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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to know if it's worth building a rack or buying a rack for our Royal Pythons?

I'm currently looking to start off with a rack for hatchlings as our adult snakes are in vivs and planning on staying in vivs. However future adults would be in a rack with good height, width & length.

If building a rack, I was thinking of something like an IKEA wardrobe as can get extra shelves, but wasn't sure if this would last with the boxes sliding in and out etc.

I haven't been able to find many sellers for racks and I want to make sure there is plenty of room for the little hatchlings (when they arrive)

Is there much of a price difference?
Any advise, either for buying or building a rack would be great.

Thanks
 

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Racks is a tough one. I think it depends on what you want it to look like & where you want to put it. I guess if you want it in your house where people can see it, then you want a nice looking rack to show it off. Or you might want a discreet rack system hidden away?

I've done loads of research into racks & one wk I want to build myself a cool looking metal system, then the following wk I want to buy one, cos I can't be arsed LOL. You can certainly build one from wood or convert a IKEA shelving unit/wardrobe for not alot of money. From what I have seen on the Internet, there are some companies charging ridiculous money for rack systems & I'm talking £thousands!!!

In the end I settled on a rack system from LP Racks over in the Denmark I think? They are really well made for reasonable money, well I think so anyway. Plus I like them because they are a modular setup, so I can buy individual shelves & add them to the rack system to extend the size.

It all really boils down to what style you want & budget you have got. What was my decision maker was the fact I get alot of eggs from my snakes & will get good money from the snakes when I sell them, so I realised I only got to sell 2 hatchlings & it's paid for my rack setup!

Hope this helps, Russ
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tbh they are technically my husbands snakes and they live in the snake room so look isn't the main thing... But still important. I really want practicality over anything.

We have not had any eggs yet so I don't think I want to spend too much, incase we don't get many!

I will have a look at their website, thanks.
 

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How warm is the room where the snakes will be kept in the rack? - Rack system really only work well when the ambient air temperature in the room is around 25-27c day and night, which then makes it a simple task for the heat mat to provide a localised hot spot, bearing in mind that mats don't heat the air. If the rack is going to be an a room which already has loads of vivs heated by ceramics or lights then chances are you won't have a problem.

The conversion of a wardrobe carcase to a snake rack seems to be quite popular - be they from Ikea or B&Q. I built my hatchling rack using wilko large shoe boxes (plastic tubs) and a 1.5m tall 1m wide carcase and shelves from B&Q as the walnut finish was being discontinued so the rack cost me around £50 total. Now as I moved my hatchlings on after 4 -6 months I can't vouch for the longevity of these racks, but none of the breeders I follow on YT that use them have commented on poor wear and tare. Whether it is converting wardrobes or building form scratch the cost compared to commercial racks will be dramatically different. You may find that you could make 10 rack systems for the same cost of a single commercial rack, and if each one lasted 3 years, then it would be 30 years before you get a return justifying the investment in a commercial rack (not taking into account any income from the sale of the snakes as Russ mentioned).

For me the only reason I don't use racks for anything other than yearling royals is the height issue, and that I feel sub adult - adult royals do better in a viv environment, but that's just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree, I want to keep vivs for the older snakes. But I'm hoping to do s homemade rack/Viv for older snakes. If I can find high enough boxes then it just eliminates a bit of wasted space on the outside as it will be made to fit, while allowing space on the inside still.

We've been monitoring the room temp and it's a little cold in winter, but we're looking at getting the room heated so that won't be an issue 🤞
 

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I've documented the rack build in 2019, but this is how it turned out



The advantage of these units is that the shelves are adjustable. I struck lucky and found they fitted the height of the boxes just right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's great, that's definitely something I'm thinking of, as husband doesn't want to use lids.

I think I'm going with the build it option, as long as I can find everything... Including the tubs to fit perfectly.

Thanks
 

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That's great, that's definitely something I'm thinking of, as husband doesn't want to use lids.

I think I'm going with the build it option, as long as I can find everything... Including the tubs to fit perfectly.

Thanks
If you are going to build your own, best bit of advice is... Find a tub you want to use & build around the tubs. Especially if you arent using lids. And make sure you can obtain choosen tubs in future. Don't want to buy the last 6 the shop has & find out they are obsolete!

Last thing you want to do is build a lovely rack system & find out you can't get a perfect fitting tub.

Good luck & let us know how you guys get on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks, I had thought about doing it that way, but I'm glad you confirmed it as I want sure.
 

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If you are going to build your own, best bit of advice is... Find a tub you want to use & build around the tubs. Especially if you arent using lids. And make sure you can obtain choosen tubs in future. Don't want to buy the last 6 the shop has & find out they are obsolete!

Last thing you want to do is build a lovely rack system & find out you can't get a perfect fitting tub.

Good luck & let us know how you guys get on.
Yes this is the better way. I did have to modify the tubs by cutting off the lips at each end to enable them to fit. But this was cheaper than buying melamine and having it cut to order as the wardrobe carcases were 50% reduction in price. I couldn't have bought a sheet of walnut faced conti board form B&Q for the £20 I paid for the complete wardrobe carcase, plus the carcase is a lot deeper at 56cm.

Lidless is handy, but I would look at lidded for a wooden rack. If you have a damp substrate the condensation that can form on the underside of the shelf above would soon lead to problems. I also routed a groove in the underside of each shelf to take an LED light strip so I could give my hatchlings a day/night cycle and it was also nice to see them move around. Something that most commercial racks don't offer - or those that do its a costly optional extra.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I hadn't though about condensation, thank you. I was just thinking less stress for the snake if box isn't moved about as much etc.

I had thought about light, and I'm still thinking about it, but they are in a well lit room so this might be something we leave until we've tried it out
 

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I also routed a groove in the underside of each shelf to take an LED light strip so I could give my hatchlings a day/night cycle and it was also nice to see them move around.
That's a good shout Malc. I hadn't thought of this either.
 

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Malc, if you had a gap of about 3-5mm between top of tub (not using lids) & underside of wooden shelf, wouldnt this be enough to stop condensation build up?

Only ask cos most of the "lidless" tubs & rack setups I've seen always have a small gap above tub. I'm guessing this is for airflow?
 

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Malc, if you had a gap of about 3-5mm between top of tub (not using lids) & underside of wooden shelf, wouldnt this be enough to stop condensation build up?

Only ask cos most of the "lidless" tubs & rack setups I've seen always have a small gap above tub. I'm guessing this is for airflow?
I guess it depends on the substrate... When Reptichip came out the instructions on how many litres of water to add to brake it down caused me no end of issues. If less water was used, or it was a different substrate that didn't retain so much water then you could be OK. And a gain, it depends on the ambient room temperature - the room was unheated over night other than the three vivs in the room, so was around 21c at the lowest point when it was -6 outside ! If your room is warmer then there is less chance of condensation forming
 
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