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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I plan on building a plywood 18x18x24, because the exo terras are overpriced, and have the ugly line down the middle. I have seen many people saying that epoxy is a great way to seal the tank. This is probably a good way, but it’s just way to expensive. A reliable can of that stuff can cost more than a tank itself. I saw someone mention liquid rubber, so I looked it up on Amazon and found This. Would this be a good alternative? Thanks
 

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I plan on building a plywood 18x18x24, because the exo terras are overpriced, and have the ugly line down the middle. I have seen many people saying that epoxy is a great way to seal the tank. This is probably a good way, but it’s just way to expensive. A reliable can of that stuff can cost more than a tank itself. I saw someone mention liquid rubber, so I looked it up on Amazon and found This. Would this be a good alternative? Thanks
Let me preface this with: I have no experience working with plywood as it relates to terrarium building.

There's a reason why the people that make vivariums out of plywood use epoxy... There's also a reason why people use high quality materials in their builds.

You're likely going to end up playing for it one way or another: upfront costs to buy/build a well made tank or build it yourself using "cheap" materials and pay for repairs and potentially damage to your house, frogs, equipment, etc.

Eddie: here's the MSDS sheet for the product as near as I can tellhttps://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sou...FjAAegQIBhAC&usg=AOvVaw38tDsawnGngUIUnL69qr-i
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think I have found an alternative: pond liner - completely safe, looks pretty easy, just add some silicon to secure it and it will be watertight for long term use. link
 

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Doing the project correctly will cost the same if not more than the ExoTerra tank. Thats just the cost for the materials and not the time that you will spend on the construction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yea my idea of plywood was not the best, however it would be good if I had the quality epoxy mix. The main reason I wanted to do it was mainly for looks, because it could be stained and blend in more in a traditional room. I have found that I can get much better options from sites like Craigslist and Facebook marketplace, which is what I will do from now on. Can someone post pics of any planted 15, 20,or 25 gallon tanks? I need some inspiration, I looked all over this place but I could only find a few okay tanks. Also the tanks can be vertical or horizontal, either is fine. Thanks.
 

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Why not use acrylic or glass? If you use "standard" sizes it can be pretty cheap in some cases - e.g. a 24x24 sheet can be as cheap as $20. Then add some cement (acrylic) or silicone (glass) and you've got a custom box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I was thinking about doing it but the cons: very sharp and could mess up fingers, the people who cut the glass could always sand it down but that might be time consuming. Fragile, might break, and I think that siliconing one piece of glass to another would be tough, unless there is a way around it. Also, you can prob get a used aquarium for cheaper that is already made. I saw a Troy goldberg video on a custom euro tank, but I like a single door better. Also it seems pretty complicated to make something with glass, maybe it isn’t but IMO it seems that way.
 

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I was thinking about doing it but the cons: very sharp and could mess up fingers, the people who cut the glass could always sand it down but that might be time consuming. Fragile, might break, and I think that siliconing one piece of glass to another would be tough, unless there is a way around it. Also, you can prob get a used aquarium for cheaper that is already made. I saw a Troy goldberg video on a custom euro tank, but I like a single door better. Also it seems pretty complicated to make something with glass, maybe it isn’t but IMO it seems that way.
If those are your concerns, acrylic is your answer. Does not break, way less sharp, lighter, even more clear - and gluing is super easy. Downsides are that it scratches easier (but you can buff it) and is a bit pricier (unless you go with thinner panes). I've custom built mine and they are even more FF-proof than even the insitus.
 

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I plan on building a plywood 18x18x24, because the exo terras are overpriced, and have the ugly line down the middle. I have seen many people saying that epoxy is a great way to seal the tank. This is probably a good way, but it’s just way to expensive. A reliable can of that stuff can cost more than a tank itself. I saw someone mention liquid rubber, so I looked it up on Amazon and found This. Would this be a good alternative? Thanks
Hmm. Plenty to unpack here.

First, I have built a half-dozen or so large plywood vivs. It's totally doable, but you can also screw the pooch if you fail to take care. In simple terms of "was it worth the time and effort and money" - I have found the "worth it" point to be around the 24" cube size. Smaller than that and I just buy something glass. I've never made my own all-glass viv - some day I just might. The biggest considerations are weight and fragility - putting precious animals in a big heavy glass box feels kind of weird in several ways.

Epoxy is the best way to seal a plywood viv IME. Too expensive you say? Hmm. Not IME. But I tend to do 2-3 builds at once - enough to consume almost all my epoxy buy (the shelf life on epoxy is only about a year).

Knowing nothing about it, I have nothing to say about Flex Seal's animal safety. My go-to sources for such info are fish keepers. If you can keep fish in it, that's good enough for me.

Honestly, at the end of the day it all gets down to time and money and how do you like to spend them. If you have more money than time, go shopping. If you have more time than money, or you just like building things (that's me), then go building.

It occurs to me that you might do OK on a DIY glass job, for that size viv. It won't take too much time, and you might skin a few bucks off the Exo price. And, you'll learn plenty. Maybe that Exo won't look so expensive next time.

good luck!
 
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