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Animal Plastics advice

Discussion in 'Tortoise Enclosures' started by SherrySue, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. SherrySue

    SherrySue New Member

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    Hi all. I've attached my current set up for my Leo hatchling (Jeffrey). (40 gallon) I am able to keep my humidity and heat where I want it, but I would like a larger enclosure that is easier to maintain temps with. Does anyone have any experience with the Animal Plastics T8? Would that be ok for a year or two before I can house him outside? 20180225_171639.jpg
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  2. Sterant

    Sterant Well-Known Member

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    I think you might find that you will want to keep him humid longer than a year or two, and even then, might want to bring him inside often. Putting him outside in Arizona before hes rather large (10" or so) is most certainly going to result in pyramided growth. I would suggest you get the biggest AP cage you can. The price increase as you get bigger in minimal. I think a 4 X 6 or 4 X 8 would allow you to keep him in there on and off, as needed, for his entire life.

    AP makes a really solid product, so you won't have any issues with the quality.

    You could also make a 4 X 8 out of plywood for a couple hundred bucks that will work just as good.
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  3. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    The T-8 size will probably last you 6-12 months depending on growth rate, and then you'll need something bigger. The trouble I'm finding is that even with the 18" tall T65 size, I'm having a heck-of-a-time finding a basking bulb that is big enough to create a basking area but small enough to not overheat the basking area. If you get a 12" tall T8, I think you will have to get a rheostat to control the basking temperature. Its more money, but the 18" tall enclosures will be easier to work with.

    I've got 3 T65s and I love them. They are fantastic enclosures and should last me for many years.
  4. SherrySue

    SherrySue New Member

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    Thank you so much for this information! If I get the 18" tall, can I still use the cut out screens or would I hang the lighting/heating inside the enclosure? I want to keep the cost down if at all possible.
  5. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Best to have it all inside. They will mount a couple of incandescent fixtures and a florescent fixture for you too. Its relatively cheap and easy to have them do it professionally. One fixture for the basking bulb set on a timer, one for the CHE set on a thermostat to maintain ambient, and if you put a 10.0 tube in the florescent fixture, it will light up the enclosure nicely and even give a little UV benefit.
  6. SherrySue

    SherrySue New Member

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    Thank you so much for your reply. Yes, I would like to have the option to have him in it for as long as possible. I am going to look at a 4 x 6 and see if I can afford it. Thanks again!
  7. SherrySue

    SherrySue New Member

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    Ok, so if I splurged for the T25 (72x30x18) would I still get just 2 incandescent fixtures and 1 fluorescent fixture on the inside? How long do you think he could live in that size? They are on sale now for 399. I'm thinking it would be approx 600 with customization and shipping by the time it is all said and done
  8. Sterant

    Sterant Well-Known Member

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    In my 4 X 8 enclosures, I use 6 fluorescent tubes - 46" each (2 UVB and 4 6400K grow bulbs). I think the enclosure should be nice and bright. Getting it made in white helps with the brightness as well. I would probably run 4 of the 46" fluorescent tubes in the size you are talking about. Get T5 HO fixtures - they put out a lot of light.
  9. Longhorns1187

    Longhorns1187 Member

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    You can purchase the lights and have them shipped directly to Animal Plastics. I did this for our 2 T20 enclosures. I just emailed Ali the diagrams of how I wanted each enclosure built, including extras screens, door locks, and a higher litter dam. Expect at least a 10 week build time.
  10. SherrySue

    SherrySue New Member

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    So the one you bought has 24" height, is that correct? Would you be able to post a picture? I'm particularly interested in your lighting /heating. Mine will be housing a leopard hatchling.
  11. SherrySue

    SherrySue New Member

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    Thank you. What about for heat/humidity though? I'm torn between the 18" and 24" height.
  12. Longhorns1187

    Longhorns1187 Member

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    Yes. We've got 2 T20s that should be finished being built this week or next, according to Ali at Animal Plastics. One will be for a Northern blue tongue skink, while the other will be for a hatching Egyptian tortoise.

    They are 6'x2'x24". For lighting, we're using 2 Zoo Med Reptisun HO T5 fixtures per enclosure for UVB. Zoo Med sells mounting brackets for mounting the fixtures directly to the "ceiling" of the enclosure. We're going to measure the UVB output with a Solarmeter 6.5 unit just to make sure we have everything dialed in correctly for each species. We can use either the 5.0 or 10.0 bulbs, depending on the readings. I'm guessing it'll be the 10.0 bulbs for the tortoise at that height. The blue tongue skink might only need the 5.0. Regular lighting will be supplemented using an LED fixture in each enclosure (from LED Concepts), purchased on Amazon, normally used for under cabinet lighting purpose. These lights come with mounting hardware included. Basking lights will be provided via Animal Plastics ceramic fixtures, placed according to my blueprint.

    We are having Animal Plastics cut 6"x18" screens out on each side of both enclosures, just to give us more flexibility in controlling humidity. We are going to be given the leftover cutouts to use to close off a screen or 2, if need be, or if just partially needed.

    The litter dam is going to be 5" deep for the BTS, since they like to burrow, while the Egyptian tortoise enclosure litter dam will be 4".

    Both enclosures will be monitored using a Herpstat 2 thermostat. The Egyptian tortoise will have a Mist King system installed for periodic morning mistings, somewhat replicating what they would experience in the wild.
  13. motero

    motero Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I have been using zoomed nano CHE. They make it possible to run inside small or short closed Chambers with out overheating. Pair the little CHE with a thermostat of course.
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  14. SherrySue

    SherrySue New Member

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    I love the idea of keeping the cutouts to control humidity! Ok so this is going to be a dumb question, but when animal plastics puts in ceramic fixtures for heat, do you then just screw the CHE into them and there isn't a hood? If that is the case then I think I could get away with the 18" height instead of the 24" I would order the T25 instead of the T20. Also do you mind telling me what they are charging for shipping? I'm in AZ so I realize it may be different but the website says that it has to be delivered by a truck and to call for a quote. Just looking for a ballpark figure. Thanks for taking the time to be so detailed in your reply!
  15. Longhorns1187

    Longhorns1187 Member

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    Yes. It is just the socket when referencing the ceramic fixture supplied by Animal Plastics. I'm assuming you could fabricate a hood to be used in conjunction, but it definitely does not come with one.

    Not sure what the shipping costs would be, as we are only 2 hours away. So, we'll be picking our 2 enclosures up, in person. I wouldn't be afraid to give Ali a call and she should be able to give you an estimate. She is great to work with and is always willing to answer any questions, no matter how many times I've called...lol.

    The only negative, from our experience and if you read any online reviews, is the extended lead times. But, we knew that prior to ordering and we had enough advanced leeway that it didn't have a bearing on who we went with.

    No problem. Glad I could be of some help. Wish I could give you a more detailed review with photos, etc. of our enclosures.
  16. Ghazan

    Ghazan Member

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    How do you order ceramic sockets - special request in the comments? I don't see it on their pre-2k website. I don't see much of any detail or sizes. Like the fluorescent light fixture, what's the size of the one they sell?
  17. Longhorns1187

    Longhorns1187 Member

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    They are currently upgrading their website, according to their newest Facebook post. Hopefully it's an improvement over their last site design.

    Assuming prices are the same, sockets are $15 installed. Not sure about the size of the fluorescent light fixture. I bought my own led lights and UVB lights and had them shipped directly to AP to be installed at no additional cost.

    The best bet for communication and ordering is to call AP directly and ask Ali. She will be the one that answers the phone and provides excellent customer service. Once I had all my questions answered, I emailed Ali a PDF drawing of how I wanted each enclosure to be built. She then sent me an invoice, after her husband looked over the design and gave the okay.
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