Cage Construction Tutorial

ENCLOSURE CONSTRUCTION FOR HOUSING SMALLER RHACODACTYLUS SPECIES

Written by Mark Orfus

ITEMS YOU WILL NEED:

· a 80L / 21 U.S. Gallon Vision Stacking Tote (available at Home Depot in Canada)

· Dremel MultiPro Model Number 275

· Dremel Heavy Cut Cut-Off Wheel No. 420 (20 pack)

· A Hot Glue Gun for heavy duty purposes

· ½ inch All Purpose Clear Glue Sticks (25 cm/10 inch 12 Pack)

· Fibreglass Insect Screening (I buy a 48” x 84” roll)

· A box cutting knife

· Paper Towel

· Fake plastic plants you can get at your local Dollar Store (make sure you wash these well before using)

· A dish for water

· A lay box with a peat moss/coco fibre mix for gravid females geckos

 

STEP ONE

I use an 80L/ 21 U.S. Gallon Vision Stacking Tote that is regularly available at Home Depot for about $10. These bins are made from a very light, durable and washable plastic. Ideal characteristics for an enclosure for breeding purposes. (See Figures 1a & 1b).


STEP TWO

I then use a drill with a 1/4 inch drill bit to make holes all around the top portion of the container. This is to allow sufficient cross ventilation so that the air inside the enclosure does not stagnate (see Figures below). A proper wet/dry cycle is essential to proper Rhacodactylus health. This also gives you some holes you can use to stick flake plastic plant limbs into for geckos to climb on.

 

STEP THREE

The lids of these Stacking Totes are made of a hard plastic.  As a result, tools such as a box cutter or saw are poor implements for cutting this material.  I prefer to use a Dremel to cut ventilation into the top of the enclosure.  Unlike these other tools, with the proper bit you should be able to cut through the plastic tops without worrying about cracking the material.  You can acquire a Dremel at Home Depot for about $40.


 

STEP FOUR

Use the Dremel to cut a large rectangular opening in the lid of the enclosure lid.  So see how big this hole should be please look at Figures below.  The opening should be this large to again allow sufficient ventilation for the wet/dry cycle your want to create for optimal Rhacodactylus care.

CAUTION:  When using the Dremel to cut into the plastic tops make sure you are wearing sufficient eye protection for prevent either shards of the plastic of a broken Cut-Off Wheel from getting into your eyes.  Also be aware that the cutting can generate consider amounts of heat and you may need to give your Dremel a break from time to time.

After cutting the hole in the lid, use the Dremel to cut any excess plastic that may be sticking out to give you a nice smooth surface(see below).

STEP FIVE

Next you will need to cut your screen so it overlaps the hole that you created using the Dremel. Place the cut screen over the hole and then apply a layer of glue around the edges of the ventilation hole.


After gluing around the hole let the screen dry before moving to the next step.

STEP SIX

After you have allowed the glue to dry, cut the screening around the edges of the glue. This can be done easily using a standard box cutting knife. Once you have cut around the edges gently pull the screening off.

After you have finished pulling the left over screen pieces off this should look like your completed lid.

Now you just need to add your tank accessories and some geckos and you have yourself a great long lasting Rhacodactylus enclosure.

 

You may reproduce this instruction sheet with written consent and as long as the content is credited to me and my web site (www.northerngecko.com) appears on the document.