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Post Posted: Thu May 18, 2017 6:28 pm   Hello again

I'm not new but it has definitely been a long time since I visited last. I have recently done a complete remodel of my tank and designed and developed a new ATBA using various ideas from fellow members here and from various youtube videos I found. It turned out pretty nice. I may create a separate thread just to show it and provide as much info about my experience to share with others that are thinking about undertaking a project like that. I know I found all the build threads here very helpful.

Here is a sneak peek: http://imgur.com/a/akrmn
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Spookster
 
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Post Posted: Fri May 19, 2017 2:07 am   Re: Hello again

Hey Spookster! Nice to see you pop in, how's your girl?

I like the ATBA, and the ramp! Very clean and elegant design. Build threads are always appreciated :)
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steve
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Post Posted: Fri May 19, 2017 2:24 am   Re: Hello again

Hi Steve. She's doing great. She really likes her new ATBA. Lots more room and easier to get up and down the ramp.
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Spookster
 
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Post Posted: Fri May 19, 2017 5:18 pm   Re: Hello again

Great to hear. How do you like the heater? And is the timer for the lighting or something else?
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Post Posted: Sat May 20, 2017 4:37 pm   Re: Hello again

The heater is pretty awesome. Its a JBJ True Temp Titanium Heating System Kit 500 watts. My only complaint would be the temp probe suction cup. The suction cup was built into the probe and has worn out and from what I can tell they don't sell the probe separately to replace it. The heater though has been going strong for roughly 10 years no issues. For the lighting there are actually 2 timers. The one you see in the photos is for the ATBA LED light bar. It's a dual ramp timer to control the blue and white LED lights. It allows me to ramp the light gradually from dawn to dusk light and then stop at moonlight for the nighttime. The rest of the lighting for the tank and basking lamp are on a regular timer that just shuts off in the evening and turns on in the morning.
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Post Posted: Sun May 21, 2017 1:44 pm   Re: Hello again

I had always thought about doing a gradual timer or having secondary lights, how do you like it?
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steve
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Post Posted: Sun May 21, 2017 11:44 pm   Re: Hello again

steve wrote:I had always thought about doing a gradual timer or having secondary lights, how do you like it?


It's really great. Having it all fully automated and the tank and basking area completely lighted is so much nicer aesthetically.

This is the dual ramp timer and ATBA LED light bar I got. The dual meaning it controls dual lines. In my case 1 line for white LEDs and 1 line for blue LEDs so you can create the mix of lighting you like.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I8 ... UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C7 ... UTF8&psc=1

For the tank lighting I used chainable white LED light bars. I was surprised at how good of quality these are for so cheap.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MQ ... UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TZ ... UTF8&psc=1
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Post Posted: Mon May 22, 2017 11:49 am   Re: Hello again

Looks pretty affordable. I think it fits perfectly with the ATBA. Did you use silicone for the rocks on the ramp?
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Post Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 11:35 am   Re: Hello again

steve wrote:Looks pretty affordable. I think it fits perfectly with the ATBA. Did you use silicone for the rocks on the ramp?


Yeah. Just siliconed river rocks and grouted it with sand. I will probably remake the basking platform/ramp again at some point. Ran into numerous problems that i'd like to redo. Its actually all one piece of plexiglass and I used a propane torch to bend the ramp and ledge. My torch kept shutting off during the bending of the ledge so its a bit warped ( i like perfection). And the sand grouting was an afterthought which would have worked better if I had applied it at the same time I glued the rocks. The basking platform is also removable and comes out all in one piece whenever I need to. Its not attached. I designed it so the weight of the slate tiles provides enough to keep it in place when the turtle is on the ramp. Also I might look at using maybe fake river rock next time. The real river rock adds alot of weight so the platform is quite heavy.
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Post Posted: Fri May 26, 2017 1:32 pm   Re: Hello again

I had a hard time getting silicone to stick to plexiglass, did you do anything special with the grouting? I've never heard of fake river rock before. Why not add another smaller piece of tile? That way the surface is a little uneven and plastron can dry off a little bit better.
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Post Posted: Sun May 28, 2017 2:05 am   Re: Hello again

steve wrote:I had a hard time getting silicone to stick to plexiglass, did you do anything special with the grouting? I've never heard of fake river rock before. Why not add another smaller piece of tile? That way the surface is a little uneven and plastron can dry off a little bit better.


Maybe it was just not a good brand. I've been using silicone in the tank to glue plexiglass shelves and and even glued a anti-turtle plexiglass shield around my heater. Was not easy removing those. In fact I still can't remove the ledges that held my shelf in place. You can see those in the photos. I left them there until I can figure out how to get them to come loose.

If I had done the grouting right I would have had the sand ready to go when I glued the rocks on. Instead I added more silicone later on and sprinkled the sand on. It worked but not as nicely if I had done at the same time. Really just sprinkled the sand on and patted it down into the silicone and let it all dry then shook the excess sand off. I used rocks on the ramp rather than tile because it gives the turtle plenty of places to get traction to climb up. Plus it looks nice. The ramp is mostly underwater and she doesn't hang out on it. She has plenty of tile space on the platform. 24x12 inches of space.to stretch out on and get dry.

Fake river rocks :)
https://www.potsplantersandmore.com/pro ... Algj8P8HAQ
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Spookster
 
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Post Posted: Sun May 28, 2017 11:10 am   Re: Hello again

I like her setup! It's great ! Today I find it hard at times to tell some newbie's give a turtle what "IT" needs , not the bull they want to see. I will tell them look at yours ( long time turtle keeper) to see what correctly can be done to have a happy and healthy turtle.

Wish they had synthetic river rocks back in my days or I just didn't look hard enough. I still had plenty real river rocks , old but free , have 300 #'s in my 150 gallon stock tank. All my life I done as natural as I could offer but you have me looking in a new direction. I mostly have used stock tanks being able to do more with them. I like the look and Piggley loves the rocks to dig in! A stock tank gives me more direct one on one time together too. I have my chair next to it and just hang my hand in for Piggley to play with it. Hopefully will never have to break it down completely at my age but if I do synthetic will go back in.

Saving that link. Thanks'
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Post Posted: Sun May 28, 2017 3:30 pm   Re: Hello again

Did you use a thick layer of silicone? I think that and the weight might help keep everything together.
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steve
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Post Posted: Sun May 28, 2017 6:28 pm   Re: Hello again

steve wrote:Did you use a thick layer of silicone? I think that and the weight might help keep everything together.


For the ramp I'd say I probably used a 1/4 inch thick layer of silicone to nestle the rocks into it. For the other times I've used silicone I just either covered the surface of the plexiglas with a thin layer or just a normal bead along the edges and it's always held up just fine. Although I do remember now I did have to re-glue the ledges of my original shelf once. The first time I had just squeezed out a squiggly bead on the surface and applied it. The second time I completely covered the surface with a thin layer before I applied it.
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Post Posted: Mon May 29, 2017 10:05 am   Re: Hello again

That makes a lot of sense, thanks for the info.
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