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Help with a Complete Overhaul!

Discussion in 'General Construction' started by mikeyp03, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. mikeyp03

    mikeyp03 Elite Member

    Hey everyone!
    I've been reading here for a while so I took the plunge and joined this morning to take advantage of the knowledge you all have!

    I'm kind of looking to do a complete overhaul on my enclosures.
    So I guess I'll start by describing what I currently have.

    Female Ball Python
    36"L X 18"D X 16"T glass tank
    100W zilla heat lamp
    Small zilla under tank heat pad

    Male Jungle Carpet Python
    24"L X 12"D X 24"T glass tank
    100W Zilla heat lamp

    Rose Hair Tarantula
    20"L X 10"D X 12"T
    sometimes I'll turn on a 75W zilla heat lamp

    I'm tired of trying to heat the glass tanks, so they have to go. I would have liked to build pvc/acrylic enclosures but it seems that the cost of the materials are almost as expensive as buying them premade.
    So I'm thinking about:
    PVC Cages-I am liking these the best
    Vision Cages
    And Tarantula Homes acrylic enclosures

    So If I went with one of these I'd have to get radiant heat panels, and thermostats, and I think I'd like to get a mister as well.
    I'm pretty confident I figured out the sizes I'd use for each enclosure I'd use as well.
    I'm just tired of looking at my mediocre enclosures. I'd also rather have the energy efficiency with the new setups.
    I've had no problems with the repti-bark, but I'm thinking there are better substrates, so opinions on what would be better would be great too!

    Any opinions, recommendations, etc. would really help!
    I'll get some pics up in a few mins too!
  2. mikeyp03

    mikeyp03 Elite Member

  3. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    What about making them out of wood? Or hiring a cabinet maker to make them? It might be cheaper. And it can be all one stacked unit with room to add more animals!
  4. mikeyp03

    mikeyp03 Elite Member

    I definitely thought about making them out of wood, but I'm thinking about weight too. Also, running a mister inside the wood enclosures might give me problems.....just what I'm thinking, but I'm not sure.

    ETA: Can you put radiant heat panels in wood enclosures?
  5. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Misters aren't an issue if you use several coats of polyurethane. I don't know about the heat panels... Well I know you can use them in the enclosures but I don't know what has to been done to the enclosure first to make it safe. I know for under tank heaters you have to have a gap so the heater doesn't touch the wood directly but I don't know if this applies to heat panels as well.

    Now for the weight are you talking about the weight of the entire thing for moving purposes? Or the weight of all the decorations and such not being supported by the wood enclosure?
  6. mikeyp03

    mikeyp03 Elite Member

    Oh ok so wood with polyurethane is fine with water? Yea I havent done much research into using wood, so I'll have to look into the heat panels and wood.

    Yea moving purposes is my concern. Currently I am renting a house, but at some point this year I'm planning on buying a house so whatever enclosure I go with FOR SURE it's going to be moved. If I do go the wood route I may just wait until I move to build them.

    One other thing I don't understand is; how do you light stacked enclosures?
  7. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Build a box that sits inbetween or in the enclosures that would house the lights. You can make each enclosure seperate boxes that just stack on top of each other. This would make it easier to move.
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Or just put your lights inside the enclosure.
  9. jdandlucy

    jdandlucy Elite Member

    i have a 4x4x2 enclosure made of wood, with 2 sliding glass doors. the complete set up with everything all heating lighting and humidity components, all decor and substrate is under 100 lbs
  10. mikeyp03

    mikeyp03 Elite Member

    Thanks for your help Thala!
    You changed my mind lol So I think I will just build the enclosure.
    I wasn't doing any research into wood enclosures so I kind of have to start over now.

    What is the best design for housing pythons?
    Will heating bulbs be fine or will something else be necessary(heat tape, etc.)
    Should the lights be above the enclosure or inside as Merlin suggested?

    Jdandlucy....sounds pretty good do you have any pics up of this or a link? Thanks for that info!
  11. jdandlucy

    jdandlucy Elite Member

  12. jdandlucy

    jdandlucy Elite Member

    ball pythons are best in a 4x2x2. where the jungle would take advantage of a 4x4x2 like mine.
  13. mikeyp03

    mikeyp03 Elite Member

    WOW that looks great, I actually read through your thread earlier this morning but I didnt go the third page so I missed the vids and pics lol.

    So your top is screened, is that to let out some of the humidity?
    Do you think the humidifier is powerful enough to run 2 separate pvc pipes(2 enclosures)?
    Did you build the sliding doors?

    ETA: Yea thats what I figured about the sizing, and why your swapping them.
  14. jdandlucy

    jdandlucy Elite Member

    i just got the IJ on saturday. she is still in quarantine. i will find a pic of the top it is easier to show than tell. as far as the humidifier it should be more than enough to run 2. i would at least put a valve on each side to be able to shut one off or adjust the flow.
  15. jdandlucy

    jdandlucy Elite Member

    DSCF0168_zpsd1c68d12.jpg DSCF0165_zps3a676617.jpg DSCF0166_zps0a73eae6.jpg is it expanded steel with a foil radiant barrier. 250 watt CHE and a basking light that dont get used.
  16. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    So if you stacked the enclosures all you would need on a seperate table is the tarantula.
  17. mikeyp03

    mikeyp03 Elite Member

    JD yea the pics help with the explanation lol, but you say you don't really use them huh?
    Your using the flourescent lights for heat and light? I do like this idea much better than the pan lights.

    Thala, I'm almost considering building it a foot wider and somehow putting the tarantula enclosure on the side of the main two kind of floating in the middle with plywood on top and bottom so the whole thing would be 5 ft wide and 6 ft tall.
    The JCP would be on top on the left 4 ft wide by 3.5 ft tall by 2 ft deep.
    The BP would be on the bottom left 4 ft wide by 2 ft tall by 2 ft deep
    The tarantula would be on the right about 3 ft up from the bottom and 1 ft wide by 1 ft tall by 2 ft deep

    With a half foot in between the JCP and BP enclosures.
    Seems like a BIG endeavor though.

    I definitely need to figure out where the humidifier, humidistat/thermostat, and lights will go and wires/probes be run before getting to work.
  18. jdandlucy

    jdandlucy Elite Member

    I don't use the T5 lights for heat, even though they produce a lot. With my CHE at 100% and the UTH I am able to create a temp gradient of 92-95 on hot side. And 78-85 on cool side day time temps. Night time it is 85-90 hot side 75-78 cool side. The T5 lights are for my live plants.
  19. mikeyp03

    mikeyp03 Elite Member

    Oh ok, do the ceramic heat emitters last for a long time always running? I go through the zilla heat lamp bulbs monthly running 12 hours on 12 off.
  20. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    If your going to have the tarantula just floating why not make the ball cage a foot longer then have a few tarantula enclosures?
    Or make the carpet python enclosure funny shaped-kinda like an Upside down L - and have the tarantula enclosure take a 1x1x1 chunk out of carpets enclosure and then you can put a hide in the remaining 1foot of space behind the tarantula.

    Did that make sense?

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