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Need Some Info on Plywood...

Discussion in 'General Construction' started by krimsonkat, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. krimsonkat

    krimsonkat New Member

    Hey guys,

    I'm waaaaay overdue for building my young Peach Throat an adult size tank, but I'm finally about ready to start. Hope to have "her" moved in within the next two months.

    I've been reading tons of the enclosure building posts here, on ssnakess, on varanustalk, and on reptic zone, but I still have some concerns... Any help would be appreciated.

    1.) Most of the plywood I see for sale is made of pine, which if I understand correctly is a big no-no for health reasons. Is it safe to use for the inner walls of the tank after 3+ coats of polyurethane? Or do I need to go for some sort of (expensive, *sigh*) hardwood plywood?

    2.) I'm considering going all out and building a "rock" waterfall in the back corner to trickle/splash down into the water pool. (Planning on using a sink for the pool.) My intention was to build it with mortar-covered foam blocks on a wooden frame. However, I don't know that the mortar would really be okay on its own. Do you think it would be good to cover that in polyurethane as well, to protect from the erosion/leak of the running water? Or do you know a better way to do this?

    3.) I am planning to make a basking ledge on the back wall and hanging some floodlamps above it for the heat. For a full grown Peachie, a.) what wattage of bulbs would you suggest (45? 75? somewhere in between?) and how many bulbs? b.) Does the length of the hotspot need to be the monitor's full length, or only the STV length?

    4.) I plan to use 1/2" or 3/4" plywood for the inner walls, but can I get away with using 1/4" for outside the frame?

    5.) What insulation rating do you guys recommend? R-15? R-30? Something else?

    Sorry for all the questions, but I really want to make sure I do this right. I am on a limited budget, but I believe I can sink close to $750.00 into this (hopefully!)

    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!
  2. Logan

    Logan Elite Member

    As far as the plywood goes, as long as its sealed it won't matter what kind you're using. With the waterfall everything I've areas about building walls and waterfalls suggests sealing anywhere that will constantly be exposed to water with silicone. That's 100% waterproof. As far as insulation, I have no idea. Aside from using the Styrofoam insulation boards I've never heard of anyone insulating an enclosure ...
  3. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    I agree if you seal the plywood don't worry about the pine.
    For the waterfall I would highly suggest using an epoxy on it. It will save you headaches later. To get rid of the shine on the final coat sprinkle sand on it before it dries.
    The required lamp wattage is difficult to ascertain. It depends on how insulated the habitat is and how warm the room is. But I would put 100 watt bulbs in and wire them to a dimmer. Then you can get exactly what you need and yes snout to vent length is required.
    If you're putting this enclosure in a cool room then insulation might be necessary for the substrate box. But otherwise I wouldn't bother. Any heat loss would mostly be escaping through the glass doors as glass is a poor insulator.
    The only way to minimize this loss is to use sliding house windows for your doors.
    I'm not sure on your build but 3/4" works great for strength and holding screws. Anything that isn't structural, 1/4" would be fine but keep in mind it tends to warp and bow.
  4. krimsonkat

    krimsonkat New Member

    Thanks so much for the replies, guys! Being able to use the pine will keep me within budget, and I hadn't even considered using a dimmer for the lights. Sounds much better than picking a wattage and crossing my fingers :p
  5. toddnbecka

    toddnbecka Well Established Member

    I'm thinking you could cover the interior with insulation and kill 2 issues at once. Thinner plywood would be fine if you used 2x4's on the outside for bracing.

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