Enclosure build by Newbie - many questions will be asked.

Discussion in 'DIY Zone' started by Snoops, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. Snoops

    Snoops New Member

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    So, thought I'd start a thread on the build of the enclosure for our (Mine and Sons) first snake. I started an intro thread where I started discussing the basics of what I have planned. It's here - https://www.aussiepythons.com/forum/threads/newbie-saying-hello.223230/#post-2519537 - if anyone wants to look.

    This showed my old aquarium that is now devoid of fish and looking for something else to do. It is a nice looking tank and fits well in the room so this is what prompted me to convert it. As I mentioned in the other thread it won't be large enough long term if we end up with a larger species but it will do for now.

    Given the main issues with a tank are lack of insulation and lack of access I decided the only way to really do a decent job was to strip down the tank. The pics below show what I've done so far.

    The dividers for the wet sump were removed as were the 2 end panels which will be replaced with access doors.

    Here are pics of the tank with the ends out and the glass that was removed - it's 10mm thick so strong stuff.
    [​IMG]Untitled by Gavin Gregory, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by Gavin Gregory, on Flickr

    Next up I needed to put back some lateral support into the tank and also create somewhere to mount doors, lid, etc that are escape proof. Material of choice here was black anodised aluminium connect it sections. Although quite expensive, it is easy to work with, strong and super acurate. The pics below show before and after pics of this.
    [​IMG]Untitled by Gavin Gregory, on Flickr

    And after an hour or so.
    [​IMG]Untitled by Gavin Gregory, on Flickr

    The double frame at the top gives the tank its strength back and also allows for a flush fitting top lid and an internal mesh lid so I can put some items like some of the lights, etc up where they can't be seen. The ends form the openings for the side doors. This will be secured with neutral cure black silastic - the same stuff the tank was originally built with. Will glue it in tomorrow and get it back inside where I can start the fit out of it - that's when the questions will start regarding lighting, heating, vents, etc. I'm not really on a set budget so can spend what is needed to make this a perfect starting place for our new slithery friend. :)
     
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  2. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

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    Look forward to seeing progress
     
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  3. Snoops

    Snoops New Member

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    Question time. :)

    The heater controllers I ordered have arrived - I bought 2 PID loop controllers that have an outlet on a timer and the other on the PID temp loop with a remote mounted panel for easy access. Bought 2 for a couple of reasons. Firstly I can control 2 sets of lamps - day and night, as well as having redundancy if one controller goes to god. I'm a Sparky that does industrial microprocessor and PLC control work so I'm bound to overcomplicate this but that's fine and this will be just the first of multiple itterations on the control system I should think... :D

    So my question is about what is the best way to heat an enclosure and best positioning of the temp probes for the controller? These won't be the only temp gauges I'm using - I've got 2 others coming to mount elsewhere as a cross check to the main controllers too, but trying to work out the best way of heating things to keep snakey toasty and warm without cooking him. Also, what do most do regarding day and night settings?

    Any idea on what sort of wattage I may need to keep things warm? I'm in Melbourne so in Winter the house does get cold at night and when we aren't home so it will need to cope with ambient temps as low as 8 or 10 degrees inside at times - I don't want to underdo things and have our new friend get too cold.

    TIA.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  4. Imported_tuatara

    Imported_tuatara Well-Known Member

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    Can't really answer the question, but that's a mighty fine looking enclosure Imo.
     
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  5. Snoops

    Snoops New Member

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    Well we are a shy lot here aren't we. :)

    No one wants to share how they heat their setups or am I posting this question in the wrong area?
     
  6. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

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    I have a branch that goes from one end to the other about 60% of the enclosures height up about 30cm from a 75w CHE

    Lower down is nice and cool where the heat doesnt get to except directly below, so a cool end down in corner where his hide is

    The branch gets to about 40 on a 30°day (I usually turn the che off around 35 unless he has a gut full and could use the extra heat to help digest. Any hotter than 40 I’d say is no bueno, but would be fine if he has access to water)

    And 24 in cool side
     
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  7. Snoops

    Snoops New Member

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    Thanks heaps, just the sort of info I'm looking for. :)
     
  8. dragonlover1

    dragonlover1 Subscriber Subscriber

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    A lot depends on what species of snake you plan on getting ? Arboreal or terrestrial ? Tropical ,inland or Coastal ? A lot of pythons don't like to get over 32C, plus you need a warm end and a cool end.
     
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  9. Snoops

    Snoops New Member

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    Thanks for that - haven't settled on a species yet, but sounds like we need to get that narrowed down first then?
     
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  10. dragonlover1

    dragonlover1 Subscriber Subscriber

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    You can't build an enclosure without knowing what will go in there
     
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