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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am trying to find the best method to turn my exo terras into vivarium for darts.
I need to make them FF proof so that mesh on top is a no go. Also, it will rust with time and to top it off, there is way too much ventilation!

So basically, I want to take the mesh out, and cover that with glass, right? I still want a bit of ventilation tho, so my question is: how should I proceed to properly turn my cover into potent dart viv top?

First of all, what thickness do I need? 5mm? I will need to be able to pierce holes in there for nozzles and in-tank air circulation unit.
I thought of glueing the glass from under the cover after taking the mesh out because it would look much neater than glueing it on top, since the plastic frame isn't all at the same lvl!
One of the potential problem I see with this, is that the glass might eventually fall off into the vivarium... I am wondering if siliconed PROPERLY, it would be strong enough to still be able to have a misting nozzle or an in-tank air circulation unit.
Maybe there is a way to secure the glass even if glued from under?

Then I thought of a second option.
I could put some fiberglass mesh instead of the metal one, silicone it there very tightly, and that would serve as a "bed" for the glass which I would deposit on top, right into the plastic frame, sitting on top of the mesh... I hope you understand what I mean!!
Then I could also silicone all around the glass so it would be glued to the plastic frame. There is no way this would ever fall off, but glass+mesh is a bit too much :( We won't be able to see as much from over the tank.

Glueing a glass straight onto the plastic frame wouldn't be very neat, and like I said, the plastic frame isn't levelled.

I am working with both old version (snaps) and new version (pivotting lock). Both 18x18 (2 sections) cover and 24x18 (4 sections)

Any ideas or advice?

Thanks
 

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I have converted several Exo Terras. I went with option 1, removing the mesh and attaching glass with silicone. I used 1/8" glass (aka double strength) and RTV silicone (CR Laurence RTV408). I didn't bother with ventilation, but an easy way would be to drill 2" holes and use tarantula vents. I would do all the drilling before attaching the glass to the frame. There shouldn't be any problem with the glass detaching as long as all the surfaces to be siliconed are very clean, denatured alcohol is perfect for that.
 

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I have an old style exo and new style exo, both with the same top pictured below. On the old style I had to cut the plastic tabs that the lid clicks in to.. I used a dremel.

I used 1/4 inch glass and left it a half inch short in front for ventilation which I covered with fiberglass screen. Silicone was used for the glass and the screen.




You will also want to cover the ventilation under the doors with screen, you can do it from the under side as the plastid vent just pops off. However I did it from the inside of the vivarium. It was a bit tricky to keep the curved screen to stay put while the silicone dried, but eventually it stayed in place. I dont have any pictures of this. Let me know if my explanation isnt working for you.

Also some people used airline tubing with a slice down the length of it for the sides of the doors siliconed in place. I used it on one of mine, but the older one seems tight enough where flies wont escape, however Ill probably do it to that one anyway for insurance.
 

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I have a 24x18x24 Exo. I placed 4 square glass pieces and lay them on top of the mesh. I also had them cut a little smaller to allow airflow.

As for rust I've had it over year and a half and no noticeable rust. If it rusts in a few years you can replace the metal mesh with plastic mesh.

Other ways also.. But this is easy, fast, and can always clean the glass
 

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Why remove the screen? Just put a piece of glass over the top. There's no stress on the top so use the 1/8". If you want to add mist nozzles, cut holes for those in both the screen and the top. Plug any holes with those silicone earplug material and use painter's tape to block seams. You know, what if they made a screen material that was adhesive!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Why are some mesh rusting and some other are not? I simply removed it because I want to see better, and I really don't want it to rust... I will probably add fiberglass mesh and lay glass on top I guess. The fact you can clean it too is a good thing too.

I am not sure I understand how to simply lay a sheet of glass in the top slot... I understand you can dremel away the small pins that usually hold the top, but there are other bigger plastic part in the front corners that you can't really dremel. How do you fit the glass in there? I think frank idea is pretty nice regarding this, but is not all that esthetical!

Those tarantula vent would probably be VERY costy for shipping in Canada.. I guess I could try and build my own similar with my tiny black insect fiber glass mesh!

Any opinions regarding my idea of glueing the glass from under the cover? That would definately be the neatest, also the top would be removable. Strong enough???

Thanks eveyone!!!!
 

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I have an exo and a zoomed both just laid glass I got cut at lowes on the screen.. so that way I can move it to adjust vent. I just moved the glass up roughly an inch or so, so I have an inch vent at the back and also I can run my fogger through that part..
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I guess this is what I am going to do.
Would it be safe to drill misting nozzle holes in a 5mm thick glass?
Also, some non chalent glass guy was going to sell me 8x10 inch 5mm thick glass for 7$ a piece... I would probably buy 3 or 4 of these so it comes to 25-30$ This looks a bit op to me
 

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I guess this is what I am going to do.
Would it be safe to drill misting nozzle holes in a 5mm thick glass?
Also, some non chalent glass guy was going to sell me 8x10 inch 5mm thick glass for 7$ a piece... I would probably buy 3 or 4 of these so it comes to 25-30$ This looks a bit op to me
I own/operate a glass business for 20+ years. I'm going to back Tony's suggestions wholeheartedly. Nothing wrong with thicker but it's not necessary. Any thickness of glass can be drilled but you cannot drill tempered. That's not an unreasonable price for drilling glass but you can do it yourself for the price of a $6 or $8 bit from eBay. http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/parts-construction/58594-how-drill-your-glass.html
 
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I am in a similar boat so I will tell you my experiences in the hope it helps.

I am working on a 36x18x24 exo and I tried the four pieces of acrylic and did not like the look and it was too busy. Wasted $30 on a sheet of plexiglass.
Then I thought to make the whole lid glass and lay it on top. Too much drilling required for nozzles and equip. $20 per hole or $35 per diamond bit.
Then I thought to make the whole lid out of plexiglass but with warping and the stupid Exo frame and the scratching.... no go for me

I finally had Speedy Autoglass make me a top that is Both glass and Plexiglass. The back portion where the light will be is glass no need for any drilling and the front part is plexiglass to allow for access an easy drilling for mistheads, fans etc.
This is cut to fit the bottom lip of the tank and I found tha by doing this I can utilize the airline slots even if I have to make some a bit bigger. As for venting the front plexiglasscan be opened,closed or even modified if need be to allow for venting using mesh.

I hope this helps or maybe someone has already tried this method and there is a flaw that I'm not aware of.

Cheers.
 

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I am in a similar boat so I will tell you my experiences in the hope it helps.

I am working on a 36x18x24 exo and I tried the four pieces of acrylic and did not like the look and it was too busy. Wasted $30 on a sheet of plexiglass.
Then I thought to make the whole lid glass and lay it on top. Too much drilling required for nozzles and equip. $20 per hole or $35 per diamond bit.
Then I thought to make the whole lid out of plexiglass but with warping and the stupid Exo frame and the scratching.... no go for me

I finally had Speedy Autoglass make me a top that is Both glass and Plexiglass. The back portion where the light will be is glass no need for any drilling and the front part is plexiglass to allow for access an easy drilling for mistheads, fans etc.
This is cut to fit the bottom lip of the tank and I found tha by doing this I can utilize the airline slots even if I have to make some a bit bigger. As for venting the front plexiglasscan be opened,closed or even modified if need be to allow for venting using mesh.

I hope this helps or maybe someone has already tried this method and there is a flaw that I'm not aware of.

Cheers.
Just watch for the Plexiglas warping. Acrylic and Plexi can warp under humid conditions, allowing frogs to escape. Unless, of course, your screen is still intact. Also, for future knowledge, you can get a glass drilling bit on eBay for around $6 or $8. Granted, it's cheap and you won't get 200 holes out of it, but fine for our small projects.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
7$ is for the glass only... no holes!!
I do have MANY bits from THK on ebay
3 bit for 9$ shipped,

Tony is siliconing glass on top of the plastic frame of the exo cover lid right? after having removed the mesh
my problem here is that it looks like the NEW exo terra lid are not made the same way, and that it might be a bit hard to properly glue them there also due to the fact the frame isn't lvled..
is there something I am missing or doing wrong there?
 

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7$ is for the glass only... no holes!!
I do have MANY bits from THK on ebay
3 bit for 9$ shipped,

Tony is siliconing glass on top of the plastic frame of the exo cover lid right? after having removed the mesh
my problem here is that it looks like the NEW exo terra lid are not made the same way, and that it might be a bit hard to properly glue them there also due to the fact the frame isn't lvled..
is there something I am missing or doing wrong there?
Have to ask Tony that. I am commenting more on the thickness of the glass and what can be drilled. I build my own vivs so I am unfamiliar with exo terra. Sorry, I misread that earlier and thought you were saying $7 per hole. Still, that's really not out of line. The manufacturer I work with, has a 3 square foot minimum, so nothings less than about $9 there. Even though it's small, there are still the 4 cuts involved. Now if you were ordering 100 of them, then the price would fall drastically.
You really want to save some cash? Tell them what you are building it for (bring pictures) and ask for some scrap glass. They will have plenty. Cut it yourself and it's free! I have not paid one red cent for any of the glass used in my vivs!
 

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You are correct, I siliconed glass to the plastic frame after removing the mesh. Could you post a picture of the new Exo Terra lid? I'm curious to see what has changed.
 

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Just watch for the Plexiglas warping. Acrylic and Plexi can warp under humid conditions, allowing frogs to escape. Unless, of course, your screen is still intact. Also, for future knowledge, you can get a glass drilling bit on eBay for around $6 or $8. Granted, it's cheap and you won't get 200 holes out of it, but fine for our small projects.
I was wondering if bracing it and the fact that not much weight is on it might reduce warping. The reason I went with plexi on the front is because they charge $20 bucks per hole.

Thanks for the tip on the bit I might just go with full glass after all. I know it's probably a diamond bit of some sort but do you have any other info like a brand name or something.

Thanks Pumilo
 

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I was wondering if bracing it and the fact that not much weight is on it might reduce warping. The reason I went with plexi on the front is because they charge $20 bucks per hole.

Thanks for the tip on the bit I might just go with full glass after all. I know it's probably a diamond bit of some sort but do you have any other info like a brand name or something.

Thanks Pumilo
It's not the weight that can warp it but rather just the moisture. 5/8 Diamond Drill bit glass blocks wine bottles Tile | eBay http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/parts-construction/58594-how-drill-your-glass.html
 
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