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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've decided to do somewhat of a build thread. I don't plan on it being all that detailed, but will show some progress shots and what not. I've essentially torn down an old vivarium I had built 3 years ago for a pair of Leucomelas. I had made a few other tanks and moved them to a better setup. For the rebuild, I plan on putting the Terribilis I currently have in here as it will give them more leg room.

Here is the very first shot of this original turd:
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It's a 36x18x18. The spot I have circled in red is where I had a large piece of wood and the brown blotch was a coco hut. At the time of me tearing it down it was heavily covered from that fern and the silver skies plant. As you can see/imagine there wasn't much in the way of climbing space and all around pretty sucky. I originally left the stock foam background in and I will be removing that for the rebuild. I may go with a cork mosaic, but not 100% sure yet. The water bowl is removed as well the worthless gauge:rolleyes: .

My knowledge and practice in building vivariums has come a long way since this bad boy, so I'm hoping to put it to good use on this decent sized enclosure. Stay tuned!
 

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Sounds like you have some great plans in the works, and just a thought, have you considered partially salvaging the faux rock background?

Looks like it would need some work but the "bones" are there. You might be able to carve some of it out, replacing the removed sections with a great stuff background, cork mosaic, or other type of back, then mortar the parts of foam rock you are keeping to give it a real rock look.

It's been awhile since i've built any enclosures so I could be way off on this, haha, just thought i'd say something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sounds like you have some great plans in the works, and just a thought, have you considered partially salvaging the faux rock background?

Looks like it would need some work but the "bones" are there. You might be able to carve some of it out, replacing the removed sections with a great stuff background, cork mosaic, or other type of back, then mortar the parts of foam rock you are keeping to give it a real rock look.

It's been awhile since i've built any enclosures so I could be way off on this, haha, just thought i'd say something.
Certainly a possibility. I've seen some recent pictures of someone leaving it in, but covering with silicone/substrate. I haven't decided one way or another just yet, but something for me to consider. Been busy with work, kids sports, new kid on the way, and recently elected to City Council. Putting this together nice and slow will help me relax! haha
 

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Certainly a possibility. I've seen some recent pictures of someone leaving it in, but covering with silicone/substrate. I haven't decided one way or another just yet, but something for me to consider. Been busy with work, kids sports, new kid on the way, and recently elected to City Council. Putting this together nice and slow will help me relax! haha
Sounds like a handful!

I've done the silicone/substrate background method myself a couple times over great stuff, but down the road hope to experiment with grout/mortar over foam for fake rocks to incorporate multiple looks. I've seen quite a few that look stunning. If you're not in a rush the extended cure needed to make the background safe for amphibians might not be as much of an issue either.

If you're looking for any inspiration, I found a discussion here on Dendroboard following a viv build incorporating fake rock and great stuff background: 48x18x48 custom build DIY

Looking forward to seeing how it develops whichever router you take!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Finally got out and purchased some wood for the rebuild. Also moved the tank off the rack and to a working area and took out the old background, wood, and substrate.
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I don't trust that kind of foam for a background in a humid viv. I am not even sure that kind of foam is safe. I think you are a lot better off with a cracked cork mosaic background, for sure. I tried leaving a couple of the compressed cork backgrounds (cork bark veneer glued to cork tile in the back) in my skyscrapers and had mixed success there, but the foam ones are just a recipe for disaster over time, it seems to me.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't trust that kind of foam for a background in a humid viv. I am not even sure that kind of foam is safe. I think you are a lot better off with a cracked cork mosaic background, for sure. I tried leaving a couple of the compressed cork backgrounds (cork bark veneer glued to cork tile in the back) in my skyscrapers and had mixed success there, but the foam ones are just a recipe for disaster over time, it seems to me.

Mark
Yeah, I've gone ahead and torn that bad boy out a couple days ago. I never siliconed it in place so it slid right out 🥴Likely going with a cork mosaic or cork & spray foam background.
 

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Looks great so far!

I don't trust that kind of foam for a background in a humid viv. I am not even sure that kind of foam is safe.
That background looks like some type of polystyrene. Do you think the foam would start to break down with the humidity or is leeching a concern?
I figured the right layer (mortar/plaster/etc) over it would make it safe but suppose if anyone was going to all this trouble it would probably make more sense to start from scratch with a foam known to be tried and true as the rock structure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've been taking my sweet time on this...mainly because I hate trimming foam. Anyway, here is a shot of the tank as of today. Getting close to drylok step. I have black contact paper, which I'll be putting on the back and partly on the sides up to where the foam stops. Hard to tell in the picture, but the angled piece of cork on the left is a ramp/ledge.
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Still have some plants on the way yet, but wanted to get some pics up after some initial planting. Will likely get a couple bromeliads to add along some areas of the branches. Putting Terribilis in here.
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