This Disappears When Logged In

Duplex Terrarium - Enclosure Plans

How To Build A Duplex Terrarium

Article Navigation

Originally Andreas design; Martin has perfected it and made them incredible!

Duplex Terrarium - Enclosure Plans


Our "Duplex" terrarium measures 196cm x 70x 70 cm (outside dimensions) and has a removable separating wall. The weight (without glass and without inside décor) is about 18kg.
The polycarbonate sheets are stuck together with aluminum profiles, they are very stable, easy to clean, lightweight and very durable. The connections are sealed with silicone.
Our “branches” are made of white PVC pipes of various widths, scorched with a blow torch. (Attention: TOXIC fumes: only do this outside with eye protection, gloves and a good mask!)
The center wall is removed in this picture but can be added at any time.

Duplex Terrarium - Enclosure Plans
Center Wall Added
Duplex Terrarium Enclosure

We heat with 2 “Pro Heat” heat panels @65 Watts controlled by a Herpstat PRO proportional thermostat.
All of the cables (2x thermostat, 2x thermometer and 2x hygrometer are hidden inside the PVC branches)
Lighting: 2 florescent fixtures with 21 Watt full-spectrum tubes.

OK now for the detailed "building instructions":
The following instructions have been put together to the best of our knowledge, but we take no responsibility for problems or damages that may result from someone following them.
I will begin with a list of the materials (I’m not sure where these can be purchased in the USA, so you’ll have to check the internet.)
The sizes are given in cm/mm because it’s much more exact than inches and that’s how we did ours.

4 x Multi-wall Polycarbonate sheets (the material used to build greenhouses, etc)
Color: Super Cool White
16mm thick 200 x 98cm
What is special about the diamond polycarbonate sheets is their special hollow inner structure which improves the insulation and stability.

Duplex Terrarium Plans
Aluminum Profiles
Terrarium - Enclosure Plans

Reference Aluminum Profiles Pictured Above

8x Corner profile Aluminum for 16mm sheets. (see pic upper left)
Length: 2meters (each)

4x U-profile Aluminum for 16mm sheets (upper right image)
Length: 2meters (each)

1x H-Profile Aluminum for 16mm sheets (bottom left)
Length: 2meters (each)

2x L-Profile Aluminum for 16mm sheets (bottom right)
Length: 2meters (each)

Reference Glass Tracks Pictured Below

16x Tin screws (rust-free) 2.9x13mm

1x Building or plumbing silicone (check that it is OK for polycarbonate!)

1x Tube of 2 part epoxy for metal and plastics

1x Sliding glass profile track for 6mm glass (upper)
Length: 2 meters

1x Sliding glass profile track for 6mm glass (lower)
Length: 2 meters

Duplex Enclosure Plans

I'm not sure where or if you can get these in the US: The place I ordered mine will ship to the USA and Canada: M&S Reptilien

You just have to know how thick your glass pieces are in millimeters. They have 6mm wide and 4mm wide tracks. PS -- The English translation is not brilliant: they say "up" and "down" when they mean "top" and bottom": You need to order a top track and a bottom track or the glass will not fit into place

16x Ventilation hole covers: round 50mm

Duplex Plans

1x Silver acrylic spray paint (150ml)

2x 6mm glass 435x1000mm with polished edges

Our total material costs came to about US$ 600.00 (Without tools)

The material has to be worked with, so here is a list of the tools needed.


Miter-box saw with metal blades
Jigsaw with “fine metal” blades
Electric drill with 2mm and 3mm bits (for metal)
Hole saw 44mm
Metal file (fine)
Rubber hammer
Vacuum cleaner (shop-vac)
Straight edge / ruler
Measuring tape (with cm)
Protective glasses
Ear plugs / Ear protection
Several screw (vice) clamps
Phillips screwdriver size 1

We used a hand miter saw, but there are electric versions.

Hand Mitre Saw
Enclosure Plans
Jig Saw
Duplex Terrarium - Enclosure Plans

The Hole Saw is attached to the Electric Drill.

Hole Saw Bit
Terrarium Plans

Article Navigation


Author: Martin & Andrea Dannegger
Images - © Martin & Andrea Dannegger