GTP cage sealer

GTP cage sealer

Postby stretch » Sun May 10, 2009 10:43 pm

Hi All

Can anybody suggest a good sealant for a wooden cage that will house Chondro's, the cage will need to handle high levels of humidity.

I have used Woodoc 50 Exterior marine sealer (lead free) on the 1st of the 2 cages I am building, but I cannot seem to get rid of the varnish smell even though I have baked the tank in the sun and had a fan on it for the last 2 weeks.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Re: GTP cage sealer

Postby madrule2002 » Mon May 11, 2009 1:04 am

Green Tree Python Cage Recommendations

Choosing The Perfect Chondro Cage

There really is no magical formula for choosing the perfect cage for a green tree python. In fact, there are countless varieties of commercially available cages which work very well and if you are so inclined the possibility of building your own chondro cages is a viable solution as well. Probaly the only categoric advice I will give in this regard is to put your snake in a snake cage and keep the aquarium for your fish! This is particularly true with green tree pythons for reasons which I will discuss more in a minute. No matter which path you decide to take, you will want to consider the following important factors:

Heat retention
Moisture resistance (you will need HIGH humidity)
Dimensions
Front Opening
Proper ventilation
Ease of cleaning
Heat Retention In Your Chondro Cage

Green tree pythons come from tropical Indonesia where temperatures are not only relatively high, they are also quite consistent. A cage which is appropriate for keeping green tree pythons should have good heat retention characteristics so that the temperatures can be kept stable. As a general rule you will want to look for a cage that does not have a screen top. The material it is constructed from plays a role here as well. and while wood is a better insulator than plastic, it is not very good at dealing with high humidity unless coated with some type of laminate such as 3M contact paper or melamine (more on that later).

Moisture Resistance

Green tree pythons come from the tropical rain forests of Indonesia. In their natural environment it rains every day for most of the year and the average humidity is generally within the range of 70% - 90%. This part of the world is also known for moderate and predictable winds which work in conjunction with the rainfall to produce a cycle of rising and falling humidity which repeats itself on a daily basis. It is the recreation of similar conditions which makes moisture resistant cages a must for green tree python keepers.

Chondro cages should be misted daily to saturation point (at or near 100% humidity) and allowed to "dry out" to about 50% humidity before the next spraying. With constant humidity like this, cages which are not extremely moisture resistant will be ruined in short order.

Dimensions

There are no magic dimensions which makeup the perfect chondro cage. However, some basic understanding of green tree python behavior can be extremely helpful when either choosing a premade cage for your animal or building your own. The green tree python is, of course, an arboreal species which spends a great deal of time on perches above the ground. Unlike some arboreal serpents though, Morelia viridis also comes down to the ground to hunt and explore. They are often very active at night and this needs to be considered when designing or purchasing a cage for them.

I prefer chondro cages which are 24 inches tall and consider 18 inches to be a minimum height for all but hatchling pythons. The depth of the cage (distance from front to back) should be somewhere around 18 inches with anything more than 24 inches being excessive; remember, with too large a cage it becomes much harder to control the heat and humidity levels. The length of your chondro cage should be in the 24 to 36 inch range to allow for a lateral thermal gradient and "room to stretch." Eighteen inches long will work, but would be an absolute minimum in my opinion.

Front Opening Design

Aside from the fact that a front opening cage is simply easier to access for common tasks such as misting and maintenance, I have found that this design is actually less stressful on the animal. In fact, I have found that green tree pythons are less prone to strike at their keepers, are much easier to handle when needed, and that even many "problem feeders" will be more apt to feed than when placed in a top opening design cage. Before you start laughing, bear with me a moment and let me explain. Remember, this is based on my own personal observations and though not true for all animals, does seem to make a noticable difference in most instances.

So how can a front opening cage make the animal more at ease than a top opening cage?
In all honesty, I do not know for sure--but, here is my theory:

Being arboreal in nature, chondros are used to being in an elevated position to both prey and predator. It is their natural tendancy to see most activity beneath them; I feel that even with captive raised animals this is embedded at the instinctual level and is simply part of the natural behavior of the species. If you accept this basic premise, it becomes easy to see how green tree pythons can feel threatened by the keeper, or even a food item on the end of tongs, approaching from above. Since a front opening cage allows the animal to be approached from below, your python will naturally feel more "in control" of the situation and less threatened. As such, they are calmer and both more likely to feed and less likely to bite the hand that feeds them.

Proper Ventilation

The correct amount a ventiliation in your chondro cage(s) will almost certainly be the factor which requires the most experimenting and tinkering. While you need enough air flow to keep the inside of the cage supplied with fresh air, you also need it to be tight enough to allow the temperature & humidity ranges to remain stable. No matter what type of cage you settle on, you will almost certainly have to adjust the ventilation somewhat to work with the ambient conditions in which the cage is situated. Luckilly, most cages are over-ventilated since it is usually easier to block existing holes as needed as opposed to making new ones.

Ease Of Cleaning

Chances are that if the cage design you choose meets the requirements listed above, particularly the moisture resistance and front opening design, the ease of cleaning factor will take care of itself. It is something to consider though and should be given some thought up front.
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Re: GTP cage sealer

Postby Fooble » Mon May 11, 2009 8:22 am

stretch wrote:Hi All

Can anybody suggest a good sealant for a wooden cage that will house Chondro's, the cage will need to handle high levels of humidity.

I have used Woodoc 50 Exterior marine sealer (lead free) on the 1st of the 2 cages I am building, but I cannot seem to get rid of the varnish smell even though I have baked the tank in the sun and had a fan on it for the last 2 weeks.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


I only use that sealent and have never had a problem with such long "smell" of the varnish at most 5 days.
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Re: GTP cage sealer

Postby fredsmith » Mon May 11, 2009 8:34 am

stretch wrote:Hi All

Can anybody suggest a good sealant for a wooden cage that will house Chondro's, the cage will need to handle high levels of humidity.

I have used Woodoc 50 Exterior marine sealer (lead free) on the 1st of the 2 cages I am building, but I cannot seem to get rid of the varnish smell even though I have baked the tank in the sun and had a fan on it for the last 2 weeks.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


I've used woodoc 55, which is practically the same product, also lead free, and haven't had any hassles.
The smell took quite some time to completely dissapate, but was worth it. My cage took 6 coats on the inside and 4 coats on the outside, was applied over the course of about 25 days and needed close on a further 10 days before I was happy to put the doors on and begin the works inside, like laying heat pad, tiles and the fitting of lighting.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
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Re: GTP cage sealer

Postby bradmiller » Mon May 11, 2009 9:03 am

Why dont you buy a moulded PP tank? - you will never have issues
You know, you can touch a stick of dynamite, but if you touch a venomous snake it’ll turn around and bite you and kill you so fast it’s not even funny.
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Re: GTP cage sealer

Postby fredsmith » Mon May 11, 2009 9:09 am

bradmiller wrote:Why dont you buy a moulded PP tank? - you will never have issues


The feeling of accomplishment a person gets from building their own cage is something else...
I for one am looking into the moulded cages for my outdoor section, however also have yet another pine export crate (2400 l x 1200 w x 1100 h) thats in process at the moment being built for when I get a bosch monitor.
The look of a well build, home made cage is also a feature if done properly.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
- Albert Einstein


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Re: GTP cage sealer

Postby Matt Robinson » Mon May 11, 2009 9:29 am

Just a thought i had the other day. What about that sticky plastic you use to cover books(i forget what its called). Line the inside of the cage with it and then just cut around the ventilation holes etc. Would like to hear peoples thoughts on this as i have never tried it.
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Re: GTP cage sealer

Postby fredsmith » Mon May 11, 2009 9:37 am

matty wrote:Just a thought i had the other day. What about that sticky plastic you use to cover books(i forget what its called). Line the inside of the cage with it and then just cut around the ventilation holes etc. Would like to hear peoples thoughts on this as i have never tried it.

Desi-fix? Never thought of that before. If moisture gets underneath it though (Into the wood) it might not be able to "escape".
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
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Re: GTP cage sealer

Postby Bushviper » Mon May 11, 2009 9:42 am

If desi-fix comes loose and sticks to your snake you will cry! Never put anything which is sticky inside a snake cage.
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Re: GTP cage sealer

Postby Matt Robinson » Mon May 11, 2009 10:08 am

Ok ya never thought of that. Bad idea.
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Re: GTP cage sealer

Postby Bulvai » Mon May 11, 2009 12:18 pm

I use Grip Seal. Can get it from Builderwarehouse.
Have been using it for 2 years no problems. It UV and Water resistant and
non toxic
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Re: GTP cage sealer

Postby bradmiller » Mon May 11, 2009 2:58 pm

The feeling of accomplishment a person gets from building their own cage is something else...
I for one am looking into the moulded cages for my outdoor section, however also have yet another pine export crate (2400 l x 1200 w x 1100 h) thats in process at the moment being built for when I get a bosch monitor.
The look of a well build, home made cage is also a feature if done properly..


To true... that's exactly why I made my own mould so I have all the same stackable tanks, also some people just don't have the time, tools or knowledge to build their own tanks properly, however its seems not in this case but rather a derived from practical need as a result of humidity issues. Therefore a "plastic" tank will never have humidity issues.

As for the dims of the tanks mine are 50x50x900 (dxwxh) so would be perfect for Chondro's.
It has front door type access and lockable, channels for a misting system as well as places for heating pads
The light is recessed and housed seperatly from the inside of the tank so there are no worries of water mixing with electricity :-)

Image

The light area area has not been cut out - when it is I put in a piece of prismatic perspex - if you like I can take some more photo's of a finished unit.
Image

Anyways stretch if you are keen on some PM me.
P.S. I made these tanks for my own use and if you can use them I will be happy to sell you some.
You know, you can touch a stick of dynamite, but if you touch a venomous snake it’ll turn around and bite you and kill you so fast it’s not even funny.
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Re: GTP cage sealer

Postby fredsmith » Mon May 11, 2009 3:10 pm

Those look awesome.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
- Albert Einstein


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Re: GTP cage sealer

Postby Mitton » Mon May 11, 2009 3:11 pm

Really nice Brad, what would a cage like that cost?
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Re: GTP cage sealer

Postby bradmiller » Mon May 11, 2009 4:51 pm

Thanks Mittone...R1300
You know, you can touch a stick of dynamite, but if you touch a venomous snake it’ll turn around and bite you and kill you so fast it’s not even funny.
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