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How we set up snake tanks

Out here in the islands we don't have the luxury of buying pre-made snake enclosures, so as ever, necessity has been the mother of invention. Here are the two tank designs that seem to work out best for us (5 year old provides handy size comparison!). Main display tank: I have to confess that we inherited this from a much handier enthusiast. I think that if I'd been making it I wouldn't have made it this large, but as it turns out it's been perfect. Our six (nocturnal) snakes all sleep curled up in their hides on the floor during the day, but every night they are out and about climbing around the upper branches, and are usually all in new sleeping positions the next day. The main body is plywood, with a perspex window, and a door and side panels open to the air, screened with green garden shade cloth. As you don't want any rough edges inside the tank that the snakes can rub against, all inner surfaces are rounded off with wooden beading. The floor is sealed with heavy plastic sheeting (tablecloth!), and lined with newspaper. Smaller quarters: Normally all my snakes live together in the main tank. However, sometimes we need to separate them out, and then I use large plastic tubs with air holes drilled in the tops and sides. It's important to make sure that the lids clip closed strongly, as they WILL push open anything loose. I also use plastic tubs to feed them in, I never introduce food into their main living tank. I use ice-cream tubs for hides, and large, shallow, pottery (NOT metal or teflon) serving dishes for bathing and drinking bowls. I collect branching driftwood from beaches for climbing branches and leave them to bleach and dry in the sun before I use them. Hope this is of use to anyone wanting to set up a snake enclosure out here - we are lucky that we don't need lights or heat sources, as we are in the snakes' natural environment - it makes life a lot easier!

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