Reptile Forums banner
1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,845 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi peeps,

Ok, this is my next build, it's for my Emerald Swift so first things first, environment, these chaps come from central America and the Caribbean region of the world, they live in the tropics, at high altitudes, and on the edge of forest/jungle. So we want to give a good heat range of between 100f down to 75f, and open and covered areas.

Here's a pic of the sort of thing we want;



But this is what he came in :bash:



For thoses that know me, this wouldn't do!


So for the job I chose a 24"x18"x18" exo terra, this viv started off being built for House Geckos, but it never happened, and as such it was my o/h, Lotte, (seadcantas) who started the build by making the fake rock background, her degree in Geology helped : victory:




So she used space foam to create a "slate" looking rock formation. She then gave it a good coat or two of blue emulsion paint.




And then a light "dry brushing" of light blue. Also note the metal bracket that I siliconed to the back of the viv, this will hold the light later : victory:



After this I took over and applyed 3 coats of yatch varnish, as at this point we knew we weren't getting the geckos, and the viv was going to be for my new Emerald Swift.

Comments welcome

Jay
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,150 Posts
Ooo cool this is going to look lovely when finished :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
425 Posts
cant wait for me to start my project to join all the mad people who are trying to make there animals lifes more relistic :notworthy:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,845 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ooo cool this is going to look lovely when finished :D
Hey Vicky,

Thanks for the vote of confidence : victory:

looking great :) cant wait to see the rest :)
Cheers mate,

Nearly there : victory:

cant wait for me to start my project to join all the mad people who are trying to make there animals lifes more relistic :notworthy:
Mad you say...why you...

:lol2:

I worn you though once you start, it will take over your life!!!

Jay
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,845 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok now for the light heat and uv.

For this I chose to use a mercury vapour bulb, a 100watt Zoo med power sun. To fix it to the viv I siliconed a metal bracket, (the sort you can get from B&Q) to the back of the viv, I then got two lengths of Aluminium (again B&Q) one is a flat peace which I could bend to the shape I wanted, and the other a 90 degrees angle piece to act as a strengthener;



The reason for this system is I can raise and lower the bulb to give more or less heat.

The other mod is to partly cover the mesh top to raise the temps and humidity.



Next time we will put in the plant pots, and plants : victory:

Jay
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,845 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
To hide the pots I used "sticks like sh*t" to stick bits of cork bark to them;



I was going to put 5 of these in the viv, but only used 4 in the end, now normally I would take some pics after putting in the pots, but for the life of me I can't find them, (or I didn't take any???).

So this is the next pic I can find in the sequence, All the plant pots are in, two plants are in, the wood is in, the rocks are in, some of the substrate is in, and Baron Green Back is in!!??? w.t.f??

So, sorry peeps, you will have to "read between the pics", again I used "sticks like.." to glue the pots to the floor, I also screwed and glued the bog wood to a piece of hard board to give it a good base to sit on so it wouldn't fall over.

So here it is;



The next plant to go in was a Ficus, you will also notice the plant at the back has been replaced by a Brom;



The reason for the Ficus leaves on the floor, and the change of plant at the back was due to lack of water, I watered them every day, (I thought I was watering too much) but not enough, so I started watering more, I now have the Ficus back on the road to recovery : victory:

So this is how it looks now, I have topped up the substrate, added some leaf litter, and added another creeping Ficus at the back;






So there it is, a simple planted viv, I will post updates evey month to show how the plants are doing.

: victory:

Jay
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,248 Posts
I have to admit that I was rather dubious about the blue background when you started this J.

It looks superb now it's finished, I should have known better eh?:lol2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,845 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have to admit that I was rather dubious about the blue background when you started this J.

It looks superb now it's finished, I should have known better eh?:lol2:
:lol2:

The colour wasn't my first choice, but it does look very good in real life, and when (if) the Ficus grows, it will cover most of it. : victory:

Jay
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,845 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi peeps,

I thought I would do regular updates of my "planted vivs" so you can get an idea over time, what plants work, and which plants don't.

So this viv was finished in Dec. 09. The only plant still in there from that time is the Cordyline. The two Ficus and the Brom were added about a month ago, and are doing very well, though I nearly lost the Ficus Benjamina due to "under" watering.

This is the viv now, note the creeping Ficus is going mad, I recon the entier back wall will be covered within a year : victory:



Jay
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,248 Posts
The creeper is looking really good. Not sure how I manage it, but I've killed 2 of those in a matter of months:hmm:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,248 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,248 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,201 Posts
nice!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,845 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ok, up date time again!

I have made a couple of changes to this viv, one is to change the light hanger, as I thought it was a crap, and second was to add a tree branch and another corkbark for climbing.

So lets take a look at that light hanger;



Pretty crap :lol2:

So I bought some aluminium, steel angle brackets, a hook, and a bag of bolts;



After some cutting, drilling, and bending, this is what we are left with;



If you take a look at the long up right you can see I've drilled more holes than I need, this is so I can rase the lamp if I need (the lamp will be on a chain, so I can lower it too).

So it was just a case of joining the short arm to the up right useing the angle brackets, bolts, and tube sections (placed inside the alu. u section to stop the bolts from squashing the sides in).

This is how it looks;




The nice thing about useing the u section alu. is you can hide the mains cable inside it;




I will have to replace the top bolts with shorter ones : victory:

I will post the pics of the inside mods tomorrow...With luck.

Jay
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,845 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Right, now for the tree!!

I wanted to to give my chap a "horizontal" platform to sit on, as all he has at the mo. are vertical ones. (Though Sceloporus do like to hang off of walls) So I decided to put in a tree branch to try and imitate a dead tree : victory:

So this is what I found in the local woods;




It was too big to fit straite into the viv (24x18x18 exo terra) so I had to hack it up a bit.

I also had to cut into the background to make it fit.

So this is the background cut up a bit;



So I had to get the paint brushes and paint back out to touch it up again. And this is how it came out, can you see the repair?



It was then just a case of covering the bottom of the tree/branch in loads of sticks like...



And puting it in the viv...





So this is how he used to chill out




And this is him now;




Though I might still put another piece of bark back in next to the tree.

As for the plants, the Ficus are doing very well, they are taking over the viv :mf_dribble:

Jay
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top