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Old 08-10-2009, 10:46 AM
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Default 4'H x 3'L x 2'W vivarium project

Recently my 4' x 3' x 2' became empty and I decided that I should try make it into a planted vivarium. It is made of wood so it is not waterproof enough to hold any standing water.


So I began thinking about how I could make a waterproof 'tray' to hole the soil and drainage layer, I came up with pond liner as it is flexible and waterproof.
First i took all the interior measurements needed and marked out a plan on the sheet of pond liner.

I cut it out and hot glued it into the bottom of the viv.

Then I siliconed around all the corners and gaps sealing the 'tray' (well hopefully anyway!).

Once its completely dry and I am happy with it i plan to test it by adding water to it, not sure how I'll find the leaks though any ideas?

I also picked up some cheap broms from a local garden center which I somehow plan to mount on some logs.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:26 AM
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Default Re: 4'H x 3'L x 2'W vivarium project

Wow very cool! Can't wait to see it planted! Regarding the pond liner and silicone . . . hate to burst your bubble here but they actually make a pond liner solvent that will chemically weld two pieces together. If I were you I would buy a can ($6) and redo the joints with that. You will be able to rest easy knowing that the pond liner pan is essentially a single piece after that. Test for leaks before moving forward! Keep up the good work!
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:49 PM
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Default Re: 4'H x 3'L x 2'W vivarium project

Big Ditto on Matt's advice!

The silicone joint may work for the test and for a short while after that, but then fail over time. Not sure how much the pond liner costs, but you might also consider doubling it up. It's one thing for a pond liner to leak outdoors. Quite a different problem if it leaks inside your house.
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:19 PM
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Default Re: 4'H x 3'L x 2'W vivarium project

also you need to paint the entire thing with epoxy paint to make sure the whole thing is water proofed, even the walls where there will be no standing water.
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Old 08-10-2009, 06:32 PM
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Default Re: 4'H x 3'L x 2'W vivarium project

The inside has already been varnished and I'm not sure that I'll be able to get that in the UK but I will have a look, There won't be a lot of standing waater in the bottom just a couple of inches maybe so I'll put a couple of layers of liner over the bottom corners. I think I'll test it tomorrow. I'll post pictures when I have something new done.
For inhabitants so far I have to go in it, 2 USA Green Tree frogs and 2 Green anoles, I plan on adding a few Long Tailed skinks, maybe some Rough Green snakes and some Fire Bellied toads. Anybody got any more ideas?
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Old 08-10-2009, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: 4'H x 3'L x 2'W vivarium project

UPDATE: Just had a look about online and found some super strong sealant and convinced my dad to take me to a garden center that has a lot of pond stuff so if they don't have it then I will order it off the internet. Now i have spare silicone and maybe a wasted pond liner, that'll teach me for rushing in instead asking questions lol.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:00 PM
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Default Re: 4'H x 3'L x 2'W vivarium project

Haha - well consider it as money well spent on education! You'll be much happier knowing that you have a solid base to start with! Good luck and don't sniff the glue!
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:53 AM
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Default Re: 4'H x 3'L x 2'W vivarium project

Lol I spent ages the other day with my head in the viv siliconing and that's enough send you a bit dizzy!
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Old 08-22-2009, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: 4'H x 3'L x 2'W vivarium project

Update: I took out the old liner and silicone and redid it with new liner and 'superstrong' silicone. Its sticks to everything really well other than the liner i used, even after leaving it for a week to dry whilst I've been on holiday it still didn't stick properly and when i tested it today it leaked. I don't know whether to try again and risk wasting more money or just give up, any ideas?
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Old 08-22-2009, 02:28 PM
 
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Default Re: 4'H x 3'L x 2'W vivarium project

as people have said silicon will not hold you need to get the stuff for welding pond liner but for the price of a little bit of liner id just use a new bit and not cut it, just put it in and try to fold the corners to get out most of the creases but really you are not gona see it so it does not matter as long as it holds water.
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Old 08-22-2009, 04:21 PM
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Default Re: 4'H x 3'L x 2'W vivarium project

Yeah i think that may be the easiest to do, one complete sheet can't go wrong.
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Old 08-22-2009, 05:29 PM
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Default Re: 4'H x 3'L x 2'W vivarium project

shouldn't this be moved to the construction thread?
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: 4'H x 3'L x 2'W vivarium project

Hmm maybe, if the mods feel it necessary then I have no problem with it being moved.
Anyway, I got on with a fresh sheet of liner and glued it in as one complete sheet and folded the corner and hot glued them in. Then I added a drainage layer and fashioned a pond area.

Mess in my herp room lol

Planted! Finally managed to plant it, it contains broms, creeping fig, local wild mosses and ferns, pothos, phillodrens, inch plant, a small pitcher plant, begonia, fittonia, alocasia, baby oak seedlings and an orchid that should flower soon. I collected some dead oak leaves and soil from local woods and mixed it with compost so hopefully there should a good amount of inverts in there to break to waste.



The lighting and heating

The state of the carpet after all the planting :|

It currently holds 1.1.0 Green Anoles and hopefully a pair of USA green tree frogs There's defiantely one male in there. I'd love to get some darts maybe some leucs but they're fairly hard to come by and shops don't generally tend to stock them in england.
I'll get some pictures of the inhabitants when they've settled in.

Matt
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