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Want To Custom Build. Need Help!

Discussion in 'General Construction' started by Nocturnal13, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. Nocturnal13

    Nocturnal13 New Member

    Hey there! Just created an account so I could ask experienced reptile owners/breeders, heard some good news about this site.

    Okay. So I own a hogg island boa...she's about 2 years or so now, and she's about 4.5'

    So I have her housed in pvc at the moment but I do want her to be more visible with a prettier looking enclosure. Questions I have are:

    What material would be best for the enclosure in regards to heat/humidity and strength so it doesn't get shattered. Won't do glass.

    Ventilation aswell.

    I'm not too worried about convenience in regards to cleaning because I'm ok with just doing it myself. No need for pull out flooring.

    Also how big could I go before its too big. I read up that hogg islands like to climb a bit so I did want some height.

    Also wanted lighting. Saw that cool advanced led lighting system from mistking definitly wanted to get one of those so I'm assuming the top of the enclosure would have to be wire.

    Safety aswell, need to secure it with locks.

    I'm not too much of a handy man however if I see "instruction" I could follow. So even if anyone here sends a link of a pre existing instructions that would work for me aswell.
  2. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    If you want to make it yourself, I would get either real wood or ply wood (nor particle or OSB) and seal the daylights out of it with polycrylic. Usually 3 or more coats to be thorough. You could stain as desired before sealing it. You could fasted sturdy, low branches trimmed form local trees, with bolts through the walls to give climbing branches.

    I'm assuming you do want a glass front panel for viewing? or would you prefer plexiglass? I use glass (tempered for my larger snakes) for the front cages. Most of them have sliding doors. Plexiglass, unless given a sturdy frame, flexes under pressure, which could allow escape or injury if the snake was persistent enough. If you do sliding glass,I highly suggest a 'lip' that the tracks raised up on, otherwise, if you use substrate, a LOT of it will end up in the tracks.

    When it comes to ventilation, you really want to keep it to an absolute minimum. Most cages do very well with no more ventilation than what can get around or between the doors. The more ventilation you have, the less heat and humidity will stay in your cage where you want it. Wire ceiling will let all of your heat and humidity right out.

    Most of my cages have no vents at all.

    I light a few of my cages with inexpensive LED rope lights, tacked to the ceiling with 1/2" cable clamps. You can get everything you need for that for under $30 at your local hardware store. Here is a link to the thread about the LED lighting.

    LED Rope Lights | Herp Center

    These are the locks I prefer, for all of my sliding door cages:

    C.R. LAURENCE TDK7AKA CRL Aluminum Stick-On Showcase Lock - Keyed Alike - Cabinet And Furniture Locks -
    kriminaal likes this.
  3. CTU2fan

    CTU2fan Elite Member

    Jen I want to piggyback on this re: the locks, I want to grab some locks for my AP cages and Vision cages, any reason why those won't work? I definitely don't want to lose another snake.

    Back on topic, I would definitely go solid top and mounted lighting. I haven't tried the LEDs yet, but I like the way they look. Or if not those then even the small fluorescent fixtures you can mount under kitchen cabinets and shelves will work too. Boas I've worked with tend to not love super bright lighting so that's worth considering.

    Also I would definitely have a lip inside the front. Even if you don't use a loose substrate, if your boa is like most of my snakes he always defecates along an edge, and you don't want that or urates in your door tracks. What I did with my builds was just cut a piece of plywood for the front (just like the back) and then cut out viewing holes. Basically just leave an inch or 2 around the edge for your lip. Also gives you a bit more stability than just leaving that side off and adding doors.

    And definitely use glass doors, or plan to frame the doors if you plan to use plexiglass or lexan or similar. Heavy bodied snakes can and will lean on it and pop it out of the tracks, and escape.
  4. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    I much prefer using 3/4" plywood although 5/8" is becoming more common as well.
    Making an enclosure of some size it would be the product to use because of it's lightweight properties. You could make a base with castors as well for easy moving.
    I agree that anything besides glass that is of significant size will have some bow or flex unless you go with a 1/2" product and then you're talking big bucks.
    The best bet would be to find a used house window if you're looking for something very safe.

    If you could post some pictures of something you would like to do and approximate size, that would help to draw something up.
  5. CTU2fan

    CTU2fan Elite Member

    Re: house windows, I've seen some great custom builds encorporating framed house windows, they're very sturdy and secure and have a nice clean look.

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