8’ x 3’ x 2’ two story XPVC build

PA2019

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My big tank has been on a banquet table which isn’t the best for space saving
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So I made a quick 8’ x 3’ table out of 2x4’s. Still need to find wheels that lock and fit over the wood legs.
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I was having trouble getting 90 degree angles while trying to screw the pieces together and google saved the day with corner angle clamps! Love these things, really help to free up your hands when working by yourself.

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PA2019

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More supplies arrived. Decided to invest in a track saw and guide rail since I’m cutting full panels for this build. You could probably cut the panels with a homemade guide and circular saw but I noticed more slop the longer the cut last time.

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PA2019

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Made some progress today with most of the outer skeleton of the tank. This weekend I’ll hopefully come up with a couple of ideas on how to support the 2nd level and work on an idea I had to protect the corners of the tank from bumps and dings.

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Mystic_Queen

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Made some progress today with most of the outer skeleton of the tank. This weekend I’ll hopefully come up with a couple of ideas on how to support the 2nd level and work on an idea I had to protect the corners of the tank from bumps and dings.

View attachment 302667 View attachment 302668
Wow it’s looking awesome. Great job. Can’t wait to see it finished
 

PA2019

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@Olddog, @Tom, @Markw84 (or anyone who knows woodworking/PVC builds) mind clarifying something for me?

I was debating 2 or 3 front vertical supports for the tank and decided to try 2, but double the thickness to 1.5" to compensate if I stack another 2 tanks on top.

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The plan is to space them a bit more towards midline and wedge the transverse roof supports into them to increase rigidity and weight distribution.

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(imagine the area within the marked rectangle removed and the roof support wedged inside)

In my old tank I looked at the inside portion of the front supports and saw what appears to be a pocket hole using for joining the supports to the front enclosure frame.
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Is a pocket hole needed for PVC which doesn't have fibers and a 'grain' like wood? I understand that a butt joint is one of the weakest joints, but does it matter with PVC material?

Thanks for the clarification
 

Markw84

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@PA2019 Are the enclosure you want to stack on top the same size? The PVC would be plenty strong enough under compression to stack 3 if the outside edges match and the weigh is supported by the edges of the enclosure. There would be little to no weight added to the middle section of the roof. Only on the edges. The middle of a large span can sag with PVC. On an 8x3 build with a single layer of 12mm PVC, I would add a support halfway across the middle of the ceiling of the enclosure - front to back cement to ceiling a 4" x 3 ft length on edge to the ceiling. Without that, the roof will sage in a bit. Even without anything stacked above.

I would put a verticle support in the front middle. Basically dividing the door into two sections. You will find the top piece above your door will want to sag without that. That is also an edge and then will better support weight above.

Your really don't need the metal fasteners. I use no fasteners with PVC. I simply cement the pieces together with PVC cement. I use the medium thickness for pipes up to 6" diameter cement. That stuff actually welds the PVC pieces together. When you use it, no need to clamp other than ensuring there is good even contact along the entire surface you are joining. It will harden to become difficult to move within 60 seconds. It will really gain strength in 24 hours and impossible to take apart without breaking new PVC, not the joint.
 

PA2019

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@PA2019 Are the enclosure you want to stack on top the same size? The PVC would be plenty strong enough under compression to stack 3 if the outside edges match and the weigh is supported by the edges of the enclosure. There would be little to no weight added to the middle section of the roof. Only on the edges. The middle of a large span can sag with PVC. On an 8x3 build with a single layer of 12mm PVC, I would add a support halfway across the middle of the ceiling of the enclosure - front to back cement to ceiling a 4" x 3 ft length on edge to the ceiling. Without that, the roof will sage in a bit. Even without anything stacked above.

I would put a verticle support in the front middle. Basically dividing the door into two sections. You will find the top piece above your door will want to sag without that. That is also an edge and then will better support weight above.

Your really don't need the metal fasteners. I use no fasteners with PVC. I simply cement the pieces together with PVC cement. I use the medium thickness for pipes up to 6" diameter cement. That stuff actually welds the PVC pieces together. When you use it, no need to clamp other than ensuring there is good even contact along the entire surface you are joining. It will harden to become difficult to move within 60 seconds. It will really gain strength in 24 hours and impossible to take apart without breaking new PVC, not the joint.

Thanks for the response Mark. I was hoping to not use pvc cement on the tanks as it is a giant pain to get the tanks in and out of the room if needed. I end having to tilt the tank vertically to get it out of the room and that have a tight hallway to maneuver through. The goal was to be able to assemble and disassemble them in the room.
 

Markw84

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Thanks for the response Mark. I was hoping to not use pvc cement on the tanks as it is a giant pain to get the tanks in and out of the room if needed. I end having to tilt the tank vertically to get it out of the room and that have a tight hallway to maneuver through. The goal was to be able to assemble and disassemble them in the room.
Totally understand. That is one of the main reasons I build mine to slip together and apart easily!
 

PA2019

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More progress today. 90% of all needed pieces have been cut and the most worrisome portion, the 2nd level has be completed!
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Back of wall with transverse roof support

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2nd level floor with cutout for back of wall vertical support

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Glory to the jigsaw gods it actually fits!

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Version 1.0. Decided to rotate the supports 90 degrees afterwards.

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Currently how it sits.

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2nd level is 9" high. Partly why I chose a 2nd story was to have removable nesting sites in the future. Shout out to @mrnewberry for making a thread discussing nesting depth for his platynota. After reading the thread I decided on a 9" height. The square in the last pic is where I will make the cutout in the future on both sides of the 2nd level in case I need to separate females.

Honestly that was a HUGE pain in the butt. I definitely bit off more than I could chew making it and will NEVER bother spending the time to make another again haha.

Since building 2, 4'x3'x2' boxes that fit together well is way past my current abilities I'm going to pvc cement all the smaller tank pieces and use coarse drywall screws for the long pieces so I can (hypothetically) disassemble most of the tank in its room to remove easier while still having a tank that is stronger than a PVC house of cards.

Hopefully I can assemble everything and cleanup the garage before my significant other comes home tonight from her vacation and freaks out at the mess 😅
 
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Krista S

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How’s the new enclosure coming along? I’d love to see the finished product when it’s ready. :)
 

PA2019

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How’s the new enclosure coming along? I’d love to see the finished product when it’s ready. :)

Not much new stuff has been done, as I starting working on a separate egyptian tortoise enclosure for a group I'll be getting in the next month or two.

Currently, I am waiting on my custom tempered glass doors to be finished, at which point I'll start working on lighting, heat and wiring!
 
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