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New Terrarium

Discussion in 'Enclosures' started by BlackJack, Mar 8, 2006.

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  1. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    Well I can't seem to stop building: I think we've found a really good material and system for terrarium building. (Time will tell!)
    Materials used:
    Multi-wall polycarbonate sheets (very heat resistant and waterproof: insulate well)
    Aluminum profiles (for the corners: corner profiles and for the edging of the door U profiles.)

    Extremely lightweight, water resistant. (Of course all the inner walls need to be sealed with silicone, but the polycarbonate is heat resistant and insulates well.) Cleans easily. This could be a dream come true for future terrarium-building projects!!:D
    I'll post more pics as it comes together. (Hopefully this one will house Talyn's future mate.) We're planning to build 2 double terrariums out of the same materials for future green tree pythons.
    This one measures 150cm x 70cm x 65cm (59"x 27.6" x 25.5")
    Here I haven't taken off the protective plastic covering -- just seeing how it fits together
    Here is the corner aluminum profile. I cut it at a 45 degree angle for the frame.
    Here's an idea of what it will look like eventually. As this is planned as a tropical terrarium, we've only put 3 ventilation holes in the right front bottom and top left side. This should get good air circulation without drying out the terrarium too much or losing too much heat. These will be covered with plastic vents.

    PS -- Should I have posted this on Herp Habitats?
  2. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    That looks really great, and sounds great too, I cant wait to see the finished product!
  3. inkman

    inkman Elite Member

    looks great cant wait to see it finished
  4. MoogleBass

    MoogleBass Kittes are so nice! Premium Member

    Wow, that looks great. Where did you get that channel stuff at?
  5. zaroba

    zaroba Elite Member

    looks good. sounds like a good idea too.

    how much were the sheets of stuff?
  6. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Andrea its fine posted here but you might go ahead and post it on HH as well. There are a few folks there that haven't shown up here as yet and I am sure they will be interested in your project.
    I know I am!
  7. venus

    venus Founding Member

    Awesome Andrea...I'm sure it will be as beautiful as the others.
  8. rbl

    rbl MacGyver in real life

    That looks pretty good even at this early stage. I have a million questions =)
    #1 How thick is the MWPS you're using? I'm using a 6mm one as top cover of my beardies enclosure and I wouldn't trust it to restrain a strong animal.

    #2 At this stage, how much money did you spend in that neat aluminum profile and in the MWPS?

    #3 Did you cut the holes and sheets yourself?

    #4 Did you reinforce the bottom? I don't know how much thick that MWPS is and the weight it can handle but unless I had a very deep aluminum profile, I would be afraid that it might bend outwards with the weight of animal+decoration+etc.

    #5 Are you considering closing the MWPS holes (to the inner sheet spaces) with silicone? At least the circular ones where the ventilation would be?

    Yes! =)
  9. DarkMagician207

    DarkMagician207 Elite Member

    that looks awesome! definitely keep us posted as it goes along. :)
  10. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    Thanks for all the interest.
    Ricardo I hope I can answer all your questions:
    1 - I'm using 16mm thick sheets. They are strong enough to walk on if you make a greenhouse roof out of them.

    2 - Just the construction material has cost about $410 for this one terrarium.
    It breaks down to: 60Euro ($71.55) per sheet. Sheet size: 200cm x 98cm x 1.6cm (I used 4 sheets)
    Corner aluminum profile 16mm: $15.00 for a 2m piece. (I needed 6 of those.)
    U profiles 16mm: $11 for a 2m piece: I needed 2 of those.
    And special silicone for polycarbonate: $10 per tube.
    (I didn't say it was cheap!!):D

    3 - We cut everything ourselves. You can use a normal jigsaw or circular saw (blades for metal) and normal drill to cut. It was surprisingly easy.

    4 - I did not reinforce the bottom as it is going to lie flat. And the material is very strong. Also the aluminum profile is 18mm deep so the sheets lock in really well.

    5 - The holes will be closed by a plastic vent on the inside and outside, that I will seal with silicone.

    I got the sheets and silicone from a German supplier You can look up multi-wall polycarbonate in Google to see who else supplies it or where you can buy it.
  11. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    It looks awesome so far, I can't wait to see the finished product!
  12. rbl

    rbl MacGyver in real life

    Thanks a lot Andrea! =)

    Wow, those sheets are pretty expensive. Can't remember the exact quote I got but I think 8mm glass is cheaper (comparing square meter prices).
    Anyway, I don't see myself staking anything made with 8mm glass and for the looks of it you can easily make a huge "wall to wall, top to bottom" rack out of those.
    In fact, breeding facilities like the ones seen for beardies would be pretty sweet if made out of MWPS. Must remind that before I make a career turn to beardie breeder ;)

    Any reason why you choose 16mm instead of 10mm (seems there's no standard thickness between 10 and 16)?
  13. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    I chose 16mm thickness because it's also the width of the aluminum profile I wanted to use... and it's more stable and insulates better.
    The sheets are expensive, but they are easier to cut and work with than glass and MUCH MUCH lighter!! With the pieces left over, I plan to make a smaller terrarium for juvenile snakes. :)
  14. rbl

    rbl MacGyver in real life

    That will greatly reduce the price for enclosure.
    Was there any remarkable difference in the price of 10 and 16mm?
  15. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    Here's a link someone provided at Herp Habitats:

    The 10mm sheets were bigger 2000x1250 for EUR 47,50 compared to about EUR 60 for the 16mm sheets. But I couldn't find the aluminum profiles I wanted in 10mm.
  16. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

  17. rbl

    rbl MacGyver in real life

    Have you tried the CHE? Doesn't the MWPS get too hot in the area over the CHE?
  18. MoogleBass

    MoogleBass Kittes are so nice! Premium Member

    Thats a very nice Terrairm, good job Andrea.
  19. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    I'm using the same wattage of CHE in my forex terrarium for Talyn without problems.
    It's another thing I have to test, but the MWPS is very heat resistant, so I don't think it will be a problem. But that's why I'm getting it all set up before I need it. It's easy to exchange it with a 100W if needed.
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