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  1. #31
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    Re: Prepping for a BCI - time to build a Bio Active Enclosure ...

    Finally some light. I put in three Arcadia Full Spectrum LED lights, two 22W and one 51W which are mounted in a U Shape



    I still got a few 6% T5s, a couple of 24W and a 54W but not sure they fit once the heat panels are in .. will need to see. But full spectrum already is better than nothing. Ideally I get one of the T5 in for the boa but yea - will need to see what it looks like with the heating in.

    TBC

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  3. #32
    BPnet Veteran nikkubus's Avatar
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    This is a really nice build. Thanks for taking the time to show all the steps and progress. You are getting pretty close to being able to start putting the cleanup critters in

    Can't wait to see when it's fully done!
    7.22 BP 1.4 corn 1.1 SD retic 0.1 hognose

  4. #33
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    Now I have the problem those LEDs chucking out too much heat .. So much so that the cold side is already at 86F and that is without doors ...

    1 step forward ... 2 step back ...

  5. #34
    BPnet Veteran WrongPython's Avatar
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    Re: Prepping for a BCI - time to build a Bio Active Enclosure ...

    Quote Originally Posted by JibbaJabba View Post
    Now I have the problem those LEDs chucking out too much heat .. So much so that the cold side is already at 86F and that is without doors ...
    I had a similar issue when I put my 18" JungleDawn LED bar in my 4'x2'x2' with an RHP and a 24" UV light. Those Arcadia LEDs are no joke -- they're great for plant growth, but they put out almost as much heat as their UV lights. In my opinion, they are so powerful (read: hot) that they should be externally mounted on anything 2' high or under. I ended up taking mine out and setting it aside for houseplants.

    Good luck finding a solution!
    0.1 Sonoran Boa sigma​: "Adelita" ('19 Hypo het. leopard)
    1.0 Boa imperator longicauda: "Kuzco" ('19 het. anery)
    0.1 West Papuan Morelia spilota​: "Pandora" ('20)

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  7. #35
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    Re: Prepping for a BCI - time to build a Bio Active Enclosure ...

    Quote Originally Posted by WrongPython View Post
    I had a similar issue when I put my 18" JungleDawn LED bar in my 4'x2'x2' with an RHP and a 24" UV light. Those Arcadia LEDs are no joke -- they're great for plant growth, but they put out almost as much heat as their UV lights. In my opinion, they are so powerful (read: hot) that they should be externally mounted on anything 2' high or under. I ended up taking mine out and setting it aside for houseplants.

    Good luck finding a solution!
    @WrongPython What did you end up doing ? I fear the only solution is normal LED lights and use artificial plants instead.

  8. #36
    BPnet Veteran WrongPython's Avatar
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    Re: Prepping for a BCI - time to build a Bio Active Enclosure ...

    Long story short, I ended up not going the planted route. Building planted/bioactive enclosures for heavy-bodied reptiles is hard -- exponentially harder than doing so for dart frogs, small lizards, and small snakes -- and there's a good chance you'll wind up spending more time on the garden more than the reptile should you pursue one. I decided it was more than I could chew as a novice keeper. I'd highly recommend reading Bio-Activity and the Theory of Wild Re-Creation (one of the Arcadia Reptile books) if you haven't already. It lays out the important considerations one should make when designing planted/bioactive enclosures very well, and should be mandatory reading for anyone pursuing a bioactive project (IMO).

    In your case, you may be better off using artificial plants in the areas your boa will heavily traffic (ie. the floor, their perches) and only planting your live plants on the walls. They're much less likely to be trampled there. You may be able to circumvent the LED heat issue if you find a way to install screens in the ceiling of your enclosure and externally mount them. That way, the heat from the LEDs can dissipate into the room instead of the enclosure. It would also bring the added benefit of protecting your boa from burning themselves on the lights and increasing ventilation.

    Good luck! Even if you wind up using more artificial plants versus real ones, I think you have a very cool looking naturalistic enclosure in the works here.
    0.1 Sonoran Boa sigma​: "Adelita" ('19 Hypo het. leopard)
    1.0 Boa imperator longicauda: "Kuzco" ('19 het. anery)
    0.1 West Papuan Morelia spilota​: "Pandora" ('20)

  9. #37
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    Re: Prepping for a BCI - time to build a Bio Active Enclosure ...

    Quote Originally Posted by WrongPython View Post
    Long story short, I ended up not going the planted route. Building planted/bioactive enclosures for heavy-bodied reptiles is hard -- exponentially harder than doing so for dart frogs, small lizards, and small snakes -- and there's a good chance you'll wind up spending more time on the garden more than the reptile should you pursue one. I decided it was more than I could chew as a novice keeper. I'd highly recommend reading Bio-Activity and the Theory of Wild Re-Creation (one of the Arcadia Reptile books) if you haven't already. It lays out the important considerations one should make when designing planted/bioactive enclosures very well, and should be mandatory reading for anyone pursuing a bioactive project (IMO).

    In your case, you may be better off using artificial plants in the areas your boa will heavily traffic (ie. the floor, their perches) and only planting your live plants on the walls. They're much less likely to be trampled there. You may be able to circumvent the LED heat issue if you find a way to install screens in the ceiling of your enclosure and externally mount them. That way, the heat from the LEDs can dissipate into the room instead of the enclosure. It would also bring the added benefit of protecting your boa from burning themselves on the lights and increasing ventilation.

    Good luck! Even if you wind up using more artificial plants versus real ones, I think you have a very cool looking naturalistic enclosure in the works here.
    Thanks. Yea I wasn't so worried about the fact the boa is a big one ... I used to do bio actives before and with the right 'fencing' you can protect them. But what IS new for me is the fact I am using a foam background. And not just the back itself but the sides too.

    What I have now found is the fact the background is a really good insulator. And that is the main issue here I think. For example, without waterbowl or anything I have an approx. humidity of 60% .. almost spot on. If I spray the whole background lightly - it shoots up to 90 and won't go down for hours. Even a day after I sprayed it was still at 85% lol ...

    Another option I considered, as you suggested, was using a screen or at the very least ventilation above the lights. BUT ... I changed my mind entirely ... and that is where your other suggestion comes in.

    For me it is more important to keep the right temps and humidity so I will indeed use fake plants. I will still use proper supstrate and leaflitter and the sorts, but plants will be fake (damn they are expensive here). That way I don't have to worry about full spectrum lighting and have LED strips on order.

    Those won't be good enough to grow plants, hence the fake plants. Maybe in the future I go down the screen route and real plants when the thing needs an overhaul, but for now it is going on for too long and I need to pickup the snake from the rescue center soon.

    So this'll do.

    I received my heating panels today and I am waiting for a new 'waterbowl'. The one I built pretty much exploded when I tested it lol ... the water pressure on the sides is just too high to rely on glued acrylic so I just got a storage box on order and once that and the substrate is here I will test drive the thing for a couple of weeks before picking up the lady

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  11. #38
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    Re: Prepping for a BCI - time to build a Bio Active Enclosure ...

    Right. Done. Here some pictures. Just running in temps etc., making sure it is all good before picking up the noodle from the rescue center. One thing I noticed though - which is the reason for using fake plants at the moment.

    The backgrounds I created are almost too thick for their own good. They are a perfect insulator. Which means any plant lamp will heat up the enclosure too quickly and the insulation causes it to stay that hot for too long, causing the cold side to get up to hot side temps eventually, especially once the wood, hides etc. have been heated through.

    So maybe one day if / when I got enough of the backgrounds I rip em out again (or until I care enough to put more ventilation in), I will put plant lamps in, until then - fake plants will do.

    In the middle you can just about see the waterbowl ... In this thread you noticed (maybe) that I build one out of arcylic .. That eventually exploded during testing despite using proper acrylic cement. So I went with a storage box again.

    The original hides I wanted to use (tortouise caves) they are too short for the adult lady to fit. So 'Giant' plastic hides will do.

    So whilst it didn't turn out the way I envisioned (no waterfall) - I think it came out nicely anyway. And yes, the branches will be strong enough for the adult boa. My 6yr sat on the branches so it will hold a boa. Branches are foamed in. Tried to sort of rip them out for testing, but they are solid.

    Left Side


    Middle


    Right Side

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  13. #39
    BPnet Senior Member Kam's Avatar
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    Re: Prepping for a BCI - time to build a Bio Active Enclosure ...

    This is an awesome build. I canít wait to see her in all her glory in her new mansion.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  14. #40
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    Re: Prepping for a BCI - time to build a Bio Active Enclosure ...

    Run out of time and had to pickup the rescue snake. As it turns out they don't really know her age, only that her name is Ruby and they guess it is about 8-10-12yrs old. She was due a feed the day I picked her up so they obviously didn't. Will let her settle in her home for a week before feeding.

    One thing I noticed is that she seems a perma-hider ... Rescue center told me she is always in her hide 24/7 so I hope she gets used to a larger enclosure now (center had her what I believe was a 4ft enclosure).

    Temps / humidity are perfect and she sits in the cold hide right now.

    As I say - I do hope she 'warms' up - figuratively and literally and shoes her beautiful face. She is a puppy to handle. Once she is out (didn't handle her apart from taking out of cage at rescue center and putting into her new cage at home) she is very interested what's going on and even seems to 'cuddle up' with you - as in, chills on you without being head shy.

    The only other adult boa I ever had was very active, but this one ... not so much ... I guess that is another risk with rescue snakes, you never know what you're getting. Plus she has been in that tiny viv since August 2020 and based on the thermostat had a 26C enclosure ... I seriously hope that was the cold side - poor thing. But as I say - I leave her alone for a while and probably cover the glass of the viv to give her some privacy ...

    Anyway - here she is - I would GUESS about 8-10ft. - below is a 64L rub for size comparison.


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