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Old 09-01-2020, 10:24 AM
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Default Natural snake vivs

Hello all and happy new year.wondered if anyone would be willing to share pics of any display type snake vivs and build ideas/tips .ive done lots of wet non basking site heavily planted frog vivs but I’m going to try a large snake version. Dry rock face style arboreal 1400w 1200h 700d. It’s for diamonds that are currently babies/yearlings.people in frog forums post loads of build threads.the plants do most of the work but the hardscape is key in dry viv. I’m looking to go all out as I have so long to build it not bothered about effort or cost (within reason). So if you feel like showing off please inspire me!
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Old 09-01-2020, 11:07 AM
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Default Natural snake vivs

Hopefully this link will be of interest ...

https://www.reptileforums.co.uk/forums/habitat/


This is my latest Royal ‘creation’ - basic 5.5 foot wooden viv ... just a pile of branches ‘forced’ into place
PS .. the hides are hidden away underneath ..





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Old 09-01-2020, 12:31 PM
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Oh and Royals will climb if they have branches !!


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Old 09-01-2020, 12:33 PM
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Thanks. Yes I probably should have put it in the proper section. How do you find your python in there? I’m sure he loves it. This is the kind of effect I was going for. After tips for creating effects of weathered sandstone around a couple of gnarled tree trunks. Not sure about plaster thermalite blocks polystyrene etc.
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Natural snake vivs-7c621481-3041-43a5-ac35-6457810579b9_1578573040308.png  

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Old 09-01-2020, 12:36 PM
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Nice pie bald btw. I had a royal for years. My first python bog standard from hatchling to well over 5 feet sold her to a little 8 yr old girl in the end she loved her ! Only got diamonds now as will be in outbuilding. Coldtastic
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Old 09-01-2020, 03:26 PM
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I have built similar rock faces. Here is how I did it.

Obviously you will need a viv to start with, this one is 36"x24"x24".



It is best to seal the inside edges of the viv using something like Geocel Aquarium silicone. Run a bead along all edges, then use a wet spoon to smooth it to fit. Leave to cure (this smells so best to do it outside or somewhere well ventilated).



Then it is a case of building up the rockscape. In this case I used sheets of extruded polystyrene for this (this is much tougher and denser than the more common expanded polystyrene, it can be pricy but it is much, MUCH better for this kind of work and will be far more durable.



Try to take care to leave perches and raised areas at different heights, the great thing about this kind of enclosure is you can use the third dimension to provide basking spots at different distances from the bulbs, and incorporate crevices and hides into the rock itself (although bear in mind it can be hard to extract the animals from these!)







I use a mastik gun and Wickes All Purpose adhesive (no solvents) to glue the pieces together, and cocktail sticks to hold them in place. Make sure there are no cracks between the polystyrene and the wall - take time to seal all of these with adhesive before putting the next layer on.

Next comes the really messy bit - roughing up all the edges of the polystyrene so they don't look like layers of polystyrene. I use a bread knife to do this. It makes a LOT of mess and I recommend using a face mask so you don't breathe in any of the stray particles.









Next comes the OTHER really messy (and time consuming) bit. Sealing the fake rock with grout. I water the grout down quite a lot and apply it in about 10-12 layers. The problem with this kind of "striated" rock face over a flatter, more 'wall-like' one is that it takes forever to get ever nook and cranny with grout. The grout requires about 12-24 hours to dry solid between each coat. Applied in this many thin coats it should not crack. You can tint the last couple of layers of grout with paint so that there is a base colour to paint over.



Make sure there are absolutely no areas of white polystyrene visible anywhere including the nooks and crannies! They will spoil the effect. This is the most annoying and time consuming part (and the reason I only ever built three builds using this method)



Once complete you can paint the rock surface as required, I use Montana Gold graffiti sprays (must be done outside and left in a well ventilated area as these smell and the smell lingers a week or more so you cannot put the animals in for some time until the smell dissipates). I then drybrush with cheap acrylic paints from The Works.









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Old 09-01-2020, 03:58 PM
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A few of my other fake rock backgrounds






































Last edited by Thrasops; 09-01-2020 at 04:05 PM..
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Old 09-01-2020, 05:19 PM
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That’s great mate thanks. Just the kind of thing I meant. I had toyed with the idea of layered drying clay in a couple of a coupe of similar colours but would probably cost more than the snakes and weigh more than my car.id also thought this kind of method. I also like the green tufts. I’m guessing this is reindeer moss? The model railway stuff. Good way of imitating bit of growth. I’ll post maybe as I go but this will be a loooooooong process
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Old 09-01-2020, 06:44 PM
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I really admire people who have the patience to create naturalistic rock backgrounds and incorporate it into enclosures. I've tried twice but both times got frustrated with how messy, time consuming and disappointing the results were haha but I'm not artistic at all and really have no patience haha.

My first attempt I used expanding foam on polystyrene and carved, varnished and painted it but it looked tacky and I ended up just covering it in silicone and coir fiber.

Second attempt I experimented with polystyrene, paint, varnish but again I'm not happy with the results and currently looking into covering it in more airplants lol (see below of bad example) .

Nowadays I really can't be bothered with attempting fake walls, so I resort to poster backgrounds and natural landscaping with substrate, plants, wood, branches, etc etc. I personally find this more rewarding.

With that being said, two of my enclosures have exo terra backgrounds but the plants have grown so well that you can't really see the background but it's brilliant for plants to cling on to.

If you've got the time, funds and love of crafts then I highly recommend giving it a go, make sure you post lots of pictures though

Have a watch of 'serpadesign' on YouTube, his vivarium creations are STUNNING! He also has some rock background creation tutorials.

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Old 10-01-2020, 06:23 AM
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I think both of those rock walls look pretty convincing tbh. I’ve certainly seen much worse.i was thinking of using some hardy plants if possible away from the basking end drought tolerant grasses and such considering budleihas you see them growing in cracks on walls that must get hot might be worth a try.thanksfir reply what are those grasses in your viv ? Specific species or just garden type?
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