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Turtle Tank and Dock

As we all know, Jenn and I have a baby named the Baron. Specifically, a baby map turtle named The Baron von Deutschenheim the Second. When we got him, or should I say before we got him, I knew he'd need a home so I made him an awesome one. First, I built the tank itself. Now, you may know where he lives now, unfortunately, dad and I tried to re-caulk this tank and it sprung a series of leaks we never got to finish fixing, so it's in my house in Villa Park accumulating dust. One day though, he'll live in it again.

Dock 01
The tank is made out of 1/4 inch clear acrylic with one side lowered for the filter. The lowered filter position allows for the water to be lower but there still be dry space at top. I used the foil and paper towel method to test for leaks, and she passed awesomely!
Dock 02
This picture is the same, but deleting it would screw up the number order of my pictures.
Dock 03
A close up of the strengthened joint, it's epoxy, silicon caulk, and reinforced acrylic 90 degree bends.
Dock 04
The opposing dropped corner.
Dock 05
So, his royalty will like a place to sit out and bask in the sun as well as a place to hide, like a cave. He also needs to be able to easily get up on it, and it should be pretty. I used some 1/8 inch acrylic to make a custom dock feature. Here's the simple piece I started with.
Dock 06
The first bends, done with a light butane torch.
Dock 07
The acrylic stretches when it is bent so the bends don't have to be straight lines, as you can see. Who knew I was a sculptor too?
Dock 08
I'm inspecting the rig, I want the height to be right above the water line set by the lowered edge, so I made this little rig to hold it steady while I worked.
Dock 09
Preparation for the firing, notice my heat prevention gloves.
Dock 10
Dock 11
THE MELTEY FIRE!!! The acrylic bubbles if it gets too hot.
Dock 12
Heating is a slow process.
Dock 13
Dock 14
Slowly taking shape, thanks for takin pics Jenn.
Dock 15
The bubbles are where it's heated up a lot, but they make it easy to expand and bend. It's really starting to take a dropped ramp shape.
Dock 16
The beginnings of the cave.
Dock 17
Beginning the drop side.
Dock 18
The ramp from the front, in formation.
Dock 19
Ok, here's the rock structure, if I do say so myself it turned out spectacular, it looks really natural and flowing.
Dock 20
Dock 21
Side view, with an extender at the bottom. And a hottie in the background, studying.
Dock 22
This is where my man is gonna sit when he's sunning!
Dock 23
Seems the ramp is too short, think I'll need to extend it.
Dock 24
Closeup on the drop side extension.
Dock 25
Here's the extension on the ramp, with the whole unit installed in the tank. Temporarily, to make sure it fits.
Dock 26
Fits great, sits on little nubs glued to the side of the tank.
Dock 27
The dock out again.
Dock 28
It may look ugly, but this is the extension held on with hot glue and acrylic scraps. It looks better in the end, and I did this knowing it.
Dock 29
Dock 30
Dock 31
Well, I want this thing to look beautiful, so I'm gonna make it look like rock. First, I covered the inside of the tank with laminated paper.
Dock 32
So many repeat pictures!
Dock 33
The dock is in, see it fits. See why soon!
Dock 34
It's in.
Dock 35
So Adam (my awesome resident) and I went to the volleyball courts and stole some janky ass sand.
Dock 36
Using the lid of my small tank as a sieve, we filtered out the bad sand from the good sand.
Dock 37
See the fine nice sand?
Dock 38
This adhesive is used to put countertop laminant down, I laid it on thick.
Dock 39
Me painting the dock in the covered tank.
Dock 40
More cover.
Dock 41
And now do you get it??? It looks like rock since the sand sticks to the glue!
Dock 42
The underside too, which turned out to be a problem. . .
Dock 43
The weight of the sand caused cracks which I had to repair.
Dock 44
Hidden and covered!
Dock 45
Finished, with some stray pieces coming off over time.
Dock 46
The repaired underside.
Dock 47
Supported by nubs.
Dock 48
So here's the beautiful tank with the pic of a turtle in there, all ready to be enjoyed!

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