Vivarium construction journal

Vivarium construction journal

Postby gaboon » Fri Dec 22, 2006 5:29 pm

Thought I would share the steps I've taken so far with my viv, I received the tank on Monday and started constructing the false bottom today.
First, I cut the PVC pipe 10 cm in length
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I cut a small groove into the PVC so stagnant water does not build up
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Then cut the eggcrate to size and cut an opening in the back for the pump, filter, fogger and heater
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Then siliconed the PVC once happy with the placement and then cut out the pond area of the eggcrate
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Then added more eggcrate to the sides of the pond
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The next step is to silicone mosquito mesh over the eggcrate so debri from the soil mix stays out of the resevoir area.

Will post more pics as it progresses.
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Postby Bushbaby » Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:02 am

How far are you with your viv?? Any updates yet?
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Postby gaboon » Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:36 pm

I do, will update tonight
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Postby KYNAN » Sun Jan 14, 2007 9:00 pm

Did you fall asleep :lol: :lol: :lol:
Come on man we cant wait to see the rest
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Postby alexander » Mon Jan 15, 2007 7:28 am

cool! what species of amphibian are you putting in here?
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Postby gaboon » Mon Jan 15, 2007 3:07 pm

Sorry, been away for a few days. Will update asap
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Postby gaboon » Tue Jan 16, 2007 5:56 pm

OK, I've glued 4 pieces of drift wood together for the waterfall. Think it will work quite well, still have to chisel and spray foam to fine tune the path, also going to use a waterproofing sealant to make sure the wood doesn't rot.
Image
Image

I was going to make the waterfall removable by using the card board as the mold but have scrapped that idea.
Image

Going to start with the expanding foam for the background tonight
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Postby gaboon » Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:20 pm

Started the foaming tonight, didn't quite realise how much it expands so ran out of the stuff quite quickly. Anyway, back to the hardware store tomorrow. Only managed to find 2 film cannisters and a small deodorant lid for the plants but not too concerned about that.

Image

Image

Its looking a bit messy at the moment but have got a good picture in my head how its gonna turn out. The foam has doubled in size since I took these pics so got lots of carving to do tomorrow. Once finished with the foaming will apply the silicone over it and press in the eco earth. Haven't decided on what to use for the drainage layer as I want to keep it as light as possible.
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Postby KYNAN » Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:37 pm

Doesn't the foam contract as it dries?Gonna look cool
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Postby gaboon » Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:53 pm

Not that I know of. I used it in small sections in my snake hok and haven't had a problem for over a year now. In this one I put silicone on the glass at the back before hand as it apparently pulls away from the glass after a while
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Postby Bushviper » Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:47 am

Silicone will pull away from glass if the surface is not prepared properly. Clean the glass with Meths or alcohol and then apply the silicone.

Often the glass companies use an oil based lubricant to cut the glass and then this leaves a thin layer on your glass. If you clean the glass "squeaky" clean then the silicone holds that much better.
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Nice

Postby Deon » Wed Jan 17, 2007 8:57 am

Hi,
Could one use the same method (wood and foam) in a sealed wood cage? The foam is non toxic ? and do you then paint it before adding sand etc?

Looks good!!
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Postby gaboon » Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:08 am

I dont see why not. I phoned the manufacturers and they couldn't even tell me if it would be toxic to animals. Once cured, what you can do is, in small sections cover the foam in silicone and press the sand/eco earth/jungle earth into it. Just make sure the eco earth/jungle earth is dry before you start.
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Postby Bushviper » Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:13 am

Theoretically it should be possible. I have seen a wooden fishtank where the wood had been sealed with some super duper sealant and functioned like an aquarium. I never wrote down the name of the product because of some silly reason although I should have.

If you get specialist help, there must be a wood sealer out there that would perform this function. I would be tempted to try using "pond paint" which is recommended for fish ponds and drinking water containers. How well it would bond to wood is an open question. I am sure if the wood is rough the paint will stick very easily.
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Postby gaboon » Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:23 am

If it is a tropical environment you are after you can also use pond liner. A good option if its a large enclosure
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