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  1. #1
    BPnet Senior Member jmcrook's Avatar
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    New Herptastic Reptiles Enclosures: Write Up/Review and Accessories

    Decided to make a new thread for this so it will be easier to search for rather than dig through my ongoing PVC mods thread. Going to go over a bunch of specs and reviews of my new enclosures from Herptastic Reptiles and some accessories from Specialty Enclosure Designs. Writing this on my computer and hoping I can add all the photos through tapatalk before the 10min edit window closes, wish me luck.

    Custom build size of 4x30x18 (x3) with shelves and Vivarium Electronics 80watt RHPs. Actual outer dimensions are 46.5"x29.5"x17.5" Close enough for me. Quoted 10-12 weeks when order was placed on 1/9/21. Received the initial shipment at 18 weeks and they sent me 4 cages instead of 3, but no shelves at all. Said they'd get them cut and sent by the next week. Received those shelves and they were tiny little things less than half the length of the cage. Was told they were their "new stand alone shelves". These shelves are represented nowhere on their website or FB page so I was a bit perturbed to say the least. Shelves on either of those sites show a shelf the full length of the cage and what I had expected to receive.



    They were very accommodating and they did get full size shelves to me at no additional charge by the week after, 21 weeks total after ordering. Thankfully I wasn't in dire need of the enclosures, but in the future I will plan to wait twice the lead I am quoted as I have never in the last 5yrs waited any less than 200% the quoted lead time regardless of manufacturer and regardless of the time quoted. Still got here faster than AP even at double the quoted lead.



    Enclosure Attention to detail items
    Stacking Pins:

    Comes with stacking pins much like AP, but only 1/2" in length. Wouldn't be a problem if had they actually drilled the holes for the pins... With the pins at 1/2" and the thickness of the PVC at 1/2" that means you can't actually drill the full way through the material for the pins. I don't have pictures of them, but the pins align directly over the top edge of the face panel of the enclosure. Those with stacked AP cages know what I mean. So I got a set of drill bit depth stops to drill 1/4" into the tops and bottoms of the enclosures after a bunch of careful measuring to be sure they'd align with my AP cages. Long and frustrating story short, the depth stop slipped on the first attempted hole and I got pissed and ordered longer 3/4" pins (same length as AP) online and just drilled through the full thickness of the material on the ceilings. Top of the face plate stops the pin and I could drill into the bottom of the enclosures without worrying about the depth of the hole as long as it was more than 1/4". Thankfully I am a very handy dude and could remedy all of this on my own.

    Edges/PVC Finish:
    AP rounds the edges on all their enclosures. Herptastic does not. Doesn't affect the functionality of the enclosure, but if you bump an edge or corner while moving them you'll chip the PVC as they use a variety of PVC that has a sort of harder, slicker finish than my AP cages. Chipped a couple corners of cages on my doorframe moving them into the room. This PVC also scratches relatively easily. They're stacked at my place so not a huge deal. One side does come with a plastic coating to prevent scratching during shipping though. Lay down a drop cloth to work on if you're assembling these on a hard floor to prevent any scratches.



    Cord/Wire Exits:
    3 along the top back of the enclosure. Cut to accommodate the plug for VE RHPs which is not huge, but also not small. PRobably about half of a 1" diameter circle or more. With cords through them they small enough to prevent escapes. I covered the ones in the middle with a piece of matboard and some duct tape from the outside of the cage. Something to keep in mind if you plan to put a very young or slender snake in them. I'm sure my 2yo Rockhampton coastal carpet could get through them if she wanted. These are not mentioned on the website. Certainly not a bad thing to include on a cage especially if you are not very handy with tools and such. I personally would have preferred not to have them and to drill/dremel according my desired cord exit size.



    VE RHPs:
    I'm not sure if Reptile Basics has this exact model for sale as Chris at Herptastic told me this is new model they hadn't released at the time of my purchase. Has a clip to keep the removable cord from being unplugged by the enclosure inhabitant. A much needed amendment to the removable cord, though I'd still prefer a hard wired cord with a removable plug like Pro-Products RHPs. Nonetheless, I very much like the addition of the secure cord clip.



    Enclosure Accessories
    Specialty Enclosure Designs:
    Got perch holders and custom 4' PVC perches from David Brahms at SED. Can't say enough good things about Dave and his products. 1.25" PVC perches both distorted and sanded for a bit of texture. 1.25" 3D printed perch holders with anti-spin notch as well as plant holders for small stemmed artificial plants from Michael's and the like. He doesn't have them listed for the larger perches, but I emailed to ask and he said it was no problem to add the plant holders. I like how the perches look on their own, but also wrap them with artificial vines and some hemp rope to add color and some tactile enrichment for the critters.





    Personal Lighting Customizations:
    I use color changing, remote controlled, waterproof LED strip lights in all of my enclosures. I only really use the red and white lights, but I enjoy having the option available. Drilled holes on the sides of the enclosures and mount the lights along the inside of the face of the cage along the top. Lights the enclosure well and doesn't create any glare on the doors. Also used a splitter cable to have a collective 4 cages on two controllers. Helps to cut down the number of cords and outlets in use which calms my mild OCD a bit.


    Hide Hangers/Sky Hides:
    From Reptile Basics for their large size hides. I love them and so do the critters. Specialty Enclosure Designs also makes 3D printed hangers for the RBI small and medium size hides.



    Overall I dig the enclosures so far and still have the 4th unassembled for later use when/if necessary. Hold temps and humidity great as expected. Assembled super easily. Not ridiculously heavy for their size. Matches pretty well with my other enclosures. No signs of sagging despite not having a center brace in the front which also makes viewing easier and also easier to get in and out of the cage for cleaning maintenance with the doors removed. They also offer 2 part 6'-8' enclosures which I will keep in consideration should I need larger enclosures in the future. Makes moving them easier and also keeps shipping costs more manageable. Despite the kerfuffle with lead times and shelf misrepresentation I'm pretty happy with what I ended up with. I just know now to be very thorough in the ordering process to ensure exactly what I want to to receive.
    Last edited by jmcrook; 06-18-2021 at 04:10 PM.

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  3. #2
    BPnet Senior Member jmcrook's Avatar
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    Re: New Herptastic Reptiles Enclosures: Write Up/Review and Accessories

    Well dammit… couldn’t get all the photos in during the 10min edit time. Here’s everything that didn’t make the original cut.
    Perch holders



    LEDs




    Hide hangers/sky hide


    Finished enclosures (only one pictured as all are set up identically)




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Bogertophis (06-18-2021),cincy (06-22-2021),Erie_herps (06-18-2021),Gio (06-18-2021),Gocntry (06-18-2021),Hugsplox (06-20-2021),Kam (06-21-2021),nikkubus (06-18-2021)

  5. #3
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I can certainly see why you're pretty happy with it. It's looking good!
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  7. #4
    BPnet Veteran nikkubus's Avatar
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    Absolutely amazing thread. Thank you for taking the time to list everything, take pics, and talk about the details and problems you had. Your enclosures are absolutely stunning too! I showed my son (my snake business partner) and he was like "We NEED those. It looks so good!".

    Turns out that is the same guy I was looking at perches from after all! haha. They are a little bit spendy, but he does such a great job, and they are a lot of labor so it's understandable. I've spoken with him a bunch in a FB GTP group and he is a great guy. On a side note, I LOVE his tub windows "Draco Portals" too. They are so nice for arboreal/semi-arboreal hatchlings to get a really nice view while still being budget conscious with a tub enclosure.
    7.22 BP 1.4 corn 1.1 SD retic 0.1 hognose

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    jmcrook (06-18-2021)

  9. #5
    BPnet Senior Member jmcrook's Avatar
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    Re: New Herptastic Reptiles Enclosures: Write Up/Review and Accessories

    Quote Originally Posted by nikkubus View Post
    Absolutely amazing thread. Thank you for taking the time to list everything, take pics, and talk about the details and problems you had. Your enclosures are absolutely stunning too! I showed my son (my snake business partner) and he was like "We NEED those. It looks so good!".

    Turns out that is the same guy I was looking at perches from after all! haha. They are a little bit spendy, but he does such a great job, and they are a lot of labor so it's understandable. I've spoken with him a bunch in a FB GTP group and he is a great guy. On a side note, I LOVE his tub windows "Draco Portals" too. They are so nice for arboreal/semi-arboreal hatchlings to get a really nice view while still being budget conscious with a tub enclosure.
    Thank you for the kind words! The enclosures look a lot more involved and complicated than they really are. Open the doors and everything can be removed in a matter of seconds. I had a feeling you were referring to SED about the perches. Not cheap, but honestly not outrageous either. I like that they can be easily cleaned and are lightweight. I have an older version of the large perch holders in my lowest enclosures and a handful of his tub perches as well. Love them all and so do all of my critters. Definitely will consider the portals for lightweight budget friendly enclosures in the future if needed, I like the idea behind those a whole lot.

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  11. #6
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    What are these cages sitting on? Looks like some type of dolly with casters. Do you bolt them on or attach them in some way?

  12. #7
    BPnet Senior Member jmcrook's Avatar
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    New Herptastic Reptiles Enclosures: Write Up/Review and Accessories

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick_MD View Post
    What are these cages sitting on? Looks like some type of dolly with casters. Do you bolt them on or attach them in some way?
    3 Milwaukee furniture dollys connected with cheap 1x4” boards and heavy duty door pulls under the left and right dollys. Not fastened to the enclosures


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by jmcrook; 06-22-2021 at 12:26 PM.

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