I just found out my favorite local PVC enclosure business (Dragonhaus) just closed permanently. I’m bummed because i really wanted my next (and hopefully last) upgrade to be from them. What i liked about them was the intense level of customization available on all of their builds. It was easily over twice (if not 3x) as customizable as AP and the actual product quality is top notch. Things you could customize include, but were not limited to: width, height, (down or out) swing/slide doors, LED, RHP, UVB, pre-install. Of which you could choose from an array of colors, have them install an RHP of their choosing (with different wattage options) or of yours, you could choose the length/% of UVB, and temperate or jungle. You could put casters on it, a bioactive lip for deep substrate, upgrade the waterproofing treatment for semi aquatic, have them install a support bracket down the middle to boost long term weight bearing capacity if you wanted to stack bioactive, and of course they’re stackable. They had different lock styles you could choose from, you could have a basking shelf and/or an arboreal hide box, etc…
And they even had a build your own with full length x width x height customizing along with all the options listed above (and more if I’m forgetting anything.) Wait yes i am. They had a bunch of options for heat lamp/CHE setups. I don’t remember those.
The enclosures were exPENSIVE but what you got was a truly custom tailored enclosure for you and your reptiles done professionally. To me that’s worth the money.
Well, apparently the owner bit off more than he could chew during 2020-2021 and lead times went back crazy far and he failed to communicate to everyone adequately, and due to a facility move, all his phones were down, and no one could get ahold of him anywhere but on his business Facebook page, so they started getting refunds en masse & suing if they couldn’t. Idk, I’m not on Facebook, I don’t know all of the drama, but i visited for a brief moment to figure out what was going on, and it is like shark week over there. Angry people taking chunks left and right. He sold his entire collection of animals, let go all of his employees and is filling orders by himself one by one. Sounds like a crazy downhill turn that could have been prevented in so many ways and I’m glad im not on that boat with his customers, but it’s a shame either way because the quality of his stuff is legit. I’ve seen them through people who have them. They’re really friggin nice.
Anyway, so now i have to figure out who else i would want to do my final upgrade with… I’m looking at animal plastics because they’re the next most customizable I’ve seen. They’re really cheap though and that makes me wonder why. I’ve heard that some people’s units have warped a bit over time. I don’t want Vision Caging, I have them and I’m looking to upgrade out of them. Zen habits is a no, i want pvc not wood. Boamaster’s website is down right now so I can’t look at them, though I’m definitely interested in learning more about them. I like reptile basics but they don’t seem to make anything all that large. (I need up to 8x2’s) reptile kages didn’t look too appealing to me either, so idk. What do y’all think? Is there another small town PVC shop you know of that i could check out? Which of the big brands do you think are the best in terms of performance/customizability? Do you think Animal Plastics is worth it? Money is not an object.
I don’t have any of the answers you’re looking for, but I am interested in learning them also. And I’m always sorry to hear of a small business owner who had to let go.
100%. I don’t know what size you are going for but they also have quick ship ones if you are looking for 4x2x1s.
Thats a crazy story about that said company and complete bummer. However you must keep your customers in the loop and if you are honest then you will keep your customers!
Personally I build my own.
That being said, it is sounding like you have certain desires for your enclosure.
I have come across this company and I truly believe that if I would have known about this company I most likely would have started with them and stayed with them due to how they go about building their enclosures builds.
Apex Cages, go take a look you can start with them and as your animals grow the enclosure can grow with them!!
Hope this helps you…
I can’t remember the brand off the top of my head but @t_h_wyman has posted about some of his, and there seems to be a good deal of customization from the manufacturer of them. I’ll do some looking and comment back here with the brand momentarily
Ah yes, here it is.
Also, you mentioned boaphile site was down, but I think you’re just experiencing some bugs with the home page, there’s some categories that look unfinished and some broken links, but you can view the cages here:
Have you considered custom reptile habitats? If I was looking for a special size that I couldn’t build, I’d definitely be looking into them.
I’m curious why you dislike vision enclosures? I love them, I currently have 2 632, 1 432, 1 332, 2 v400 and 1 211.
I’m sorry to hear about this. I have a Dragonhaus rack and it’s a nice, solid rack. One of my favorites. I wish people had more patience.
AP is great for enclosures. I’m not as happy with their racks. They aren’t as sturdy as my Reptile Basics racks and they don’t hold heat as well. I have a couple T10s for my Dumeril’s Boas and I’m very happy with those. No warping or issues so far, but I’ve only had them for a couple of years.
AP is absolutely worth it, and coming from the PNW myself and having seen many examples of their racks and enclosures at shows and in use locally (In reference to DH), I recommend AP over Dragonhaus, any day.
I don’t super dislike them, but I’m seriously not too fond of the screen top sections and the weird shaping of the ceiling. I don’t use lamp setups anymore (which my visions are designed for.) I use Pro Products RHP’s and there’s only one option for mounting them on my enclosure. (The one space that isn’t a lowered screen insert.) Also now that I’m doing pretty well for myself, all of these ideas that I’ve had for a while but couldn’t quite afford, i can finally act on. I want uvb (even just a small bit) in all of my enclosures, i want specific dimensions so that it not only fits my animals needs, but also, stacks all together to be even in height and width like one neat unit (which is a struggle with AP’s weird sizing right now.) And all in all i just don’t see vision’s lineup as capable of meeting all of those wants. If all else fails, I’ll pay for real custom.
I had mentioned boamaster, but i will give boaphile a look too! I think i may have seen black box before. They’re definitely on the competing list!
I haven’t heard of apex cages before! I will check them out!
My apologies, I saw boa and instantly went to boaphile.
My recent pickups were BlackBox. They are a great company for turnaround time (probably one of the shortest in the industry) and have decent customization
I also have ForcuCubed cages that I really like. Their lead times are a bit longer but they have the most customization out there. They will even do special orders to your exact measures and needs (obviously, expect changes to lead times for custom work)
I have a number of AP cages. In terms of quality, they are good. That said, after their abysmal customer service with me and their complete inability to maintain anything close to their posted lead times, I will never be using them again
Add boaphile plastics to your list of potential options. Jeff’s been doing this a long time and I have high confidence he would never fail to deliver like so many of these newer cage builders seem to be doing. He definitely prefers phone calls over email. I have no idea what his current lead times are but his cages are top notch, I had a room full of them before I switched from boas to ball pythons.
I would love to get one of AP’s incubators but after a subpar customer service experience I’m looking at alternatives.
I remember seeing you mention these a while back. They’re the company that has some options for some paint splatter on the enclosures too right? If so, they’ve got some great quality looking cages, definitely pricey but it looks like you get what you pay for!
Is ForcuCubed Cages the same or different from Focus Cubed Habitats? I am struggling to find them online
Yes, that is them
Here is the link: https://focuscubedhabitats.com/
Sog plastics is the best enclosure brand for the money hands down way better than any other brand out there.
Zen habitats does make PVC versions. Afaik. But also for high end custom stuff I feel like Kages is a big go to. Boaphile Cages and boamaster for large stuff too