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Old 04-29-2012, 09:50 AM
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Default Family VIV Bake Off

Hi All,

My grown up daughter and I are building 2 ExoTerra vivs together. I am a normal scmuck, she is an interior designer and artist. We will see which one winds up looking the best

Here is her beginning:
[IMG][/IMG]

She chose to work on the stand 1st, which is a custom oak stand, hood, and back. Stand is complete and she will start in the viv itself as soon as they are moved into their new house. Her viv is an Exoterra 36x24x18. We took the standard tank and pulled out the piece of glass in front of the water area and replaced it with a piece 4" taller, and then cut the doors down by 4". The water area will hold small fish, crayfish, and mudskippers. The "dry" portion will be for various frogs and geckos.

Here is my beginning:
[IMG][/IMG]

Mine is a 36x36x18 Exo that is modified. I replaced the front and side glass with Starphire low iron clear glass, increased the water area 4" taller and increased the overall height by 4". The above picture is drilling of the glass. Note the PVC pipe on the drill press handle. I have never broken glass when I use a "calibrated" lever to apply steady pressure to the bit. I just cut a piece of PVC pipe and then add a weight to the end of it until I get the pressure I want. Add the cooling water, turn on and walk away. Doing glass by hand it seems I always get the "get r done" attitude and press a little too much and ....crack!
Beginning Assembly:
[IMG][/IMG]

Assembled, silicone applied to glass, drilled holes evident. The 3 small holes at the top are for the misters, the center top larger is for the fogger, 2 top either side are for the ventilation intake, center hole is for electrical, mid tank small holes will be for water features, and the bottom 2 large holes are for air ventilation. The bottom is drilled and will have a reef style wet/dry filter.
[IMG][/IMG]

My ventilation idea is to take air from the viv from the upper 2 holes and pipe to fans in the cabinet and exhaust to the bottom 2 holes. There will be a 3 way valve on the intake side of the fan which will allow me to contrl the mix of recirculated air and allow the addition of outside air, which in theory should allow me to precisely control the humidity. If it works I will automate it with a controller.

Beginning the what wil it look like process:
[IMG][/IMG]
The water area will be lighted by these LED panels. They are not waterproof, so I have modifed them and will be dipping them in Epoxy to seal them. They will be attached under the egg crate. VIV overall lighting will be with Todds (light your reptiles) 13w jungle dawns + LED spots + mabe some of his new HO LED strips when they come out.

I am hoping to complete a perfect automated environment that is easy to maintain and has none of the problems of my 1st build.

Here is my 1st build a couple years ago:
[IMG][/IMG]

This is an Exo 24x24x18 using a sray foam background and the Titebond III technique. The major flaws in this design is primarily the foam background. I decided I wanted the option to remove it, so I built the background outside the terrarium, adjusted to fit and slipped it in. It is a very tight fit, but animals still find their way behind the foam, and feeder insects in particular have made a permanent home there.

More pictures to follow as this build takes shape. Suggestions Welcomed!
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:24 AM
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Looks good, looking forward to seeing this come along.

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Old 04-29-2012, 12:31 PM
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Default Re: Family VIV Bake Off

Looks like both of ya'll are off to a great start. Looking forward to more
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:45 PM
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Default Re: Family VIV Bake Off

everything looks great but if the frogs and geckos have access to the water portion I def would NOT recommend putting crawfish in with them, they will kill anything they can catch, fish included its just a matter of time and they will catch them. So frogs would be doomed. Cant wait to see your progress!
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Old 04-29-2012, 02:08 PM
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Default Re: Family VIV Bake Off

Looks nice, but you might wanna take out that Sarracenia(Or is it Darlingtonia?). The Nepenthes will do fine, but Sarracenia would do better outside.
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