Alex Camacho
Crosby, TX, United States
Born in Houston, Texas and raised all over living the life of an Army Brat. I Went to eight different schools (three elementary, one middle school, four high schools) and have one little brother who’s not so little anymore. I’ve been married for nearly fourteen years now to a woman who rocks my world and I've been blessed with two wonderful children. Our dog, Sally, is a big black lab saved from a local shelter.
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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Ribbit

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Being without air conditioning in the house really hasn't been the worst thing to happen to us. We've been getting out of the house much more lately and been working on our hobbies a little more. Lana's discovered gardening and I've decided it was time I to rebuild my little vivarium as practice for the big one I'm envisioning. Nevermind the garage full of half finished projects. I've got a reaper ready for monster mud, unfinished headstones, and a cylinder lathe that's nearly done. Oddly enough, I seem to get more done when I've got more than two or three things going at once.

So after spending the past few weeks thinking about how I'm going to redo my little tank and tackle the 120 gallon tank I'm planning, I'm nearly ready to start. After weeks of reading at ViviariumForum it was time to start doing a little shopping. The scary thing is our hobbies seem to be intermingling these days. Lana's gardening works out well for me since I need specific plants and my tendency to research something until my eyes bleed works for her. Then add to the mix that one of our friends from the barn happens to grow and cultivate Bromieliads and Aroids!! Did I mention these are great for vivariums?

We took a trip to an absolutely incredible nursery out in Seabrook. The first time we went to MaasNursery was with Allison and we only were there for about fifteen minutes thanks to our outstanding planning and sense of direction. I blame Lana's Blackberry GPS but I have a feeling we would have ended up lost even without it.
We went back on Saturday and just had an awesome time. Even if you know near nothing about plants (like me) you'd have a thoroughly enjoyable time just walking around and taking it all in. There's sculptures everywhere, woodwork art, ponds, and even a wild pig. While we were there it decided to downpour on us but I really didn't mind so much I was having such a good time. We spotted lots of toads, listened to the tree frogs calling all around us, chased a few lizards and even managed to pick up a few plants. We left sweaty, smelling of green plants and body odor, completely soaked and in a great mood. Olivia refused to stay under her stroller canopy so even she was wet (she's a water baby in case you hadn't noticed). Lana's guess is that someone's hobby ended up taking over and became something of a business. Their home is on the property with a second story backyard balcony overlooking the whole area. It must be pretty incredible to see that view.

I managed to pick up rabbits foot fern, creeping jenny, elfin purple thyme, maidenhair fern, a peace lily and canna lily. It seems like a lot but I know once I get the new 120 gallon built it's going to look a littles sparse at first until it all grows in. Man, I can't wait to get rolling on the big tank. I'm really trying not to jump the gun too soon though. I got to get the little one rebuilt, sell my Oceanic (it can't be drilled since it has tempered glass for the bottom pane), and construct the new tank.

The overall cost for the big one shouldn't be too bad. Here's all the stuff I have laying around the garage from other projects:
  • old tank my brother gave me for the sides - 48"x18" (a planted tank that never came to pass)
  • plywood that I have laying around for the back and bottom pieces (sealed with epoxy paint - see below)
  • Marine Epopy paint from my first background build
  • Great Stuff for the background (three cans sitting on my shelf from skull molds)
  • gravel and pump from my first tank
  • concrete and insulation foam I have laying around for fake rocks (the foam was for headstones)
  • a ten gallon tank donated by Micah and Kelly for my sump
  • Mistymate Lana gave me for misting
  • computer fans for ventilation (leftovers from various computer rebuilds)
  • light diffuser from my little tank build
  • window screen from my cricket breeding attempt


The only things I'll have to buy are:
  • *two front glass doors and hinges
  • *a lighting hood
  • *misting pressure water pump (modified rv water pump)
  • *lumber for the stand and hood
  • a timer
  • a digital Hydrostat and thermostat
  • hydroton
  • some more coco fiber bedding
  • a computer power supply
  • GE 100% Silicone I
(* cost over $50.00)

The selling of my current Oceanic tank should cover all of it plus I should be able to get at least what I paid for it initially being that I got an incredible deal on it!

Hopefully I'll get some photos of it in the next day or two so I can post it on Craigslist. My tree frogs will have room to roam!! I'm going to get Marcel to help me put this monster tank together (it's going to stand over 6 feet tall and be 3 feet wide) and hopefully we'll be done before he has to go back to school. Man, I love summer. It's so good to have Marcel home all day even if he's getting to that bitchy stage of being a kid.

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