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Old 02-09-18, 11:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Want to build adult bioactive vivarium for brb

So I plan on building a bioactive 4ftx2ft8inx3ft pur-bond birch plywood enclosure lined with aquarium epoxy so it will be completely waterproof, (I'm not sure if I should use half inch or three quarter inch thick) with sliding glass doors for my BRB. I am going to build fake rock walls with 2 or 3 caves for her to hide in. It will have fake vines for her to climb on along with lots real plants, hopefully a small tree for her if I can find one and possibly a waterfall but I'm not sure, it will at least have a very large water bowl/pond with a drain on the bottom of each end of the enclosure for easy cleaning and I'm going to try to make a waterfall fogger. My question is what should I use for heat there won't be a uth as the substrate will be 8-9 inches deep. Should I use an RHP and if so do they come in different wattages. Or will I need ceramic heat bulbs as well. I know I will need UV lights for the plants so will the combination of the lights and RHP creat enough heat for the whole enclosure and a hot spot?
All advice will be very helpful and appreciated thank you
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Old 02-10-18, 03:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Want to build adult bioactive vivarium for brb

I use only metal halide lights or halogen lights as heat sources for my enclosures, from 25 W to 70 W depending on the size of the enclosure. The reasoning behind this is that they create a bright hot spot. Your snake associates warmth with light, so it will look for heat at the brightest spot in your enclosure.

For your enclosure I would use a LED light as long as your enclosure (4 ft) for the ambient light and for your plants. You need enough light in the blue and red spectrum for your plants, so look for a light with 6500k. For heat and UVB place a 70W UV emitting metal halide lamp on top of your enclosure over some mesh. This lamp will provide a heat spot of ca. 30°C/86°F and creates a thermal gradient to the other end of your enclosure where the temperature will be room temperature (or slightly higher). Here in Germany we have a brand of lights which also offers a “flood” version with a wider focus, so the heat and UVB are not tightly focused but a bit wider spread.

Whether you need any additional heating depending on your ambient room temperatures (especially during winter). If your temperatures doesn’t drop below ca. 21°C/70°F you shouldn’t need any additional heating, the warm substrate and the walls of the enclosure should prevent any drastic drop of your temperature during nighttime. Otherwise I would use a small RHP as backup heating.
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Old 02-10-18, 07:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Want to build adult bioactive vivarium for brb

I highly recommend RHP with a good thermostat for your enclosure. It will heat your enclosure evenly and are much safer than most heating systems. I also recommend ProProducts heat panels (here's a link to their website) Pro Products – Specialized Habitat Control Products They will discuss your needs based on the enclosure size, reptile intended to he housed etc., and custom make the RHP for your enclosure. It takes about 15 minutes to install an RHP with four small bolts to the ceiling of your enclosure. You might also want to consider using HDPE for your enclosure. https://www.professionalplastics.com...SAAEgI3qPD_BwE Super easy to work and you can use regular woodworking tools. Completely waterproof and MUCH lighter than plywood, especially 3/4 birch plywood. If you want a wood look to the front of your enclosure, you can easily add 3/8" wood flooring pieces in whichever wood/finish you want. You can get the wood flooring anywhere, even on Craig's list for cheap. Just some thoughts...
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Old 02-11-18, 03:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Want to build adult bioactive vivarium for brb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman View Post
I use only metal halide lights or halogen lights as heat sources for my enclosures, from 25 W to 70 W depending on the size of the enclosure. The reasoning behind this is that they create a bright hot spot. Your snake associates warmth with light, so it will look for heat at the brightest spot in your enclosure.

For your enclosure I would use a LED light as long as your enclosure (4 ft) for the ambient light and for your plants. You need enough light in the blue and red spectrum for your plants, so look for a light with 6500k. For heat and UVB place a 70W UV emitting metal halide lamp on top of your enclosure over some mesh. This lamp will provide a heat spot of ca. 30°C/86°F and creates a thermal gradient to the other end of your enclosure where the temperature will be room temperature (or slightly higher). Here in Germany we have a brand of lights which also offers a “flood” version with a wider focus, so the heat and UVB are not tightly focused but a bit wider spread.

Whether you need any additional heating depending on your ambient room temperatures (especially during winter). If your temperatures doesn’t drop below ca. 21°C/70°F you shouldn’t need any additional heating, the warm substrate and the walls of the enclosure should prevent any drastic drop of your temperature during nighttime. Otherwise I would use a small RHP as backup heating.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Smith View Post
I highly recommend RHP with a good thermostat for your enclosure. It will heat your enclosure evenly and are much safer than most heating systems. I also recommend ProProducts heat panels (here's a link to their website) Pro Products – Specialized Habitat Control Products They will discuss your needs based on the enclosure size, reptile intended to he housed etc., and custom make the RHP for your enclosure. It takes about 15 minutes to install an RHP with four small bolts to the ceiling of your enclosure. You might also want to consider using HDPE for your enclosure. https://www.professionalplastics.com...SAAEgI3qPD_BwE Super easy to work and you can use regular woodworking tools. Completely waterproof and MUCH lighter than plywood, especially 3/4 birch plywood. If you want a wood look to the front of your enclosure, you can easily add 3/8" wood flooring pieces in whichever wood/finish you want. You can get the wood flooring anywhere, even on Craig's list for cheap. Just some thoughts...
Thank you to you both you definitely have given me something to think about I appreciate the help.
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Old 02-12-18, 07:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Want to build adult bioactive vivarium for brb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Smith View Post
I highly recommend RHP with a good thermostat for your enclosure. It will heat your enclosure evenly and are much safer than most heating systems. I also recommend ProProducts heat panels (here's a link to their website) Pro Products – Specialized Habitat Control Products They will discuss your needs based on the enclosure size, reptile intended to he housed etc., and custom make the RHP for your enclosure. It takes about 15 minutes to install an RHP with four small bolts to the ceiling of your enclosure. You might also want to consider using HDPE for your enclosure. https://www.professionalplastics.com...SAAEgI3qPD_BwE Super easy to work and you can use regular woodworking tools. Completely waterproof and MUCH lighter than plywood, especially 3/4 birch plywood. If you want a wood look to the front of your enclosure, you can easily add 3/8" wood flooring pieces in whichever wood/finish you want. You can get the wood flooring anywhere, even on Craig's list for cheap. Just some thoughts...
Any places local to us in GA that sell the HDPE?
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Old 02-12-18, 08:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Want to build adult bioactive vivarium for brb

IDvsEGO, with the number of boat places in Georgia we probably have plenty of possible sources. You can ask them if they have StarBoard or a generic equivalent. Make sure you specify the texture you want. It isn't all smooth.

Having looked for it previously, I found that West Marine sells it but doesn't carry the larger sheets in stores. You have to order it for in store pickup.
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Old 02-12-18, 10:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Want to build adult bioactive vivarium for brb

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Originally Posted by kudzu View Post
IDvsEGO, with the number of boat places in Georgia we probably have plenty of possible sources. You can ask them if they have StarBoard or a generic equivalent. Make sure you specify the texture you want. It isn't all smooth.

Having looked for it previously, I found that West Marine sells it but doesn't carry the larger sheets in stores. You have to order it for in store pickup.
Awesome, thanks
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Old 02-12-18, 02:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Want to build adult bioactive vivarium for brb

Does anyone know if I can plant hens and chicks in my vivarium (will the little pokey things on them hurt the snakes) and what about orchids?
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