DIY cage questions


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Active Member
Nov 10, 2017
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Hi all

After doing some reading I am wondering if I might make my own enclosure. I’m pretty handy and I have read a bit here, but I have a couple of questions.

I’m looking at using melamine, which should be pretty easy to work with.

So here are my questions:
1. I’ve read of other people using 16mm melamine - is that a good thickness?

2. In this type of enclosure what sort of heat source would I use? I’m planning to keep a Stimsons Python so I was thinking a heat mat. Where would it be placed in a melamine enclosure? Underneath or inside?

3. Ventilation both ends seems the way to go. I was thinking of drilling holes and covering them mesh/flyscreen on the outside. Would this suit? Would there need to be additional ventilation in the top?

4. Hinged or sliding doors? Hinged seems easier.

5. What measurements would work for a hatchling?

I’m thinking given the cost of the materials I am proposing I will be able to make a small and large enclosure for probably less than the price of a store bought.

Thanks in advance

My alternative is converting a piece of furniture. For example I found a cube storage unit at Kmart that’s 79x30x23. Laying it on its side I could move the positioning of a shelf to make a divider half way (which could be removed when the snake is full grown). Then drill holes and cover in mesh for ventilation and add perspex doors.

Would something like that need waterproofing?
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Almost Legendary
Oct 4, 2009
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Windsor, NSW
1. That's the most widely available which is probably why it's the most commonly used. It's heavy but good to work with.
2. Heat mats might be a bit annoying. I'd personally go with a heat panel or a homemade "heat mat" using cord and a tile.
3. Ventilation at the cool end is all you need. Vents at both ends will most likely give you too much flow and ruin your gradient.
4. Sliding is actually easier IMO. There is much less chance of creating a pinch point when closing it back up.
5. For a hatchling Stimmy, a 7L click clack should be the starting point rather than a full blow enclosure.

If you're going to convert a ready-made cabinet, you can get epoxy or, my personal favourite, pond sealer.
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