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Ackie Enclosure Build

Discussion in 'General Construction' started by kriminaal, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Been a while since I started but here's a complete rundown.
    The background I started last summer (wow)
    It's in this thread. http://www.herpcenter.com/general-construction/38321-new-rockwall.html

    This is the base cabinet. Cut out to fit the rubbermaid container which seemed a good idea at the time.
    But was not. That will come later.
    IMG_1516.jpg
    You can see my new drill, part of a Dewalt 20 volt lithium ion set SWEEET.
    Bought as I was renovating the bathroom. Comes in real handy for reptile projects as well. ;)
    The front center panel is removeable for taking out the container if needed later.
    As well the height in between is adjustable in case I modify it at a later time with a different substrate container.

    I reinforced the container laterally as I knew the substrate would bow out the sides.
    IMG_1620.jpg
    I setup the heat pad underneath the substrate container. With a digital probe for readout.
    IMG_1621.jpg IMG_1622.jpg

    I also put spacers underneath so the weight would not sit on the heatpad and pinch it.
    Unfortunately the container really sagged. Which was something I had not counted on as the bottom was quite rigid.
    IMG_1628.jpg

    So I had to seal the gap with spray foam as my attempts at shimming it up did not work.
    There was just too much weight.
    I pulled out the heat pad and attached it to the side.
    This is the heatpad opened up.
    IMG_1636.jpg
    I needed a stitch killer(we'll call it that, it's more manly) to cut all the stitches that held the wires down.
    There was a ton of them. Took quite a while.
    IMG_1635.jpg

    Then I attached them to the sides. Spacing so none were touching, then covered with foil tape.
    IMG_1637.jpg IMG_1638.jpg
    Note that this is still a work in progress. It is wired to a rheostat for control but not sure how it will work yet.

    With the top set on. I then tried to organize all the wires (I said tried)
    IMG_1549.jpg IMG_1550.jpg

    Thanks to a member here (Vers) for the idea of a false panel for timers and what not.

    I set up my basking lights on swag lamp fixtures from the bathroom reno.
    See, they can serve a purpose. I have them on hooks so I can adjust height or move them anywhere in the enclosure if the need arises.
    IMG_1632.jpg
    IMG_1625.jpg

    IMG_1623.jpg

    A controlled heat emitter to keep the minimum cool end temps.
    IMG_1624.jpg

    Furnished, setup and inhabited.
    Although with the larger enclosure now. One is missing. Likely burrowed somewhere.
    IMG_1634.jpg IMG_1631.jpg IMG_1633.jpg
     
  2. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Wow Mike, it looks great!
    Wish you and Matt lived closer to me :(
    Thank goodness for that Stitch Killer! lol The swag fixtures is an awesome idea and add a little bit of retro into the design. Great idea with the heating pad too.
     
  3. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Thanks Michele.
    I'm unsure if the heatpad will work out yet.
    I don't know if it needs some air space as in the cover of the pad.
    The foil tape may be too restrictive. I'm keeping a close eye on it so far as it heats up.
     
  4. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    'Bout time! Nice work, Mike...it came out great. Have you considered raising the basking surface to get those lamps up closer to the ceiling to better conceal them?
     
  5. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    It looks awesome! :)
     
  6. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    I know right. Did take a while. Only because I wasn't in dire need of it.

    Problem with raising the lamps is if I do that I need to crank them up which increases my heat and dries out the enclosure.
    I need to keep the humidity at a moderate level. I may even need to drop them a bit yet.
     
  7. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Looks great Mike!
    So was that just a human heating pad that you "sacrificed"?
     
  8. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    I got it real cheap.
     
  9. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    ...not if you raise the basking surface with the lamps.
     
  10. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    You are correct. However Acanthurus prefer to be near the ground. It's a case of providing a basking area where they would use it.
    I will check out though how high I would have to move it to hide the lights.
     
  11. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    Well I was thinking more along the lines of a 'dirt' mound or rock pile with a large flat stone and or some branches that would provide you with a little more height to suck those lights up. But if they don't bother you then don't worry about it. I'm just one of the few who hates seeing lighting but it looks great regardless :D
     
  12. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    You're like my wife. She points out issues and then says don't worry about it. It still looks great. ;)
    I have to see yet if they like that basking area. I may need to rearrange yet. Hence why I like adjustable lighting.
     
  13. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    hahaha Don't mind me :-"
     
  14. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi Mike, it`s looks o.k, I suppose...... :-"








    On second thoughts you`ve made a terrific job of it, well done! I take it it`s just undercoated on the outside (nothing wrong with having it dull grey, if that`s your preference Michael)....
    I love the fake rockwork, you really get a great effect, though personally I would have liked to have seen some on the left side, too. I`m guessing you still intend to add more decorations (plants, branches)? I can`t see the monitor, give me a clue where it is?
     
  15. Rakoladycz

    Rakoladycz Elite Member

    Great work and effort Mike! It looks beautiful! Should be a great piece to have in a home.
     
  16. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    It's actually a painted lite vanilla colour. I guess camera flash throws it off.
    You are correct Stefan about the left wall. I need to collect some bark to hang on there.
    I have a 6" cork tube I could cut in half. But it's such a nice tube, I'd rather not.

    As usual the two Red ackies in there are a little skittish now. Hiding out as they slowly check out the new area.
    I believe one has tunneled into the substrate as I haven't seen her(hopefully) since the first day.
    It's nerve wracking when one disappears. You start checking it all over for escape possibilities.
     
  17. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Yay, I found her tail poking out. Now I can relax a little.

    The heat pad seems to be working okay. Should be fine. I don't think 86 deg will melt plastic.
     
  18. mdeford09

    mdeford09 Well-Known Member

    dead thread.... But, I gotta ask, how did you make that rock wall background??
     
  19. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    There's a thread somewhere. I'll try to find it.
     
  20. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    The link is at the top but goes to an error.
    It's blue foam covered with layers of mortar/thinset, then epoxy, then more mortar/thinset. Lots of fun as well.
     

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