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I'm Building a Timor Monitor Enclosure. Input Needed

Discussion in 'General Construction' started by Andyc3020, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Thanks for asking questions, I have the easy part, you`re the one having to put suggestions into practice! ;)
    It`s simply the fact that a relatively large piece of glass needs to be as robust as possible, the thickness also helps a little with the insulation, too.

    Whether you use the reflectors might depend on the position of the bulbs, I actually needed to make a protective box around mine to stop him touching them...
    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8183/8098456051_7b1138d12a_z.jpg
     
  2. Andyc3020

    Andyc3020 Elite Member

    Ok i'll plan on getting the 1/4 to replace this one with, but I just have to get something built to get him out of where he is now.
     
  3. Andyc3020

    Andyc3020 Elite Member

    I think I'm on the right track.

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    **** this poly is expensive. How many coats do I need?
     

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  4. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, I doubt that the bottom part of the enclosure is sturdy enough to support the weight of between 30 to 45cm (12 to 18inches) of soil/playsand substrate, it really needed a framework of 2 x 4inch battens.
    With the front being mainly glass how will you be able to have the depth of substrate needed?
    I would use at least 3 coats of water based polyurethane varnish to seal all exposed surfaces (and as previously suggested), something more substantial for the bottom and sides up to substrate level.
     
  5. AdamL8

    AdamL8 Elite Member

    It looks great but like Murrindindi said, The bottom will never hold the required depth of substrate as is. Three coats of sealer should be enough. A one gallon can is around $45-50 and will easily cover the whole thing. For the bottom you still need to figure out how you are going to reinforce it for the substrate before lining it with FRP or an FRP substitute. I already like the large glass front though because it will give you a great viewing window.
     
  6. Andyc3020

    Andyc3020 Elite Member

    Thebottom is actually at floor level so it will give enough for 12" in the front. Ill ppot more pics later.I just didn't put the last piece of plywood in yet. I have twoscoats of poly in now and I'm going to do a third. Possibly 4th.
     
  7. AdamL8

    AdamL8 Elite Member

    My concern isn't the floor of the enclosure, it's the sides of it where there is nothing but the strength of the plywood holding one foot of substrate in. It might end up being a non-issue though. Good luck regardless.
     
  8. Andyc3020

    Andyc3020 Elite Member

    ahh i see what you are saying. I had to build it in three pieces because it won't fit through my doors assembled and this was just the first pic i took to show my wife how big it was. When she left for work on Saturday she had no idea how big the enclosure was going to be. anyway it has 2x4s holding everything together on the bottom. I'll post some more pics when my phone charges. I'm really excited to get him in his new cage. It looks like Wednesday might be the day. I really appreciate everyone's feedback.

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  9. AdamL8

    AdamL8 Elite Member

    Wednesday of next week maybe. That sealer needs at least several days to dry and off gas. If you were still adding layers of sealer today wait until the smell of it is gone or at the minimum 72 hours (Check the label) because until it's cured it is toxic especially in an enclosed container with a lizard in it. If you could wait until Friday or Saturday before adding the dirt and then a day or two after everything is set up to add the monitor it should be good. That will give it time to cure and time for you to make sure that everything is running smoothly before putting a live animal in it. I personally can't wait to see it finished.
     
  10. Andyc3020

    Andyc3020 Elite Member

    OK so maybe Wednesday is too soon but I'm like you and can't wait to see it finished.
     
  11. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    It needs more bracing then just on the bottom. It should have 3-4 braces on each side as well. If you dont put the extra bracing in the wieght of all that dirt is going to push out on the sides and warp the cage. It may even put gaps in the corners depending on how well you screwed and sealed it.

    Example of what we are talking about: 004 (4).jpg see all the braces I have across the sides on my cwd cage? It helped stabilize and improve the structural integrity of the whole cage so it doesnt wobble, warp, or break when I move it around. Also I can use the bracing for holding up shelves and branches which makes the entire cage more useable. 019 (2).jpg see the rounded box I added on? It makes a great hide/planter for my cwd. and I just put some slate tiles partially across the top and his basking shelf was added to the top which makes it really easy to get the heat gradient I need for him. The hot side is up top with all the lights and the bottom is the cool side with no lights.
     
  12. Andyc3020

    Andyc3020 Elite Member

    I see what you are saying. Very cool shape on that 2nd pic too. I like it.

    So I guess it is time to start thinking about heating and background.

    Not sure how difficult it is going to be to heat it but I imagine it may be a little tricky getting some warmth all the way to the bottom. Any tips?

    Also, for a background. I'm thinking about doing a fake rock background, but I might just want to put some kind of textured fake plants that he can climb on. I have looked at a lot of the pics in the enclosure album, and have some ideas. I am trying to get it done pretty fast so the fake rock idea may have to wait.

    anyone have any input on heating? I was thinking about putting a computer fan behind a light bulb facing down to try to get some heat to the bottom. idk just a thought. what do you think?
     
  13. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, I recommend using the low wattage halogen bulbs (flood, not spot) @ between approx. 40 to 60w+, raise/lower them or the basking object or fit a dimmer switch `til you get the desired surface temp.
    By placing the bulbs relatively high up it means the temp gradient will be vertical, which is perfectly fine, the bottom parts (including burrows/hides) should be around 24c (75f). No need to use a fan, in my opinion.
     
  14. Andyc3020

    Andyc3020 Elite Member

    Awesome! i have 3 45w floodlights so we'll see how that does. I cant wait to move him in
     
  15. Andyc3020

    Andyc3020 Elite Member

    Update:

    Enclosure is pretty much done and Rocko is moved in. I still have a few things to adjust and a lot of more "furniture" to add. I found some cool bamboo fencing at home depot that I used as the background that he likes to hide behind. His basking spot is only two 45w bulbs and I have the basking temp up to 115ish. I'm going to bump the wattage up and see where that gets me. I think the bulbs are as close to the basking spot as I feel comfortable putting them. My humidity gauge hasn't come in yet but I can tell when I open the door that it is safe. (I know i know I have to get the gauge to know for sure). There is about a foot of topsoil/sand mix for substrate which by the way was a lot of work carrying in lol. I don't want to post pics until I am finished decorating, but I think you guys will like it. Hopefully I'll be done by friday.

    Also, I'm looking for some safe vines to use. Anyone have suggestions?

    also, how can I be sure he is eating in the big cage? I feel like there are too many places for crickets to hide and I'll never know if he finds them.
     
  16. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, he/she will find the prey, the wild is a much bigger place and they manage to feed themselves quite well much of the time!
    I use plastic vines (not that they last long these days)... ;)
     
  17. Andyc3020

    Andyc3020 Elite Member

    That makes sense about the prey.

    do you think a timor will be as destructive to dead real plants? I'd like to use dried out ones if I can find some.

    I guess he is a peacock monitor really. Blue spot timor..... whatever he is.. ha
     
  18. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    When he grows he may be a little destructive with smaller real/fake plants, obviously not so much as one of the larger species (lucky you)! ;)
     
  19. Andyc3020

    Andyc3020 Elite Member

    Do you think it is safe to bring in vines from outside?
     
  20. AdamL8

    AdamL8 Elite Member

    Shake them off and hose them down first. If you have a bucket or a tub that is big enough to soak them for a week that would be even better.
     

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