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New 20 Gallon Tall Build With Egg Crate (complete)

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:47 pm
by Motörcrab
After seeing aussieJJDudes new tank build post using the egg crate material (lighting diffusers). See link for his build. http://www.hermitcrabassociation.com/ph ... 9&t=118490
I decided to give it a go. Plus I want to move 3 of my rescues from their current 10 G tank. I have one down so I'm not feeling like I need to hurry to get it finished. Now he will probably come up tonight!

I really liked the idea being able to attach everything in place with zip ties. I seem to have no luck using command hooks and suction cups inside my tank so I thought this would be a perfect to try something else. No more crabtastrophes in the middle of the night! No more wheel mishaps or falling moss pits from rowdy crabs!

I picked up the egg crate material at Lowe's in the ceiling tile area. For a 24" X 48" piece it was around $17. Why do they even call it egg crate anyway? It's more than enough for what I want to do as long as I don't have any major screw ups. It cuts easy with a heavy duty pair of industrial pliers. I imagine you could use a good pair of scissors too.

I'm covering the rear and both sides of the tank with big pieces. At the bottom of the tank I am going to use two triangle shape pieces of the egg crate as gussets to keep the pieces from shifting from digging crabs. The second stories above the substrate will do the thing. I believe the substrate will also help hold everything in place.

So far I managed to hang the moss pit and wheel with zip ties. They don't move! I started decorating with fish net and fake plants on the ledge and moss pit. I also used duct tape as temporary markers at the 6" level so I have a general idea where the substrate will eventually end. My plan is to have all the decorations in place before adding the substrate. I'm hoping I can decorate the three main sections outside the tank then secure them together once inside.

So far this is my progress over 2-3 days.
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Re: New 20 Gallon Tall Build With Egg Crate (in process)

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:10 pm
by Hermiesguardian
So how do you attach it to the tank?

Re: New 20 Gallon Tall Build With Egg Crate (in process)

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:30 pm
by ciaraalston
How does it attach to the tank? Or will the weight of the substrate hold it in place?

I think this is the most amazing idea I've ever seen!

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Re: New 20 Gallon Tall Build With Egg Crate (in process)

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:35 pm
by ciaraalston
Also can someone link @aussie's post? I missed it!
Y'all, I've missed SO MUCH on here lately. I'm sorry! I'm trying to catch up!

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Re: New 20 Gallon Tall Build With Egg Crate (in process)

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:45 pm
by Motörcrab
AussieJJDude is using silicone to attach his in place. I'm planning to use the substrate and the different levels to keep everything in place. I cut the back and sides so everything fits pretty tight against the glass. Without having anything zip tied together it seems pretty solid. I think once everything is zip tied together it should stay in place.

OOPS, I meant to link his post in my original post after I was done with posting pics from Taptalk. I added the link to my original post.

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Re: New 20 Gallon Tall Build With Egg Crate (in process)

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 4:18 am
by aussieJJDude
How exciting, it looks rad! Can't wait to see it all filled with the crabs, they will love climbing all over that!

Back in the day, I swear one member on here did an egg crate background and swear by it. I think when photobucket pulled the rug out, we lost the images - so pretty much, the topic was deleted.... But I am glad that my own build inspired you - but I think yours looks way better, not to mention is probably gonna be finished way before I even 'start'...

(For the levels, have you considered zip tying some coconut fibre mats onto it and creating a platform of sorts, you could even go a step further and add a small lip using eggcrate (and hiding it with the fibre mat) to help reduce the crabs from knocking it off!)

Re: New 20 Gallon Tall Build With Egg Crate (in process)

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:57 pm
by Motörcrab
Thanks again for the inspiration! Why am I hearing a 80's Chicago song in my head now? LOL! I have been debating on what to do for the backdrop and platforms. I keep going between coconut fiber and green crafting mesh for the walls then attach fake plants. I always feel crabitats are usually on the drab side because everything is a slightly different shades of brown. Substrate light brown, cholla, light or dark brown, coconut hides dark brown, even fish net is a brownish green. I like to have greens to try and give it a more lively color. I'm sure the crabs could care less what color stuff is as long as they can hide, eat, and poop on everything!

I love doing crafting stuff. I think that's one of the main reasons I like hermit crabs so much. I really enjoy trying to make new things from scratch and being able to tweak what I saw others do to make it my own. Probably why I love Halloween so much too, making costumes, props, prosthetics, and whatever else. Some people get frustrated doing that stuff but it comes to me naturally and enjoy it. I really wish I could quit my job and build crabitats and haunted house stuff full time!

Re: New 20 Gallon Tall Build With Egg Crate (in process)

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:06 am
by Motörcrab
I managed to get a lot accomplished since the original post. This update is titled, "A Butt Ton Of Zip Ties!" I decided to go with a coconut fiber mat attached to the the egg crate. So the crab don't climb between the fiber and crate material I held the fiber in place with a zip tie about about every inch to to 1.5 inches around the entire edge of the back, and two sides of the crate. That took forever and at least 100 small zip ties. I also did a similar approach on the ledges and ramps. I left the coconut fiber a bit longer on the sides of the egg crate so it could wrap around the edges. Once all of the coconut fiber was in place I attached the moss pit, wheel and plants with, you guessed it, more zip ties. To this point I left all of the pieces separate to make them easier to work with.

After everything was complete I put the back in followed by the sides so I could could figure out the heights of the shelves and marked their locations. I pulled all the pieces back out and ran the zip ties through the back and side walls. I started the zip ties through the bottom hole first and out the top holes. That way the locking part of the zip ties would be hidden.

At this point i used larger zip ties attached loosely to the back and side walls to act like a hinge. After a few choice words and a bit of struggling I managed to get the back and sides into place. With the added zip ties everything fit very tight along the three walls. once they were in place I tightened the larger zip ties to hold everything in place.

The last step was attaching the ledges in place through the zip ties I let hang out earlier. I struggled a bit getting these tight since I had to work by feel since I couldn't really see what I was doing since the side and the ledge has the coconut fiber.

Everything fits really tight so I do not think the crabs will be able to pull the egg crate away from the glass, especially once the substrate is added.

I believe this is my most elaborate build so far and hopefully the most crab proof with keeping everything in place. I just hope the crabs don't decide to pick the coconut fiber apart right away. I don't think it will be feasible to do on the spot repairs inside the tank once the crabs are inside. I really like how this turned out so far. The ledge above the wheel and to the side really give them a lot more surface area to to climb.
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Re: New 20 Gallon Tall Build With Egg Crate (in process)

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:27 pm
by Overmountain1


That is amazing- makes me wanna tear into my tank right now- hey wait- I think I have an empty 20 gal.... actually I know I do. It just needs some elbow grease!!! Yay- now I can start going nuts again hahaha


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Re: New 20 Gallon Tall Build With Egg Crate (in process)

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:52 pm
by Motörcrab
When I got home I saw Mr. Krabmeister was up from his just over month long molt. That was perfect timing with finishing the tank decor on the weekend. Tonight I attached the Ultratherm and insulation. Then mixed up an almost full bag of playsand for the substrate. Its a little shallow but since everyone molted since the beginning of the year I figure they will be ok until I get another bag on the weekend.

I put my three guys in about 30 minutes ago. Lemmy, and Crabby Dee already found the upper levels and Phil changed into another shell. So far they all seem to be exploring. Hopefully they like it.

I'll post more pictures once I add more substrate.ImageImageImageImageImageImage

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Re: New 20 Gallon Tall Build With Egg Crate (in process)

Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:58 pm
by LeeHasCrabs
Holy crap how did I miss this post?! This is freaking fantastic!!! So rad!!


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Re: New 20 Gallon Tall Build With Egg Crate (in process)

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:02 am
by Overmountain1
Wow it turned out so awesome! Very creative and has me looking forward to my next iteration. If I was a crab I’d totally wanna live there too. Nice work!


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Re: New 20 Gallon Tall Build With Egg Crate (in process)

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:37 am
by aussieJJDude
Looks like they are enjoying it. I look forward to seeing an update down the track of how it progresses!

Re: New 20 Gallon Tall Build With Egg Crate (in process)

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:46 am
by rocknrolla
Hi love how you used egg crate! It will be my next project when upgrading to 35 gal


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New 20 Gallon Tall Build With Egg Crate (in process)

Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:19 pm
by RiNiKy506
LeeHasCrabs wrote:Holy crap how did I miss this post?! This is freaking fantastic!!! So rad!!


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I was thinking the same thing! I have even been trying to switch between the forum and Tapatalk bc my Tapatalk app is funny at times...

Wow! I really like that idea! I think I may try your idea when I start setting my 55 up. I haven’t had any problems with my two caddies falling bc I have the smaller one zip tied to a cholla wood and then the corner one zip tied to the smaller one, so the cholla wood helps hold the suction cups in place. It is sliding a little from the sand settling but thankfully, I haven’t had any fall. (Yet, now that I said something) I have my wheel on the substrate, I’m really surprised they haven’t knocked it over. Have you used any silicone on the backs of your suction cups? I was going to try silicone on the suction cups when I started setting my tank up. I was wondering how that works, if it is effective. We have some pieces of the light diffuser stuff from our old lights that we are replacing in our new house. Do you think that would be ok to use, or should I just buy new? Your tank looks incredible!!!


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