I am getting a new reptile in mid-November, and she’s a little teeny one! I’m going to set up a quarantine enclosure for her first couple months here, and I’m a relatively new keeper. I have yet to have a noodle escape and I’m eager to keep my streak pristine, lol.
When I’m saying small, I’m talking sub-yearling corns or house snakes kind of small. What are your favourite escape-proof, quarantine-appropriate setups for really little guys?
I’ve heard latch-top tupperwares are good for escape-proof enclosures – what are your favourite brands? Which ones do you suggest avoiding?
My favorite is the Sterilite brand. However if your noodle is really teeny I would stuff a bit of paper towel in the cracks on each side of the latch just in case…….
Btw don’t forget pics and maybe a hint as to what you are getting???
For teeny tinies, I suggest the Sterilite gasket box range, either the 7.5qt or 12qt depending on the size of the snake. The gasket gives an extra layer of protection to keep them from getting out through the lid. I use a dremel with a small bit to drill some ventilation holes in the lids to facilitate airflow.
The paper towel is a brilliant idea, thank you! And pictures will be forthcoming. For hints, if she makes it to me okay her name is going to be Chester because she’s as bright orange as a cheeto.
I’ve got a drill with some little teeny bits I can punch holes with, so that’s good. I like the idea of the gasket boxes, that sounds really secure.
You’re talking about ones like this, right? Amazon.ca Something Went Wrong / Quelque chose s'est mal passé
You can also use a soldering iron which is what I use. I bought it at Lowe’s for about 20 bucks and I have used it a LOT! It just plugs into the wall, heats up and ready to go!
I like to make holes with a soldering iron as well. I like that it leaves them smooth with no burrs. But definitely do it in a ventilated area or ideally outside! I’m sure those fumes can’t be good to breathe in.
Oops! I forgot to add that! I use mine in the garage because the fumes are a little strong, but outside is best for sure!
I had a black african house snake the size of a tiny baby corn and just as teleporty. I kept him in his sterilite shoebox with binder clips on the edges of the box. (after the first time he escaped it somehow)
(Still have him he’s just a bit bigger now!)
Binder clips!! Brilliant. I’m going to stock up just in case: I’m hoping mine won’t be too much of an escape artist but hope for the best, plan for the worst, right?
I’d love to see pics of your little guy – I have fallen very in love with house snakes in the past several months. They’re amazing little snakes.
I’m back with more questions!
Sterilite gasket bin acquired. Now I’m curious: do you guys just use a normal heat mat to heat it? I’ve got one I’ve slapped on the bottom but it’s not doing the job half as well as I’d imagined, and I’m nervous to turn it up too high lest it melt/distort the plastic, or burn the snake (when she gets here, still about a week out from snake arrival).
What temp do you keep your heat mats at for a plastic bin to get it warm enough but not hot enough to be dangerous?
You need a thermostat with a probe (I personally use the pymeter off of Amazon), and you’ll want to place the probe between the bin and mat. Both of these should be outside the enclosure, and you’ll need to create space under the enclosure for air to circulate. I use adhesive furniture sliders to give a 1"+ gap. This will control the temperature and prevent any burning of the snake. You can use a temperature gun to check the temperature of the plastic itself with the mat on. The melting point of the plastics used in those bins is usually over 200ºF/105ºC which means if your mat gets that hot, you’ve done something very wrong. Keep in mind the mat is only used to heat one “side” of the enclosure, you still want a temperature gradient.
I’ve got all that on lock! The mat is thermostat controlled with the probe between it and the bin, and I’ve got the bin on little feet.
Thank you, that’s good to know about the melting point on plastic (guess I could have googled that, lol). I’ve been running the setup today and the problem is the hotspot above the mat is getting to like 33C while the ambient temp is still running at like 23C with very little gradient to speak of. It seems like I’ll have to turn the heat mat up to a temp that would end up burning the snake in order to get the thing up to temp. Not so much a problem if I had substrate, but since it’s a quarantine tank she’s going to be on paper towel for a bit at first.
On the upside, plastic bins seems just A+ for keeping a good humidity!
Remember that a heat mat in this instance isn’t really meant for ambient, but to give the snake a basking area to warm up since there’s no substrate. If you want to increase the ambient, you can use a mat + thermostat on the side of the enclosure to help with that. There’s also a lamp set up on a stand outside the enclosure (not touching the plastic), with a thermostat and probe in the bin connected. Keep it to the cooler of what you want for ambient, since the mat has basking covered.
Ah! I had never put it together that way, thank you I’m going to look into trying a heat lamp setup for ambient. Worst case I’ll stash her in the one room in the house that stays a higher ambient temperature – it’s the room my other snake is in, so I’m trying to avoid that if I can during quarantine.
When I was using plastic totes and needed to raise the ambient temperature, I just added more heat mats (each needs a thermostat). I keep my house pretty cool, so I ended up needing to put one on the bottom, one on the side, and one on the lid (all on the warm end). You can also use something to insulate the bin a bit. I ended up putting some pieces of foam and a towel over the lid of the bin in the winter, which really helped retain heat (and humidity, it’s pretty dry where I live, especially in the colder months). It wasn’t pretty, but it worked!
Just curious Jess. Do you not use the plastic totes/tubs anymore? If not what do you use now?
Just curious ?
I do still use my bins, I just measure the clearance in the handle recesses now and block them off if need be. The gasket bins set up a bit differently, so they should be fine.