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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

    Oh, no, no, no, lol. Wasn't planning on using styrofoam. Was just using the pic as an example, cause of how clean they look when attached. i've seen some with shelving brackets and wanted to try and avoid that. I guess several 3-6" screws could work going through the back, was just worried if it wouldn't support the entire weight of the platform.

    that'll be my phase of the project for today, and get the remaining holes cut out for electrical inserts and the fog system, as well as vent spots.
  2. hcfwesker

    hcfwesker Elite Member

    Well, 2nd cora taking MUCH longer than expected to dry. Workshop dooes stayed closed all night, so have both doors open now for better ventilation.

    About UVB/Lighting. I seen you recommend Zoo Med Reptisun 5.0 UVB bulbs. I have the one that is shaped like a bulb that fits in a Terrarium Hood for my 18x18 habitat, now. The ones you recommend for larger enclosures, are those the fluorescent ones in th epic below ... (if i got them, how many would i need and what size, my enclosure will be 4x2x4)


    Or just the compact bulb kind that I currently use in a Deep dome fixture, in the pic below ...


    I've decided I don't want to waste any space of the enclosure on lighting equipment at the top, so plan on building a 1 foot high "helmet" type addition up top that will house all the heating/UVB equipment. with screen at the base and all wood around the top with an access panel to get to the lighting equipment.
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    With the taller enclosure I would use a mercury vapor. The compact will not be enough and the uvb from tubes will only reach 8-10 inches from the bulb.
  4. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, I agree with Merlin, the MVB bulbs are far superior to any UVB tube light, they emmit heat as well as UVB/UVA, so you you only need the one bulb, and though they are more expensive, they can last up to 12 months.
    I`ve used them for many years. The closest the surface of the bulb should be from the surface of the animal is 30cm (12inches). The higher the wattage, the greater the distance they have to be away. "Megaray`s" are the best, in my opinion.
  5. hcfwesker

    hcfwesker Elite Member

    I've done some searching through the heating/lighting section on the forum, and seen the MegaRay the most recommended, but checked the site and said they're out of stock, and best of my knowledge they're the only ones who actually sell their brand.

    Are there any other alternatives, I'm not even sure what a Mercury Vapor Bulb looks like. I did some searches and regular sized light bulbs came up, so wasn't sure if that was the right type. Can these be bought at hardware stores? And what wattage should I be looking out for, I'm thinking 100W - 150W, or lower/higher? 275W is the only one they have available on the reptileuv site, I seriously doubt i need that high of wattage ... though i am new to this so could be wrong.
  6. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Give me 5 mins, I`ll put a pic up for you...
  7. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The only way to get UVB lights is thru reptile supplies. They are specifically designed for that use while run of the mill hardware store bulbs are designed exactly the opposite. They use a glass that blocks UVB radiation.
    Next to the Megarays would come the ZooMed Powersuns. Prior to Megaray they were the state of the art mercury vapors. The bulbs look like this - Lighting - Bulbs - UV Heat / Mercury Vapor - Mercury Vapor Bulbs produce the proper balance of UVA/UVB, Visual Light and Infrared light(heat) all in one bulb.
  8. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Merlin beat me to it! I cannot compete with a magician.... ;)
    I`ve used the Powersun`s for many years, they are effective up to 6 feet away, of course you don`t need that distance (yet). Most of the MVBs are much the same these days, at the moment, I`m using an "Arcadia" MVB, I think they are available in the States, too?
    EDIT: In that size of enclosure, I would think a 160w would do, of course, the room temps will have an effect on cage temps. 100w is the lowest self ballasted available, though they do a 60w externally ballasted bulb too.
  9. hcfwesker

    hcfwesker Elite Member

    Thank you so much guys. I have done extensive research, but getting info from you guys, specifically, has made this process much less tedious. I really, really appreciate your patienece with me through this, and hopefully this will make a set of guidelines for other beginners like me (I plan on linking different sections of the build from the first post.)

    Room temps typically stay between 72-74 degrees in my house.

    For the time being, I'll go with the Zoo Med Powersun, since I can get them at local pet stores. I'll test out the temps from the 160W, I work in the AC/Heating business, so I have an infrared temp gun I use for testing.

    Starting setting the resting/basking ledges ... I got the basking ledge about 13 inches from where the light source will be placed.

    Edit ::

    After testing, My 100W basking lamp (after letting it sit for about 15 minutes) was giving me 95-102 degree temps in the basking area. I know that does nothing for UVB, but the temp seems right. So wouldn/t 100W be enough, then maybe use a 60W or 75W towards the other end of the enclosure?
  10. hcfwesker

    hcfwesker Elite Member

    Got the 100W Reptisun mercury vapor bulb. Petco had it for $80, petsmart $60, lol. Have to get the 160W from their online store, apprently. But , putting a 'dummy' wall up, and cutting out holes of the top where the dome will set with the bulb and leaving it on for 30 minutes, temperatures were reading almost exactly what I needed; so all in all, I'm hoping the 100W will do.

    And, got the first coat of sealant on the enclosure and all the resting/basking ledges. Shoulda worn a painters mask like everyone said, lol, fumes are madness.

    Will go for a second coat tomorrow, and get ready to build the front and make the frames for the glass cabinet windows for the front.
  11. hcfwesker

    hcfwesker Elite Member

    Got the 2nd coat of sealant on the enclosure (inside & out) and 2nd coat on the platforms. One question, does the outside need 3-4 coats, as well? I've got plenty of sealant to do so, was just wondering if is was necessary?

    And, got the window framed glass doors ordered, work's getting busy so went to a local cabinet shop to get them done.

    I screwed up on the cut for the front of the enclosure ... board wasn't stable when cutting and got some crooked cuts :( So gotta pick up a fresh board tomorrow and just let home depot to the cut lol.
  12. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    A couple on the outside should do it. It isn't going to be exposed to the moisture the inside is. Unless you spill your drink on it!
  13. hcfwesker

    hcfwesker Elite Member

    Making a lot of progress. 3 coats of sealant on the inside, 2 on the outside. Got the resting platforms (3 seals on them) built with braces for support, and bought him a very cool basking limb (just in case he doesn't prefer the basking ledge) that bolts into the side and strashes about 2.5 feet across the enclosure.

    I've got tyhe Zoo Med 100W reptisun and holding temps. Also, picked up a Zilla Terrarium Hygrometer Thermometer so i can pinpoint temps in basking area. and the 100W reptisun is holding the temps i need where i have the basking area, and cooler areas below and opposite end of basking side.

    The cabinet shop i ordered my window doors from hasn't called me back on an estimate, and got plenty of the cabinet plywood left over, so going to just make the doors my seldf and buy the glass, which will be much cheaper.

    Once the sealant dries for the resting ledges and I can put together wehat i have done so far, I'll have updated pics.

    3rd and final coat ( i think? )

    resting ledges trying to dry

    Plenty of wood left for whatever

    Tghe basking brach i got, strecthes 3/4 of the width

    Can't get any work out of him/her

    Now that I tell him he's getting a surprise, he's a little more interested, with some shedding forming at his nose lol
    24o22c9.jpg vrc687.jpg

    Attached Files:

  14. gus211

    gus211 Well-Known Member

    Looks like its coming out real nice I cant wait to see it finished, ur ig is gonna be one happy camper in there.
  15. hcfwesker

    hcfwesker Elite Member

    Thanx, gus :)

    K, this is strange. I got the 100W ReptiSun light. I tested my original 100W basking light, and got the temps I need in different parts of the enclosures. But when testing the ReptiSun, it's barely breaking 85 degrees in the basking spot, and i've been waiting for over an hour.

    When i opened the package, there was a mail in rebate that expired on dec 31, 2010 .... could this light have aged before even being used? I plan on taking it back tomorrow, and most likely ordering the 160W bulb straight from their site, and not a pet store.
  16. hcfwesker

    hcfwesker Elite Member

    Very happy moment for me. I've never done cabinet frames or doors ever. Finally just went out to the shop and gave it a shot. I sketched out my window sizes I'll be picking up this week, and added the extra inches of frame space, got some hinges, and went to town.

    Once I leveled them and measured exactly how they would set on the front of the enclosure, I attached them, and was d@m proud of what the end result was.

    All that's left, is measure out the cuts for the windows in the frame and the opening on the front of the enclosure, make the cuts, then stain and seal. :)

    Here's how the front and doors turned out.




    This was one of the steps I was dreading the most, and dissapointed when our local cabinet shop wouldn't take the job ( "no job too small" my arse lol ). I'm really thrilled I tackled the task myself and actually turned out better than I imagined. :)

    Attached Files:

  17. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Ok I'm confused! Are you going to have windows cut in the box itself and then doors to close to cover them?
  18. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, the reason is because a "basking" bulb directs the heat/light down in a narrow angle, the MVB bulb has a wider angle, so the surface temp will be lower. The 160w will need to be further away, you`ll probably have the same problem. I suggest you just use a lower wattage basking bulb (closer to the basking spot), to supplement the 100w MVB. Watch the ambient temps don`t get too high...
  19. justor

    justor Elite Member

    What I figured... is that he's going to cut out the area behind the doors. Then cut out the middles of the doors and turn them into windows.
  20. hcfwesker

    hcfwesker Elite Member

    @ Merlin. The way it looks now, was just me getting an idea of how it will be set up when completed. The swinging doors will both have 18" X 36" 1/4" tempered glass, and the area behind the doors, will be open.

    I see where you coulda drawn that conclusions by the way it looks, but this was my first time ever doing anything cabinet door wise; and I just wanted to get a rough idea of how i was going to do it, and somehow everything worked out.

    I still have to cut the area for the glass in the doors, then cut out the area of the front of the enclosure that the window doors will cover. then add the windows, stain, seal, etc ..

    @ murr, thanx, i kinda figured something like that. I am getting the 160W reptisun mercury vapor bulb. the porcelean fixture for that size it a very wide fixture, so once i get the bulb in I'll have to do more temp testings to figure out the proper placement and hieght from the top.

    @justor, yes, that's exactly what is intended. :)

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