Cabinet conversion

Discussion in 'DIY Zone' started by Shannon Young, Feb 17, 2019.

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  1. Shannon Young

    Shannon Young New Member

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    I'm working on converting a solid wood cabinet to separately house 3 BPs with bioactive setups. It will be lined with vinyl to prevent wood rot. I've never done set up like this before and wanted some opinions. Because it's pretty solid I am concerned about airflow and ventilation so my idea is having a vent up high in each enclosure on the left close to the radiant heat panel. Also on the right/cool side lower in the set up additional ventilation (pegboard on snek side) 2 questions: 1 Will the isopod guys try to get out of the lower vents? Is there a minimum distance the vent should be up off their floor? 2 would it be beneficial or not to have a really small fan, like PC cooler type fan on the cool side like an exhaust controlled by a thermometer or am I over thinking that?

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  2. Imported_tuatara

    Imported_tuatara Well-Known Member

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  3. Shannon Young

    Shannon Young New Member

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    Ball pythons
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Feb 17, 2019, Original Post Date: Feb 17, 2019 ---
    Ball pythons
     
  4. Herptology

    Herptology Well-Known Member

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    Ball pythons are illegal in Australia and should be given to the correct authorites.
     
  5. Shannon Young

    Shannon Young New Member

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    I
    I'm not in Australia, you guys seemed very knowledgeable of diy building so that's why I joined. Sorry for the confusion
     
  6. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    You will regret it or at least not think it was worth doing except for the learning experience, and never attempt a project like this again.
     
  7. Shannon Young

    Shannon Young New Member

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    Luckily I LOVE learning, I'm crafty, LOVE making things, and very headstrong and determined when I pick a project. So that helps
     
  8. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    Well, you're going to learn that this is a bad idea. I hope you learn that it was a bad idea before your Balls suffer for it ;)
     
  9. Shannon Young

    Shannon Young New Member

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    Sooooo does anyone have any beneficial input? Or something a bit more specific. Maybe less opinion and more design improvement ideas? When I said I've never done a set up like this before doesn't mean I have no experience building. And my ideas are simply still ideas and open to change. If there is some issue that is soliciting solely negative, unuseful opinions then let me know. I'll be on my way. Otherwise help me design a better habitat for them.
     
  10. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    You specifically asked for opinions, and if you're about to make a mistake and someone says it would be a mistake, it's helpful.

    If you want a better habitat for them, keep it clean and definitely don't try to breed crustaceans and other invertebrates in a wooden enclosure with a Ball Python. Lining with vinyl is a recipe for disaster (especially if you want to be breeding crustaceans in there!). If you must use a wooden cabinet, seal it properly, ventilate it however you like, and treat it like any other normal enclosure. You know, because people all over the planet generally keep their pythons in enclosures without incorporating invertebrate farms in there. It's just a recipe for problems. There's a reason virtually everyone cleans their snake waste out of the enclosure and throws it away rather than leaving it to literally rot while whatever invertebrates proliferate in it causing stench, respiratory issues and skin rot.

    If you want to set yourself up for failure and you have a problem being told that when you ask for feedback, at least say "I don't want spoiler alerts, just tell me I'm awesome". The reality is, a vinyl-lined wooden enclosure that small with conditions which will allow crustaceans to proliferate is going to result in something which constitutes animal abuse. You can either accept that now or go through with it and accept it when the reality hits you.

    This seems to bother you, I won't comment further, best of luck.
     
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  11. Shannon Young

    Shannon Young New Member

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    Ok see now we are getting somewhere. I'll admit I do not know much of anything about the isopod crustacean situation. I do not at all have a problem with information and being wrong. Again I love to learn. The cause of my frustration was simply this is a bad idea. What is "this" and why is it a bad idea? The idea of them having their own little kind of ecosystem seemed interesting, and the live plants seemed pretty awesome because hey who doesn't like real plants and oxygen? But if it is ultimately bad for them then the bugs are off the list. Change of plans. No big deal. "This" is not helpful but your explanation of everything else is very informative and I appreciate you for it. So thank you
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
  12. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

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    I think in general a "bioactive enclosure" is a bad idea, let alone 3, let alone stacked on top of each other if you are not 150% sure what you are doing, you can, however, get nice looking ( IMO) fake plants and plenty of branches, leaf litter etc. But a bioactive enclosure would require a water sprinkling source, which again, doesn't work well with wood. ANd then u have the bugs you have to keep on top of and keep them in the enclosure.
     
  13. nuttylizardguy

    nuttylizardguy Well-Known Member

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    I agree , bioactive substrates are very hard to get right , and even harder to maintain in most instances , and will be more effort and bother than it's worth IMO.

    My work of anoles, dart frogs, water dragons, Indonesian bluetongues and some smaller skinks, but for others , forget about it.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Feb 17, 2019, Original Post Date: Feb 17, 2019 ---
    All the more to not do as a bioactive setup.
     
  14. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    If you really must go for a 'bioactive' enclosure, first you should really understand what you're doing (I'm a qualified biologist, I specialised in ecology, even I would find it a somewhat challenging task, and certainly it would be a lot of work to set up and you'd need to closely monitor it). And secondly, choose an appropriate species. You'll generally do best with something which lives in a swampy/jungle/riparian environment. These things are going to cope best with the moisture. Ball Pythons are extremely tough things and might be able to cope, but only because they're tough enough to possibly be able to survive in the wrong conditions, as opposed to something which likes those conditions.

    The concept is really cool, but it's not easy or practical, and generally not at all safe.

    In nature, there is a deep ground full of dirt full of worms, beetle larvae, etc etc. The rain washes the nutrients into the soil and/or into waterways. Beetle larvae, worms etc eat the waste and take it underground. Flying insects eat it and fly away. Insectivorous animals eat these invertebrates and distribute the nutrients to completely different parts of the ecosystem. You just can't replicate that huge, complex environment in a little box with a couple of cm of dirt on the bottom. Attempting to generally turns out very much like forcing a snake to live in a toilet which you don't bother to flush.

    Maybe start out with a moisture-loving species (probably not a snake as most 'wet' snakes are fairly sensitive, unless you want to go for an actual aquatic snake, some of which are much easier) and while sticking to keeping it clean, have a go at growing live plants in there. You'll still probably quickly give up because it's really difficult to make it work, but it's safer and easier.
     
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  15. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

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    t should be a general idea of space required and the amount of time needed for a bioactive enclosure - I know he is a bit of a dodgy man, but u can't argue with his enclosure setups, truly remarkable, at least I think so.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
  16. Imported_tuatara

    Imported_tuatara Well-Known Member

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    there's no link, only the vid where it starts at 0:00. (atleast on computer, anyways.)
     
  17. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

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    ah.. well it's like a minute in, at his coffee table
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Feb 17, 2019, Original Post Date: Feb 17, 2019 ---
     
  18. Shannon Young

    Shannon Young New Member

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    Bugs and Bioactive are out. Seems cool on the surface but way too much room for error. with that let's change the focus a little. Does anyone have any experience with non toxic sealants? Safe for snakes? Or methods of sealing without using chemicals at all? For example there is a method where you torch the wood and it seals it and makes it for the most part water proof. I've seen this used in offgrid building to make wood exterior grade but then there is the concern of the char left behind affecting the snakes, so probably bad idea. So maybe the vinyl type flooring? I know somethings I maybe over thinking some things and under thinking others which is why I'm not in a hurry just to throw it together. This cabinet has sentimental value and would LOVE to make it a beautiful, functional, display and happy home for my Balls. Thank you in advance for your input. Also should have noted that the wood inner bit of the doors will be replaced with a plexiglass with the original wood frame of the doors. Also mounting the radiant heat panels to their ceilings as opposed to the side.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Feb 18, 2019, Original Post Date: Feb 18, 2019 ---
    WOW his stuff is amazing! If my husband didn't hate snakes and pretty much all reptiles I'd love to do enclosures like his! My daughters and I out number him so we compromised over the years on three Balls and a Western Hognose Rescued by friend that works for parks and wildlife here
     
  19. Steve64

    Steve64 New Member

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    You could research 'Epoxy Resin'. My experience with it is in wooden boat building, forms a clear, totally waterproof membrane. They construct and waterproof compartments in boats used for drinking water storage so it is food safe. Just note - it's not uv stable.
     
  20. Shannon Young

    Shannon Young New Member

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    I had thought about that, and I have experience with it making a bunch of Glitter tumblers. I also did my phone case and over time a bunch of little kinda micro fractures have developed. Do you think it would do that on the wood as it expands and retracts with the seasons? I will search for a tougher epoxy.
     
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