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DIY Arboreal enclosure prototype

Discussion in 'Vivariums and Terrariums' started by Thekla, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. Thekla

    Thekla Arachnobaron Active Member

    Hi guys,

    sometime in the near future I plan to get myself an Avic sling (possibly A. avicularia or metallica), and I was thinking about a neat enclosure. As there aren't any nice enclosures here in Germany (at least in my opinion ;)), I thought I'd come up with something myself.

    I definitely wanted something made of plexiglas or such, not made of glass ( I don't like these glass terrariums with a trap door opening for example). So, I did some measuring and ordered plexiglas sheets and acrylic glue online and went to work.

    And this is the result:

    20180101_212034.jpg 20180101_212046.jpg

    It's far from perfect (it's a prototype, remember? :p), the plexiglas is too thick, very difficult to handle and to drill into, and it still needs a latch/lock of some sort, but...

    ... in general, would you say this design could work? Is there enough ventilation? Or too much?
    This one measures 10x10x20 cm, the lower part in the front (for the substrate) is 5 cm high.
    Of course there'll be a water dish, cork bark/cork tube and lots of fake plants. But I wanted to wait for what you guys think, before I start with the interior decoration. ;)

    Any input is very much appreciated! :)
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  2. viper69

    viper69 ArachnoGod Old Timer

    Guten abend!!

    That looks fine. Thicker is better on larger containers, acrylic can warp over time. That will work. Get a metallica because their even more docile, prettier I think and they are larger. I loved mine.
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  3. Thekla

    Thekla Arachnobaron Active Member

    More like... guten Morgen! ;)

    Thanks! Glad to hear I'm on the right track. And I doubt this will warp any time soon... it's 5 mm thick. :p
    Do you think a container this size (it's still pretty small, I suppose) could do with 2-3 mm (just a thought for future projects)?
    I'll keep in mind that - when it's time for a bigger enclosure - I'm gonna stick with 5mm.

    And yes, I'm leaning towards a metallica, love the look! :woot:
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  4. Red Eunice

    Red Eunice Arachnolord

    Congrats. Nice looking build!
    Thought this was going to be a "mod job" thread. Great to see scratch build projects. Drilling the vent holes is the most tedious task, for me, on builds. Practice makes perfect!
    I build all my arboreal enclosures, 3 sizes, for uniformity and weight. Thinnest acrylic used is .080", thickest. 220" most are .160". The acrylic thickness is determined by the size of the enclosure I'm building. I prefer side hinged doors and use brass decorative hinges and latches. Plastic 2 part epoxy is used as the bonder. Some of my builds.
    Awaiting occupants.jpg
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  5. Thekla

    Thekla Arachnobaron Active Member

    Oh, they're looking very neat! :woot:

    Oh yes, drilling holes is a pain in the neck, especially with 5 mm thick acrylic sheets. So, I won't need 5 mm with little enclosures? By the way, how big are your enclosures?

    And I love the side hingd doors! :) I might borrow the idea for future projects, if that's okay.

    I used Acrifix 192 for glueing the pieces, smells kinda bad in the beginning, but that goes away rather quickly. ;)
  6. Thekla

    Thekla Arachnobaron Active Member

    Well, I think I'm done with the interior decoration. :)

    cork tube = check
    fake plants = check
    water dish = check
    about 1 1/2" substrate (mix of peat soil and coco fiber) = check

    20180106_104551.jpg 20180106_104043.jpg 20180106_104023.jpg

    The substrate is still slightly damp, but until anyone's moving it, it'll have dried up for sure. ;)
    Oh, and coincidentially I had one of those brass latches laying around. So, that problem has been addressed, too.

    Did I forget anything (except the spider, of course :p)?
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  7. Coiled Colt

    Coiled Colt Arachnopeon

    Dont suppose you want to build be one do you? :angelic:
    Desperate for 2 eclosures 6x6x12 (WxLxH) for some preying mantis for my other half.
    And can I find any? Not a bloody chance. :joyful:
  8. Thekla

    Thekla Arachnobaron Active Member

    I thought it would be easier in the UK to find nice acrylic enclosures. What about those arboreal cages? https://www.bugzuk.com/non-livestock/cages/
    They cost basically the same as my self-made one.

    On the other hand, it's really not that difficult to build your own enclosure. ;)
    Order some acrylic sheets in the right size (e.g. here: https://www.sheetplastics.co.uk/products/acrylic-sheet/clear-acrylic-sheet), drill ventilation holes, glue them together, add some hinges and a lock and you're done. :D
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
  9. Coiled Colt

    Coiled Colt Arachnopeon

    I've been browsing bugzuk and spidershop for the last week or two for a GBB and Orchid mantis, how have i not spotted these sooner.
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  10. Red Eunice

    Red Eunice Arachnolord

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  11. nouseforadave

    nouseforadave Arachnopeon

    Guys these look great :) coming from a fish background these should be easy enough to build. I was thinking acrylic hinges and fastenings. I like the uniform look so if anyone knows any links (UK) to the fastenings as i can't find anything :( unless i do a proper scratch build ha. out of interest as a new to T's, if you had them next to each other with black acrylic so they can't see each other would they be able to smell the other one? As i don't wanna stress them out unnecessarily. Thank you :)
  12. WolfSoon

    WolfSoon Arachnosquire

    Here’s my first from-scratch project. It turned out better than expected. :p It has a hinged door on the back of the top too for two access points. I rehoused an A. metallica into it recently.


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  13. Thekla

    Thekla Arachnobaron Active Member

    That looks fantastic! :D

    May I ask what kind of glue you use? It looks so clean. ;)
  14. WolfSoon

    WolfSoon Arachnosquire

    Thanks! Your design is really nice too. It seems like that door could become a useful ramp during rehousing. :p

    I used acrylic cement, which is a little different from glue. I’d never used it before and it was interesting. I don’t think you have this store in Germany but here’s a link with a description. ;)

  15. Nightshady

    Nightshady Dislike Harvester Arachnosupporter

    Looks great!!
  16. WolfSoon

    WolfSoon Arachnosquire

    Thanks dude! I appreciate it since your enclosures always look nice. :D
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  17. Thekla

    Thekla Arachnobaron Active Member

    I was afraid you might say that. ;) I already found this, but it's simply not available in Germany, and noone would ship it. :confused:
    But thanks anyway, and keep up the great work! :D

    And yes, I hope the ramp will come in handy someday. :D
  18. WolfSoon

    WolfSoon Arachnosquire

    Ah, I guess it must be because it’s toxic/volatile? There are all sorts of warnings on the bottle. :yuck: Anyhow, bummer that it’s not available there. Your enclosure looks very clean in the photos to me though. :)

    You too! :shame:
  19. Thekla

    Thekla Arachnobaron Active Member

    Don't be fooled. There're a lot of smears. :p My acrylic glue is quite good, but its texture is awful... it's too liquid to handle it without dripping sometimes, but still too viscous to use it with a syringe. :rolleyes:
    But I guess it'll have to do. ;)
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  20. MrTwister

    MrTwister Arachnosquire

    What are you using to cut the panels to size? And what type of drill bit to prevent it cracking?