Not completely happy with it, but as I threw it together from a bunch of scrap steel and plexi I had in my shop, I suppose I can't complain to much.
Lighting is 1 uvb 5.0 4' flor. repti (not sun.. but its what they had) bulb, and 2 10.0 repti sun bulbs. Not happy with it, but its better than nothing. Theres also 3 full spectrum bulbs... not as much for UV, but so I can see in there and the plants are happy. I'm afraid the bulbs I have for spike are too hot for plexi glass. I'll upgrade as the paycheck allows.
heating is an undertank pad, covering about 1/3 of the bottom, and there is a heating pad on the top to make sure its warmer up there. Current range (its nighttime) 74 by the little cave and 96 up top I need to rig some sort of safe inside basking light. Temps taken by the fancy heat gun from work
The plants are live, and the same ones I grow outside to feed spike, Collards and something else. I have a dozen of them, so I can change them out as needed due to grazing/smell or whatever. They are not his main food source, just something to play in and/or nibble on.
There are vent holes, and a fan rigged to come on every other hour... I can change that as needed for heat/humidity
Other ideas welcomed. The room he is in rarely gets much below 80 and the humidity sits about 70% no matter how many fans I have going (fish tanks and I live the pacific NW)
Oh yea, size is 21"deep, 36" wide and 50" tall not including the stand
My other intention is some sort of green backround... I hate the pink walls my ex left me.
Wow...for someting you "threw" together that's pretty darn good. For your lighting, i think thats the main most important issue. I believe you mentioned that the lights are too hot for the plexi, so I take this to mean that they are above a piece of plexi glass and the light shines through it? If this is the case, any UVB which is being sent is being filtered a bit. Juan has a nice high basking spot where he can absorb UV rays but with that plexi he won't likely be getting as much as he needs. I'm with Darkluvr on the Mega Ray, they are amazing. I imagine you have spent a fair bit of money on the bulbs you currently have so rather than having to pay the same amount again for bulbs that need replacing in 6 months, you can spend the same amount on bulb that pumps awesome amounts of UVB and will last longer. At any rate, if you can cut out a hole for the lights to be passed through the plexi using metal screen to hold them up (basically the stuff that people use for concrete structure...its a metal mesh you can find in most hardware stores) That way the humidity doesn't escape too much and the heat and UV gets to Juan. For heat, I would go with incandescent bulbs (any regular household bulbs), they produce great heat but without paying for a heat bulb or heat emitter. The size is great (for now as you well know), he seems to have a nice bit to run around in and climb. I rather like it. One question though. Is that door in the front the only way in or out? I could forsee many an issue when cleaning day approaches or if he wants to hide out at the very top so an arm doesnt reach. Either way...Nicely built!
I'm a millwright/welder by trade, and I find metal to be easier to work with than wood. Having a welder in ones garage helps. I also have the curse of picking up anything that might be useful... hence the fact I have a 1000 sq ft shop I can barely walk in, let alone park a car.
Juan seems to be doing well... I see him eating, and see the results of it coming out, so that seems to be good, He's also fast as heck, so I'm assuming he's doing pretty well. I can put my hand on the branch he's sitting on with nothing but a flare, but he has no interest in contact. I think I would worry more at this stage if he let me though. I have held him a couple times, and he does relax, but for now I've been letting him mellow out.
The plexi at the top is drilled with about 100 3/8" holes. not screen but it was a nice piece I had kicking around the shop with that had a crack most of the way through it I figured it was better than screening, so I assume that the UV is getting through well. The main bulbs are in the metal housings sitting over the 4' tube fixtures. theres also 1 uvb bulb in one of those fixtures. Juans 'high spots' are 6" or 10" from the bulbs depending on the side of the tank he chooses.
As for access, in addition to the little door, the whole front opens up so theres no area I can't access easily. though I have already discovered he can run up my arm and launch himself in seconds if I do have it open. A 10" iguana can be a pain to catch in a very messy living room with a 1/2 dozen large tanks around. I still don't know how he got in to the turtle tank...
I don't have a current water bowl in there. but I do mist the plants daily. Other than pooping, I've never seen an iguana use one. the humidity hasn't been under 90%, I've actually added some more venting to bring it down a bit.
As for a basking light, I have been going back and forth. There is a 15 degree spread in that cage now. 80 ish at the bottom, I assume warmer in the cave, but haven't put the infra red gun in there yet) and as if this evening, his top branch is sitting at 98 without a specific basking light, so I am thinking that I can get away with it for now.
The plans for a long term home are already in works and he will have the fancy bulbs then, I'm pretty sure what he has at the moment is ok. One of these days I need to find a deal on one of those meters..Spike has 2 of them, and the difference within a week sold me long ago.... the main problem I am having is that it involves moving a 300 gallon cichid tank. I don't know if any of you have ever tried to move a tank like that, but the last time it was almost 10 hours straight with 2 people... and that was just to switch walls. That was 8 years ago... I'm really not in a hurry to do it again.
As for driftwood, I live a 1/4 mile from a river, and am in logging country and its pretty much thought of as firewood out here, If your not afraid of shipping costs, I'll hunt pieces for the price of the beer I drink while running my dogs.. I'm down there 3 times a week at least...
Last Edit: Jul 13, 2008 4:36:29 GMT -8 by khaosinc
Even with the holes drilled, the plexi is still filtering out most of the UVB. I useh 1 x 1/2 welded wire. Fluorescent tubes aren't that strong anyway. And when you build the next one put it on wheels. THATS the smartest thing I ever did!