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  1. #1
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    PVC enclosure suggestions?

    My ball python, Mowgli, is currently in a 20 gal tank! Been working well, however in the future I do want to switch to a PVC for better control of humidity and heat! (plus get a bigger enclosure for him when he gets big)

    Any suggestions?
    I am totally new to PVC enclosures, so I don't know of any good brands or types?
    I live in Canada, there is a place here that sells the enclosures 'First Strike Snakes' however I do not know the quality of these.

    What should I look for in a PVC enclosure?
    How does under tank heaters work with these?
    How is your experience with PVC enclosures and do you have any tips for them?

  2. #2
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: PVC enclosure suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by MowgliPups View Post
    My ball python, Mowgli, is currently in a 20 gal tank! Been working well, however in the future I do want to switch to a PVC for better control of humidity and heat! (plus get a bigger enclosure for him when he gets big)

    Any suggestions?
    I am totally new to PVC enclosures, so I don't know of any good brands or types?
    I live in Canada, there is a place here that sells the enclosures 'First Strike Snakes' however I do not know the quality of these.

    What should I look for in a PVC enclosure?
    How does under tank heaters work with these?
    How is your experience with PVC enclosures and do you have any tips for them?
    The top two brands that I know of are Boaphile Plastics and Animal Plastics (AP). I have Boaphile tanks myself, but many people on here have AP's and love them.

    Pros and cons as I see them:


    Boaphile: Keep in mind I have all boaphile tanks. I have had a great experience.
    Pros:

    1. Jeff Ronne (the Boaphile) sells the same tanks he uses for his boa collection (huge collection) as well as the same RHP's, heat tape, thermostats, etc.

    2. I bought setups from Jeff (I have 12 tanks of varying sizes, but mostly 6X2X1' and 4X2X1.5') because he knew what I'd need based on the room temps, species kept, etc. He worked with me and the tanks came plug and play (sealed, RHP installed, heat tape installed, etc.).

    3. Lightweight but well insulated. A few years ago (about a year before I bought all my tanks) he switched to a different polymer/plastic material that is much lighter.

    4. Ship in 6-8 weeks or less. He will give you a better estimate, but they usually ship in 4-6 weeks in my experience.

    In Summary: He uses them and they come ready to go, lightweight, and quick ship times.

    Cons:

    1. Limited sizes (especially if looking for either arboreal or huge tanks). However, he will work with you and I had him install braces for my arboreal tanks for my rhacodactylus that involved putting the cages on their side instead of their traditional bottom. Still he doesn't offer huge tanks.

    2. Seems expensive - but shipping is included and again, everything comes ready to go.

    3. One type of door opening and one lighting option from him. Open out doors, not sliding doors, and fluorescent lights only (last I checked), unless you want to install something yourself.


    I have hard people say they stain and can smell. I keep my tanks pristine and have never experienced either of these. I do have 12 tanks and many different species of reptiles.

    I have also heard people say they have broken (seals breaking and walls bending etc.). I have had nothing like that either. When I dug further into these issues, often the tanks were bought used (who knows how they were cared for) and/or they weren't properly supported. This would be issues with any tank frankly.


    AP, Again, I don't own them, but I've read a lot about them.


    1. A ton of sizes

    2. Will install RHP's for you, but I believe you have to buy the RHP yourself and have them install.

    3. Great reputation online

    4. Different door and lighting options including LED.

    Cons:

    1. You have to seal the tanks

    2. Lead times - can take a while for them to ship.

  3. #3
    BPnet Veteran Charles8088's Avatar
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    Re: PVC enclosure suggestions?

    I second Animal Plastics. I have two enclosures from them... 4'x2"x12" and 4'x2"x15".

    They come unassembled for easy shipping, but extremely easy to put together, with a simple instructions sheet. Most that buy from them will get the RHP shipped to them and have them install it. They work with you, so if there's anything specific you want, you can ask and they might be able to help.

    You have to seal with the silicon they include, but that's easy, takes less than 2 minutes.

    Only con that I see is the long lead times.

    Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk
    0.1.0 Mexican Black Kingsnake (Tynee)
    0.1.0 BEL Ball (Luna)
    0.1.0 Normal Ball
    1.0.0 California Kingsnake


    WANT LIST
    - Woma Python
    - Boa BCI
    - Russian Rat Snake
    - Eastern Indigo
    - Black Milk Snake
    - False Water Cobra
    - Thai Bamboo Rat Snake
    - Western Hognose
    - Rhino Rat Snake
    - Kenyan Sand Boa

  4. #4
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    OP is in Canada fellas. Might not be able to get AP or Boaphile very easily or without ridiculous shipping.

  5. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Craiga 01453 For This Useful Post:

    bcr229 (11-13-2020),dakski (11-13-2020),jmcrook (11-13-2020)

  6. #5
    BPnet Veteran Charles8088's Avatar
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    Re: PVC enclosure suggestions?

    I think Exotic Serpents is in Canada. But I know nothing about their enclosures... prices, quality, etc.

    Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk
    0.1.0 Mexican Black Kingsnake (Tynee)
    0.1.0 BEL Ball (Luna)
    0.1.0 Normal Ball
    1.0.0 California Kingsnake


    WANT LIST
    - Woma Python
    - Boa BCI
    - Russian Rat Snake
    - Eastern Indigo
    - Black Milk Snake
    - False Water Cobra
    - Thai Bamboo Rat Snake
    - Western Hognose
    - Rhino Rat Snake
    - Kenyan Sand Boa

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to Charles8088 For This Useful Post:

    Craiga 01453 (11-13-2020)

  8. #6
    bcr229's Avatar
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    From my recollection there aren't all that many PVC enclosure makers in Canada, and the decent ones are backed up.

    An interim solution would be to move your ball python over to a large tub with a securely latching lid. Put two large UTH's under it, one at 90*F, the other set to 80*F.

    Once you do get the PVC enclosure you can just transfer the UTH's and their thermostats to it.
    Last edited by bcr229; 11-13-2020 at 11:53 AM.

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    jmcrook (11-13-2020)

  10. #7
    BPnet Veteran Crowfingers's Avatar
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    If you can get AP cages shipped to you, I'd go with them personally. I have two, one for my python and one for my male leopard gecko, and am saving up for a third. I have not sealed either of my cages and haven't had any issues with leaks. (I use cypress bedding for the python and it has absorbed any slight spills he's made).

    Pros:
    excellent customer service and willingness to answer calls and emails
    customizable doors, lighting, heat types, wiring options
    lots of sizes
    the pcv is thin and can be custom drilled if needed without sacrificing integrity

    Cons:
    the black looks nicer but is DARK for a display cage if you don't have any supplemental lighting
    long lead times - my last one took around 16 weeks to ship - they are very open that this might be the case
    things like suction cups don't stick well, so mounting thermometers requires either free standing probes or hot glue

    I find the price to be fair for what you get. It's cheaper to get no customization and more expensive the more you add.
    Last edited by Crowfingers; 11-14-2020 at 12:04 AM.
    No cage is too large - nature is the best template - a snoot can't be booped too much


  11. #8
    Registered User Luvyna's Avatar
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    Re: PVC enclosure suggestions?

    I was on the hunt for a PVC enclosure in Canada recently. It's not as easy to find here and expect to pay way more than our fellow snake keepers in the U.S. would. I looked into AP and Boaphiles after seeing so many great reviews about them from forum members here but unfortunately due to the bad exchange rate and import fees you would end up paying around $550 CAD just for an empty enclosure with no accessories, not including shipping costs.

    I ended up buying a 4' x 2' x 18" enclosure with locks, a radiant heat panel, and LED lights installed from Cornel's World which costed around $620 (includes tax, cost of shipping, the accessories I asked for, and the installation of those accessories). The enclosure takes about 6 weeks to arrive and mine isn't here yet, but have bought hides and my Herpstat 2 from Cornel's World and always had a good experience so I am expecting the enclosure will be fine as well.

    A cheaper option than Cornel's World is http://www.pvccages.ca/ which I also contacted. They seem to supply other reptile equipment retailers in Canada and I think they are probably trustworthy. They had a huge backlog of orders and were slowed down due to Covid so they only got back to me a few days ago and I had already ordered from Cornel's World by then, but I wish I'd waited because their prices are better. You can get a 4' x 2' 16" enclosure from them for $290 (not including tax, shipping, or accessories) and they may do accessory installation for additional costs as well if you ask for it. The base price for a 4' x 2' x 16" enclosure from Cornel's World is $310 in comparison.
    Last edited by Luvyna; 11-14-2020 at 03:34 AM.

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to Luvyna For This Useful Post:

    dakski (11-14-2020)

  13. #9
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    Re: PVC enclosure suggestions?

    Hmm those do look nice!

    now another question, with the heat mat under the cage; is it possible to somehow have the hide warmer than the hot spot in the PVC cage?

    currently I have the heat mat set to 31 Celsius in the warm hide, and the the CHE set to 28 Celsius for the warm side of his cage. Mowgli enjoys moving between his warm hide and under the fake leaves behind his hide to thermoregulate

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