Rack Help and Questions

I found what I thought was a deal on a pair of snake racks. One is a 3 slot, the other is 6 slot with 2 being a little smaller. They were home made and are a little… different… He never used a thermostat or heat tape, just heat mats under the tubs plugged up. He said they never got over 90ish degrees and worked perfectly for his adults since they could always get where they wanted. It’s obvious they haven’t been used in quite a while, one has spider egg sacks all under it and they are extremely dust covered. I’m not sure about his locking mechanisms so I probably won’t use them since it’s more work than it’s worth. How should I go about cleaning them? They are painted plywood so I don’t want to hose them off. Should I use the heat mats that came with them or pull them off and do something else?

Questions, comments, concerns, recommendations, etc. all welcome and encouraged!

Well Blue…personally, I probably wouldn’t have bought it. Doesn’t mean you can’t try and improve it a bit and still use it.

I probably wouldn’t use it with some old mats that could malfunction and overheat, but you have to weigh that risk. You could order a roll of heat tape and rig that up and still get some good use out of it?

Side note I’m just SO unimpressed by what people make for “homemade racks,” but I guess we all have to decide how much investing into infrastructure is “worth it.”


Also to be fair part of the reason I wouldn’t buy a bulky wooden rack is I live in an apartment and don’t want to get bulky stuff that’s going to be a bear to move. I’m staying sleek and mobile so far til I have a house. But everyone isn’t in the same situation

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I have 2 other rack systems that are brand made (bought second hand so don’t know what brand) and I love them! These looked better last night in the dark garage than today in good light :sweat_smile:. I didn’t pay too much for them so I feel confident in modifying them to work better, I’m sure I’ll pay more for heat tape for them than I bought them for lol. They aren’t excessively bulky but I can definitely understand that!

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I don’t have a rack system myself (yet) but this one doesn’t look totaly bad. Wet rag and some sanitizing spray should be just fine to deal with dirt and if you like, you can always paint it anew (i would). As for mats, i am using those with like 15 to 35W (depending on size) from exo terra and they never overheat. Like, ever. They max at 40°C take or give and that’s it. I’m actualy concerned how small those on pictures look, from what i read on the ones i’m using it’s recommended to cover 1/4 to 1/3 of floor space and it works for my babies too. But whatever.


I’m not sure how salvageable that is. That’s a tough one.

He probably did fine with those little ZooMed mats. They get a bad rap but they’re pretty consistent and reliable. I’m not a fan of they’re mounted, though. Sticking them directly to plywood in direct contact with the tub is not great. If you move to heat tape you’ll need a whole lot of tape to keep it down and I don’t see how you would run it between levels.

You probably don’t want to take a hose to that but you can definitely do a towel and spray bottle.

I probably would’ve passed on that, too.

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@bluefeathurs Now that you have it you might as well make the best of it I think you can make it work! As long as you have space for it. If you remember show us how pretty you make it look :grin:

The biggest problems I see with the rack here is that there’s no routing for tape and no inset for the pads. Backheat could be an option.

I will! The smaller white one seems to be in pretty good shape so I may clean it and bring it on in, plug it up and just let it run empty for a week or two so I can monitor it since it doesn’t need much real work done.

As for putting in heat tape I can weave it back and forth after cutting slots in the sides. Shouldn’t be too hard, power tools are a blessing! There isn’t an inset for the mats but they do close a small gap on the top. I may even make small wedges to lift the front too so as to make it more flush.

@bluefeathurs I really like racks with those seems like a feature they should all have good luck! :slight_smile:

Thanks! And these are the first I’ve seen with such a gap! Can’t fit a finger through but enough a small one could possibly mash it’s head in :grimacing:.

Corrugated plastic is pretty good to fill the top gap. It can handle the humidity and is light weight. You can find it at arts and craft stores, home improvement stores, or just steal political ad signs (I mean, don’t steal…). You’ll be using it as a “lid” so kind of cumbersome but cheap and easy.

If you had some sort of source for glass you could try adding that to the bottom to protect the heaters and also raise up the tub. Expensive if you don’t have it lying around and you’ll want it tempered.

If you’ve got the power tools you can probably start replacing one shelf at a time with melamine or PVC. You’d just be reusing the shell at the end.

I do not have access to glass, but old signs are definitely a possibility!
Any idea why there would be egg crate behind one of the tubs? Cut to fit the back wall, maybe to keep from being pushed back too far?

In the pictures one of the bins is a different type than the others. Is it for that one? I would also guess it was just stuffed back there to stop it from being pushed back too far. No idea. :frowning:

This is the corrugated plastic I’m talking about from a random link on Amazon just for demonstration. Political signs/yard signs are usually made from it because it holds up to rain, etc.


There’s actually 2 that are different, he was running out of wood and just made 2 that were slightly smaller.

Maybe you can use the short shelves for hatchlings? :woman_shrugging:

Small adults is more what I’m thinking, because they are only 3ish inches shorter than a 67qt lol. Males maybe? Or maybe I’ll have a female that just likes green better lol

Ended up selling the bigger set of racks for more than I bought the pair. The smaller one is set up and holding my breeder female balls and a young boa. It’s working perfectly with slight modification (had to put something under the front so there wasn’t a gap) and couldn’t be happier with it!


Well they aren’t anything fancy but I’d say I did a pretty good job. What do ya think? I’m curious what others think cause I dont believe I’ve shown my two homemade racks. They also have heat regulators tucked away in the back and I have the temps pre set so it doesn’t heat up or cool down too much


@nathan_e Looks nice!!

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