For the last 10 years I've grown bored with the exoterra/ZooMed vivs. I was never actually a fan of the design, especially the big plastic frame in the front. To me it seems like the companies just did not care much to innovate since there is so little competition. In either case I've started experimenting with my own viv designs.
I very much based my work on the Euro style vivs. I've standardized in all my vivariums drilling the bottoms for easy draining and using computer fans for airflow and humidity control. I also like the use of computer fans because they allow a cleaner looking vivarium in the front.
Moving to Cali (Bay Area) and finding a reasonable glass shop was also a challenge. I've settled for no special edge work but a single pass over the edges to prevent the glass from being sharp and keeping the cost low.
I like to keep my viv design esthetically pleasing because they are in my main living room (doubled as work space), however I also like the viv to be long term planned. Meaning easy maintenance such as draining water, access to bottom bulkhead for any necessary cleaning or movement, and probably most importantly a very good replica of the environment our frogs live in.
I use timers for misting and fan control to create a varied range of condition, essentially replicating wind and humidity swings.
So here is my latest work. All glass 2x2x2.
- ASI Aquarium Silicone
- Black sliding glass door guide, fits 1/8'' glass doors.
- Aluminum 90 degree edge guide.
- Sunscreen material for ventilation.
- 1 60mm low profile fan
- 1/4 glass all around.
- egg crate for bottom filter.
- natural weed block for filter.
- cork bark, peat moss for background
- painters tape for neat silicone edges
Feedback, comments, suggesting are all appreciated. Thanks
Lastly, some late planting is still happening so update to follow.
Design, keep is simple:
Glass door handle:
I don't use the plastic door guide all around like in some designs. Instead I like the glass to be at a perfect square so the sliding door neatly touches the side glass.
Water testing and hole drilling:
Fan install, same use of silicone. Back hole drilled for any probe or thermometer.
Background and filter done:
Fan and mist test:
Happy imitator exploring: