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Old 05-01-15, 09:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Keeping snakes in sterlite/plastic tubs?

I went terrarium shopping today and... I just can't see paying that much for a cage. So I went online to find some alternatives (plus observing snake keepers online) and a plastic tub seems to be a popular option. Like a tote or other type of container like it.

Is this a good idea? I estimated and determined I could build a complete set up for a ball python sized snake for almost 5 times less than I could buy just a glass terrarium. I also heard that plastic containers are easier to maintain an appropriate humidity/climate in.

I'm not cutting corners here. If I really need a glass terrarium I'll find a way to get my hands on one...
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Old 05-01-15, 11:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes in sterlite/plastic tubs?

I keep my younger/smaller snakes in plastic tubs. I love them. They hold heat and humidity well and they come in a large variety of sizes. They're a lot easier to clean and if you're feeling particularly lazy about cleaning up a major mess (say if the snake poops in their water and them dumps the water so you've got poop water all over the bottom of the tub) then you can just go buy a new one! The one downside IMO is that they're not as aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but the positives far outweigh that single negative.
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Old 05-02-15, 02:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes in sterlite/plastic tubs?

It depends on what you want out of an enclosure. I like to make naturalistic set ups. Its a bit more work than a tub but its what I like to do. No real point in making a naturalistic tank with a tub. Many people have used tubs and they have healthy snakes. Make sure you can get a set up that you can make sure the lid closes properly.
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Old 05-02-15, 06:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes in sterlite/plastic tubs?

If you decide to use tubs, you need to make absolutely certain that you purchase tubs that you can securely close the lid, or purchase/build a rack system the fits close enough so the lid can not be raised at all. Even some of the larger sized tubs with clips on the ends to secure the lids are not secure. If you don't do this, your snakes will escape. I had one of my female Hondurans push her way out of one of these tubs and escape a couple of weeks ago. I only use tubs to hold my snakes when I am cleaning their enclosures or breeding a pair, but she managed to get out of a Sterilite tub with "locking" clips in 10 minutes. Just a thought...
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Old 05-02-15, 07:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes in sterlite/plastic tubs?

I keep almost everything I have in tubs and have never had an escape, but I do choose carefully. Ziplock makes some very secure tubs, more secure than any cage you're going to find, but they only make them up to a certain size. My largest tubs are 40+" L and around 20" W. Because I have boas in those, I do keep them in a rack to prevent escape. They've been in there for a few months now without any escapes. Be sure to check stores besides just Walmart, too. Office Supply stores will often have some nice tubs but again there will be a maximum size that secures well. Tubs hold humidity really well, but if you're keeping desert species you may find they hold it too well lol I keep one species that needs higher heat and lower humidity so if I keep the water in the tubs I have to put so many holes to get the humidity down that a lot of heat escapes too. I would go with cages for aboreal species and basking lizards, though.
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Old 05-02-15, 10:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes in sterlite/plastic tubs?

I like to use tubs for my babies, but the top-opening feature becomes a serious pain as they get older, so I prefer to upgrade to an adult enclosure once they hit a good size (say, 3'-5').

Just be sure to put enough air holes for proper ventilation, and secure your tub. Bungee cords are great for this. Just put some holes near the bottom and hook one end of the cord into it and the other end on a hole on the other side. Do this on both ends of the tub, and just stretch the cords up and over the lid. Gives it a 10/10 security, no way they're pushing out of that. Otherwise, you can use clips or velcro.
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Old 05-03-15, 07:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes in sterlite/plastic tubs?

I just got a set of IRIS bins and I'm in love
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Old 05-03-15, 07:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes in sterlite/plastic tubs?

Why not Just buy the tubs with the clip anyway on the lids? Tubs are already ugly no need to add cords
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Old 05-03-15, 08:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes in sterlite/plastic tubs?

Josh, they were talking about the long bins. If they have the clips on just the ends, the muddle can be pushed up easier by a strong snake, so the bunjees are to prevent the middle from being pushed up.
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Old 05-03-15, 08:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes in sterlite/plastic tubs?

The Ziplock tubs have latches in the middles, too. If you have more than a few tubs you would probably need to build a rack anyway to hold the tubs, so you can ditch the lids at that point.
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Old 05-03-15, 01:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes in sterlite/plastic tubs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by millertime89 View Post
I keep my younger/smaller snakes in plastic tubs. I love them. They hold heat and humidity well and they come in a large variety of sizes. They're a lot easier to clean and if you're feeling particularly lazy about cleaning up a major mess (say if the snake poops in their water and them dumps the water so you've got poop water all over the bottom of the tub) then you can just go buy a new one! The one downside IMO is that they're not as aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but the positives far outweigh that single negative.
I am not trying to bash tub keepers here, but there is more than a "single negative" to keeping a snake in a tub. I think it is very important to allow ANY animal a bit of room to live. Any enclosure that doesn't AT LEAST allow a snake to stretch completely out is just plain too small for my likings. Sure they will survive all kinds of inappropriate conditions, but IMO if you want them to thrive they should be able to stretch out, climb, exercise, and explore.

Think about it like this - a human inmate on death row in solitary confinement can live for 50 years or more - but if that's what you call a "life" then put yourself in that situation and you might appreciate a little extra room to go for a little jog, climb, pick multiple water sources, or even take a bath! (in a large setup you can have room for a bowl for a full grown ball python to soak in - and have room for multiple hides).

They climb and like to drape themselves on sticks, and they soak completely in a bowl - I keep my adult BP in a standard 150 gallon and he uses every inch of that enclosure every night.

It's really not that bad to keep heat and humidity levels appropriate, just takes a few checkups a day which me or my wife can handle.
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Old 05-03-15, 03:49 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes in sterlite/plastic tubs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrgrimm View Post
I am not trying to bash tub keepers here, but there is more than a "single negative" to keeping a snake in a tub. I think it is very important to allow ANY animal a bit of room to live. Any enclosure that doesn't AT LEAST allow a snake to stretch completely out is just plain too small for my likings. Sure they will survive all kinds of inappropriate conditions, but IMO if you want them to thrive they should be able to stretch out, climb, exercise, and explore.

Think about it like this - a human inmate on death row in solitary confinement can live for 50 years or more - but if that's what you call a "life" then put yourself in that situation and you might appreciate a little extra room to go for a little jog, climb, pick multiple water sources, or even take a bath! (in a large setup you can have room for a bowl for a full grown ball python to soak in - and have room for multiple hides).

They climb and like to drape themselves on sticks, and they soak completely in a bowl - I keep my adult BP in a standard 150 gallon and he uses every inch of that enclosure every night.

It's really not that bad to keep heat and humidity levels appropriate, just takes a few checkups a day which me or my wife can handle.
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Old 05-03-15, 04:26 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes in sterlite/plastic tubs?

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Originally Posted by jossh27 View Post
Why not Just buy the tubs with the clip anyway on the lids? Tubs are already ugly no need to add cords
Because not all are secure enough, even with that built-in latches, especially as the tub gets bigger. It also depends on what you keep in them. All the tubs I have now are sturdy enough to contain all my boids without any additional security measures. But I'm sure one of my garters could find a way out with how tiny they are, so I'd use either clips or cords to keep them in.

As far as the ugliness goes, it's personal preference. I don't think either tubs or tubs with cords are ugly, and I prefer functionality over "prettiness" anyways. I don't care what the enclosure looks like as long as it fulfills my animal's needs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrgrimm View Post
I am not trying to bash tub keepers here, but there is more than a "single negative" to keeping a snake in a tub. I think it is very important to allow ANY animal a bit of room to live. Any enclosure that doesn't AT LEAST allow a snake to stretch completely out is just plain too small for my likings. Sure they will survive all kinds of inappropriate conditions, but IMO if you want them to thrive they should be able to stretch out, climb, exercise, and explore.

Think about it like this - a human inmate on death row in solitary confinement can live for 50 years or more - but if that's what you call a "life" then put yourself in that situation and you might appreciate a little extra room to go for a little jog, climb, pick multiple water sources, or even take a bath! (in a large setup you can have room for a bowl for a full grown ball python to soak in - and have room for multiple hides).

They climb and like to drape themselves on sticks, and they soak completely in a bowl - I keep my adult BP in a standard 150 gallon and he uses every inch of that enclosure every night.

It's really not that bad to keep heat and humidity levels appropriate, just takes a few checkups a day which me or my wife can handle.
Uh...tubs are perfectly capable of providing the space a snake needs, but you lose usable height as the animal gets larger (which is why I put older snakes in custom enclosures), but they don't necessarily *need* that extra height unless they're arboreal. And some species just get too large to be permanently housed in tubs or even tanks imo.
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Old 05-03-15, 04:59 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes in sterlite/plastic tubs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrgrimm View Post
I am not trying to bash tub keepers here, but there is more than a "single negative" to keeping a snake in a tub. I think it is very important to allow ANY animal a bit of room to live. Any enclosure that doesn't AT LEAST allow a snake to stretch completely out is just plain too small for my likings. Sure they will survive all kinds of inappropriate conditions, but IMO if you want them to thrive they should be able to stretch out, climb, exercise, and explore.

Think about it like this - a human inmate on death row in solitary confinement can live for 50 years or more - but if that's what you call a "life" then put yourself in that situation and you might appreciate a little extra room to go for a little jog, climb, pick multiple water sources, or even take a bath! (in a large setup you can have room for a bowl for a full grown ball python to soak in - and have room for multiple hides).

They climb and like to drape themselves on sticks, and they soak completely in a bowl - I keep my adult BP in a standard 150 gallon and he uses every inch of that enclosure every night.

It's really not that bad to keep heat and humidity levels appropriate, just takes a few checkups a day which me or my wife can handle.
Some people do use bins that are too small, but that doesn't condemn all use of bins for housing. I keep my growing snakes in bins for simplicity and to reduce cost while they're growing, and they will be upgraded to much nicer enclosures when they are big enough. But all of them have all the space they need, and I upgrade their bin sizes when necessary. The cal king I used to have(I donated her to a friend who I felt would benefit from having something to care for) loved to climb so I had her in a taller bin that accommodated branches. My honduran milk snake prefers to stay flat on the ground, so she gets a short bin with minimal decorations to maximize the floor space that she likes. My pines both like to dig, so they get deep substrate to dig in. None of them are cramped, and none are nose-rubbers so I know they haven't been trying to seek more space. All of my snakes have room to stretch out when they want to; when the snake's length becomes as long as two sides of the tub put together they get a bigger tub.

So, assuming suitably sized tubs are selected, I do think that aesthetics are the only downside to using tubs. Space for the snakes is not a downside; you can get a wide variety of tub sizes and some are incredibly huge. It is the keeper's responsibility to choose tubs that are appropriately sized.
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Old 05-03-15, 07:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes in sterlite/plastic tubs?

The needs of humans and snakes are quite different. After all, a human doesn't need to go lay on a giant heat mat after eating and that's only the first thing off the top of my head.
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