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Custom Terrarium with pool Questions

Discussion in 'Terrariums, Paludariums and Vivariums' started by AgressiveIN, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. AgressiveIN

    AgressiveIN AC Members

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    I have an iguana and plan on building a cage for him soon. I really like the cages here http://jworlds.net/unit45.html but don't want to spend $4-$5k for one. I'm wanting to build a tropical cage with a partial land bottom but mostly aquatic. They cage is for my iguana and I would like to have my two turtles in the bottom. I have a Fluval 405 canister filter that I would house inside the land part. I've asked about on reptile forums but it seems that the bottom is more akin to an aquarium so I found myself here. I plan on placing a drain in the bottom of the tank for easy drainage.I've included a rough draft. iguana rough.png

    The grey square will be an access panel to the canister filter. Which I can pull out anytime I need to. The tubing to the filter seals shut when I go to remove it to clean the filter, but I may need to add another valve on the opposite end so I can pull out the tubing to clean them out too.
    The grey lines are a possible outline to the pieces of glass/acrylic. I haven't decided which I ought to use. Different types of bulbs up top, I think I want the fixtures hidden away up their which would also give me room for all the wires. Not sure how I'll manage the logs. Not shown are the vents and the drain for the water and not everything to scale. Ideally, I'll need to disassemble this cage when I move in a few years. The glass/acrylic holding in the water really will only be on the front side but I am considering trying to on the right side as well. Their will be glass/acrylic up top as well but none of that needs to hold in water so it isn't as big of a concern. I'm thinking that the dimensions for the actual water will be around 30" wide X 18" tall X 36" long at the top, possibly as low as 24" at the bottom. I'm open to adjusting these measurements. I'm not sure how many gallons this will total. Whether to use glass or acrylic, or how thick it needs to be. So really I'm looking for any sorts of tips.
     
  2. mellowvision

    mellowvision Seafood Lover

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    I think you're begging for trouble with the canister filter in the compartment next to the water. Not only will the plumbing be an issue, but getting it in and out, getting it primed... total pains. Most canisters want to run UNDER the water they filter.

    You might be better off with some sort of sump arrangment with a side door.

    As far as dissasembly goes, I think that's a major limiting factor. I'd be considering using an actual tank or bin for the pond, that sits inside your cabinet. That way you can just make a basic cabinet, and not have to worry about sealing the water area.
     
  3. jbradt

    jbradt this is bat country

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    What about using a fountain pump to pump water in through the bottom and an overflow type setup at the top level of the water?
     
  4. AgressiveIN

    AgressiveIN AC Members

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    Well the canister filter being at/above the water level has never been an issue for me as of yet. My turtles are currently residing in a stock tank sitting on the floor. This this build, the water lvl will be higher up.

    I could make an access panel on the front if I don't use a solid piece of glass for the whole front. Tanks are far too narrow. I need a custom size and something see through. This may be a very long time in the building but I'm going to end up with something I can be proud of. Lowes doesn't seem to carry glass sheets for the bottom portion. I believe I can use the thinner acrylic sheets for the top part as nothing will need to be resting against them.
     
  5. RazzleFish

    RazzleFish AC Members

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    I agree that the design for the canister is not the best. If you are already drilling a drain hole, you could drill one or two small holes just above the water line where the input/output for the canister filter could go through. If you go for a sump then you could run the filters, heaters and whatever else down there. If neither of these sound good enough you could run a wet/dry filter instead.

    HTH
     
  6. AgressiveIN

    AgressiveIN AC Members

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    I'll be using the canister filter for sure. You're saying that the input needs to be up towards the top of the waterline and not towards the bottom.
     
  7. AgressiveIN

    AgressiveIN AC Members

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    Here's an update. Just got started with this build. I built a savannah monitor cage first to get some practice before I got started on this. For those curious, I've attached the picture of my savannah cage. The second image is the start of my iguana cage. The picture was taken yesterday. I just painted the bottom part where the water will be, a shade of green. I'll be placing some think plexi-glass over the painted bottom to form a barrier from the water. The plywood will provide the support so the plexi-glass doesnt have to be thick. I'll be picking up either some thicker cell-cast acrylic or actual glass for the front and the side. I also started the top part today which is separate piece. Any questions of suggestions?



    100_1915.JPG 100_2239.JPG
     
  8. mellowvision

    mellowvision Seafood Lover

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    glass and plexi glass do not seal well to one another. I'd consider using all glass, or all plexi. If I were doing something like this, I'd probably reinforce all the plywood areas that support water, frame in the glass on 2 sides so that it is well supported, and then use fiberglass and epoxy to seal the wood portions.
     
  9. AgressiveIN

    AgressiveIN AC Members

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    Thank you for the comment. I had my hunches as towards the issue of binding glass and plexi-glass and that's why I was leaning more towards the cell cast acrylic. I think that may be cheaper anyway. I think you're right about reinforcing the plywood. I will add in some support, I'd hate to have it give way on me. The plywood I'm using is 1/2 inch so it could use alittle support I'm sure.

    I did add a few pieces of wood yesterday (not shown above) so that the plexi glass will have something to rest against on both sides. I'll add more pictures as I progress so that I can get as much input in as I can to minimize any mishaps.
     
  10. AgressiveIN

    AgressiveIN AC Members

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    Two new pics. No idea how to edit my previous post so double posting.

    100_2249.JPG 100_2255.JPG
     

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