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Marty
09-20-2007, 05:41 PM
A new story entry has been added:

Vivarium-Rack


http://www.orchidboard.com/community/gallery/data/513/medium/main.jpg

Here's the story of my vivarium rack construction. It took me a while to figure things out and to plan everything, so there would be no surprises later. You can click on the images to get larger views. Warning, there's are a lot of images in this post, so be patient if you have a slower connection. I made this rack with several key ideas in mind. I wanted to create as maintenance free setup as possible. I didn't want to become a slave of my own hobby and keep maintaining my tanks constantly. At the same time I wanted to have as close of a habitat replication as possible. This was my dream list... I wanted it all ! Even though this rack setup has been created for dartfrogs, I'm sure some of you may find a lot of the elements useful when building your geckos setups.
Automated Misting System. Misting several times per day, for less then 1 minute per misting cycle
Worry free draining. When there is too much water from all the misting, I wanted all 10 tanks to take care of themselves
Ventilation - I wanted high humidity (90%+), yet I wanted to see everything inside without any fog on the front
Full view, I didn't want to see any hinges or latches or anything else in the fronts of the tanks obstructing the views of the vivarium. No door in the front.
My misting system had to be maintenance free, I didn't want to keep adding water to it, or worry that it will run dry - ever !
Some type of a feeding door, so I wouldn't have to open the front to feed the frogs. It would save them some stress and reduce possibility of escape and make things easier for me.
Keeping the cleaning of the front glass to a minimum Lights on a timer - no brainer here

Protean
09-20-2007, 06:02 PM
marty, where in the cage did you put the drain, on the side or the bottom? I like that idea a lot as i would like to make most of my personal stuff maintenance free.

I need to invest in a diamond drill bit for glass. might make a good addition to the tool bench and use for other terrariums.

-jason

DDReptiles
09-20-2007, 07:34 PM
That setup is just incredible!!! Seems like you planned it 100% perfect (maybe 99% if you are mad over the clear tubing LOL)

I wish I knew how to put something like that together and get all the plants to survive and everything, All my bromeliads I have kept always rot away at the base over time and they die, then my ficus trees always drop there leaves. Pothos is the only plant I can keep in the cages and have it do well.

But just overall, the whole thing is just WOW!!!

If you don't mind me asking, how much did it cost to build it?

Thanks Derek

Marty
09-20-2007, 07:39 PM
Pothos is the only plant I can keep in the cages and have it do well.


That's so funny...pothos cannot be killed :) I've had pothos in a tank that I neglected and stored it away for few months without ever being watered and no light and it still survived...pothos is like a roach of the plant world :biggrin: I think you have to microwave it to kill it.

for the fear that my wife will read this post, I won't say how much it cost me...hehehe... no actually wasn't that bad...maybe $3K - but that's with a lot of favours that I pulled, incl a lot of IT work for the acrylic guy.

Marty
09-20-2007, 07:43 PM
marty, where in the cage did you put the drain, on the side or the bottom? I like that idea a lot as i would like to make most of my personal stuff maintenance free.

I need to invest in a diamond drill bit for glass. might make a good addition to the tool bench and use for other terrariums.

-jason

drains are in the back... I actually didn't show it, but every tank on top has a spigot that gravity drains into a little funnel that's based in the setup, so you can actually pull every tank out without worrying that you have to disconnect anything. Well, the only thing that has to be disconnected is the misting system, but it's connected in parallel, so I just have to cap it and I can pull the tank out. All tanks are acrylic, but a lot of people drill their glass tanks to install drains. It's not that easy and you have to get some extra apparatus to drill holes from what I heard, to guide the saw.

Zbiz
09-21-2007, 12:19 AM
Honestly i would love to hire you lol.

CrestfallenSoul
09-21-2007, 12:42 AM
*speechless*.......*drools i want that kinda vivaria.......
awesome job

Haroldo
09-21-2007, 10:44 AM
I've seen these pics long ago Marty, but again great job!

Ken Bartenfeld
09-21-2007, 12:24 PM
Holy shit...that looks GREAT! Was it hard cutting acrylic? I am thinking of doing something like that. I am in awe about yours though! WOW WOW WOW!

Protean
09-21-2007, 02:18 PM
Marty,

Do you have any photos of the back side of the tank where the drains are attached?

I already have a nice size glass shop at my place and about 5 tons of glass to finish using before i move again in January.

Cheers
Jason P

Marty
09-21-2007, 02:33 PM
That I don't have, but just make sure the drain in the back is lower then the front lip :) I don't remember where I got the drains, but it was some salt water supply place. I think they were something like $7 each. Then the lower tanks had just a tube inserted and glued and the other ends were inserted into the house plumbing. The neat thing I found was the the flexible tubing was ABS and the drain bulkhead was PVC (or the other way around - don't remember). I was able to use transition cement that bonds ABS to PVC and get a perfect seal and still have a flexible drain hose that I could insert into a port on my plumbing pipe.

Brian
09-21-2007, 11:55 PM
I have to agree about the pothos not dieing after finding some in the garage after 100 degree heat.

BTW I've found that light makes the biggest diffence with ficus leaf die off even all the book say it's water related. Bromiliad base rot for me seems to be from too much localized water (not talking about in the cup) even when the air might be dry.

Riverside Reptiles
09-22-2007, 11:22 AM
Marty, didn't you say something about you providing free viv building services for all mods on the forum? I'm just curious as to when mine will be arriving? :biggrin:

Marty
09-22-2007, 11:35 AM
Yeah I do, you're on my to do list ...

note to self: demod Ethan :evil:

cliff_f
09-22-2007, 11:06 PM
I have actually seen your setup on another site (dont remember what one), I think that is totally awesome! I wish I had the space and money to build something like that. Awesome, Just awesome!

MattL
09-24-2007, 08:58 PM
That is killer! Send one or two of those my way and the usual cost too..free :D:D

Matt

Reptiluvr
10-11-2007, 03:43 PM
Since all the assembly questions have been answered, here's my microclimate question. How did you assemble the lights so that you knew they would produce the right temps? I have the problem right now where I have to suspend lights of various bulb sizes and various heights to get each cage the right temp for the different species. Right now I'm just using a couple metal racks, nothing extravagant.

Marty
10-11-2007, 04:18 PM
In my case I had an issue of the temperatures being way too high, esp in the top row. I wanted 75-80'F and I was getting around 90'F. I had to install fans and move air in the top part of the canopy. I installed 2x120mm fans. I then adjusted the fans until I vented enough hot air so the temps dropped to where I wanted them. In the summer, I crack open the A/C vent for that room to keep it optimal. Always a fine balance :)

aquapimp
10-11-2007, 09:01 PM
Will you come work at my shop?

great job, man!

Tom

thegeckoguy2010
12-16-2007, 06:52 PM
So how much For the plans...? ha I love it... i would use it for my phelsuma collection.

phearamedusa
02-28-2008, 12:46 AM
That setup is just incredible!!! Seems like you planned it 100% perfect (maybe 99% if you are mad over the clear tubing LOL)

I wish I knew how to put something like that together and get all the plants to survive and everything, All my bromeliads I have kept always rot away at the base over time and they die, then my ficus trees always drop there leaves. Pothos is the only plant I can keep in the cages and have it do well.

But just overall, the whole thing is just WOW!!!

If you don't mind me asking, how much did it cost to build it?

Thanks Derek

Hi Derek,
to keep the ficus alive and in full leaf, put it in one position/spot and don't even touch it. If you so much as move it a 1/4 turn it will drop leaves. I found that keeping temp, humidity and dampness of soil fairly constant keeps mine really happy. It did drop pretty much all its leaves after I decorated it with X-mas lights and left them on too long..LOL. It's making a come back and will soon be looking for a new home...getting too big for my display.



Hi Marty,

I'm green with envy, and going to study my little set up to see what I can change for the better. After seeing your set up mine looks really bland. Any ideas for desert type viv? I have leopard geckos btw I've only had since Sept. 07, so I'm a newbie with reptiles really. Any suggestions greatly appreciated about tank design.
Thanks Melanie

Marty
02-28-2008, 07:48 AM
I mainly do jungle type systems and have never done a desert. Search the forum, many people have done tanks here for their leos.

sciteacher
02-28-2008, 12:18 PM
I keep hearing mixed messages on the use of acrylic and / or plexi. Some say that it will warp quite quickly in a high humidity environment, while I have heard others say that they've had setups for years with no sign of warping or yellowing. I'd be curious to hear other's first hand experience (not... "I heard" or "I read") with the use of these materials over time.

Gary

Riverside Reptiles
03-01-2008, 11:46 AM
I keep hearing mixed messages on the use of acrylic and / or plexi. Some say that it will warp quite quickly in a high humidity environment, while I have heard others say that they've had setups for years with no sign of warping or yellowing. I'd be curious to hear other's first hand experience (not... "I heard" or "I read") with the use of these materials over time.

Gary


It depends on the quality of the materials used. Not all acrylic/plexi is created equal. Nor are the prices. Do a google search for plexi and/or acrylic and you'll find all kinds of useful info on it.

I use lexan a lot these days when cage making. It's stronger than steel, lighter than glass, doesn't scratch like plexi, comes in clear and tons of colors (both opaque and transparent), and cuts like wood without chipping or cracking. It can be very expensive though depending on thickness and how much you're using.

Sassy Tiva
04-28-2008, 08:24 PM
All I have to say is WOW and can you come to San Jose to build me one too LOL

LOVING THAT TANK!!!

Marty
04-28-2008, 09:48 PM
Thanks, glad you like it...I'm proud to say that my rack was featured in a dutch dartforg magazine... It was like a 4 page write up with tons of photos. Pretty cool :) It may also be featured in a dart frog book that's being written right now :cheer:

My dry ice method of insect control that I came up with was also featured in a different issue of the same magazine.

Sassy Tiva
04-28-2008, 11:41 PM
You Are My Hero :) Congrats!!!

Riverside Reptiles
04-29-2008, 10:23 AM
You Are My Hero :) Congrats!!!

Oh good lord, don't tell him that. We'll never get his head back down to normal size now! :rofl:

Marty
04-29-2008, 11:09 AM
not sure what you're talking about

http://cache.halloweenmart.com/images/ip013879.jpg

dewthesunkist
09-21-2008, 04:48 PM
i love it nice set up. I've always wanted something like that except for fish. where did you get the idea to build something like this and how much money did it cost to build it?

cliff_f
11-21-2008, 09:01 PM
I just got a pair of uroplatus f. yesterday and already the female layed eggs? What should I do? :?:shock::feedback:

Maybe you should try posting your question in the Uroplatus forums.:confused:

7400 ft
11-26-2008, 12:24 AM
What is the purpose of the petri plates in one of the upper cells?

Sk3d
01-08-2009, 11:32 PM
from a herp enthusiast fresh out of college, with a brand new job living with his parents... speechless.:shock:

Marty
01-09-2009, 09:04 AM
petrie dishes were to keep frog eggs in the tank...sorry, didn't see that somone asked a question :)

Thanks for the compliments

kegoyo57
02-03-2009, 02:32 PM
What a wonderful vivarium Rack
But a little too big for my house :(

Dendro_Dave
02-03-2009, 03:25 PM
Aw i've seen this all before Marty....serioiusly when are you going to pimp something new? ;)

(It is a great setup btw, if i didnt already say that on dendroboard)

Marty
02-03-2009, 03:27 PM
No room for anything new at the moment...need a bigger house :) This thread is old, what can I say :P

Dendro_Dave
02-03-2009, 07:01 PM
ya im running into same problem....i've filled the living room with vivs, now we are starting on the bedroom ;) I still have 1 spare bedroom left even with the fox and ferrets in the other ;)

phelsumaman
02-25-2009, 11:29 AM
This is amazing, do you have any detailed drawings that you coudl post? I'd live to give a smaller scale version a go:yikes:

oipoip3
05-24-2009, 02:38 PM
hey have you got any mourning geckos i can buy? thanks alot
oipoip3:biggrin:

mongzmaniac
09-03-2009, 04:33 PM
You are a downright genius...Can you send me a message on where to get those misting systems?

midget
09-03-2009, 05:17 PM
You are a downright genius...Can you send me a message on where to get those misting systems?
There his own check on his isg. Those are the ones he uses.

Marty
09-15-2009, 02:30 PM
You are a downright genius...Can you send me a message on where to get those misting systems?

Where else but at MistKing (http://www.MistKing.com) :biggrin:

AWW
10-03-2009, 11:37 AM
amazing setup! the vivs and the carpentry workmanship look great, and i'm very impressed with the fans, drain system, etc. nicely done!

doreen5169
10-20-2009, 03:31 PM
Absolutely amazing! How do you get the glass not to fog up from the perpetual high humidity and why did you choose acrylic over glass?

I've been thinking about some sort of custom way to keep all my critters together for like 2 years now but never really went much further than just whimsical thoughts. This has really inspired me! Awesome :banana:post and pictures, thank you for sharing.http://www.geckosunlimited.com/community/images/smilies/banana.gif
-doreen

Constance
11-03-2009, 02:01 PM
ok so i am going to get some new desert geckos in a couple weeks and i have my tank set up except i would like to have a nice piece of wood in there, however, i dont want to buy one i want to make one but i dont know what type of wood is the best to use i know drift wood is good to use but i live close to a wooded area and i was wondering if anyone would know what would be best to use. something that doesnt decay fast , i was thinking oak but i'm not sure:blushing:please respond ASAP

theguy67
02-06-2010, 05:08 PM
What did u use to color the back ground? If mentioned before, i guess i didn't catch it.

Cash
06-19-2011, 02:20 PM
As I am totally new to all this, I don't even know enough to be wow'd without being overwhelmed. I do have a newbie question for you though. How do you keep the front glass from fogging up and blocking your view with environments that have to be so humid?

Hillary
06-21-2011, 08:36 AM
Wow! That's a beautiful set-up!! :cheer: My husband & I have been wanting to make a more sensible set-up for some time now & this looks like something that will work for us. Thanks again!! :biggrin:

bouncer36
07-18-2011, 04:13 PM
i just wonder how do you tame geckos?

Lou the alpaca of death
11-02-2011, 06:07 AM
can any one find me leaf geckos (rage) ahhhhhhhhh Lou the alpaca of death will hay (hay):banana::rofl: