Photo Gallery :: Tank setup completed. (The turtles have landed)

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 5:54 pm   

The covers:
First, measure the inside of the plastic rim on your tank, then allow at least 1/16" play on both width and length. You don't want to have to force them into place, or get stuck when you remove them. They should slide on and off easily.

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This shows how much room I gave myself. I pushed it up and over.

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Here's a piece I'm working on for a 35 gal. tank. I said in another post that this is 1/8", it's actually 1/4". It cost $20

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It's coated with a plastic wrap, don't remove it till your done cutting. It will protect it from scratches.

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Here's the tool I use to cut. It's a dremel multi speed with a #561 multipurpose cutter.

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Here's the business end. Don't get your fingers anywhere near that.....

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Measure the size you want (twice) then, using a straight edge clamped to the piece as a guide, run the cutter at a high speed, but move SLOWLY. If you force the bit to cut faster, it will overheat, melting the acrylic. Take your time, and use a guide for a nice clean edge.....

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The handle I got from Lowes. Cost all of 97 cents. You can't use the hardware that comes with it (too long) so buy some 8/32 x 1/2" pan head screws and #8 flat washers while your there. Probably cost another buck...

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To mount the handle, measure up from the bottom to the place you want it to sit. I think mine are 2 1/8".

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Then measure each end, and adjust until its even. Keep measuring and eyeballing it till it's right.

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Once you have it where you want it, gaff it down with masking tape.

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Then flip it over and mark the spots where you will drill. Remove the handle and drill SLOWLY. Then mount the handle and your done.

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If you did it correctly, the handles should look something like this:

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The wire frame:
Here's what you'll need
1/2" x 3/4 " pine trim
1" x 1/4" lattice pine (for the triangles)
Both will run about 60-70 cents a foot, figure what you need, then get some extra, just in case.
A miter box with a fine tooth saw
Wood clamps
Wood glue

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Again, measure the inside of the tank rim. Only this time, don't allow any play. You're going for a close fit. Then, using the miter box, cut all the pieces for the frame, dry fitting them on the tank as you go. Once you are happy with your layout, glue and clamp the pieces together (one at a time) on a flat surface. Wipe any excess glue with a damp (not wet) cloth or sponge, and let each piece set overnight! (This may take a few days). Handle carefully! It wont be very strong until you put the triangles on.

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To cut the triangles, just cut the lattice pine at a 45 degree angle in the miter box, then reverse it and cut again. Perfect triangle.....

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Then just glue and clamp them to the frame, using a small "c" clamp. Also cut a small piece of wood from the same stock and place it over the triangle before you clamp it, to protect it from the clamp. Don't over tighten.....

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Then after you sand and stain, and put a couple coats of poly on it, cut out a piece of hardware cloth to fit, then using #6 x 3/8" PANHEAD SHEETMETAL screws and flat washers, (not wood screws, see the taper on the one on the right? That's a wood screw. It won't grab and hold the screen) mount the screen, and your done!

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One more note. If the frame sits tight, fine. But if it doesn't, gently loosen the screws (don't take them off) and slide the screen until it overlaps slightly. This will create a "wedge" so when you push down, it will stay put. Also, if you plan on putting a light directly on top of the hardware cloth, I don't recommend using a vinyl coating, it may burn.

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I'm trying to figure out some sort of a latch for this, but so far I've come up empty. I'll let you know if I figure something out. Good luck.
Last edited by grey goose on Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:20 am, edited 4 times in total.
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grey goose
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 9:41 pm   

Awesome! Thanks for the info!! It helps a lot
1.0.0 RES - Leonardo - 4.75"
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Brianthedog18
 
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 10:09 pm   

My pleasure, have fun.... :)
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grey goose
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 4:17 pm   

goose, as I have said before, excellent job with everything! I keep coming back over and over again to look at this amazing tank... I noticed in your other post how you said you should do this for a living, and I am positive people would love it! I love how you narrate everything you are doing with pictures, and how you point out and "note" details that could be overlooked. And whats also great about it, you seem to enjoy it so much, its great to see people that have passion for giving the best care possible for their turts! :) Anyways, I was wondering about the air stone that was hidden in the rocks.. you need an air pump for that? Is that kinda like those bubble strips? I dont have holes drilled in the bottom of my tank.. but I want something that will create bubbles or that waterfall efftect running up your plants... Im not sure how the air pump attaches to the bubble strips/ air stone.. I dont know if I'll be able to run the hose or whatever up the side of the tank instead of feeding it through the bottom.. Is there anyway to take a pic of how the air stone was feed through the bottom / or along the side, or how it was attached to the air pump? I dont want you to take anything apart, but if there is a way to take a quick pic, I would appreciate it. I am kinda confused about how it works, because I've never seen one put together, and I havent seen them in the stores.. also.. I am planning on putting that natural riverbed sand with no added dyes or chemicals that can be easily secreted when or if digested so it doesnt cause impaction.. could I bury that air stone in that sand, or will it get blocked up? Thanks!!!
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Female RES, Karlyn AKA "Moochie" :mrgreen:
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Hoooneylynn
 
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 4:31 pm   

"Here's Gomez (see the little moustache?) checking out the new ramp."

I see it! way cute! :)
¨*:·.-:¦:- Jessica -:¦:-·:*¨
Female RES, Karlyn AKA "Moochie" :mrgreen:
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 5:07 pm   

Thanks for the great compliment! Well, you're in luck! Right now I'm breaking down the entire habitat. Apparently the kids didn't agree with the new water conditioner I used, so now, while they are in an isolation tank, I've got to pull everything apart and completely rinse and clean everything to get rid of any residual stuff....this includes everything from the filters to suction cups to airlines and even veggie clips! My poor back hurts just thinking about it....
I've got to run out tonight, but I'll put something together for you tomorrow...stay tuned. :)
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grey goose
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Post Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:52 am   

That is TOTALLY amazing!! What a heaven!! Lucky turts! Once again, I wish I was more crafty!! or handy.
2 Mutts, Bella and Bocephus
2 RES, Herman and Lily (Munster)
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:32 pm   

kikicool wrote:That is TOTALLY amazing!! What a heaven!! Lucky turts! Once again, I wish I was more crafty!! or handy.


Thanks kiki! I don't think it's all skill.....most, if not all of the things I've fabricated didn't just come to me, nor did I get all of them correctly on the first shot! There was a lot of trial and error, and some experimentation (in a safe manner) along the way. The things that were a success I thought I'd post here in the hope that "like minded" people like me could benefit from it, and maybe form their own designs. The things that were a miserable failure well, I'll never tell..... :wink:
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grey goose
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Post Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:44 pm   

Air pumps, lines, and stones....
Let me preface this part by saying that semi-aquatic turtles in the wild like to hang out in ponds, creeks and slow moving streams. In other words, they like things nice and quiet. The air pump I use was originally bought for Bozo, but he hated it! As soon as I turned it on, he would go into what vets call "repetitive motion anxiety". He would swim up and down against the glass in the same spot. As soon as I turned it off, he would stop. So I stopped using it.
When I got the three babies, I figured I'd try it with them, to see what would happen. I got varying degrees of reaction. Gomez seems to like it (he's such a curious little turtle) Big Daddy seems indifferent, not caring one way or the other. Beaker, on the other hand, at first seems to like it, floating around in the bubbles, but after about 1/2 hour, he starts that repetitive motion stuff. So for now I'm running it twice a day, for 20 minutes. And only when I'm home......


Air stones come in a variety of shapes and sizes. All are relatively cheap. The round one cost about 6 bucks, the long one maybe 4 bucks, and the little one about a buck. Keep in mind the bigger the air stone, the bigger the pump you'll need.

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Here's my setup. Very basic. I use the blue lines as opposed to clear because they are pure silicone, and algae and other "stuff" has trouble sticking to it. The long stone I use behind the pvc pipe, the round one is in a container, covered with rocks. I've looked around for that pump, but can't find it, I think they stopped making it. I paid about 25 bucks for it.

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Here's the layout. Again very basic. The pump is mounted under the tank. The lines are then routed around to the back.

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In back, one line runs straight up and enters the tank with the filter hoses, the other runs down the back, then goes up on the other side.

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Where it enters the tank, I cut the line, and put a connector on the end. this makes it easy to disconnect the air stone for removal.

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Here's where I put the long stone. I tried to wedge it behind the pipe, but it won't stay put....maybe a suction cup on the airline might do it.

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Here's the bubbles from that stone. I took the hanging plant out so you could see it better.

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And here's the bubbles from the container...I pulled the line up to show how I routed it.

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All air stones can be buried, but if it's in sand, don't bury it too deep (too much pressure) or too shallow (may blow the sand around). You may have to play with it to get it right.....
I'd start off with an inexpensive pump and small air stone, just to see if you guy likes it.....or not. Good luck. :)
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grey goose
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 12:26 am   

Thank you so much goose! I really appreciate it, and I cant wait to try it! I am planning on redoing my tank soon, as far as new plants, sand... I am definetely going to try this air stone and I will post picks when I'm done.. probably not for a week or so.. I was confused about how it worked, thats so much for explaining it! :) :) :)!
¨*:·.-:¦:- Jessica -:¦:-·:*¨
Female RES, Karlyn AKA "Moochie" :mrgreen:
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 12:49 am   

The pleasure is all mine. Good luck. :)
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grey goose
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 12:15 pm   

It is a beautiful set-up. But I'm wondering about that shell as well...Is it just the pic, or are the edges of the shell starting to curl upward?
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 12:35 pm   

Yes Gomez's shell is curling. (That pic makes it look worse than it really is). The rear edge is also getting a bit serrated. Beakers shell is slightly curled too. They were both like that since I got them....I think I am overfeeding Gomez a little, I put him in a small separate container on the basking dock to eat his pellets, the other two used to take them from him, I'm probably just over compensating for that, gonna cut him back tho'. It's kind of tough as he is quickly becoming my favorite.......
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grey goose
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 1:06 pm   

If they're getting too much protein, cutting back would be good. Making sure they get enough calcium would be good as well. (Don't mean to change the topic from the original one---it is a lovely set-up. I like how you've taken the time to add the greenery).
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." -Antoine de Saint Exupery-
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 1:10 pm   

goose - did the air pump make a bunch of noise when you turned it on hence driving them nuts What about if you put it on a cloth folded up so it had a buffer between that and the wood...

I'm thinking about getting the super luft air pump http://www.marinedepot.com/aquarium_air ... sp?CartId= either the sl-38 or the sl-65... anyone seen these in use???
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