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 Crestie Terrarium Build (Pic Heavy)

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Christopher
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PostSubject: Crestie Terrarium Build (Pic Heavy)   Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:17 pm

So I got into crested geckos last month and decided to build myself a terrarium. This is my first terrarium as well as my first DIY sort of post so I'm sure there's room for improvement. I also probably should cite some resources but I pulled from so many places during my crested gecko research. If some of this looks familiar, it's probably because you've seen it before...



I started with the 18x18x18 Exo Terra.



I pulled the background and cut some egg crate light balast covers to fit. I cut it a little short so that when I glue screen to it with silicone it will still fit. Decide how high you want your water table to be then cut some pvc pipe to achieve that height. I think mine is roughly 1.5". I recommend cutting holes of some sort to allow free movement of water and avoid stagnating.



I cut a corner out for my water feature to go. Save the corner, because you'll need it. I then cut acrylic to fit together around the removed corner to keep substrate back as well as to keep critters from getting into "water table" and subsequently drowning. Drill a few holes to allow for free movement of water. Cover the egg crate with screen. I used the stuff for screen doors and windows and glued with silicone. Then silicone the acrylic pieces to the removed corner as shown at a 90 degree angle. While you still have the acrylic out, now is a good time to cut a piece to cover the screen top. I cut a couple holes to allow for some air flow but with my water feature, the humidity stayed a little high. If you aren't adding this water feature, it might not be a bad idea to keep humidity in.







Next lay the terrarium on its back. Place some cork bark halves, or rounds to create hideaways built into the wall, on the back of the terrarium. (I opted to put the cork round on the substrate for easier access.) Get them all where you want them first. Keep in mind you have a water table and substrate to build up so it's not necessary to do the entire back of the terrarium. Note where each cork bark touches the back of the terrarium. This is where you'll be placing silicone. Remove each piece of bark individually, places globs of silicone, and put in place.





Combine some long fiber sphagnum moss, water and silicone in bucket. Take handfuls of the mix and shove it between the cork bark. The tighter you can get it, the stronger your background will be. As the moss expands, it will fill into the bark and hold stonger. Of course, the silicone will provide the rest of the strength. This will take a long time to dry. A fan and some warm outdoor weather will go a long way.




Now add the PVC pieces you cut. Spread them out along the outside edges of the egg crate false bottom and a couple in the center. I siliconed these in place. Lay the false bottom on the PVC supports. At this point I found a fountain pump on clearance at Lowe's. I decided to put that in the middle of my water feature to add sound and movement and also helped with humidity and keeping the water clean. I placed it in the cut out and ran the cord up one corner of the terrarium and shoved it behind the moss. Now put the acrylic/egg crate contraption in the corner with the acrylic between the two egg crate sections. Add rocks to this corner area but keep the level low so some of the water is exposed. This is where your reptiles can get their water and where you can siphon from to add clean water.




I decided to use an ABG mix for my substrate. I used finely shredded sphagnum moss, sphagnum peat moss, orchid bark, cowboy brand charcoal and some eco earth. Combine in a large tub and add enough water to soak the mixture without it pooling at the bottom of the container. This stuff is supposed to be great for live plants as well as springtail cultures. Add the mix to the terrarium. Don't add it evenly. That is boring. Add whatever live plants, plastic plants, hides and vines you may want to.

I'm missing a lot of pictures from this point because... Well, I screwed up. My designs had flaws. Mainly, the adding of the pump. So I got frustrated. Anyway, here are the finished pictures.






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Focal
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PostSubject: Re: Crestie Terrarium Build (Pic Heavy)   Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:50 pm

Very nice Chris!!
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californiadreamin
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PostSubject: Re: Crestie Terrarium Build (Pic Heavy)   Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:43 pm

Nice work bro.
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Christopher
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PostSubject: Re: Crestie Terrarium Build (Pic Heavy)   Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:49 pm

Thank you kind sirs. I hope your springtails like it too Chris.
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californiadreamin
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PostSubject: Re: Crestie Terrarium Build (Pic Heavy)   Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:56 pm

As long as its moist they'll prosper. I have 3 exo terras that now have A LOT of springtails in them. Ill be adding some millipedes soon as well.
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californiadreamin
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PostSubject: Re: Crestie Terrarium Build (Pic Heavy)   Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:59 pm



You can kind of see what I did to the 18x18x18 exo I got from you in the corner.
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Southern_Comfort_Reptiles
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PostSubject: Re: Crestie Terrarium Build (Pic Heavy)   Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:27 pm

Great work!
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sic_anger
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PostSubject: Re: Crestie Terrarium Build (Pic Heavy)   Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:30 pm

Chris i want that truck
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Focal
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PostSubject: Re: Crestie Terrarium Build (Pic Heavy)   Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:39 pm

sic_anger wrote:
Chris i want that truck
It took me a minute but gave it the "Where's Waldo" eye-down Suspect 
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sic_anger
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PostSubject: Re: Crestie Terrarium Build (Pic Heavy)   Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:42 pm

LOL it was the first thing I noticed, speaking of cars thanks for yesterday man i got it back on the road last night
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californiadreamin
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PostSubject: Re: Crestie Terrarium Build (Pic Heavy)   Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:49 pm

Lol. I take pics of my cresties on that truck Wink
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Deedle
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PostSubject: Re: Crestie Terrarium Build (Pic Heavy)   Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:52 pm

Awesome
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californiadreamin
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PostSubject: Re: Crestie Terrarium Build (Pic Heavy)   Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:02 pm

One of my little ones actually went inside the cab and I couldn't find hom for like 10mins. I tore up my living room looking for him lol.
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Christopher
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PostSubject: Re: Crestie Terrarium Build (Pic Heavy)   Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:10 pm

I appreciate the good comments.

Chris, I hope to have a setup like yours one day. Filled with leachies and chewies too though!
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californiadreamin
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PostSubject: Re: Crestie Terrarium Build (Pic Heavy)   Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:36 pm

I'm hoping to add chewies to the bunch. Leachies are cool but hugeeee. I might add some flying geckos in the mix as well.
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