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  • Reptibreeze Tank progression

    I don't know if this has ever been done before to this extent, but I can't find anything on it so I guess I'll have to go through trial an error. I've finally worked out all the kinks on how I'm going to pull this off. So we'll see how this works. Figured I'd start it off by giving you guys a list of things I'll be using in case any of you want to give it a go as well.

    So my plan is to make at least a semi-vivarium (meaning part live part fake) in a Reptibreeze 16x16x30. Why a reptibreeze though? Why not just an exoterra 18x18x24? Because... I can do the same thing in a Reptibreeze, and the tank, and all the supplies will cost the same as just the exo terra tank itself. Everything I've bought and ordered has only costed me a little over 110$ (which is the same price for just an exo alone) and that's only because I splurged a bit (bought some nice wood, etc.) So, without further adieu here is my list:

    From pangea:
    Reptibreeze 16x16x30 (the best price I could find, even looking on amazon) for $54.49
    Magnetic feeding ledge, acrylic (a splurge because even though I could just feed Honey Bear on the ground like she is now, I like the ledges) for $15.99

    TOTAL: $75.47 including Pangea's $4.99 flat rate shipping.

    From NEHERP:
    10 qty plant package for $24.99
    2.5 lb bag of Hydroballs (don't have any stores in town that have it @_@ and I looked on pangea and couldn't find it either) for $5.50
    Manzanita Wood (a splurge, don't really need it, but it's on sale and I want it!) $7.49 for the large size, was originally $14.99
    Cork gallon bag (Don't really need this either, but the cork bark being sold at my LPS is $18 a pound... and they have super large pieces.. which is nice but I feel just one or two pieces would get to a pound easily and I felt this was a better deal. Not to mention they had bird feathers, spider webs, and seeds all over them o-o)
    25% off, so I'm getting it for $5.99

    TOTAL: $46.46 including the $2.49 shipping fee.

    So because I splurged a bit, the overall total is 121.93. HOWEVER, if you don't splurge like me you could get just the basics for $79.48 if you already have hydroballs, but I had just used all mine in Honey Bear's tub, and she dug it all up and all over the place so I don't want to use it as the drainage layer anymore so I gotta buy a new bag. So add in the hydroballs and I get $84.98 (not including whatever the shipping would be) So let's just say $95 total without the splurging.

    So I have just essentially bought a tank and everything I need to put in it for CHEAPER THAN AN EXO TERRA TANK. Can you imagine the price if I had bought the exo terra tank instead and THEN the other stuff? Ouch.

    So now we get to the issue of: "Well.. how are you going to turn an ALL SCREEN enclosure into something that can hold substrate AND keep in humidity? The simple answer.............. A clear plastic shower curtain!

    Now because I already had all the supplies I need (like mesh screen to separate the clay balls from the cocohusk which i also still have a whole block of) all I needed was the shower curtain which we all know at walmart is dirt cheap. I chose the plastic shower curtain because its:

    See-through and clear
    and doesn't tear easily.

    This means I can put it up on the walls of the enclosure and still see easily inside, light can still get in, etc, and i can ALSO use it as a 'pouch' to hold the substrate in the enclosure because it won't leak, it won't tear, and if I have to move/replace it I can jut pick the whole thing up and replant. I decided to use clear ductape (yes they make clear ductape :O) to hold the shower curtain on because... its ductape. that shit is like indestructible and it should hold up really well Now of course none of the tape will be dangerous to the gecko because it won't be exposed to her.


    All my supplies should arrive next week sometime when I place the orders in Monday (waiting on some money to go through in paypal) and so I will provide you guys will progression shots.

    Ya'll probably thinking I'm going through more trouble than need be, but I like my geckos in actual enclosures, I don't like the idea of keeping them in tubs because they just lack the vertical height. And instead of spending $300 total JUST FOR EXO TERRA 18x18x24 tanks for my 3 geckos.... I'll be able to get EVERYTHING for $300 total for all three. Of course Honey Bear is the only one getting this upgrade right now because she's 60 grams. she needs the space more than my weeny 20 gram cresties do, and I don't likke her in a full fake setup. It's a pain to clean around the hot-blued mesh top and I just don't like it LOL.

    Also, many may wonder why not just browse craigslist? I don't know how you guys have so much luck with those sites... because my area is complete shit o-o. There is NOTHING worth the money in my area, or even remotely close to me. It's horrible. LOL so if you are like me, with a crappy craigslist area and are forced to buy things new, this might be a good way to go if you like the tank setup and not the tubs.
    Check out my website for helpful info about Crested Geckos, Gargoyle Geckos, Abronia Alligator Lizards, and Brazilian Rainbow Boas
    Sovereign Reptiles

    0.1.0 Gargoyle Gecko || Honey Bear
    1.1.1 Crested Gecko || Malakai, Snapshot, Tiny

  • #2
    Aaaaaalrighty. Everything is ordered but it seems I don't have luck on my side with shipping dates of arrival. My tank is scheduled to arrive this Friday via ups.... I work Friday from 7-3 -shot- so I'm hoping they'll just leave it at the door, but I suppose if I have to go and pick it up its not the end of the world. It's the plants that I'm worried about.

    NEHERP via FedEx has it scheduled to arrive 9/02 (next tuesday) I have no idea if I work that day or not (schedules are only posted one week in advance and next week's schedule won't be posted till Friday at the earliest) So... I'm curious if they'll leave it at the door... or if I have to go pick it up @_@ Thankfully my front door sits in the shade all day long but, I guess you never know haha.

    We'll see though. I'll get picks up Friday after I have the 'base' things put in.
    Check out my website for helpful info about Crested Geckos, Gargoyle Geckos, Abronia Alligator Lizards, and Brazilian Rainbow Boas
    Sovereign Reptiles

    0.1.0 Gargoyle Gecko || Honey Bear
    1.1.1 Crested Gecko || Malakai, Snapshot, Tiny

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    • #3
      I'm not sure if they do this where you live, but i put a signed note on my door when i want to be sure UPS leaves a pkg... And you can usually have FedEx hold a pkg for pickup at the local hub if there is one near you. UPS might do that as well(?)

      Good luck! Look forward to seeing how it works out

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, its just a confusing thing because when dad orders things off amazon, ups just knocks, leaves it at the door, and leaves, no signature required. I don't order things that are shipped via fedex enough to comment on them, but i'm familiar with how UPS seems to do it. I know that unless it's a package that actually requires a signature by the seller they have no issue leaving it on the door. I think I'll do that though, leave a note on the door asking them to leave it there. UPS isn't THAT big of an issue if they hold it at their facility because its right there on the way home but............ I have NO IDEA if we have a FedEx facility near here or if we do no idea where. Google time? lol. I guess we'll find out hmm? :P
        Check out my website for helpful info about Crested Geckos, Gargoyle Geckos, Abronia Alligator Lizards, and Brazilian Rainbow Boas
        Sovereign Reptiles

        0.1.0 Gargoyle Gecko || Honey Bear
        1.1.1 Crested Gecko || Malakai, Snapshot, Tiny

        Comment


        • #5
          Well, I got the screen cage yesterday night at 8pm. Put it together and just finished putting in the bottom 'pouch', as I like to call it, to hold the substrate. Waiting for the silicone to cure a bit before I start twisting the thing around to put on the side sheets.

          Yeah I decided to just use 100% silicone to hold things together instead of tape. I thought surely the duc-tape would work, but it can't stick to the plastic or anything it seems worth a shit. I had 2 tubes of silicone so I used one to really seal up the pouch and i'll use the last one to put on the side panels and touch-up. I'll take a picture later when I get everything on. Won't look like much LOL
          Check out my website for helpful info about Crested Geckos, Gargoyle Geckos, Abronia Alligator Lizards, and Brazilian Rainbow Boas
          Sovereign Reptiles

          0.1.0 Gargoyle Gecko || Honey Bear
          1.1.1 Crested Gecko || Malakai, Snapshot, Tiny

          Comment


          • #6


            The plants arrived today and I was NOT expecting what I saw. They have been in a box... wrapped up since Sunday of last week. I expected them to be dry and more dead stems/leaves... no.... they are practically PERFECT! NEHERP definitely has my 100% recommendation, holy damn.

            Anywho. not sure what type of plants I have yet, I'm looking through the NEHERP site right now to figure out what plants I do have and read of on where they should go, but I think they're all okay to be placed pretty much anywhere. I Think the fern (top left) needs more shade than the others so maybe I'll put it under a log?

            If any of you respond before I post again with an edit of the plant list and know the plants, please let me know the COMMON NAME and whether i should put them more in shade or sun. :P



            EDIT: So the plants from left to right, top to bottom:
            Lemon Button Fern(med-high light, Peperomia caperata(variety of light range, anywhere), 3, 4, 5,
            Rabbit's Foot Fern (med-high light, can be planted epiphytically), Hypoestes phyllostachya(variety of light range, can survive in low light), 8, Strawberry Begonia (low-med light), 10

            Alright so.... the others I have no idea what they are @_@. I KNOW what #5 is, like I've seen it before, but I don't know the name, so if any of you can help me out on the names and the light need, let me know :P
            Check out my website for helpful info about Crested Geckos, Gargoyle Geckos, Abronia Alligator Lizards, and Brazilian Rainbow Boas
            Sovereign Reptiles

            0.1.0 Gargoyle Gecko || Honey Bear
            1.1.1 Crested Gecko || Malakai, Snapshot, Tiny

            Comment


            • #7


              Here's a picture now that it's gotten darker and my phone actually picks up on the light IN the enclosure. It's not done yet, and all the plants are just stuck in the dirt for now because I don't want them to dry out. The moss is in it's permanent home (frog moss from zoomed, comes in those green boxes) unless an issue arises (too much light/not enough light/low moisture) that requires me to move it. I still have another piece of wood (or two) to add in. and For the ferns and 3 other plants I'm going to get cheap little suctioncup shower caddy holder things to plant them in and hang from the sides (or hot glue... ganna try hot glue before hanging) so I can get some upper plants. This enclosure will probably be sitting idle for a month+ to make sure everything is going smoothly before I put in my hunkin' girl. There are possibilities I'll add more plants. I do have a pothos that's growing like a weed that I want to plant up high, but we'll see.

              Yeah, the front screen where I siliconed the plastic on isn't pretty... I don't know what was going on in my head that said "hey lets make wavy lines of silicone instead of a nice, clean, straight line that uses less silicone like I did on the other 3 panels!". Oh well,my first time trying this. I'm learning. It's not pretty but as long as it gets the job done (keeping humidity in) I don't care. I'll know next time. I'll also know next time that silicone... doesn't work worth a crap on plastic. If i'm not careful I can easily just end up peeling the plastic off because the silicone doesn't stick, so I went back to all the edges with hot glue. I love hot glue... oh my god, a MUCH better choice than silicon. Because it slightly melts the plastic (unless you sit there and constantly gloop it on it'll melt all the way thru) it provides a wonderful grip.


              there were a few things I skipped out on in my order from NEHERP. I just got the plant package and the hydroballs, everything else I dropped because for some reason the shipping price sky-rocketed(idk if they had a deal going before and I missed it but it went from $2 something to $13... but both times i put my zip code in right so idk)

              So I still want to eventually put cork flats up the back wall (maaaaaaaybe the sides as well, not sure yet)

              When i have everything set up to grow I'll take more pics with an actual camera (well my vid camera but it takes nice pictures too). I have a bowl in there filled with aquarium pebbles and filled it with water. I want to get some bamboo and stick it in there baaaad LOL, just need to find some at walmart that doesn't look like crap (tiny, torn, looking sickly, bent leaves, etc.) I should have taken a picture of that log (the slanted one in the middle of the enclosure that has the huge clump of moss on it) because its so amazing. $15 at petsmart back when i lived in MT but SO WORTH it because its hollow inside and makes an awesome hide. hoping the moss will grow into it real nicely.

              Yes that's paper towel wrapped around some parts of the moss to better help keep it nice and moist. I read on NEHERP that when first starting up a viv you should keep things really nice and moist, especially for the moss, so that's what I'm doing. :P Yes, it's in front of my window, no don't worry. I have shades AND A CURTAIN that I closed during the day when Honey's tub sat there and never had any heat issues. We good, we good. I only have it open right now to give the higher light demanding plants I have at the bottom some more light during the day.

              I'm currently just using an exo terra 13watt natural light bulb.... I'm... not sure if it will be enough to reach all the way to the ground, should I bump it up to the 23watt bulb they have? Or would that even make much of a difference?
              Check out my website for helpful info about Crested Geckos, Gargoyle Geckos, Abronia Alligator Lizards, and Brazilian Rainbow Boas
              Sovereign Reptiles

              0.1.0 Gargoyle Gecko || Honey Bear
              1.1.1 Crested Gecko || Malakai, Snapshot, Tiny

              Comment


              • #8
                Got 2 26w exo terra 'natural light' bulbs, so we'll see how this goes. I got some cork flats for the background and some spag. moss to use as a moisture holder for the frog moss... I've been told by Mike at NEHERP that frog moss is a pain in the BUTT to get started and growing so I'm not expecting too much here, but here's to hoping because I love the look of this moss ;-;.

                Sticks I found outside that are hardwood, and have already been treated awhile ago are in there. I still need to plant 90% of the plants I ordered from NEHERP because most of them I wanted off the ground (since most of them ended being vining/trailing plants) so I need to do that still but here's what it looks like so far, and it holds humidity pretty good so far. I also ordered some springtails that should get here sometime next week to help deal with gecko poop/mold/decomposing plant matter since I have noticed some mold growth where I've been having to keep the moss really moist, not surprised.



                Some close-ups:


                I have 2 bamboos in the pebbles and one in the dirt. The dracaena is in there as well as... sort of an experiment. Awhile ago, before I moved, I had one of them that I just couldn't fit in my gecko tanks at the time, so I propped it up in my fish tank under the T5 light I had for about 2 months with no ill effects. If anything, it seemed to like it better than being in a tank where the leaves would occasionally wilt/yellow (though im assuming it may be from lack of light even though it got light from a 13w natural light bulb by exoterra, and of course got water) But it seemed livelier than ever in that water and there was no root problems either. So I'm ganna try and see how it does in water/pebbles.



                This is my favorite log that I've ever found. It's hollow inside all the way through (I tried to prop it up enough so that the bottom was exit-able/enter-able as well and there is a slit up one side as well, so neat. Wow my phone makes that moss look bad LOL (its a bit greener than that)



                PS: Btw i did ask mike for IDs of my plants and he gave me all but 1:
                From left to right, top to bottom:
                1= Lemon Button Fern (med light) [hang]
                2= Peperomia caperata(variety of light range, anywhere) [hang]
                3= ? [plant]
                4= Hemigraphis alternata/Red Flame Ivy (med light) [hang]
                5= Neanthe Bella Palm (variety, best in med-high light) [plant]
                6= Rabbit's Foot Fern (med-high light, can be planted epiphytically) [epi.]
                7= Hypoestes phyllostachya/Polka Dot Plant (variety of light range, can survive in low light) [plant]
                8= Asparagus setaceus/Asparagus Fern (med Light) [plant]
                9= Strawberry Begonia (med light) [hang]
                10= Pteris ensiformis/Sword Brake Fern (low-med light, prefers shade) [plant]


                I think that #3 might be a Abelia? I'm really unsure, Mike said it could be a Coffea arabica but to me it just doesn't look right, the leaves between the Coffea and #3... they're too pronounced (with the veins), but then again it is a 'baby' plant, but still. I saw one in walmart the other day that looked EXACTLY like it only a little bigger and fuller and the tag said "Abelia" so i think that's what it might be.
                A close-up:
                Check out my website for helpful info about Crested Geckos, Gargoyle Geckos, Abronia Alligator Lizards, and Brazilian Rainbow Boas
                Sovereign Reptiles

                0.1.0 Gargoyle Gecko || Honey Bear
                1.1.1 Crested Gecko || Malakai, Snapshot, Tiny

                Comment


                • #9


                  we'll see what happens over the course of this month. Hoping I don't have to move too many plants around, but we'll see. My phone sucks at picking up proper lighting, the bottom is a bit brighter than that.
                  Check out my website for helpful info about Crested Geckos, Gargoyle Geckos, Abronia Alligator Lizards, and Brazilian Rainbow Boas
                  Sovereign Reptiles

                  0.1.0 Gargoyle Gecko || Honey Bear
                  1.1.1 Crested Gecko || Malakai, Snapshot, Tiny

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for all the info Looking really nice!

                    If the shower curtain gives you any trouble, i wonder if some sheets of acetate/transparency could be used. I used to get sheets of it when i was screen printing t-shirts... You could also use large portfolio page protectors from somewhere like Hobby Lobby probably... Looks like what you have is working well, but just a thought =)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yeah I think for the next one I'll use a different type of plastic. The shower curtain doesn't stick at all to the silicone (though i'd imagine anything slippery like that with no grip wouldn't stick well with silicone), so I had to use hot glue (and I have one of those tiny ones that take tiny sticks so it takes a LOT of glue) I'll certainly be experimenting with different kinds of plastic next time. That or just invest in a larger hot glue gun :P which I wouldn't mind. Hot glue is like the liquid form of duc-tape. LOL
                      Check out my website for helpful info about Crested Geckos, Gargoyle Geckos, Abronia Alligator Lizards, and Brazilian Rainbow Boas
                      Sovereign Reptiles

                      0.1.0 Gargoyle Gecko || Honey Bear
                      1.1.1 Crested Gecko || Malakai, Snapshot, Tiny

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Dunno if this might be a help to you?

                        http://www.firedupgeckos.com/do-it-y...a-screen-cage/

                        I hope it helps!
                        Fired Up Geckos


                        I'm making a lot of wildlife and reptile art here!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Oo very nice link thank you. I tried googling for people turning screen cages into humidity holding tanks but nothing ever came up that had good info. This is a brilliant idea.
                          Check out my website for helpful info about Crested Geckos, Gargoyle Geckos, Abronia Alligator Lizards, and Brazilian Rainbow Boas
                          Sovereign Reptiles

                          0.1.0 Gargoyle Gecko || Honey Bear
                          1.1.1 Crested Gecko || Malakai, Snapshot, Tiny

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks! It does make a huge difference too
                            Fired Up Geckos


                            I'm making a lot of wildlife and reptile art here!

                            Comment


                            • #15
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                              -slaps the finished product here- I dumped the springtail culture in last night and decided to let honey bear roam around in there for the night. Woke up to no fallen plants or destruction but she was constantly trying to smoosh herself into the tiny crevice at the top on the tank between the screen and cork flats. Way too small for her to fit her chubs but she was relentless. I tried moving her once and she just went back to do it again so I let her be figuring she'll realize soon enough.

                              She was sleeping on a branch when I left.
                              Check out my website for helpful info about Crested Geckos, Gargoyle Geckos, Abronia Alligator Lizards, and Brazilian Rainbow Boas
                              Sovereign Reptiles

                              0.1.0 Gargoyle Gecko || Honey Bear
                              1.1.1 Crested Gecko || Malakai, Snapshot, Tiny

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