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Herp? Coffee Table

Discussion in 'General Construction' started by ScottPS, Nov 30, 2015.

  1. ScottPS

    ScottPS Member

    Hey all. New member here. My wife and I rehabed an old coffee table off craigslist for three leopard geckos and it works great. We picked Leos because they're easy and it allowed us to use heating pads instead of UVB & heat lamps.

    The trouble is that we don't like crickets and they're expensive. It's costing us $9 a week to buy them from the store. I tried buying crickets in bulk and keeping them myself, but it turned out to be more work than keeping the actual Leos and much, much smellier.

    Basically, I'm looking for a replacement herp. A vegetarian. We plan on getting a pair of Uromastyx down the line for a yet to be built enclosure and it would be great to have them all on the same diet. And no smelly, chirpy crickets.

    We're love lizards, turtles, and tortoises. No snakes for us though. Of course we're aware that just about any other herp would require the addition of lighting.

    What do you guys think?

    Attached Files:

  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    If you would prefer to keep the leos, look into Dubia roaches. They are easy to breed, make no noise and have no unpleasant smell. And since they are tropical there is no danger of them escaping and infesting your home.
  3. ScottPS

    ScottPS Member

    I appreciate the input, however dubias are off the table (pun intended). We really want a herp to share the same or very similar diet with the Uromastyxs we'll be getting in a while. I was thinking either a russian tort or a box turtle. I know the boxies are omnivores, it's not a great option. That's why I'm here looking for more :p

    If only there were tiny, ground dwelling iguanas.
  4. ScottPS

    ScottPS Member

    I've been looking into Desert Iguanas. Care sheets say a pair of females would require 3x2x2 ft. I've got 4.5x2x1.5 ft in the coffee table. We would have to add a long UVB and a UVB/Heat lamp in the corner, but do you think it would work well for the lizards?
  5. Kolby Tannehill

    Kolby Tannehill Well-Known Member

    I would say a desseart iguana need more then a 4.5x2x1.5. They are not to much smaller the green iguana.
  6. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, Desert Iguanas are a LOT smaller than the Green Iguanas!
  7. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, is the 1.5ft width or height?
  8. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Nice looking coffee table. I've thought of making one for a long time but never have as of yet.
    ScottPS likes this.
  9. ScottPS

    ScottPS Member

    The height is 1.5 That's what I'm worried about. The width is a touch over 2 feet. On the brightside, the UVB light would certainly be in range. Pun intended. I'd have to post the heatlamp in a corner unless I took one of the side panels of glass off the top and put a box on top to contain it. Huh, that's not a bad idea actually.
  10. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I think you could fit both a UVB tube and a basking heat bulb as the table stands, simply fix to the framework between the glass panels.
    I recommend using a halogen bulb (flood beam, ceramic socket), either par 30 or par 38. The length of a par 30/38 halogen including the socket is approx. 7 inches which would leave almost a foot to the floor (obviously minus any loose substrate).
    Wattage will depend somewhat on the ambient temps in the room, what are they during the day and night?
    Edit: You could run the electric flex up through the floor.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2015
  11. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Sorry, I just noticed some mesh around the table as well as glass, is that so?
  12. ScottPS

    ScottPS Member

    Awesome, thanks for the lighting advice. That's what I'm most ignorant about. I want to make sure I get it right the first time. Running electric through the floor is a good idea, I'm not so sure the wife will be thrilled about drilling a hole for it, but maybe. Right now we've got the wires for the Leos heating pad running under the rug to hide them.

    I'm in Maryland so the temp is tied to the season. Right now we have room temperature of 65 when we're not home, it's pretty low. In the warmer months we keep the house around 73. I'm more worried about the winter. I thinking to leave a heating pad on the cool side (more like a warming pad), install a spot light with uvb for basking, and a ceramic for night time. And of course a UVB tube.

    Yes, the cage has a lot of ventilation with wire mesh on all sides in that top section. You think we block some of it off to conserve heat?
  13. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    You need to cover the mesh as completely as possible, otherwise it will be very difficult to stabilise the temps and humidity.
    The basking heat bulb doesn`t need to emit UVB if you use a decent UVB tube such as an Arcadia T5 HO (high output) @ either 10-0 or 12-0, and it only needs to be around 2/3rds the length of the enclosure.
    A CHE is fine as supplementary heat if needed, but I wouldn`t bother keeping the heat pad.
    The halogen bulbs can be fitted with a dimmer switch which makes adjusting the basking surface temp much easier (or you can raise/lower the bulb/basking object).
    This is the type I`m currently using, very cheap to buy and can last up to 3,000 hours (much more efficient than the petstore "reptile" basking bulbs).

    EDIT: You misunderstood, I meant drill through the floor of the enclosure and pass the wire up through it, NOT the house floorboards (your wife will be thrilled to hear)! ;)

    Last edited: Dec 1, 2015
  14. ScottPS

    ScottPS Member

    Jeez, this is just so helpful. Thank you so much. Not having to use a UVB/heat bulb will save us tons of money too. And yes, I totally misunderstood you about the floor! Happy wife over here! Thanks so much, it'll be a while, but once we upgrade everything I'll be sure to post pics! Seems like a pretty easy job though!

    Thanks again!
  15. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I would seriously advise against that. Having the cords covered can allow heat to build up and is a fire hazard. And in most places is against fire code.
  16. ScottPS

    ScottPS Member

    Just the wires for the heating pads being covered? The wires don't even get warm from my experience. Now with lights...that's where I'm very cautious. If we ran lights to the table I really might consider drilling a hole in the floor and run the electrical through the basement.
  17. Wow that looks really cool :) job well done I would love to do something like that for our uros but they are very skiddish we had them in the living room bc they are a very attractive lizard but it caused them both ALOT of stress bc of all the traffic so we moved them into our master room were there is a lot less traffic and they have done alot better. So on that note if u did get uros I would recommend that they were bred in captivity bc both of ours weren't. And even though we handle them they still get stressed and that's being held only a few times a week maybe once or twice. But the coffee table u made looks awesome. Crickets are expensive we keep a large amount in our garage in a 20 gal breeder tank bc they smell but our bearded dragon loves them so yes we keep them we have had roaches too (they definitely are not for the bug scaredy cats) lol I personally did not care for them bc I hate roaches lol but they def didn't stink or make noise but those too not only are hard to find were I am but WAY more expensive than crickets we were spending like 1$ a piece so that didn't last long being my beardie would eat 5-10 in a sitting on top of his staple greens and veggies

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