Rack questions... again

Hey Everyone,

So I’m back again… and trying to figure out the best value for my money on racks.

I inintially thought that I wanted to buy an ARS rack, getting 3 levels of the 5540, and 3 levels of the 7030.

This would put all of my breeder females in there, along with having 3 empty spots for other breeding females in the 70 series.

The 3 levels of the 55 tubs would be for housing grow out females, and my adult males. (or was my inital plan anyhow). Currently I’ve got 5 breeder males, and 2 grow out males that are sub 300g still) Along with having 5 grow out females ranging from 150g up to 500g.

I didn’t produce any eggs this year, as I had to take some time off.

Current rack set ups are as follows: Cserpents 18 tub hatchling rack x 2. I feel like I’m set for hatchling space for a while now, If not I can always add another hatchling rack on top of the one I currently have. I’ve got plans to breed 5 or 6 of the breeder females in the upcoming season.

I’ve got a home made (first rack I purchased, melamine combo rack) that is 5 levels. Similar to the AP combo racks, it can hold a 16 qt tub or a 28 qt tub. I’d like to get rid of this rack, as its on the small side, I can’t exactly stack on top of it. and its not made the best.

I’ve got a rack from an unknown origin, that is a 7 level rack that holds 41 qt sterilite tubs. I’m not 100% certain what this is made of, nor where it came from. IF the tubs fit in the rack better, I’d be inclined to keep it, as I think it’s pretty cool and unique. However the shelves are not all the best fit, the tubs squeak and are too tight on some shelves. It seems to be made out of a much harder plastic than the standard PVC material, and its glossy. This leads me to think its made of some type of HDPE or something similar. The shelves are made of a clear plastic, which is a cool look, again just not the best fit. I’m including a pic of this rack, along with a pic of the melamine rack, I no longer live here so I’ve got a bit more room, but i had to build the shelf for the 70 qt rack to set my pvc enclosure on top of. just as a reference to what I’m currently using.

My biggest question for anyone that’s managed to read all of this and is still here… what’s my best route to go?

  1. Should I pursue the ARS racks, and just let growouts have larger tubs? i assume the dark grey of the ARS tubs will help aleviate issues with eating problems from too large of an enclosure, but would like to hear others input on that.

  2. Should I go the route of VE-6 racks along with some of the VE super 70 racks? I’ve found a pretty good deal on a set up of 2 VE-6 racks near me, with some extra thermostats for less than what buying new would be. Along with finding a good deal on a new in box super 70 series 2 rack from another individual in the same area…

My budget is right around $2k that I’ve currently got set aside. I know most racks have good resale value, so I’m not worried about having to change it up in the future if I need to, but would like to try to get it right the first time.

Any input from anyone is greatly appreciated and I’ll consider all of the info.
Thanks for reading!


What does your gut say? Any time I’ve had a decision like this to make I more or less coin flip and see if I’m happy with that decision after a week or so. If i am I go ahead and pursue that plan.

I will say I really like my ve6 and ve2 racks, I will be adding more in the future, but I also would really like to have some ars/fb boa racks down the road as well.


I think at the moment my gut is saying going with the pvc racks is the best option for my current collection size/planned immediate future growth


Last year I got the ARS 70 series rack and have zero regrets spending the extra for it. I think above 16qt size the tub fit and rack stability of the professional racks is worth the big price tag. I also keep all of my fully grown adult males and females in 70s with pretty much no problems of feeding, even with the semi-clear. (I provide them hides.)

For myself personally, going forward I’m doing home made racks for 16qt and below for hatchlings to around yearling. And then ARS racks for larger.


ARS is the way to go. I’ve used a lot of the ‘other brands’ and there is no comparison when it comes to quality. My ARS racks that are several years old still look brand new, wouldn’t want to house my babies in anything else.


My biggest worry is I don’t have the funds to get ARS racks for the medium sized growouts. I’ve had too many snakes go off food from an enclosure that was too big for them (tub wise). The idea of going from a 6 qt to an ARS 55/70 just seems a bit wonky, but that’s the only rack I could probably even fit in my current room, as it stands.

I had that issue when I moved a grow out female from a 28qt, to my 7030 ARS rack, and I use grey tubs too…but I stuck a hide in the tub and she now eats fine, she just wants something to squeeze against I guess. But overall, I really like the ARS rack, even features like the caster wheels which I originally thought was just more money for something I didn’t need, they have proven to be very helpful. All in all very pleased with ARS. Not sure if you live near any of the locations that ARS goes to shows, but they will bring purchases there and that would save you a ton on shipping.


Yeah, I think it’s nice having something in between like a 16qt tub and/or the 50 series even though those aren’t really popular it seems. Right now I have 6qt tubs → 16qt tubs → 32qt tubs → 70-Series and the sizes work well for me.

My goal is to shift everything I have to homemade PVC racks that fit FB5 and FB8 tubs in the same rack for flexibility; then some home made 16qt tub PVC racks; and then ARS 50/55/70s for the bigger snakes. I would probably have way less of the 16qts and ARS-50s and just use them as needed to step up the ones that need to go more slowly.

Right now I have some home made 32qt and 60qt racks that I would like to phase out eventually. They just slowly warp and the tubs stick and so on and so on. Every day I’m in those racks I just wish I spent the money on an ARS rack.



I went with the VE racks, and I’m happy that I did. Just got the second super 70 assembled last night, and stacked.

I did have a question regarding the thermostat probes…

Is it a big problem for the thermostat probe to go on top of the heat tape, as opposed to underneath in the small channel? I ask, due to the fact that I’d the probe isn’t put in before the heat tape, you need to remove the heat tape to place the probe. Which is a bit of a nuisance.

Here’s the new racks in my room, much cleaner than what I’ve got before. I still need to move one of the old racks out of my room.


I have my ve racks setup with the probe on top of the heat tape. It’s worked perfectly for years.


Good to know. The VE-6 racks i got were used for less than a year, so basically brand new. The super 70’s I built. The super 70 I ended up just using the bottom tub of the top rack (essentially in the middle of the two racks) and was able to back the heat tape through the channel to get the probe in.

I could do the same for the VE-6, but I’ll just wait until I get a set of casters in for it so I can move what shelf I’ve got it placed on. Didn’t think it would make a huge difference, but no harm in checking.

Also - do most people use a different thermostat/probe for each rack, or with racks like this that use the same size heat tape, and are in the same area of the room, is it still a good idea to use a different probe for each rack/stack?


Often times you’ll find that racks with the same size heat tape can run off the same thermostat but there could be some variance. It’s important not to overload with too much wattage. As long as you’re in check with the power consumption and you go through and ensure every level is not exceeding maximum temperature range (I typically limit all my levels to 90 for ball pythons) then you’re good to go. You might find higher levels reaching 90 while the lower levels only hit 85 or so, depending on your room airflow, ambient temps, etc. That’s why many people like to use multi probe setups for a single rack. Given that many people go with no hot spots, ambient only, and have good success, I dont stress about certain levels being lower hot spot temperatures. It only becomes problematic when certain tubs have hot spots that are too high.


You wont regret getting an ARS.

Eventually you will want an ARS then you will need to raise funds, buy, then sell the old ones again. they are super sturdy and once you get one you will be like why did I wait so long.

I wish I had gotten mine much sooner!