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pyronic 12-28-2012 06:49 PM

aquariums and terrariums.
I know that this posting may be one that is listed already not sure.

I have been thinking about making my own terrariums for various animals from spiders to reptiles Possibly also fish ( I know the tanks are called aquariums for fish. )

I'm looking for advice and help on making these things as well as advice on tools and devices that one can get cheap or make at home.

The research that I have done so far as led me to think that the best way to cut sheet glass would be with a diamond wet tile cutter. Any more information will be helpful.

Another thing I have been thinking about as well as considering is would bonsai's be a useful thing inside a terrarium for some thing like an arboreal spider. Any advice with this will also help in making a decision as well accomplishing this possible goal.

Diana 12-28-2012 11:25 PM

In pet stores glass boxes are sold for 2 purposes.
1) to be filled with water
2) NOT to be filled with water.

If you buy an aquarium it is securely made so it can hold the water and not leak. You could use these as terrariums. Look up Riparium, also. This is a half-filled tank, with plenty of 'land' as well as an area of water for fish.

If you buy a glass box sold as a reptile home do not trust it to hold water like an aquarium.
Making your own:
If you have a good source of glass you can probably make your own cheaper than buying them. Use silicone such as GE Silicone I for doors and windows or Dap (not Dap Plus). Another good choice is certain of the RTV types of silicone. Some silicones contain antifungal materials. Do not use these.

Practice cutting glass so you get a very clean, square, straight cut.

There are sites that have minimum glass thickness per size of aquarium. You really need to follow these minimums for aquariums, but can get by with thinner glass for dry habitats.

Small tanks can be made without a rim, but when you are just getting started I would highly recommend a rim for larger tanks.

Research each type of animal you want to keep. Some like climbing a lot and will do better in a taller habitat, with rough walls, perhaps cork, and branches or rocks to climb on. Then they climb out and escape. So make sure you have a very secure lid!
Some (especially fish) utilize horizontal space better, and will be best in longer tanks.
Some land animals need high humidity, so make sure you have a sealed lid to keep in the humid air.

Sake 12-29-2012 03:38 AM


The research that I have done so far as led me to think that the best way to cut sheet glass would be with a diamond wet tile cutter
I wouldn't recommend this at all. Being a tile setter, I work with wet saws all the time. I can tell you that 95% of the time they don't cut square, also it can be very difficult to put a large piece of glass on the table and hold it there to cut it. I think the best way would be with cheap glass cutter, a decent tape measure, a framing square, and a straight edge, depending on sizes of the cuts you want to make.

DogFish 12-29-2012 12:10 PM

I'd suggest dumpster diving for old aquariums. Dis-assemple them and recycle the glass. This will give you free glass to learn on. Unlike wood you can not "trim" small cuts from glass. At 3/8" thick you need to be making at least 2" cuts.

Buy a good quality glass cutter, leather gloves, eye protection and lots of sand paper & emery cloth. Wear eye protection, Glass shards are an excellent way to destroy your eyes.

Don't buy glass until you've made a few tanks. Professionally cut & polished edge glass will cost as much or more than a pre made tank.

pyronic 01-07-2013 04:44 PM

This dose help with what I'm looking in to doing. Granted still curios about the bonsais

Diana 01-09-2013 02:54 AM

Bonsai are plants in containers. Usually growing very slowly.
Often, but not always they are species that can get by with reduced watering, and practically no fertilizer.

Depends on the requirements of the critter, if a plant in Bonsai would work in the habitat. The right species of plant will make a big difference, too.

Most juniper, pine and related plants will be good for a cool, dry habitat.
Maple, elm and most deciduous plants will be OK in a somewhat damper habitat, but may demand a dormant period, with quite cold temperatures.
Most of the plant species that hold their leaves year round are probably going to be better in the warmer or more humid habitats, but I am not sure if these are even used for Bonsai. You might have to make your own.
For the critters that live in the warmest, and driest habitats I do not think most traditional Bonsai plants will do OK in there. I would stick with the Cactus family, or similar succulent plants.

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