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Building Cage for AWD

Discussion in 'General Construction' started by DragonFamily, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. DragonFamily

    DragonFamily Elite Member

    Thanks! The blue pool is definitely going to be the one we go with. And for washing, we pretty much always just use a bucket of really hot water and a towel to wipe everything down. I don't like the idea of using any chemicals of any kind unless absolutely necessary and only when we can rinse it properly. The steam gun is a really good idea... we don't currently own one, but we have one on our gift list for our wedding next We use hot water, sometimes with diluted bleach or mild dish soap, and a short stint in the oven for furniture and dishes. Everything always gets a thorough rinse in water.

    Well..... After wiping everything down inside and cleaning the pool, we fitted the doors tonight... well, we tried anyways. The opening ended up slightly off and tapered and we *thought* we needed one sheet of glass to be slightly taller than the other, but it turns out we went too big on both and one size will work for both sides... We really don't know what happened as we triple checked the measurements... But in the end the smaller pane of glass goes into the bigger end perfectly but still slides all the way to either side fine and the bigger pane of glass is too big... About 1/8"-3/16" too tall to fit into the tracks even on the taller end of the opening.

    Sooooo, we're gonna see if we can figure something out tomorrow for a place to get it ground down a bit since I think the shop we got the glass at is closed on the weekends. Aaaargghhhhh.....
  2. DragonFamily

    DragonFamily Elite Member

    Well after messing around ourselves and trying to sand down the glass some, we ended up taking it back to the shop we got it from. They knocked it down 1/4" so we are in business with the glass!

    We also got our MegaRay and the flourescent tube bulb.

    The glass place gave us a couple of stick on pulls for the doors as well so we put it all together lastnight. We put the cut-pile filler strip on the glass pane and stuck the pulls on and the doors work really nicely. The lock also fits and works perfectly. The doors are kind of difficult to get moving, but still slide well. Might try a light lubricant of some kind on the bottom track and see if that helps. We didn't weigh the doors, but they are not exactly light :) .

    Here are some pics of the glasswork and the final enclosure lit up:





    And here is one of the temp under the 160w MegaRay:


    That was the temp after having the lights on for about 20 minutes. We left the thermometer in there for another 20 minutes and checked the temps periodically and it got a bit hot... We saw it get as high as 100* at one point but fluctuated from 97-99*. So we went in and played with the probe in different locations under the MegaRay and there is a very small (maybe 2" diameter) spot directly under the MegaRay that gets to about 104* on that piece of wood on the shelf. This is with the MegaRay pointing straight down at the shelf. So we are thinking that we might play with the aiming of the MegaRay and point it at the edge/corner of the shelf towards the center of the enclosure to make the distance a bit longer from the bulb to the basking spot to lower the temp a bit and make it less likely that our Dragon will sit right in that hot spot.

    We also checked the temps with another thermometer to make sure it was reading correctly and they matched virtually identically.

    Kind of frustrating since the bulb is probably not exchangeable now and if it was, I think the 100w wouldn't get it hot enough. There was just no way to know what exactly the temps would end up being without the doors on and closed.

    What do you guys think about the temps we are seeing?

    Attached Files:

  3. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I`m not sure if it`s possible for you to remove the glass from the tracks, if yes, then you can rub a candle along the bottom edge, that will make it slide very smoothly, otherwise a drop of oil in the track... As far as the temps, they are a little high, but not too excessive, I think; but altering the angle of the lamp will lower them on the shelf, the 100watt lamp alone would NOT give you the temps you need, although you could have used an infra-red or ceramic lamp as supplementary heat alongside the 100w. MR... (I really think it will be fine with what you`ve got)....
  4. DragonFamily

    DragonFamily Elite Member

    We are hoping we can tweak it a little and get a bit lower basking temps... We'll see how it works out.

    Oh yeah, the doors lift out of the tracks no problem. We will give the candle wax a try. Thanks!
  5. DragonFamily

    DragonFamily Elite Member

    Thanks again for the candle wax idea! It worked great! The doors are much, much easier to slide now after rubbing a non-scented candle on them. :)

    We played with the light some and got the temps on that shelf to stay below 100* by pointing it at the far corner of the shelf. The whole shelf area stays in the high 80s to mid 90s and there is a tight focused area from the center of the MegaRay that gets up to 100*. We are thinking this will at least not be too hot and we will keep an eye on our Dragon and see how things go.

    We made the final tweaks to the enclosure with what we have available and put it in it's final mounting spot. It is sitting on a 55gal tank stand now. Wasn't too bad to lift, but definitely at least a two person job - and that was with the glass doors removed. We also put in some fake plants and vine-type stuff along with the logs from the 55gal tank our Dragon was living in. We cleaned everything thoroughly and gave it an hour in the oven to make sure we didn't transfer anything into the new enclosure as well.

    Here's some pics of the Move in! We moved Raptor in right away this morning so she has time to acclimate all day. The flourescent tube comes on at 8am, off at 10pm and the MegaRay is set to come on at 10am and then off at 8pm. Then the ceramic heater is hooked up to the thermostat and set to 75* with the probe mounted under the top shelf. Anyways, here they are:

    After a few minutes, hadn't moved a muscle:


    Closer picture, still had not moved much:


    Soaking in the MegaRay:


    The filter is actually very quiet as well. You can hardly hear it at all with the doors closed and overall it is very quiet. We just hope it doesn't freak out Raptor to the point of not wanting to go into the water.... we shall see I suppose...

    Attached Files:

  6. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I`m glad everything`s worked out, the temp of 100f is fine, you`ve made a great job of the whole thing, and I`m sure the dragon will benefit from all the hard work you`ve put in (and also the best UVB bulb available)! Just out of interest, would you ever consider trying to get a female and try breeding this beautiful species?
  7. DragonFamily

    DragonFamily Elite Member

    Thanks again for the compliments. We really couldn't have done it without the information and ideas we found here at herpcenter. We wouldn't even had attempted it on our own and ended paying who knows how much for possibly less without the herpcenter community to help us :cool: .

    We aren't looking to add to our herd right now... We have three Beardies, an Anole, and a small fish tank right now as well as our AWD and that keeps us pretty busy in the pet area. We don't have much free time at all these days. We would need to build another enclosure like this if we wanted to have another AWD too. Alex really wants an Iguana as our next Herp too... So it isn't looking likely in the near future. We'd have to put an order in with our local exotic pet store too as nobody around here has AWDs for sale with any regularity. Including ours, we've seen a total of 3 for sale in the last 3 years. And we visit the good Reptile shops pretty regularly. He got this one just on a whim to try out but hasn't gotten any others since. It took him a while to get this one sellable after getting it from the breeder he said.

    We agree though, they really are fantastic looking lizards though!
  8. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    The males during the breeding season are quite stunning with their crimson-red chests, I didn`t realise they were so hard to find, these animals are so familiar to me; I tried to get hold of a couple of Stumpy-tail skinks for a friend, I found one breeder in the States who had just sold one, I think the asking price was $3000, we used to find them around the neighborhood, the Water Dragons were fairly common too, not far from where I grew up, it`s amazing to see the price/scarcity of some of these "everyday" animals!
  9. KrazyReptiles

    KrazyReptiles Member

    sweet tank!wanna build me one :p haha just joking
  10. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    My CWD is extremely skittish, and still uses her pool, despite the filter. Yours should be fine.
  11. DragonFamily

    DragonFamily Elite Member

    Well it's been a few weeks now and Raptor definitely likes the pool. We have a constant flow of poop in the pool every The filter does a decent job of cleaning the water but we use a small strainer to get the large stuff out of there. We did one full water change as well the other day. Over time, as Raptor has been in the new enclosure he seems to have gotten more and more comfortable with the pool. I've caught him many times now just chilling out, soaking in the pool.

    Things are really going well. He's starting to shed on his legs. Raptor's appetite seems to have grown as well and we are nearing about 18-24 medium/large crickets a day now. He used to lose interest after about a dozen crickets.
  12. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I pleased to hear everything`s going well, I`m sure the Megaray has at least something to do with it, as well as the larger tank, usually there`s no substitute for natural sunlight, but the MR is as close as it gets!
  13. MadDog

    MadDog Elite Member

    Wow, that looks great!
  14. DragonFamily

    DragonFamily Elite Member

    Here's a nice relaxed pic:


    And one slightly peeved Raptor up on the top shelf:


    Attached Files:

  15. Wow what a beautiful cage! If I can ask, where did you order the custom glass from that was willing to charge such a reasonable price?

    I am finding the same issue with the big box retailers and their glass pricing. For my ig I have been considering everything from storm window to used storm door for the main glass display / cage access to try to make Pendragon's home fit into my budget.
  16. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    For an animal as powerful as ain iguana I would not suggest using the thin windowpane type of glass unless you enjoy replacing broken glass!
    I would go no thinner than 1/4 inch plate.

    And check out your local glass shops. Prices can vary wildly from shop to shop.
    I got my 13x48x1/4 inch thick panel for 27 dollars.
  17. DragonFamily

    DragonFamily Elite Member

    We spent several hours calling all sorts of hardware stores and everything listed in the phone book for glass suppliers and stores. Eventually we found several small companies that were much more affordable than any hardware store. The place we went with was a four person company that did security system installation, locksmithing, and glasswork. They ordered the sheets in from a supplier in town as they didn't have that kind of glass in stock. Our panes are 1/4" tempered glass with polished edges and 24"x41" so a little over $40 a piece was pretty reasonable. I guess looking back, if we could have found out who the central supplier was for this sort of glass we could have saved a bit more... But in the end they were very helpful in getting things all figured out.

    Definitely skip the Home Depots, Lowes, Hardware Hanks, etc. None of those places work with glass this thick and will just order it in and double the price for no apparent reason if they will even do that.

    And I agree with Merlin - you definitely want 1/4" tempered glass for a large lizard. It is strong and if it does break, it "crumbles" into bits instead of cracking into nasty sharp shards.

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