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Thread: Terrarium cover material

  1. #1

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    Unhappy

    What material would be best to use for covering up a terrarium?

    Plexiglas or just plain glass?
    Two factors Iím not sure about:

    1) Which one reduces light strength the least? (Because the lights are above the cover)
    2) Which material is best isolated. (Which one can keep cooling(/heat) inside the best?)

    Thanks. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]
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    chloroplast's Avatar
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    Light and Heat: For all practical purposes, glass and plastic (acrylic or plexiglass) covers of equivalent thickness and cleanliness transmit equal amount of light, and are similarly opaque to heat. More important for heat retention are a tight cover fit and the presence of humidity (water vapor "stores" heat and is the most abundant greenhouse gas).

    Durability: The one big drawback with plastic is that it is much more easily warped by the weight of the lights and by the heat they emit. This is from personal experience with fishtanks!

    Advice: If you are using a standard aquarium for a terrarium (as I have done) your best bet is to get pre-made glass covers from a local petstore ($10-30 depending on size). If you're making your own terrarium, I would recommed glass if you want to keep the cover forever, but you could use thicker plexiglass and just replace it when it warps too much. Hope this helps.
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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    The clearer the cover, the more photosynthesis will take place. The thinner the cover the more photosynthesis takes place.

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    I've got a magic window! elgecko's Avatar
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    I'd go with glass. Over time a plexiglas cover will droop.


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    Unhappy

    I'm planning on building a terrarium as well, I plan to place the lights on the inside. Since the cover will be over the lights and will have some support in the center, plexiglass would be best right?
    No light issues, and should not be any warping issues.
    Thanks,
    Chris
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    In my experience, plexiglass warps without additional heat. I've had a single-pane plexiglass cover for a 10 gallon aquarium warp in just a few weeks.

    Plexiglass really warps too easily to make a good cover.
    Newnan (Atlanta), GA
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    Plexiglas may warp, but it won't shatter into a million tiny fragments either..... [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_l_32.gif[/img]

    Cheers,

    Joe

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    True, but I think extra-careful handling in worth the advantage of no warping. If built with a hinged portion, the cover shouldn't have to be removed that frequently. For my 55 gallon, I just use the two-pane covers sold for use with aquariums.
    Newnan (Atlanta), GA
    - what do you do when your bog is full? you build another. and another. and another. then you buy some pots. and some more. and some more. and some more. then you wonder how much it would cost to rework the hydrology in your yard to place your house on an island. -

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