Newbie turtle tank DIY lid advice...

JAX3000

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Hi,
I'm new to turtles.
I am planning a new Common Musk Turtle tank and need some advice on a DIY lid please.
I plan to place the basking lamps directly onto a wire mesh cover and attach the lamps to the wire mesh with mounting springs, like this... see attached.

I want everything secure and safe, from my small children.

How would you suggest I make the lid please?

I was thinking wire mesh over the basking area half of the tank and egg crate on the other half, but how would I make the wire mesh side safely and securely? I'm happy TO DIY it, but out of what...?
Many thanks
 

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Moozillion

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I wish I had some suggestions for you (I keep mud and must turtles) but there are no children in our home, so I don't have your need for securing the lid.
I'll be interested to see what suggestions some of the more experienced members have to offer!
Welcome to the Forum! :)
 

gtruck777

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Is the basking area 'in the tank' or are you creating a basking area outside of/on top of the tank. If the basking area is in the tank and you have a normal size aquarium, you should be able to find secure screen tops commercially available.
 

JAX3000

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Hi, thank you all who replied.

I don't need the cover to be 'secure', in that it can't be opened by a child, but rather, so it can't be knocked off by one...

The tank is 800mm x 400mm footprint and I don't believe it's a standard size. Also, I only want wire mesh on half the tank, so the other half is accessible without disturbing the lights. I've also seen or read that the commercially available screens are quite lightweight and I want it robust enough to hold the lighting and take a potential knock.

I have no set up to photograph yet. The tank hasn't even arrived yet, but here's a pic of it off ebay.

I intend to use an internal basking area.

Unless I'm going at this aaaaaall wrong, or I'm BAD at Google, this is far more challenging than I anticipated.

Any ideas would be hugely appreciated...

Thanks
 

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Paschendale52

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I see. As @gtruck777 said, it will depend on whether you want the basking area (and thus lights) to be above the top of the tank or flush with the top of the tank. Since you're getting a common musk turtle, and @Moozillion, correct me if I'm wrong, you generally want relatively low water levels so they can walk to the surface. I think its just Razorback musks in that family that swim pretty well and want deeper water.
If thats the case, you probably can get something inset, so the outside dimensions of your screen are just smaller than the inside dimensions of your tank. The screen would sit on those parallel bars at the top of your tank and be secured from accidental knocking by the walls of the tank. If you did two lids, one each half the size of the tank, you could have the lights sit on one and lift the other for food. The top of your lid would be flush with the top of your tank (or close to it).
Does that make sense?
 

Moozillion

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I see. As @gtruck777 said, it will depend on whether you want the basking area (and thus lights) to be above the top of the tank or flush with the top of the tank. Since you're getting a common musk turtle, and @Moozillion, correct me if I'm wrong, you generally want relatively low water levels so they can walk to the surface. I think its just Razorback musks in that family that swim pretty well and want deeper water.
If thats the case, you probably can get something inset, so the outside dimensions of your screen are just smaller than the inside dimensions of your tank. The screen would sit on those parallel bars at the top of your tank and be secured from accidental knocking by the walls of the tank. If you did two lids, one each half the size of the tank, you could have the lights sit on one and lift the other for food. The top of your lid would be flush with the top of your tank (or close to it).
Does that make sense?
I’m afraid I have no experience with common musk turtles.
But I bet @Markw84 may have some thoughts!
Actually, @Pastel Tortie might have some ideas, too!
 

Pastel Tortie

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It might be worth it to look around for the typical (black metal screen) lids that would fit your tank. Depending on how you're doing the lights, you might find a lid with a (lengthwise) hinge that would work.

With my tanks, I have a stand to support each light and keep it suspended above the tank. Any tube UVB lights rest on the screen lid.

It's also worth noting that if you can get your musk turtle to eat one or more kinds of good commercial pellets, the UVB aspect for a mud or musk turtle is actually optional. I'd pay more attention to the temperatures than UVB for a mud/musk turtle.
 

JAX3000

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Thank you all for your advice...

@Paschendale52 I hadn't even thought of keeping the lid within the rim of the tank. That literally solves the problem. I was over thinking this.

I'll make a simple wood framed wire mesh cover to fit inside the tank, on the 2 rails of glass...

@Pastel Tortie I like the idea of your suggestion, and may upgrade later, but initially, I'm gonna keep it as simple as possible.

Thanks again. I finally have a plan.

I'll post up pics when done, I do love a little DIY project!

Cheers
 
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