How to build a paludarium

This page shows a complete overview of the build of a paludarium for dendrobates. Apart from standard equipment like a pump and heating, the tank also contains a fog machine, LED lighting for night-time and a lighting cycle unit to imitate sunrise and sunset.


The paludarium measures 100cm x 50cm x 70cm.

Glass compartment to house the heating element. The lid will be covered with xaxim tree fern and can opened. This part will also contain a small tube for water supply.

Heating element in place. Compartment is open at the top left side so the water can run through; it will be flooded at all times, regardless the water level in the rest of the tank.
Compartment to house the pump, which is located on the front left side.

Removable grid on top of the pump compartment, which will be covered with xaxim tree fern. In case the pump breaks down it can be replaced easily.

Pieces of wood placed against the back wall, stuck in styrofoam at the bottom.
PVC tube is fixed in the left corner using silicon glue; this tube holds the power supply for the pump.

2 PVC tubes are fixed in the right corner using silicon glue; 1 will hold the power supply for the heating element, the other will be used for the fog machine.

Application of the PUR foam.
PUR foam has hardened and cut into shape; covering some areas with silicon and xaxim tree fern. The silicon hardens very fast so it's recommended not to do everything at once but rather work in stages.

Next stage of applying PUR foam.

All PUR foam is covered with xaxim tree fern; still a few spots to touch up.
Watercourse in use for the first time; success!

Blue filter mat put in place.

Filter mat covered with rooting membrane and on top of that some xaxim tree fern.
The first plants. The shallow puddle is also clearly visible; this is where the water from the course will end up.

One week later: all plants are put in.

Side view of the plants.
Close-up of the shallow watercourse.

Paludarium completely finished and delivered.

With blue LED lighting.
A month later...

Close-up of a flower.

Close-up Bromeliad "Neoregelia liliputiana".
Moss vegetation on xaxim tree fern...

Moss vegetation on wood after 2 months.

Fog Machine, seems the frogs like it very much.