Custom Viv Thread

extrajordinary

Established Member
Nice!! I was following your thread because I too am interested in building a custom habitat. When you mentioned building the wall my mind started running boy! Lol and this is exactly what I imagined!! But I have never built a wall with cliffs like this, what is that opaque substance you used to create the ledges?? Holding the pots in place.
It's called Great Stuff, it's expanding foam. I only used 2.5 cans of it, but I've seen some people on here use much more than that to create really awesome faux rock walls! It's lightweight, but solid and it sticks well to the plywood.
 

extrajordinary

Established Member
Update:
  • Faux rock wall is complete and almost ready to be installed! Last thing to do is drill holes for the Pothos to drain. The Pothos have been bought and are ready to be planted in the rock wall once the holes for drainage are drilled.
  • Bought a corn plant and painted a giant terra cotta pot to put it in. The pot matches the faux rock wall. (Yes, I have organic potting soil for all of these plants.)
  • My MistKing arrived! Waiting to do a few more things to the enclosure before I set it up, though.
Some hiccups:
  • The hand held staple gun I have isn't strong enough and the staples weren't going in all the way when we tried to staple the screen to the doors. Hopefully we can borrow my boyfriend's dad's air-pressurized staple gun (I think that's what it's called) this weekend.
  • The floor of the enclosure is giving us a real hard time. :confused: The enclosure measures 30 inches long by 13 inches wide so none of the traditional trays will work. I've been toying with the idea of building or incorporating some sort of ramp to drain the water but I can't work it out. Would it be sufficient enough to put in a drain and set the potted plants near it to push the area around the drain down enough for it to actually drain? Right now water pools around the potted ficus I have, so I think it might work...
Please give me advice about the floor and drainage. I've scoured the forums but I still can't come up with a solution...
 

extrajordinary

Established Member
The faux rock wall has been installed! The floor has also been installed! Next up: adding some foam to the floor to seal a small crack. Then we’ll install the new MistKing! Screens go in this weekend. We’re halfway there!!!
 

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cham_urchin

Established Member
One possibility: I used metal screening on the floor of my enclosure. It sits on a plastic shelf with holes in it (which supports the weight of my large potted schefflera. Water drains directly thru to a bin below. Maybe you can use this approach somehow.
 

extrajordinary

Established Member
Experiencing some issues with the floor. We’re going to have to slope it somehow because the water currently runs to the back of the enclosure and down the backside of the cabinet. :confused: But here is a photo with the corn plant and some branches! Any ideas on how to add more horizontal branches? How/where would I attach them?
 

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extrajordinary

Established Member
Please give any sort of feedback! I'm bringing Leo home to give him a better life so his forever viv needs to be AMAZING. Is the corn plant too much? Please tell me all of your thoughts!
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Experiencing some issues with the floor. We’re going to have to slope it somehow because the water currently runs to the back of the enclosure and down the backside of the cabinet. :confused: But here is a photo with the corn plant and some branches! Any ideas on how to add more horizontal branches? How/where would I attach them?
I would put in wood dowels all along the sides then you can attach horizontally across the enclosure. Are you sealing all the exposed wood?
 

extrajordinary

Established Member
I would put in wood dowels all along the sides then you can attach horizontally across the enclosure. Are you sealing all the exposed wood?
Along the sides? Like from one glass side to the other glass side? Would you wedge them in there? The cabinet has been sealed and I sealed a few of the branches. Some of the branches I didn't seal. I have unsealed branches in his current enclosure and they've been fine.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Along the sides? Like from one glass side to the other glass side? Would you wedge them in there? The cabinet has been sealed and I sealed a few of the branches. Some of the branches I didn't seal. I have unsealed branches in his current enclosure and they've been fine.
You do not need to seal his branches. Just the wood surfaces in the cabinet. Not wedge them cut them to size. I was talking about mounting them to the frame front to back pre drill holes and screw them in. Then mount all horizontal branches back and forth from side to side using zip ties. What portion of the enclosure is screen?
 

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
When I move I am hoping to have saved up enough to get Pesto a Dragonstrand large atrium enclosure. The back of those is the clear side PVC. I want to use Great Stuff to set up a faux rock backdrop, the same as here. My question is, how would you go about that with the back of the enclosure being the clear side PVC?
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
When I move I am hoping to have saved up enough to get Pesto a Dragonstrand large atrium enclosure. The back of those is the clear side PVC. I want to use Great Stuff to set up a faux rock backdrop, the same as here. My question is, how would you go about that with the back of the enclosure being the clear side PVC?
@absolutbill did this with hers. I believe she did a plastic egg crate to build it out attaching to the dragon ledges. Came out looking awesome. This was what I wanted to do with mine but at the time we had no outdoor space to do it in and you need ventilation. I have tagged her so she can link to her thread.
 

extrajordinary

Established Member
You do not need to seal his branches. Just the wood surfaces in the cabinet. Not wedge them cut them to size. I was talking about mounting them to the frame front to back pre drill holes and screw them in. Then mount all horizontal branches back and forth from side to side using zip ties. What portion of the enclosure is screen?
The front doors and the top will be screen. I'll look at the cabinet again tonight and see how I might go about screwing in the dowel rods. I think I know what you're describing. (I'm a very visual person so I'm struggling to visualize what you're describing.)
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
The front doors and the top will be screen. I'll look at the cabinet again tonight and see how I might go about screwing in the dowel rods. I think I know what you're describing. (I'm a very visual person so I'm struggling to visualize what you're describing.)
Okey dokey so this is the way I see it. I am very visual too. Sorry my drawing is horrible. Use a dowel size that is small enough to center on the frame but still give you space on the side with the glass this way you can use zip ties to secure horizontal branches. You will be able to do them straight across and in a zig zag pattern moving down through the enclosure. With the highest dowel on the side panels being about 8 inches from the top. Pre drill both the frame and the dowels so you don't split the wood and it will make it much easier to get them in.

IMG_3052.JPG
 

extrajordinary

Established Member
Update:
  • Top screen is installed! The edges are jagged though so I’m trying to figure out how to cover them. But installing the screen allowed me to...
  • INSTALL THE MISTKING! After more than a week of having it, I finally installed the MistKing and was able to test it. It works and it’s so awesome! :love: Wish I’d jumped on the MistKing bandwagon sooner.
  • My three little air plants arrived today. They fit perfectly into the tiny pots I put in the faux rock wall. All the live plants are in the cage now, minus the ficus which will remain in Leo’s current enclosure until I bring him home.
  • Fogger is bought and has arrived. We’re going to cut holes to install it this weekend.
  • Still need to do the screen on the doors and fix the floor.
  • Still need to add more branches. @Beman - thank you for the drawing! I’m going to see if I can do something like that!
Overall, I’m very pleased with how this is turning out. I can’t wait for Leo to come home and explore his new enclosure!!!
 

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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Update:
  • Top screen is installed! The edges are jagged though so I’m trying to figure out how to cover them. But installing the screen allowed me to...
  • INSTALL THE MISTKING! After more than a week of having it, I finally installed the MistKing and was able to test it. It works and it’s so awesome! :love: Wish I’d jumped on the MistKing bandwagon sooner.
  • My three little air plants arrived today. They fit perfectly into the tiny pots I put in the faux rock wall. All the live plants are in the cage now, minus the ficus which will remain in Leo’s current enclosure until I bring him home.
  • Fogger is bought and has arrived. We’re going to cut holes to install it this weekend.
  • Still need to do the screen on the doors and fix the floor.
  • Still need to add more branches. @Beman - thank you for the drawing! I’m going to see if I can do something like that!
Overall, I’m very pleased with how this is turning out. I can’t wait for Leo to come home and explore his new enclosure!!!
Soooo exciting!
 

extrajordinary

Established Member
Installed the fogger, used shims to make the floor slope, and sprayed Great Stuff all around the bottom to seal the cracks (after it EXPLODED all over me and my shirt, RIP). Next is painting and sealing the Great Stuff to match the faux rock wall and install the screen in the doors. Then we’re done and little Leo can come home!!!
 

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extrajordinary

Established Member
Screen doors were installed today! Last step is to paint and seal the foam on the bottom! Then I’ll test the MistKing and fogger and make sure it’s all ready for Leo to come home. Question: I crocheted a jute net but wasn’t sure if it was safe for Leo. I wanted to give him something additional to climb on where the glass is because he’s used to an all screen cage...
 

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GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
Screen doors were installed today! Last step is to paint and seal the foam on the bottom! Then I’ll test the MistKing and fogger and make sure it’s all ready for Leo to come home. Question: I crocheted a jute net but wasn’t sure if it was safe for Leo. I wanted to give him something additional to climb on where the glass is because he’s used to an all screen cage...
I'd personally avoid the jute net in case Leo's nails get caught, and it may get moldy/harbor bacteria. You can take dowels (bamboo, oak, etc.) and criss cross them up the side of the enclosure for climbing, though! And you can use the lattice to attach horizontal branches. I suppose you could take a ready made lattice, potentially seal it, and use that as well!

I know someone did it for their clearside, but I cant recall who or where. I recall you mentioning you're visual, so something like this:

232056


You can lash the dowels together with small zip ties etc. I like it in a diamond pattern, but you can do it however you'd like!
 

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