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My indoor enclosure design (aluminum, HDPE, glass)

Discussion in 'Tegu Enclosures' started by EnjoysWine, May 16, 2018.

  1. EnjoysWine

    EnjoysWine Member

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    Hi everyone. I've been working on a design for a large indoor enclosure that I'm going to build this year. I'd like to share some details and hopefully get feedback before I start to build it. I've designed it with CAD software and created some nice images with proper light sources. Hopefully the images show up at the bottom.

    It will be built out of clear anodized aluminum for the framing, food grade HDPE (plastic) sheets for the walls and floors, and glass in the front and doors. The aluminum framing will be 30mm T-Slot extrusion from 80/20 Inc.

    Features:
    Burrowing area on the left side for 12" deep substrate.
    Upper level to increase floor space.
    Basking area on the right side.
    Storage space below the right side.
    Four doors on the front (there will be latches along the bottom).
    The glass/doors are up 7" from the bottom.
    The front edge of the upper level is set back 11" from the front glass to avoid clawing on the glass and allow the animal to drop down to the substrate.
    I'll be using a MegaRay 160W for the basking lamp (set at the manufacturer recommended height), and possibly additional smaller lamps if more heat is needed.

    Specs:
    Length 98"
    Depth 43"
    Height on basking side: 35"
    Height of left side above upper level: 16"
    Height of left side below upper level: 30"
    Burrowing area space: 11 sq ft.
    Total floor space: 40 sq ft.

    Thanks for any constructive feedback that you have. The main downside I know of already is that it's not going to be cheap to build!

    enc24d.png enc25.png enc26b.png enc29b.png
  2. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    For an active adult tegu, a depth a few more inces to cover adult size would be ideal. I like how the enclosure is up off the ground. Best of luck with it.
  3. EnjoysWine

    EnjoysWine Member

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    Thanks Walter. I'm trying to maximize the depth of it, while still being able to fit the enclosure in the space I have available. One benefit of the design is that I could always add an extension down the road with just a handful of part replacements.
  4. Zyn

    Zyn Active Member

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    They aren’t much for climbing they’re borrowers. A large amount of surface space would be better I think. I’d worry about falling off ledges, they aren’t the climbers other lizard species are. the ledge seems a little steep as well but it might be the drawing. I just believe open floor space is key. Looks great though for something like a rock iguana of a mangrove monitor.
  5. EnjoysWine

    EnjoysWine Member

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    I agree that the ramp is drawn too steep. I'll do something a bit different when I construct it to make it more natural for the animal to walk up there.

    I was also thinking about blocking off the front edge of the upper level so it's not possible to drop off of it, but I'm not sure if that's necessary. I might also make part of the upper level a large hide or something.
  6. Skeep

    Skeep Active Member

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    Very cool! A couple of things I'd consider:

    * Like others said, the ramp is too steep. But in addition to making it less steep, you could make it climbable like a ladder, or provide a rough surface like artificial turf. For coming down, tegus seem to prefer the classic "falling" method of locomotion! I wouldn't be too worried about them falling a short distance, but if they can slide down the ramp it might be better. Also note that an adult tegu won't go up there anyway unless there's something up there they want (like their water or maybe some blankets or something, or a rough surface to rub against when shedding!)

    * I would make the platform easily removable so you have room to climb in there yourself when needed. Also make sure you can fit in the doors or have some other way to access the back of the enclosure as you may need to regularly get in there to clean up messes or take care of other things.

    * I would put more of the floor lower down so you can have more surface area for substrate. This will make it much easier to keep a good humidity level, and also give you more options for how to put in a water dish.

    * Speaking of water dishes, when your tegu starts flipping it over, the water could flood your hide area. Maybe consider some type of drain down there. You can see how it goes at first and then figure out a solution as needed.
  7. EnjoysWine

    EnjoysWine Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback Skeep!

    Removing the platform would be just two bolts, so that's not too bad. The openings through the doors are 30 inches each (as wide as a normal human doorway) so it should be easy to access the inside. I do like your idea about access through the back. I'll consider adding some kind of easy way to open the back.

    I might make the substrate area wider. That's an easy change to the design.

    As for the water dish, I was thinking of putting a small shallow sink somewhere on the right side so that I could but a drain through the floor and have room to put a bucket underneath. Also the sink would be anchored down so there would be no chance of it getting flipped over.
  8. Skeep

    Skeep Active Member

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    The sink is a good idea. Eventually I'm going to try building a bath out of acrylic (that can't be flipped over) and will be easier for her to get in and out of. And with a heater so she can soak herself without me having to heat up some water!

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