Pump spot:
    uploadfromtaptalk1459707670886.jpeg

    Naked hardscape:
    uploadfromtaptalk1459707702227.jpeg

    Initial setup:
    uploadfromtaptalk1459707744923.jpeg

    On the way:
    uploadfromtaptalk1459707946553.jpeg

    Almost there (with better pictures than the final ones in the above post):
    uploadfromtaptalk1459708014754.jpg uploadfromtaptalk1459708031378.jpg uploadfromtaptalk1459708039661.jpg uploadfromtaptalk1459708053579.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2016
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  3. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    That is a nice looking setup and plants! I'm quite impressed. Would you add any inhabitants? If so, what kind?

    I find the largest wood piece on the right a little distracting.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2016
  4. dentex

    dentex New Member

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    Hello and thanks!

    No, I will not add any inhabitants. Only plants.

    I hope you are referring to the second last image before your comment, because it's not the last layout.
    If so, it's exactly what I thought when today I trimmed and moved that small piece of wood (have a look at the 1st message).
     
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  5. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    dentex

    Before I comment I would like to see two full frontals one looking slightly down and the other looking slightly up.
    [​IMG]

    With a little tweaking this has the best possibility as every thing is linked together.

    Do you have any more DW if so post a photo please.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  6. dentex

    dentex New Member

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    Hello Keith.
    I'll do the new pictures today. In the mean time:
    - I wanted to ask what do you mean by "DW" (I suspect will be obvious once a read the acronym...)
    - please note, the one you posted it's not the latest layout. This one is:
    uploadfromtaptalk1459748481644.jpg
     
  7. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    dentex
    DW Drift Wood

    I fully realise that but I still say its by far the best one.

    The last photo looks like two separate tanks there is nothing to join them together.

    The one I prefer can hold my interest while the last one its a pass over nothing to hold my interest at all.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  8. dentex

    dentex New Member

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    @keithgh Ehehe! Ok, I understand what you mean about the photo. I can try again with the bigger diagonal DW (yes, drift wood... lol!) to see how it looks.
    For the moment, I'm shooting some new pictures... I'll post them very soon.
    Thanks for your insight.
     
  9. dentex

    dentex New Member

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    latest pictures: slightly up/down and a close up ;)

    P4040002_.jpg P4040017_.jpg P4040020_.jpg

    (My attempt at that hi-exposure style as seen many times for aquascaping pictures... don't know how good it seems)
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
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  10. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    I believe the "high exposure" is a strong back lighting effect on a white background.
     
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  11. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    dentex

    Contact J Art he is the photography expert.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  12. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    You can get the high key effect a few different ways. If you go by way of overexposing the wall behind your tank, color doesn't matter since all overexposure equals white, BUT just make sure you have enough distance between it and your aquarium, or else the spill over will over expose your subject and cast a color grade. A few feet should suffice.

    If you're shooting light through your aquarium back towards the camera, you're almost always going to run into exposure issues that will drop off quickly towards the front of the tank. So the back side will be over-exposed and the front will be ok. You'll also end up with a lot of chromatic aberration, which is basically a color halo effect around objects. So if you go this way, try to use some sort of film or screen that you can overexpose evenly that also prevents too much light to pass through it. IE, a semi-transparent film or maybe a sheer curtain. I haven't tried either, but from experience elsewhere that seems like it will fit the bill.

    The easiest way would be to use a light background on your aquarium or light wall behind it, shoot with the available aquarium lights, and key it out in photoshop. It will be super clean and nobody will know the difference.
     
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  13. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    J Art

    Thank you for posting that information.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  14. dentex

    dentex New Member

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    Thanks guys!

    @J Art
    Thanks for the valuable information. I think I tried the 3rd way you describe. I attached 3 pieces of white paper to the back and lateral glasses of the tank and took the pictures in manual mode, trying to slightly overexpose, in order to have the back all white and "flooded". Then I removed and flattened some details (of this background) with PS.

    The result must be improved, though. Because often I overexposed some background details.

    I think I'll try also the backlight method to see how it looks. I have a frosted transparent plastic background to try out. This way I can also try different light colors.

    Thanks again for all the inputs!
    Bye
     
  15. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    dentex

    Sounds great keep us posted please.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  16. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    You don't need to over-expose the background 'in camera' if you're going to use photoshop to key it out. Expose so that the inside of your tank is where you want it, then (in PS) mask the background areas and overexpose them in whatever method you prefer.

    If you put white paper around the glass and then try to get a pure white background by overexposing with your camera, you're bound to overexpose other elements as well.
     
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  17. dentex

    dentex New Member

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    Ook thanks. I'll try it for sure.
     
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  18. dentex

    dentex New Member

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    Hello guys,
    I still didn't change anything in the tank, but I finished the video about the setup. :)

     
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  19. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    dentex

    Great little Video plus a "Like" from J Art as well.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  20. dentex

    dentex New Member

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    Thanks guys!
     
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