101 Gallon Exo Terra Crabitat Build

For presenting do-it-yourself projects for your crabitat and for discussing and displaying custom built crabitats. Also for questions and reviews on equipment and products. *Stores and their reviews now have their own section in Classifieds*
User avatar

Topic author
sugarselections
Posts: 351
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:59 pm
Location: SW Ohio

101 Gallon Exo Terra Crabitat Build

Post by sugarselections » Thu Dec 11, 2014 7:05 pm

After a couple months of collecting materials and building, I have finally finished my new crabitat. (Or at least version 1.0) It's a large/extra tall Exo Terra terrarium: 36" tall x 36" wide x 18" deep. That comes out to about 101 gallons, although it has less floor space than my old 90. The basic terrarium design doesn't allow for enough substrate for hermit crabs so I siliconed a taller piece of glass in the front and topped it with some vinyl tubing to prevent chips. The sub (coco fiber) current sits at about 10". I'll give it a month to settle and then top it off to be 12". The hood takes four compact fluorescent bulbs so I used two UV bulbs and two standard household light bulbs. I built the main centerpiece out of two gigantic cork logs I got from Germany. They arrived much bigger than anticipated and required a large redesign of my initial plans for the crabitat. The two logs are connected and the horizontal log contains a huge moss pit.

I've taken some initial pictures but will wait to take more when the crabs have gotten over their upset and fussiness at being relocated.

Building the centerpiece on my workbench
Image

The empty tank
Image

Completed tank with the doors closed
Image

With the doors open
Image

Upper left
Image

Upper right
Image

Lower left
Image

Lower right
Image

Lower right again
Image

My medium Ecuadorian, Lexington, in the moss pit for scale
Image

The eventual moss pit party with Lex, Kola, Mandarin, Cookie, Bitsy, and Fiddle
Image

A view of Leroy exiting the right side of the moss pit where the horizontal log connects to the vertical log
Image

The end of the log/moss pit on the left side
Image

The water bowls with Merah getting a drink of fresh water
Image

Cardinal hogging the salt water bowl
Image

Cookie hiding out on the side of the vertical log
Image

Fiddle on the back of the vertical log
Image

Fiddle exiting one of the holes in the vertical log (with Wellington in the background)
Image

Florence climbing where the logs join
Image

Goose at the bottom of the vertical log
Image

Kola being shy on the edge of the moss pit
Image

Mandarin on top of the vertical log
Image

Merah in the supplements dish
Image

Sesame being adventurous for once
Image

Wellington peeking at me
Image
Last edited by sugarselections on Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:14 pm, edited 4 times in total.
PP. E. Straw. Indo. Rug. Viola. Aussie. Blueberry.
https://www.youtube.com/user/sugarselections/videos

2 trouble-making dogs. 3 impossible cats. 1 lazy betta.

User avatar

Knibitz
Founding Member
Founding Member
Posts: 147
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2004 5:20 pm
Location: MI
Contact:

Re: 101 Gallon Exo Terra Crabitat Build

Post by Knibitz » Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:01 pm

beautiful!!! is there enough room for me?! I want to live there!

I loooove how you did the moss pit and shell shop! <3

Truely inspirational tank.
ONE DAY I will have a tank like this, one day!
7 PPs: Vinny, Thomas, Tink, Theo, Thumbelina, Fudge, and Midge
1 E: Noel

User avatar

aussieJJDude
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 3985
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: 101 Gallon Exo Terra Crabitat Build

Post by aussieJJDude » Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:01 pm

Wow sugarselections that looks awesome!
If possible, I would love to hear some more stats about the tank & how you built everything! This is totally getting saved in my bookmarks & those pics are going to be on my computer before you can even blink! :lol:
Please - with a cherry on top - can you make a vid?

Loving all the hermies too, I sure they will love it in there... They all so beautiful too. :cloud9:
May I ask, what happened to Darwin?
Crabs || Fish || Shrimp || Snails || Plants || Insects

25G Nano Freshwater || 64G Freshwater Community || 90G Fancy Goldie Pond || 64G Crabitat
I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying'... They're just things I forgot I had planned to get || Self Designated 'HCA Pic Fan' 2012+

User avatar

Topic author
sugarselections
Posts: 351
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:59 pm
Location: SW Ohio

Re: 101 Gallon Exo Terra Crabitat Build

Post by sugarselections » Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:13 pm

Knibitz wrote:beautiful!!! is there enough room for me?! I want to live there!

I loooove how you did the moss pit and shell shop! <3

Truely inspirational tank.
ONE DAY I will have a tank like this, one day!
That shell shop was a last minute decision and I'm not really comfortable with it. I've always kept my shells directly on the substrate and it makes me anxious that a crab would have to climb up there to get a shell in an emergency. Hopefully I'll get over it. I had to raise the shell shop because the logs took up much more floor space than planned. I was going to place both logs raised horizontally on a pvc structure but they came in at about 12" diameter so my original plan wouldn't work.
PP. E. Straw. Indo. Rug. Viola. Aussie. Blueberry.
https://www.youtube.com/user/sugarselections/videos

2 trouble-making dogs. 3 impossible cats. 1 lazy betta.

User avatar

Knibitz
Founding Member
Founding Member
Posts: 147
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2004 5:20 pm
Location: MI
Contact:

Re: 101 Gallon Exo Terra Crabitat Build

Post by Knibitz » Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:17 pm

sugarselections wrote: That shell shop was a last minute decision and I'm not really comfortable with it. I've always kept my shells directly on the substrate and it makes me anxious that a crab would have to climb up there to get a shell in an emergency. Hopefully I'll get over it. I had to raise the shell shop because the logs took up much more floor space than planned. I was going to place both logs raised horizontally on a pvc structure but they came in at about 12" diameter so my original plan wouldn't work.
OMG! I have the same worries about up high shell shops! "what if they can't find the shells?!?!" - I know that's nutty because so many people have had elevated shell shops for years, but it still is something I wonder about lol
7 PPs: Vinny, Thomas, Tink, Theo, Thumbelina, Fudge, and Midge
1 E: Noel

User avatar

Topic author
sugarselections
Posts: 351
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:59 pm
Location: SW Ohio

Re: 101 Gallon Exo Terra Crabitat Build

Post by sugarselections » Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:22 pm

aussieJJDude wrote:Wow sugarselections that looks awesome!
If possible, I would love to hear some more stats about the tank & how you built everything! This is totally getting saved in my bookmarks & those pics are going to be on my computer before you can even blink! :lol:
Please - with a cherry on top - can you make a vid?

Loving all the hermies too, I sure they will love it in there... They all so beautiful too. :cloud9:
May I ask, what happened to Darwin?
I'll work on making a video once the crabs settle in. I'm not sure how to explain a lot of the things I did. It involved me working in my basement for long stretches of time with a jigsaw, drill, and a bunch of zip ties. I marked the dimensions of the terrarium floorspace on my workbench and then basically cut and pieced everything until it would fit together in the space provided. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask.

Darwin, the blues, and a couple other crabs dug down as soon as I put them in the new tat. I think they're all due to molt and weren't happy to be dug up from the 90 and transplanted.
PP. E. Straw. Indo. Rug. Viola. Aussie. Blueberry.
https://www.youtube.com/user/sugarselections/videos

2 trouble-making dogs. 3 impossible cats. 1 lazy betta.

User avatar

aussieJJDude
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 3985
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: 101 Gallon Exo Terra Crabitat Build

Post by aussieJJDude » Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:14 pm

sugarselections wrote:I'll work on making a video once the crabs settle in. I'm not sure how to explain a lot of the things I did. It involved me working in my basement for long stretches of time with a jigsaw, drill, and a bunch of zip ties. I marked the dimensions of the terrarium floorspace on my workbench and then basically cut and pieced everything until it would fit together in the space provided. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask.

Darwin, the blues, and a couple other crabs dug down as soon as I put them in the new tat. I think they're all due to molt and weren't happy to be dug up from the 90 and transplanted.
Ok, I eagerly look forward to that video thats one thing for sure! Hurry up crabs, settle in already! :lol:
haha, i love it; you just did things and have no idea - kind of sounds like me. However, I would like to know how that shell shop is floating like that & did you cut the cork in any way?
Awww thats I shame though. I hope that their moults go well though! :)
Crabs || Fish || Shrimp || Snails || Plants || Insects

25G Nano Freshwater || 64G Freshwater Community || 90G Fancy Goldie Pond || 64G Crabitat
I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying'... They're just things I forgot I had planned to get || Self Designated 'HCA Pic Fan' 2012+

User avatar

Topic author
sugarselections
Posts: 351
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:59 pm
Location: SW Ohio

Re: 101 Gallon Exo Terra Crabitat Build

Post by sugarselections » Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:38 pm

For the shell shop I bought the repti rock water bowl which is a lighter-weight foam material. I trimmed the back and sides with a chop saw and jigsaw. Then I just drilled two holes through the side of the bowl and corresponding holes in the cork. I strung a zip tie through them all to connect. It turned out very sturdy.

I used the jigsaw to take chunks out of both of the cork logs until I could fit them together. Then I drilled holes and attached the two with zip ties. The logs are fit together so that they are completely open to each other inside.
PP. E. Straw. Indo. Rug. Viola. Aussie. Blueberry.
https://www.youtube.com/user/sugarselections/videos

2 trouble-making dogs. 3 impossible cats. 1 lazy betta.

User avatar

soilentgringa
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 4349
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:18 pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: 101 Gallon Exo Terra Crabitat Build

Post by soilentgringa » Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:47 am

This is amazing! [SMILING FACE WITH HEART-SHAPED EYES] What do you use for your sub? The whole thing just looks so pretty!


hermieluv1
Posts: 426
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:48 pm

Re: 101 Gallon Exo Terra Crabitat Build

Post by hermieluv1 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:13 am

Beautiful!

User avatar

Topic author
sugarselections
Posts: 351
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:59 pm
Location: SW Ohio

Re: 101 Gallon Exo Terra Crabitat Build

Post by sugarselections » Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:37 am

soilentgringa wrote:This is amazing! [SMILING FACE WITH HEART-SHAPED EYES] What do you use for your sub? The whole thing just looks so pretty!
Thanks. I used coco fiber (ee) for the substrate.That's all I ever use
PP. E. Straw. Indo. Rug. Viola. Aussie. Blueberry.
https://www.youtube.com/user/sugarselections/videos

2 trouble-making dogs. 3 impossible cats. 1 lazy betta.

User avatar

CallaLily
Posts: 3831
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2008 9:05 pm

Re: 101 Gallon Exo Terra Crabitat Build

Post by CallaLily » Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:38 am

Looks great!!

User avatar

moonshermies
Posts: 154
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2014 8:14 am
Location: southern new jersey(Newfield)

Re: 101 Gallon Exo Terra Crabitat Build

Post by moonshermies » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:08 pm

I love it!!wish I was that crafty to put something like that together


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Mom to 3 children,&2 adorable medium PPS..Not a new member..My old sn was deleted after a hiatus from the death of my pp 2 yrs ago..

User avatar

Topic author
sugarselections
Posts: 351
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:59 pm
Location: SW Ohio

Re: 101 Gallon Exo Terra Crabitat Build

Post by sugarselections » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:41 pm

moonshermies wrote:I love it!!wish I was that crafty to put something like that together
Perhaps wrongly, I tend not to think of myself as crafty. I do like designing, repurposing, modifying, and building things, but I'm no good with fiddle-y little stuff... as evidenced by my horrible silicone sealant work on this new tank. I tend to get a big idea and then power through to get it all done without worrying about the details any more than absoutely necessary.
PP. E. Straw. Indo. Rug. Viola. Aussie. Blueberry.
https://www.youtube.com/user/sugarselections/videos

2 trouble-making dogs. 3 impossible cats. 1 lazy betta.

User avatar

Topic author
sugarselections
Posts: 351
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:59 pm
Location: SW Ohio

Re: 101 Gallon Exo Terra Crabitat Build

Post by sugarselections » Sat Dec 13, 2014 3:19 pm

I put together a quick video today detailing some of the things I did in the tank.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRyFUU0VGMw
PP. E. Straw. Indo. Rug. Viola. Aussie. Blueberry.
https://www.youtube.com/user/sugarselections/videos

2 trouble-making dogs. 3 impossible cats. 1 lazy betta.

Post Reply