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Old 10-29-18, 06:29 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep-2018
Posts: 3
Red face DIY Wooden Enclosure Rainbow Boa

So I currently have a Brazilian Rainbow Boa whose last shed was about five feet. When I have her out and about if she's not climbing me but on the ground, of any sort even just the couch, you can tell she's nervous. I have her in a 40 breeder right now and I'd like to give her more space, mostly height. So clearly because I've never built anything in my life out of wood then my first project should obviously be a tank for my snake.

I've been thinking about it a lot and after measuring space in my apartment, as well as doors, I've decided on a size of...
5 feet long, 4 feet tall and about 2 feet wide. Probably need a good six inches in the top for lighting and heating and I'm thinking of a 3 inch gap on the bottom so I can put feet or something? basically so the floor of the tank isn't resting directly on the ground.

Currently all my snakes are on heat mats and I actually really like them, though admittedly I've never tried anything else, with a thermostat. Everyone seems happy with the setups.

My thought for the diy enclousure is a radiant heat panel probably mounted in the top of the tank in that six inch space. Along with just some kind of LED strip lights or something. The plan is to put a bunch of branches, be they actual branches or just dowel rods strung around then the panel above those.

I'm debating on a tote full of water in the tank for her as she's seen quite a few fish tanks and certainly likes to at least attempt to swim in them....She did it once in my 20 long shrimp tank and well I had to pull her out before she just ruined everything but she looked like she was having me the ideal tank I envisioned involved a pond and even a turtle with her but I can't do that anytime soon. I don't even know if I could house a turtle with her the idea just sounded really cool.

Anyways I have a few questions that I need to figure out before I could try anything, well one really big one that's stopping me from even starting...
What kind of wood do I even use?! I found one really good YouTube video that I'm kind of basing a lot on and he just says he uses plywood, link below. I live in the north east US and I'm kind of concerned with warpping and stuff as it can be really humid during the spring and summer and can be really dry during the winter. I am planning on staining the outside of the tank so help with this. Or does the staining not really make a difference on what kind of plywood I use?

Is the radiant heat panel going to be enough? I was mostly considering this panel because I know her species likes a higher humidity which I know I'm not fully getting in the screen top 40 breeder, and I think with any kind of heat lamp it'll just dry everything out.

The inside I was going to use the pond liner mixture he uses in the video.

If you have any other tips or anything please let me know as my brain hurts from trying to learn all this. I'm gonna try this fail or not. Really the only down side if I do fail is she stays in the 40 breeder and my other corn snake stays in her 20 which would be unfortunate because that corn is the most active out of all my snakes and of course the boa being stuck on the ground with nothing to climb.
Apparently I don't know how to use the YouTube tags

Last edited by zedth0; 10-29-18 at 06:30 PM.. Reason: Apparently I don't know how to use the YouTube tags
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Old 10-30-18, 06:56 PM   #2
Join Date: Mar-2018
Location: Ocala, Florida
Posts: 46
Re: DIY Wooden Enclosure Rainbow Boa

Plywood is good to use, and since you live in that kind of weather area, you should get an outdoor sealant meant for something like a deck. I’ve used it before, works pretty good, and I live in a very humid area. The heat radiant panel should be enough for humidity and ambient area temperature, but you will probably need a uth for a hot spot
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Old 11-03-18, 10:19 PM   #3
Join Date: Aug-2013
Posts: 725
Re: DIY Wooden Enclosure Rainbow Boa

I think you'll be way happier just buying a decent sized plastic enclosure, but if you really want to build with wood, yes you can use plywood you'll just have to protect it against moisture. The one product someone will likely recommend that I would steer clear of for this is drylock, very rough texture which makes cleaning it near impossible. It's rough enough that superworms could climb straight up it... never again for me! I would use something that leaves a smooth surface. Also IME it takes a lot longer for fumes to dissipate than whatever the label tells you. so plan well in advance and figure out where you'll going to leave all this wood while it is evaporating fumes into the air, definitely don't want that in your reptile room until it is cured. Finally, wood is extremely heavy so put the thing together pretty close to where you want it to stay and hope you don't have to move it anytime soon. These are the plans I've used and are the best I've found. If you decide that's too much of a pain, I've been very happy with the apcages been stacked for years with no issues at all. Radiant heat panels are great, I use them in my snake enclosures but none of mine are very tall enclosures so I'm not sure how how reach they have for height as I've never tested. I do believe they are considerably less drying than heat bulbs.
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Last edited by pet_snake_78; 11-03-18 at 10:25 PM..
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diy, rainbow boa, wood enclosure

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