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I Need Help Building Crested Gecko Enclosure

Discussion in 'HH General Discussion' started by reverendworm, Oct 11, 2008.

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  1. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Great work. Thanks for the step by step. It's always interesting to watch a plan come together.
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I'm impressed! That is going to be one dandy enclosure when its finished!
  3. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    It's lookin good so far!
  4. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Holy cow! How many cresties are you going to put in that thing!
  5. reverendworm

    reverendworm Active Member

    HAHAHA.... I have two right now, but I plan on having a small group. The enclosure gets a lot smaller when you take into account that there will be several inches of vivarium substrate to support plant life (probably a small tree... ficus or something woody to climb on), Great Stuff Background that you seem to be so fond of, and lighting/plumbing/whatnot.
    Given the fact that these guys can grow up to 10", I figure they will want some play room.

    Believe it or not this is version 2.0 which is smaller than my original design.

    Go Big or Go Home
  6. reverendworm

    reverendworm Active Member

    Ok, guys... its time to come clean with you. Not to worry, all is well in the palace of gecko. I was going to post some pictures of my critters, but I am feeling a little weird and I think that I should explain my "gung ho" attitude concerning this Gecko enclosure.

    I know that this is not the appropriate forum for this type of subject, but what the ****...

    Let me begin by saying that this is not a plea for a bunch of "Sorry to hear that's" or "Thank you's", so PLEASE none of that.

    You may have read my introduction thread, but if not, I'll bring you up to speed. I am a disabled Iraq Veteran. Specifically, I have PTSD and brain injuries due to exposure to explosions (probably mild, still waiting for all of the tests). Me throwing myself into this project and keeping pets is my attempt to get used to caring for things again.

    I guess the reason I'm dropping this on you guys is that the internet medium allows some anonimity (sp?), but at the same time I am communicating with you guys so much, I think I'm beginning to consider you guys not acquaintances, but something closer to friends. I don't think that I can express how deeply appreciate all of your help. THANK YOU!!!!

    Enough of the sappy ****... let me introduce you to my "therapy"... I call them my family.

    Onto cute, fuzzy and scaly
    Maya, the other woman in my life

    Batman, sometimes buddy, sometimes nemesis (he tries to kill me when I walk down the stairs

    My babies

    having a talk about car insurance

    Being shy

    Self reflection

    Even Batman is fascinated, although probably for completely different reasons....

    Sorry for dropping such a heavy load... Hope the pics make up for it
  7. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    I think we all use pets in a way that's almost therapeutical.
    Nice to hear what you think of us.:p
    That's why we call it a community.
  8. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member


    Trust me, I get the anonymity of a web forum. Someone who doesn't know anything about you or any baggage you have, just someone to share a common passion. Feel free to unload any time :p
  9. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Don't worry about it! This is a community here and many of us would go so far as to refer to it as family. We all have our personality quirks and disorders for whatever reason! And different things that really are therapy to each of us, even if they are not given the name.
    I know a number of people with PTSD, some from as far back as Viet Nam!
    Compared to some of them you are doing just grand!
  10. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    I think that you are worrying about our reaction to your project for no reason at all! There are many of us here who feel that as far as enclosures go, bigger is always better. In fact, in about 2 months I plan to have my own big project underway in order to give Skif a bigger home. PTSD is no fun. I am going through it as well, though for a totally different reason, and every time you feel like you might be back to "norm" something happens to make you realize that you're not. My critters are my solace as well. In fact I got Skif specifically because I had decided that it was time to move on and get back into the reptile world... :) I love the pictures of Batman! He looks like a lovebug! He actually reminds me of my kitty spooky, who is also a trouble maker, but anytime I really need a pick me up she's right there demanding attention.

    Glad we can be here to help ya out!
  11. reverendworm

    reverendworm Active Member

    Sorry its been so long since I've posted. Everything is coming together fine, but I kinda want to wait to show off the product until it looks better.

    Status: great stuffed and mostly painted, first layer of sealant on, lights hung & disguised (red LED and daylight lamp).

    Still to do- Install misters onto pipe that is already run, fabricate fan box/filter, hook up ductwork, place substrate, ... ... PLANTS....

    I was wondering about substrates. I have been toying around with the idea of using a mixture of unfertilized organic potting soil/coconut fiber/reptile bark in a mixture of 40/40/20.

    Any thoughts on this?

    Thanks for being patient, I've been really busy.
  12. wgnelson

    wgnelson Elite Member

    It took a while to read through all the posts! Coming along fine it looks like. (Did I just phrase like Yoda?)
    I wanted to place a posting about the glass issue, but it seems like the thread was developing too fast to get as word in edgewise. If you have, or know someone who has, a 'leaker' aquarium, save yourself some coin and remove the panes. Make the enclosure fit the glass, not the glass to fit the enclosure! If you mess up one of the panes, you still have more to work with. (Two ends, one bottom, and a front and back)

    On another note, I hadn't realized that you were a Veteran. I hope that your treatment and care for the injuries sustained in Iraq are adequate and complete. There seems to be more attention given now to War related injuries, then when I was in. Back in the Viet Nam era, we were all told that we were "full of it" and get back to focusing on the job at hand. I still think that Agent Orange is still posing problems with my thought processes and general attitude, comprehension, forgetfulness, focusing, etc.:confused::mad: As for branch of service, you can see by my avatar, that it was USMC all the way.:p How about yours?
  13. reverendworm

    reverendworm Active Member

    Myself, Army. 3rd ID 3/69 armor battalion, infantry mortarman. Eh, each day is its own new beast.

    As far as glass goes, I have already built the whole enclosure, but I found a glass shop that'll do what I need for a decent price.... Although I guess that is kinda relative.

    Ironically, the most expensive part was the great stuff. The enclosure is so big that it took about 30 cans to get good looking fake rock.

    That's life I guess...
  14. wgnelson

    wgnelson Elite Member

    Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and don't forget the Sea Bees! We all had our part to do, and to do it to the best of our abilities. ( Ist Marine Aircraft Wing overseas, and 2nd Marine Aircraft wing stateside. Had a return visit to Parris Island for DI duty also. Hoorah!!! [I loved it!]) Yeh, you found out how expensive that stuff really is!!! And it doesn't go far!
  15. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    I use a 50/50 of organic potting soil and shredded coconut husk. It works great and my plants thrive. For my burrowing frog, I use a 30/70 of coco to soil.
  16. reverendworm

    reverendworm Active Member

    Sorry its been so long since my last post (this is becoming a reoccurring theme)... I unfortunately waited too long to start the build, so the weather closed in. It is taking forever for the sealant to cure. I even have a heater on it, but it still is too cold in the garage.

    Here is the update as of yet. All of the great stuff has been applied and painted, and I have applied fiberglass resin for the substrate basin (I know that this is not the best material to use, but this is only an intermediate sealant). After the fiberglass, I used the sweetwater paint made by Aquatic Eco-Systems, Inc.

    After a lengthy conversation with the guys from previously mentioned company, this paint over fiberglass is more than adequate for what I'm trying to do.

    The only real gripe I have is that the application is... messy... I used a paint sprayer, which is supposed to be the most effective means of application. One gallon did the trick very well, but in order to get all of the rock covered, I had to go over everything several times. Let's just say that I had to shave my head to get all of the stuff out. Not that its a problem, I usually shave my head, but I had to do it a little prematurely... LOL

    I guess that this leads me to the only question I have for the day...

    The paint is dry for the most part (except in spots where it pooled), but I hold no illusions that I got all of the nooks and crannies in the great stuff. I can honestly say that 99.9% (ish) has been covered with this product. The base has also been completely covered to the point of overkill. Is this sufficient? I know from reading the forums that the foam needs to be sealed, but what if I miss a few spots in the cracks?

    I don't think that this should be a problem, but again, I don't want to hurt my geckos. The places that aren't covered are deep in the folds between the great stuff and the only way I can think of getting to them is with a very (read VERY) small paint brush.

    I have to go to the VA, but I'll post a pic as soon as I get back...

    Peace love and Rock and Roll....
  17. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    If the great stuff isn't in areas where it is submerged in water continuously it should be fine. I actually think Liz has said (correct me if I'm wrong Liz) that people use it for aquariums with no problems. I think the main reason most people cover it up is cause it's not exactly the prettiest stuff...
  18. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    Ok just talked to Liz, you should be good to go.
  19. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    I believe fiberglass resin is just fine (in fact I keep meaning to learn how to fiberglass).

    Don't worry about not sealing up the Great Stuff! People use it in aquariums all the time. Its water proof and non-toxic. So water proof it can be submerged for years and not break down.
  20. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    The only issue I've had with not getting all the styrofoam covered, is that crickets can chew into it and live in there.
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