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Posted by chris_harper2 on April 20, 2003 at 19:58:06:
In Reply to: New Cage Design - Comments? posted by deash on April 20, 2003 at 15:52:23:
Three questions come to mind immediately.
1) What species is this for?
2) Is the heat lamp going to sit on top?
3) Is the door going to hinge off of the substrate dam?
I ask what species this is for primarily to determine how much the cage floor heat is needed. It's not clear to me what material you are using for you cage floor so I don't know how well the flex-watt heat will radiate through the floor.
Also, flourescent lamps inside the cage can be good or bad depending on what species is being housed.
What I'm getting at is that I personally don't like the look of cages with real-wood fronts that have an aluminum heat shroud sitting on top of the cage. I'd build a cage with a false-ceiling to hide/protect lights or keep the flourescent inside the cage and use heat panels along the ceiling.
Another question is why the 28" light fixture? I can't remember what wattage fixture that is, but I do know the reptile or plant specific bulbs often are a lot of money in the unorthodox sizes (i.e. anything other than for 24" or 48" fixtures).
Regardless, if having the flourescent inside of the cage is not a problem for the species in question then I'd not worry about a false-ceiling and stick with heat panels.
On the same note, it's not clear to me how much the door-frame will stick down or if you have any other top lip designed into the cage. If you're using 1x3 for the door, the 2.5" width may not stick down far enough to hide the flourescent light. I also prefer those to be hidden.
Hiding lights comes at the expense of viewing area, but I think it's a worthwhile tradeoff.
As far as the door, I've come to like the simplicity of double sliding doors or simple acrylic doors similar to that of Precisions caging. Framed doors often don't look as good as their original intent.
Genaroleon's cages look like they have framed doors and look very good. If you're comfortable with your skills you might attempt that. Otherwise, sliding or precision-type doors are very easy to build.