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Newb with CWD That Needs Bigger Home

Discussion in 'General Construction' started by robinsonfam1, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. robinsonfam1

    robinsonfam1 Member

    Hello everyone! thanks for taking the time to read and hopefully respond.

    My son has a water dragon that is outgrowing his aquarium to the point he has been trying to figure out the latch to escape! once out, he out he refuses to go back, (picture a dog fighting the bath tub).

    we want to build a large free standing cage. ive been looking at google pics and here on HC but must be missing the details. i love the idea of a tub/aquarium built into the base and will be looking to plumb it in with a canister filter too. (yes i also do reef aquariums so that part is easy).
    we did make a fogger from humidifier already.


    1. what size should i be looking at building?
    2. what will the lighting upgrades need to be (we have 100W UVA and a 100W UVB now)
    3. the foam to make the rock walls looks awesome! Can i use any foam then do the grout method? acrylic paints ok? is epoxy required (we live in a very humid coastal area and would take forever to dry i think)
    4. how much water is too much? i dont want the critter to drown!
    5. going bigger like this will a heat pad be required?

    i have every tool known to man and more than likely multiples of them as i am a carpenter/woodworker. Im very comfortable with the build but need help with the whole reptile house thing.

    thank you!
  2. robinsonfam1

    robinsonfam1 Member

    #4: i meant as far as water depth for tub/aquarium goes.

    thanks again!
  3. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

  4. robinsonfam1

    robinsonfam1 Member

    i got some good ideas from it! thank you!

    ive been reading non stop since i posted this thread and have a few basic ideas of what i want to build.

    first idea is to convert an armoire but they all seem to hover in the 20" deep range. new idea is to go ahead and build from scratch. sizes are going to be 4' wide 3-4' tall and 2'6" deep(front to back). after digging around in the shop i was able to find about 1/2 of what we need! woohoo!

    i will use a small concrete mixing tub as the pond. it 20"x 25" and about 6" deep. i plan to slope it to a drilled drain in one end and a waterfall feeding the shallow end. helping flush the mess is the idea.

    lights im thinking MVB bulbs. and possibly one slim florescent under a ledge/shelf to make sure that UVB will be available in the cooler area as well.

    we will use our DIY fogger too. probably figure out a way to pipe it in from the rear about 2/3 way up the back.

    as far as decor goes i will use a combo of foam wall/grout and silicone/coco fiber. i will go collect driftwood from local areas and bake it, along with making some vines with rope etc.... heads killing me from all this info. i feel like johhny5. need input! need input!

    any info (input. LOL) from anyone here would be awesome! if im headed into the wrong direction/over doing it/not enough or whatever, please let me know!

    thanks again!
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    As far as size and shape, think household refrigerator.
  6. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Sounds good to me so far.
    I think you've grasped the important parts of the build.
    Keep in mind that humidity escapes very easily. So you're better off building a sealed box with light fixtures inside.
    Put adjustable vents in so you can control the humidity if required.
  7. robinsonfam1

    robinsonfam1 Member

    ok cool!

    Thanks a ton!

    Im sure that this is going to be the stepping stone for a larger cage in the future but for now this is all the room my son has in his bedroom. The wife wants either another CWD or a bearded. im voting bearded since there are less humidity/water requirements, but then i do love the rain forest look. maybe another critter in our future!

    ill try to keep up with the pics and get them posted. fair warning....i really stink at that part of projects....i have a tendency to fly through them while focused.
  8. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    I know the feeling. You suddenly stop and realize you should have taken pics of the last few steps and totally forgot.
  9. robinsonfam1

    robinsonfam1 Member

    LOOOONG awaited update with questions....

    we are finally closing in on completing the new enclosure. after i ended up working 5 months straight of 7 days a week and long hours...add in moving to a new home....the project was on hold for a while.

    ive been re-thinking the lighting plan: i was going to use a 160w MVB as main source of uvb lighting but am now thinking of using a 36" 10.0 fluorescent tube across the top and a more standard UVA bulb for basking area.

    the enclosure is 48" wide, 32" deep, 48" tall.

    i will have an 18" bulb mounted under the lowest shelf as well.

    any thoughts????

    i will get pics up as soon as i can.
  10. DragonSlayer

    DragonSlayer Established Member

    Make sure you get a T5 fluorescent. I use a 4 tube one I got online. Would be about right at 4 feet.
  11. robinsonfam1

    robinsonfam1 Member

    thank you!
    i will begin the search! lol
  12. robinsonfam1

    robinsonfam1 Member

    would a single 4' tube t5 HO (54w) be enough or do i need more light?

    i do know that in reef aquariums the t5 ho bulbs have way more intensity than a standard t5, t8 or or a VHO t-12.

    i think i just answered my own still listening to others with more experience here though!
  13. DragonSlayer

    DragonSlayer Established Member

    T5 puts out more than twice the UV a T8 puts out.

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