screen lids

juraj

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Hi all,
good tank covering means newt`s safety. Here is an example how to make a screen lid for your tank quite easily. It is not a strongest one though with a little bit of careful handling quite durable.
To make a one is needed:
Wooden L - profiles, sand paper, wood glue, aquarium silicone and a window screen. (Pic.1,2,3)
Manual miter saw , picture frame clamp or corner clamps or sticky tape.
Step one: Making a frame.
The way is the same as making picture frame with mitred corners.
Use miter saw to cut the all 8 ends off at 45 degree in order to reach desired dimensions of the frame and sand the edges a little.(4) Stick the edges together by a glue and fix them with corner clamps or tape (5) for 12 hours. Then remove the tape and your frame is ready.(6)
Step two: finish a lid
Cut out a sheet of the window screen . Lay an 5-8 mm silicone line underside of the frame.(7) Then lay the screen sheet on and crowd it into and smooth the extended silicone.(8) Wait 24 hours and your screen lid is ready.
 

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blueberlin

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Won't the wood get moldy from the humidity? Or is the wood treated in some way against moisture?

Thanks,

-Eva
 

juraj

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No mould. The wood won`t get damp in such a degree. There is only risk of breaking. You can also use plastic or metal laths but wood looks nicer.
 

Jennewt

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This is an example where coming from a "newt" background (Juraj) and coming from an axolotl background (Eva) leads to different ideas. This would be an excellent screen lid for a newt setup, where the water level is typically several inches below the rim of the tank. It would not be a good lid for a tank that is full to the brim, or one where there is a strong airstone splashing water up all the time. Also, it's a difficult lid to work with (and make escape-proof) if you need to run a cord or tubing into the tank.

I have a screen lid that I made in a very similar manner using pine wood. I use it on a setup where I have a low water level and no filter. I painted the wood with glossy black spray paint, so it looks nice and resists occasional drops of water. I attached the screen using wood staples, rather than glue. I'll try to take a few photos.
 

eyrops

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Won't the wood get moldy from the humidity? Or is the wood treated in some way against moisture?

Just a quick caution against the use of treated wood for any component of a setup that could come into contact with your salamanders' environment. Treated wood contains chemicals that could prove fatal to your animals.

-Steve Morse
 

blueberlin

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Hi Steve,

That is a great point. I was thinking more of painting or impregnating the wood rather than using pretreated supplies.

@Jen: Right you are, my perspective is definitely aquatic. Still, I thought a newt enviroment needs be humid, and coming from New Orleans, I know what humidity can do to unsealed wood. In a battle of the elements, water wins quickly. That same point has me wondering about the staples you use - I am assuming they are on the outside (away from newt world) than inside (toward newt world) or they could rust? Sorry if the questions seem elementary or silly; just trying to be thorough. This topic is currently of particular interest to me.

As to accommodating cords/tubes, I am thinking that one could build a narrow wood support into the lid at the relevant place(s) (corners?) and bore an appropriate hole for each tube, then attach the screen around the hole(s)?

-Eva
 

oregon newt

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Still, I thought a newt enviroment needs be humid, and coming from New Orleans, I know what humidity can do to unsealed wood.
The enviorment doesn't need to be very humid. Usually, people keep one side moist and leave the other alone so that the newt can osmoregulate.
 

Jennewt

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I'm spoiled: I live in a dry climate. Nothing rusts unless it's in contact with water. In a humid climate the staples would eventually rust.

Here are 2 photos of my homemade screen lid. The photo of the underside shows the groove that was cut to fit the rim of the tank. The topside photo shows the staples. At the corner, you can see the hole where a screw was screwed through to hold the mitered pieces together.

In all, I'm not sure if it was worth the effort. I was able to make it with almost no cost because I had the materials at home. But if I had to buy the materials, it would have cost more than a commercial screen lid.
 

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Logan

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These lids look great but I have been using a method for a while for mantella tanks as well as my Phelsuma klemmeri that works great. I go to a big hardware store and buy a window screening kit. If you have a saw available you can cut these perfectly to fit the needs of your lid. Also instead of using the commercial window screening I take the extra time to go buy the cloth that is used for making veils for weddings at a craft store. I buy it in all black usually. The window screening kit allows you to fix the cloth into place without messy staples and keeps things like fruit flies and bean beetles from escaping but still has great airflow. Usually the kit allows you to make a couple lids also depending on the size of tank your working with. I can post pictures at some other time.
Logan
 
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