Opinions on non-natural cage design?

Taeanna

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I am curious on many peoples opinions on if they feel cages HAVE TO BE NATURAL or can be unique.
My bearded dragon is 9 months old and has an oddball tank setup right now. Terracotta pots as hides and basking spots, a lot of local driftwood, hammocks etc because as he was growing I needed to replace things quickly (his basking/pooping log was getting funky...) or he was too small for a while to take advantage of all of his cage space. He has already outgrown his old crocodile pet bed, but since he slept in it every night I just got him a larger sized one.

Now that he is closing in on his birthday I want to redecorate and give him his big boy house. However I am second guessing my original plans.
I wanted to make him a lizard-sized version of a 2-story cutaway dollhouse with hides, digboxes and basking areas that were thematic but with a sense of humour - But the longer I look around the net the more I am struck by how nobody has done similar.

Is this some sort of nono or do people just not think to do something a little strange?
 

dragonlover1

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there are no rules when it comes to enclosure design, except for the obvious basics; light ,heat ,water, etc. I have seen some really different ideas. Everything from pink 4 post beds to battle fields. So go your hardest, don't forget to show us your results because we love to see something new and you might give someone the inspiration they need.
 

cagey

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At one stage there was a thread on here with the most amazing designs; one of the members had a sister who worked as a set designer and created some amazing enclosures.
There was also an enclosure builder from Qld (I think Stein) who did some great work as well.
 

Harpo

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View attachment 331625Google image (In my and many others opinions this is disgusting and BLEH, but if you want to do that and it works in terms of heat, water, space, hides etc, go for it)

@Herpetology Don't be coy mate, we all know you took that pic in your bedroom ? ? (joke folks)
Unique set ups are interesting to look at, if it doesn't harm the animal, go for gold. I've seen some pretty wild stuff done in the aquarium hobby with 3D printers and clear sealant, I'm boring - semi-naturalistic enclosures...???
 

Taeanna

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@dragonlover1 I will do my best! I am very concerned with making it look classy so I am taking my time researching materials and stocking up on tutorials beforehand.
I'm sure it'll take me another several years to get it right...hopefully Kevin will think of all the changes as enrichment and not his mother losing her mind.
 

Sdaji

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Naturalism is completely overrated. The ideal environment is not at all the same as the natural environment. It's a complete myth that animals are perfectly adapted to their environment and the natural environment is their ideal environment.

It only takes a brief moment of thought to realise that this notion is a myth; animals struggle to deal with all sorts of environmental hardships, from the obvious examples like working hard to avoid temperature extremes, to outright being killed by them if not merely harmed. The very fact that reptiles live longer and produce far more offspring in captivity that in the wild should make it overwhelmingly obvious that we can easily improve on nature, but hey, people aren't too bright!

The ideal environment gives animals exactly what they need and avoids anything harmful. Natural environments just are what they are and animals to their best to etch out a living in them. We know that in nature there are good and bad seasons. If we design the environment to be as good as possible we can make every season better than any natural season.

Making the enclosure a novelty is completely fine as long as all the needs are provided for and nothing harmful is included. The aesthetics of animal enclosures are purely for human enjoyment. Have fun!
 

Pythonguy1

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When I fist started out with snakes I went for the most natural enclosure setup I could get (admittedly I never got that far). Nowadays my enclosures are pretty standard with the most I bother with being two hides, substrate (aspen or breeders choice), water bowl, climbing branch. Much of the natural decor I provided wasn't utilized by my snakes at all. That being said, I think it's a great idea to go all out and natural with a setup that's visually rewarding, provided the cost isn't a problem for you and you're not using any toxic plants or substrate. Like others mentioned, the ideas are limitless when it comes to enclosure setups.
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Naturalism is completely overrated. The ideal environment is not at all the same as the natural environment. It's a complete myth that animals are perfectly adapted to their environment and the natural environment is their ideal environment.

It only takes a brief moment of thought to realise that this notion is a myth; animals struggle to deal with all sorts of environmental hardships, from the obvious examples like working hard to avoid temperature extremes, to outright being killed by them if not merely harmed. The very fact that reptiles live longer and produce far more offspring in captivity that in the wild should make it overwhelmingly obvious that we can easily improve on nature, but hey, people aren't too bright!

The ideal environment gives animals exactly what they need and avoids anything harmful. Natural environments just are what they are and animals to their best to etch out a living in them. We know that in nature there are good and bad seasons. If we design the environment to be as good as possible we can make every season better than any natural season.

Making the enclosure a novelty is completely fine as long as all the needs are provided for and nothing harmful is included. The aesthetics of animal enclosures are purely for human enjoyment. Have fun!
He beat me to it again^^^ ?
 

Harpo

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Guys....I said I did semi-naturalistic, not anything remotely close to the natural environment (I do also aim for the ideal environment). I enjoy natural looking tanks for my pets in boxes, especially my fish, but the snakes seem to benefit with the decor I add, more than the fish even...especially rocks for sloughing and branches for perching.....plus they live in my living area and I want pretty to look at.... @Sdaji don't think it's overrated in my case at all, it's just plain nice ?
 

Sdaji

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Guys....I said I did semi-naturalistic, not anything remotely close to the natural environment (I do also aim for the ideal environment). I enjoy natural looking tanks for my pets in boxes, especially my fish, but the snakes seem to benefit with the decor I add, more than the fish even...especially rocks for sloughing and branches for perching.....plus they live in my living area and I want pretty to look at.... @Sdaji don't think it's overrated in my case at all, it's just plain nice ?
As I said, natural looks are purely for humans to enjoy looking at. If you enioy it, it was worth all the effort you put in! ?

Something to slough against or climb up is just proving it with things it needs. The snake doesn't care if you make it look like a rock and a branch or a model of a drunk guy passed out over a table to slough against and a stripper on a pole to climb up and perch on. The snake (or lizard or cactus or whatever) would also much prefer optimal temperatures etc rather than natural ones. Most people love natural looking setups (even though most of them don't have a field herping bone in their body and get it wrong anyway, but it 'looks natural' so the human loves it), some would love the novelty of a doll house or strip club or WWII battle or alien theme enclosure, many like myself will always go for 1) keeping the animal happy 2) low maintenance 3) low cost in that order. I'm not saying anything against any of these options :)
 

dragonlover1

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@dragonlover1 I will do my best! I am very concerned with making it look classy so I am taking my time researching materials and stocking up on tutorials beforehand.
I'm sure it'll take me another several years to get it right...hopefully Kevin will think of all the changes as enrichment and not his mother losing her mind.
Small changes every now and then provide stimulation , the beardy will spend time exploring and checking it out. Don't be afraid to update or completely change the decor as your dragon will benefit. They are not like some that hate change such as Frillies who will sulk.
 
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