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Old 11-24-17, 02:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Help with my first DIY? (Aquarium/vivarium combo)

Hello! Iím trying to plan an enclosure for when my baby jungle carpet python gets larger. Iíd like to make it either 4 x 2 x 2 or 4 x 2 x 3 (depends on practicality). Iím also planning to build an aquarium for rainbowfish with a maintanence panel on top to be set underneath so I can have zoo-like a multi species Australian biotope thing going on. This will be both my first time doing any sort of DIY of this type and my first time working with wood, and I have a few questions:

-It needs to be moveable by two people without a lot of upper body strength. Whatís the lightest snake-safe wood thatís strong enough to hold water? Iím thinking birch?

-Is there any way to make this set both waterproof and collapsible?

-Any tips on fitting in the aquarium lights? I was thinking of putting LEDs just above the maintanence panel, but Iím concerned about them being a burn hazard/hard to change/etc.

-Is there anything that might improve this design to make it more portable/easier to maintain?
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Old 11-29-17, 10:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Help with my first DIY? (Aquarium/vivarium combo)

Serpadesign on youtube has a great tutorial for building a wooden terrarium. I encourage you to check out his other projects as they are quite inspirational.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CJwisimp5o&t=7s

The kingofdiy on youtube has a 3 part series on how to build a wooden aquarium.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FDUfglurns

I may be misunderstanding what your idea is, do you want the python to be able to access the water? Because it would just be combining these two ideas, if not the wooden aquarium is just useful in general for random stuff that serpadesign may not cover.

Now here's the deal, there isn't going to be a wooden terrarium that's gonna be particularly light, the type of wood shouldn't really matter if you appropriately seal the wood during waterproofing. Birch is expensive, I'd probably use oak, pine or maple whatever's on sale.

If you are trying to have one stacked on top of the other you could basically build a cabinet to hide the filtration stuff, set the aquarium on that then build a canopy and then put the wooden terrarium on that.

However in order to provide the necessary the support for the top terrarium you can't just have the terrariums weight on the aquarium. So basically you'd build the cabinet but have 3 wooden walls that are reasonably thick in order to offer the necessary support to keep it off the aquarium.

So you'd have the cabinet that the aquarium sits on, with 3 walls extending up that would surround the back and sides. You'd set the canopy on that, then have the terrarium resting on top of that. It'd be quite the project but you could make it all look like one unit with trim while having it in 4 separate parts, the cabinet, the aquarium, the canopy and terrarium on top. Could look really cool.

I just got on a rant there lemme know if that stuff made any sense.
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Old 11-29-17, 11:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Help with my first DIY? (Aquarium/vivarium combo)

My Green Tree Python Paludarium - Dendroboard
This may be of help (although there are some poor stocking choices for the fish, it's still a neat build, just made of glass instead of wood). I'd also suggest making the enclosure 4x2x4 ft so that the fish have more swimming space and the carpet has more climbing space. Carpets love to climb. Not sure if this is what you're actually going for but I hope this is of some help.
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Old 11-30-17, 06:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Help with my first DIY? (Aquarium/vivarium combo)

I'd use any wood besides Pine since it may be harmful to your snake. Since it's made out of wood it's not going to be light, so be prepared to do some hefting.
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Old 11-30-17, 09:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Help with my first DIY? (Aquarium/vivarium combo)

I would not use wood at all, but rather high density PVC sheets; probably 1/2 inch thick. The material is easy to work with impervious to moisture and much lighter than the wood you would need to make that enclosure. You can use the same woodworking tools, saws, router, drills etc and it can be glued (with the proper glue) and screwed together. I have black enclosures because I like the way that they look and when lighted show off my snakes very nicely. For that sized enclosure, you will need two sheets. You should also be able to add clear acrylic for the aquarium portion of the enclosure, but be aware, water is VERY heavy so you will need a strong flat surface to hold your enclosure stable so it won't warp from the unbalanced weight. The PVC is virtually maintenance free so the urates and fecal matter produced by your snake won't stain it. You can check online to see the product you're interested in using then find a local distributor who will order it to his/her business for you which should save on shipping. Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 11-30-17, 07:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Help with my first DIY? (Aquarium/vivarium combo)

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarFall View Post
My Green Tree Python Paludarium - Dendroboard
This may be of help (although there are some poor stocking choices for the fish, it's still a neat build, just made of glass instead of wood). I'd also suggest making the enclosure 4x2x4 ft so that the fish have more swimming space and the carpet has more climbing space. Carpets love to climb. Not sure if this is what you're actually going for but I hope this is of some help.
OK, I see what you're saying. Hmmm. I think the minimum amount of land space you'd want for a carpet would be 4x2 but check with some carpet people for clarification. If an actual all enclosed paludarium is what you want it might actually be best to build the whole thing out of glass or acrylic. You could actually build it like dropoff one you see with salt water tanks like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfWXhmP8rVc

Build the land section on the top part and have the fish in the bottom part.
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Old 12-14-17, 12:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Help with my first DIY? (Aquarium/vivarium combo)

Thanks everyone! I thought about a paludarium but my snake poops in his water dish sometimes so I don’t know if it’s the best idea. I just moved him into a bigger enclosure so I’ll have to see if he keeps doing it.

It’s looking like my best bet would either all acrylic (clear) or pvc siding with a sheet of wood laminate on top? I don’t like the look of pvc, but I’m not very strong and I move fairly often.

The plan is definitely for the land section to be 4x2x2 feet, though if I make it a paludarium I might replace some of the ground space with water and substitute an overhang (so...same amount of land, some would just be a bit higher up). There will be plenty of branches and some sturdy plants as well. I have to say I’m definitely leaning towards a paludarium after seeing all those ideas... The only downside is that would mean I’d have a smaller aquarium section because I don’t want to take up too many square feet, and that means fewer options for fish species.
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Old 12-16-17, 06:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Help with my first DIY? (Aquarium/vivarium combo)

Poops in the water dish is the best gift a snake can give an owner. Cleanup is a breeze.
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Old 12-18-17, 12:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Help with my first DIY? (Aquarium/vivarium combo)

If the bowl is glass, ceramic, or metal! If it's that crappy plastic that most pet stores keep in stock, it will retain the smell FOREVER, even after soaking in chlorine. I never did try baking soda, that might work, but I finally quit the plastic and moved to glass...been happy ever since!

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Poops in the water dish is the best gift a snake can give an owner. Cleanup is a breeze.
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Old 12-19-17, 02:14 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Help with my first DIY? (Aquarium/vivarium combo)

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Originally Posted by jjhill001 View Post
Poops in the water dish is the best gift a snake can give an owner. Cleanup is a breeze.
I have to disagree. For me, the best gift is them pooping on their substrate and not near any objects/walls— the cleanup is even easier!

Anyway, snake poop/urate = ammonia = dead fish, hence the problem. A planted tank with a powerful filter should mitigate it a lot, but I’m still leery.

On the bright side, he’s only pooped in his water dish once since I’ve moved him, so this might yet be doable!
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Old 12-19-17, 11:14 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Help with my first DIY? (Aquarium/vivarium combo)

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Originally Posted by Sevvy View Post
I have to disagree. For me, the best gift is them pooping on their substrate and not near any objects/wallsó the cleanup is even easier!

Anyway, snake poop/urate = ammonia = dead fish, hence the problem. A planted tank with a powerful filter should mitigate it a lot, but Iím still leery.

On the bright side, heís only pooped in his water dish once since Iíve moved him, so this might yet be doable!
As long as its IN the water I like it. I'll have to agree though. If it dries to the outside of the bowl or other decor its a nightmare.
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Old 12-19-17, 02:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Help with my first DIY? (Aquarium/vivarium combo)

I have a Bull Snake that thinks he's Picasso...he paints the side of his glass terrarium almost half way up. I also have a Dominican Red Mountain Boa that climbs all over his plants and leaves deposits on the leaves as he moves around.

Of the two, the Bull Snake is the worst!!!

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As long as its IN the water I like it. I'll have to agree though. If it dries to the outside of the bowl or other decor its a nightmare.
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