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  1. #1
    Registered User ApathyAngel's Avatar
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    Considering switching from glass to PVC

    So I've kept my ball Jeffrey in glass tanks for years. I never minded that the heat and humidity can be finicky, I've had years of figuring that out, and I've got a system that works.

    But now Jeffrey is 5 feet plus and 2190 grams, she's outgrown her 36x18x18 tank. I looked up the price of a 48x18x18 tank and balked at the idea of paying $500 for it. But I found a 48x24x24 PVC tank for under $300 (on dubiaroaches.com), and I'm considering making the switch.

    Does anyone have experience with enclosures from dubiaroaches.com? Are they good quality?

    Also, with my current setup, I've got a UTH to provide a basking spot, as well as an overhead heat lamp to raise the ambient temperature and provide the necessary heat gradient (both heat sources are on thermostats). How does that work with PVC? Those are generally pretty thick, right? How do I attach a UTH and heat lamp to a PVC tank?

    I've included a pic of the current setup.



    I like it a lot, and as I've said, I feel like I've really mastered the finicky nature of heating and providing proper humidity in glass enclosures. Literally the only problem with it is that it's too small. I'm concerned about the idea of switching to a new system that I'm completely unfamiliar with.

    Has anyone else made the switch from glass to PVC? What kind of learning curve can I expect? How does heating work? Is $300 a reasonable price to pay for a tank that size, or am I getting the bottom of the barrel in quality?

    Thank you in advance! I've provided a pic of Jeffrey enjoying chin rubs for the cuteness tax.



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  3. #2
    BPnet Senior Member GoingPostal's Avatar
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    There are a ton of different pvc companies, I have boaphiles but I haven't bought a new cage for a decade so no idea what's preferable these days. You have the option of heating, personally I'd steer clear of heat lamps altogether. Radiant heat panels and flexwatt is what I have running in my cages and they are a breeze to keep at temps and humidity once set up correctly. Plus they don't weigh a million pounds or crack at the slightest hit. I find PVC cages to be much more convenient over glass for tropical species.

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  5. #3
    BPnet Veteran Malum Argenteum's Avatar
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    Looks like the dubiaroaches.com model is an aluminum frame with PVC panel inserts. Those panels are very unlikely to be as thick as those on traditional (frameless) PVC enclosures, which are typically 1/2". Also, it looks like it has a screen top, which defeats the heat and RH holding purposes.

    My eight PVC enclosures are from Animal Plastics, and if I needed more I would buy from them again. They have very long lead times, though (currently 18-34 weeks, according to their website).

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  7. #4
    BPnet Lifer dakski's Avatar
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    Re: Considering switching from glass to PVC

    PVC enclosures are cheaper and easier to maintain temps and humidity with. They can also be stackable. The initial cost is more, but is probably worth it.

    You need to use heat tape with most PVC enclosures (pretty inexpensive) and/or a Radiant Heat Panel (RHP). Unless the tank has a mesh on top, which I do not recommend, you would not be able to use a lamp for heat (which I also do not recommend).

    Jeff Ronne, the Boaphile, is still making PVC enclosures. I have all Boaphile enclosures for my 9 reptiles.

    I have heard good things about Animal Plastics in the past, but have no experience with them and haven't read much lately. I do not know anything about the cages at Dubiaroaches.com. They look like they are bare bones. No heating elements etc. You would have to do some more research on them. Reptile Basics also offers similar cages and I have heard decent things about them. However, they are also bare bones.

    https://www.reptilebasics.com/pvc-reptile-cages/

    One of the things that sold me on the Boaphile tanks is that they ship assembled and in one piece (or two if you want larger than 4 feet long - which I needed for my Boas to make 6 foot long enclosures). For a BP, you probably won't go bigger than 4X2' footprint. The tanks come with all heating elements installed and ready to rock. All you need to do is hook up the thermostat and you are good to go.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

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  9. #5
    BPnet Veteran Homebody's Avatar
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    Re: Considering switching from glass to PVC

    I agree with the others that a solid top pvc enclosure heated with a rhp and heat tape is the best option. The only thing you'll have to learn is to not mess with your enclosure so much. On the other hand, though, if the expense and/or wait times for those are prohibitive, the Dubia Roaches enclosure would still be an upgrade and it wouldn't present any challenges that you are unaccustomed to.
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  11. #6
    Registered User mistergreen's Avatar
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    There's also blackboxcages.com. You can buy a whole set up from them. It's all very easy to build. I bought from them. I had two corners damaged in shipping and they didn't hesitate to replace them.
    And no real long lead time when I ordered just over a year ago. I think I waited about a month.
    Last edited by mistergreen; 05-15-2024 at 09:47 AM.

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