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Old 09-23-2008, 11:02 PM
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Default Constructing a European type Vivarium Step by Step

I have had a few requests concerning the method of construction regarding a european type front opening viv. So I have put together the follow detailed instructions, as one of my fellow british froggers said, this is the idiots guide to constructing a viv.

I hope that you will find these useful.
I post each new section as I complete typing and doing the drawings.

This will be available in PDF format when complete.


DIY Glass Open Front Vivarium
By Darryl Le Grange


Introduction to Building Your Own Vivarium
If you want to try, building an open front vivarium from scratch, you will find this a challenge and satisfying as well. I have attempted to try and document this process as accurately as possible, from tips, materials list, pre-assembly instructions, and complete step-by-step directions on how to construct an open front vivarium from 4 mm glass.

Tips on Working with Glass
• Plan ahead: Prepare good schematic drawings, before cutting the glass. >> See Cut Size Calculator
• Insure a correct fit by using accurate measurements.
• I construct my vivariums with the two side pieces of glass and the back piece to fit on the outside of the base and the front door strut set on top of the bottom base sheet of glass. >> See Panel Placements Diagram
• Have a professional glazier cut and prepare your glass if you do not feel comfortable with cutting glass.
• Lightly rubbing down all the edges on the newly cut glass, with the emery cloth helps prevent small chips and you cutting yourself.)
• If at any time during construction you have trouble with the tape not sticking to the glass, just clean the area with some acetone on a paper towel and try again
• Use a glass pencil or a Marker pen to note the orientation on each piece of glass.
• Drill any holes for drainage and misting systems before assembly
Materials List
The glass components consist of 1 bottom, 1 back, and 2 sides, 2 top pieces of glass, 1 door strut, 1 retaining lip and 2 doors. (Optional – 1 False Base)

You will also need the following items to construct your vivarium.
• Sturdy, flat and non-abrasive surface to work on
• Single edged razor blades
• Acetone or methylated spirits
• A non-toxic 100% silicone sealant (Aquarium Grade)
• A roll of paper towels.
• A Glass pencil or marker pen.
• A roll of duct tape or a good quality masking tape
• Emery cloth or silicone carbide sandpaper.
• “E” profiled plastic (4mm) strips (Door Channels)
• “L” profiled plastic angle strips
• Fine Stainless Steel Mesh
• Small block of natural bees wax
• Good pair of kitchen scissors
• Thin latex or similar gloves
• Small Right-Angle or Engineers square
• 1x Large wooden Block or cloth covered Brick
• Small amount of dishwashing soap and water
• Small Polystyrene blocks (for optional False Base)

Pre-Assembly Preparations
• The door strut has an arch cut out of it, you can cut this free-hand or use a template, otherwise have this piece of glass cut by your local glazier.
• Once the pieces of glass are cut, using the emery cloth or silicone carbide sandpaper, buff all the raw edges of the glass just enough to take off the sharpness.
• Clean all the glass pieces joint areas and edges (any area where silicone will be applied) with acetone or methylated spirits.
• Cut strips of tape, at least 16 – 18 pieces, about 120mm long. Stick these to a clean surface, which the tape won't stick too much to, with at least half of the tape hanging freely. If you require more tape, cut these before installing another piece.
BEFORE you start to assemble your vivarium, it is important to know in what sequence the glass sheet are assembled.

The sequence is as follows:
1. Base
2. Back
3. Left Side
4. Inside Retaining Lip
5. Door Strut
6. False Base (Optional)
7. Right Side
8. Top “Back”
9. Top “Front”
10. Stainless Steel Mesh
11. Plastic Angle
12. Top Vent retainer strips
13. Door Channels
14. Doors
If you are going to install the optional false bottom, you can cut an arch (See Door Strut) in the bottom of the back piece, to allow access under the false base.
As each piece of glass is installed, you will need to apply a thin and adequate line of silicone to each inside edges of sheets that are being joined.
DO NOT wipe off any excess silicone that might squeeze to the outside edges of the glass. This can be cleaned up or trimmed later on, once the silicone has fully cured.
Step-by-Step Assembly Instructions
Prepare for assembly, by arranging your glass pieces in the order that you will need them and all other tools and materials within easy and comfortable reach. Make sure you know what the orientation of each piece is (use a marker to write on each piece) N.B. Keep all writing and marking at least 25mm from edges to be siliconed.
Example:


Ensure that your work surface is flat, sturdy, non-abrasive and that you have sufficient room, so that you can easily reach everywhere on the vivarium, once you start working.
1. BASE
• Use a marker pen to draw a parallel line, 45mm from the front edge of the base.
• Then turn the base piece over, so that this line is now on the underside.




• Stick X6 pieces of tape on the underside of the base, with ½ of the tape still showing. (x2 pieces on the back edge and x2 pieces on each side edge), the sticky side should now be facing up.





2. BACK
• Have the block of wood or cloth covered brick ready to support the back piece of glass.
• Apply a thin but sufficient bead of silicon along the bottom inside edge of the back piece.



• Carefully align the back piece to the outside back edge of the base.
• Press the back with a light, but firm pressure to bed it into the silicon.
• Use the Block or brick to support the back in the upright position.
• Use the Right angle or Square to check that the two pieces of glass are at right angles to each other.
• Fold the x2 pieces of tape upwards and stick them to the back; this will assist in keeping everything in the correct place.




Tip: This step is much easier to do with an assistant to hold the front glass pane upright and in place while you complete installation of the first side piece in the next step.



3. SIDE (Left-Hand)
• Apply a thin but sufficient bead of silicon along the bottom and back inside edges of the side piece.



• Carefully align the side piece to the outside side edges of the base and back.
• Press the side piece with a light, but firm pressure to bed it into the silicon.
• Fold the x2 pieces of tape upwards and stick them to the side; this will assist in keeping everything in the correct place.
• Use x2 pieces of tape and stick them across the back and side joint, this will assist in keeping everything in the correct place and in the upright position.





4. INSIDE RETAINING LIP
• Apply a thin but sufficient bead of silicon along the bottom and left hand edges of the retaining lip piece.



• Carefully align the retaining piece to the line drawn on the underside of the base.
• The retaining piece should be placed just behind the line and against the left side piece.
• Press the piece with a light, but firm pressure to bed it into the silicon.
• Use the Right-angle or Square to check that the retraining piece is at right angles to the base.








5. DOOR STRUT
• Apply a thin but sufficient bead of silicon along the bottom and left hand edges of the door strut.



• Carefully align the door strut to the top front edge of the base.
• The door strut should be placed on the base front edge and against the left side piece inside front edge.
• Press the piece with a light, but firm pressure to bed it into the silicon.






6. SIDE (Right-Hand)
• Apply a thin but sufficient bead of silicon along the side edges of the Door Strut and the retaining lip pieces.



• Apply a thin but sufficient bead of silicon along the bottom and back inside edges of the side piece.



• Carefully align the side piece to the outside side edges of the base and back.
• Press the side piece with a light, but firm pressure to bed it into the silicon.
• Fold the x2 pieces of tape upwards and stick them to the side; this will assist in keeping everything in the correct place.
• Use x2 pieces of tape and stick them across the back and side joint, this will assist in keeping everything in the correct place and in the upright position.





7. With most of the pieces in place and the vivarium constructed, run an adequate solid line of silicone into the joint areas on the inside, then run your finger over the silicone from one end to the other of each seam, preferably in one continuous motion, to smooth the silicone down and force it into the joint areas.
Tip: Dip your finger into a little water and dishwashing soap, before smoothing down the joints. (10 drops of soap in a glass of water)
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Old 09-23-2008, 11:04 PM
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8. TOP “BACK”
• Apply a thin but sufficient bead of silicon along the back and side bottom edges of the top-back piece.



• Carefully align the top-back piece to the top edges of the base and sides.
• Press the top-back piece with a light, but firm pressure to bed it into the silicon.
• Use x2 pieces of tape and stick them across the back and top joint, this will assist in keeping everything in the correct place.
• Use x2 pieces of tape and stick them across the side and top joints, this will assist in keeping everything in the correct place.







9. TOP “FRONT”
• Apply a thin but sufficient bead of silicon along the side bottom edges of the top-front piece.



• Carefully align the top-front piece to the top edges of the sides.
• Press the top-front piece with a light, but firm pressure to bed it into the silicon.
• Use x2 pieces of tape on each side and stick them across the side and top joints; this will assist in keeping everything in the correct place.






10. With last two pieces in place, run an adequate solid line of silicone into these last few joint on the inside and then run your finger over the silicone from one end to the other of each seam, preferably in one continuous motion, to smooth the silicone down and force it into the joint areas.
Tip: Dip your finger into a little water and dishwashing soap, before smoothing down the joints. (10 drops of soap in a glass of water)

11. Allow the silicone to cure for 24 hours.
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Old 09-23-2008, 11:10 PM
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Default re: Constructing a European type Vivarium Step by Step

This is outstanding! Thanks for posting it!!
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Old 09-24-2008, 12:34 PM
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BOTTOM VENT
• Measure the distance on the inside of the left and right sides above the door strut.
• Repeat this for the above the retaining lip.



• Now cut two sections of the “L” shaped profile to fit each of section.




• Measure the distance from the front of the door strut to the back of the retaining lip, on the left-hand side.
• Repeat this for the right-hand side.



These measurements are used to determine final size of the Stainless Steel mesh for the vent to the correct size.



• Use masking tape to cover both sides of the stainless steel mesh (stick this wider than your measurements)
• Use a marker pen to draw out your measurements on the tape.
• Cut along these lines.
Tip: By using the masking tape, it makes it easier to draw lines in the mesh. The masking tape also reduces stray stainless steel wire splinters flying about or puncturing your hands. The finished cut is a lot neater as well.


• Check that the newly cut mesh fits over the retaining lip and door strut.
• Make any adjustments if required.



• Apply a thin but sufficient bead of silicon along the top edges of both the retaining lip and the door strut.



• Place the stainless steel mesh back into its correct position.
• The “L” profile sections are now placed over the edges
• Press the “L” profile sections with a light, but firm pressure to bed them and the stainless steel mesh into the silicon.



• Use x6 pieces of tape and stick them across the top and down the sides of the strut and lip, this will assist in keeping everything in the correct place.

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Old 09-26-2008, 03:08 AM
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Default re: Constructing a European type Vivarium Step by Step

Darryl,

Outstanding post. I've always admired European vivarium, but I'm not talented enough to make them. I never do this but thanks for the post. I wish I was still doing the ADG Newsletter, I'd have you do an article for it.

Best,

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Old 09-26-2008, 04:28 AM
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Thanks for that, I've been working on plans for one of those lately, and it's nice to see I was correct in most of my guessing, and not only that, but many questions were answered. Great post. Thanks again. The one question I have is did you just not do the top vent? Or do we have to wait for the next installment.
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Old 09-26-2008, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qiksilver5
Or do we have to wait for the next installment.
I am currently doing the drawings and script for the next section. I will go right through the entire process, to the point of having a complete viv, inlcuding the sliding front doors, top vent and "optional" false sloped base.
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Old 09-29-2008, 02:48 PM
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13. TOP VENT (PART 1)
• Measure the width of the top gap on the inside of the left and right sides.



• Measure the length of the top gap on the outside of the left and right sides.





These measurements are used to determine the final size of the Stainless Steel mesh for the vent.



• The total width of the mesh for the top vent should be the width of the gap, plus 20mm.
• This will give an additional 10mm flange on each long edge, secure the mesh to the top of the viv.
• The total length of the mesh is equal to the total outside width of the viv.



• The four corners are cut to allow proper placement.
• These notches are 10mm x the width of the glass used for the sides.



Tip: By using the masking tape, it makes it easier to draw lines in the mesh. The masking tape also reduces stray stainless steel wire splinters flying about or puncturing your hands. The finished cut is a lot neater as well.
1. Use masking tape to cover both sides of the stainless steel mesh (stick this wider than your measurements)
2. Use a marker pen to draw out your measurements on the tape.
3. Cut along these lines.
4. Use masking tape to cover both sides of the stainless steel mesh (stick this wider than your measurements)

• Now cut two sections of the “L” shaped profile to fit each of section.




• Check that the newly cut mesh fits over the retaining lip and door strut.
• The small tabs on the ends of the mesh sit on top of the sides and the 10mm flanges, fit under the top pieces of the viv.
• Make any adjustments if required.



• Apply a thin but sufficient bead of silicon along the top edges of both the retaining lip and the door strut.



• Place the stainless steel mesh back into its correct position.
• The “L” profile sections are now placed over the edges
• Press the “L” profile sections with a light, but firm pressure to bed them and the stainless steel mesh into the silicon.



• Use a pieces of tape and stick them across the underside of the mesh and top peices of glass, this will prevent the mesh from sagging while the silicon is curing on the edge strips.





14. Allow the silicone to cure for 24 hours.


15. HALFWAY
• Remove all the tape.
• All that is left to do is the 2nd part of the top vent and the installation of the sliding doors.

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Old 09-30-2008, 04:24 PM
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So helpful thanks for this.
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Old 09-30-2008, 04:56 PM
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Fantastic stuff Darryl me old china! made this a sticky! superb post!
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Old 10-06-2008, 01:54 AM
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As a total Newbie who just spent a bundle buyin' a pre-made viv, I'm really excited to see this finished...I'm pretty sure I can handle this :-)
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:08 PM
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16. TOP VENT (PART 2)

• Carefully turn the viv upside down.




• Measure the width of the top of the viv, inside the sides.




• Cut x2 strips of 2mm glass, 15mm wide.
• The length should be just short of the top inside measurement.




• Apply a bead of silicon along the centre of each strip.




• Place the two strips (silicon side down) over the edges of the stainless steel mesh.
• Align the edges of the strips with the edges of the top vent of the viv.




• Press the two strips with a light, but firm pressure to bed them and the stainless steel mesh into the silicon
• Place a block or Cloth covered brick over the strips to weight them down.

17. Allow the silicone to cure for 4 hours.

These strips seal and protect the edges of the stainless steel mesh on the top mesh




18. DOORS (Tracks)
This stage requires two different types of “E” profile.
1. Bottom Profile (Shallow).
2. Top Profile (Deep), this is about twice as deep as the bottom profile.
The profile you use should match the thickness of glass, that you are going to use for the doors.




• Measure and cut a length of top (deeper) profile to fit under the top inside of the front of the viv.




• Check that the newly cut top profile fits in the top front of the viv, with abot a 1mm play on eack side.
• Make any adjustments if required.
• Apply a bead of silicon along the centre of the top profile.




• Carefully align the top track profile to the bottom front edge of the top and sides.





• Press the profile with a light, but firm pressure to bed it into the silicon.
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Old 10-08-2008, 04:23 AM
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Excellent posts Darryl! I have a few older tanks I'm going to break down and use to make a few of these for sure. If anyone else in the US is looking for E-profiles to make one check this out Brunner - aluminum channel, extruded aluminum angle, anodized aluminum shapes, aluminum pipe, bar, tube, square tubing connector,aluminum channel, extruded aluminum angle, anodized aluminum shapes, aluminum pipe, bar, tube, square tubing connector, a. I haven't had any luck finding these locally.
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:37 PM
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First of all I have to say this tutorial is amazing! THanks so much.

Ok, maybe this is coming but how do you froglet and ff proof the door? Obviously there will be a gap in between the two pieces of glass.
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:57 PM
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My post below:

http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/par...ing-doors.html
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:24 PM
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You know I had read that before but had completely forgotten about it. Thanks. Have you ever had a problem with the silicone eventually shearing off from the constant back and forth?
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by housevibe7 View Post
You know I had read that before but had completely forgotten about it. Thanks. Have you ever had a problem with the silicone eventually shearing off from the constant back and forth?
Not as yet, If you read the the orginal post, there is a very small gap between the gasket and the front glass. So there should be no significant friction on the gaskett to shear it off , even over a long period of use.
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:07 PM
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Awesome thread and really nice design! I'm happy that you decided to post up such details on here! I do have a couple of questions for you though:

1. Will the ventilation through the tank be done by way of fans or will it be more of a passive ventilation design?

2. Do you have a plan for dealing with the water that will eventually drip down through the front ventilation screen and out through the door strut?

Ross.
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:56 PM
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The point of the viv is to keep air flowing through that bottom vent and out the top one due to the heated air in the viv from the lights. Another person has put a heating cord under the vent section to further heat the air there and cause it to rise through the vent but that's not completely necessary. The air through the vent keeps the front glass clear of condensation so only mist should drip through. It probably wouldn't be much especially with the constant air flow.

-Nish
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Old 10-13-2008, 09:22 PM
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20. BOTTOM TRACK
• Measure and cut a length of bottom (shallower) profile to fit on-top “L” profile of the door strut, in the front of the viv.



• Check that the newly cut bottom profile fits, with about a 1mm play on each side.
• Make any adjustments if required.
• Apply a bead of silicon along the centre of the front “L” profile above the door strut.



• Carefully align the bottom track profile to the front edge of the sides.



• Press the profile with a light, but firm pressure to bed it into the silicon.

21. Allow the silicone to cure for 4 -6 hours before trying to fit the doors.




22. DOORS
To work out the dimensions of the sliding doors, the following measurement are required to be taklen.
1. The internal width of the viv at the front.



2. The height between the top and bottom tracks.



3. The depth of the top track.




• Calculating the width if the two sliding doors:
1. Divide the internal width by 2.
2. Add 5mm to the above result.
3. The final result is the width measurement for each of the two sliding doors
The 5mm added to each door, result in the overlap, when the doors are placed in the tracks.

• Calculating the height if the two sliding doors:
1. Add the depth of the top track and the height between the top and bottom tracks.
2. Subtract 2mm to the above result.
3. The final result is the height measurement for each of the two sliding doors
The 2mm deduction allows just enough clearance when lifting the doors in and out of the tracks.





23. FITTING THE DOORS

• Before fitting the doors, make sure that all the edges have been rubbed down properly.
• Pay a little more attention to the corners of each door, ensure that they are rounded off and smooth.
• Take a small block of pure bees wax and lightly rub it along the top and bottom edges of each door.
• Check that there are no obstructions in the tracks.

The doors are fitted in a sequence; this sequence is used in reverse when you want to remove the doors.
A. Hold the First door by the sides.
B. Insert the top edges into the top track channel furthest from the front.
C. Lightly push the door all the way, up into the track.


D. Gently swing the bottom of the door over bottom track.
E. The door should just clear the bottom track.


F. Position the door over the furthest channel in the bottom track.
G. Carefully lower the door in the channel.


H. The door should now sit in the both the top and bottom track and slide side to side.



Repeat the above steps to insert the other door into the channel closest to the front.




To remove the doors, this process is followed in reverse.



24. At this stage you have a complete working viv.

25. But there are a few additions that can be made to improve the ways that the doors seal.

26. DOOR SIDE CHANNELS

27. DOOR OVERLAP GASKET
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:48 PM
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This is an awesome DIY, but does anyone have any idea how much it would cost to make one of these?
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Old 10-14-2008, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by S2H5287 View Post
This is an awesome DIY, but does anyone have any idea how much it would cost to make one of these?
In Dallas, TX I was quoted a high of 230, but I know I a place I could get it for about 180! Uhhh, that is for the glass that is! 1/4".
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Old 10-14-2008, 08:56 PM
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Default re: Constructing a European type Vivarium Step by Step

Great looking instructions! What program did you use for these models?
papafrogger likes this.
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:17 AM
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I do not know what the cost of the glass is in the States, but here in the UK, I can build a 18" x 18" x 18", for about £70.00 ($140.00)

I used Google Sketchup, to do the drawings, It is a easy piece of software to get to grips with, for designing.
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:49 PM
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Default re: Constructing a European type Vivarium Step by Step

Cool, thanks for the replies on the cost question.
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Old 10-30-2008, 08:34 AM
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After many requests, I have decided to produce the PDF document of the construction up to this point.
All the other additions will be in the form of an supplimental PDF Document.

If you ask really nicely I may consider emailing a copy...


Darryl
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Old 12-04-2008, 06:49 AM
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Default re: Constructing a European type Vivarium Step by Step

awsome, love it
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Old 12-27-2008, 01:42 AM
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Default re: Constructing a European type Vivarium Step by Step

great thread perfect for the DIY'ers that love the euro style tanks
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:48 PM
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Optional False Base Instructions

This is assembly instructions for a sloping false base, in a European style vivarium.

There are two versions of the back of the vivarium when installing a false base: Standard solid back or arched cut-out back.



The standard solid back will create a dead space under the false bottom, whereas by using a back with a arched cut-out, you can access the space under the false base. Having access to this area allows you to make use of the space, i.e. installing a heat mat and cleaning.

Construction of the vivarium will follow steps 1-5 of the standard construction procedure, to this point.




5.1. FRONT FALSE BASE STRUT
This is a low front strut or lip which will support the lower front edge of the false bottom.
• This strut should be approximately half the height of the inner retaining wall, but not lower than any bulk head siphon level.
• The strut should be placed approximately 50mm (2”) back from the inner retaining wall.
• Apply a thin but sufficient bead of silicon along the bottom and left hand edges of the strut.



• Carefully align the strut to be parallel with the back of the vivarium.
• Press the piece with a light, but firm pressure to bed it into the silicon.
• Use the Right-angle or Square to check that the strut is at right angles to the base.




5.2. BACK FALSE BASE STRUT
This is a higher strut or lip which is located on the back of the viv to support the back edge of the false bottom. If you are not using a back with an arched cut-out, then the strut can be reach down onto the base.
• The top edge of this strut should be approximately 35 - 50mm (1½ - 2”) higher than the top edge of the front strut.
• If you are using a back with a cut-out, the strut should be wide enough to run from the top of the cut-out to the required height.
• Prepare two or three polystyrene blocks that fit snugly between the base and the top edge of the back cut-out.
• Apply a several thin but sufficient beads of silicon along the back the strut.



• Carefully align the top of the strut to be parallel with the base of the vivarium.
• Press the piece with a light, but firm pressure to bed it into the silicon.




5.3. Allow the silicone to cure for 4 hours.


5.4. FALSE BASE
• Measure the distance from front top edge of the front strut to the top back edge of the back strut.
• This measurement will give you your length of the false base.



• Apply a thin but sufficient bead of silicon along the top edges of both the front and back struts.



• Apply a thin but sufficient bead of silicon along the left hand edge of the false base.



• Align the front and back edges of the false base to the top of the relevant struts.
• Press the piece with a light, but firm pressure to bed it into the silicon.
• Ensure that the base is also bedded along the left hand side.




5.5. SIDE (Right-Hand)
• Apply a thin but sufficient bead of silicon along the side edges of the Door Strut and the retaining lip pieces.
• Apply a thin but sufficient bead of silicon along the side edges of the false base front and back struts and the side edges of the false base.



• Apply a thin but sufficient bead of silicon along the bottom and back inside edges of the side piece.



• Carefully align the side piece to the outside side edges of the base and back.
• Press the side piece with a light, but firm pressure to bed it into the silicon.
• Fold the x2 pieces of tape upwards and stick them to the side; this will assist in keeping everything in the correct place.
• Use x2 pieces of tape and stick them across the back and side joint, this will assist in keeping everything in the correct place and in the upright position.




5.6. With most of the pieces in place and the vivarium constructed, run an adequate solid line of silicone into the joint areas on the inside, then run your finger over the silicone from one end to the other of each seam, preferably in one continuous motion, to smooth the silicone down and force it into the joint areas.

Tip: Dip your finger into a little water and dishwashing soap, before smoothing down the joints. (10 drops of soap in a glass of water)




5.7. From this point the assembly procedures are the same as for a standard assembly.
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Old 03-17-2009, 04:56 PM
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Default re: Constructing a European type Vivarium Step by Step

Hey Darryl,
I really like your design and detailed explanation.
I have a question regarding the vent position. Why is the top vent positioned towards the back of the tank? Wouldn't be better to have it towards the front so a laminar flow of air would keep the front glass condensation-free? What is your (and other members as well) opinion/experience?

Thanks,

JP
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:44 PM
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Default re: Constructing a European type Vivarium Step by Step

Has anyone been able to find E track for 1/8" glass in the states? Brunner doesn't seem to sell it.

Also, I second JP's question. I'd figure the air flow would be better if the top vent were towards the front.


-Nish
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:37 PM
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Default re: Constructing a European type Vivarium Step by Step

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Originally Posted by JPccusa View Post
I have a question regarding the vent position. Why is the top vent positioned towards the back of the tank? Wouldn't be better to have it towards the front so a laminar flow of air would keep the front glass condensation-free? What is your (and other members as well) opinion/experience?

The position of the vent is not fixed and can be moved forward to suit relative requirements.

I agree that the vent positioned towards the front would marginally improve the vertical laminar flow across the inside of the front of the vivarium. But in doing so, also in effect set up greater vertical temperature strata or bands within in the vivarium and by doing so also reduces the greater overall air circulation within the vivarium.

Therefore I position my vents further back. I have found that the overall air circulation is improved, which in turn also benefit the plant and result in better plant growth.

Regarding the issue of condensation, as most of the Europeans that used this design also tend to maintain a substantial number of vivariums, we tend to try and main the overall room temperature at the desired level. This alone prevents the condensation.

I do realise that not all of us can afford the space or money to maintain a whole room for frog husbandry and there these individual display vivariums, have to have their air circulation adjusted accordingly.
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:14 PM
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Default re: Constructing a European type Vivarium Step by Step

Quote:
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Has anyone been able to find E track for 1/8" glass in the states? Brunner doesn't seem to sell it.

-Nish
Yep, I've got about 60 feet of it in my garage...PM me...
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Old 03-21-2009, 08:36 PM
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Default re: Constructing a European type Vivarium Step by Step

LOL, I also have a ton of it in my garage too. I purchased mine from Outwater Plastic. Here you go.
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Old 04-18-2009, 10:22 PM
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This is so awesome and very easy to follow. You make the directions so clear. But wouldn't it just be cheaper to buy a ready made one? After you purchase all the parts and glass, wouldn't it cost the same or more than buying one already made?

Unless you gutted out an aquarium that you got super cheap, which I may just do. Where do you get glass from? Is it cheaper from a local glass supply company than Home Depot or Lowes?

But couldn't you avoid the gasket and the complicated construction of sliding doors if you had a swing open door, like the Zoomed ones? http://www.petsolutions.com/Zoo-Med-...C40002019.aspx

Or is that a bad idea for frog set ups?

Last edited by msminnamouse; 04-18-2009 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:43 PM
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Default re: Constructing a European type Vivarium Step by Step

After many requests regarding, how I go about cutting a curve or arch in the door strut, I put together this brief guide.

I hope that you will find this helpfull.

As an added note, this process can also be used to cut most curves in glass. ;-)


Cutting an Arched Glass Door Strut

These are instructions to cut an arched glass door strut, in a European style vivarium. This same method is used to cut the arch in the back panel of the vivarium when installing a false base.

In order to be able to cut the same curve or arch constantly, it is advised that you use a template.



As I construct vivariums of different widths, I could cut a separate template for each new width vivarium that I construct, but that would cost me a lot of wasted time.

I designed and made a template that I could adjust to the required width.



This template is constructed from 6mm Phenolic sheet stock, so it very stable and will warp or be affected by temperature or humidity.

• You may choose to make a one-off template, if you are only going to construct a single vivarium or a few of the same size.
• A template for a one-off can be made from 6mm MDF, which easily cut and sanded to shape.










CUTTING THE ARCH
You will need to work on a stable and flat surface; if the surface is not flat the glass may not shear or be cut as desired.

Cover the work surface with several layers of newspaper. The newspaper serves two important functions.
1. It protects from scratches and stops the glass from sliding around with working.
2. The papers also provide just enough give under the glass, to be able to carry-out this “Cutting” procedure.

• Carefully place your template on your glass strip.
• The template should be aligned in the centre from left to right



• Press down on the template firmly but gently, to ensure the template does not move.
• Use your class cutter to score a single continuous and consistent line on the inside of the template.

N.B. DO NOT TRY AND SCORE THE LINE TWICE

• You should be left with a single continuous arched line, as below.





• Turn the section of glass over, so that the scored line now is located on the under side.
• Ensure that there are no foreign objects under the glass or newspaper before proceeding.





N.B. DO NOT RUSH THE FOLLOWING STEP

• Wear gloves.
• Use your thumb and use a firm pressure to push down in the centre of the line. (see location of red dot in diagram below)
• Remember the un-scored side of the glass should be face upward; this is the surface you should applying pressure to.
• The glass will start to split along the score line.
• Slowly push down on the ends of the split and follow the line away from the centre in the direct of the arrows.
• As you work away from the centre, the split will run to the edge of the glass.



• When the split ahs run the entire length of the line, carefully turn the glass, back over.
• Repeat the above process on the score side of the glass.


• The waste section should now be free of the arch.



• Using emery cloth or silicone carbide sandpaper, buff all the raw edges of the glass just enough to take off the sharpness
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:48 PM
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Default re: Constructing a European type Vivarium Step by Step

Thanks Darryl, what kind of success rate should I expect when doing this?
-Mark
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:43 AM
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Hi Mark,

My success rate with this is about 95%, I suggest practicing first.
When I first started I had about a 60% success rate, but this improved greatly once I learnt to control my glass cutter properly. The trick is to have a single smooth and continuous line and use an even pressure from start to finish.
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:06 PM
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Default re: Constructing a European type Vivarium Step by Step

anyone know where to get black door track here in the US or a European company that woudl ship to the US?
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Old 06-20-2009, 04:24 PM
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Hi, im a bit conserned about where the bottom front vent is. Do u know if with that design the water from misting system is getting trough the vent and down the floor?
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