Exo-terra Nano conversion: from arboreal to terrestrial **pic heavy**

edgeofthefreak

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Part One: Setup
Pros or cons aside, Exo-terra is a popular choice for invert keepers. I have an issue with their lack of terrestrial style homes, as well as their use of cheap screen for the lid. The following is my conversion, where I tip a Nano on its back. This makes for an enclosure that opens from the top, and can be filled to the top with substrate (if you so desire).

Using an Exo-terra Nano (8"x8"x12") that I bought at an expo for $36, and some pre-cut acrylic (many guides online for how to cut acrylic) NTtL - 001-crop.jpg

NTtL - 003-crop.jpg

NTtL - 004-crop.jpg

NTtL - 005-crop.jpg

NTtL - 008-crop.jpg
 

edgeofthefreak

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Part Two: Putting It Together

NTtL - 007-crop.jpg

NTtL - 012-crop.jpg

NTtL - 013-crop.jpg

This is currently housing my 3.5" Brachypelma albopilosum, and would do just fine for anything kept as dry as she is. There's even a line of ventilation at the 'top' of the enclosure, right near the lid. If need be, the 'lid' (now the side) can be removed for easy cleaning. I popped a few rubber feet, attached to the glass, for support.
 

pyro fiend

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nice! iv typically seen it done in the small [12's] and once in a xl [like they sell for beardies] but looks good. only thing i myself would change is a little more sub but sence its for a 3.4 albo i think its nice unless he is a digger :p.

going to cut off/rip the "feet" of the enclosure? or leave as is?
 

fyic

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very kool idea and nice looking conversation.......but wouldn't it have been easier and cheaper to just use a 2.5gal tank with acrylic lid?

again it does look good
 

edgeofthefreak

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nice! iv typically seen it done in the small [12's] and once in a xl [like they sell for beardies] but looks good. only thing i myself would change is a little more sub but sence its for a 3.4 albo i think its nice unless he is a digger :p.

going to cut off/rip the "feet" of the enclosure? or leave as is?
Gonna leave it. It gives it an industrial look. :) I'm sometimes worried about the amount of substrate I have as well. The height is just about 2x DLS of the current occupant. But she rarely digs, and doesn't seem to climb.

very kool idea and nice looking conversation.......but wouldn't it have been easier and cheaper to just use a 2.5gal tank with acrylic lid?

again it does look good
I'm working on a 5gal build, but I keep having a tough time getting my OCD to decide on parts. I have yet to buy online vents or hasps, so when I buy terrarium parts, they're usually really expensive. It's the tradeoff for being able to buy, and use the parts, in the same hour.

Nice conversion..thanks!
Thanks back!

This build is really only cheap if you can find the Exo-terra Nano on sale.
 

viper69

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Often times the cost of shipping makes parts equal or more expensive than locally obtained parts
 

edgeofthefreak

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Often times the cost of shipping makes parts equal or more expensive than locally obtained parts
Agreed. I think I just need to break down and buy some stuff. Acrylic hasps and hinges are things that just simply do not exist in my physical plane.
 
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shebeen

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I would have just used a piece of acrylic the same size as the original lid and glued small shims on it to engage the tank latches. This way, you don't have to modify anything and you have the screen lid for future use.
 

edgeofthefreak

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I would have just used a piece of acrylic the same size as the original lid and glued small shims on it to engage the tank latches. This way, you don't have to modify anything and you have the screen lid for future use.
To be honest, that isn't a bad way to go either. I liked the little latches that the lid already has, and didn't figure I was going to repurpose the screen for anything.
 

fyic

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edgeofthefreak I'm working on a 5gal build, but I keep having a tough time getting my OCD to decide on parts. I have yet to buy online vents or hasps, so when I buy terrarium parts, they're usually really expensive. It's the tradeoff for being able to buy, and use the parts, in the same hour
OH I hear you on the OCD part hahaha.....I don't always use vents either....some times just like the drill air holes look

Again I think what you did does look good.....I was just asking
 

edgeofthefreak

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OH I hear you on the OCD part hahaha.....I don't always use vents either....some times just like the drill air holes look

Again I think what you did does look good.....I was just asking
I like questions! This is certainly up for critique... there's a handful of small things I'd change even now. And I fill-flop between the look of vents vs the look of drilled holes. Once I get a drill press, I can have much nicer drill holes to look at! (one of the things my OCD lets slip by)
 

viper69

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Yeah I don't like screen vents as much as holes- cleaner look
 

edgeofthefreak

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Yeah I don't like screen vents as much as holes- cleaner look
I have an acrylic enclosure with a very thin wall thickness. Bought some tabbed vents from the plumbing department that are too small for standard acrylic and they look kinda nice. They even cover some of the scratches made when rounding out the holes. BUT they cover a decent portion of the lid...

Saw some nice drill presses for about $100 - anybody had luck with cheapy "sub-par" power tools? :D
 

viper69

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Saw some nice drill presses for about $100 - anybody had luck with cheapy "sub-par" power tools? :D
I've used my power drill, it works. However sometimes the holes arent exactly straight on at times, they are slanted. I don't have space for a drill press.
 

edgeofthefreak

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UPDATE: It's been well over a year (20 months?) in this box, and she's doing just awesome.

Overhead view:
Showing the approximate layout from the top
19-002.jpg

Lid view:
Showing inside of burrow, vent holes etc
19-003.jpg

Lid view, close up:
Looks as though the hide may collapse in, but it is much more stable than it looks. Actually fortified by webbing from the entrance, and more than 3/4 of the hide is still touching substrate.
19-004.jpg

Side view:
Fairly dirty in there, but she recently molted and made the whole tank into a molting mat. Cleaned that [strike]waterdish[/strike] toilet yesterday, but she apparently needed it already today.
19-001.jpg

Last measurement, she was only about 4.5", so may have a bit more growing to do. This looks to be her forever home, and she seems as content as a spider can be in here.
 

smiittyy

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Pictures in this thread helped alot, the only change i made was to only remove the piping, and the screen(plastic frame left intact). Dimensions of the
acrylic are 6 3/16" x 6 11/16,you can tell from the pictures that there are still no exits,gaps,etc. And in stead of silicone i just hot glued the corners, the
piece of acrylic is a snug fit to begin with and with the glue it isnt going anywhere. This cage will remain upright. I already had an acrylic cutter so the total cost was$39.

$30 exxo
$9 acrylic(could be found cheaper i believe)
free shipping with amazon prime.



DSCF0149.jpg DSCF0147.jpg DSCF0151.jpg
 
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edgeofthefreak

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Pictures in this thread helped alot, the only change i made was to only remove the piping, and the screen(plastic frame left intact). Dimensions of the
acrylic are 6 3/16" x 6 11/16,you can tell from the pictures that there are still no exits,gaps,etc. And in stead of silicone i just hot glued the corners, the
piece of acrylic is a snug fit to begin and with glue it is going anywhere. This cage will remain upright. I already had an acrylic cutter so the total cost was$39.

$30 exxo
$9 acrylic(could be found cheaper i believe)
free shipping with amazon prime.
Very nice!
I can see you didn't over do your vents holes. My first acrylic insert had holes large enough for adult crickets to climb out.

I've often thought the extra step of trimming the little inside ledge was optional. I've only made two of these mods, and both at the same time. If I skip that step when making my next ones, I'll be sure to add that in as an update.
 
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