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My Vivarium Project

Discussion in 'Vivariums' started by Meibach, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. Meibach

    Meibach Active Member

    Well I started my new enclosure today.

    I have now narrowed down my options of occupants to either:
    Chinese Water Dragons or Green Basilisks.
    Guess it depends on whether I need to handle them or not. I have plenty of time to decide.

    OK the enclosure is 80" tall x 72" wide x 30" deep.
    Living space will be 68" tall x 60" wide by 30" deep.
    On the left there will be a 12" storage locker for mechanical equipment.
    On the Bottom there will be a 12" tall section for a 30" wide pond and 30" wide planter box.


    029.jpg
    These are the front and back panels.

    Ryan
     

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  2. Meibach

    Meibach Active Member

    I am framing the enclosure using 2x2 pine stock to cut down on weight.
     
  3. Meibach

    Meibach Active Member

    ok day 2 progress.

    I got the panels clad in pressed hardboard. And I am going to begin assembly.


    001.jpg

    This thing is huge. I decided to scrap the storage on the side.

    ryan
     

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  4. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Is it going to be like a built-in type of Vivarium or a moveable one?
     
  5. Meibach

    Meibach Active Member

    It will be moveable. It will be heavy but moveable.
     
  6. Meibach

    Meibach Active Member

    Well I finally got this monster assembled, well mostly.
    I still have to make and install the top.

    003.jpg

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    After the top is made and installed.
    waterproofing and then I have to build the acrylic pond/planter.

    ryan
     

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  7. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    You work really fast! Looks real nice so far, can't wait for final pictures
     
  8. Meibach

    Meibach Active Member

    I don't know if that is fast or not. It was nice to get a full weekend to devote to the construction. Things will slow down now. I can only hope to have it done and running for testing by Halloween, and have an occupant by Thanksgiving.

    Ryan
     
  9. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    That's looking very nice. At this rate, I have no doubts you can have it completed and ready for occupation within the time frame you have in mind.
     
  10. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I don't want to rain on your parade but that pressed board really isn't a good thing to use in an enclosure.
    If water gets to it it will turn into a moldy sludge and you will find yourself building all over again.
     
  11. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Ditto on what Merlin said. And also, I would put it on wheels.
     
  12. Meibach

    Meibach Active Member

    If I put it on wheels it won't fit through the door. It is 2 inches smaller than a standard door.

    I researched materials and found that pressed hardboard being incredibly lightweight it will also be very easy to waterproof and will bond cement to it very readily. As the hardboard is going to be completely covered it is literally just a 2nd layer of waterproofing as well as insulation.

    keep the criticism/advice coming. I can't make the best if I think I know everything.

    Ryan
     
  13. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I guess just make sure you do a very thorough job on the sealing with that stuff. When it gets wet, it's rather like wet cardboard. I'm not sure what you mean by 'cement' as that's a very generic term for any number of adhesives and grouts. Just mind that any cements you apply are not water based, or need water to be properly mixed. Might be a little counterproductive.
     
  14. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    ah yes, then if the board is covered by something else, it should be fine.
     
  15. Meibach

    Meibach Active Member

    Absolutely.

    By cement I mean; I will be giving the entire inside a scratch coat of mastic over a wire mesh. I will then be applying actual stone veneer similar to this.

    Link

    the top 3 inches will be laquered/painted white to reflect light and heat back down into the cage.

    Ryan
     
  16. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    But was your search in regard to building reptile enclosures or just general building stuff. What WE do to them is a little more drastic than the run of the mill bookshelf.
    I suppose it would work of you got it thoroughly covered and waterproofed. However the slightest scratch or pinhole can let in enough moisture to totally ruin your enclosure.
     
  17. Meibach

    Meibach Active Member

    I think I am not explaining enough. The Pressed Hardboard I am using is not like MDF. It is moisture resistant and with sealing, it becomes completely waterproof. There is a type of hardboard that has the quality of pegboard and is completely garbage for any application (like the stuff they use on the back of bookshelves).

    I have a very strong construction background and have used this product in bathrooms. I have seen instances where this withstands High Humidity for 15-20+ years and also holds tile like a champ.

    http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/334333891/supply_high_quality_waterproof_hardboard.html

    Ryan
     
  18. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    That is a better explanation Ryan.
    Remember with your construction background, simple terms can throw people off.
    That is probably a lot lighter than using the cement board often used in bathrooms.
    Looking good so far. Keep up with the updates.
     
  19. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Indeed! The only hard board I have ever seen was the stuff that is basically sawdust and glue.
    Is the stuff you are using available to the general public and how expensive is it?
     
  20. Meibach

    Meibach Active Member

    I do all my business with a small lumber company that specializes in exotic woods. I had to special order it and paid 23.20 per 4x8 sheet.

    I am not sure if a big box store like HomeDepot or Lowes can get it or not. Couldn't hurt to ask.

    Ryan
     

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