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Purposely Eating Bark!!?? (among Other Issues)

Discussion in 'Water Dragons' started by Amirra, May 18, 2009.

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  1. Amirra

    Amirra Elite Member

    Enclosure questions:

    1. Can I nail one 2x4 support diagonally across whichever side of the plywood I want and it will still hold?

    2. If I have to go to home depot for the other pieces, can and should I get the thicker plywood or should I go with the same thickness?

    3. Should I use hammer and nails or a drill and screws? (I did not watch that bob the builder episode.)

    Psyched about picking up the Rep-Cal supplies tomorrow:)

    Henry update:

    He is able to bask less than 12 inches away from the new 5.0, and I leave the screen off so he can get the new UVB direct. But after like 5-10 min, he ran away from it. Does that mean he got enough? Should the hottest place in his tank be the UVB? or should I put the ceramic heater on the other side?

    Henry wouldn't eat today. He pooped again, and there is no more bark, instead the normal white part(not much brown). He doesn't seem like he's finished digesting yesterday's meal (4 mealies, 1 super and 1 EW).

    The new digital thermostat says his temps are up to 86.5. (1 ceramic + 1 reptisun 5.0 in a 40 gal)

    I'm going to call around for the 160 tomorrow. There are a couple of specialty stores around here too.
  2. shwknight

    shwknight Elite Member

    1.Are you framing the whole enclosure?
    2.I would make it all the same thickness
    3.Drill and screws

    (Henry's update)
    His basking area doesn't HAVE to have the UVB. Usually it's recommended to have multiple basking area's. I have 2, 1 with UVB and 1 without. He know's when he's had enough UVB so he'll move in and out of it as he needs.

    And from personal experience I'd go with the 100W + CHE for that size so your basking spot isn't to hot (my 160W puts the temp of one of my basking spots around 97F and it's 20 inches from the megaray)
  3. Amirra

    Amirra Elite Member

    I am using 2x2s to make the "skeleton" of the enclosure.
    I am then screwing on plywood on all sides except for front.
    I am cutting 1x1 sqft holes for ventilation in each side and top.

    Front is reserved for plexi. (two pieces on hinges with a support beam in the middle for the doors to close onto okay?)
  4. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    sounds good so far. Just be sure in your construction that the final product can fit through doors, or is disassemble-able.
  5. Amirra

    Amirra Elite Member

    is 3 feet wide too wide? I guess I can go to 2.45 ft.

    I don't think I'm a good enough carpenter to make something like this disassemble-able. Maybe if I got really heavy duty magnets? Haha.
  6. shwknight

    shwknight Elite Member

    Just measure your doors where it's going to go, make sure it can fit through the door;)

    And you don't need 1x1sqFT vents. Two 2 inch vents on the bottom by the substrate on one side and two 2 inch vents on the top on the opposite side(I hope that makes sense to you;))

    Other than that it sounds good so far :):)
  7. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Yep, all you need are little vents on the bottom. Many people use 3" round plumbers vents. Home depot is your friend. And it sounds like you are on the right track.
  8. Amirra

    Amirra Elite Member

    so everything is solid except for the door, and then i place 2 2" slits all the way across the width of each side for the vents.

    how far apart should the slits be from each other in each set of 2?

    do I need to make any holes in the top at all (do i need to cut a big space for a ceramic heater or for the mega ray)? How is the best way to position the heat sources/lights and should I plan my construction around the placement of the heat and light sources?

    Can and should i drill a set of small holes any where else in the sides or top for ventilation?
  9. shwknight

    shwknight Elite Member

    Not slits, just circle/square holes. In my permanent enclosure I'm making one 3" square hole in the bottom side about 3 inches above the substrate and one 3" square hole in the top on the opposite side and putting louvered vent covers on the outside of the enclosure.(sorry for the terrible pics:eek:) You can do circles or squares, I just picked square because I liked the vent covers better than the circle ones :D

    As for the hole on top, yes, make a hole 1/4" bigger than your lights fixture and use 1/4-1/2 inch hardware cloth to hold the light up(use screws and washers to mount the hardware cloth to the plywood on the inside of the enclosure)

    Attached Files:

  10. shwknight

    shwknight Elite Member

    The Megaray has specific requirements depending on which wattage you get. The recommended distances for a 100W is no closer than 12". If you decide on a 100W you'll want to get a 100W heat lamp and play with the distance of your basking spot to make sure you can get 90-95F with a distance equal to/greater than 12" (if you can get that temp with your basking spot 18" away from the light that is perfect)
  11. Amirra

    Amirra Elite Member

    Thank you so much for those pictures and tips! (2 - 3sqin vents for an entire 5'x5'x3' sounds crazy, but it makes things much easier.)

    so the best place to put the 100w sb mega ray is in a top corner of my choice?

    Tell me if this sounds okay:

    I buy 90o metal plates with holes for screws.
    I position the skeleton how I want it.
    I position the plates over the exterior corners of all the sides (16 plates (2 sides, bottom, top).
    I drill holes though the spaces provided on the plates.
    I screw together the four main pieces of the skeleton.

    ^^This is just how I would do the skeleton, I'm afraid I'm not a very intelligent carpenter, limited in the lingo and technique. So how do I go about placing the plywood over the skeleton? I'm assuming all these screws will hurt the wood and adding more to add the plywood will further damage the frame. So I think I'd be better off Drill first and use the plates mentioned above to go on top of the plywood and the pieces for the skeleton? I'm using the herphabitats forums as a reference spot, but I can't find much on remedial carpentry.

    This was a good reference though; it helps to provoke thought a about the planning and analysis stage of the design and carpentry: Reptile Cage Making Tips
  12. Amirra

    Amirra Elite Member

    this one is great for newbs to enclosure carpentry: Cage Building Tips

    Edit: I really am learning alot from this site!
  13. shwknight

    shwknight Elite Member

    You can do 2 vents or make it a 5" vent (again, I used these vent covers because I liked them the best;)) but you only need the air to circulate and with those sizes and the heat the air WILL circulate:p

    What are you going to use for the frame? If you use 2x3's and drill the holes for the screws first you won't need the metal to keep the frame together and to screw the plywood on just use 3/4" drywall/wood screws(if your going with 1/4" plywood) and you'll be fine.

    As for the megaray, it doesn't have to be in a corner, you can make your basking spot anywhere you want. You could even put the light inside the enclosure but you would have to build a cage around it so your dragon can't get to it(my permanent 6x6x3 enclosure will have lights and CHE inside but my 4x4x2.5 temporary enclosure has them on the outside)
  14. Amirra

    Amirra Elite Member

    I already have 2x2s for the frame. Was hoping to use those to cut costs...

    And I'd rather put everything on the inside and drill a hole for the cords.

    Do I need to make a flat square door frame (with 1x2s) for the front of the enclosure before I put on the plexiglass or glass doors? And if I have that frame, will I need a middle support column? (hopefully not)

    And does the linoleum tile require the cement stuff first or is it stick on? (sorry if this is a dumb question)
  15. shwknight

    shwknight Elite Member

    2x2's will be fine.
    As for the doors...I usually frame my glass into the doors so I have something to mount the hinges to, so, I usually have framing around the door hole(here is a pic of my temp enclosure, I didn't build this one, but my permanent enclosure will have just 1 door instead of 2)

    Attached Files:

  16. shwknight

    shwknight Elite Member

    Sorry, missed this part:eek::eek:
    If you get the tile kind there is peel & stick, i'm not sure if the rolls have a peel & stick.
  17. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    This is similar to what I use. And being plastic as opposed to metal you will not have corrosion problems from the moisture.

    And they come with a lip on the bottom so all you have to do is cut a hole, silicone it and slip it in.
  18. shwknight

    shwknight Elite Member

    The pics I gave her are of stainless steel marine louver vents so they won't corrode either :p;)
  19. Amirra

    Amirra Elite Member

    Henry Update:

    Still reluctant to eat on his own. Will swallow mealies and zophobas if put in mouth.

    Pooping less... :(
    The poop looks like small brown bits and an off white crusty sandy ish substance smeared on carpet.

    Bought a $40 gram food scale by oxo from target. good quality. Henry measured in at 117 grams.

    And to top it all off....

    The vet never called me back about the fecal. So I called them. And the receptionists told me that the fecal was never documented in the system, aka THEY LOST/ NEVER DOCUMENTED THE RESULTS!!!!!! so the receptionist just told me to bring in another one free of charge, which is all well and good but....

    Now I have to get another fecal, which of course is harder than last time because of the lessening of appetite and smeared poops.

    Since two weeks ago, I think henry has eaten a total of 10 mealies and 3 or 4 zophobas. Plus one earth worm. I change water every day.

    Soaking in water dish a lot. Even though temps are normal (85-89) and a 91 basking. I caught him basking the other day. Walking normal, head up more, not shaking any more.

    Overall I think fairly more active but not ravenous at all.

    I feel like I have to force him to eat anything.

    Scared for kidney problems. Hoping that if I call the vet and talk to him tomorrow instead of the receptionist that he has the data on his desk and it was really never documented.

    cage still in progress, henry still in 40 gal.

    will post further updates on cage and henry status as they come.
  20. Amirra

    Amirra Elite Member

    I just had a thought, I have a uth under his hide. should I unplug that since the temps are normal with a ceramic? Maybe the UTH is a problem?
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