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  1. #11
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    Re: Grow Tent as BCI Enclosure?

    Quote Originally Posted by Craiga 01453 View Post
    My two cents: buy a proper snake enclosure. When bringing an animal home that means taking on the responsibility of housing it as it grows. A proper enclosure should be factored in when purchasing an animal.

    You can spend $200 on a grow tent and experiment, then what happens if it fails?? Now you're out $200 and still don't have a proper enclosure. Now you've got a snake with no enclosure while you what? Wait for one to be shipped??

    Just spend the money once and be done. You'll have this enclosure for 20 years or more, it's worth it. Instead of worrying about all the "ifs" and having to basically frame it with bamboo...just buy an enclosure made for a snake. Easy breezy.
    This is the sentiment I've seen from a lot of people in the hobby, and I've never been able to wrap my head around it. Why can't a grow tent be a "proper" enclosure? You've voiced your opinion against the idea without saying anything specific on why. I have my girl in an enclosure I built myself right now and I am prepared to spend more money on a larger / more expensive enclosure if need be, but there's other issues besides price that I mentioned. A proper 6 foot long wooden enclosure needs multiple people to move around and I'm not certain it would fit through a doorway, I have both these issues with my current 2 foot wide box.

  2. #12
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    You asked for opinions, you recieved opinions. Sorry they were not the opinions you hoped for. Set it up and try it out. Take pictures and keep updating how it works out good or bad and then we will all know!

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  4. #13
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    Re: Grow Tent as BCI Enclosure?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alien View Post
    You asked for opinions, you recieved opinions. Sorry they were not the opinions you hoped for. Set it up and try it out. Take pictures and keep updating how it works out good or bad and then we will all know!
    I hope I haven't came off as argumentative in this thread, I do value these opinions but I feel like many of them are maybe a tad flawed and I hope to spark a healthy discussion on this topic. I've found that many people, having no idea what a grow tent is, will voice a dislike for them. People hear "animal in tent" and maybe think more of a camping tent? Can it be argued that perhaps a tent of a similar design that is manufactured with the specific purpose of housing a reptile couldn't overcome a lot of the inherent flaws of one made for plants? I feel like that could be a step forward in the hobby considering they do in fact have some really appealing unique advantages. This is not to say that using a grow tent intended for plants wouldn't have quirks that would have to be fixed to make it more appropriate for reptiles but I feel like many of them are pretty easy to manage. I do plan on testing this in the future and I'll be sure to update how things are going in a dedicated thread.

  5. #14
    BPnet Lifer Gio's Avatar
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    Re: Grow Tent as BCI Enclosure?

    Quote Originally Posted by JP23 View Post
    This is the sentiment I've seen from a lot of people in the hobby, and I've never been able to wrap my head around it. Why can't a grow tent be a "proper" enclosure? You've voiced your opinion against the idea without saying anything specific on why. I have my girl in an enclosure I built myself right now and I am prepared to spend more money on a larger / more expensive enclosure if need be, but there's other issues besides price that I mentioned. A proper 6 foot long wooden enclosure needs multiple people to move around and I'm not certain it would fit through a doorway, I have both these issues with my current 2 foot wide box.
    The folks in the hobby, at least the ones that have been around for any length of time know what methods work. Pioneers from the early days that imported these animals (boas) and watched them die due to sickness induced by stress or parasites they brought in from the wild. They eventually came to discover what options worked BEST across the board for their animals.

    Plastic caging didn't evolve out of fad or trend. It became the standard because of the multiple bases it covers. Wood is decent, but requires more work to seal, clean and the cages are much heavier.

    I have not seen Vincent Russo (THE COMPLETE BOA CONSTRICTOR) or Nick Mutton and Justin Julander (THE COMPLETE CARPET PYTHON) or Gus Rentfro, one of the top boa constrictor authorities in the world talk about grow tents.

    If you are looking for affirmation to use a grow tent, you likely won't find it amongst people that have been keeping boas for any period of time.

    Use what you want. It's your choice. However, years of trial and error and time tested methods all point to the proven type of caging.

    Craiga was just passing on what has been passed down the line by experienced people in the hobby. Specifics are already out there as to why proven caging is used. Research, books, and experiences by multiple keepers and breeders are readily available. This board even has recommendations as to what caging works best in most situations.

    Craiga's advice was good. Why waste $200 when you can make a move that will likely last your animal a lifetime right off the bat?

    Again, use what you want. Remember boas are complex and there is a difference between surviving and thriving.

    It appears you are wanting folks to approve of a grow tent and I just don't see a lot of experienced keepers going that route.

    The choice is yours.

    Good luck.

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  7. #15
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    Your thinking outside the box, that's good. Without it nobody learns. But your still thinking in the box, about a 6' wooden enclosure. Just make it modular, screws are cheap. It doesn't need to be wider at the most 30" but 24" works fine. Most newer homes have 32" doorways while older homes are 28". A T18 animal plastics is 24" wide an 60" long. It will fit any doorway, even a 1973 singlewide trailer, this I know first hand.

    The problem with a grow tent is heating your reptile. With plants I use seed heating mats an grow lights. Grow lights produce little heat, most are LED now. Plus, everything is on racks an shelving. If you could regulate seed mats it might work. But heat lamps are a very bad idea. They will melt or burn the tent, just depends on the material. My tents are 10'x30' an I don't think they could keep any snake bigger then a hognose in it. An the hognose would find away out in time.

    Think like a snake. Your in an enclosure that the sides move! You want out an you'll find it. Now, you found a vine (extension cord) an your going to climb it. There's this nice warm thing on the end of it an you want it. Now, unless the heat lamp has a cage around it your burnt. It could be done. But to mitigate all the risks it would be cheaper to buy a T20.

    What ever you do stay safe an good luck!

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  9. #16
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    Re: Grow Tent as BCI Enclosure?

    Quote Originally Posted by 303_enfield View Post
    Your thinking outside the box, that's good. Without it nobody learns. But your still thinking in the box, about a 6' wooden enclosure. Just make it modular, screws are cheap. It doesn't need to be wider at the most 30" but 24" works fine. Most newer homes have 32" doorways while older homes are 28". A T18 animal plastics is 24" wide an 60" long. It will fit any doorway, even a 1973 singlewide trailer, this I know first hand.

    The problem with a grow tent is heating your reptile. With plants I use seed heating mats an grow lights. Grow lights produce little heat, most are LED now. Plus, everything is on racks an shelving. If you could regulate seed mats it might work. But heat lamps are a very bad idea. They will melt or burn the tent, just depends on the material. My tents are 10'x30' an I don't think they could keep any snake bigger then a hognose in it. An the hognose would find away out in time.

    Think like a snake. Your in an enclosure that the sides move! You want out an you'll find it. Now, you found a vine (extension cord) an your going to climb it. There's this nice warm thing on the end of it an you want it. Now, unless the heat lamp has a cage around it your burnt. It could be done. But to mitigate all the risks it would be cheaper to buy a T20.

    What ever you do stay safe an good luck!
    Excuse me while I politely pick apart this post lmao ok,

    crafting my own "modular" 6 foot long wooden enclosure has inherent problems itself, more hassle than building my current enclosure which was a not a fun undertaking. I actually considered for a long time getting a T18, but decided on building my own enclosure which is already 2 x 4 x 2 so a T18 would be a $400 upgrade for 1 extra foot of length.

    Safely affixing a heat lamp / installing an adequate heat pad or thermal emitter requires some thought but I've done this safely in the past with my plants. Growing tropical plants in the winter in washington state has prepared me for this. I'm also currently using a ceramic heat emitter with the protective cage, which I would move over.

    I don't know if I mentioned this earlier but I plan on using bamboo sheets to line the walls, so they wouldn't move around so much which would probably discourage my girl from pushing around trying to find ways to escape. All the vent holes would be sown / taped shut from the outside, and the tent I plan on using has a pair of cinching vent covers per vent.

    again, I appreciate the comments here and it's interesting to me what issues people come up with. At this point, as apposed to dropping $600+ on a T35 or building my own 6 foot modular wooden enclosure I'm going to try to make a very in depth record of my experience when I do move my girl to a grow tent. This will be in a dedicated space that she can't escape from if she does manage her way out of the tent. Thank you again guys, I'll be hanging around the forums if I have any more general / less controversial questions in the future .

  10. #17
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Re: Grow Tent as BCI Enclosure?

    Quote Originally Posted by JP23 View Post
    This is the sentiment I've seen from a lot of people in the hobby, and I've never been able to wrap my head around it. Why can't a grow tent be a "proper" enclosure? You've voiced your opinion against the idea without saying anything specific on why. I have my girl in an enclosure I built myself right now and I am prepared to spend more money on a larger / more expensive enclosure if need be, but there's other issues besides price that I mentioned. A proper 6 foot long wooden enclosure needs multiple people to move around and I'm not certain it would fit through a doorway, I have both these issues with my current 2 foot wide box.
    It's the sentiment you're going to continue to hear from experienced keepers. Many of us were in this hobby LONG before these forums even existed. So we did play around with things and through trial and error we learned.

    It seems to me you just want people to be echo chambers for what you want to hear. Not gonna happen, not from experienced keepers who put the animals first. There are enclosures on the market, readily available, designed SPECIFICALLY for snakes, some even built with arboreal or semi arboreal needs already accounted for.

    The doorway excuse sounds pretty flimsy too. We all have doorways. I'm guessing yours aren't a whole lot smaller than everyone else's, if not standard size.
    Some enclosures come modular so that eliminates that problem.

    As for grow tents, the walls aren't sturdy, the zipper isn't secure, I don't know specifics about heating, so I won't touch there, and saving money isn't a good excuse.
    When you buy an animal you take on the responsibility of caring for it for life. That means planning ahead. That means taking proper equipment and enclosures into consideration before bringing the animal home. Since you already have the animal it's up to you which way you go.

    Your snake, do what you want. You can choose to do it right, or not.
    ...life is beautiful...

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  12. #18
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    Re: Grow Tent as BCI Enclosure?

    Quote Originally Posted by Craiga 01453 View Post
    It's the sentiment you're going to continue to hear from experienced keepers. Many of us were in this hobby LONG before these forums even existed. So we did play around with things and through trial and error we learned.

    It seems to me you just want people to be echo chambers for what you want to hear. Not gonna happen, not from experienced keepers who put the animals first. There are enclosures on the market, readily available, designed SPECIFICALLY for snakes, some even built with arboreal or semi arboreal needs already accounted for.

    The doorway excuse sounds pretty flimsy too. We all have doorways. I'm guessing yours aren't a whole lot smaller than everyone else's, if not standard size.
    Some enclosures come modular so that eliminates that problem.

    As for grow tents, the walls aren't sturdy, the zipper isn't secure, I don't know specifics about heating, so I won't touch there, and saving money isn't a good excuse.
    When you buy an animal you take on the responsibility of caring for it for life. That means planning ahead. That means taking proper equipment and enclosures into consideration before bringing the animal home. Since you already have the animal it's up to you which way you go.

    Your snake, do what you want. You can choose to do it right, or not.
    Let me first start off by pointing out again that I am 100% able and prepared to spend the money on / build a conventional enclosure for my animal. She's in a "proper" 2 x 4 x 2 custom wooden enclosure I built for her, which will last her right up to her adult size and she'll be returning to it if I encounter problems. I have never once said that grow tents are the only option for me, only that they have EXTREMELY appealing advantages that I feel are overlooked. You've mentioned exactly two reasons why you feel they are inappropriate for housing a reptile. The walls of a grow tent are in fact sturdy, and I have mentioned I plan on reinforcing them with bamboo. I don't view this as being a problem, pretty confident on that one. Securing a zipper also doesn't sound too monumental of a task, might take a couple minutes of thought and tinkering with different locks. Many of the enclosures on the market I feel are a bit small (mostly in height) for what I would like for my snake, she likes to climb up high on her branches in her current enclosure and I would like to continue to encourage that behavior. If I want to give her an enclosure that I feel suits her best, without becoming / hiring a carpenter or shelling out literally thousands of dollars then I might just give something different a try. What I'm choosing to do here is not a matter of "this is right, that is wrong", there's NO examples out there of people actually trying this with snakes, everything is speculative. I'm going to test this with my snake and report back real issues I encounter, just for you guys here. That I feel will be the only way to determine what is "right" or not.

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  14. #19
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Re: Grow Tent as BCI Enclosure?

    Quote Originally Posted by JP23 View Post
    Let me first start off by pointing out again that I am 100% able and prepared to spend the money on / build a conventional enclosure for my animal. She's in a "proper" 2 x 4 x 2 custom wooden enclosure I built for her, which will last her right up to her adult size and she'll be returning to it if I encounter problems. I have never once said that grow tents are the only option for me, only that they have EXTREMELY appealing advantages that I feel are overlooked. You've mentioned exactly two reasons why you feel they are inappropriate for housing a reptile. The walls of a grow tent are in fact sturdy, and I have mentioned I plan on reinforcing them with bamboo. I don't view this as being a problem, pretty confident on that one. Securing a zipper also doesn't sound too monumental of a task, might take a couple minutes of thought and tinkering with different locks. Many of the enclosures on the market I feel are a bit small (mostly in height) for what I would like for my snake, she likes to climb up high on her branches in her current enclosure and I would like to continue to encourage that behavior. If I want to give her an enclosure that I feel suits her best, without becoming / hiring a carpenter or shelling out literally thousands of dollars then I might just give something different a try. What I'm choosing to do here is not a matter of "this is right, that is wrong", there's NO examples out there of people actually trying this with snakes, everything is speculative. I'm going to test this with my snake and report back real issues I encounter, just for you guys here. That I feel will be the only way to determine what is "right" or not.
    Ok. Like I said, your snake your call.
    ...life is beautiful...

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  15. #20
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Grow Tent as BCI Enclosure?

    Quote Originally Posted by JP23 View Post
    I hope I haven't came off as argumentative in this thread, I do value these opinions but I feel like many of them are maybe a tad flawed and I hope to spark a healthy discussion on this topic. I've found that many people, having no idea what a grow tent is, will voice a dislike for them. People hear "animal in tent" and maybe think more of a camping tent? Can it be argued that perhaps a tent of a similar design that is manufactured with the specific purpose of housing a reptile couldn't overcome a lot of the inherent flaws of one made for plants? I feel like that could be a step forward in the hobby considering they do in fact have some really appealing unique advantages. This is not to say that using a grow tent intended for plants wouldn't have quirks that would have to be fixed to make it more appropriate for reptiles but I feel like many of them are pretty easy to manage. I do plan on testing this in the future and I'll be sure to update how things are going in a dedicated thread.
    Part of the problem is that even if we've seen a "grow tent" before, they vary WIDELY & all we can do is be a bit skeptical (in favor of what's best for the snake)

    without SEEING exactly what you're intending to do. For me personally, I'm still a glass tank fan, & for what it's worth, I don't think storage tubs are any worse

    for snakes that what you're trying to do with a grow tent, & they might even be worse...I'm just not a fan of plastics in general. But in the same way, I'd caution

    you to find out EXACTLY what your grow tent is made of and what chemicals may remain on the surface that your snake can inhale or absorb*. There are many

    things used these days, even in clothing intended to be next to OUR skin that can cause problems, & snakes don't have the size or the immune system that we

    have. One reason I favor glass is that it's inert & doesn't off-gas chemicals...so what about these grow-tents? Manufacturers don't worry about health problems

    or lawsuits when you're using a product in a way they did not intend...so please remember that. And I have a feeling that when people first started talking

    about using plastic storage bins to house snakes there were just as many objections then as you're getting now. I love "thinking outside the box" but just

    don't forget that safety (health!) comes first over any advantages. I look forward to your updates, actually.

    (*for example, the camping kind of tents can be treated with fungicidal chemicals, which are toxic...anything like that used on grow-tents? & remember brands may differ widely.)
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 05-06-2020 at 03:11 PM.
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