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The Rainforest Exhibit Vivarium Build Montage – Indoor Rainforest

By The Rainforest Exhibit on

Mag: Hey guys, Mag from the rainforest exhibit. Thank you for coming to vlog number 10. This is going to be called the build. This is the montage of video that I shot from basically the beginning from when the rainforest exhibit behind me was actually coming through the door.

We put it on some wooden stands and then slowly incrementally picked it up to the level of the stand then slipped it over because it was way too heavy for even four, five guys to lift. It was really heavy.

Anyways, we have it pretty much about two weeks to completion behind me. This time we are going to be installing the mistking misting system, the fogger, the seamless foam from custom aquariums. We're going to be installing more lighting. We have the bamiliad from We had 34, now we have over 60 because they've all grown pups and runners in the grow tent. If you saw a few videos back you'll know what that's all about.

We have the ABG mix that we have made with the supplies from Arcadian supply and their suppliers will also be down in the description.

The high density foam that we received from Dena USA, they helped us out a bunch there. We have water plants coming from and we have a bunch of supplies coming from them. We haven't talked too much about it yet because we were still talking to them about it. Those should be coming shortly, as well as, we have a supplier for poison dart frogs and some tree frogs and some other things that we're going to get produced soon.

We have purchase supplies from Amazon and Josh's Frogs which was really a great experience. They're not sponsoring anything, but we really appreciate all the help they gave us with spring tales and some other products that we received. There'll be information about that especially on the website. On Instagram we have a lot of pictures of some of the things that we received from them.

Right now, all I'm going to do is I'm going to tell you what's going on in the montage video. I'll just talk over the images and keep you up to speed with everything that you're seeing. We're going to start that right about now.

What you're looking at here is the risers that we use to lift up the reinforce exhibit up to the stand level so we can slide it back. This was the only way I could figure out how to actually do that. It was really difficult to lift it. I'm just showing you all the stuff they sent with some of the suction cups that we actually put on the side to move it around and shift it around and actually lift it as much as we could lift it. It was really heavy, it is really heavy.

There's a stand in the canopy. That was the h2 overflow for the seamless sump. I'm just going over the tank, the ventilation holes. That's the tank enclosure right there. The amphibian's aquarium that we received from them on the stand after we finally got it into place. Here I'm testing some LED lighting that I put installed so we can see what we're doing with the seamless sump that you're looking at right there. It's actually a really nice filtration system.

Here it is, some of the LED lighting I put at the top, current pro that we use. There's some of the fake rocks that we've received from Sky Island for Vivarium Works. You can see some of them are there behind me. Here's the high density foam that we received from Dena USA. Basically, this is when I carved the ruins out of the foam. Now I'm playing with the painting. I've changed the painting like three times already because I really wasn't too happy with it, but now I think I have it to where I need it.

Here's the other high density foam with the cave. I'm testing out this little light I put underneath that's waterproof so it can get really wet without having any problems. It's actually a submersible light in water but I hooked it up above it in its line, it came out really nice.

Those asdic ruins are ancient ruins I made right there. I carved out of the Dena group, the Dena USA high density film as well. That's just some of the stuff. The drift water is from my good friend Amy from the artist store, Life is Beautiful and Unique. She gave me a whole bunch of cool drift wood and you can see some of them there. Here, I'm just playing with the lighting. They call that moonlight I think it is and there's all these different programs on the remote and I'll go over those later when we actually install it. It's really cool.

I was actually playing with it. I put a mirror there. That little mirror, I'll get more into detail about that later. This mirror gives it a look like it keeps going further in that it actually does. These are some of the fake rocks from the Vivarium Works.

This is the control panel that I made from ABS plastic and carbon fiber vinyl sticker. I'm using a tablet along with a current pro remote and the controllers and timers and the mistking misting system timer at the top. The tab I'm still working on getting a user interface for, but I really like the way this came out. I'm really excited about it actually.

It came out really well.

I was going to make more of a controlled aspect but I like using all the production timers and everything. I think they look kind of neat, so I really didn't feel the necessity to put it all on one program or anything because, basically, I'm just going to set them up and let them run and just add water and whatever I need to it. That's just a seven inch tablet, it's just a generic tablet that I'm using.

Going over that is a mistking system and the current pro timer is right there. It's pretty cool. I'm excited about it. I'm pointing to something I don't even know what that can-- I'm tuning the carbon fiber vinyl sticker that I applied to it which also came out pretty good. I got that on Amazon. I forgot the name of the company, I think it's Vivid. It was really nice heavy duty sticker.

This is the high density foam that I'm using for stream and for the ancient ruins. This is the front of the waterfall. That will be going up behind that one corner rectangle ruin right there. The waterfall here I'm just figuring out how I'm going to make it waterproof so it's not spilling over the front.

This is the false bottom that I built from the Dena group's high density foam. This is U200 actually. It's the real dense foam that was actually the cover for the U100 foam that we're using. It was so solid that I figured I didn't want it to go to waste. I'm using that as the false bottom instead of the U100 foam which I used to carve that ruins. This is all the clay balls being put in for the drainage layer. These are the clay balls I got from Josh's Frogs, actually. It's a really good deal, their 50 litre bag. I'm telling you before they raise the price. Go check it out. You get a whole lot for the price.

If you put these into the little bags for the quantity you get, you probably spend about 200 bucks and it was only 35. Hopefully, I didn't ruin it for anybody by telling them, alerting them of such a great deal. I'm sure they know. That's why you go there, it's got really good prices, that's what I found out. I really like what they do over there. I actually called them to be a sponsor and they gave me a high ho, but they're good. Maybe I said something wrong.

Here I'm just showing you that I put some of these plastic foam in areas that I want to keep an eye on. I'm like cutting a little area from the black paint in the sticker so that I could see the levels of the drain water so I know when to turn on the wet dry vac drainage system that I actually built for this which I think I show in this. I might show it, I think I do. Then it's just me putting in the clay balls for the drainage under the land area of the rainforest exhibit.

It was a little tougher than I thought it would be, little balls kept running all over the place, rolling everywhere. I didn't want any of them to stay on the top because that would make all the, you'll see coming up those brown or maroon tiles, plastic tiles that needed to be on a flat surface and they're directly under all the land area which allows about a half inch area for the water to get to the drain holes.

If I would've put the foam right on top, they wouldn't have as much surface to drain out of. It would have to build up area and then drip somewhere else, which I didn't want. I wanted all to go wherever the water's coming off of, from the mister and fogger, run off from the stream, whatever, it goes right into the drainage layer, right down to the wet dry vac inlet tubes that I built, so I can suck it out if I need to with the wet dry vac. Not me personally, you know what I mean, I hope. I'm using a wet dry vac to, anyways.

There is the rocks unpainted from Vivarium Works. Scott Allen's a great guy, he makes some of the coolest rocks I've seen. We made a deal for these and they worked out perfect. I have just enough to do what I needed to do. I should've gotten more, I think bigger ones, but I probably really didn't really need them because if you look it looks pretty good right there. I think I could've made some even larger buttress areas sticking out and everything, but I'm happy with what I received.

Here I'm holding part of that drain tile, the one I just pulled away. Here I'm going for the Tiger Woods shot, let's see if I make it, here I go. Hole in one, that was a nice shot [chuckles]. Anyways, all those little clone pieces are some of that U-100 foam, the gray one and the piece. All the way to left there is the U-200 foam. It's really thick. You can press it all day long, you're not going to make a dent in it, but you can actually carve it. I've used it actually for a lot of the structure. Although the U-100, the gray one is strong enough to use for structure too, it really didn't matter. I had it so I figured instead of wasting the other foam, I would use that since it was just used for covering and that's it about that.

I'm putting the clay balls. This little hole there is actually the side hole for the drainage tube made of PVC underneath. I'll show you that later. I have some stills I'll probably edit in here. There I'm showing you the PVC. they're half inch PVC that I made slots and holes in, which was attached to the wet dry vac to drain it all out. You can see inside, you might be able to see the tube underneath and that's laying on the bottom. That's just in case I need to get in there for any reason, I can actually fit a camera or a hook in there or something to clear it out or do something manually. It's big enough for a hand to get in.

There's a tube there. Those holes are actually on the side but there's actually slits directly underneath that are actually almost right to the top of the glass, about a millimeter higher than the glass. That hole's actually on the side of the water. I got it up to a half inch to an inch, which if it did it's no big deal but I'm just showing you that I can drain out water even if it's only a centimeter from the glass.

Here's cover the hole, here's the plastic tile. Now you get a better look at it. The plastic tile system of the drainage layer that's directly under the high density foam from Dena USA that I carved the rocks. Over the top of this, you'll see I'll put a weed barrier, but this allows water to go directly from the surface, right from the surface of the false bottom and through holes that I have drilled underneath and to the sides through the clay balls down to the drainage layers. It basically has drainage for waste water all the way across the surface of the ground across the false bottom. Not just like little areas where the water would have to cool and then pour into the area; everything goes directly to the surface of the weed barrier and then drain down to the false bottom to the tube to be wet dry vacced out.

That plastic stuff's great. I love it. It actually held up really well. I actually had had to silicone it to the false bottom just the little area just to hold it because when I was putting in the fake rocks and the fake ruins there's really heavy. They were moving a little bit of the false bottom. Once I did that, it was sturdy enough to put it where it wasn't sliding. Actually it helped lifting it and putting it in there. It worked out pretty good. I really liked the stuff.

It's not sturdy enough to make a false bottom of it's own. You could if you ziplocked it together. I would do that and then ziplock. Zip ties, you could do that together and it would hold up and then you could just put PVC risers on it and it would be great. I think it's better than the eight crate but for the price I think you get a lot more of that than you do for the eight crate. Well, with eight crate people use PVC too anyways.

There's the cover. That rock I'm showing that I'm going to use as a handle to lift up the side glass I actually put in it on a riser so it's above to the service of the ABG because right now the way that I have it there would be it would buried under the ABG mix. I put on a three inch riser so it's about total, four or five inches high without including the rock. You can see where it is. I can move the soil around and then just pick it up and move it.

From that point on, right now is just for the weed barrier. We'll go over that and here it is. I'm measuring it out. Making sure I use that PVC to push it all the way to the end so that there's a little bit of a curl. I'm doing it with the hand right there. A little bit of a curl so that it's all the way around the surface of which it is. Even after I put all the ruins and the rocks and everything in there, it stayed in place. I had no problem.

Now the drainage layer is premo, everything will drain right to the drain tube or an inch, It doesn't really matter. I can build up an inch, two inches whatever. It would have to go up. There would have to be at least eight inches of water in the drainage layer to reach the bottom of the high density foam and that's not going to happen. I'll never have a problem.

This is where I put the LED lighting. I've drilled a hole through the high density foam and I stuck the light in, that was the light right there in a glass tube. I stuck it through there and I used actually these plastic automotive clips to stick into the high density foam to hold the wire to it so that when I put the plants and everything you won't see this wire flipping around. It's actually right now really perfectly pressed against the high density foam that makes up that muddy wall rock area right there.

All those are planters so ABG mix is going in every single layer. You're only going to see little bits of the front at times. I've made that high density foam using a wire brush and a chisel, a rubber mallet and just carving and cutting and scraping. It was crazy, but it was a lot of fun. I actually liked doing it. I think I would do things a little differently now that I've done them, but that's part of learning. You do things, some things are hard, some things are less than so. You make a process after that that's a little bit easier, a process that's a little bit easier, a little different or you take different steps.

Those are just the LED light for the cave underneath the high density foam muddy wall that goes back. Here's an overlook of the weed barrier cut and I'm lifting the hole again just to show you one more time. The drainage, I don't know if I'll leave that in there and how I cut the x shape out of the foam.

That's a rock I used for Vivarium Works on a high density foam stand that I made. I hand carved it and actually epoxied it to it and now it's actually one whole piece. That rock was just one four inch slab of foam and the way he makes his rock. Here's others that we've painted and turned into looking rock. There's some ruins that I've carved out. I keep getting picked on for that face right there, but that's actually from a ruin that I saw. Now I can't find it for some reason but it's true. I'm not lying.

Anyways, the one on the bottom left is what I'm getting hit on all the time. Anyways

About The Rainforest Exhibit

On November 1, 2018, MAG partnered with Custom Aquariums, the leader in build-to-order aquariums, when they delivered their huge Amphibious Aquarium to MAG’s art studio. This is the largest Amphibious Aquarium that they have EVER built! Our NEW YouTube Vlog will focus on the planning, the design, supplies, fauna, flora, etc., we will take you with us through every step of the build! Stop by MAG's website, to watch the progress of the build.

Unknown to most, MAG has designed and fabricated zoo exhibits all over the USA. He brings his unique style and skills to this amazing project. Tune in to the ups and downs of this colossal task and share in the struggles and triumphs as MAG documents every successful—and not so successful—moment on this vlog.

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