Monster Viv Build Ver.2 iguana enclosure - Reptile Forums

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Old 07-06-2020, 11:07 AM
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Default Monster Viv Build Ver.2 iguana enclosure

So with quarantine happening and a whole lot of time on my hands, i figured it was time to update my iguanas enclosure!!
Just over 5 years ago, i designed and built my first enclosure, which was a mammoth task for someone who has never built anything before in there life!!!
I brought you guys a long on that journey and i figured i would do the same with this one!!
Here is the link to my first build if anyone is interested...
https://www.reptileforums.co.uk/foru...enclosure.html

The first thing i set about doing was creating a list of all the things that went wrong/could be improved upon from my first attempt.
1.size
2.waterproofness
3.moveability (trying to move house with the first enclosure was a disaster!! with a whole 2 days needed for just this viv!)
4.Water!

With this very basic list i started teaching myself to use sketch up to create a mock up of my design. i cant show the design i'm afraid as my subscription to sketch up has expired

However with my design in mind i set about ordering the first batch of wood. (little did i know i would be waiting 4 weeks for delivery!)
I also bought i mitre saw, as cutting all the timber by hand last time was not very fun

So with a very long wait looming i decided to make a grouted tree to go in the middle of the viv.
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Old 07-06-2020, 11:21 AM
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First step was to cut the insulation foam to the rough size of the tree i was creating which was about 6ft tall, next i had to glue the sheets together and care a 10cm square out of the middle, this is to sit around the centre post of the new viv design, it will make more sense when the viv is built
Because this was going around a post, it had to be created in 2 halves.



The next task was to round of the edges using a knife to be more like a trunk



And then to add some roots to the front, there was no point adding them to the rear as this wont be visible



Next was the slow and very tedious job of drawing on and carving out the 'bark'
The best was i found to carve the foam was with rolled tubes of sandpaper.
And with a lot of patience and a little help from my other half, the form was complete



Then 4 layers of grout was applied, conveniently in brown!



And a touch of acrylic paint to help define the shadows and the bark pieces a bit better.



Last on the list for this project was to seal it using a varnish, i opted for a low voc floor varnish as this would be harder wearing hopefully. i applied 5 layers in total.



and after a couple of weeks building, the tree was complete

Last edited by realisttt; 07-06-2020 at 11:37 AM.. Reason: new link
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Old 07-06-2020, 11:25 AM
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A few weeks later...
And the structural wood, screws, clamps and the mitre saw had arrived.

And boy was i scared to use this thing!! (also completely underestimated this mess this would make in my flat)



But within minutes i had all of my structural timber cut down to size.
And i then had to try and fashion a workbench in my lounge which was not fun to say the least!!
one glass coffee table and a sheet of plywood later i had a flat space that i could clamp thing to...

Construction then started on a basic wooden frame...



And with the help of my little buddy,


i copied it 4 times to create the final shell of the enclosure.



The viv was built in 4 section so that i can easily be moved as the sections can be taken apart and fit through a doorway, To help with moving if that should ever be required, i added a total of 16 castors to the base of the 4 sections. so it can be wheeled around

Last edited by realisttt; 07-06-2020 at 11:47 AM.. Reason: too soon
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Old 07-06-2020, 12:02 PM
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I the set about getting the plywood exterior ordered and trying to find someone who could cut it to size for me.
Without access to a table saw and having seen the mess the mitre saw made i didn't want to cut it inside...

While that was on order boredom kicked in again, and it was time to upgrade my ball python to a biaoctive set-up finally!! SO off to the shops i went to get a new exo terra and all the necessities...
i think it turned out great!





And of course it wouldn't be complete without indulging in a new Arcadia Jungle Dawn BAR. Which is amazing to say the least!!
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Old 07-06-2020, 12:07 PM
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The next stage was to prime and paint the frame and then to do the all important test of whether or not my custom tree would fit!!



To my amazement.... it did!!

And also, you may have notice that my sofa shrunk in these photos... thats because it did, i had to throw away half of it in order to fit this viv in this room
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Old 07-06-2020, 12:14 PM
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Finally all but 2 sides of the plywood had arrived
Although it did cost a fortune as it was very important that all pieces were only connected to there corresponding box so that at any point they can be disconnected and transported with ease. this meant a total of 9 8x4 sheets were required. and i decided to go with 12mm ply as this is plenty strong with the framed structure.

Getting all of this up to the 8th floor was not fun!!

But eventually i managed to and the framing began... I measured so that an overlap could occur at the top in oder to hide any electronics and the misting system.





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Old 07-06-2020, 12:20 PM
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I then spent the best part of a day, Filling in all of the screw holes with wood filler, to give a seamless furniture style to the outside.

All of the plywood edges also needed to be coved with pollyfilla in order to give a better appearance and an easier time when painting them.

Followed by sanding... a lot of sanding...



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Old 07-06-2020, 12:30 PM
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Next came priming and painting while i waited for my final 2 sides to arrive,

And i severely underestimated the quantity of paint and prime i needed!!

I used a basic wood primer, and an emulsion from wilko's (the only shop in walking distance that was open)
They also had a lot of paint rollers that were very cheap and allowed the laziness within myself to come out meaning instead of washing them up every-time i ended up just buying new ones.





In total it took 2 coats of primer and 4 coats of emulsion both inside and out.
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Old 07-06-2020, 12:38 PM
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Next, it was time for some shelves to add some dimensions and more usable area to the enclosure

A large basking platform was made on the right back quarter with a cutout for the tree




This was positioned 24'' away from the top to allow the optimum distance form the lamps that will be used. which remind me... i need lamps.

So i decided to enact a favourite hobby of mine... reptile shopping.
I knew what i wanted and it was just a matter of finding it, I needed 3 arcadia dome fixtures to be placed on top of the basking platform.

By this point everyone is probably thinking, whats the deal with Arcadia?

Well to be honest nothing, apart from the fact that i have been using there products for years and they have never missed a beat.

More platforms were then created and it was starting to look a little more liveable for My Iguana Joey.
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Old 07-06-2020, 12:43 PM
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Thinking back to my initial mini list of things not to forget, water. i have not thought about water. So once again i head back to my local reptile/ aquatic store to buy a pond. None of the fancy shaped ponds were remotely rigid enough to not be buried so i had to settle for a rectangle one which is suitable to be freestanding.

The pond holds 227litres of water and should be plenty, for what is essentially a toilet

Once this was home and measured, i created a box for it, and cut out a hole using a jigsaw 1'' from the outer dimensions and as if by magic, the guy who had never used a jigsaw before didn't mess it up and it fit!!

I also added some holes in the back panels for ventilation grilles to be attached

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