fish tank to reptile enclosure conversion (lots of photos)

Discussion in 'DIY Zone' started by dtasrt_lk, Mar 19, 2011.

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  1. dtasrt_lk

    dtasrt_lk New Member

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    First of all I am new to the herp hobby so please go easy on me, I don't know everything. I recently got my first python and chose to turn an empty marine fish tank into a display enclosure. Ive taken photos throughout steps of modifications I made to get the set up to where I wanted it to be.

    Ive done a bit of reading on here and I would like criticism on some of the things I chose to do, namely it being a fish tank and second, the substrate. I really wanted desert sand for the natural look (and because I have a bredli) and to be honest none of the other options are very natural.. anyway there is little open coverage and my python spends most of its time on obstacles and the spots I provided. Now as I said before, I chose a fish tank because this is for display, but is the reason people dont like to use them due to the occupant may get stressed with movement etc outside the glass? I think I found a solution to that with this tank and so far it seems to work well.


    The main thing I liked about this tank is that it had an open air filtration system and with all the filters and stuff removed provided a perfect hiding chamber for the snake, so it can get away from the main enclosure.

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    (below: left hole is now plugged, entrance is the middle hole). Just to note, I thoroughly cleaned the lid pieces after these photos.

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    There are two entrances to the filterbox shown by the arrows. And for now this is the basic idea I had for the set up:

    [​IMG]

    Added a backboard, which I had to modify a little bit to fit the tank:

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    Fake plants were added:

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    And the substrate and some rocks:

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    The vine didnt look right obviously so I fixed that, strengthening the main entrance to the upper chamber

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    For ventilation I made this piece out of clear PVC for the holes of the light unit (the lid for the aquarium is in two parts):

    [​IMG]

    The simplest thing I could think of to secure this piece was nuts and bolts and it works perfectly. Also I had overshot my budget so no money left for fancy mechanisms haha

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    The ventilation piece slides back with just a bit of line there to pull it back.

    [​IMG]

    This photo shows the two-piece lid with the hide (filter box) on the left and the light unit on the right. I cut another piece of PVC to fill the gap between the two units so they sit securely. The blutack was replaced by superglue:

    [​IMG]

    To lock the filterbox lid I just used these things I had lying around. They are used for keychains. You push down on the slender bit and it unlocks it so you can open the lid:

    [​IMG]

    Filled the chamber with Carefresh:

    [​IMG]

    So here is the final product:

    Added the waterbowl. There is another hide in the left corner. The snake doensn't use it very often because it has the superior filterbox but it likes to curl up on top of the flat rock above the hide. There is another flat rock behind the log in the right corner so really the only substrate space that is what you see in the front. Mainly it likes to hang around on the log and vines though. The best thing about this is that it likes to do its poos on the carefresh :D. Spends most of its time there and the box provides me easy access to my snake so all in all this set up works perfectly for me.

    [​IMG]

    and the occupant

    [​IMG]

    To anyone who bothered to read all this thanks! and I appreciate any comments and suggestions. Also any questions welcome because I didnt cover every aspect of the set up.
     
  2. mike83

    mike83 Well-Known Member

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    Well done looks amazing I really like it.
     
  3. snakes123

    snakes123 Very Well-Known Member

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    Haha i read a bit. Good work :) I just wanted to say i love your bredli

    Ben
     
  4. KaotikJezta

    KaotikJezta Very Well-Known Member

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    Looks amazing, well done.
     
  5. Laghairt

    Laghairt Suspended Banned

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    Good job mate, looks great and I'm sure the bredli loves it.
     
  6. bigfella77

    bigfella77 Well-Known Member

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    Good effort mate! looks very cool indeed.
     
  7. pythoncrazy

    pythoncrazy Active Member

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    looks gr8 you really did a fine job, you thought of everything.
     
  8. Leeloofluff

    Leeloofluff Well-Known Member

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    Awesome!! That is an amazing tank, Well DOne! And NICE bredli!
     
  9. lace90

    lace90 Active Member

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    Wow it works out amazing for you. Good job with persevering with it! How big is the holes to get up to the filter box? Sorry I couldn't really see that pic... do you find that the carefresh falls into the main tank? Does the filter box get any warmer than the tank due to its close proximity to the light source?
    But it looks amazing, I live busy tanks with lots included. And I agree, beautiful bredli!!
     
  10. dtasrt_lk

    dtasrt_lk New Member

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    thanks very much!

    thanks, its probably best shown by the first two photos. The holes are big enough for now. It gets in and out with ease with a full stomach but I will have to cut the left side a bit bigger in the future. The carefresh doesnt get through, its a deep enough chamber :).

    The aquarium has 2 lights and I turn the left one on. It does heat up the left half of the chamber slightly but I live in N QLD and my room is anything from 28-33 C at day and drops only 1-2 C at night (avg is 30C all time), with the light on the chamber is 30-32C and a few less in the main display. It likes to sit on the left side by the light whether the light is on or not.
     
  11. Just_Plain_Nuts

    Just_Plain_Nuts Very Well-Known Member

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    looks good, how do you go with cleaning seeing as its so deep with top opening. I love it when people go for the looks rather than easy and practical bare melamine. Great Bredli, is that one of Solar's ?
     
  12. Grogshla

    Grogshla Very Well-Known Member

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    looks incredible
     
  13. harley0402

    harley0402 Guest

    nice job mate, i love your bredli :)
     
  14. 1stprincess

    1stprincess Not so new Member

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    great job, you have done your research.. dont worry about the criticism, take it with a grain of salt. everyone has their own ideas on snakes, enclosures, breeding, handeling,feeding etc.. its like having a human baby really, everyone will put in their own opinion, but at the end of the day, you do what works for you and your snake..enjoy that beautiful Bredli..
     
  15. Grogshla

    Grogshla Very Well-Known Member

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    gosh i cant get over how gorgeous that snake is
     
  16. syeph8

    syeph8 Very Well-Known Member

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    I dont know what area you live in, but the main reason for not using aquariums as snake enclosures is that glass doesnt hold ambient heat very well and will end up costing you in the long run. (might also explain the reason for spending so much time in the hide near the lights)

    with the sand, just make sure he/she doesnt eat too much of it with her food. also for a sand-like substrate, i use (i think its ozpet) brown odour eating kitty litter and chuck it in the food processor. turns it into a fine powder that is basically cardboard powder and i have had no problems and i have a few animals on this and often some of it gets ingested with food. i find this substrate looks very much like sand.

    your encosure looks very good by the way.
     
  17. richoman_3

    richoman_3 Very Well-Known Member

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    amazing heinrich !!!!
     
  18. JAS101

    JAS101 Very Well-Known Member

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    looks great , but what a waste of a good fish tank .
     
  19. Moreliavridis

    Moreliavridis Well-Known Member

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    Looks good mate! love that bredli too. What are the dimensions of the fish tank? cause the bredli may out grow that tank.
     
  20. ashisnothereman

    ashisnothereman Well-Known Member

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    it looks great! i dont think your snake will have a problem with external stresses, plenty of hiding spots and foliage. i have bredli's and always wanted to keep them on sand but i find it seems to stain them the color of the sand so they require a bath to keep them clean and good for display. also found this with beardies which was annoying as they love to dig, etc.

    ive been using kritters krumble in my tanks recently and it seems to do a great job and looks natural enough. could try mixing it in with some sand? this would also allow the substrate to absorb droppings better, better smell, etc.

    anyway good work, and love the innovative idea of the filter hide. he will love it :)
     
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