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Here's Goes My First Custom Iguana Habitat Attempt.

Discussion in 'General Construction' started by hcfwesker, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. hcfwesker

    hcfwesker Elite Member

    First, I have done plenty of carpentry, and very handy with power tools, and have all I need to get this project done. Of course, the hard part for me is finding out exactly what's right for the Iguana, but researching and finding out BEFORE i make any mistakes I won't be able to reverse.

    I understand enclosures should be taller than wide, but My Iguana is only 12 inches STL, so I'm going with a 4 x 2.2 x 4 enclosure, which I've read is good for Iguanas close to 3 ft long, so this will last him for a couple years I'm hoping, until it's time to upgrade.

    Here's the initial frame work, like I said just getting started. Placing the Linoleum flooring just to get an idea of how it'll look.


    The 3-4 inch space under the flooring, of course is mostly for support (it's not finished, just getting a rough idea. But I also plan to either add a place for a pan to sit in, or add my own pvc drain system for his bathing area.


    I've already circled out a couple places for light/waterfall electrical outputs to go through some parts, I'm using computer desk Grommets, if anyone has any better suggestions for this, i'm all ears.


    My Iguana's name is Krycek ( x-file fan, lol) ... I actually hated that I missed the opportunity to name him Yoshi, but after looking up Ig videos on youtube, found out it's a pretty common name for an Iggy.

    Here's the enclosure he's in now (18" x 18" x 24"). I just feel bad for him cause there's not much space for great decoration ideas, or many different climbing options, but he uses all he has available to him.


    And, here he is enjoying an afternoon snack, which I have recently placed the feeding dish lower in the habitat, closer to his water tray.


    I'm just ready to get him some more space, and not planning on building the greatest habitat ever, just something to get him much more needed space to last him a couple years; with a few personal touches for easy convenience in cleaning, etc.

    I'm going to have many questions along the way, so hope some experienced habitat builders can lend a hand along the way. :) Already met some great people here, and received much appreciated advice. :)

    Attached Files:

  2. hennisntacanibal

    hennisntacanibal Elite Member

    Your ideas sound great so far. Be warned though that your ig might outgrow it faster than you planned!
  3. hcfwesker

    hcfwesker Elite Member

    Yeah, unfortunately this will happen sooner than expected. But, like I said, as long as it lasts me a year or 2, that'll be cool. (supposedly the world is gonna end in 2012, so we'll see which comes first lmao).

    Something important I need to know, where is the best place to have a fogger system come into the habitat. below/midways/up top? I plan on using a piece of 3/4" pvc and drill tiny holes throughout it, that extends the width of the Habitat. So it evenly disperses the fog, and the tiny holes can drip the moisture build up in the PVC, so it acts as a kinda "rain drip system" , as well.
  4. annarawrr

    annarawrr Elite Member

    Looks good! I wish I knew a thing or two about woodwork. Mine's all screen and cable ties XD Your little guy is lucky to have you! Good luck!
  5. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    You're in Alabama and you need a fog system?
    I thought it was pretty humid down there.
  6. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Put the piping from the fogger on the top. The water vapor will settle down thru the cage.
    Be carefull with that. Sometimes rain systems turn into swamp making systems!
  7. hcfwesker

    hcfwesker Elite Member

    It is outside, but a central heating/air system pulls all the moisture/humidity from the house, lol. Now, an outdoor enclosure, yes, wouldn't need any humidity additives down south.

    Ok, sounds like a plan then, won't do the drip system thing. Then, maybe an alternative, is to run a full PVC stick across the top-back-outside of the enclosure, then have PVC "T"s (maybe 3-4) that disperse the fog into the cage at different points. Though, I could also accomplish this just running it through the top, and have them facing downward into the enclosure.

    thanx for the heads up on that Merlin.

    Most likely going to stain the wood this afternnon, and tomorrow with 3-4 coats, then work on how I want the enclosure decor to be before i start sealing the wood ... unless i's a good idea to seal the wood after painting, then work on the decor inside the habitat?
  8. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, when you say a fogger, do they emmit as much moisture as a household humidifier? If yes, you will need to be careful it`s not too close to cause moisture on the heat bulb/s.
    I use a household humidifier, but it`s positioned on the floor, although I think you might safely have the pipe halfway up....

    You mention staining the wood, is that actually woodstain, or do you mean painting, as in gloss, etc?
  9. hcfwesker

    hcfwesker Elite Member

    I pan on having them disperse the fog away from the heat lamps, of course. Most likely have the fog system below the lamps, probably about a foot or so below , as the rising heat pulls the humidity up as well.

    I'm actually not 100% sure what to go with. I'd like to go with wood stain, like a darker brown like birchwood or something. I have plenty of Minwax Polycrylic for the sealing once it's stained/painted. I don't plan on painting excessive colors, I have plenty of vine+leaf decoratives to go within the habitat.

    Is woodstain ok? And I seen minwax brands i was 'planning' to go with, just wanted to confirm here they would be ok. Like i said, I'm not 100% on what type to use for staining the wood before sealing it.


    I will be using this topic for help and updates, as well. So I hope that's allowed here before i make this topic 20 pages.
  10. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I use the minwax stain under the polycrylic.
  11. hcfwesker

    hcfwesker Elite Member

    Cool. Needed the confirmation. some of the minwax brands had "stains, saturates, & seals" on the label. I know better than to use that type. What exactly should i look for on the label, Merlin, just regular minwax "woodstain" , or is there some cryptic thing i should be looking for on the label.

    Aslo, I've got the glass priced for the 2 front doors (1.5X3) , and two for the sides up high, about (1X2). Was actually cheaper than I thought. I've read 1/4" tempered glass will work just fine. not really wanting to go with plexiglass.
  12. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    For a stain, use water based one, and for the sealer minwax polycrylic!
  13. hcfwesker

    hcfwesker Elite Member

    Thanx, mld. I got the minwax polycrylic when i bought all the wood. Tomorrow I'll be off work, so I hope to make some progress with some updates.

    It's the stain that's confusing me. :D Water based it is :)

    As far as silicon goes, I have 100% silicon tubes. Am I suppose to seal all the corners of the enclosure with it, or does the sealant do that. Just want to know cause I'm designing this so it can be disassmbled and reassembled with ease, but siliconing the corners together will make this rather difficult.
  14. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

  15. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi again, birch is quite a light colour, you might want to look at a medium or dark oak, perhaps mahogany, you usually only need one coat, but if you want a deeper shade, apply two. The varnish really brings out the colour and the wood grain...
    I should mention, if you decided to use normal paint, you would need to use a wood primer and undercoat first. Varnishing over gloss, satin finish etc, will cause some discolouring. A 500ml tin of stain should be enough for that size enclosure I would think (or two of that size if you apply two coats).
  16. hcfwesker

    hcfwesker Elite Member

    I don't know my colors, just the word Birch stood out for some reason, maybe it was oak or something else. I'll know for sure once I get there. I do plan on using 2 coats of the stain, and not going to go with any other colors.

    Thanx for showing me the type to use in a pic, Merlin, they have that right down the road from me, and on my way to get it. Went ahead and did my weekly disinfecting of Krycek's current enclosure, so got a little behind, but he comes first :)
  17. hcfwesker

    hcfwesker Elite Member

    Well, got the first coat on. I went with Dark Walnut, hope it's not toooo dark of a color. But with the fake vines/plants decor, should give it a nice forest theme. Here it is after the 1st coat. Will add the 2nd in about 4 hours or so.


    And, 1 gallon was way too much, but even better since I'll have plenty for touch-ups once i cut out a couple more outlet inserts, fog system etc.

    About the flooring, I have self adhesive linoleum that'll go on a seperate platform above the base of the enclosure, as shown in the pics on the first post. Does that need to be sealed, with the Polycrylic, before the linoleum is added.

    I won't be sealing until all my holes and such are cut out, and I've made my plans for the actually set inside, but just wanting a heads up, cause I may jump ahead and get that flooring ready, so just wanted to be sure on what needed to be done.

    Attached Files:

  18. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    If the lineoleum is a solid section just a light sealing might be a good idea with the edges of the lineolum folded up to make a sort of a tray. If there are seams in the lineoleum I would seal the wood before adding it.
    For myself I would seal all wood surfaces anyway. Its easier to do it now than to have to rip it apart because there was something that you didn't catch.
  19. hcfwesker

    hcfwesker Elite Member

    Got the 2nd coat on. 1st coat dried beautifully, so I figured 2 coats should do it for the staining process. Until touch-ups are needed after making changews during the process.

    The idea I had, and I may post a mock up pic to show, was i want the Habitat floor to be able to slide out off of a track it'll set on ( which I'll have a width long access panel at the bottom for this below the 2 main glass doors on front. My plan was after laying the linoleum pieces down and sealing it, was to attach rubber corner sealing (1/2 inch) around the linoleum, attached to the walls (except the front, which the linoleum there would angle up just a tad. So when i slid out the floor ( for cleaning of Iggy messes), the rubber would still be attached to the walls, then when i slid it back in, the floor piece would snuggly fit under the rubber seals as it slid back in. It was just an idea I had planned, buyt if cornering the linoleum works best I'll go with that.

    Definitely. Was just asking to be sure it was a good idea to do.

    When it comes to adding platforms, like these styrofoam ones, what's the best material to attach them to the walls with?


    Attached Files:

  20. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Styrofoam really isn't going to stand up to the activity level, weight, and claws of an iguana. Chunks will break off that will quite likely be eaten. If you want ledges, make them wooden and screw them to the walls.

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