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Enclosure for Adult Female Red-tailed Boa! I Need Lots of Help!

Discussion in 'General Construction' started by Sangheili, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. Sangheili

    Sangheili Well-Known Member

    My red-tailed boa is out growing her cage rather quickly.
    I need to know everything there is about making a cage for an adult red-tailed boa. She's female so she's going to be rather large.

    I'd like to know the cheapest way possible... if that's possible. I don't really know where to start, any help would be greatly appreciated ^^;
  2. TJOHNSON722

    TJOHNSON722 Elite Member

    Plywood and plexiglass. Your basically making a box that will be heated. Small vents. Do research on heat types. As stated in your other post by a member (Vers maybe?) Heat panels (pro products) or heat tape both on thermostat or rheostat will be more efficient. While not economically cheap now its cheaper in long run.
  3. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    That was norwegn113 who recommended heat panels in the other thread :) But, in addition to the advice in the other thread, I'd agree with the above. As for the enclosure itself...what are the planned/allowed dimensions and budget?
  4. king1239

    king1239 Elite Member

    in the mean time buy a sweaterbox i think it is or a christmas tree box (plastic with lid) and put a heat pad it will work since they arent an aboreal species
  5. Wyldrose

    Wyldrose Elite Member

    7x2x2 will be perfect for her for life. My best advice is thick plexi not the really thin easy to bend stuff.
  6. Sangheili

    Sangheili Well-Known Member

    Thank you for all for your speedy replies! They are very helpful! :D

    I did not know I could use plywood! That makes it rather affordable!
    I will take the suggestion and make the cage 7x2x2!
    I will actually be making three cages. 1 for my boa, 1 for my ball python, and one for my bearded dragon.
    Can I use the same materials for all three animals? [and what dimensions for the beardie, she is an adult]

    What are Heat panels and how much do they usually go for? I'm using ceramic heat emitters at the moment. I'm going to try and find a thermostat that I can plug the two snakes heat lamps into [since they both need about the same temps.] and another for the beardie [she's on the other side of the room]
  7. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Plywood is totally suitable, as long as it is properly framed/supported. A large boa can get quite heavy. Mine is around 40 pounds.

    Glass, while more expensive, is much less resistant to scratching. While your boa does not have claws, if she ever "finger paints" you may scratch the surface of your plexi simply in trying to clean it. Urates, as I'm sure you have noticed, can turn to cement, even if left in a water dish, where they could not possibly have dried out. Plexi will also flex, meaning it's options for use are limited, and it will require being fastened to something with less give to prevent it from simply bowing and allowing your snake to escape.

    Standard plate glass can be brittle, so care must be taken not to drop it, but tempered glass is a little stronger. I prefer to use 1/4" for my cages.

    The plywood will need proper sealing. Polycrylic has less odor, and is generally safe once dried.

    I used to have problems with my boa flipping her water bowl, that is until I wandered into a Tractor Supply co. store, and found a non-tip livestock watering bowl. It hold about 2 gallons, and she hasn't been able to flip it yet. It's sturdy and plastic. easy to clean. Sometimes, she is considerate, and poops in it, making it much easier to clean just her dish, as opposed to her whole cage. I don't remember how much I paid for it, but it wasn't much - definitely under $20.

    As to heating, I have had fabulous luck with Flexwatt. There is a tutorial here for how to wire it, and it really is simple - I can do it. (Wiring Heat Tape)

    While it won't conduct much through wood, I have made removable heat tiles, by wiring these to a dimmer switch, and using foil tape to adhere them to the bottom of ceramic floor tiles (which are easy to remove for cleaning - they just wipe right off.) and they can also be removed, should they need to be transferred to a new cage, unlike store bought stick-on heaters. You can make them yourself for a fraction of the price of purchasing a similar product. You add felt stick-on feet to raise them off the ground about 1/4", so the heat doesn't build up and make it overheat.

    Another option is heat pads made for humans. Though they are getting hard to find (last ones I bought, I could only locate at a CVS) they do still make them without the 2 hour safety shutoff. They can be used under plastic, stone, ceramic, or other conductive or this materials. They generally maintain very safe temperatures, as they are intended to not burn people. they run around $20 each.

    If you use laminate stick-on tiles/linoleum, you will need to glue them onto the walls and ceiling, otherwise they fall down. I had to not nly glue them, but also use silicone to seal the seams.

    Just some input from my experiences cage-building. Done plenty of it on a fairly small budget.
  8. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    apparently, my dish is indeed a 3 gallon (not 2)

    company that makes them is called Fortiflex. The model I have is a 3 gallon low pan (model number is LP-12)
  9. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    I don't know about the snake set ups but an adult bearded dragon would need a 4x2x2' enclosure. Also in my area glass is a lot cheaper than plexiglass. It will make the enclosure slightly heavier but it is definitely worth it. Tempered is a must and 1/4in or thicker. I put 1/8in thick on my CWD cage and it is rather flimsy so definitely do something thicker.
  10. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    FWIW tempered glass isn't necessarily a must--there are other options, like safety glass, for instance.

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