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Enclosure layout

Discussion in 'Tegu Enclosures' started by VenusAndSaturn, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. VenusAndSaturn

    VenusAndSaturn Member

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    So once my room is redone and "Reptile proofed" we're ordering a 8x3x3 animal plastics enclosure with a substrate lip of around 12". The substrate lip doesn't cost money to raise from what they've told me so if needed I can make it higher, though I'll then have to make the enclosure height higher as well so she still has a bit of space above her from the bottom to the ceiling.

    I'll be purchasing a florescent fixture as an add on so I can put a UVB tube light in it.
    I'm a bit stumped for this part, as I am unsure what bulb to use. I still need to ask if the fixture will be a T8 or a T5 fixture.
    If it is a T5 fixture would a Reptisun T5 HO 10.0 be fine, or would it be better to go for a Arcadia T5 HO 12% or 14% bulb?
    I don't want to give her too much uvb that it'll possibly do damage to her, but I want her to have a gradient of UVB as well as a temperature gradient to offer more options.

    I'll have at least one megaray MVB over the basking spot surrounded by multiple other heat lamps to get temperatures stable all year round. There will be a 20"x12" square screen hole on probably one side to place these lights as I dont feel comfortable placing them inside the enclosure. She has a tendency to jump at random objects when she wants out.

    Locks are definitely a must so that will also be one of our add ons.
    Depending on my parents decision we may end up getting 8 cage casters so we can move it around easier.

    In total with the adds on it'll cost around $1,182. With only the tube add on it'll cost around $1,102.

    I also am thinking about possibly making a water feature that can fit snugly inside the enclosure.
    This should help with humidity, shedding and it'll look pretty cool as well as give her a nice water source to drink from and bath in if she wants to.
    I'm thinking of possibly making the base out of Plexiglas, siliconing it to stop water from leaking, adding a water fall type of filter to it and then decorating it to make it look more natural in a sense.
    I'm hoping that there may be a hole for wiring so i can get the cords for this water feature through it. If not I'll probably figure out something, or possibly ask them before hand.
    Any thoughts on the water feature idea?
  2. beardeddragon111

    beardeddragon111 Active Member

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    I remember seeing somebody build a water feature in their enclosure a while back. It was a 10x4x4 build though. You can find it if you look back far enough. Personally, I wouldn't do it because my tegu is high enough on maintenance as it is but I don't see why you couldn't if you work at it. Your best bet is probably a large tub to be honest. They can be removed and cleaned and don't require any enclosure modifications. Any way you do this, you're gonna need a drain, you won't want to be emptying that by hand lol.

    Just remember before you do it, the water feature will add enormously to weight and maintenance. Youll probably be cleaning dirt out of it every bloody day. If I did it, id want a larger enclosure, but I'm sure it can be done with what you have.
  3. VenusAndSaturn

    VenusAndSaturn Member

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    Yeah thats one of things I was concerned with, but I think I can figure out something to keep the dirt away from the water somewhat.
    Probably a lot of large rocks, seems to be working currently with her water bowl. I have it on top of two rocks next to a few others to keep her from somewhat getting a lot of substrate in it.

    I have around 3-4 large Plexiglas sheets, I believe they are 4x1x1. I was going to use them for my beardies if I made melamine or plywood stack-able 4x2x2 enclosures but ended up not doing it sadly and instead bought 75 gallons for each of them.

    I'd honestly love to get an enclosure thats larger like that however it wouldn't even fit in my room... which is my only option for permanent housing.
    I do plan to give her a daytime summer enclosure outside though as our temperature and humidity in the summer is pretty good and I'm sure she'd love the space and the natural lighting.
    Most likely going to use a dog run of sorts.
  4. beardeddragon111

    beardeddragon111 Active Member

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    Sounds good. What I might be doing is buying a chain link dog kennel, probably 10x10, and covering the bottom with welded wire. Than I can just hibernate him in a smaller enclosure, he won't even need anything huge indoors, just something for bad weather and the winter.

    As for the water feature I still think you should find a way to drain it.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk
  5. VenusAndSaturn

    VenusAndSaturn Member

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    Yeah I'll probably have to figure it out somehow. And if not luckily I dont mind too much maintenance.
    I may try and add a handle to the sides of it so I can lift it up easily to an extent.
  6. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    I strongly lean towards Bearded's balance of aesthetics and practicality. The feature sounds nice and can be successful, but the pay-off seems too little weighed against cost of effort etc.
  7. VenusAndSaturn

    VenusAndSaturn Member

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    I guess we'll just have to see what happens once we get the enclosure and set it up.

    Also I was looking around for some hides and found Exo-Terra's XX-Large hide. The dimensions say 13.25"L x 11.5"W x 6.5"H.
    I can't find too many videos on it but it seems pretty large.

    Theres also another hide called the Exo-Terra tortoise cave from what I found it is around 16"L x 11"W x 7.5"H.

    Of course I could build my own or something but I quite like the look of the two hides and wanted your guy's opinions on them, if they could work out for Oreo when she's full grown or not.

    https://www.joshsfrogs.com/exo-terra-tortoise-cave.html

    https://www.joshsfrogs.com/exo-terra-reptile-cave-xx-large-new-style.html
  8. beardeddragon111

    beardeddragon111 Active Member

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    I have one of the xxl's and my adult male won't fit into it anymore. He could squeeze himself into it for a long time, but it started to get pretty tight. Now I just use a sheet of plywood for him to dig under.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk
  9. VenusAndSaturn

    VenusAndSaturn Member

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    Ah okay good to know, I'll probably build a hide of sorts for her then.
    Either that or if I did get one I'd probably make it an "entrance" for a larger hide that would be buried into the substrate on one end in the back.
    That is as long as she can fit through the entrance of it.

    And if she out grows it or can't fit inside of the entrance once grown then I do have quite a few other reptiles who wouldn't mind having a nice new hide and possible basking platform.
  10. Zyn

    Zyn Active Member

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    It's weird but Sev would rather burrow under his humid hide then use the other hides in his enclosure lol. Like beard said I may just take the other hide out and leave something flat in there for him to burrow under. I don't really care what it looks like as long as he's happy lol.
  11. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    That shows how options are a good thing.
  12. AlphaAlpha

    AlphaAlpha Active Member

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    I'm also thinking of making a water feature of some sort and think your ideas are decent .....I personally wouldn't go with a drain, I would buy a pump to extract the water and mop up any last bits.... Weight is a massive factor and my main concern.
  13. VenusAndSaturn

    VenusAndSaturn Member

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    After some planning and thinking, we somewhat have a good plan for an enclosure. My mom decided it would be a lot better to just build one since then we could customize it easily later on and it would be just how we want it. And I'm pretty happy with the ideas we have, although I still need to think on some things just so it's perfect.

    It'll be an 8x4x4 wooden enclosure, with front opening doors most likely (we're still thinking on this part). There will be a 24x24 screen top on the warm end for the heat lamps, on the cool side, a UVB 46" tube light and a 22" LED bulb will be hanging from the ceiling. There will be about a foot of substrate, most likely this will be a bioactive setup, I'll be putting some ferns and large hostas into the enclosure. The ferns will be surrounded by rocks to protect their roots... however, the hostas should be fine. As far as water features go there will be a 3x3 kiddie pool in there with a filter. This is the size we currently have but I'm hoping to find one that is a tad smaller so it doesn't take up so much space. I doubt I'll do a waterfall but we'll see what happens.

    There will also be a removable background. Most likely I'll be using two 4x2 plexiglass as the base of the background, then adding expanding foam on top of that, shaping it, putting a dark gray tinted drylock over the rocks, and then most likely silicone over the rest and then putting a coco fiber, moss, soil and sand mix over it. I don't think I'll be adding plants to the background but I might.
    As far as keeping it in place that is still being worked out, but I'm thinking either nuts and bolts, a latch system or a long line of velcro.


    Once everything is done being worked out, we'll go and get all the supplies and hopefully put it together without too much trouble.

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  14. EnjoysWine

    EnjoysWine Member

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    I'm currently in the process of building an enclosure as well, but I have a few comments on yours. From the images, the water feature looks very large compared to the available floor space. I'd also be worried about the water feature constantly getting substrate in it, but I assume you will build it up higher so it is above the substrate? In your drawing, it doesn't look like there is a foot of substrate. How high is that bottom lip of the enclosure?

    You also mentioned possibly attaching the background with velcro. I think anything attached with Velcro would be torn down by the Tegu.
  15. VenusAndSaturn

    VenusAndSaturn Member

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    It doesn't look like it but on the program, it does measure about a foot high for the substrate lip.
    These are mainly just rough models and the final product will be much better, I'm hoping to be able to look around tomorrow or the day after for a much smaller pool. As far as avoiding substrate in it I doubt I'll be able to. However, I'm hoping the filter keeps it at least somewhat clean and I'll most likely put rocks around it to help out some.
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  16. Gary

    Gary Member

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    The trick I’ve found for avoiding substrate in big enclosure baths is to make sure the walls of the pool come up above the substrate a good ways. You then put a very gradual ramp on the outside to enter, and a big ol’ rock at the end of the ramp INSIDE the bath/pool. This makes it really easy for your reptile to get in and out, with less substrate, and it takes less water to fill! Also, baths work better on the edge of an enclosure rather than in the center. Less traffic means cleaner water. Your lizard will know where to find it when it wants to go for a swim. Hope this helps.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
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