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36x18x18 First Vivarium Build
#1
Since I am new and just getting started I thought I would stop clouding up everyone's threads and put my questions and build stuff in its own thread. Thanks to everyone for the kind words and the help so far!

Like the title says this is a 36x18x18 build from the EXO Terra terrarium. The EXO came with a background as well, which I may use in place of an all Great Stuff background. This way I can GS things onto this background and go from there.

I plan to house 2-3 Azereus (2males & 1 Female) but then to avoid eggs, is it possible to keep an all male group? I will make this with a False Bottom using eggcrate and screen. Most likely going to order the substrate from Joshs Frogs Website. What is the crafting material used to keep FF in? Any other suggestions for escape proofing the Viv? Thanks again in Advance. And here are the few pics I have of the stuff so far.

[Image: P1140538.jpg]

Will these be okay to use?
[Image: P1140539.jpg]
Alex
Just Starting....
Making a Viv for 2-3 Azureus
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#2
Also that is not the permanent place for the viv...
Alex
Just Starting....
Making a Viv for 2-3 Azureus
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#3
LOVE that size. Truly a 'big-boy' vivarium. I'm jealous already...
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#4
Thanks Phil! Trying to do this right the first time! Don't want to go through what I did when I got into salt water aquariums!
Alex
Just Starting....
Making a Viv for 2-3 Azureus
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#5
Ya, def take your time with everything. No problem with an empty or unplanted tank while you make sure of everything. The frogs you want will still be available.

Remember - it's VERY hard to go backwards on a build.
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#6
Yeah what a great viv size! I'm sure you will enjoy the build.

I've heard folks use no-see-um screen for fly proofing vents. I cheaped out and took standard fiberglass screen and rolled it up and wedged that in the Zoomed vent under the front door. I have yet to see a fly make it through that.

I found the silicone method the best for me for door gaps. Basically use painters tape over one side of the gaps in the doors. Run a bead of silicone down the other side. Force it in with your finger or putty knife. Let it cure overnight. Slice with x-acto knife or razor...gap sealed. Worked great for me and still going strong 8 months later. I tried the airline tubing method but that did not look as clean to me as using a silicone bead.

Good luck!
Jim from Austin | https://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/
fantastica nominant | summersi | reticulata
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#7
joneill809 Wrote:Yeah what a great viv size! I'm sure you will enjoy the build.

I've heard folks use no-see-um screen for fly proofing vents. I cheaped out and took standard fiberglass screen and rolled it up and wedged that in the Zoomed vent under the front door. I have yet to see a fly make it through that.

I found the silicone method the best for me for door gaps.

I saw the Silicone DIY earlier today, so I think I will try that. Did you do the middle gap too? Good Idea on rolling up the screen in there! I think that is what I will do as well.

Anybody have any recommendation for glass on the lid? I saw 1/4" mentioned somewhere, but that is the only reference I saw to thickness. Any certain type of glass? I was curious how it holds in there over the long term with just silicone, or if its not a problem as long as it dries and cures properly.

Other things that I have decided on so far:

Egg crate False bottom
Pump underneath with tubing to allow for siphoning (will put an access area in the corner for pump)
Small Layer of Hydroton above the egg crate
Fiberglass Mesh or other material Barrier
then an ABG layer
followed by Sphagnum Moss
and topped off with leaf litter.

Lights: Hagen T5 HO fixture that I have from an old reef tank - Just have to buy bulbs

My head is spinning from reading Egg Crate False bottoms vs LECA Threads Confusedhock:
Alex
Just Starting....
Making a Viv for 2-3 Azureus
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#8
I have a Zoomed, so no central gap. If I had an Exo I would give the silicone method a go though - to me, it produces the cleanest look. You may also want to consider re-sealing the lower portion of the Viv - I resealed mine just to be sure it's water tight.

If you go with a pump I would make sure you have really easy access to it. I experimented with a tiny pump in a 4" PVC sump perforated with 1/4" holes and filled with aquarium gravel but the pump clogged easily. It was too much of a hassle to clean so I used the sump as access to the FB for manual siphoning (I was nervous about drilling a bulk head and having a leak). It doubles as a feeding station, and excess supplement dust collects there and is siphoned back out with the waste water. Since it's out front it's gotten the frogs used to coming out for their feedings.

I don't have direct experience with the Exo lids...I ended up removing most of the stainless screen from the top of my Zoomed, replacing it with sanded Lexan (secured with marine epoxy putty) for a "frosted" look. I left a 4" section out front screened in with a 60/40 split on two more pieces of Lexan that can be moved around to help control humidity for my version 2 top. My original attempt was actually too sealed up and I could not control the humidity easily. Be prepared to experiment with your lid solution. I ordered a second frame for my Zoomed so I could work on different top designs and swap them out.

I'd shoot a note over to Todd at LightYourReptiles.com. I've worked with him twice (once on my Viv, once on light bars for my aquarium) and he can talk you through LED lighting options. He's been great - very helpful offering lots of advice. Or you can pick Chuck's brain on DIY - he's done an incredible lighting build recently. Either way, consider heat management, as a fellow Texas frogger I can attest that you will be ferreting out sources of heat next summer Smile
Jim from Austin | https://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/
fantastica nominant | summersi | reticulata
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#9
This is how I do my Exo tops. I've moved the screen to the rear by 2 inches and now put my nozzles up front.

Nice tank size and 3 males would be fine IMO.

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=5751&p=31466&hilit=tops+for+tanks#p31466
Glenn
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#10
Jim and Glenn, thank you for the help. I like the screen Idea for the front. I really had not thought about being able to adjust humidity, I was just going to replace the four squares of screen with glass and call it done. Newbie mistake, glad I asked :oops: . I'm now thinking glass in the back two squares, with a whole drilled for a fan in one of them, and then rigging a half screen & half glass in the front two squares similar to something like you have Glenn. I have a lot to think about now. :mrgreen:
Alex
Just Starting....
Making a Viv for 2-3 Azureus
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#11
I finalized my thoughts on the lid. Was really nervous about doing glass, thinking it was going to be more difficult and expensive, but went to Lowes and I got the four panes I needed and they were cut to size for a whopping $6.40+Tax! I also got some No-Seeum mesh. I had the aluminum side stuff for the window kit already, so I did not need to buy the whole kit. I am using the DIY that IDPM (aka Brad) suggested in the thread about glass tops. Started modifying the top today, and will post pics once everything has dried. After the lid is done, It will be on to the false bottom.
Alex
Just Starting....
Making a Viv for 2-3 Azureus
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#12
First Build....nervous...exciting.....

The Beginnings of the Hobby !

Don't be too intimidated. We all had our 'first builds' to get under our belts. Wait until you get into the 20's.
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#13
Hello RoadRunner
I have done the 36x18x25 and i am currently working on a 36x18x36. The top frame of those tanks can not handle much weight, the middle of the door jam will bow down if you use two seperate piece of glass left to right in the screen panel. I would suggest using two pieces, one at the front and one at the back joined together in the middle with an aquarium hinge strip and getting rid of the screen top frame all together. Run one stirp across the back with whatever holes you want to have in it, then hinge strip, second strip of glass for the front with a piece of aquarium backsplash attached to that, cutting it down to where it only has about a 1/2" of the edge left on it, then make a screen strip to set on the ends, front and backsplash piece to go across the front for a vent. Basically a reversed aquarium lid with the backsplash cut down.
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#14
Here are some pictures of the lid and the start of the false bottom. The way I decided to build my lid is by using 4 smaller panes of glass. Each pane is cut to fit on the underside of the screen edges. On the front is the No See Um mesh.

Here is the layout without glass
[Image: P1140547_zps0d4b20b0.jpg]

With Glass
[Image: 20121021_211051_zpsac345414.jpg]

False Bottom
[Image: 20121022_133247_zpsa3396cf5.jpg]

I was also able to start FF proofing. I stuffed the No See Um in each of the vents along the front and then siliconed the end vents and the middle vents, because I could not totally seal them by using just mesh. Just need to do the silicone idea on the door edges and FF proofing should be done.

I have covered the false bottom with mesh and left an area for siphoning.

Next will be the background.
Alex
Just Starting....
Making a Viv for 2-3 Azureus
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#15
Looking good so far! I like the way you did the lid. Isn't it fun?
P. Terribilis orange, R. Imitator Cainarachi Valley, D. Leucomelas, D. Auratus, D. Azureus, P. vittatus, D. cobalts, D.Oyapok, Bombina Orientalis
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#16
Great start to the project! The top looks very clean and professional. I'd love to see closer photos of how you mounted the glass if you have a chance.
Jim from Austin | https://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/
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#17
If you get good at that metal framing....vert kits, custom tops ect can be in your future. People in the hobby will pay nicely for such screen work - could mean a lot of frogs too.
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
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#18
Thanks everyone!

joneill809 Wrote:Great start to the project! The top looks very clean and professional. I'd love to see closer photos of how you mounted the glass if you have a chance.

I will try to snap some pics tonight after class. I should warn you, It's not pretty! I probably went overboard with the silicone, but I wanted to make sure it stayed. :oops: After I reflect on the project I think there is another way I could have done it, but I need to take another trip to the hardware store and see if it is even possible to make what I am thinking.

Philsuma Wrote:If you get good at that metal framing....vert kits, custom tops ect can be in your future. People in the hobby will pay nicely for such screen work - could mean a lot of frogs too.

It really is easier to work with than I thought it would be. And after doing the first one, I have all sorts of ideas going through my head now! :lol:

So far everything is going well, especially since I'm not trying to build this as fast as possible! I keep looking at the Vivs here on DD and I almost always find something that I want to add or try to do a variation of it in my viv. Currently I am trying to gather more information about plants so I can plan my background a little better, while I finish the FF proofing of the tank.
Alex
Just Starting....
Making a Viv for 2-3 Azureus
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#19
RoadRunner1083 Wrote:I should warn you, It's not pretty! I probably went overboard with the silicone, but I wanted to make sure it stayed. :oops: After I reflect on the project I think there is another way I could have done it, but I need to take another trip to the hardware store and see if it is even possible to make what I am thinking.
That's the beauty of this hobby - you can keep making improvement, after improvement, after improvement ... it gets addictive! I'm the same way, my first mods to my Zoomed top were really nasty looking, so I ended up redoing it. I have a feeling there will be a version 3 of the top next year Smile

You'll find the same evolution with your planting - at least I did. I kept adding, pruning, transplanting and removing plants. Just this weekend I removed 2 broms and 2 pups to thin things out and change the look. Indoor mini-gardening - another cool aspect of the hobby! Good work and keep the photos coming!
Jim from Austin | https://www.oneillscrossing.com/dart-frogs/
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#20
Here is the best picture I could get with my phone. My wife took the "good" camera on vacation with her.

[Image: 20121023_210137_zps5669a357.jpg]

Basically I put silicone on the underpart of the screen aluminum, then placed the glass on top of the silicone and pressed down to get all silicone touching the glass. After that I put silicone all the way around the edges to hold the glass in place, making sure it was touching both the glass and the plastic lid.

And then on the top I put a bead of clear silicone all the way around the edge where the glass and screen aluminum meet again.
Alex
Just Starting....
Making a Viv for 2-3 Azureus
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