Hi y’all! I’m starting to think about the next enclosure for my juvenile BP when he outgrows his 20 gal long, and one option that I’m really interested in are the prefabbed PVC cages. I’m currently looking at the Boaphile enclosures in particular, but I’m having a hard time finding reviews or pros and cons of particular brands. If you use them, what have been your experiences? Do you have a favorite brand? I’ve got time to research and I want to invest in something nice that will last him the rest of his life.
(Also yes I know it’s possible to build them yourself, but a) I’m not handy at all with anything beyond putting together flat packed furniture and b) I live in an apartment with no workshop kind of space, my roommates would kill me if I tried to build something like this in the living room lol)
Hiya, I’ve owned a ton of boaphile cages over the years and Jeff Ronne, “The Boaphile”, is an old friend of mine. Here’s an old photo of my boa room which was mainly comprised of his cages:
He makes great PVC cages and racks. Heat tape is recessed and the racks are engineered for great strength without the use of exterior screws. My only issue is that he doesn’t use the best ball python tubs in the industry, Freedom Breeder tubs. I am convinced grey tubs with built in water bowls are the way to go and Freedom Breeders are the best for a number of reasons. Superior to ARS tubs even due to water bowl placement and easier to clean material. There was a go-to company that produces PVC racks based around freedom breeder tubs, TGR, but they recently went out of business. I know of two new cage builders pop up since then offering similar racks utilizing freedom breeder tubs, “Pride of Texas Rack Systems” and “Next Level Displays”. Easiest way to find them is probably facebook. I don’t own any from either company yet but I have a rack coming in this week from Next Level Displays. I chose to go with them because I think their design is superior a number of ways but primarily because of recessed heat tape. With Pride of Texas and the old TGR racks they added an extra gap to install heat tape on top of two small pieces of material in the back. To me this is a poor design compared to recessed heat tape that maximizes heat transfer and space efficiency.
As biologicalcanvas mentioned, Boaphile cages are great. Other great choices are reptile basics, animal plastics and vision. You can probably find a used one for a good price if you keep an eye out for them. As far as pros and cons go, one person’s con is another person’s pro. I prefer sliding doors, others prefer hinged.
I used to use AP cages for my large constrictors. I’ve since switched to racks, but AP cages are great, easy to assemble, seal well, light weight, hold heat well. I used mine for years without ever having to replace them.
I’ve ordered 2 enclosures and have not got either yet despite emails from BOTH companies saying they were in process and would be delivered soon. First is Custom Reptile Habitats, I ordered and sent them full payment for my enclosure on September 9th. I contacted them on October 9th and they said it would be ready in a couple of weeks. Still haven’t heard anything back from them. I sent them an email today, and it bounced back saying to use a gmail email. Did that and outlook said it was undeliverable. Next step is to call them.
Next is Kages. I ordered an enclosure from them and paid for it on September 28th. I got periodic emails from them saying my order was in the diffferent phases, with an email on Oct 23rd saying it was in the final stage 5 of packaging. Hadn’t heard anything about shipping so I reached out today to Kages and was told that all of those stage emails were glitches and that my enclosure has not even been built yet.
So good luck, and don’t believe the lead times that these companies post on their web pages or updated emails. Customer service and honesty i guess are not required in USA when a company provides nice specialized products that are not easily available just anywhere.
Many thanks for your order and sorry that you had some email issues while your order was in process. That may have been when I was away building the Snake Discovery zoo. A lot has happened since then.
We have invested heavily in our Custom Service since then and now have a toll free number, full time customer service people, and we now answer calls and emails in real time.
As far as wait times, there are shortages and delays in every sector of manufacturing in the USA right now (2020 was worse) but we have been able to expand rapidly and still keep our times down to some of the best in the industry. Considering that we are now one of the largest in the industry, we feel that we are doing well but we are on a mission to get the times down as low as possible.
I hope your enclosures are working well for you and thank you again for your order.