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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First I would like to say thatnks to the people that have helped me so far but I still have a few questions. Just to let you all know I am planning on building a custom terrarium that is 3 ft tall 2 ft deep and 4 ft wide. Not sure if I will have a fasle bottom or a sump underneath. I will also be building a stand for it at same time which would be 2 ft high 2 ft deep and 4 ft wide. I am going to be using the plans from this web site. http://www.garf.org/howtodoinformation. ... nstruction
but i will be doing some modifications to the tank by using 2x4 for support on the base.

1. Would MDF be better to use for building terrariums or Plywood?

2. What type of epoxy would you use to seal it and where do you get? The only epoxy paint I have seen is at HD and it is for sealing concrete floors in basement or garges. They have a cple differnt kinds. One is a 2 part epoxy and the other is a one part epoxy. Also they have something there called Polycrylic which I think is another type but I am not sure.

3. What type of glue would you use to glue pieces together with? Also where can you get it. I would like a marine grad type of glue but not sure where to get it.

4. The last question would be about the glass. Would you have a solid front be better or an open front with acsess doors? I am thinking that with the size I am looking to build would be front acsess but thought it better to ask.

There are alot more questions as far as lighting, misting, pumps, and other stuff but have yet to get that far. I will be asking latter when ready to get that stuff but that will be a few months down the road.

Thanks again for the help.
Mike P
 

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Glad you asked the questions that you have. just for information purposes i work in a cabinet/fixture shop and to use either could possibly(more than likely) poison your frogs no matter what you seal it with. (If you plan to use it inside the tank) Both plywood and mdf contain formaldehyde (probably spelled wrong being so late at night for me) which as far as i know cannot be safely sealed by any kind of sealant for any long periods of time. that is why you will not find a cutting board made from mdf. I would hate to see your frogs get sick maybe a year or two down the road because of exposure to it. I would personally use a sealant called helmsman for any kind of real wood because it is for marine use. and i would think that for the size of the tank you would want a front opening as opposed to a top one. for the wood if you are looking for something inside the tank (for back ground) if you have access to a lumber mill maybe get a board or panel of poplar or oak for its strength. (but don't forget about the weight)i looked at the site you had mentioned and to tell you the truth i would just go with glass or plexi for the whole shebang. not really that much more expensive if you take in the account of your time into the projects. the wood one would take much more of your time.
:oops: just my personal thoughts

female half of dancing frogs
aka dancing geckos
 

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Scorpion:

1) Plywood is a better option than MDF, as plywood has much better structural integrity and will hold your screws better.

2) I don't think I would use the epoxy paint for concrete floors. I have tried some on wood for another project, and it just did not adhere well. I would use a marine grade epoxy . . . you can find multiple outlets online. There are a lot of variables with epoxy paint, so do some research. I don't think I would use the Helmsman (or any other brand) polyurethane that was recommended (personally, anyway) for areas of the tank that will be constantly submerged. If you are not going to have standing water anywhere, it might do fine--I painted the wood in the tops of my terrarium with that, as it is really inexpensive--just make sure that anything you coat the wood with is allowed to cure for extended periods of time (like a month), then add plants (at least another month), and only then add frogs.

3) I used a two part marine epoxy from Menard's.

4) Access to the tank is completely personal preference. However, I like the unbroken one piece glass front, and I like front opening.

Just my two cents . . . I hope others chime in.
 

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Plywood is by far the better option, not only for structural reasons, but for wieght issues. I would use a polyureathane glue (ProBond or Gorilla Glue) in addition to screws to hold it together. As for sealing it either the epoxy paint that Homer recomended or a High-Build epoxy pool paint. The pool paint will provide a thicker "liner" which should be more resistant to abrasion.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Formaldahyde in plywood? Is this true? I know many people have built large aquairums from sealed plywood and have never heard of anyone having problems.
 
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