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 #2314611


Bakerzx
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 Mushu’s Build Log

Here is a build log of all the work that went into building an enclosure for Mushu. Mushu is a rescue Chinese Water Dragon that was taken in by our local pet store, Pet World. He apparently arrived on death’s door and the reptile department debated about even taking him in since he was in such bad shape/ almost dead. He clearly thrived and went on to live a wonderful life as a rescue reptile at Pet World. Like all rescues they strive to find good homes and my family was the lucky family who was asked to adopt Mushu. Sadly, the day after we found out he was going to become a permanent member of our family Pet World was the victim of a tragic fire that took the lives of many common and exotic pets. Luckily many did survive and Mushu happened to be one of the survivors. I can’t explain the heartache we have felt for the loss of Pet World, but Mushu stands as a lasting reminder that we must continue to educate, foster, inspire and conserve. Hopefully once he is acclimated he can continue his educational work through Pet World’s school and community education programs. Mushu was a hard working lizard who visited many children and inspired everyone to further the education and love of reptiles. So... Here we go. I hope you enjoy.



08/18/15  01:36pm

 #2314612


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314611


 Mushu’s Build Log

Here is the first purchase to fully cement the commitment to Mushu’s enclosure; a 4’x3’ garden pond.



08/18/15  01:38pm

 #2314613


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314612


 Mushu’s Build Log

This is the basic framing. I used standard 2"x4" studs for the framing. In the front I did use a 2"x6" to create a "lip" to hold in the substrate and add to the visual appearance.



08/18/15  01:39pm

 #2314614


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314613


 Mushu’s Build Log

The false floor has been framed in and the pond is put in for placement.



08/18/15  01:40pm

 #2314615


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314614


 Mushu’s Build Log

The support studs for the pond to carry all the weight once the water is in. According to calculations the full pond will add about 300 pounds to the enclosure.



08/18/15  01:43pm

 #2314616


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314615


 Mushu’s Build Log

The OSB has been screwed in to the framing. I used OSB because I was on a budget. Later I will have a much better enclosure built by a master carpenter with premium wood and trim. Till then this will do. As insane as this sounds: this enclosure is temporary.



08/18/15  01:45pm

 #2314617


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314616


 Mushu’s Build Log

The false floor has been installed, the pond installed/ foamed in, the planters have been screwed in and the pool noodles are put into a temporary placement. I decided to use pool noodles for the vines because of availability and the ability to carve them as needed and my Titebond III and peat slurry sticks rather well to coarse foam.



08/18/15  01:48pm

 #2314618


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314617


 Mushu’s Build Log

The pool noodles are taking shape and almost ready for scoured and prepared for the Titebond III and peat slurry.



08/18/15  01:50pm

 #2314619


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314618


 Mushu’s Build Log

Scoring pool noodles can be a family event. I am a stay-at-home dad and this particular activity proved to be very fun for the whole family.



08/18/15  01:51pm

 #2314620


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314619


 Mushu’s Build Log

All scored and ready for the Titebond III peat slurry.



08/18/15  01:52pm

 #2314621


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314620


 Mushu’s Build Log

Fake plant placement test. I opted for fake plants in certain areas as large reptile can be hard on flora.



08/18/15  01:53pm

 #2314622


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314621


 Mushu’s Build Log

A close up of the modified cold mist humidifier that I am using as a fogger. The tubing was run up the back of the enclosure and will be concealed by the Titebond III/ peat/ cypress mulch slurry.



08/18/15  01:55pm

 #2314623


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314622


 Mushu’s Build Log

A closeup of the canister filter that will handle all the filtration for the 40 gallon pond. It is rated at 350 gallons per hour. I use these canister filters for all my aquatic turtle enclosures. I know it’s a Marineland Magnum 350, but you can’t beat the mechanical filtration is provides. When you’re pretty much filtering a reptile toilet these can’t be beat.



08/18/15  01:57pm

 #2314624


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314623


 Mushu’s Build Log

Here is a view of the filter and the "fogger" together to see the quick connects and plumbing.



08/18/15  02:00pm

 #2314625


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314624


 Mushu’s Build Log

Starting to apply the Titebond III peat mixture to the pool noodles to create the vines. For the vines I brushed on Titebond III and then applied dry peat. This gives a different texture and appearance from the background which is more like a batter. It still dries rock hard and is water resistant.



08/18/15  02:02pm

 #2314626


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314625


 Mushu’s Build Log

All the Titenond III dry peat mixture has been applied. This is the worst part, I have to add. It is very dusty, messy and I used a spray bottle to control the dust as I worked. As fun as this build is, this is my least favorite part.



08/18/15  02:03pm

 #2314627


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314626


 Mushu’s Build Log

Flat black paint has been applied to the exposed framing to achieve a more completed/ professional look.



08/18/15  02:05pm

 #2314628


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314627


 Mushu’s Build Log

The Titebond III/ Peat/ Cypress Mulch slurry has been applied and is waiting to cure. I laid the enclosure on its back to use gravity in my favor when applying the slurry. The biggest pain about this process is the drying time. It takes well over a week to fully dry. I prefer this method over the silicone method as it is non toxic and the background never develops bald spots over time.



08/18/15  02:07pm

 #2314629


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314628


 Mushu’s Build Log

The track for the plexiglass doors have been glued, clamped and nailed in place. I ordered the tracks from a cabinet company and I was very impressed. Granted, I have never installed sliding door tracks and I was shaking with fear the whole time I was installing them.



08/18/15  02:09pm

 #2314630


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314629


 Mushu’s Build Log

The front facing has been installed and the magnetic cabinet doors are installed and working. I have to say, I must pat myself on the back for this. It came out pretty good and worked well with the materials my budget allowed.



08/18/15  02:11pm

 #2314631


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314630


 Mushu’s Build Log

The plastic plants have been siliconed into place and the (4) 6,500K grow lights are up and running.



08/18/15  02:12pm

 #2314632


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314631


 Mushu’s Build Log

I decided to putty the whole enclosure to give it a more professional/ non-OSB look.



08/18/15  02:13pm

 #2314633


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314632


 Mushu’s Build Log

NIght Light test.



08/18/15  02:14pm

 #2314634


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314633


 Mushu’s Build Log

Fully planted and sea grapes leaves laid down for natural leaf litter.



08/18/15  02:15pm

 #2314635


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314634


 Mushu’s Build Log

Ready to fill the pond. 45 gallons of reverse osmosis water.



08/18/15  02:15pm

 #2314636


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314635


 Mushu’s Build Log

Pick up the plexiglass tomorrow. ALMOST DONE!
Ill post total specs and a plant list once I’m all finished.
I really hope all of you enjoy this build log as much as I enjoyed the build.



08/18/15  02:24pm

 #2314645


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314636


 Mushu’s Build Log

The plexiglass fit: thank GOD! I was SO nervous. Coordinating with Pet World for Mushu’s arrival. WE may be going all out and having a party for the staff, owners and Mushu. We couldn’t be happier and are so excited to get Mushu home and spoil hi with a life of luxury he truly deserves.



08/20/15  10:34am

 #2314646


Candybugs
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314645


 Mushu’s Build Log

Wow. So beautiful Mush is blessed. Have a great party.



08/20/15  04:16pm

 #2314649


Bakerzx
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  Message To: Candybugs   In reference to Message Id: 2314646


 Mushu’s Build Log

Thanks! I’m really enjoying the final product. Being as this was my first go around; I’m pretty happy with the result. Will be compiling specs this evening.



08/21/15  08:13am

 #2314659


Beauxty
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  Message To: Bakerzx   In reference to Message Id: 2314611


 Mushu’s Build Log

Wow this is insane I wish I was handy, but I’m more artisty than anything.

All I have to say though is you are rich xD Must of cost a fortune. Amazing story thanks for sharing. He’s going to love his new home. The Water Dragon looks full grown though. He’s massive.

But I’m just not sure about how you are going to clean it every month. lol



08/22/15  01:12am

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