Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 63

Thread: Quick, Cheap, Easy Terrarium/Vivarium

  1. #1
    Founder John's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Nationality
    [Ireland]
    Location
    United States
    Age
    44
    Posts
    5,963
    Picture Albums: Member Photo Albums

    Default Quick, Cheap, Easy Terrarium/Vivarium

    A terrarium for less than $10 US? Yep. Try even less than that if you make a few. Provided you are not looking for a display terrarium, these are straightforward to make and easy to clean, light and not prone to breaking like glass. I have been making these for nearly 2 years to keep salamanders and frogs (mainly toads). I came up with this on my own but I apologise for any similarity to other people's ideas - call it convergent evolution.

    Here's how it's made (you can see finished examples at the bottom of this post). The one I'm about to show you is designed for a lighting fixture to rest on top of it, so I'm using metal mesh as opposed to plastic mesh.

    What you'll need:

    • Aluminium mesh sold for window frames to keep insects out when the window is open - you can use other alternatives. I use the plastic variety for terrariums without a light fixture on top - plastic will melt under the heat of the light. You can buy this at a hardware shop - I got mine at Home Depot in the US - it's quite cheap (less than $10) for a roll and if you make multiple terrariums with it then it is almost pennies.
    • A 55L / 58 quart storage box sold by Walmart in the US, but you can use any other clip on alternative you can find, or any size - I have several smaller versions myself. These range from US $2 to $10, depending on the size.
    • A hot glue gun, available from hobby shops - these cost only a few $$$ from hobby lobby. Use the hotter variant of glue - it's designed for bonding plastic and metal. In my experience this glue is safe for terrarium lids - obviously I don't rub the animals in it but it seems to be pretty harmless.
    • Hot glue for the gun.
    • A sharp craft knife or "box cutters" as they call them in the US.

    Since I'm going to be putting a light on top of this terrarium I need to know how big it is. Here's the light:



    And here's the box with the outline of the light base drawn on it (note I did this at one end - I only intend to cut part of the lid out and by having the light/heat source at one end I can create a gradient in light and heat in the terrarium):



    Here's the label on the box:



    I then use the craft knife to cut out a square of the lid, about an inch (2.5 cm) larger than the diameter of the light outline. I also cut out the light hole - this way I can keep this piece of plastic and put it around the light if I want to keep some heat in temporarily or reduce ventilation at some point. Note how it's not very straight cutting - doesn't have to be, it works:



    Here's a photo of some of the aluminium mesh I am going to use:



    Here's the lid without the square of plastic, which I will cover with the mesh:



    I cut a piece of mesh (you can use scissors on this metal mesh - it's very easy to cut) and glue it on:



    Note that I glue on the outside of the lid. The glue cools very quickly - in a few minutes it's ready for use. I rinse the glued area with water after the glue has set, in case there is any chemical residue that will come off easily.

    And here's the finished terrarium:



    There's actually a smaller version inside this big version (no reason, just saving space). Young toads live in there.

    Here's one with adult toads of another species that don't need heat/light where I live, so I used plastic mesh instead from the same source:



    And here's one for young tree frogs - notice how I cut out the whole inside part of the lid:



    Not the prettiest thing but very functional and cheap too!
    Founder of Frogforum.net (2008) and Caudata.org (2001)

  2. 9 members thank John for this post:


  3. # ADS
    Circuit advertisement
    Join Date
    Always
    Location
    Advertising world
    Age
    2010
    Posts
    Many
     

  4. #2
    Founder John's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Nationality
    [Ireland]
    Location
    United States
    Age
    44
    Posts
    5,963
    Picture Albums: Member Photo Albums

    Default re: Quick, Cheap, Easy Terrarium/Vivarium

    Lastly, I would advise you to keep the inset that you cut out - it's handy for stopping fruit flies escaping, since they can get through even this tiny gauge of mesh.
    Founder of Frogforum.net (2008) and Caudata.org (2001)

  5. 2 members thank John for this post:


  6. #3
    InfInIty13X
    Guest

    Default Re: Quick, Cheap, Easy Terrarium/Vivarium

    +1

    I like that. The idea can be adapted for a smaller container if need be.

  7. #4
    100+ Post Member Ebony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Nationality
    [New Zealand]
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    1,860
    Picture Albums: Member Photo Albums

    Default Re: Quick, Cheap, Easy Terrarium/Vivarium

    John, thats great, It would work for a lot of kept pets/insect. It would definately work for Locust breeding and i've got alot about to hatch and was wondering where I was going to put the babies as im using all my spare tanks. Thanks for that, you saved me some money.

  8. #5
    Founder John's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Nationality
    [Ireland]
    Location
    United States
    Age
    44
    Posts
    5,963
    Picture Albums: Member Photo Albums

    Default Re: Quick, Cheap, Easy Terrarium/Vivarium

    Actually I keep feeder crickets in a small version while gutloading them and waiting to use them as food.
    Founder of Frogforum.net (2008) and Caudata.org (2001)

  9. #6
    Contributor SludgeMunkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Nationality
    [United States]
    Location
    Bellevue, Nebraska
    Age
    45
    Posts
    593
    Picture Albums: Member Photo Albums

    Default Re: Quick, Cheap, Easy Terrarium/Vivarium

    Brilliant! I use a similar version, however I use that plastic needle point sheeting instead of window screen. For my fruit fly cultures and critters that eat them, I use some of that see-through nylon cloth. It is actually 150 micron mesh, so it makes good brine shrimp nets too!
    Watching FrogTV because it is better when someone else has to maintain the enclosure!

  10. #7
    Jacob
    Guest

    Default Re: Quick, Cheap, Easy Terrarium/Vivarium

    Thanks so much John, This is totally going to help me! I'm excited because i can build this instead of going out and getting A 200 Dollar Terrarium/Vivarium for My Frog/Toad ( Even though i don't have one, Yet..) Thanks a bunch me and my parents will probably build this maybe next week. By the way i am probably one of the youngest Frog/Toad lovers. I'm only 12 Years old so... This is also my first post

  11. #8
    Jacob
    Guest

    Default Re: Quick, Cheap, Easy Terrarium/Vivarium

    One more Question! Would i be able to keep a Pacman Frog inside of this Home-made tank, Because thats what i plan on getting.

  12. #9
    Founder John's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Nationality
    [Ireland]
    Location
    United States
    Age
    44
    Posts
    5,963
    Picture Albums: Member Photo Albums

    Default Re: Quick, Cheap, Easy Terrarium/Vivarium

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob View Post
    One more Question! Would i be able to keep a Pacman Frog inside of this Home-made tank, Because thats what i plan on getting.
    Yes but you need to heat Pacman frog vivaria. A note on your age - you lied about your age when you registered here. Please have your parents email me immediately with permission for you to be here - It is against Canadian law for you to be using this forum without me receiving written permission from your parents. Thank you.
    Founder of Frogforum.net (2008) and Caudata.org (2001)

  13. #10
    Jacob
    Guest

    Default Re: Quick, Cheap, Easy Terrarium/Vivarium

    What? Are you serious? I didn't realise.. I feel bad. Ill try to get my parents to send you E-Mail or else im outta here.

    Im sorry..

  14. #11
    Username
    Guest

    Default Re: Quick, Cheap, Easy Terrarium/Vivarium

    No way, this idea is sick! I'm definetly going to have to work on this this week, Thanks John this helps so much! Sick!

  15. #12
    Username
    Guest

    Default Re: Quick, Cheap, Easy Terrarium/Vivarium

    Hey John, Would a UV Bulb work enough for heating up this tank or would a Heating pad work better, And would a Pacman frog Be able to live its Life Potential In this tank? Thanks for the help.

  16. #13
    Founder John's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Nationality
    [Ireland]
    Location
    United States
    Age
    44
    Posts
    5,963
    Picture Albums: Member Photo Albums

    Default Re: Quick, Cheap, Easy Terrarium/Vivarium

    Don't use a UV bulb. This is a frog not a reptile.

    Heat pads in general are not advisable for frogs.
    Founder of Frogforum.net (2008) and Caudata.org (2001)

  17. #14
    Username
    Guest

    Default Re: Quick, Cheap, Easy Terrarium/Vivarium

    Im planning on a Pacman Frog, What should i use for Heating? Is there any certain Bulb or do i need a total light in General, I really have to know this stuff. Thanks John.

  18. #15
    Username
    Guest

    Default Re: Quick, Cheap, Easy Terrarium/Vivarium

    Sorry for bothering all of you, Im just a newcomer.. I was reading what Bulb i would need And it said that a Red or Purple Nocturnal Bulb would work and it would have to be 40 Watts Or under, Would this actually work, or..

  19. #16
    Founder John's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Nationality
    [Ireland]
    Location
    United States
    Age
    44
    Posts
    5,963
    Picture Albums: Member Photo Albums

    Default Re: Quick, Cheap, Easy Terrarium/Vivarium

    Please create your own thread instead of hijacking another one.
    Founder of Frogforum.net (2008) and Caudata.org (2001)

  20. #17
    Kurt
    Guest

    Default Re: Quick, Cheap, Easy Terrarium/Vivarium

    I have been using 5 minute epoxy for this. Been doing this for years, never once did I consider writing about it. Never thought it was a big deal, but I can see by the reaction here that it is.
    I have built a few enclosures like this and my cricket barrel is a half trash barrel with holes in the lid and sides that are covered in metal screen mesh. Crickets can chew through nylon mesh. I recycle the mesh that comes on the cases of crickets I buy.

  21. #18
    Kurt
    Guest

    Default Re: Quick, Cheap, Easy Terrarium/Vivarium

    Quote Originally Posted by SludgeMunkey View Post
    For my fruit fly cultures and critters that eat them, I use some of that see-through nylon cloth. It is actually 150 micron mesh, so it makes good brine shrimp nets too!
    Where do you get that?

  22. #19
    Contributor SludgeMunkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Nationality
    [United States]
    Location
    Bellevue, Nebraska
    Age
    45
    Posts
    593
    Picture Albums: Member Photo Albums

    Default Re: Quick, Cheap, Easy Terrarium/Vivarium

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt View Post
    Where do you get that?
    Got it a Wal-Mart. It was a buck a yard, so I bought the whole roll.
    Watching FrogTV because it is better when someone else has to maintain the enclosure!

  23. #20
    Kurt
    Guest

    Default Re: Quick, Cheap, Easy Terrarium/Vivarium

    I guess I am going to have to step foot in a place I rather not support at all.

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. DIY Fake Wood...the cheap way!
    By SludgeMunkey in forum Vivarium, Terrarium & Enclosure Discussion
    Replies: 46
    Last Post: November 26th, 2011, 04:44 PM
  2. Best Terrarium?
    By bobgildolf in forum Vivarium, Terrarium & Enclosure Discussion
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: October 24th, 2009, 06:55 PM
  3. My FBT Vivarium
    By Jumpshot724 in forum Fire Belly Toads (Bombina)
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: September 12th, 2009, 09:13 PM
  4. WA Press: Even without this heat, it's never easy for frogs
    By Herp News in forum Press / News Items
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: August 1st, 2009, 12:10 PM
  5. Quick Question
    By pillipala in forum Tree Frogs
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: June 14th, 2009, 12:40 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •