Build Diary - The Curio Crab-inet

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MauiMama
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Re: Build Diary - The Curio Crab-inet

Post by MauiMama » Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:39 am

TamosClaro wrote: Yep! All of the levels are connected by either Reptivine or cholla branches. I've got someone down there molting right now.
Oops, I was not clear. I meant do you, yourself, have an access door or something to reach in on the lower level?

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TamosClaro
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Re: Build Diary - The Curio Crab-inet

Post by TamosClaro » Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:46 am

MauiMama wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:39 am
Oops, I was not clear. I meant do you, yourself, have an access door or something to reach in on the lower level?

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Oh, haha! I see! Yes! So the door to access the entire crabinet is on the right. To keep the substrate in, I siliconed in a sheet of plexiglass in front of the door. There's about a 3-inch gap between the top of that plexiglass and the lowest shelf, so I can just poke the nozzle of my mister in there. But if I need to really get in there to rearrange things or pick up things that they drop down there, I can lift out that bottom shelf (and any of the other shelves as well) and do what I need to do. Does that get to what you were asking? :]

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TamosClaro
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Re: Build Diary - The Curio Crab-inet

Post by TamosClaro » Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:54 am

Vjsarlo wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:54 am
Would you have any other advice for a project similar to this that you wish you knew/ did before you created yours?
Also are you happy with the results and how it is holding up compared to a regular tank build?
My idea is to take a bookshelf and combine it with a 46 gallon bow front tank so that the substrate can mostly sit in the tank and then the bookshelf has layers for the hermit crabs to climb on. My main concerns are 1. WARPING (as you stated but I think I may line it with pond liner or!? Maybe cut glass and line the inside of the bookshelf with glass and just seal the edges. I`m gonna start doing a lot fo asking on what the best technique will be. I am not familiar with Epoxy so I`ll research it!!!!) 2. LIGHTING, HEATING, HUMIDITY 3. Making the shelves out of another material besides wood. Maybe using the spray foam like great stuff since that seems to work for others? I need to research how strong it becomes once it hardens and then is covered in the cocofiber 4. Cleaning and maintenance
These are great questions! I'm going to ponder a bit on what I wish I knew before I started, and your other questions, and get back to you later today! :]

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MauiMama
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Re: Build Diary - The Curio Crab-inet

Post by MauiMama » Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:16 am

TamosClaro wrote: Oh, haha! I see! Yes! So the door to access the entire crabinet is on the right. To keep the substrate in, I siliconed in a sheet of plexiglass in front of the door. There's about a 3-inch gap between the top of that plexiglass and the lowest shelf, so I can just poke the nozzle of my mister in there. But if I need to really get in there to rearrange things or pick up things that they drop down there, I can lift out that bottom shelf (and any of the other shelves as well) and do what I need to do. Does that get to what you were asking? :]
Yes, that's exactly what I was wondering, thank you! What a great setup!

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TamosClaro
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Re: Build Diary - The Curio Crab-inet

Post by TamosClaro » Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:14 pm

Well, @Vjsarlo I've thought about it all day, and I couldn't really think of anything that I wish I'd known before I started! Like yourself, I really researched and thought through all scenarios, and when something hasn't quite worked out, I always come up with a Plan B to fix or improve it. So far, my build is holding up great and I'm very pleased with how it turned out! I've never done a build using expanding foam, so I can't compare, unfortunately, but the foam builds that people make do look great.

You mentioned using glass to line the inside of the book shelf, but don't discount plexiglass! If you're not familiar with it, it's a durable plastic, lightweight, that you can have cut to size in hardware stores, or cut it at home with a saw or acrylic-cutting tool (the tool costs maybe $5).

Epoxy resin is basically liquid plastic that will become hard and inert once it's cured with time, often 48 hours or so. You just mix up a batch and pour it onto the surface you want to protect (or brush it on if it's a vertical surface). It will create a waterproof seal and is really effective. You could use resin to completely coat wood shelves, or use expanding foam on wood shelves to create a textured side with cocofiber (be sure to also apply a thin layer to all other sides too to seal the wood).

I also looked into using pond liner, but I kept having visions of my crabs destroying it, so I scrapped that idea.

As for maintenance, the shelves make it so easy! You just take a shelf out, dump it over the trash, and brush off anything that's stuck on.

Unfortunately, I don't have any advice in terms of heating for your specific situation. I specifically picked a piece of furniture with glass sides so that I could attach regular heating mats to it. If your bookshelf has a wood back, you could consider cutting a section out and installing a piece of glass to attach a mat to.

One other piece of advice, have rubbing alcohol handy! It'll make cleaning up silicone, resin, and other messes that you might make super easy! Along with that, it's my favorite cleaning solution for use with my pets. It's effective and evaporates completely and doesn't leave behind any harmful chemical residue.

Best of luck!

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Vjsarlo
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Re: Build Diary - The Curio Crab-inet

Post by Vjsarlo » Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:16 pm

TamosClaro wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:14 pm
Well, @Vjsarlo I've thought about it all day, and I couldn't really think of anything that I wish I'd known before I started! Like yourself, I really researched and thought through all scenarios, and when something hasn't quite worked out, I always come up with a Plan B to fix or improve it. So far, my build is holding up great and I'm very pleased with how it turned out! I've never done a build using expanding foam, so I can't compare, unfortunately, but the foam builds that people make do look great.

You mentioned using glass to line the inside of the book shelf, but don't discount plexiglass! If you're not familiar with it, it's a durable plastic, lightweight, that you can have cut to size in hardware stores, or cut it at home with a saw or acrylic-cutting tool (the tool costs maybe $5).

Epoxy resin is basically liquid plastic that will become hard and inert once it's cured with time, often 48 hours or so. You just mix up a batch and pour it onto the surface you want to protect (or brush it on if it's a vertical surface). It will create a waterproof seal and is really effective. You could use resin to completely coat wood shelves, or use expanding foam on wood shelves to create a textured side with cocofiber (be sure to also apply a thin layer to all other sides too to seal the wood).

I also looked into using pond liner, but I kept having visions of my crabs destroying it, so I scrapped that idea.

As for maintenance, the shelves make it so easy! You just take a shelf out, dump it over the trash, and brush off anything that's stuck on.

Unfortunately, I don't have any advice in terms of heating for your specific situation. I specifically picked a piece of furniture with glass sides so that I could attach regular heating mats to it. If your bookshelf has a wood back, you could consider cutting a section out and installing a piece of glass to attach a mat to.

One other piece of advice, have rubbing alcohol handy! It'll make cleaning up silicone, resin, and other messes that you might make super easy! Along with that, it's my favorite cleaning solution for use with my pets. It's effective and evaporates completely and doesn't leave behind any harmful chemical residue.

Best of luck!

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Thank you so much! That was great advice right there and was extremely helpful!

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