Making tarantula terrarium from scratch

Hedrus

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 12, 2006
Messages
47
I have been reading all over this and other forums gathering info on making my own custom home for my Ts. I have almost all the info I need but there are still a few questions. Since there was no "husbandry" area on this forum I figured this is the right place to post this thread. If not I am sorry and please just move it to the right place.

Questions:

I have been looking at the thread for tarantula enclosures and think I like the ones people made on there own best. Also, another good thread is "The Naturals" thread in the same area. My questions about making a tank are:

1. People seem to be using some kind of plastic " [ " shaped siding. They use it to slide glass into for the lid. I would love to know hat it is called and where I can get it in the USA. I would have asked "The Natural" but he is not in the USA. I found some options that it could be but I can't find a store that sells the black kind. There is ABS and Styrene... Is there an exact name for that shape that I can search for in Google? Or do any of you know a good site to get it?

2. What is a good silicone to use to stick the glass together?

3. Is silicone used to stick the plastic parts to the glass? If not, what is used?

4. What thickness of glass is best for a typical 12" x 12" x 12" sized tank? Just a general good thickness to work with is what I'm after.

That was the first part of the problem of making my own tank. Here are the rest.

1. Is black/brown/clear silicone toxic to Ts? I was thinking of making a planted tank with the "great stuff" foam and silicone method and had an idea. I really don't like most water dishes I've seen. I thought if I could use the foam to make a natural shaped area for water on the bottom of the tank, then add the silicone and stick some gravel to it that it would look totally natural and hold water no problem since silicone is waterproof. I just want to make sure that nothing harmfull is going to leak out of the silicone into the watter. I can't immagine it is toxic because most if not all tanks are made with it and fish tanks have water always in contact with it but I wanted to ask to make sure.

2. Are there any kinds of silicone that are toxic? Which kinds should I look for and which ones should I avoid? I know the stuff is toxic when you are working with it and plan on wearing gloves.


Lastly here are some links to the threads I was talking about just so people know what I am talking about.

Here is "The Naturals" thread. It is amazing and very informative.

http://www.arachnoboards.com/ab/showthread.php?t=54776

This is a direct link to "The Naturals" image post in his thread that shows the close up " [ " plastic I mentioned.

http://img470.imageshack.us/img470/8267/1yc7.jpg

This is the terrarium pics thread. Another great one for ideas.

http://www.arachnoboards.com/ab/showthread.php?t=48951



Thanks so much for taking the time to read this long post.


Kenzie
 

cheetah13mo

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 10, 2006
Messages
2,153
Wow that's a lot of stuff. OK

First. I can't help with the glass where abouts. Sorry

Second. Use aquarium silicone only. Stictly useing this will insure there isn't going to be any toxins in the tanks you are going to make.

Silicone will be a good adheasive between glass and plastic.

All-Glass Aquarium Silicone Aquarium Sealant -- this is clear silicone

Product Description:
The same strength silicone used to manufacture new aquariums is now available for use at home. Includes twist-on easy nozzle for easy application of long-lasting bond. Permanently flexible and does not crack or shrink. Waterproof seal stops leaks. Non-toxic formula for use on fresh or saltwater aquariums. Sealant cures in five minutes and fully bonds within 24 hours. Caution: Read this important safety information before using the product. Direct contact of uncured silicone sealant irritates eyes and may irritate skin. Overexposure to vapor can irritate eyes, nose, and throat. Avoid eye and skin contact. Use with adequate ventilation. Do not handle contact lenses with sealant on hands. In case of eye contact flush with water immediately for at least 15 minutes and obtain prompt medical attention. In case of skin contact remove from skin with dry cloth or paper towel and flush with water immediately. Sealant releases an acetic acid (vinegar-like odor) while curing. Keep out of the reach of children.

There are toxic silicones out there but if you are going to purchase it at a pet store, you'll be fine. Just read the ingrediants to make sure or stick to the above brand.

Third: Seeing as the tanks are not going to be full of water, you can probably go thinner than you think. I would not go any thinner than 1/8th inch. I would recommend 3/16ths. If you are going to be putting a little weight into these tanks, I would not go any thinner than 1/4 and maybe 5/16ths. It'll depend on what you are going to put in it.

There are my thoughts and I hope others have input so you can get reassurance. Good luck with the build.
 

Cirith Ungol

Ministry of Fluffy Bunnies
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 22, 2004
Messages
3,889
1. Is black/brown/clear silicone toxic to Ts? I was thinking of making a planted tank with the "great stuff" foam and silicone method and had an idea. I really don't like most water dishes I've seen. I thought if I could use the foam to make a natural shaped area for water on the bottom of the tank, then add the silicone and stick some gravel to it that it would look totally natural and hold water no problem since silicone is waterproof. I just want to make sure that nothing harmfull is going to leak out of the silicone into the watter. I can't immagine it is toxic because most if not all tanks are made with it and fish tanks have water always in contact with it but I wanted to ask to make sure.

2. Are there any kinds of silicone that are toxic? Which kinds should I look for and which ones should I avoid? I know the stuff is toxic when you are working with it and plan on wearing gloves.
You might wanna reconsider on the water dish idea. It's always good to be able to remove it from the tank and to give it a good scrub under the faucet. Some T's just love to poop into the water dish or to drop the remains in it and with a naturally moulded, non removable water dish it would almost be impossible to really clean up. Besides, you're first problem is gonna be that your T is gonna love playing with the sand at the beach, thus shoving tons and tons of substrate into the water. A typical dish might not be as appealing, but it beats any other method in practicallity.

Use of silicone: I wouldn't use gloves. If you get it on your hands, fine, wash it off (unless you're alergic to silicone in which case gloves might be a good idea). What you really should be worried about are the vinegar fumes coming from the silicone when it's curing. So good ventilation is a must or you might end up with breathing problems in no time.

Good luck with your project.
 
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