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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone. :)

Just wanted to share some pics of my Viv that I'm in the process of creating.

To start it's a 24" cube that I designed. I've been building these for a while now testing out the design and materials to make sure they hold up over time.

Now that the kit is 99% refined I figured I would share some pics. The door is a single pane of glass with a living hinge (I prefer one pane with no obstructed view). It is sealed around all the edges with weather strip foam to keep FF's in etc. The vents are Euro (front bottom and on top of the cube) to keep the glass clear. The walls are polypropylene and the exterior frame is PVC. I selected black on this one because it's the look I like. I could have had the sides glass but again I like the look of this one and it cuts down on the cost nicely! :)

The vines are GS covered in a Drylok mix. After reading decev's recent thread I was inspired to look into the Drylok as an option. The fish guys have used it on backrounds with success and it says it can be used for ponds and bird baths on the can! :) I mixed Quikrete cement colorants (black and red) to make the white Drylok brown. Next I mixed in eco-earth to give the mix a good texture. I am very pleased with the results!

The buttress will be shaped and refined more and then either covered in a different drylok mix (color and texture) or it will be covered in clay.

The rear wall has a sheet of eggcrate elevated just slightly off the rear wall and will be used like wire mesh in stucco. It will be covered with a clay mix (redart, bentonite, sand and peat). Not sure if it's needed but I think it will give the clay a good footing and reduce any possible cracks.

That's it for today. I'll update more when I add the clay wall etc. :p





 

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Nice start! Keep us updated for sure on this one! Do you plan on selling pre-fabricated kits or something?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's the plan in the near future. They will be like ARF's in the model airplane world. All the major components fabricated and all you will need to do is simply screw and glue and you are done (like most office furniture :p ). You will just need to supply the silicone I and the pane of glass for the front door and the light on top. To be fair to Dendroboard I will wait to give too much info/details until I purchase an actual sponsorship.
 

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That is pretty slick. It would be just the right size for an end table for me. The GF says no more tanks/vivs. However if it is a functional piece of furniture what can she say then?
 

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That's the plan in the near future. They will be like ARF's in the model airplane world. All the major components fabricated and all you will need to do is simply screw and glue and you are done (like most office furniture :p ). You will just need to supply the silicone I and the pane of glass for the front door and the light on top. To be fair to Dendroboard I will wait to give too much info/details until I purchase an actual sponsorship.
That looks very nice! I definitely think you will find some interest for those!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks! I should make some more progress over the weekend. Next step will be the buttress and then the substrate and clay wall.
 

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very nice. is the pan on the bottom sloped to allow excess water to drain out and not collect?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
very nice. is the pan on the bottom sloped to allow excess water to drain out and not collect?

Yes it does have a slight slope towards the front. I did not dill for a drain on this one rather I will just siphon off excess every so often. The space beneath the buttress will be filled with hydroton and I will have an access point to suck water out. I might still put in a hidden drain line with a valve...
 

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If you are making these for production I would HIGHLY reccomend adding a drain w/valve toy our design. I think people would really like to have that feature and it would be a big convenience vs. the ol' siphon or turkey baster technique. I really think it would add to its appeal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the input!

I will look to add that as an option for people. One of the coolest qualities of the material is that it is VERY easy to cut/drill as opposed to glass and even acrylic. Basically I would like to offer them in kit form that you assemble and customize slightly for your own specific needs as you assemble it/them. You could easily add a bulkhead in the exact location for your requirements or I could pre-drill the position on a custom order. I'll have to think about the best way to offer this feature.....:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Hi Dan,
The PVC only comes in white. I mill it and also drill for pocket screws so that the fasteners are hidden. It is then easily painted (if you want but it isn't necessary) using whatever color you like with regular latex paint and a roller, or spray paint. (I prefer semi-gloss to gloss) The polypropylene sheets that make up the entire interior come in an array of colors so no painting would be required (natural, white, black, green, brown etc.).

Within the next week or so I should have a post in the sponsor classifieds detailing everything that comes with the kit, more details on the materials, assembly, and pricing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quick update:

I mixed up some background! Peat, sand, sphag, Redart and Bentonite clays. It was really fun working with the stuff. I also placed in the hydroton and screen. I have an order on the way from New England Herpetoculture Supply so I will get some plants and moss in there tomorrow.











I'll take some more shots after the plants arrive...Thanks for looking. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the compliments Nick and frogparty.

I ordered some tropical moss from NE Herp Supply to grow in there (among other plants). I'm hoping that it takes off as I really like the look of moss....it looks cozy!

The clay isn't rock hard but stiff like potters/modeling clay (maybe less stiff since it has so much peat and other things in it). Right now it feels like slightly stiff butter but I would expect that it wil stiffen up a tad as it sets. Because of it's "workability" and hypothesized nutrient/mineral upload it makes for a fantastic alternative to the standard background materials in this hobby.
 

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I love it! The background looks great.
Where did you get the peat from? I have been having trouble finding any without fertilizers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks!

The peat came from a mom and pop garden center around the block. Most around here sell small bales of compressed peat with no additives.
 
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