Lily's *NEW* Bioactive Build!

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi cham fam! :D I just started working on Lily's new 18x18x36 ExoTerra, and thought I'd share the progress so far. I'll do a more detailed, step by step write up at a later date, but in the mean time if you have any questions please feel free to ask!

Feature wood layout (rough):

20200205_174519.jpg


Today's progress:

20200205_192309.jpg


I need to go on a foraging run for branches (which I'm sure will be super fun in the snow :rolleyes:), but I have plenty to keep me busy for the next day or two. I think I'll be mostly keeping the foam to the back wall, though I may end up doing a bit of the side(s). We'll see where it takes me! That cork is just begging to be a tree, and I'm going to do my darndest to make it happen!
 

skoram

Established Member
I love the unique shape of that cork piece. It will make an awesome centerpiece. Most of the cork rounds I find in shops are boring cylinders. How big is it?
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
I love the unique shape of that cork piece. It will make an awesome centerpiece. Most of the cork rounds I find in shops are boring cylinders. How big is it?
Lemme bust out my measuring tape! I believe it's 2ft.

Edit: confirmed! Just a hair over 24"
 

skoram

Established Member
I can’t wait to see the resulting “tree” and what you will cook up for the rest of this build. Based on your previous builds I have huuuuge expectations for this one. Don’t disappoint me! :LOL:
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
I love the unique shape of that cork piece. It will make an awesome centerpiece. Most of the cork rounds I find in shops are boring cylinders.
I saw it and I just had to have it! It caught my eye immediately, and I knew I needed to make a terrarium with it as a feature. I'm liking the direction it's going so far!
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
I can’t wait to see the resulting “tree” and what you will cook up for the rest of this build. Based on your previous builds I have huuuuge expectations for this one. Don’t disappoint me! :LOL:
I have big shoes to fill, clearly! :ROFLMAO:

Thank you! I'm bringing all sorts of lessons learned to the table for this one, and hope to craft a real showstopper.
 

Reptofreak

Avid Member
That’s going to look awesome when you’re done. Here’s mine I did that size a couple months ago, nothing in it at the moment but plants.

Be careful with how you do the sides, I found that the space gets eaten up quickly when adding foam to the sides. So I used some coco liner on the sides.
04405D28-2FCD-47A9-8BF2-53954E74D895.png
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
That’s going to look awesome when you’re done. Here’s mine I did that size a couple months ago, nothing in it at the moment but plants.

Be careful with how you do the sides, I found that the space gets eaten up quickly when adding foam to the sides. So I used some coco liner on the sides.
View attachment 257978
Thank you! Yeah, I'll be using cocofibre liners on the sides for sure. :)
 

skoram

Established Member
I used half-inch thick EVA foam board on the sides of my 36x18x36 Exo Terra enclosure to maximize horizontal space for my chameleon. A good PU foam job with varying depths and textures will look more natural but you can solve some of that by attaching cork rounds/flats, wood and other materials to the sides and covering with peat moss or coco fiber. The foam also provides a good cushion and anchor for branches. Almost all of the branches in my enclosure below were held in place just by pressure before I applied silicone and coco fiber.

20200206_170210133.jpg
 

Decadancin

Moderatoris Americanus
Staff member
Can't wait to see the results!!! :)

Wish I was getting more done on my build, but darned work keeps getting in the way of progress...
 

Thatwizard420

Avid Member
Quick Question, How do you get rid of of the water at the bottom? should I just let it sit there? its not a lot, but how will that affect my roots?
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
I used half-inch thick EVA foam board on the sides of my 36x18x36 Exo Terra enclosure to maximize horizontal space for my chameleon. A good PU foam job with varying depths and textures will look more natural but you can solve some of that by attaching cork rounds/flats, wood and other materials to the sides and covering with peat moss or coco fiber. The foam also provides a good cushion and anchor for branches. Almost all of the branches in my enclosure below were held in place just by pressure before I applied silicone and coco fiber.

View attachment 257983
I hadn't even considered EVA foam! Would you mind linking me what exactly you used? I'll check the craft store today after I apply the next GreatStuff coat! You used what, silicone to adhere it to the glass? Maybe I can make some "vines" to decorate it/create a friendly climbing surface... :unsure:

Can't wait to see the results!!! :)

Wish I was getting more done on my build, but darned work keeps getting in the way of progress...
Thank you! That darned work, getting in the way of building! :p

Quick Question, How do you get rid of of the water at the bottom? should I just let it sit there? its not a lot, but how will that affect my roots?
I let water sit in the drainage layer until it reaches the substrate level, and then I suck it out through a PVC pipe with a cheap fuel siphon. With my larger ExoTerra, it's about a monthly task right now. It won't affect tour roots negatively until well after the drainage layer is full.

My drainage/layers blueprint:

20190410_032715.jpg


PVC access pipe in my 36x18x36, off set away from the glass so that it virtually disappears once substrate is added.

20190911_110522.jpg


20190911_173342.jpg


Hope that helps! On my phone, and a slow texter. Hopefully I'll have some time to sit down and make a proper guide soon(tm)!
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
After a whole lot of running around (darn it, Canada!), I managed to find a few 10x20" pieces of coconut fiber liner at a local big box. None of the nurseries in the area have any liner at all this time of year - what kind of insanity is that?! Definitely going to buy a couple bulk rolls in the spring, just in case I get "ideas". :p

Today mostly consisted of running around and planning, but I did fill in the rest of the back and added some dimension to the cured portions. Tomorrow I'll start in on the first pass of carving, get the cocofiber walls attached, and foam in my feature branch.

20200206_164129.jpg


Checking the cocofiber mats for fit:

20200206_164457.jpg
 

skoram

Established Member
I hadn't even considered EVA foam! Would you mind linking me what exactly you used? I'll check the craft store today after I apply the next GreatStuff coat! You used what, silicone to adhere it to the glass? Maybe I can make some "vines" to decorate it/create a friendly climbing surface... :unsure:
Sorry I didn’t reply sooner. Was middle of the night here in Korea. I bought something pretty much identical to this:

http://m.sanhefoam.com/plastic-foam/close-cell-eva-foam-board.html

I originally intended to use styrofoam boards for the sides but couldn’t find any that were thinner than 1 inch so decided to give EVA (aka rubber foam) a try. I don’t regret it at all. It can’t be broken apart or carved like styrofoam but it is much more durable, waterproof, uv resistant, bio-friendly (if not biodegradable) and very easy to cut into the size you need.
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
Sorry I didn’t reply sooner. Was middle of the night here in Korea. I bought something pretty much identical to this:

http://m.sanhefoam.com/plastic-foam/close-cell-eva-foam-board.html

I originally intended to use styrofoam boards for the sides but couldn’t find any that were thinner than 1 inch so decided to give EVA (aka rubber foam) a try. I don’t regret it at all. It can’t be broken apart or carved like styrofoam but it is much more durable, waterproof, uv resistant, bio-friendly (if not biodegradable) and very easy to cut into the size you need.
No worries! I remembered after the fact that you're on the other side of the globe Haha! Thanks for the link- I'll save that and see if I can't incorporate it in another build. :)
 

Thatwizard420

Avid Member
I hadn't even considered EVA foam! Would you mind linking me what exactly you used? I'll check the craft store today after I apply the next GreatStuff coat! You used what, silicone to adhere it to the glass? Maybe I can make some "vines" to decorate it/create a friendly climbing surface... :unsure:



Thank you! That darned work, getting in the way of building! :p



I let water sit in the drainage layer until it reaches the substrate level, and then I suck it out through a PVC pipe with a cheap fuel siphon. With my larger ExoTerra, it's about a monthly task right now. It won't affect tour roots negatively until well after the drainage layer is full.

My drainage/layers blueprint:

View attachment 258028

PVC access pipe in my 36x18x36, off set away from the glass so that it virtually disappears once substrate is added.

View attachment 258029

View attachment 258030

Hope that helps! On my phone, and a slow texter. Hopefully I'll have some time to sit down and make a proper guide soon(tm)!
ohhhh I see.. Any cheap (home Depot) siphoning pump will work?
 
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