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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran gunkle's Avatar
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    Ball Python Enclosure idea

    Looking for thoughts, pros, cons or advise

    So I'm going to purchase 2 Ball Pythons at a reptile expo on March 31 and I would like to have my enclosure complete, setup, tested and proven good by then. I have come down to 2 ideas. First off I enjoy building things so I will be making my own. I am happy to look at commercial stuff for ideas but I will be building it even if it cost more. Both ideas are to be made from waterproofed sanded 3/4" plywood or 1x? lumber. I'm not a fan of Melamine. thermostats will be used to control all heating devices.

    Idea #1 is a rack with interior dimensions of 36 wide X 24 deep by 6.8 tall per shelf to fit the Hefty storage totes which come in a fairly good size range. My thoughts are to close all sides, top, back and have a front Plexiglas door. My home can get down to 65F during the winter so I need to retain heat as much as possible. I know some ventilation holes will have to be made in the tubs and the outside of the rack to allow air flow. I plan on using larger sized heat tape like 12" on the shelves but as it won't help much with ambient temps I don't know how feasible this approach is (though i figure any source of heat should help some in an enclosed area).

    Idea #2 is to do 2 separate single snake enclosures that can stack on top of each other. Interior dimensions of 36 wide x 20 deep x 16 tall. Inside each I would place an 80 watt RHP on the ceiling off to one side. The front would hinge down with a Plexiglas window in it. I was thinking to still use tubs with lids inside of these enclosures till the snakes were large enough to be in enclosure itself. The tubs inside the enclosure should help with the temp regulation since its a concern for me. I can still use heat tape if needed to add a temp gradient for the tubs but this will allow a controllable ambient temp.

    I am leaning more towards Idea #2 but not sure about the tubs inside it. Also not sure what size snakes I will be getting. Most likely juvenile or hatchling so it seems common theory is that the enclosure would be too big to start with. I can't come up with a negative so was hoping someone could chime in and catch something I'm missing. Also I have an enclosure I built a few years back for our bearded dragon that measures 4'X2'X2' and uses a combination of CHE, UVB basking light and spot light (all thermostat and timer controlled) with Plexiglas doors that I need to do very little to and it maintains temps great for our Beardy. I know BP's are a bit more picky about husbandry.

    Thanks for your time and advice. I will be adding pictures and 3D cad drawings once I've actually started to build.

    Gunkle
    1.0 Bearded Dragon
    0.1 Super Pastel Lesser Ball Python
    1.0 Pastel Bamboo Ball Python
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  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran redshepherd's Avatar
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    If the two are both equally do-able for you, Idea #2 would be much better in terms of maintaining temps. RHP's provide heat within an enclosure very well, and you can for sure put a smaller tub inside the larger enclosure to be heated by the RHP if you would like, which would maintain the heat even more.
    Last edited by redshepherd; 01-28-2019 at 09:39 PM.

    https://www.instagram.com/illusnakes/
    0.1 Tanimbar Scrub Python "Pixie", 0.1 Northern Pine Snake "Genesis"
    0.1 Dumeril's Boa "Vigil",
    0.1 2007 Aru Green Tree Python "Gem"
    1.0 Eastern Indigo "Drogon", 1.0 Blood Python "Magma"
    Ball Pythons
    0.1 Sterling "Drizzle", 1.0 Lesser Butter "Yukon", 0.1 Lesser Mojave "Snowdrift"
    past: 0.4 Ball pythons, 1.0 Russian Rat Snake



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  4. #3
    Registered User Treeman's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Python Enclosure idea

    I agree with redshepherd. I also think that #2 will look a ton better aesthetically, like displays. Which may not be a huge priority to you, but its what I’d like to see my snakes in, over just tubs in a rack.


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  6. #4
    Registered User royalreilly's Avatar
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    Just considering my own personal tastes... I agree that #2 sounds pretty cool. I just personally don't really love rack systems. I think they work well for breeders, animal educators, rescues, etc. But sometimes it's reeeaally nice to have animals out and on display
    The only case in which I'd really suggest building a rack system is if you plan to eventually get a lot more snakes. If you build a rack that could accommodate more snakes it could help you out in the long run. But if you're sticking with just 2 snakes I think option #2 would be really nice

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  8. #5
    Registered User Dianne's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Python Enclosure idea

    I personally like idea #2. I know a lot of folks say to use smaller enclosures to start, but most of my 2018 hatchlings went into 32”x30”x12” cages. I just provide extra hides and clutter so they feel more secure. With the height you’re planning, you could also add some cool limbs for climbing.
    Other Snakes:
    Duncan
    - 1992 0.1 Bci; Hudson 1988 1.0 Colombian rainbow; Yang 2002 1.0 Corn snake; Merlin 2000 1.0 Solomon Island ground boa; Kett 2015 1.0 Diamond Jungle Jaguar carpet python; Dakota 2014 0.0.1 Children’s python

    Ball pythons:
    Eli 1990 1.0 Normal; Buttercup 2015 1.0 Albino; Artemis 2015 0.1 Dragonfly; Orion 2015 1.0 Banana Pinstripe; Button 2018 1.0 Blue Eyed Lucy; Piper 2018 0.1 Piebald; Belle 2018 0.1 Lemonblast; Sabrina 2017 0.1 Mojave; Selene 2017 0.1 Banana Mojave; Loki 2018 1.0 Pastel Mystic Potion; Cuervo 2018 1.0 Banana Piebald; Claude 2017 1.0 Albino Pastel Spider; Penelope 2016 0.1 Lesser

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  10. #6
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I'm not a rack fan, but even if I were, the size 36 x 24 x 6.8" hi makes no sense...hatchlings might be O.K. in that height but 24 x 36 is generally thought to
    be too big for them; the opposite is true if using for larger snakes...6.8" tall is too short. So my vote is #2
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 01-28-2019 at 11:05 PM.

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    gunkle (01-29-2019)

  12. #7
    BPnet Veteran gunkle's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Python Enclosure idea

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    I'm not a rack fan, but even if I were, the size 36 x 24 x 6.8" hi makes no sense...hatchlings might be O.K. in that height but 24 x 36 is generally thought to
    be too big for them; the opposite is true if using for larger snakes...6.8" tall is too short. So my vote is #2
    Thank you for your feedback. I was using that size as it fits a bunch of different tubs that could be put in that shelf of different sizes. 6QT, 15QT, 34QT .... so l would be able to use tubs properly sized for hatchling/juvenile. It was mentioned a few times in different peoples setups and I liked the consistancy in height so I only had to build once and just use larger tubs as they grow. As far as the height most places I've read on here state that they don't need a lot of height and a V70 which seems to be a popular tub is only 5.3 inches tall according to the site I found it on so I figured an extra 1.5 inches would be good. What would you recommend for a minimum height? Just curious as I will most likely go with #2 anyways.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dianne View Post
    I personally like idea #2. I know a lot of folks say to use smaller enclosures to start, but most of my 2018 hatchlings went into 32”x30”x12” cages. I just provide extra hides and clutter so they feel more secure. With the height you’re planning, you could also add some cool limbs for climbing.
    I was hoping that I could start in a small bin and make sure they are feeding and no issues for a few months then transfer them to the enclosures but am planning on it taking longer so I'm ready. Yeah I like the idea of some branches or something for looks if not for them to climb. I know some will climb a bit and some won't
    1.0 Bearded Dragon
    0.1 Super Pastel Lesser Ball Python
    1.0 Pastel Bamboo Ball Python
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  13. #8
    BPnet Veteran gunkle's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Python Enclosure idea

    This is what I've come up with. Interior dimensions 34.5 wide X 24 deep X 16 height. Exterior dimensions 36 X 25.5 X 17.5. inserted the RHP inside on ceiling at actual dimensions listed. Planning on using Reptile prime for the substrate. Placed rough hides and water bowl just for show in the 3D CAD file. I will be putting locks on top of door but figured I'd just walk around the hardware store and see what I find. Will be drilling holes in it for air circulation.

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
    Last edited by gunkle; 01-29-2019 at 06:37 PM.
    1.0 Bearded Dragon
    0.1 Super Pastel Lesser Ball Python
    1.0 Pastel Bamboo Ball Python
    0.0.1 Halmahera Blue Tongue Skink
    0.0.2 Crested Gecko
    1.2.0 Guinea Pigs
    0.1 Dog
    0.2 Cats

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  15. #9
    BPnet Veteran gunkle's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Python Enclosure idea

    1 sheet of plywood, 1- 1X2x8 and a piece of plexiglass plus hinge and locks.

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
    1.0 Bearded Dragon
    0.1 Super Pastel Lesser Ball Python
    1.0 Pastel Bamboo Ball Python
    0.0.1 Halmahera Blue Tongue Skink
    0.0.2 Crested Gecko
    1.2.0 Guinea Pigs
    0.1 Dog
    0.2 Cats

  16. #10
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Python Enclosure idea

    Quote Originally Posted by gunkle View Post
    What would you recommend for a minimum height? Just curious as I will most likely go with #2 anyways....
    12" minimum, IMO.

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    gunkle (01-29-2019)

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