Which rack for babies?

With an external attachment yes you can set night temperatures.

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I am really happy see this come up. I have begun my research for neo boa racks. I think in the next 3-5 years, my collection is going to increase by 4 or 5 boas.


How does everyone manage the variance in heat between the different heights of the tubs? I’ve heard the higher tubs get hotter and the bottom tubs get cooler. Would you have to run individual heat tape installments for every row or every two rows? With multiple temp managements, like a HerpStat 6, etc?


With a single probe I install around the middle of the rack and adjust it so the highest temperatures in any of the tubs (measured with a heat gun) does not exceed 92 or so. Some levels may not reach the desired hot spot temperature around 90 but the important thing is that no levels are overheating.

With a multi probe thermostat I install one probe to control the upper and another to control the lower. Your results will vary depending on conditions/setup regarding which levels to set the probes up on. Some people have a major difference in the very bottom row and will have a probe only for the lowest row while others may control the lower 3rd with one probe and the upper 2/3rds with another.

A multi probe setup is the ideal way to go but a single can work just fine as well.


Thank you for the explanation, I was worried about the same thing. I have a DIY rack for my big guys and I have different probes for every two racks but the bins are 14” high. I read that some people like to put less tape on the top racks to help balance the system but this seems incredibly complicated to get balanced.


I made this 4 foot wide rack system so it would have a lots of air flow around it and it’s on wheel so you can move it around when you need to. I used a wire shelving system and the Sterilite 15 qt. tub # 1754 for baby boas and the Sterilite 74 qt. tub # 1969 for sub adults and boas about 6 feet long and less than 12 to 15 lbs. The 1754 tub measures 17 inches x 11 inches x 6 - 3/8 inches and the 1969 tub measures 44 inches x 19 - 3/4 inches x 6 - 3/8 inches. I also used 4 inch flexwatt along the back of each shelf to heat the tubs.

The heat tape is mounted on 1/4 inch masonite with aluminum tape. The electrical wires are solder, silicone caulk and electrical taped in place on the flexwatt. So there is no wires or flexwatt tape touching the metal rack. This way there is no way for you or the snakes to get shocked. The masonite also helps the tubs slide out easer when you want to open them.

Set up like this picture cost me about $350 with 4 inch X 44 inch flexwatt on each shelf. I had to buy 2 wire shelving set ups to make this one. The shelving cost around $80.00 each at Sam’s club.

I also have this ARS rack and plan on getting the second one soon.

I do have two old Freedom Breeder racks I still use. But they have the old wire grating between the tubs and it like a cheese grater to any snake nose that trys to get out. I believe the new FB rack are made different now so this doesn’t happen now. I don’t have any pictures of just the FB rack.

Take care


Any advantages or benefits to the ARS/Freedom Breeder racks to the traditional PVC racks? The price difference is crazy.

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I was wondering the same thing. ARS looks very similar to Freedom Breeder but a lot cheaper, even still it’s incredibly more than the PVC style. Maybe use PVC for the smaller snakes but once they reach adulthood there aren’t many options.

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In my opinon they will last longer. My FB racks are 20+ years old. The tub is very sturdy and clean up nicely. You can remove them easily from the rack for cleaning. As they only slide on a metal track. They do not lock in place. But when fully closed I have not had any boa’s escape. For the nose rub problem I just use a very thin plastic sheet that I slide between the tub and the grating.

The ARS one I got last year but I do like it very much. The ARS tub material is thinner than the tubs in the FB. But I have had no problem with it yet. I keep my 15 to 30 lbs boas in it. It’s nice the drawers roll out very easily with the ball bearing glides. The tubs fully extended out for easy cleaning or feeding. They don’t have a lock on the tubs but when the glides are fully closed there is a slight bump that keeps them from rolling open it’s kinda like a lock.

Both are very nice racks can’t go wrong with either of them. The ARS factor/ store is only 3 hours from me so it cheap for me to buy them than the FB rack.

Just remember you do get what you pay for when buying cheap caging.


Do you use the Christmas tree tubs or whatever for adult boas? I work with ball pythons too which doing racks for them is a lot simpler but with boas I always feel like having more height kind of like how Brian Boas set up, makes more sense.

Thanks for the solid explanation and your experience! I‘ve got a lot to think about.

The Freedom Breeder “Pro Line” racks are actually on par cost wise with the ARS hybrid racks. Both have their pros and cons but I prefer the freedom breeder for a few reasons. I have racks of both.

Freedom Breeder has superior tubs, welded corners, removable tops, better frame material in stainless steel. I think the ARS was easier to put together because rivets can be a pain. I think the ARS slides better. Freedom breeder tubs are easier to line back up and slide into the rack because the rails extend to the very edge of the frame. The stainless steel shelf option for the freedom breeder rack is amazing as well.

When comparing to PVC cage options if you compare cost per cage the steel rack systems aren’t actually all that much more. Very high resale value on steel framed cages as well, worth the investment I think!


I use the C Serpents rack with the V-18 tubs it comes with the heat tape installed and the tubs included. You just need to plug it into your thermostat ( I use the Inkbird you can get it on Amazon for $35) place the heat probe where you want it and screw the back on. They hold heat and humidity very well. You will probably need to add ventilation holes in the tubs depending on where you live.

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I am in the same situation as the person who originally posted this, I need to purchase some racks for next season and I am just trying to do my research. This topic comes up quite a bit on various forums and the common response is to “invest in quality”, referring to ARS & Freedom Breeder. Aside from the professional appearance, could anyone tell me why these are better than the Reptile Basics racks? I am happy to spend more for a better product, but I’m not sure this is the case. Neither rack is going to rust, the PVC is 1/2" thick, which means it wont sag, heat & humidity retention are good on both(arguably better on the PVC racks). As far as cost goes, I laid out the cost, including shipping for comparable space, it’s almost double the cost for ARS/FB. I attached the cost breakout here. I tried to make this as “Apples-to-Apples” as possible. This compares 6 of the VE-6 racks to 1 option each from FB & ARS. Shipping costs were a big factor here (free shipping from Reptile Basics over $100).

I’m not trying to challenge the ARS/FB rack supporters, I really just want to know what the rationale is to spend more for those racks so I can make my own decision on which rack to go with. Thanks all for your help here!


You did some homework! Good job, I like seeing people think things through with a thorough analysis.

A few counter points:

  1. There are ways to eliminate the entire cost of shipping with ARS/FB. Namely, picking up directly from their production facility or from one of the shows they deliver to. I happen to live 30 minutes from Daytona and have picked up racks from both companies at no cost.

  2. Tub quality. ARS and FB tubs are better, no doubt. Better design with grey options, built in water bowl holders, more rigid/better plastics.

  3. PVC can bend. A mishap when moving can damage the frame structure. This wont happen with a steel rack. My rack systems were entirely PVC when I kept boas and I experienced this.

  4. Space efficiency. How many of the same size tubs does a VE-6 rack pack in comparatively? I can tell you FB Pro-Line is slightly more space efficient vs ARS Hybrid racks (I have two side by side). And FB commercial (welded rails) and ARS commercial (welded rails) are going to pack even more in.

  5. You’re comparing the commercial fully welded ARS/FB options instead of the more economical hybrid/proline options. They are a fair bit cheaper.

  6. Tubs slide better on rails vs fully enclosed PVC.

  7. Stainless steel covered heat strips on the steel racks versus recessed PVC. Even though the heat tape is recessed with PVC it can still rub (sometimes it pops up and still makes some contact etc). Heat tape getting rubbed down can lead to a fire hazard.

Having said that they’re all great options that will do a fantastic job for many years. Reptile Basics free shipping does give them a distinct advantage especially for people who don’t have the option to pick up at shows etc.


Thank you for the detailed response!

Great points, especially #7. I use Pro Product heat panels in my PVC adult enclosures, honestly the idea of heat tape freaks me out a little.

#4 is actually in favor of the Reptile Basics Rack, Space wise, you could throw three VE-2 racks on top of the stacks of VE-6 and fit 9 more tubs than the FB/ARS racks in a little less space. (and still spend over a grand less, even taking out the shipping costs and getting the lower grade FB/ARS options)

I’m not too worried about the PVC frame structure, 1/2" is pretty solid, and I’m not moving in the next 10 years. I could see how this would be a concern though for anyone that could potentially be moving any time soon.

Thanks again for your input. I will most likely be going with the Reptile Basics but can see why some people would buy into the features and benefits of the stainless steel rack companies.


So, I’m just wondering all your guys opinions on this. I would like a rack system that could fit tubs that are big enough for adult male boas but if I decide to not put them in there, I can house neos and subadults by switching tubs.

My main question is, would it just be better to buy a baby/subadult rack now and house the two males I am currently growing up in there until I know if I want to house all the breeders in T8s? Putting everybody in T8s with my original plan, but now I’m wondering if getting the rack now would be the best option, even if I still stay with the original plan in the long run.


Also, I just want to say this is hysterical because number 5 is on the way :joy:.


That’s a good question, I’m unaware of any that can use tubs large enough for adults and also hold small tubs.

With that said I highly recommend the Reptile Basics VE-6 racks for neonates up to 3’ or so.


I will definitely look at those! Thank you.