It's not complete yet but I got Hiccup swapped over to the 20 long. Adding a second cool hide today seeing the football hide has been adopted as the outhouse! Also adding some fake plants and some rock caves/bridges from rocks I've boiled and plan to silicone in spots to keep them from shifting. I'll update when completed and plan on starting toothless' 20 long this weekend.
Hello everyone! Not sure if anyone looks at this place anymore... But if so, I'm new to the forum. I've had my first leo (Calypso) for about 4 1/2 years and my other leo (Artemis) for about 3 1/2 years (give or take a few months). I've gone through 3 enclosure changes and I'm ready for a fourth so I checked out all 72 pages of this thread and was really impressed by some of the work I've seen on here! I really like DIY natural-looking desert themes and have something in the works for making a new one since I've had my current one for a few years now and am so bored of it. Lol. ANYWAY! Here are my enclosures that I have had/ currently have! (I hope the pictures work out and aren't insanely big - forum newb here!)
So it all started with Calypso. I got her back in 2011 at my local Repticon. This was the set up she started in as a juvenile (if I remember correctly, this was a 20 gallon tank. I had read that a 10 gallon would be too small for them as an adult so it was better to go bigger and they'd grow into the tank so to speak):
As Calyso grew, her hides weren't really working for her anymore. She became too big to fit in them and around this time, I was really into look at DIY videos on youtube of desert themed enclosures and hides and such. SO MANY COOL THINGS! So I tried my hand at this DIY hide thing using styrofoam (polystyrene) pieces from home depot, caulk to hold the pieces together, and tile grout to coat them in.
The pieces met their purpose (Calypso had a bigger area to hide now) and I was quite happy with them for a time since it was my first time ever doing them. But then I got frustrated looking at them and thinking how shabby they looked. I felt confident I could do better. This was also around the time of the next year's Repticon and I really wanted another leo (because let's face it, they're addictive, lol). So I bought a bigger tank on Craigslist (55 gallon for like $50) and started anew with the same process but this time, I went much bigger.
Shortly after this tank was set up, Calypso moved in. Artemis ended up being a baby when I got her so she stayed in a 10 gallon tank for quite some time before I felt it was safe to introduce her to Calypso (she was maybe 1/3 the size of Calypso when I brought her home and I waited until she was 3/4 Calypso's size). Artemis's 10 gallon seemed so cramped for such a big lizard so she moved in with Calypso as planned. I made a new version of the hides with the same basic concept but instead of being one big open area under there, I made walls so that each could have their own tunnel to avoid territory issues. Then I just waited and watched them like hawks. Being that they were both female, I hoped they would get along and Calypso wouldn't be territorial towards her. Thankfully, Calypso tolerated her existence. Lol. And they've been together since (about 2 years now).
So this is basically the set up I have now (although the archaic hamster tank is no longer up there). After 2 years, once again, I want to try my hand at making something better. Unfortunately, I made the epic mistake of gluing my background to the glass and grouting over it. So my chances of getting that out now are pretty slim. So instead, the girls are going to have a minor downgrade to a 40 gallon breeder tank that my hamster is currently in and terrified of being in (I thought I'd be nice and give her tons of room but she literally is so terrified of coming out, she only comes out to eat or drink and then runs back into her hide like something is chasing her). The hamster will move to a smaller enclosure as well that she will feel safer in.
I can't wait to get started on the new enclosure and this time, I'm going to try to make a removable background/hide on either side that will layer over each other in the hopes of hiding a seam in the background. Fingers crossed at least.