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Old 02-17-22, 08:43 PM   #1
David0408
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AP Cages

So I fell into a new King snake. I bought a used 48x18x21ish glass tank without a top. For some reason a sliding lid is impossible to find. Now Iím just going to buy a 4x2x2 APCages enclosure and be done with it. Anything I need to know? Any recommendations in terms of options? I know nothing so any input would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-18-22, 09:25 AM   #2
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Re: AP Cages

You can likely ask them for any input on options for the species but I haven't bought anything from them. Mostly cause I am in Canada, but they are a solid company.
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Old 02-18-22, 09:13 PM   #3
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Re: AP Cages

I own several AP cages. They are a high quality, professional looking product. My oldest cages are about 15 years old and going strong. Customer service is also quite good, they respond to emails pretty quickly. Don't bother calling. The biggest downside to the company is that you'll be waiting 18 weeks for the cage.

You don't need the T12 for a kingsnake. The snake will use all of the floor area but the vertical area will be mostly wasted space because it is nearly impossible to place enough 'furniture' in there for the snake to use the area. A T8 will work just fine though a T10 would be best. The good news is that the stock ventilation in any of the cages is small enough that a young kingsnake shouldn't be able to escape.

I would strongly recommend getting the swing acrylic doors. Your snake is going to toss the substrate around and the swing doors hold it in the cage much, much better than the sliders.

The options that you'll need to add depend on how handy you are. I installed by own LED under cabinet lights in my cage for about $25 per cage. I did have to drill a hole in the back to run the wires. AP will take care of those modifications for you but charges $45 for the light.

Their basking shelves are pretty neat but, once again, building a shelf is fairly simple. You can also use other objects like branches, tall hides, clay pots, etc to create elevated surfaces for the snake to explore.

You'll also need to install heat and a thermostat in the cage. They'll provide and install a UTH, you'll just have to snake the thermostat probe in the groove carved out in the bottom of the cage later. They'll also install a RHP if you have Pro Products or VE ship it to them; you install the thermostat, typically by feeding the thermostat probe through a ventilation slit and attaching it to the wall with aluminum tape.

Personally, I heat my cages by running a 15 or 25 watt reptile heat cable through a vent, placing the cable inside a terra cotta pot, and attaching the pot to the top of the cage with a bolt that is just long enough to run the length of the pot without popping out the top of the cage. You do need to cut a groove in the lip of the terra cotta pot to do this. I then plug the heat cable into a lamp dimmer capable of handling the wattage and adjust the dimmer so that the cable heats the cage to the desired temperature. I then plug that dimmer into a thermostat to actually control the temp in the event the room temperature fluctuates.

I just recently purchased a couple BoaMaster 4'x2'x14" cages. I got them because I needed some cages to raise hatchling tortoises in and the cages were available to ship within 5 days from Chewy. The cages are not as well made as AP cages. The cuts aren't as precise and the fit/finish of the cage is much less clean and professional than the AP cages. The ventilation slits are very wide and a young colubrid can easily escape through them. The milling machine they use to cut the vents in the sliding acrylic doors damages the acrylic in EVERY vent where the bit enters the plastic to begin the cut. The screws provided by BM are just stock drywall screws while AP provides custom colored screws that better match the color of the cage. My cages through Chewy did come with a couple 'upgrades' compared to the product that BM sells itself, such as including silicone, sliding door locks, and a built in thermometer/hygrometer for less cost. I'm only mentioning this because it is likely that you will come across this product and be tempted by the quicker delivery window. I would not recommend the cage to raise a colubrid in from a young age. It would be fine for an adult kingsnake and would cost slightly less than AP, but the extra cost for the AP product is worth the extra quality if you can afford to wait for the cage.
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Old 02-19-22, 08:51 AM   #4
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Re: AP Cages

AP Cages are good quality and worth the price but prepare to wait months for your order. If you can manage the wait, they are a good choice.

My experience with kingsnakes is limited to one, my Brooks. His habits differ from what chairman mentions in a couple ways. Argyle uses every inch of the 24" height provided by his cage and at times would appreciate even more. In hindsight, I wish I'd gotten a 36" tall. However, he does spend a good deal of time in a hide on the floor of his cage. He also burrows through his bedding but he doesn't fling it about. We've never had problems with the sliding glass doors. In fact, for the kingsnake, I prefer those to the swing doors. His feeding response is so strong he will launch himself out of the cage to grab the mouse. With the sliding doors there is less area for escape when slipping the mouse into his cage. Then again, my kingsnake is crazy or at least seems so compared to my laid back Russian rat snake. These two are my only experience snakes so perhaps my kingsnake is the exception.
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Old 02-19-22, 09:39 AM   #5
David0408
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Re: AP Cages

Quote:
Originally Posted by chairman View Post
I own several AP cages. They are a high quality, professional looking product. My oldest cages are about 15 years old and going strong. Customer service is also quite good, they respond to emails pretty quickly. Don't bother calling. The biggest downside to the company is that you'll be waiting 18 weeks for the cage.

You don't need the T12 for a kingsnake. The snake will use all of the floor area but the vertical area will be mostly wasted space because it is nearly impossible to place enough 'furniture' in there for the snake to use the area. A T8 will work just fine though a T10 would be best. The good news is that the stock ventilation in any of the cages is small enough that a young kingsnake shouldn't be able to escape.

I would strongly recommend getting the swing acrylic doors. Your snake is going to toss the substrate around and the swing doors hold it in the cage much, much better than the sliders.

The options that you'll need to add depend on how handy you are. I installed by own LED under cabinet lights in my cage for about $25 per cage. I did have to drill a hole in the back to run the wires. AP will take care of those modifications for you but charges $45 for the light.

Their basking shelves are pretty neat but, once again, building a shelf is fairly simple. You can also use other objects like branches, tall hides, clay pots, etc to create elevated surfaces for the snake to explore.

You'll also need to install heat and a thermostat in the cage. They'll provide and install a UTH, you'll just have to snake the thermostat probe in the groove carved out in the bottom of the cage later. They'll also install a RHP if you have Pro Products or VE ship it to them; you install the thermostat, typically by feeding the thermostat probe through a ventilation slit and attaching it to the wall with aluminum tape.

Personally, I heat my cages by running a 15 or 25 watt reptile heat cable through a vent, placing the cable inside a terra cotta pot, and attaching the pot to the top of the cage with a bolt that is just long enough to run the length of the pot without popping out the top of the cage. You do need to cut a groove in the lip of the terra cotta pot to do this. I then plug the heat cable into a lamp dimmer capable of handling the wattage and adjust the dimmer so that the cable heats the cage to the desired temperature. I then plug that dimmer into a thermostat to actually control the temp in the event the room temperature fluctuates.

I just recently purchased a couple BoaMaster 4'x2'x14" cages. I got them because I needed some cages to raise hatchling tortoises in and the cages were available to ship within 5 days from Chewy. The cages are not as well made as AP cages. The cuts aren't as precise and the fit/finish of the cage is much less clean and professional than the AP cages. The ventilation slits are very wide and a young colubrid can easily escape through them. The milling machine they use to cut the vents in the sliding acrylic doors damages the acrylic in EVERY vent where the bit enters the plastic to begin the cut. The screws provided by BM are just stock drywall screws while AP provides custom colored screws that better match the color of the cage. My cages through Chewy did come with a couple 'upgrades' compared to the product that BM sells itself, such as including silicone, sliding door locks, and a built in thermometer/hygrometer for less cost. I'm only mentioning this because it is likely that you will come across this product and be tempted by the quicker delivery window. I would not recommend the cage to raise a colubrid in from a young age. It would be fine for an adult kingsnake and would cost slightly less than AP, but the extra cost for the AP product is worth the extra quality if you can afford to wait for the cage.
Great info, thank you! A few questions. First, Iíve read that the acrylic doors scratch easily where glass will provide the better view of the snake. Any truth to that? Second, if I install an RHP do I need a UTH or any other heat source? I have an email into APcages, but havenít heard back yet. Does their basking shelf run the full length of the cage? I think I prefer to buy a bunch of silly furniture to provide basking and climbing opportunities for the snake anyway. Lastly, lighting. I was thinking about buying Fluval Aquasky LED Light with Bluetooth 24"-36" (18 Watt) ◊ 1. Seems excessive but its completely automated and seems like it would be fun to play with. Any reasons to opt for a different lighting solution? Thanks again.
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Old 02-19-22, 09:42 AM   #6
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Re: AP Cages

Quote:
Originally Posted by kudzu View Post
AP Cages are good quality and worth the price but prepare to wait months for your order. If you can manage the wait, they are a good choice.

My experience with kingsnakes is limited to one, my Brooks. His habits differ from what chairman mentions in a couple ways. Argyle uses every inch of the 24" height provided by his cage and at times would appreciate even more. In hindsight, I wish I'd gotten a 36" tall. However, he does spend a good deal of time in a hide on the floor of his cage. He also burrows through his bedding but he doesn't fling it about. We've never had problems with the sliding glass doors. In fact, for the kingsnake, I prefer those to the swing doors. His feeding response is so strong he will launch himself out of the cage to grab the mouse. With the sliding doors there is less area for escape when slipping the mouse into his cage. Then again, my kingsnake is crazy or at least seems so compared to my laid back Russian rat snake. These two are my only experience snakes so perhaps my kingsnake is the exception.
Yeah I need to put some height in his enclosure to see if he like to climb. What substrate do you use? Iíve gone from thinking about a full bioactive substrate to now just thinking about using shredded Aspen. Thanks.
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Old 02-19-22, 02:07 PM   #7
chairman
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Re: AP Cages

On the height thing I think I just articulated things poorly. The snakes will certainly climb to the top of any cage you give them. A snake with a 30 foot tall cage with a comfortable perch near the top will definitely hang out 30 feet in the air. I just find it difficult to add explorable space at height without sacrificing the majority of the floor space to the support systems necessary to keep the taller decorations safe/stable.

On the swing door vs sliding door thing... I have carpet pythons with the capability of striking things 4 feet from their resting positions. They will absolutely jump out of an opening at me, to the point where I feed them by barely cracking the door and slipping the rat in it. Other snakes are just fine with the swing doors. And my ball pythons have sliding glass doors and are doing just fine with them. It is more of a preference thing, with mine leaning toward the swing because my snakes have a habit of filling the tracks of the sliding doors with substrate and generally making a mess.

I haven't purchased a shelf but I believe they extend the fully length of the cage.

Acrylic is more prone to scratches than glass. It also seems to hold on to dirt better than glass. Acrylic may also warp slightly, making it necessary to replace the screen clips that hold the doors shut as they break. All that said, even my 15 year old doors provide a more than adequate viewing experience. The snakes have never scratched them, though my blue tongue skinks have, and I've only ever had to replace one door clip. The only issues I've ever had with sliding glass doors involve the snakes dumping substrate in the tracks (and thus out of the cage when I open the door) and a snake pushing the door open when I forgot to lock it (definitely get the door locks for the sliding glass doors).

If you have a RHP then you won't need another heat source. If you contact Pro Products and let them know which cage you're buying and what animal you're keeping then they'll tell you which panel to get.

You can do whatever you'd prefer with the lighting. I keep my lights on inexpensive timers but some people do use more sophisticated lights that mimic sunrise and sunset.
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Old 02-19-22, 05:30 PM   #8
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Re: AP Cages

Ok cool, Iím excited! The doors will have to be a game time decision. Thanks again for all the great info.
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