Making a waterfall in your vivarium or terrarium is an easy way to add visual appeal. Your pet will love the increased humidity from a waterfall, and the water movement will facilitate beneficial bacterial growth in your substrate, keeping wastes down and your reptile’s or amphibian’s habitat clean and fresh. There are several basic steps involved in constructing a waterfall for your vivarium or terrarium.
1. Place your pump. Generally, place it in a back corner.
2. Install the tubing by attaching it to the pump. We strongly recommend using reinforced tubing. Use about 6″ more tubing than you think you’ll need – you don’t want to cover the end of the tubing with foam when you make your background.
3. Place any fake rock/wood/hardscape in place, then foam it with Great Stuff Gaps and Cracks filler. Wear gloves and protect your work surface!
4. Let the tank sit for about a week to allow the foam to cure.
5. Use a serrated steak knife to trim and rough up the foam. Carve it how you like, and make sure all surfaces are roughed up so silicone will stick better.
6. While wearing gloves, apply GE Silicone II Window + Door or aquarium safe silicone to the foam. Cover all exposed foam.
7. While the silicone is still wet, sprinkle on dry coconut fiber or sphagnum peat. Press the substrate in with gloved hands.
8. Stand the tank up and remove any loose coco fiber. Use silicone and dry coco fiber to cover any exposed patches of foam.
9. Let the silicone dry for several days, until there is no longer a vinegar smell to the tank.
10. Once cured, use a razor blade to scrape any excess silicone off of the glass. Then, use a shopvac to remove any extra coco fiber or bits of silicone that are not attached to the background. Using the razor blade, cut off any excess hose that sticks out of the background.
11. Add your substrates, and plant!