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My New Enclosure is Underway

Discussion in 'General Construction' started by fritzponds, Oct 25, 2008.

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  1. fritzponds

    fritzponds Well-Known Member

    Re: My New Enclosure is Underway!

    Thanks, its exciting getting everything together nearing the end of the project.

    I've been working on the hood now, which is good because I have been having trouble maintaining temperature. I resorted to heating the house until I get everything enclosed. Today, however, I have temps in the 80's and 90's....relief. I'm enclosing all the lights so I can use all the heat they generate to help heat the inside, nothing is wasted. To that end I put a small space heater in the hood to pull the heat from the lights(and add its own heat), and pump it to the bottom of the tank. I have basins at the outer ends of the hood for ultrasonic fog machines(ordered). I was also having a problem with the under tank heaters. They were just radiating their heat out the bottom and not through the glass into the tank, so I covered them with a sheet of aluminum foil(not my idea)followed by insulation and aluminum tape. This eliminated all the radiant heat out the bottom, but the glass cracked:mad: Oh well, not a big deal, I'll replace it with thicker glass next time I do a major cleaning. I'm still wrestling with the idea of putting a small hepa filter in the hood, but that might be a little much.

    Thanks everyone, for your comments and your help. This forum has definitely been a big help. I'll continue to post photos as I finish the details.
     

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  2. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Re: My New Enclosure is Underway!

    I find that putting the lights INSIDE the enclosure, then wire meshing them off so no one gets burned works the best. Then you can seal up the top with a piece of wood to keep the heat in.
     
  3. fritzponds

    fritzponds Well-Known Member

    I hooked up the night viewing light on a light switch, my babies seemed to like it. I also found a new tenant for their old feeding tank. Cats seem to have a thing for fish tanks. I also put the insulation on the undertank heaters, all the heat was escaping out the bottom, the glass right next to the heater pad was cool to the touch.
     

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  4. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    I have no idea what you are talking about...

    [​IMG]
     
  5. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    As for the insulation addition to the UTH. I'm not sure if that's a good idea or not.
    It might hold in too much heat. I believe an air space should still be kept between the heat pad and the insulation.
     
  6. fritzponds

    fritzponds Well-Known Member

    Thats a tough one for me, too. I felt the inside of the tank, and it is noticably hotter now with the insulation, which is good. I always thought that the rubber 'feet' they give you with the heating pads was to keep the table underneath from getting too hot, which isn't a problem in this case. I need to investigate a little more and see if its heating up anywhere it shouldn't be.
     
  7. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    It might be okay I don't know. Just thinking out loud.
    They're designed to reach a maximum temperature however the space they are heating will continue to rise in temperature
     
  8. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    My VERY limited experience with UTH's is that the 'feet' are used for a little of both - air and to keep whatever it is sitting on from getting too hot.

    When I was using a regular old heating pad (before getting a UTH) I found that in some places on the pad itself, it had melted the casing of the pad, and the temps in the tank would rise to really high levels. But it had no air to help dissipate any of that heat.

    In your case, the insulation is actually designed specifically to keep in the heat and you can monitor the top side easily enough. But my first thought though would be it that a little air flow would be a good idea.

    That's my 2 cents - which may be what it's worth :p
     
  9. fritzponds

    fritzponds Well-Known Member

    Thanks, I definitely appreciate it. I like the idea of leaving some airflow. I wasn't thinking about the pad melting, but that would be a good thing to check.

    I finished the cover for the hood, so now its holding in the heat real well, and the air circulation fans are keeping everything cool (relatively) in the hood. I just need to put the trim on the hood to clean it up.

    I also got a fogger and humidistat in the mail. I set up the fogger to see how it works and ran into an interesting problem. I have hard water at my house, and foggers have a problem with scale build-up, so I put distilled water in the tank. I plugged in the fogger and nothing happened, when I picked up the fogger it would sputter and shut off repeatedly. I finally figured out that its level switch uses water conductivity to tell if its submerged, and since distilled water has super low conductivity, it wouldn't run (when I stuck my finger in the water it would introduce impurities and the fogger sputtered to life). So I put a cup of hard tap water in the tank and it works fine now. Happy snakes!
     

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  10. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    Wow, I never would have imagined a positive use for Hard Water!:p But what about purified water instead of distilled? Doesn't purified still have some 'stuff' in it? Although I would let someone else here chime in as to whether purified water is ok to add to the fogger.

    Your enclosure is absolutely amazing, by the way, and I'm glad you're sharing your process. I've been learning quite a bit from your experiences -- although I doubt I'll ever have the time or patience to build something that exquisite.

    I'm glad the snakes are happy -- it's what makes it all worthwhile!!:)
     
  11. fritzponds

    fritzponds Well-Known Member

    Thanks, its been a fun new experience.

    With the water, its basically about what minerals are in the water. Certain ions like calcium and magnesium, which are common in well water, form a hard scale when they form on pipe walls or in hot water heaters or in this case the diaphram on the fogger. Purified water replaces these 'hard' ions with some beneficial ones like potassium or sodium which also form a softer scale that doesn't cling as well or at all.

    I will probably use a mixture of distilled and purified because distilled doesn't have any ions other than water ions(H+ and OH-) which naturally occur in water, but I still need the thing to run.
     
  12. fritzponds

    fritzponds Well-Known Member

    I finally ditched my needles for some digital, what an eye opener. My humidity was 20% off, and the temps were only about 5F off. I went a little crazy but I guess you can't know too much about the temps in your cage. You guys weren't kidding about Walmart, they had the best prices on temp and humidity guages. I set up the humidistat as well which I hope will help with the shedding problems.
     

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  13. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Glad you went digital. Those little dial ones should also be put in the "don't waste your money on that junk" pile.
     
  14. fritzponds

    fritzponds Well-Known Member

    I got my other fogger in the mail today so decided to post some pics about how I put the tanks together. First I found some metal brackets for shelving which were the perfect size for the tank. I didn't want all the weight of the water on the screen since its just stapled on. Then i found out, doing the other tank, that the mouth needed to be much bigger to let all the fog out. I also cut a hole for the cord so the lid could still close all the way. Then I filled up the tank and ran into the same problem with the too pure water. Lastly I plugged it in and hooked it up to the controller. This was the last thing I needed for the hood so now I can finish it up.
     

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  15. fritzponds

    fritzponds Well-Known Member

    Here are the other pics
     

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  16. fritzponds

    fritzponds Well-Known Member

    Here is some other stuff I've been working on. I ran into a problem with the base. I have to lift up the whole thing an inch or two to screw in the supports. I might use a car jack for that. I guess I should have done that first, oops. I also mounted the humidistat and some thermometers on the front. Here are some pictures in the hood showing the cooling fans and the airflow. The fans are just PC style fans to move the air around in there, and a thermometer probe to watch the temperature up there. I used a paintbrush program to show the airflow path so the pictures don't exactly match-up, but it kindof shows you the entire hinged section of the hood.
     

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  17. fritzponds

    fritzponds Well-Known Member

    I finished the bottom and back of the cabinet space, and there are going to be 3 doors on the front.

    I also found some bark, baked it, and made a nice sized mound for the snakes, it also serves to hide the flower pots.
     

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  18. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    That's quite the enclosure!
    Good job!
     
  19. fritzponds

    fritzponds Well-Known Member

    I made some more hides for the snakes. Everything still seems to be going fine. I'm almost ready to call the cage, Done!
     

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  20. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Is that where it is gong to be located? I just noticed that large window and it looks like the sun could shine on the enclosure.
    This is extremely hazardous as it could cause the cage to overheat.
     
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