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It's done for the most part. **UPDATED**

27237 Views 157 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  wax32
Web page has been updated too. It's done with the exception of the two pieces holding the door closed. Those are being laser cut tomorrow.

I'm thinking I can do away with the piece on the inside of the door. I will still have a small piece about 3-4" long on the opposite side of the hinges to act as a door stop so it doesn't swing through to the inside though. I'm also going to try out using rare earth magnets to keep it closed, I think that would be pretty nice and work very well. Like I said on the web page, the gap around the door is roughly .012" so sealing it seems like a waste of acrylic to me as the holes in the mesh are 3 times as big and those are only 0.8mm! :shock: let me know what you think.

http://www.firstclassaquatics.com/vivarium.htm

Paul
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Re: It's done for the most part.

Wow, that is awesome...

can't wait to see it.

FCA said:
Web page has been updated too. It's done with the exception of the two pieces holding the door closed. Those are being laser cut tomorrow.

I'm thinking I can do away with the piece on the inside of the door. I will still have a small piece about 3-4" long on the opposite side of the hinges to act as a door stop so it doesn't swing through to the inside though. I'm also going to try out using rare earth magnets to keep it closed, I think that would be pretty nice and work very well. Like I said on the web page, the gap around the door is roughly .012" so sealing it seems like a waste of acrylic to me as the holes in the mesh are 3 times as big and those are only 0.8mm! :shock: let me know what you think.

http://www.firstclassaquatics.com/vivarium.htm

Paul
Brad,

As a breeder, obstructing the view between tanks is important in some instances. In addition, the colored acrylic sheets are 1/3 less expensive then clear. Paul's goal was to get the cost down....customization isn't a problem.

Melis

bradadams said:
Why the black sides? I think I would prefer clear.
Your very own infomercial!

FCA said:
kyle1745 said:
The key will be if they do not warp. I know this has been a problem with other peoples tanks.
I talked to one of the engineers at Cyro yesterday for an hour about this problem. Cyro Industries is the largest manufacturer of acrylic in the US, and one of the largest in the world (http://www.cyro.com). Anyway, I told him about the issues everyone was having with the warping and we both came to the conclusion that it has to be due to using extruded acrylic. The molecular weight of extruded is about a third of what cast is, and that in turn is what causes it to absorb water molecules and warp. I am no scientist, but what he was saying made sense to me. That is why every acrylic aquarium you see is made from cell cast acrylic. There are also issues with joints failing for the exact same reasons that cause it to warp. So no aquarium maker is going to touch extruded acrylic, and that is also why I will never use it. Granted, it is MUCH cheaper to use extruded, but it isn't worth it in my opinion. I refuse to put out a product that is going to run the risk of joints failing or parts warping, just to save a few bucks and improve my bottom line. I have, and always will, use only cell cast acrylic in every product I make. Wow, did that sound like a commercial or what? :p LOL
very refreshing...

Some good observations Kyle. Like any other issue, there is always ROOM for differing opinions.
what is going in the tank...

I think we decided tonight to put a pair of Brazilian Yellowheads in there.
UPDATE!

After Paul dropped the cage off Saturday, we put a cocos panel background in the tank. In the past, when I have installed one in an acrylic tank, it has taken anywhere from 1 - 3 weeks for the silicone to cure properly. Imagine my surprise when I discover it was cured the next morning.

For some additional feedback and further durability testing we took the tank to Indy with us on Sunday. The design was well received, and on Saturday and Sunday the most common concerns are with:
1. The door - not much room for expansion - will it warp?
2. The vents - dress them up a bit - Paul is already working on that.
3. The colored acrylic - will there be enough light, and is there any benefit of the colored acrylic.

1. The door: The tolerance on this door is very small. The gap between the door and the frame is so small, you can’t even get the thickness of your fingernail into the gap.

2. Vents: Issues are being addressed

3. Colored Acrylic:

a. Yes, there is enough light in the cage – the black does not affect the light levels.
b. Is there a benefit? Yes!!! Each time I have built an acrylic tank with clear sides, the frogs spend the next week or two rubbing their nose against the sides of the tank. This time, they didn’t. They crawled up the sides of the tank and started rubbing their noses on the top of the tank.


We will post some pics later tonight, but overall this cage will be a winner. The door is still a concern, but most other issues have already been addressed or will be addressed.
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Like I said, the black doesn't take away from the brightness of the tank. It does add a lot more debth to the tanks, which is nice.
Paul,

That would be a good way to get rid of the scrap created by cutting the holes.

It is very refreshing to see a vendor put into practice suggestions from his wife and potential customers.

Melis
The one thing I don't like about 10 G vert doors is that everyone has them folding down. So when you have the door open you only have one hand free.

Any chance of getting a side swing door?

oops... This is Sarah not Melissa. I didn't think to check who was signed in on this computer........
Ben,

We are doing our best at testing Paul's creation.

Since it has been set up, Paul has seen it once (this last weekend) and I have been updating him regularly regarding the progress. Based our our observations, Paul has addressed each issue as it has been identified and the cages are really coming along. Many if not all of the improvements have been integrated into the 2nd prototype that was just shipped out.

From our experiences with other acrylic terrariums, the first issues start showing up pretty quick, but the first month is the the do or die time for these cages.

Here is a list of what we have done to abuse it.
  • 1. Taken it on multiple road trips empty and partially set up.
    2. After being set up the tank has been moved 10-20 times (lost track, since we were putting the frog room together.
    3. Tank has been set up and placed on multiple surfaces, a lot of them uneven or without proper support for a few days at a time.
    4. Cage has been kept at very high humidity levels
    5. Temps have ranged from 70 - 82
    6. Tank has been opened and closed by more people than I even know how to count....so, it has gotten some accelerated testing on the door.
    7. Observed good plant growth
    8. Frogs have not shown any signs of stress, the black sides on the cage have eliminated stress from other cages.

Based on everything we have seen, Paul has a good design and is taking his time to make this work! I know that many of the people who have seen his designs are looking forward to becoming future customers.

Here are some things which put FCA's cages over the top:
  • 1. Attention to detail
    2. Responsiveness to new ideas
    3. The black sides on the cage are the bomb!
    4. The redesigned vents - they look great
    5. The thumb screws used to tighten are much better than other companies regular screws.
    6. Durability - after all the moves, we have not had any leaking
    7. Durability - just can't say this enough

Ben - if you have any additional questions, contact me by IM, I'll be happy to answer any questions.

Thanks,

Melis

Bgreen said:
Are these tanks just being tested under normal conditions?
I would like to know if the vent is closed, to keep the humidity at 100%
How hot the tank is being kept, 80 deg? If the tank temp would be closer to 100 deg. Also what sort of lighting is being used? I would hate to see the tank not stressed under these conditions for at least a week.
O know the frogs can't handle it, but I know some people have said they have had tanks get up to 100 deg.
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FLIES!!!

amazinglyricist said:
I read through most of this topic, what if you use the laser on the sides or top to make vents, then you wouldn't have to build a custom screen vent, it would look sort of like this \\\\ , and would be less materials and would look cleaner.
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