Thursday, May 31, 2012
Hamlab 3 is being decommissioned.
Remember the mixup with the wrong combination of glue (cyanoacrylate) and spray-on accelerant? Well, I thought it was salvageable by going over all the seals with the correct glue/accelerant combo. And in fact it did hold up fairly well, but during the standard 24 hour in-water testing (without occupants) of any new/modified habitat, it took on about a centimeter of water, and any amount is unacceptable. For those of you who have asked why I'm this ridiculously cautious and methodical about a hobby, anything that goes underwater or into space and must support life demands it. At any rate, I deem Hamlab 3 unsafe for further use. I'll be salvaging the ballast weights but the rest is going in the garbage. I have almost all the pieces I need to build another habitat exactly like it, and this time providing only the correct accelerant is used throughout construction it will be as dependable and solid as the other habs. Rather than rebuild the same design, this might also be an opportunity to make something different. Suggestions for novel habitat designs are welcome, preferably based on transparent waterproof acrylic/lexan containers already designed to be used by divers/kayakers. I had my eye on one of these large dome habitats, as they are designed to optionally be used as aquariums (and are therefore excellently sealed) but the $100 price is outside of the current budget after buying the 100 gallon aquarium, besides which it's just barely too large in diameter to fit. Still, I have my heart set on eventually purchasing one for conversion into a habitat when I can afford to, as it looks just perfect for it and is spacious enough to contain a running wheel like Hambase Alpha, an amenity I am becoming more and more convinced that hamsternauts need to be happy in the long term.