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Dividing A Glass Enclosure

Discussion in 'General Construction' started by Manderson, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. Manderson

    Manderson New Member

    I am currently in the process of getting a new cage set up going for my two crested geckos. They are currently in two separate 16x16x20 ZooMed wire cages, as they are a male and a female and I do not want then fighting or breeding. However, they have always been housed right next to each other where they can see, smell, and talk to each other which they do quite frequently. Which is why I would like to get one large Exo Terra glass terrarium and try to separate it with some clear plastic material, have holes drilled in it, and seal the edges so they will still be able to communicate and interact.

    My question is, what material should I look for that would be safe to use to separate the terrarium into halves? It would obviously have to be safe for animals and not give off any toxic fumes or other substances when consistently wet or exposed to a heat lamp. I also need advice on what to use to secure the divider to the inside of the tank, such as an epoxy or something. This would also have to fit the previously listed criteria.

    Thank you for your help!
  2. skygear

    skygear Active Member

    Personally, in the past, I got a glass company to make a thick piece of glass (1/4") drilled for me in 1/4" holes. Then using 100% clear silicone, separated the tank. They drilled, cut and polished the glass and all the holes for me. think They charged me $20 for it.

    For the reason you mention, a heat lamp, I would recommend glass.
    Manderson likes this.
  3. Manderson

    Manderson New Member

    Are you saying you used the silicone to secure the divider in place? And was it an online company you used?
  4. skygear

    skygear Active Member

    I used a local company and Yes, I used silicone to hold it in place. Thus making it a permanent part of the tank. Well, that is until you take a razor to it . Beautiful part of all glass, you can re silicone it. - Aquarium stores sell an aquarium safe silicone. Frankly, if it is a 100% silicone product. It is a 100% silicone product...

    I had a nice reef tank for 5 years before I had to break her down and reseal her. I went with the BLACK 100% silicone from Home Depot and went to town. Now, the tank is still up and running and no ill effects. I actually broke down the whole tank and re glued each pane of glass in her. Razorblades patience and alcohol.

    Once it is dry, there is no chance of contamination. No leaching of chess, etc.

    If I were you though, I would take the measurements, then subtract a few fractions of an inch from the bottom and sides. The silicone will fill the voids and adhere it in place. Reason being for this is 2 fold. 1. you already have a silicone bead in the bottom and top of the tank. 2. you need to be able to angle it into position once yu have it in hand.

    Measurements I used were from under the lower lip of the tank to the bottom. then internal side to side. Glass guys offered to put it in for me if I paid them another $20. I thanked them and knew I was competent enough to do it myself.
  5. skygear

    skygear Active Member

    any glass company will be able to cut a square for you, then drill holes. They might try to charge you to polish the edges and holes, but they were going to do it anyways. Just ask nicely. I suggest showing up in person. You can mock up the piece with cardboard and bring it with you too if it makes you feel better.
  6. Manderson

    Manderson New Member

    Thank you so much for your input! You've been a great help!
  7. skygear

    skygear Active Member

    Your local hardware store will also have thin panes of glass. They can cut them to size for you but will not drill it. You can also get glass drill bits from the hardware stores too. I wanted a THICKER and more finished look for the tank.

    I would have said acrylic, the kicker being the heat lamp.

    One youtubers take on it.

  8. skygear

    skygear Active Member

    I use regular sharp drill bits on acrylic. Never cracked it in the past. Light pressure and new or sharp bits.
  9. skygear

    skygear Active Member

    No problem. I'm not the expert, just a guy who has had quite a few pets and tanks since I was young. Lots of trial and error. More win than error ;)
  10. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Another reason to use glass is silicone doesn't adhere well to acrylic.
  11. DragonSlayer

    DragonSlayer Established Member

    Do not use it if it doesn't not say Aquarium safe, it could contain a mildewcide or anti fungal chemicals.
  12. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    You can use the 100% silicone labeled for doors and windows as long as it doesn't have the chemicals.
    Usually the bad stuff is labeled for kitchens and bathrooms.
  13. skygear

    skygear Active Member


    Each of the pics are a clickable link to the respective color. They ARE sold in individual tubes in store, I just wanted to show you what to look for.
    Black, Clear, Bronze, White, Aluminum Grey, Almond, etc. The Upper part of the dispenser tube (pointy) dictates the color.

    I thought that was a given. , but here are the ones that I have used on 'living things' in the past.

    100% Silicone is that search criteria. You do not want any of them that look like this ->


    Notice how it says "10 year mold and mildew resistance" right in the center in the black box with white font, yeah. No good.

    Again, all pictures are clickable links to Home Depot's respective product/color.

    Each of the individual tubes are normally in the $4-$5 range.

    I'm not 100% on this, but I seem to remember being told in the past that if the tube had 'gold' on it, it contained mold/mildew inhibiting chemicals. Just be smart and ask the important questions in store about the mold issue. Read the labels carefully too if they do not have DAP in store.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2015
  14. DragonSlayer

    DragonSlayer Established Member

    Thanks for that info.
  15. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Yeah if it was for an aquatic fishtank I would go with the actual aquarium sealant. Fish are a bit more sensitive to stuff than our herps are.
  16. DragonSlayer

    DragonSlayer Established Member

    That advice could have saved me a lot of money on Walters first enclosure. Used like 10 or 12 tubes at $12 each
  17. skygear

    skygear Active Member

    Again, not the authority here, however. I was told by a shop owner, and then many people at other places over the years. The 100% silicone without the mold inhibitors is the same thing as the aquarium store bought specific 'aquarium silicone'. Rebranding, was a word used often in the conversations. These same people carried the 'branded' product in store. Since I am and was a regular customer, they helped me in on some of the industry secrets and even went as far as sharing distributers for some of the exotic corals they didn't carry.

    I questioned it the first time, he brought me into the back and showed me what he was using. I saw a PALLET of the DAP in the back. I shrugged my shoulders in approval and exclaimed, "Uh, WELL? OK!"

    I used these on my reef tanks, cichlids, discus, angels, poison arrow dart frogs, snakes and lizards tanks over the years. Never had a Loss of life or any sicknesses that could be attributed to the silicone used. Never had a total loss of a tank either (all animals dyeing).

    Do as you folks would like when it comes to your 'pets'. I like having nice things and saving money is an even bigger plus.
  18. skygear

    skygear Active Member

    Were you using the individual small tubes that are just a couple ounces? Or the Large tubes like I pictured above?
  19. DragonSlayer

    DragonSlayer Established Member

    The large tubes, but I was caulking a 6'x7'x2' enclosure and using as an adhesive for the back ground.

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