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Making a Vivarium - 4' x 3' x 2' (1st Aug 05)
Stage 1. Get wood.
This viv is made out of 15mm melamine chipboard, and needs the following sizes cut (most DIY stores will cut wood for you).
(a) 3 sheets of 1200 x 610mm
(b) 2 sheets of 900 x 610mm
(c) 2 sheets of 300 x 300mm
(d) 2 sheets of 1200 x 200mm
(e) 1 sheets of 1200 x 100mm
The front windows are 4mm clear styrene sheet. They are roughly 555mm x 900mm and sanded down to run smoothly.
The window channel is some U shaped stuff I found at a Focus DIY store. W channel would be better though.

Stage 2.
Take a piece (a) and a piece (b) and fix together to form the first corner. Drill pilot holes and screw in so that (b) is fixed onto the side of (ba) use several screws along length for strength.

Stage 3.
Take another (a) and (b) and make into a rectangle. Make sure the (a) pieces are inside the (b) pieces. overall size should now be 1230mm x 900mm x 610mm.
At this stage it is also useful for storing your fiance :)

Stage 4.
Turn unit upright (900mm tall) and insert third (a) piece in to place and screw into place. This forms the lower back of the tank and should inside what has already been put together.

Stage 5.
Turn unit upside down and screw the lower back into place from the underside of the unit.

Stage 6.
Take one piece (d) and fix it at the top rear of the tank above the current back panel - this will leave a vent area of about 60mm the full length of the tank.
Take the two (c) pieces make a corner out of them. This is then measured up fitted into the top left hand corner. The Mercury Vapour bulb for UV B and Heat will be fitted inside this - it works as a shield so your lizard can't jump onto the bulb from the side, but should have enough space to be able to move the bulb up and down to allow for seasonal variations in weather.

Stage 7.
Take a (d) piece and fix at the bottom front of the tank, and the (e) piece and fix into the front top of the tank. This gives the viewing area. (picture shows origonal design were bottom and top pieces were both 100mm - this was changed to 100mm and 200mm when I couldn't find a suitable pieces for the windows.

Stage 8.
Using a jigsaw cut out one edge to allow the windows to slide in and out easily.



Stage 9.
Apply Melamine edging strip to exposed edges - this is normally iron on strip that you then trim to fit width wise once fixed on.

Stage 10.
Take window channel and cut to length and nail onto the top and bottom of the front of the viv. (be careful of where screws might be - use shorter nails if needed near the edges so you don't hit the screws which hold it all together.



Stage 11.
Slide styrene windows into position!
The bottom of the tank is lined with (upside down so the grippy side faces up) vinyl lino for ease of cleaning.

Stage 12. Left to do
I still have to find someway of covering up the vent holes, install lighting (will have a MVB for UV B and Basking heat, plus a flourescent strip light to light the rest of the tank.)
Shelves and ladders also need to be installed to give the dragon something to climb on, and a basking shelf will be put in once the MVB has been purchased so the height can be gauged.
A heating mat will be fixed to the side wall of the tank to guard of very cold weather - but will be thermostatically controlled to only come on if it gets very cold - most heating should be provided by the MVB.
Fans will also be built into the vents in the top right hand corner of the tank to provide extra air circulation on hot days. Standard 12v 80mm computer fans will be used for this and wired into a 12v transformer.
Plus we need Puff to grow up a bit before he moves in!