New Cage Ideas

Discussion in 'Enclosures, Heating & Lighting' started by Camillo, Jul 27, 2002.

  1. Camillo

    Camillo Embryo

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    The potential for new anoles has gotten my mind on the idea of a new cage. I mean, I'm going to end up with about 12... actually, make that 10-11 anoles *my girlfriend will be taking one or two to raise* in my house. That is, if anoles only lay about 10 eggs a season. I've heard they can lay up to 16, but... well, 10 more is enough for me right now :-p

    Anyway, since I'll need more room for them, I'm considering designing a new cage. Trips to Lowe's have gotten my mind moving. I'm currently imagining something that will be about 18X12X48". Still, I think I might make it bigger. I dunno. My mind is floating through space. Anyway, it will be at least that size.


    Right now, I'm inspired by a book called The Manual of Lizards and Snakes. It's a really good book.

    I'm going to make it out of wood *except for the front, of course; that will be either glass or plexiglass*. I will cut out vents on the left and right sides, which will be covered with a wire mesh, so the cage will have ventilation. Then, I will drill holes into the sides of the cage and put pieces of fake plants into them, so the anoles will have things to climb on.

    One thing I've been concerned with is heat. I don't know how I'm going to get enough heat throughout the whole thing. >>>>>QUESTION: I've read that the proper heating/lighting arrangement is a ceramic heating unit and a halogen tube. Is this correct?<<<<< Anyway, I'm thinking of adding on to it by putting a heat pad at the bottom *which will radiate heat throughout the cage*, and then covering it with wire mesh about 4-5 inches up, so the lizards and their food cannot get cooked, but they'll still be warm.

    For the door, I'm going to put hinges on the front, which I will screw into the glass/plexiglass door. The door will have a wooden knob screwed into it, so it will open pretty much like a door. It'll be pretty much like entertainment centers of today, where it has the magnetic locking. Don't worry; I'll make sure the magnets are set in such a way that no anole can escape. If it doesn't close tightly enough, I'll just put some insulation around the edges to make sure it fits.


    Any suggestions?
     
  2. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  3. Axe

    Axe Embryo

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    Well, i'd go with an ActiveUVHeat lamp at the top... and a mesh screen between them and the light so that they can't actually get to a position where they can touch the bulb.

    Lower down on the ground needs to be a lil cooler really anyway. In arboreal tanks, the heat gradient usually goes top (warmer) to bottom (cooler) rather than the standard warm and cool ends of the tank you see with something like Leopard Geckos.

    But, if the bottom of the tank still gets too cold, you can always just put a heatpad underneath.
     
  4. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  5. Camillo

    Camillo Embryo

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    My parents don't seem to think I'm going to go through with the cage-building plan. Then again, I can hardly blame them. I'm not exactly the best builder in the world *when it comes to wood, etc.*, and I'm going to be operating off a $10/wk. "salary." Still, I think it'll be worth it, once I get it started.
     
  6. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  7. Axe

    Axe Embryo

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    Well, just keep working at it.... Save up your money, and don't get all the anoles til you're ready and prepared for 'em! :)

    You can build one up fairly cheaply though. If it's an indoor enclosure...

    You can get 8'x4' sheets of 1/4" OSB (oriented strand board) at Home Depot for $5.99... which is ideal for backs, sides and bottom. Mesh for the top (which is like again only $3 or 4 for the amount you need), some long lasting 2"x1" lengths to hold your basic frame together. Then you just gotta get some hinges, a piece of glass for the front... and some water-based polyurethane, or water-based semi-gloss latex paint to protect the inside from all the moisture...

    Not including the lights, substrate, plants, etc.. you could probably build an enclosure that's 18"x12"x48" for under $30 if you shop around. And remember, they can cut the wood for ya at home depot.

    For an 18x12x48 enclosure... You have one piece thats' 18"x48" (for the back), two pieces that are 12"x48" (for the sides), and one piece that's 12"x18" for the bottom. Then you've got some left over spare for any shelves you may want to place inside (handy for bowls of water higher up, or basking shelves)...

    Use 2"x1" to build the actual frame... with a hinged top (the top also being made from 2"x1", covered in the metal mesh).

    It's really simple. If you really wanna work on this and learn more about my idea... Let me know, I'll come up with a few designs to show you what I mean :)
     
  8. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  9. Camillo

    Camillo Embryo

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    Hmm... shelves on the inside... I like that.

    Thanks for the ideas. I'll try and fit'em in.

    BTW, I can't really help when the babies come :-p. If I'm going to have this done before they're born, then I have a lot to do in 35-40 days!

    [Edited on 29/7/2002 by Camillo]
     
  10. JEFFREH

    JEFFREH Administrator

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  11. Axe

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    hehe, okies, well, like I said, if you should around, you could probably build up the basic thing for around $30 (depending on what glass costs in your area). But be prepared to spend more if you have to.

    Best of luck!
     
  12. Axe

    Axe Embryo

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    You know, I've been thinking about this quit a bit, because i'm just about to get ready to build some hamster cages... Whilst they're not going to be on the same scale as an arboreal enclosure, the construction techniques will be fairly similar.

    I'll make up some photos as I do the work, and put something up here showing some different techniques and stuff I'm using.. other methods you could use instead, etc.
     
  13. Camillo

    Camillo Embryo

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    Thanks! I've been really busy lately, what with getting ready for school and all, so I haven't gotten the chance to work on the new cage yet. However, I do plan on getting it done by the first of September. I just wish I'd had the beginning of summer free instead of having summer classes *not remedial; Health is required to graduate, and I needed more time to take classes that actually interest me; I got that out of the way*. Oh, well. I can do this. Should be fun; going to Lowe's afterschool, doing homework assignments quickly enough so that I can work on the cage... Yups. Good times.
     
  14. Axe

    Axe Embryo

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    Yup, time is one thing there never seems to be enough of :)
     
  15. Camillo

    Camillo Embryo

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    Okay. We just got most of the materials we'll need for the bare cage. The only changes are that it is now 4'x2'x2', has only one door, and has fiberglass mesh instead of plexiglass or glass.

    The size change was mainly for the fact that we can't fit a 2'x4' base in the house without it taking up a lot of space. We've got a perfect little nook for it, and I think that's all we'll need. It was quite funny when I arrived at Lowe's and realized how big four feet really is. It really doesn't look all that big on paper! Anyway, we're going to be putting all the females in there, and we most likely won't be having 16 new females.

    The fiberglass mesh means that we won't have to worry about air circulation anymore. Also, it's cheap and I'm on a limited budget here.


    We got:

    8'x4'x1/2" sheet of treated wood
    2'x4'x5/8" sheet of treated wood
    1"x8' piece of wood *for the corners and such*
    pack of screws
    roll of 32"x7' fiberglass mesh

    From Lowe's for a grand total of $29.44. I was able to pay for it and got 56 cents back, including a Tennessee quarter! Oh, da joy.

    Meanwhile, we still wait for the egg to hatch. Lol.
     
  16. Axe

    Axe Embryo

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    There ya go... although ya might wanna think about some more 8' lengths....

    one down the top n' bottom at the back, one down top n' bottom at the front, and then the front back, top n' bottom of each of the sides. Just helps keep everything more sealed.

    And get some water-based semi-gloss latex paint to cover it all. Go with a nice natural colour... like a rainforest background of greens or brown or something...

    That'll help the water from getting into the wood (Yeah, I know it's treated, but it still helps, and can make things look a lil better)...

    But congrats, you got a great deal and I can't wait to see how it all turns out! :)
     
  17. Camillo

    Camillo Embryo

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    Yeah, I was thinking about painting it green. The wood isn't exactly Grade-A, but it's not CC, either. In other words, it has knotholes, but it's straight and, really, in good condition. I'll get some when I have money and time. For now, I'm gonna need to work on the basics.
     
  18. hobotramp

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    What about non-amonia curing silicone for all the corners? Here in Canada it's usually called Silicone 2.
     
  19. Axe

    Axe Embryo

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    That could work for the corners, but you'd still have to cover the surfaces for moisture proofing...

    If the corners are real tight & flush though, with 2"x2" lengths, the semi-gloss latex should be easily enough to do it :)
     
  20. Camillo

    Camillo Embryo

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    We found some paint left over from painting a room. It's a light olive green, so it should look pretty nice for a lizard cage. It will give it a naturally-beautiful feel :)
     
  21. Axe

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    Just make sure it's water-based non-toxic stuff, and leave it AT LEAST 24 hours longer than the recommended max drying time before u put any animals in it.

    If it's not water-based, forget it... oil-based leave a residue on the surface (which is what makes 'em shiny) that can be very poisonous to reptiles.
     
  22. Camillo

    Camillo Embryo

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    It's latex "Suffolk Tan" paint. Latex is fine, right? We used it on our walls at home, so we have some left over.
     
  23. Axe

    Axe Embryo

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    Most latex is water based that I've seen, but double check the label. Should be good... can't wait to see photos when it's all done :)
     

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