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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran Snagrio's Avatar
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    Basking shelves, advice?

    Doing some preliminary planning and trying to figure out how I'm going to add shelves to this enclosure and my mom suggested using this vinyl-coated metal shelf and paint over the exposed bits and cover it with expanding foam to make it a solid platform. Would that be okay? Also already have foam piece I can cut into shelves. The metal shelf I'll probably use some L brackets or something of that nature, but is the foam shelf glued on and/or does expanding foam hold it in place?

    Also how long does the expanding foam take to off gas (there's some well windows I can open to air out)? The enclosure is right next to my current snakes and it's a massive thing to try to move out and back into the basement, so could I just relocate them in a cooler or something until the foam is done off gassing in a few hours or would it take longer and the enclosure would have to be moved?

    And since I'll obviously want the whole thing to look nice, what paint is safe for reptiles? Haven't really looked into that yet.

    Finally my mom kept badgering me about how shelving would block too much heat from reaching the bottom if I put shelves underneath it. But, the snake will be using the platforms to warm up anyway? I'm right in thinking it won't matter too much surely?


    Last edited by Snagrio; 07-23-2022 at 10:48 AM.

  2. #2
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I'll mostly stay out of this discussion, but those wire shelves look hazardous to me UNLESS those gaps between the wires, & especially that edge gap, is completely enclosed, because snakes will naturally try to grab thru that & will eventually get stuck, even if it's just their heads.

    ***So I assume you know that, but just to be clear...for anyone else reading this too & looking to copy your idea- you don't want to install anything in enclosures that has gaps where a snake may get stuck- because even if they don't get stuck at first, their growth sorta sneaks up on us & then suddenly it's a hazard. And many things are very hard to cut thru to rescue a snake, & the process is especially dangerous for the snakes too.

    Also, it really depends on what kind of snake you're keeping in this as to whether they'll be using a basking shelf or not, so again, you might want to clarify that since most members here may assume "BPs".
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 07-23-2022 at 11:51 AM.
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  4. #3
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    Re: Basking shelves, advice?

    I like the shelf the way it is, but I don't put anything into my enclosure I can't take out and disinfect.
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  6. #4
    BPnet Veteran Homebody's Avatar
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    Re: Basking shelves, advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    ...those wire shelves look hazardous to me UNLESS that edge gap is completely enclosed, because snakes will naturally try to grab thru that & will eventually get stuck, even if it's just their heads.
    Good point about getting stuck. I didn't consider that.

    You could go with something like these:



    They've flexible. You could secure perches or ledges to them, and adjust the heights as needed. I'm thinking about putting something like these in my enclosure.
    Last edited by Homebody; 07-23-2022 at 11:58 AM.
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  8. #5
    BPnet Veteran Snagrio's Avatar
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    Re: Basking shelves, advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    I'll mostly stay out of this discussion, but those wire shelves look hazardous to me UNLESS those gaps between the wires, & especially that edge gap, is completely enclosed, because snakes will naturally try to grab thru that & will eventually get stuck, even if it's just their heads.

    ***So I assume you know that, but just to be clear...for anyone else reading this too & looking to copy your idea- you don't want to install anything in enclosures that has gaps where a snake may get stuck- because even if they don't get stuck at first, their growth sorta sneaks up on us & then suddenly it's a hazard. And many things are very hard to cut thru to rescue a snake, & the process is especially dangerous for the snakes too.

    Also, it really depends on what kind of snake you're keeping in this as to whether they'll be using a basking shelf or not, so again, you might want to clarify that since most members here may assume "BPs".
    That's what I meant with the expanding foam, using it to fill in all the gaps so it's one solid piece. And this whole thing will be for my VBB, of which I've heard they like elevated platforms like this.

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    Re: Basking shelves, advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snagrio View Post
    That's what I meant with the expanding foam, using it to fill in all the gaps so it's one solid piece. And this whole thing will be for my VBB, of which I've heard they like elevated platforms like this.
    That's what I thought you meant, but wanted to be sure you included the edge, & also to make sure others reading didn't misunderstand & decide to "copy" your idea. Will the foam be sturdy enough though? I mean, will it stay attached to those narrow metal "wires"?

    I agree that your VBB will like things like this. Branches too- you don't really need a solid platform for a rat snake, you know. If you criss-cross some branches, they'll hang out like it's their favorite sofa...+ you can attach something much easier like a large basket or 2. They're also easier to remove to clean or replace as needed- PLUS the air & heat flow thru them. I think you might be working too hard. (And you can place some moist moss in a basket too- it won't stay on a ledge but it will stay in a basket.)
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  12. #7
    BPnet Royalty Gio's Avatar
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    Simple solutions.

    "V Brackets" and any type of branch or dowel.




    I had no issues installing these. I'm also able to easily remove them and put them back in.

    Wrap smooth dowels with fake vines and the animal will be able to grip and sit comfortably on them. I have a combination of real branches and dowels. In the largest cage I have a full sized fence post wrapped in twine.


    Every one of the cages here is set up in a similar fashion.


    As Bogertophis stated, perches allow the panel to generate heat between them and make it to the cage floor.

    There are always tweaks and additions that can be made as you go.

    The build is often just as fun as getting the animal.

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  14. #8
    BPnet Veteran Snagrio's Avatar
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    Re: Basking shelves, advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gio View Post
    Simple solutions.

    "V Brackets" and any type of branch or dowel.




    I had no issues installing these. I'm also able to easily remove them and put them back in.

    Wrap smooth dowels with fake vines and the animal will be able to grip and sit comfortably on them. I have a combination of real branches and dowels. In the largest cage I have a full sized fence post wrapped in twine.


    Every one of the cages here is set up in a similar fashion.


    As Bogertophis stated, perches allow the panel to generate heat between them and make it to the cage floor.

    There are always tweaks and additions that can be made as you go.

    The build is often just as fun as getting the animal.
    I actually have a similar idea. Could get some L brackets with the upturned lip at the end, like this, and get suitably sized cork bark flats to set on them. That way it's a basking platform but still has some texture for better grip and looks more natural to an extent. A much simpler solution than messing around with trying to put in a bunch of shelves with foam and glue and whatever.

    Also on the vine on the dowels thing, I actually do have one of those bendy vines since my mom, bless her heart, got me one but I haven't had a use for it. Now I do.

    I have an opportunity to go to the local reptile show next weekend so I think I'll go and see if I can find some cork bark and branches and such. And not bring anything back that's alive.



    Probably...
    Last edited by Snagrio; 07-24-2022 at 12:03 AM.

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  16. #9
    BPnet Senior Member ckuhn003's Avatar
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    Re: Basking shelves, advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gio View Post
    Simple solutions.

    "V Brackets" and any type of branch or dowel.




    I had no issues installing these. I'm also able to easily remove them and put them back in.

    Wrap smooth dowels with fake vines and the animal will be able to grip and sit comfortably on them. I have a combination of real branches and dowels. In the largest cage I have a full sized fence post wrapped in twine.


    Every one of the cages here is set up in a similar fashion.


    As Bogertophis stated, perches allow the panel to generate heat between them and make it to the cage floor.

    There are always tweaks and additions that can be made as you go.

    The build is often just as fun as getting the animal.
    Came across this thread as I’m on month 3 of waiting for Animal Plastics to ship a basking shelf that I ordered for my AP 10 which will house one of my BOAs. I was thinking it might be something that I could just make after finding a piece of PVC at Home Depot but this thread has peaked my curiosity. Do you find your boas use and have enough space to rest on the dowel’s and branches? And where do you find your V Brackets? My BOA loves to just sun under the RHP on top of an AP Basking shelf. Just looking for some ideas. Thank you.
    Last edited by ckuhn003; 10-17-2022 at 01:20 PM.
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