My bioactive build

Tony_S

Chameleon Enthusiast
As some of you know I’ve been researching and acquiring parts for almost 3 months now. I’d like to start off with saying thank you to all those that helped me pick out stuff and answered my dumb newbie questions.

Here is my blank slate. I purchased an Exo Terra 36x18x36 terrarium.

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I’ve cut out cardboard to the demensions of the glass to test fit my parts before I start the foaming process. The two small pieces of cardboard on the bottom is the inside corners and the right branch will be going directly left into the center of the enclosure. The camo feeder cup will be removable for cleaning and maintenance on it.

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Lennoncham

Chameleon Enthusiast
When foaming in the sticks you will need to use tape or something to hold them up so they don’t just fall into the foam. And keep in mind things will shift a bit as the foam cures. Can wait to see how it turns out.
 

Tony_S

Chameleon Enthusiast
When foaming in the sticks you will need to use tape or something to hold them up so they don’t just fall into the foam. And keep in mind things will shift a bit as the foam cures. Can wait to see how it turns out.
Thanks for the tip. I think I'll use fishing line also to help hold them in place
 

Tony_S

Chameleon Enthusiast
Build day one

I got my pots ready with duct tape and clear drainage tubes. I’m using 3 pots stacked together during the foaming stage to keep the cheap plastic pots from collapsing during the foam curing process.
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I then used a circular saw to trim the edges of the cork flats to make them sit closer to the glass since they were more like cork rounds. I ordered smalls but all of them are 13-15” long.
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Next I test fitted everything in the glass. I decided to use the large driftwood in the right corner instead of the center top since it was going to make about a 9” shelf that would prevent any light from getting to the plants down below in the substrate layer. The blue tape is where the substrate layer is going to be. It is will be sloping higher towards the back of the enclosure.
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I’m using the great stuff pond and stone black. I’m probably going to leave some of the black showing through to make it look like some rocks in the wall and give the wall some contrast.
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I put a thin layer of foam down and then added the pots, cork, and wood.
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I waited an hour, then removed the lower tape and filled in the remaining foam spots.
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Tony_S

Chameleon Enthusiast
Day 2 - right side.

I test fit everything. I’m going to put the driftwood someplace else. It was either move the wood or cut the bark to make space. I decided to move the wood. I then foamed everything down and came back an hour later to finish it off.
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Tony_S

Chameleon Enthusiast
Day 3 - left side

I test fit all the pieces. I’m putting the drainage pvc pipe behind the cork flat. It will be accessible from underneath the camo feeder.
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I drilled 3 holes in the end of the pvc pipe.
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I wrapped the camo feeder in glad press ‘n seal wrap. I tested this yesterday to make sure the foam released from it after done curing and it comes right off.
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I then foamed the pieces in place.
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After 90 minutes I added a piece of cardboard under the bottom of the camo feeder to make space before finishing off the foam around it. The cardboard also had press ‘n seal wrap on it. The cardboard should crush giving me space to angle the camo feeder out of its resting spot.
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Tony_S

Chameleon Enthusiast
Build update. Been a slow week trying to trim foam a few hours a night after work every night. Once the sun started to go down I had a hard time seeing where to cut the black foam even with a flood light shinning on it. There was just too many shadows. I did get all three sides trimmed. Just need to fill in some holes and do a little bit of touch up trimming still. But I’m happy with the way my camo feeder run setup came out. In the bottom of the feeder space you can see my access to the pvc pipe to drain any water if necessary. I also have a pvc plug for the pipe to keep anything from going down the tube.
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Tony_S

Chameleon Enthusiast
Small update.

Monday was my sons actual birthday so no work was done Monday and Saturday was his party and we played games all day long with all our extended family.

Had a setback this week. I used ASI Aquarium Sealant to try to attach the coco fiber to the foam with on Sunday. Wanted to use something that was animal safe. When I put it on it wasn't very sticky. But what do I know, I never tried to glue coco fiber to expandable foam before. But when I took the shop vac to it Tuesday to take off the excess fibers. It all came right off like nothing was holding it down. In fact I pulled the silicone right off the foam in big sheets. So that was a bust. I then went back to the store and grabbed some GE silicone 1 that I saw used on a youtube instructional video. This stuff was a thousand times more sticky than the ASI stuff. I redid the left side on Tuesday night and crossed my fingers last night that something stuck this time around. It looks good, I just need to touch up some bare spots.

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JoXie411

Chameleon Enthusiast
Small update.

Monday was my sons actual birthday so no work was done Monday and Saturday was his party and we played games all day long with all our extended family.

Had a setback this week. I used ASI Aquarium Sealant to try to attach the coco fiber to the foam with on Sunday. Wanted to use something that was animal safe. When I put it on it wasn't very sticky. But what do I know, I never tried to glue coco fiber to expandable foam before. But when I took the shop vac to it Tuesday to take off the excess fibers. It all came right off like nothing was holding it down. In fact I pulled the silicone right off the foam in big sheets. So that was a bust. I then went back to the store and grabbed some GE silicone 1 that I saw used on a youtube instructional video. This stuff was a thousand times more sticky than the ASI stuff. I redid the left side on Tuesday night and crossed my fingers last night that something stuck this time around. It looks good, I just need to touch up some bare spots.

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Happy belated bday to your son, your enclosure is looking so rad! Excited to see what it looks like when it’s done (y)
 
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