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Old 04-04-2014, 08:52 PM   #1 
DBanana
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Heating shelves - The making of

Tools



Shelving


Little metal tabs



Fold them over on the silver strip of the heating tape. This is harder then it sounds because they want to bend at a different angle. I used the official (not cheap) clamper-doohickey (red handles in the tool section) to clamp it down because the little metal bits that stick up towards each other MUST meet up and merge and do the metal version of face melding with each other. If you don't get the official doohickey then get some other RACHETING doohickey because god-DAMN that requires a lot of pressure to force to happen.

VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure all the little metal spurs (on the inside of those holes) are ON the silver metal strip in the heating tape. If not, potentially MELTEDPLASTICOHNOESTHESHIPPINGCOSTALONE. Didn't happen to me but I was advised of the risks. It is made easier if you have a pair of needle nose pliers to help. But don't think you can use needle nose pliers as a doohickey because they don't pack enough punch.


I clamped the metal clip onto the tape first because that's how I roll. Some people put the wires in first and then attach it to the tape. Figure out how you roll.


OK - Bottom shelf. One set of wires (strip the end with a wire stripper) goes to the plug I purchased as part of the set-up and the other from me standard lamp wire reel.

CLAMP EM SHUT (The official doohickey comes with an M-section that allows you to seal them in). There are no photos of this because this was a massive P.I.T.A.


Should look like this. Set of wires from shelf A goes to shelf B (where you stick in another set of wires to go to shelf C)

Take the aluminum foil off the shelves because the cats won't stop chewing on it.

CLAMP EM SHUT

End up with something like this


Make sure none of the little metal tabs are touching metal (for heavens sake we're working with electricity, don't be an idiot)
Plug the cord into this


Set the temp. Watch it go.

Or in my case, watch the goddamn thing not work because I got a dud. =_=

Plug it into the wall and the wiring works fine, but it needs a thermostat so I'm getting a new one. Ugh.

Once you've confirmed it works use the little plastic shells (if you bought them. Buy them). Fill one up with silicone, place on bottom, put some silicone in the top, snap it on. Wipe hands of sticky silicone. Swear to never touch the damn stuff again.

Let sit till sticky stuff sets. Immediately ignore promise to never touch silicone again. Put aluminium foil under tape and tag the tape to the foil with silicone to keep it from shifting. Promise the cats no treats if you find tinsel in the litter box.

Have husband regret life choices that led to his wife smelling like silicone and being stuck to all the cat hair.

Last edited by DBanana; 04-04-2014 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:21 PM   #2 
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So technically you do not need a metal shelf, correct? I don't want anything bad to happen...
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:34 PM   #3 
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Best written DIY ever, lol.
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:40 PM   #4 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Betta Nut View Post
Best written DIY ever, lol.
Seconded. Should have said so earlier.
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Old 04-05-2014, 04:39 AM   #5 
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I did leave a couple of things out because they're very clearly outlined with the guide that the tape sends along for wiring. The big thing is that the other end of your sections of tape (the silver ends) must be covered. Either with tape but ideally, in an water around it situation, with silicone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDragon View Post
So technically you do not need a metal shelf, correct? I don't want anything bad to happen...
You really need a metal shelf if you're going to be supporting water weight. Some places have metal shelves coated in plastic but as far as I've seen those tend to be the wire shelves.

The end result is this: You're going to test the wiring before you seal the ends in silicone inside the clips (because you need to make them waterproof), make sure when you test the wiring none of the clips are touching the shelves. I don't know if anything would happen (mine are powder coated shelves, not raw metal) but I'm not taking that risk. After you seal it in silicone it doesn't matter because all of the raw metal connections (end of wire, metal tabs, cut edge of silver heating strip on the tape) are smothered in tasty, delicious, creamy silicone. They can't touch any other metal other than they're already touching or if someone really, really wants them to.
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:12 AM   #6 
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Ok. That makes me feel better. I'm not a clutz or anything... just concerned about getting shocked. I'll have to look into that... I really need a bigger room or a house... We've already got... about 77 gallons so far in this room. And planning at least 10 more for breeding.
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Old 04-06-2014, 05:22 PM   #7 
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Got a 20g long, some plastic canvas mesh and binder spines from Walmart and I've been siliconing some dividers into a betta barracks for breeding daddies.

The glass isn't supposed to sit directly on the tape but in the commercial aquariums the black plastic edging lifts it up off. I'm keeping my options open for further lifting, but right now this is where I am.

I wanted the ability to rearrange the dividers as I saw fit, hence the middle dividers. All hail silicone, that glorious sticky bastard.


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