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Epic Paludarium Build (Part 3)

By Will Nace on

0:00:00.2 Speaker 1: What’s going on, guys? Welcome back to yet another episode. We are almost done building this amazing cage that I got from This has been one of the hardest builds I’ve ever had to do, but man, was it worth it. So we’re gonna rewind a little bit so you guys can see what I did to finish the planting process on this cage.

0:00:21.0 Speaker 1: So jumping right into this, guys, we’re gonna be using some cotton rope to make some fake vines. Now, I do cut the rope and because it does like to fray, I actually take a little bit of electrical tape, wrap it around the end of the rope to secure it nice and tight, break it off, very simply, and then you have a nice clean end of a rope, just like that. Now, after that, you take your silicone, after you ball the rope up, cover it in silicone, and then very simply move it all around, you wanna get that silicone all over the rope, the best you can. Now, what we’re about to dip this in is actually Eco Earth because it has a little bit more fibers in it than the peat moss does itself. So rubbing that silicone all around, make sure the rope’s not knotted or anything like that and then you can very simply dip the rope in and get all that bedding on the rope.

0:01:23.4 S1: So moving back to the cage, I’m actually taking some of the silicone and putting a good amount on the edge of the 10-gallon tank, where the land portion is going to be. Using one finger, just kind of spreading it out, but not too much. I want it to be very thick here for what we’re gonna do next.


0:01:47.9 S1: Now, because the edge does look a little horrible, I don’t want it to look that way, so I’m taking a little bit of sphagnum moss and very simply pushing it down onto the silicone to break up the line from the backdrop.


0:02:17.1 S1: So now a lot of people have asked me what bedding or substrate I use. I do make my own using Zilla Jungle Mix as the main ingredient. I also use a little bit of sand to help with drainage, sphagnum moss to hold the humidity and moisture in. I used charcoal to help with the springtails for breeding because they lay their eggs in it, and I use peat moss to lower the pH of the soil, which is better for the plants. Now, there was that very odd spot on the backdrop that I am now drilling holes in, as crazy as that sounds, but I have very good reasons for this. So I’m drilling holes, not really to help drain, but I’m going to take a knife and cut it open. Now, I know, sounds super crazy, but I promise, I have a good idea.

0:03:11.8 S1: So now that it’s open, you can see as I pull it apart, I can actually go around to the back of the cage now, so you guys can see this a little better, and I’m shoving sphagnum moss in there.

0:03:38.0 S1: Now, the reason why I’m doing this is because a lot of plants can grow in just sphagnum moss. Now, taking my hydroton or little clay pebbles, I’m going to be dumping them in the bottom of the 10-gallon tank, so this is gonna be my drainage layer. You can see them there once you get them all spread out. So now that the hydroton’s in, we can go ahead and cut our weed block, so this is the fabric that I use between the hydroton and the substrate to actually keep the substrate out of the hydroton but it also drains very well. Once you get it cut, you can then go ahead and set it in place where you need it to be. So this is where designing comes in handy again. So earlier in the video you saw, we started to make some rope, well, guess what? I made a lot of it, in many different sizes too, because you never see vines in the jungle that are the actual same size, so I have a couple different big pieces and some really small ones that I’m gonna be including in this build. So you will see me stop a few times and think. Now, the reason why I’m doing this is because once you get these guys in and you do secure them down either with super glue or whatever you choose to use, they’re a little hard to move, so I do happen to wrap some around and take them off, ’cause I wanna make sure they look natural.


0:06:11.3 S1: Now, I was super excited when this box came in the mail, all of the plants that I’m gonna be using for this vivarium with a couple extras as well, that I did happen to pick up over the past couple of weeks, but this order came from, huge shout to them. Without them, this wouldn’t have been possible, for sure. But all these plants, man, this was amazing. I think he sent me… It had to be at least 15 or so plants. I was so happy. Some of these I really, really do enjoy, and I look forward to using some extras in other builds in the future. We moved the tank into our house and man, it was not easy. Without my buddy Michael coming over, wouldn’t have been possible. So thank you, Michael, I know you watch my videos. Anyway, so all the rope is done. It looks really good. I really, really like the way it came out. Now, filling the 10-gallon tank with the substrate, one giant scoop at a time. It is time to start planting. This first plant, kind of funny, I actually pulled it out of one of my other paludariums to move it into this one.

0:07:29.9 S1: Now, I actually didn’t fill up the substrate all the way. I wanted to give myself plenty of room to work, because I only had really one access point for my arm getting in there.


0:09:45.9 S1: So starting with the bromeliad, you might think, it’s weird I’m drilling holes with a drill, but it actually makes mounting them pretty much anywhere easy. So once you get the hole drilled, you can actually use gorilla glue, the gel because it is plant and animal safe to hold it in place.


0:10:17.8 S1: Now, for this particular one, I accidentally drilled the hole a little too big, so you notice it’s gonna constantly fall over, but you can actually take a little piece of tape once you have the super glue on it and just tape it up until the glue dries.


0:12:02.4 S1: There it is, guys. The finished cage, all planted. Man, what a show. But really, this thing was so much fun to build. Huge thank you again to Custom Cages for letting me do this build. It was amazing. So much fun. We’re about 75% done now. So once we get settled into the new house, we’re gonna finish this cage 100%.

0:12:27.1 S1: So by far, one of the hardest builds I’ve ever had I do, but probably the most fun, most challenging for me. We still have one more epic video to do with this cage, which is going to be the water feature, but we’re not gonna do that until we moved into the new house. So once we get to the new house and I get this cage all set up, we’re gonna go over the pump, the filtration system, building up the water, the plants, we’re gonna put in the water, the fish we’re gonna put in water, so much more to do. But we’ll do that in another video once we get everything settled and moved. So hopefully, you guys did enjoy this video. Remember, subscribe if you’re not already. Smash that like button if you haven’t already and I will see you guys in the next video like always. But that’s not all. I also told you guys I’ll be announcing the winners in the giveaway that I posted in the last video, in this video. So we’re gonna do this, I’m gonna put them up on the screen so you guys can see them. If you did win, I will be messaging you here sooner than later on YouTube to get your information to send out your giveaway prizes. So hopefully you guys enjoyed the giveaway ’cause we’ll be doing a lot more of them probably by the end of this month.

0:13:33.8 S1: Alright, so the first winner is Jess, boom. She won a t-shirt, a large t-shirt. That’s the only t-shirts I have left so that’s why I’m only giving out large t-shirts. So the winner of the green Squam canvas is actually STLMikey, boom, on the screen. He actually won the canvas. Again, these are all random picks out of the comments section from the last video, so I will be continuing to do more giveaways throughout the end of the month because I wanna get rid of some stuff that I know you guys would quite enjoy here on the channel. So again, that’s gonna be it for this one, guys. I’ll see you guys in the next video. Bye.


About Will Nace

Will Nace's YouTube channel showcases his snake room. He has purchased a number of Vision cages from, for his rattlesnakes, vipers, cobras, and many other species of snake.

Will's channel is dedicated to the care of venomous snakes. Learn great tips, tricks for feeding, enclosure cleaning, handling, etc. Watch snake unboxing videos. See expert handling of various species of venomous snakes.

In addition, many other types of animals are featured on the channel, from reptiles (particularly alligators), to sharks, to mammals.

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