Cheap Enclosures on a Budget

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Cheap Enclosures on a Budget

Postby mb606587 » Sat Dec 22, 2018 3:42 pm

So, its Christmas time here, we're probably all broke now after shopping, so I thought I'd share one of my favorite enclosures that I "built" on a budget. So back when I was in college, my BTS was in a smallish aquarium and had been in the same one for about 8 years or so. Probably the 36" by 18" model but I can't remember. I always wanted to upgrade to a 4' by 2' aquarium but they were all so expensive and as a broke college student, my BTS on a diet of dog food, was probably eating better than me. My wife (girlfriend at the time), had a pet bunny rabbit in a wooden rabbit hutch so I thought, I bet I could make a really cool BTS enclosure out of one of those. It measured about 46" by 25", but the kicker was that it had a ramp that led to a second level. So in terms of floor space, it had about 15 square feet as opposed to 8 square feet from the 48" by 24" glass aquarium. So I bought one for really cheap, less than $150. Even though its wood, it comes already weatherproofed since its marketed as an outdoor hutch. If anybody knows anything about rabbits, you'll know that if a hutch can withstand the soiling and abuse from a rabbit without the wood rotting, then it'll definitely hold up for a BTS. So I added a cheap plywood bottom and covered most of the wire panels with acrylic sheets to hold in the humidity. I laid moss reptile carpet and then several inches of potting soil and spaghnum moss on the first floor. The second level has the same moss mat covering the floor and a hide box that is filled about halfway up with moist humid soil, perfect to be burrowed into. Ten years later, it still looks brand new and functions great. I have two heat lamps that provide different temperature gradients. The temperature on the rocks can hit as high as 120 degrees F while the basking area behind the rocks is a more modest 100 degrees. The far side of the enclosure away from the lights stays at about 75. What I love about this enclosure is that my BTS, even at her old age, uses her ramp almost daily. I will set up various treats on the second floor to keep her exploring, which she always does, although she prefers to spend most of the day basking on the first level. I also recently enjoyed reading about a woman who has kept her 31 year old Northern BTS in an outdoor rabbit hutch for its entire life. So if anybody else out there does the same, please share! Or just share any unique enclosure ideas. Sometimes as reptile owners, we can get so caught up in how everybody else does things, or tells us to do things, that we don't think outside the box as much as we should.

*The only update I've made since this picture below was taken is that I've removed the domes on the lights. It gives me more flexibility on swiveling the bulb to aim where I would like to keep her basking areas.
rabbit hutch.jpg
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Re: Cheap Enclosures on a Budget

Postby vana » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:42 am

That looks like a great idea!

I keep my skink in a ferret nation ferret cage on the back porch in the summer.

They now make the same cage with less space between the wire, which would probably be better (make it less likely an animal could reach through the bars and grab the skink): ... gJ7V_D_BwE
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Re: Cheap Enclosures on a Budget

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:53 pm

Try mega sized clear sided plastic tubs about 120L or 150L , dead easy to convert to a lizard's tank .
All you need is an electric soldering iron (to make ventilation holes in opposite sides (one lot high , one lot low) & an electric drill and a drill and driver set to help fix the lights.

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