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Posted by chris_harper2 on May 07, 2003 at 09:58:07:
In Reply to: General Cage Questions posted by DrDoolittle on May 07, 2003 at 09:27:46:
:I'm about to embark on some cage construction and I have some questions floating in my head. Thinking about wood cages in the 4 to 6 foot wide range with front hinged doors for five different snakes.
1) Is plexiglass with hinges and latches secure enough for snakes or does it bend too much and allow a persistent, strong snake to squeeze through?
1/4" Plexiglass or other types of high-quality acrylic will be strong enough for this application. Precision Caging uses doors like this and I've see large Boa constrictors in them.
1/8" or low quality 1/4" acrylic is not sufficient for large snakes.
I've kept venomous behind these doors (of my own construction) with no concerns (well, at least with the door).
:2) Is a wood framed door (glass or plex) more secure and worth the extra work?
Actually, most of the wood-framed doors I've seen are LESS secure for smaller species good at squeezing out of tight places. For larger, stronger species, framed doors would probably be more secure but not absolutely necessary. Framed doors are also slightly more complex to build.
I've heard of people keeping large Reticulated Pythons in multiple Boaphile cages linked together to form one large cage and those don't have framed doors.
:3) All I've used so far are UTH's and various wattage lights to control temps. These cages will be much bigger - do I need to invest in radiant heat panels and thermostats?
It depends on what the ambient temperature of your room is and/or what species you are keeping. There are cheaper ways than radiant heat panels but they really are the ultimate way to heat cages for most species.
:4) If I go with a heat panel on the roof of the cage, do I still need a small UTH for belly heat(digestion)?
No - absolutely not.
:5) Melamine vs. wood?
I do not like melamine for anyting other than desert dwelling reptiles. It does not hold up well to constant, slight humidity. For larger species of snake you always have the concern of the snake crawling in and out of its water bowl and getting the cage floor wet.
I'd use wood and choose your sealant based on what you keep and several other factors.
Feel free to e-mail through my name-link for pictures of my frameless doors.