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Posted by oldherper on May 01, 2003 at 08:15:44:
In Reply to: Cage building question!! posted by Cbred-tails on April 21, 2003 at 08:01:32:
The top part (the cage enclosure) is made of 5/8" Oak cabinet grade plywood. The outside has a polyurethane finish, the inside of the enclosure received 3 coats of polyurethane, then all joints were sealed with Silicone, then the entire interior was coated with 3 coats of polyester fiberglass resin for waterproofing. The viewing window is plexiglass. The dimensions are 24"w x 24" deep x 36" high.
The bottom cabinet contains controls for the automatic sprinkling system, thermostats for temperature control with timers for night-drop, and light timers for photoperiod. The lighting is a 24" flourescent fixture with Gro-light bulbs (for the plants), an incandescent Gro-light fixture for supplemental heat and supplemental daylight-spectrum light. Main heat source is a ceramic heat emitter fixture.
The sprinker system was built using lawn sprinkler system components and I tied it into my home water supply using materials intended for connecting refrigerator ice makers. The sprinkler head is a piece of 1/2" sch, 40 PVC capped off on both ends with 1/32" holes drilled at 1/2", intervals alternating from one side to the other the length of the bottom of the pipe. The water drains through the substrate into a 5-gallon bucket in the lower cabinet via a bathroom sink drain in the bottom of the cage.
Total cost to build was around $450.00, including controls.
As you can see from the picture, one of my Chondros developed a habit of hanging around on the sprinker at the top of the cage. She was really annoyed every time the sprinkler turned on, but she still stayed there. I've since fixed that problem by "fencing off" the sprinkler pipe with 1/4" hardware cloth.