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Thread: my first build - custom cabinet build

  1. #1
    Johnb43
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    Default my first build - custom cabinet build

    Hey guys,


    I had planned to post this a while ago so that I could ask questions as I go but theres so much good information on here that I never got around to having to ask my own questions.


    I bought two of these display cases from someones front yard for 20 bucks a few months ago. They've just been sitting in my room since, so I decided it was time to do something with one.


    So heres what I started with.




    I painted it and coated ever inch of the inside in silicone





    I drilled a hole in the back for a 1/2 inch tube that will go to the humidifier. I also drilled 5 holes in the base that will lead to 1/2 inch tubes for drainage. I came up with this idea so that I would never have standing water in the base. Even though I have taken many steps in waterproofing everything, I still didnt feel comfortable with standing water. This leads to my decision to not do a waterfall, as I had originally planned. I just didnt want any worries concerning water since the whole frame is wood.


    After the silicone dried, I put down 2 thick coats of polyurethane and 2 coats of spar varnish.

    Next I bought a fan for air circulation. It was a bit difficult to find what I needed because I don't know wiring too well. People said to get a 120v computer fan, of which this was the only one i could find. Its from radio shack. I then just bought a normal power cord and cut off the end and attached it to the fan. This fan is a little loud which I did read in the reviews, but I'm fine with it for now.





    ---------- Post added at 03:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:02 PM ----------








    ---------- Post added at 03:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:02 PM ----------


    And heres the tube I made from corrugated plastic





    I put cut off pieces of a wire hanger through the corners for the fan to sit on





    ---------- Post added at 03:05 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:03 PM ----------


    I mounted the tube to the back with silicone, siliconed in the side glass, and then put down a base layer of Great Stuff.





    ---------- Post added at 03:08 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:05 PM ----------


    Planned the layout of the wood





    And then foamed in all of the wood, rocks, and planters.





    ---------- Post added at 03:13 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:08 PM ----------


    The next day I came out to see that people weren't joking when they said that Great Stuff expands more than you expect. So after carving it back some, I started the headache that was siliconing eco-earth to the foam. I completely underestimated how much silicone I would need for this. It took 6 tubes. I should also say that the enclosed area of this terrarium is 40x17x13. So thats 40 inches of foam to cover.





    After a few hours, I had covered pretty much everything i could see, but once I started to look closer I noticed a lot of crack anc crevaces that I couldnt get to with my fingers, so I just covered them up with moss. Some of the moss is sheet moss from Josh's Frogs, and some is Exo-Terra Forest Moss.





    ---------- Post added at 03:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:13 PM ----------


    As you can see, I also siliconed in a piece of glass to keep in substrate as well as any critters that are on the ground.


    So then I distressed the paint a little to fit in with my taste.








    ---------- Post added at 03:26 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:18 PM ----------


    I bought this light from Petsmart.





    Theres 2 60watt equivalent cfl's in there, but I think I'm gonna want a little more light.


    I also bought this humidifier from Walmart after searching all over for a humidifier that vents from one specific spot rather than a general area.





    I chose to do the fogging system this way because I read too many bad reviews on the Repti-Fogger, and also because this can run for 18 hours before being refilled. I was having a problem with it shutting off after a few minutes, but I think that was caused by the fact the my tubing was too long, so on its way to the humidifier it had to make a turn back up, allowing water to build in the line. I think that the humidifier was sensing a block and shutting itself off.


    ---------- Post added at 03:38 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:26 PM ----------


    Last night I moved it up to my room (getting it up the steps by myself was fun).





    I also found some sweet moss in the woods. I hope it lasts in here





    I have some more ABG substrate coming tomorrow as well as a culture of springtails.


    So the next step is to plant it. I also want to find some isopods for it.


    I'm not sure whats going to be going in it. I wanted to get it all set up and running to see what kind of temperature and humidity it could maintain. right now its at 73 degrees (my ac's on) and about 80% humidity.


    Im leaning towards Red Eyed Tree Frogs or Crested Geckos, but I would love your oppinions on what species of frog or reptile, as well as how many. As I mentioned, it 40x17x13, minus obviously some room from the background. Theres a reptile show that I'm going to on the 20th, so hopefully will be getting something there.

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  3. #2
    100+ Post Member kueluck's Avatar
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    Default Re: my first build - custom cabinet build

    Love it!!
    Rest in peace Rosie 5-31-12
    Rest in peace Rufus 2-7-14
    Rest in peace Morph 8-14-15


  4. #3

    Default Re: my first build - custom cabinet build

    looks awesome! you did an excellent job, but i have a question. you said you put down silicone first and then poly and spar on top of the silicone? is that correct?
    1.0.0 Oophaga Pumilio 'Black Jeans'
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  5. #4
    Adam R
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    Default Re: my first build - custom cabinet build

    creative look i love it

  6. #5
    Johnb43
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    Default Re: my first build - custom cabinet build

    Quote Originally Posted by deranged chipmunk View Post
    looks awesome! you did an excellent job, but i have a question. you said you put down silicone first and then poly and spar on top of the silicone? is that correct?
    Yeah, I was originally gonna just silicone the gaps and the corners, but decided that I'd just be better off coating everything. But then the spar varnish wouldn't adhere to the silicone at all, so I sprayed everything with polyurethane instead. Then I thought that maybe the varnish would go on the poly better, and it did, so theres 2 coats of that on top.

  7. #6

    Default Re: my first build - custom cabinet build

    ok. i was curious about that. thanks.
    1.0.0 Oophaga Pumilio 'Black Jeans'
    0.0.10 Phyllobates Vittatus
    0.0.3 Phyllobates Terribilis 'Mint'
    0.0.3 Dendrobates Tinctorius 'Patricia'
    0.0.5 Dendrobates Leucomelas
    0.0.2 Dendrobates Tinctorius 'Powder Blue'
    0.0.2 Ranitomeya Variabilis 'southern'
    0.0.3 Epipedobates Anthonyi 'zarayunga'
    1.2.0 Phyllobates bicolor
    0.0.3 Dendrobates tinctorius 'azureus'
    0.0.1 Avicularia Avicularia
    0.0.1 Gramastola porteri
    0.2.0 Canines
    1.0.0 Tabby/Maine Coon Mix
    2.1.0 Genetics Experiments
    0.1.0 Bed Bully

  8. #7

    Default Re: my first build - custom cabinet build

    btw, i love the victorian (?) decor. that's not a pinhole camera is it? i'm no aficionado, but i love antique technology.
    1.0.0 Oophaga Pumilio 'Black Jeans'
    0.0.10 Phyllobates Vittatus
    0.0.3 Phyllobates Terribilis 'Mint'
    0.0.3 Dendrobates Tinctorius 'Patricia'
    0.0.5 Dendrobates Leucomelas
    0.0.2 Dendrobates Tinctorius 'Powder Blue'
    0.0.2 Ranitomeya Variabilis 'southern'
    0.0.3 Epipedobates Anthonyi 'zarayunga'
    1.2.0 Phyllobates bicolor
    0.0.3 Dendrobates tinctorius 'azureus'
    0.0.1 Avicularia Avicularia
    0.0.1 Gramastola porteri
    0.2.0 Canines
    1.0.0 Tabby/Maine Coon Mix
    2.1.0 Genetics Experiments
    0.1.0 Bed Bully

  9. #8
    Sidius
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    Default Re: my first build - custom cabinet build

    Now that is pretty neat!!...Nice work.

  10. #9
    DartEd
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    Default Re: my first build - custom cabinet build

    Really nice job John. Thank you for sharing. Where in the states are you? If you add some strong leafy plants, and you can put just about anything in there. I'm a dart frog guy so I'd add a bunch or bromeliads, vining plants and a few broad leafed plants and I'd put a bunch of ranitomeya variabilis in there.

    Beautiful job and. Love the distressed look. My living room furniture is the same way.
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  11. #10
    Johnb43
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    Default Re: my first build - custom cabinet build

    Thanks for all the kind words!


    Quote Originally Posted by DartEd View Post
    Really nice job John. Thank you for sharing. Where in the states are you? If you add some strong leafy plants, and you can put just about anything in there. I'm a dart frog guy so I'd add a bunch or bromeliads, vining plants and a few broad leafed plants and I'd put a bunch of ranitomeya variabilis in there.


    Beautiful job and. Love the distressed look. My living room furniture is the same way.

    I live right outside philadelphia. You think ranitomeya variabilis would be good in such a vertical enclosure? I read that there aren't really any true arboreal darts, and that any species would really need more of a footprint than this

  12. #11

    Default Re: my first build - custom cabinet build

    i think this enclosure just screams for tree frogs. red eyes would be idea due to their lower humidity requirements. the less humidity in there the better. some nice, tall, strong leafed plants and a couple broms and they would be in heaven. i think darts like leucs would be cool, but i would be concerned about the high humidity required for them.
    1.0.0 Oophaga Pumilio 'Black Jeans'
    0.0.10 Phyllobates Vittatus
    0.0.3 Phyllobates Terribilis 'Mint'
    0.0.3 Dendrobates Tinctorius 'Patricia'
    0.0.5 Dendrobates Leucomelas
    0.0.2 Dendrobates Tinctorius 'Powder Blue'
    0.0.2 Ranitomeya Variabilis 'southern'
    0.0.3 Epipedobates Anthonyi 'zarayunga'
    1.2.0 Phyllobates bicolor
    0.0.3 Dendrobates tinctorius 'azureus'
    0.0.1 Avicularia Avicularia
    0.0.1 Gramastola porteri
    0.2.0 Canines
    1.0.0 Tabby/Maine Coon Mix
    2.1.0 Genetics Experiments
    0.1.0 Bed Bully

  13. #12
    Moderator Mentat's Avatar
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    Default Re: my first build - custom cabinet build

    Awesome build, congrats !
    Remember to take care of the enclosure and it will take care of your frog !​

  14. #13
    Moderator Jenste's Avatar
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    Default Re: my first build - custom cabinet build

    I am unbelievably impressed!
    72 Gallon Bow - ACF and GF tank.
    26 Gallon Bow - ACF tank.

    20 Gallon Long - ACF tank.


    "If there were an invisible cat in that chair, the chair would look empty. But the chair does look empty; therefore there is an invisible cat in it." C.S. Lewis, Four Loves, 1958

  15. #14
    J Teezy
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    Default Re: my first build - custom cabinet build

    looks good the only thing i question is your fan. Correct me if i'm wrong but to me it looks like the air will come out the bottom of it? If so, i think you should have had it come out somewhere in the middle of the structure aimed at the front glass.

  16. #15
    Johnb43
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    Default Re: my first build - custom cabinet build

    Yeah, it's just coming out the bottom. I did it this way to make it as invisible as possible. Looking at it in person, there's no way to tell its under there. Even having it set up this way, it's clears the moisture off the glass much quicker than when it's off. So it is doing its job to a point. I just wanted some airflow while keeping it invisible. If I decide I want more, there's room up top still

  17. #16
    Johnb43
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    Default Re: my first build - custom cabinet build

    I should also mention that the fan helps a ton with distributing the fog. When the fogger is on it just creates a rolling fog on the bottom, which looks beautiful, but I wanted it to fill the whole tank. I realized last night that after a couple mins of the fogger and the fan being on together, the whole tank fills up with a nice fog. So my plan is to run the fogger for 15 mins, then have the fan come on and run both for 15 mins, and then run just the fan for 15 to clear up the glass.

  18. #17
    100+ Post Member tinkgirl77's Avatar
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    Default Re: my first build - custom cabinet build

    Omg! It's gorgeous

    .:* Lisa *:.
    laissez le bon temps roulet! :-)

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  19. #18
    DartEd
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    Default Re: my first build - custom cabinet build

    There aren't any truly arboreal darts but there are quite a few that climb and would utilize that space. Anything that climbs a bit would love that space. That being said, Bill is right, with that height, it screams tree frogs. The fogger looks great and the set up with the fan is right on point.

    Kudos to you. You have skill.

  20. #19
    100+ Post Member tinkgirl77's Avatar
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    Default Re: my first build - custom cabinet build

    Ok this has me so inspired ( my hubby is so not thrilled lol bc he is recognizing my addiction hehe ) bc we have an antique shop in New Orleans that does a 50% off sale once a month And they're prices are extremely reasonable. They have gorgeous corner cabinets that would be perfect for this. But being a newer person to these big builds, how and where do the fans go? And what are you doing for heat?

    .:* Lisa *:.
    laissez le bon temps roulet! :-)

    1.2.2 Agalychnis calidryas - Felix Felicis, Wall-E,Eva, Mike & Sull
    0.0.2 Canis lupus familiaris (Italian greyhounds) - Zaffira & Aurora
    1.0.0 My own personal prince charming (husband edition): Beau



  21. #20
    Johnb43
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    Default Re: my first build - custom cabinet build

    Quote Originally Posted by DartEd View Post
    There aren't any truly arboreal darts but there are quite a few that climb and would utilize that space. Anything that climbs a bit would love that space. That being said, Bill is right, with that height, it screams tree frogs. The fogger looks great and the set up with the fan is right on point.

    Kudos to you. You have skill.
    Thank you!


    Quote Originally Posted by tinkgirl77 View Post
    Ok this has me so inspired ( my hubby is so not thrilled lol bc he is recognizing my addiction hehe ) bc we have an antique shop in New Orleans that does a 50% off sale once a month And they're prices are extremely reasonable. They have gorgeous corner cabinets that would be perfect for this. But being a newer person to these big builds, how and where do the fans go? And what are you doing for heat?

    .:* Lisa *:.
    laissez le bon temps roulet! :-)
    haha well thank you! The fan is in that tube that is in the base of the background. Right now it is blowing down, but I guess it could also blow up, pulling damp air from the bottom up and out of the terrarium.

    right now I'm not doing anything for heat. It depends what I end up putting in there, whether or not I end up having to add heat or not

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