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Thread: NEW DESIGN: 10 gallon vertical vivariums

  1. #1
    swords's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Cernunnos Woods

    NEW DESIGN: 10 gallon vertical vivariums

    It's been a productive day today

    I was working on a plan for how to design the 10 gallon tanks I got during the $1 a gallon sale at Petco. I wanted them all to have the same look so I did them all at the same time and took pics so you can do this too if you want. These have a sliding glass track but only uses a single pane in the outer track.

    10 gallon tank
    5" x 9.75" glass (soil dam)
    1" x 9.75" glass (top brace)
    12" x 10.25" glass (door)
    sanding block
    Amazing Goop glue
    1/8" sliding glass track profiles Outwater Plastics (choose product #180 in black white or brown)
    glass cutter & T square (Lowes will cut glass to size if you are not sure how to cut glass easy to do once you learn but it's a PITA to learn!)
    Rubbing alcohol & towels to clean glass before gluing and removing excess silicone and marker marks
    sharpie marker
    utility knife.

    not shown: Masking tape, T square and aluminum mosquito screen.

    GOOP brand glue is a silicone type glue which will bond glass and plastic and dries glass clear, stinks to high heaven though compared to normal silicone so best to do everything outside or with fans and a window open. As with silicone let your project air out outdoors for a week and rinse it out after that week before putting anything in it.

    STEP 1:

    Sand the tank lip with the sanding block to rough the surface up a little. Glue in the 5" soil barrier for the base of your tank

    STEP 2:

    Glue the top glass brace in. My finger is pointing at the lower edge position of 2 1/2" (between this point and the outer edge of the tank lip) there is a 1" gap between the top of the tank and this glass brace. The open gap is where the ventilation strip will go later.

    STEP 3:

    Cut the sliding glass track rails to size 9.75", make it a tight fit par it down with a utility knife if you need to better too big at first than too small and have to cut another rail. Put a dab of Goop in each corner and wedge the tracks in and smooth out the excess goop that comes out of the placement.

    STEP 4

    Now put a strip of masking tape about 1/8" - 1/4" away from the sliding track on the glass of the top brace and bottom soil dam

    STEP 5:

    Run a bead of Goop along the joins of the glass and sliding tracks. Use your finger to press and smooth the glue into the join. Let sit a few minutes.

    STEP 6:

    Now peel the tape off before the glue sets permanently and you'll see you have a nice perfect glue line just like on TV!

    STEP 7:

    Cut the aluminum screen to 9.75" x 2" check the placement of the gap and cut the screen so there is only a 1/4" overlap from the ventilation gap. screen should be 1 1/2" wide but check width before you cut just incase so you don't have to cut another piece and get it perfectly flat.

    STEP 8:

    Run a bead of silicone on the tank lip first and then install the screen flush against the tank lip, pushing the screen down into the silicone and work the silicone back and forth to create a "sealed" edge to the screen.

    STEP 9:

    Now as before take the masking tape and tape the glass, this time put the tape right against but not over the screen. Then run a bead of silicone over top the loose taped edge of the screen and work the silicone down into the screen and against the glass as before.

    STEP 10:

    Peel off the tape, slide the front glass pane in the tracks and you're done!

    If you plan your glass sizes and do them all at once they should all look like the same "series" as these. These six tanks cos me about $100 for all. Took a couple hours total to assemble, I took lots of breaks to go indoors it was hot out. Glue the ventilation screens in with silicone because if it ever needs to be replaced silicone comes off but Goop doesn't.

    I hope you enjoyed this little project, I had fun!

    I'm looking forward to doing this same type of conversion on four 20 gallon high tanks that I have stacked up out in the garage this weekend. Some might say I need professional help!

  2. #2
    jimmy uphwiz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    ease of blueridge VIRGINIA
    On my last terr. I did a three door front and let the front track hang over enough to let the front pane slip past the front of the terrarium on either side, there is a short door on the left and right on the inside track, then a larger one on the front track that stays to the middle, this works very well for the longer terrariums ,as its easy to get at any point just by moving one door, ill add a pic here if you like swords. Can you add a pic so we can see how your door opens on these cool vivariums? And nice job by the way.
    very soon grasshopper you"ll find yourself in one of your own enclosures , looking out at all the critters and plants, They will be taking care of you, and all will be right with the world

  3. #3
    stretch.... yawn... jbradt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    upstate NY
    Awesome tutorial. Thanks, Swords!
    Indeed. Most indeededly. Phillip J. Frye

    My growlist.

  4. #4
    I hate bugs. Carnivorous plants get me. jpappy789's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    very cool! What's going in them?

  5. #5
    swords's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Cernunnos Woods

    The sliding track sits down in the black plastic lip of the tank, this gives me just enough room for the front groove of the sliding track to be clear of the tank lip to fit a single pane slid in from either side or dropped in like a normal sliding track. Of course if you do a single pane you don't want anything too big. The 20 gallon tanks I will try converting this weekend will have a front pane of about 16" x 12 1/4" Probably don't wanna go too much bigger than this on a single pane as it can make replacing it heavy and awkward. But for small & mid sized tanks it's nice to have the unobstructed "bay window" view!

    What's going in them?
    That's the mystery one never knows!

    But for now they will just be landscaped and planted.

  6. #6
    Nepenthes101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Those look awesome. You did a great job on those.

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