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Dumpy Tree-Frog Vivarium Construction

Discussion in 'General Construction' started by schlegelbagel, Aug 21, 2007.

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  1. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Well, they are all in one, because i forgot to take pics after part one.

    Part one consisted of backing the cabinet so it was more sturdy, attaching the free plexi (frosted parts) to the back and bottom, and attaching the clear (bought) plexi to the sides and front. I did this by using construction adhesive for the sides, and for the back a combination of construction adhesive and 6 screws into the back supports. Then I cut out the two side holes for the side vents, then the top for the light fixture.

    Part two consisted of coating all the exposed wood in silicone. I did this because its pressboard with a coating and I'm positive its not very water tight. So now it is.

    I also realized today, after getting totally high on fumes, that the great stuff, which is the next step, probably won't stick to the scuffed plexi, so I'm going to have to coat the back as well.

    Back support
    [​IMG]

    Front
    [​IMG]

    Close up on front
    [​IMG]

    Top
    [​IMG]
     
  2. kenman1963

    kenman1963 Moderator

    Re: parts one and two

    Looks awesome so far Liz.
     
  3. venus

    venus Founding Member

    Re: parts one and two

    Looks good so far :)
     
  4. Palaeomike

    Palaeomike Elite Member

    Re: parts one and two

    Looks pretty good. Hope it works out fine for temperature regulation.
     
  5. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Re: parts one and two

    Coming along great. I've had trouble in the past getting anything to stick to plexi. Silicone works great for glass but not for plexi. Just too smooth I guess.
     
  6. ajvw

    ajvw Subscribed User

    Re: parts one and two

    Looks great! Don't inhale! ;)
     
  7. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Re: parts one and two

    ugh, was i high on fumes? You bet.

    I'm hoping because we scuffed up the plexi with sandpaper, the silicone sticks to it. Cross your fingers.
     
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Re: parts one and two

    Fingers crossed!
    I can't wait to see the finished product!
     
  9. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Re: parts one and two

    I hope I don't have too much to worry about with temps. I figure I'll need a slightly stronger bulb to heat that much larger of a space. The gradient will be more top to bottom than right to left. If its drying out too much, I'll plexi over some of the air vent I put in. If there isn't enough air circulation, I'll put in a computer fan.
     
  10. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Re: parts one and two

    Any experience I've had with siliconing plexi didn't work. Always had to use an epoxy glue.
     
  11. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Re: parts one and two

    did you scuff it at all first? I mean, i took an electric sander to it.

    SOMETHING has to stick to it. I mean, they construct aquariums that hold water with it. Lemme send a message to my friend brent, who builds custom aquariums and see what he says.
     
  12. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Re: parts one and two

    If I did scuff it up it wasn't much. I'd sure like to know what they use. Some of the bow front aquariums are plexi. They obviously use something that is water safe.
     
  13. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Re: parts one and two

    OK, he said to scuff it up A LOT. I told him I sanded it, he said that was a good start. He said to actually score it. To take a drill bit and run it along the surface making lots of marks and I should be fine.

    He said that since all the sides around it, including the top will help support the structure I really shouldnl't have a problem, not to mention the branches connected to all other sides.

    As for aquariums, there is a type of epoxy that actually melts the sides together to form the bond.
     
  14. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Re: parts one and two

    very useful info-thanks
     
  15. Gewanchuk

    Gewanchuk Junior Member

    Re: parts one and two

    you should be able to find acrylic cement which will actually melt the two peices together. Depending on the cut and how true the joint is, this will usually be watertight. If you want silicone to stick wipe the area down with paint thinner. It will get rid of the smooth surface and will also clean anything off you don't want under your silicone. Don't use any oil-based cleaners, these will prevent the silicone from sticking as well.
     
  16. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Re: parts one and two

    Paint thinner? Really? Won't that harm the critters or does it evaporate all the way?
     
  17. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Re: Dumpy treefrog vivarium construction

    OK, 2nd set of photos. I guess I grabbed two different kinds of Great Stuff, since they are two different colors. One was for window gaps and the other was general use. I really didn't find a difference in either.

    Attaching bark with Great Stuff
    [​IMG]

    Close up
    [​IMG]

    All of the bark and branches installed
    [​IMG]

    Starting to apply the coco-husk
    [​IMG]
     
  18. CodyW

    CodyW Elite Member

    Re: Dumpy treefrog vivarium construction

    Looks like you've been busy Liz. Nice looking setup! What are you doing about plants?
     
  19. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Re: Dumpy treefrog vivarium construction

    There are 4 plant holders in there, as well as space on the floor for plants. I'm planning on a rubber plant for the centerpiece. A pothos ivy will be at the top spot. Not sure about anything else yet. Maybe a snake plant since they can support a frog stuck to them. I guess whatever is at the nursery that tickles my fancy.
     
  20. DarkMagician207

    DarkMagician207 Elite Member

    Re: Dumpy treefrog vivarium construction

    that looks awesome so far! can't wait to see what it looks like all done! great job :D
     
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