240ish gallon crabitat build

Good friends in a pinch! Forums Chewin’ the Choya 240ish gallon crabitat build

This topic contains 10 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Stacy 8 months ago.

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  • #7707

    brandon.dailey
    Participant

    So I’m 3 months into owning crabs. I honestly can’t stand the small amount of space my crabs have to live in. not to mention how drab and boring it is to look at, and its kinda ghetto. So I’m a 3rd generation finish carpenter, I’m a shade tree mechanic, a 4×4 enthusiast, and i love a new project! So with some research and some input from the crab community i’m going to build something the crabs love to live in and doesn’t look like an eyesore. I’ve never been active on a forum before, so please bear with me while i figure out how to post pics and comments.

    I will post some pics of my current setup as soon as I figure out how. Then I will post pics of where i’m at with the new build, what my plans are, and hopefully the community can help fill in the gaps.

    #7708

    brandon.dailey
    Participant

    Here is my current set up. Substrate is eco earth/playsand and is 4.5″ at deep end. I have a large fresh water and saltwater pool with air stones. temp is around 80 degrees during the day cycle and 75 during the night cycle. humidity fluctuates between 70% and 90%, but generally around 80%.

    This setup is lacking substrate depth, climbing area, hidey holes, air flow, temperature variations, and proper lighting. The goal of this build is to make a more “natural” environment, to increase activity and overall health of the occupants.

    If you see any other inadequacies, please feel free to point them out.

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    #7710

    brandon.dailey
    Participant

    On to the plan.

    I’m building a 6′ tall, 4′ wide, and 2′ deep unit. out of alder plywood. The bottom 2 feet will have a storage cabinet to hide all the crab supplies. the top 4 feet will be the crabitat.

    The bottom of the crabitat will be 1.5″ thick to support the weight of the 10″ of substrate.

    I’m using spray foam to create the hiding spots, and climbing surface. I will also use the spray foam to attach corkbark and a few pots for plants. I will then seal all the surfaces with clear flex seal liquid and press eco earth into that.

    I have a 36″ full spectrum LED light, which should create plenty of light for the crabs and the plants, but I’m not positive. I could use some input here.

    I have a 100w ceramic heat emitter and a thermostat control to regulate the temperature. Does this seem adequate and is a constant 80 degrees sufficient?

    I need ideas on airflow also. I’m considering using 2 80mm computer fans with a thermostat to increase speed as the temperature rises.

    #7712

    Stacy
    Keymaster

    Have you checked out Youtube? Someone I know named Edis built a 500 gallon mega habitat out of wood a couple years ago. He would likely have better feedback.

    The wood needs to be well treated to deal with moisture.

    I’m not sure if flex seal is safe for hermits. Full spectrum LED is good. We don’t have evidence to support UBV being mandatory.

    80F is good ( you should still maintain a cooler zone)

    CHE will burn off your humidity really quickly.

    As for airflow you tank would get plent of air exchange when you open the front to feed and and what not. A fan is going to kill your humidity.

    #7747

    brandon.dailey
    Participant

    I contemplated the wood enclosure for a while, and how to deal with the moisture. I considered resins and epoxys, the kind they use for plywood aquariums, but it seemed too expensive.
    Im feeling confident that covering the entire wood surface with spray foam will prevent any moisture damage, and increase the R-value. Adding a coat of the flex seal liquid over the top of the spray foam should be more than sufficient, to prevent moisture damage.
    As to the flex seal being toxic. According to the FAQ on the flex seal website, the liquid is safe for plants and animals. I don’t believe the spray is safe though.

    #7772

    brandon.dailey
    Participant

    So this is a pic of the crabitat. I drew in where the substrate will be. I did some spray foam hides, but I think I’m going to cut them out.
    I have egg crate screwed to the plywood as extra support for the sprayfoam. At $16 a for a 4’x2′ sheet, I used two sheets and only did the lower section. Seems to be on there pretty good.
    I haven’t had time to pickup the material for the face frame or the trim pieces on the build yet. Maybe this weekend.
    I’ve found Wal-Mart has the best price on great stuff spray foam. I’ve used about 6 can @ $3 a piece. I think I’ll need at least 3 more.
    I’m also waiting on some cork bark, for the background, that I ordered from pet mountain and a few other odds and ends.

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    #7942

    Stacy
    Keymaster

    I can’t wait to see the finished product and how it holds up!

    #7943

    brandon.dailey
    Participant

    Sorry I haven’t been updating this thread. Work has been crazy, low interest rates make for busy carpenters, lol. I’ve made some progress, on the crabitat. I cut out all the little “caves”. I added a big branch and made a platform on the backside. I’m made a track for sliding glass doors. I’m using the terrarium cork background flats to make a “tree trunk” for climbing.

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    #8288

    brandon.dailey
    Participant

    Well I’ve made some progress.
    All the spray foam is covered with flex seal and coconut fiber.
    Finished the enclosure.
    Drilled holes in the top, for the ceramic heat emitter and hygrotherm controller.
    Installed an 18″ Uvb fluorescent.
    Hung up some silk vines.
    Dropped about 250lbs of substrate in, and 4 gallons of dechlorinated water.

    I’ve let the hygrotherm control the temp for a couple day now. So I can monitor fluctuations in temp and humidity. It’s seems to have stabilized at 84 degrees for the hottest area and 78 degrees for the coolest. Humidity has been going between 82% and 87%.

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    #8290

    brandon.dailey
    Participant

    I have a water fountain to install, and I need 6 more bricks of eco-earth. I also need to make some pools. I’m contemplating putting a 14″ hamster wheel in also.
    I still need to do some trim work on the enclosure and make solid doors.
    I’m also planning on putting an iso tank in the storage area below. The iso tank will have its own controller for temp and humidity and will slide out like a drawer.

    #8308

    Stacy
    Keymaster

    Wow it’s really coming together! If you have place to mount the hamster wheel (plastic not wire) you could do that, a lot of others have had good success going that route and it frees up floor space.

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