Quarantine terrarium

Since a few years I use big Curver-boxes as a terrarium to rear young snakes. I also use them as quarantine terrariums to let gravid specimen give birth to their young and also for snakes that need a bit more attention and rest for a while.
I mainly use the 70-liter variant (60 x 40 x40 cm).
There is also a larger box available (70 x 40 x 45 cm).

I bought most of the boxes I use in the Curverwebshop, but you can buy them in most DIY shops too.

These boxes are very convenient to use. They are easy to clean and if you’re not using them, you can stack them in each other and then they take up very little space.
Also, they are transparent (not as clear as glass) so you can see just fine what is happening inside the box. When cleaning do not use hard brush, otherwise you get little scratches in the plastic making it less transparent.
Until recently, I did nothing else than sawing a few holes in the lid with a hole saw, paste a piece of gauze in front of the holes, mount a fitting in it and ready for use it is.
But… once the snakes realize there is an escape route once you take the lid off, it gets tricky. When the snakes are still small than there is no problem. But when they reach a length of about 30-35 cm, its becomes dangerous. They try to escape as soon as you take the lid of or when you have the water bowl in one hand and in the other the lid. And in my case, where the terrariums are standing on our attic where also a lot of other stuff is standing, you do not want them to get out of the box. And once they succeed in their attempt to get out of the box, they keep on trying this. Also, afterwards I found that only ventilation in the lid was insufficient.

I have created a variant whereby the lid no longer needs to be taken off  and you can still work in the box. There also is more ventilation now.
I will explain through pictures and text how I made it.

Starting point was that it should not be expensive, I had te be able to make it (I’m not really a handyman) and that such a terrarium has to be efficient in use.


The type of Curver-Box I have used…

I started to draw a rectangle on the lid. In the widthwise exactly in the middle and in the length a little off center. The latter because A lamp has to be mounted…

Even if you work carefully, still the stiff plastic sometimes tears a little… A small drill hole at the end of the crack prevents the crack gets bigger. At the next box I will heat the plastic a bit. I think it will not tear any more…

At a DIY shop I found a plastic rails. I have no idea wherefore it actually is made, but it seemed appropriate for the purpose I had in my head. Costs a few Euro for about three metres of rails…

Beware because working with sharp materials is very dangerous!

I sawed three pieces of the rail. The sizes are so chosen, that the edges of the hole that I cut into the lid are covered.

Thereafter, I sawed a piece of an aluminium, perforated plate. I filed off the edges a bit so you do not cut your fingers and it will slide well through the rails.

The rail is attached with mounting-kit on the lid. I did this with the perforated plate in it to be sure it will fit…

The result is a lid which consists of a large ventilation part which can be slid out In this way the lid stays on the box when you take out the water bowl or you place a dish with food in it. In this way the snakes cannot get out. When they try to reach the opening they fall…

With the hole saw I made at both ends of the curverbox two holes. On the one end at the top and at the other end at the bottom.

After sawing the holes the edges are still a bit rough and sharp, but sandpaper works wonders here.

From a piece of ventilation gauze I cut four circles that are two centimetres larger than the holes. In this way there ir room enough for the mounting-kit…

I put mounting around the hole, place the gauze circle on it and rub it firmly with my fingers. Once dry, then it “never” gets off. Gauze is stuck to the inside.

This is how it looks. No show terrarium, but for a quarantine or rearing terrarium there is nothing wrong with it.

The only thing left now is to attach a fitting. Make a hole with a hot awl in the lid for the cord. Few small tyraps to fix the cable so you can do some playing with the height of the lamp.

The end result.



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