How to make a lid for an outdoor tub

Mark

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Messages
3,259
Reaction score
50
Points
48
Location
Bristol
Country
United Kingdom
I've built a few lids for outdoor tubs and thought I'd share the build process for my favourite design. Before you embark on a project like this you should know that it's a fiddly task that may take a few hours and will certainly require power tools.

For me a lid requires the following qualities:

- Strong and durable
- Easy to remove and replace
- Be completely weather proof
- Allow rainfall in
- Escape and predator proof
- Allow light through for plant growth
- Well ventilated

I experimented with a few designs before settling on a metal frame with mesh that fitted tightly on top of the tub. Using metal provided rigidity and strength, something that can be lacking in many plastic lids. The mesh I use is the smallest gauge I could buy at the garden centre with 6mm holes. This prevents even small newts such as alpine newts from escaping. Where I have used these lids for even smaller newts i.e juveniles, I've simply modified the mesh area by attaching a very fine plastic mesh underneath.

Here's what you'll need:

- Aluminium L profile strips cut with angled ends to the dimensions of your tub
- 4 x large corner brackets to fix the L profile together.
- Enough nuts and bolts to hold it all together (in this design that's 16)
- Some metal mesh

Below: - L profile aluminium cut to size, right angle brackets and nuts and bolts. Cutting the L profile is easiest with a power tool although I suppose you could tackle it with a metal hacksaw. I used a set square to draw the angles and an angle grinder to make the cut.



Here's how those components are going to fit together. It's a good idea to lay your pieces out like this so you can make sure it all fits before proceeding.



Here's the mesh I'm using.



When you're happy everything fits mark out the holes for the bolts and drill them using an appropriate sized drill bit.

Then, using the right angle brackets bolt together the frame pieces like so. Again, it's a good idea to put your frame together before inserting the mesh. That way you can make sure all your angles and joints work.



Now you can cut your mesh to size. It needs to fit well inside the frame but allow a little room for adjustments. The right angle brackets sandwich the mesh to the frame and keep it in place like so.



Once you've finished bolting all the brackets in place you should have something that looks like this.



The only thing left to do is grind off the excess bolt ends which are sticking out of the top of the lid.

Here's one indoors used as a breeding tub for N.kaiseri.



And a couple outdoors containing alpine and ribbed newts.



The 90 litre black tubs are made from food grade rubber and are frost and UV resistant. Combined with the lid they make ideal outdoor pond style setups. I drill drainage holes below the lid to prevent the water level reaching the top.

If you have any questions just ask!
 
Last edited:

SludgeMunkey

New member
Joined
Nov 11, 2008
Messages
2,299
Reaction score
73
Points
0
Location
Bellevue, Nebraska
Country
United States
Display Name
Johnny O. Farnen
Nice Build! If you live in an area where standing water with insect access is against the law, you can use custom build window screen kits from your DIY store to comply with the law and remove any chance of mosquito intrusion.
 

Mark

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Messages
3,259
Reaction score
50
Points
48
Location
Bristol
Country
United Kingdom
Mosquito larvae don't last too long in a tub full of newts!

Seriously though, if you're using something other than metal mesh i.e plastic screen, you may need some additional anchor points along the frame to stop the mesh sagging in the middle.
 

Azhael

Site Contributor
Joined
May 7, 2007
Messages
6,645
Reaction score
90
Points
0
Location
Burgos
Country
Spain
Display Name
Rodrigo
Those are some very professional lids. Nice job.
I have a couple of aluminium framed lids too, but they are pathetic looking things made with the most rudimentary tools xD
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
  • Murk:
    That´s the most accurate. Depends on the size of the tub etc. - you just want to make sure the water is always clean
    +1
    Unlike
  • Kwags:
    When little axolotls are tubbed is it common for them to get a little more spunky then usual? Water temps around 64-65 F and has been changed today with prime added
    +1
    Unlike
  • Murk:
    Uh. That depends on your definition of "spunky"?
    +1
    Unlike
  • HalfDrunkToast:
    @Kwags, how big?
    +1
    Unlike
  • HalfDrunkToast:
    my baby hes tubed and hes a wild child xD
    +1
    Unlike
  • Kwags:
    Swimming like crazy. A little more pep in his step. I think about 3 inches.
    +1
    Unlike
  • faebugz:
    Hi does anyone know if jungle fungus clear is safe to use for my axolotl? She has some either fungus or bacterial growth on her fillibrae and maybe body and I read that's good to use if you aren't sure if the problem is bacterial or fungal
    +1
    Unlike
  • EasternRomioi3:
    I have not heard of that before.
    +1
    Unlike
  • EasternRomioi3:
    That jungle fungus clear. I've been dealing with some fungus with my axolotl on and off this summer. The Holtsfreter solution and water changes just seem to do the trick after a bit
    +1
    Unlike
  • faebugz:
    Where do you get the holtsfreter solution? I've been upping water changes but salt bath seems to be more stressful/harmful than beneficial because she does not like to be caught!
    +1
    Unlike
  • Slash-GNR:
    Anyone know how to harden soft water without raising pH?
    +1
    Unlike
  • faebugz:
    To raise GH, add calcium carbonate (or tums). What has you doing this?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Slash-GNR:
    Thank you! My tap water is naturally low in GH and KH, and I need to raise it... but I don't want to raise the pH, which is perfect, with coral.
    +1
    Unlike
  • EaglesFan78:
    anyone have firebelly newts forsale message me !!!!!
    +1
    Unlike
  • ShawnJPN:
    Lol
    +1
    Unlike
  • Unlike
  • Isoldelopez:
    Hey all I’m looking for some help.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Isoldelopez:
    How do I create a thread?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Binditheaxolotl:
    LYes? It might be easier if u posted a thread
    +1
    Unlike
  • Isoldelopez:
    Yes, how can I do this? Is it by creating a room? Thank you for your help
    +1
    Unlike
  • Mark.H:
    Hey guys, I suppose this is a foolish question, but will my long-toed salamanders over-eat resulting in obesity?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Kwags:
    what are thoughts on using crushed coral or tufa rocks for resining the ph level in my tank? I have the seachem ph alert and it’s reading 5.4
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    meowzilla has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Delaney:
    Hi, I really need some advice about cloudy water in my axlotl tank!
    +2
    Unlike
  • AnimeDan:
    Hi Delaney. Can you be more specific? There are lots of reasons for cloudy water, such as substrate getting kicked up, water hardness, etc. if you don’t have hard water and it doesn’t settle then I’d do a water change and see if that helps.
    +1
    Unlike
    AnimeDan: Hi Delaney. Can you be more specific? There are lots of reasons for cloudy water, such as... +1
    Top