In case you haven't noticed by now, I'm not the most mechanically inclined person. Plus
I'm an accident waiting to happen. If something can go wrong, rest assured I will find it. Heck, I don't even do oil changes
on my car. Which is what made my attempt at building the Chameleon Journal's drip water system so interesting.
I found a Drip Water System described at Chameleon
Journal's website, which seemed fairly straightforward and not too complicated. I wasn't too happy with my current drip system
so I decided to tackle this project. The project went off with a few hitches, but nothing that I couldn't handle. For a complete
materials list, visit the provided link above.
There was no instructions provided with the materials
list, but there was a nice diagram which showed you where all the pieces were supposed to go. No instructions were necessary.
There was only one cut to make for the length of the pipe, and one drill out for the brass needle valve assembly. All the
pieces fit together with aquarium silicon sealant.
The great thing about the instructions is that
you don't have to have the main pipe cut exactly. You can make it a bit longer or shorter than what is called, just make sure
the cut end is as straight as possible; it wouldn't hurt to sand it!
This might seem obvious to you, but you
will also need some sort of adhesive to glue all the pieces together. I used an aquarium silicon sealant. I figured if it's
safe for my fish, should be safe for my Chameleons!
The 1/4 x 1/8 tube/MIP Brass needle valve assembly
was a little difficult to find, but I finally found it at Home Depot. They have it, trust me! The assembly did not come with
clear enough directions, but I finally figured out how to attach the 1/8 airline tubing to the assembly. Yes, I know I sound
flakey, but when you attached the 1/8 tubing to where it was supposed to go, the brass attachment would just flop around the
assembly and would not form a watertight seal. I finally figured out how to solve this problem:
attach airline tubing to 1/8 the brass attachment
using a crescent wrench, TIGHTEN the 1/8 attachment
to assembly until it is snug
When you tighten the attachment, the assembly
flares out and forms a water tight seal. NIFTY!
The directions to the drip system call for a
1/8 tap to the drip system housing, but I chose to drill the hole out slightly smaller than the direction called for, and
line the hole with copious amounts of aquarium sealant. This worked for me, but you have to make sure the hole is small enough
to form a tight seal, but large enough to allow the 1/4 thread through.
Another thing that isn't too clear is that the
drop-in drain grate shouldn't be glued in place. You will want to remove this from time to time to clear out your drip system.
Overall, the drip system described was fairly
straightforward, with nothing overly complicated. I'd give this one a difficulty rating of 3, and that's because of the 1/8
brass attachment difficulty.
Material cost me about $11, and that was because
I bought a 10 ft PVC section and built , dividing the cost. The most expensive item was the brass assembly, which took up
almost half of my bill. I would recommend this project to anyone, with access to a drill, hacksaw, and some silicone aquarium