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I am ... very happy with your plans, the organization that you have put into it and I am extremely happy with the response I have gotten from you when I have encountered a problem.
It sure does save money. At the same time it allows me and others like me to experience making the cage for our animal (animals) that we care so much about. I think that when someone takes the time to sit down and make something like this for their animal it really shows how much they care for them and respect them.

With your plans you can also alter the cage to each and everyone's specifications, or needs. I think what you are doing is wonderful and I want to thank you again.

Robert Hansford


"This is going to make an 11 year old and his lizard Rex very happy".


Spent $108.00 at Lowes, another $65.00 at Home Depot buying things that Lowes didn't have..... Spending time with my son in a hardware store.... PRICELESS!"


"Overall, the best thing I have found from the cage designs... is that:
They work!!!!

They allow you to view and touch your Iguana from all sides, This is a must!

Once you have the material list you don't go back to the hardware store.

Just follow the instructions and it comes out perfect.

Your maintenance will be much easier.

Your iguana will thank you

Once again, you will have built something cool. "

Regards and best to all our Green Iguana friends, Lance and Joey Portwood Glidden, Texas ".


"Very well thought-out designs"



Worried About Heating a Snake Cage from Below


I am housing two snakes. Kenyan sand boa and corn snake in 2- 30 gal ¾" plywood cages. I have asked everyone how to heat them, but I get no clear response. One says heat with a ceramic heater over head. The other says with a heat pad under the cage. I don't know how heat would transfer properly through ¾" plywood, or if it's safe, especially since water can spill and cause electrocution.

Please help!




I use both. It also depends on where you live i.e. if it is a warm climate then you may not need the heat mat. The heat mat will heat up the plywood underneath but I tend to use a heat mat under a vinyl floor covering that I have cut to the size of the cage. You can also just stick a heat mat straight on the floor and cover it with newspaper and/or a substrate.

I am wary of heat pads that have an inbuilt thermostat. I like to use the Flexwatt heat tape with a thermostat - a probe that measures the temperature of the reptile cage and hence controls the power to the heat mat (some use a dimmer but I think a probe is more accurate and effective). The inbuilt ones can overheat - I had one that did just that and had to thow it out.

Using a heat mat with a thermostat is more expensive but you can make the heat mats yourself. They last a long time and they are accurate if you get a good thermostat. The mat only needs to cover 1/2 to 2/3 of the cage so there is some open area, hence the heat gradient.

Often your snakes don't really need the light or ceramic heater if they have a heat mat but I like it because it allows some basking in an area that is hotter again. This aids digestion - they will go to the warmer part of the cage when they have eaten. I have these set up on a timer so they come on in the morning and turn off automatically in the evening. I have to adjust them during the summer months and I can almost trun the mats off in winter. One of my friends turns his off completely in winter in order to get his pythons to breed, but this does depend on the local climate.

As far as electrocution goes, the heat mats in my cages are under a vinyl mat that is secured by silicone and then there is a silicone seal around the edges of the snake cage between the mat and the wall to stop water going underneath.

I have also had the mat placed straight onto the floor, secured by double tape and the substrate straight on top with no issues. It's not like the water is a large puddle, unless you have a snake that likes to sit in water. I also make sure the connections are water tight eg tape and silicone.








Mark Chapple is the Author of "How to build enclosures for reptiles"
Find out how to build these cages as well as arboreal cages. Full color pictures, detailed diagrams and easy to follow, step-by-step instructions.


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