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Reptile Safe Materials?

Discussion in 'General Construction' started by Chris89, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. Chris89

    Chris89 Member

    I'm getting ready to start trying my hand at building my own enclosures for a few diffrent snakes I would like to own a little further down the road. I have been all over the internet trying to find materials that are safe for reptiles, and for the most part I find stuff that people suggest but havnt had first hand experiance with.
     
  2. Chris89

    Chris89 Member

    I dont like the idea of glass for the windows for two diffrent reasons. 1. I have a small kid that curently likes to tap on things with his toys and dont want him to hurt himself or the animal should it break, and lets face it i think we all know that accedents happen from time to time. 2. I never have been much in favor of using glass because it doesnt do much in the way of helping retain heat.
    So I've been looking into replacing any glass with plexiglas for better strength and it does help hold some heat unlike glass, a bit expensive but i think its worth the extra price when it comes to safety and insulating properties.
     
  3. NancyA

    NancyA Elite Member

    If you are going to use plexi you may want to look into Lexan. It cost a bit more but is stronger and more resistant to scratches. Lexan also if cleaned properly will outlast plexi for clouding.
     
  4. DragonsKeepers

    DragonsKeepers Subscribed User Premium Member

    I would agree Lexan is better, Lowe's and Home Depot both stock it. I would use 1/4" for doors/windows on the enclose. If you talking about building the whole enclosure from it, I would suggest plywood instead. It is safer, cheaper, stronger, and will certainly insulate better than glass or plexiglass.
     
  5. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    You can use 3/4in plywood for the enclosure. Any kind will work but try to get cabinet grade or higher so it looks nice when done. I used 1/2in cheapest possible plywood for my CWD cage and it looks bad. Even paint doesn't hide it's ugliness so now I am going to rebuild it to make it pretty.
    But you have to polyurethane the enclosures.
     
  6. Chris89

    Chris89 Member

    Ive been looking at a few diffrent brands, and Ive sent a few emails back and forth with a few diffrent distributors about them and what i plan on using them for. I know that most minor scratches can be buffed out fairly easy. I dunno if itd be safe to do this tho being as I'm sure most of the compounds would be harmful to reptiles, and Im not entirly sure wether or not they would leach into the inside of the enclosure if I only had to do this on the outside. If I go with plexiglas I will probably buy a brand that is more scratch resistant. Have you ever used and enclosure that had plexiglas? Im curious wether or not reptiles would be able or likely to scratch the interior side of the plexiglas.

    Also I was thinking about using some form of plastic like ABS for the inside walls of the enclosure. Any advice on plastic thats safe, easy to sanitize, or where to go to get information about any?
     
  7. Chris89

    Chris89 Member

    Im not a big fan of plywood, or really any wooden enclosures. Id like to build one with a plastic interior or something along that line to have a better finished look, and the outside I plan to finish with cabinet grade plywood or a wood panel cover. No offence to anyone on here but plain wooden enclosures dont appeal much to me, tho i have seen a few that have really surprised me lol.
     
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I have. The doors on my iguana cage are plexi and If I had it to do over again I would use 1/4 inch glass.
    Between the iguana scruffing against it and the regular cleaning it to remove the snalt deposits, it is quite foggy and unattractive.
     
  9. Chris89

    Chris89 Member

    Yea I was wondering if that would happen, I want something that will be easy to keep clear because Im a bit OCD when it come to being able to see into my tanks and enclosures. All the ones I would be using plexiglas in would be for snakes, but Ive never had much experiance with plexiglas in a snake enclosure exept for a family friend. He housed venemous reptiles in his so they were a bit problematic when it came to cleaning the enclosures, but they cleaned up really decent when the time came to clean the enclosures. I'm not sure if any other snakes would scratch up the inside or not..
     
  10. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Safety glass? Then if it somehow shatters(doubtful) all the pieces wither stay in the film or are soft rounded edges depending on the type of glass you get.
    And plastic interiors aren't much better to look at then wood. Though if that's what you like then build the entire enclosure with wood and line the inside with FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic) it is just white plastic.
     
  11. NancyA

    NancyA Elite Member

    The important thing with using any plexi or lexan materials is to use only Fantastic cleaner or water and vinegar. Windex and other cleaners are what cause the fogging. At the zoo we had 4 very large lexan panes for viewing into the nursery each about 6'x4'. With children and adults constantly leaning against the panes we cleaned them a few times per day. The Fantastic cleaner did a great job. On the interior near the babies we used only vinegar/water solution or just water. Windex was used by a keeper on one of our other herp windows made of plexi and it had to be replaced because of the fogging.
     

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