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Old 03-31-2022, 08:32 AM   #1
heidii
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Default IKEA Detolf

Almost a month ago, I made an IKEA Platsa cage that measures 120cmx60cm, giving just over 1100 square inches of floorspace. My baby Syrian boy, Neptr, seems okay in it for now, but I am a little worried about getting a detolf instead, in case he hates it.

I am still decorating and therefore the PLATSA was the best I could do at the time. Now I am looking at possibly getting a MALM chest of drawers, which would mean I'd be able to get a detolf.

I'm not set on detolfs - their quite thin but it would fit the MALM quite well. The MALM is 163cm long by 48cm in width. Some issues I think I might have include the little wooden nobbly bits at the top and bottom of the Detolf. You're meant to put the detolf on a dresser larger than 160cm because of this, but the MALM only exceeds it by 3cm. It could possibly work, and if not I'd have to put something in the gap to prevent it from bowing.

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Another thing, is it possible to combine them? I've seen it done to make the detolf wider, by combining two together and sealing it, but what about combining them lenth ways, making an enclosure just over 300cm long?

And what lid options do I have? I've seen some done, but I'm not massive on the way they look.

Last edited by heidii; 03-31-2022 at 12:23 PM. Reason: changed title/topic i suppose
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Old 03-31-2022, 03:12 PM   #2
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Default Re: Acrylic sheet for DIY cage

I personally wouldn't combine two Detolf units length ways to make a very long narrow enclosure unless you had robos or Chinese hamsters, because then the width wouldn't be an issue with those species, and even with the other dwarf species(including hybrids) it would be decent enough. However, a single Detolf would be adequate in that case.

A pair of Detolf units combined in the width direction to make a cage of the same length yet twice as wide would be a lot better when it comes to making a Syrian cage, but you'd want a raised lid so you can actually have enough substrate depth including a 12 inch wheel. Aquarium silicon would work to seal the two units together but you'd need internal bracing which would also keep things structurally sound, however silicon takes at least 48 hours to cure and would need to be in an entirely different air space than pets as it does produce toxic fumes while curing - preferably outside which is understandably very inconvenient when dealing with such a large cage as a double Detolf!
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Old 03-31-2022, 03:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: Acrylic sheet for DIY cage

I definitely won't be getting two detolfs just yet, but one seems like the most likely option as of the moment, and I can just dismantle my current cage and keep it as spares under the bed.

May I ask why it would be better to have a wider one, as opposed to longer? I would love a wider one and am already considering ways in which I could implement it whilst keeping the MALM, but was just wondering. I imagine it'd be significantly more difficult because of the wooden panels at either end, but if done I imagine it would be very sleek.
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Old 03-31-2022, 04:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Acrylic sheet for DIY cage

The Detolf is already a very narrow enclosure, and like I said the width isn't as much of an issue for dwarf species but when it comes to Syrians it can be an issue - it's only ~15.5 inches deep internally which for a species that can be generally 4-6 inches in length isn't exactly ideal especially when it comes to larger houses and such!

Making it longer but the same width isn't really addressing that problem unfortunately, whereas making a double Detolf of the same length but double width would. The end wood panels could be replaced with melamine for example for a more solid one piece result which would ultimately look nicer.

Theoretically you could also double up the MALM units on either end, though they wouldn't have the same potential storage function since they wouldn't be as accessible but it is a potential option.
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Old 03-31-2022, 05:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Acrylic sheet for DIY cage

I thought perhaps just going with cheap storage unit boxes instead of dropping 120 quid on a dresser that wouldn't be functional. That way I could still use them for storage if I turned them the right way either side.
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Old 03-31-2022, 05:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: Acrylic sheet for DIY cage

As long as the furniture pieces you're using can support the total weight of your Detolf unit, everything you're adding in, and still have wiggle room in their weight capacity just in case it should be fine.
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Old 04-01-2022, 05:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: Acrylic sheet for DIY cage

Thanks for the reply!
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