One size fits all?

elysium

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I am looking to get some custom acrylic enclosures made for my tarantulas from a local acrylic shop. The idea is to have something built that is similar to Jamie's enclosures in design (link below).

https://jamiestarantulas.com/image/cache/catalog/adult cage only 071-600x345.jpg

I have a few tarantulas that will go into these enclosures, some terrestrial, some arboreal, some are ready to go in there permanently, and some still have some growing to do. The idea is to have all of the enclosures be exactly the same measurements, the orientation will depend if a terrestrial or arboreal T is going in. I intend to line them all up in an orderly fashion for display purposes. The adult female specimens that will potentially go into them are:

A. sp Amazonica
A. purpurea
A. versicolor
B. smithi
C. cyaneopubescense
M. balfouri
P. metallica

What measurements will be adequate for all of these species to be housed comfortably? I don't want the enclosures to be bigger than they have to be, but at the same time I don't won't them to be cramped for space. The most common measurements I have seen are 8x8x14, though I feel like that might be a tad small for some of them. At the same time 10x10x14 may be too large?

What are your opinions? Any thoughts on the thickness of the acrylic would be welcome as well.

Thanks!
 

viper69

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The first dimension is fine for the smaller Avics, amazonica female would probably be OK in that too, but given they can reach 7" I'd give them something larger, at least as large as the second dimension. You can't go TOO larger per se provided the T can be safe, and they actually find their food. They do live in volumes larger than what you posted in the wild hahahah.

The GBB may or may not web up the entire container, both sizes, no way to predict. I'd lean towards larger in the event you have a female.

With Poki's the more space you give them the better off YOU and your T will be, esp for husbandry. I personally would not house a Poki in anything that was 8 x 8 x 14. However, I know people that do, and they have not had any issues.

P mets are certainly the smallest of the Pokis at about 5". However don't let that dimension fool you. I've seen an AF P met in person, and she was very exceedingly fast, and she was only going in short bursts. The owner told me it wasn't even her fastest. When your T is arboreal, fast and 5" DLS, the width of the walls are only 8", they are barely one step away from leaving should things go a bit wrong.

Down here an ExoTerra is cheaper than an acrylic, more bang for your buck. The advantage of Jamie's design as you know is it can be used for both land and tree Ts w/out modification.

MATERIALS:

1/4" thickness is considered overkill. However if you can afford it, I'd do it if the material is acrylic. It will be rock solid, but mind you, it's not necessary. Acrylic will warp/bow over time so don't go too thin. I know people who own acrylic's from most of the major producers in the USA, and all have reported bowing of the doors.

Another thing to consider and this defeats your one tank fits all approach is staining.

I've heard from a few people, including a plastics maker, that ultimately when you put cocofiber and maybe other materials as well, ultimately the substrate will stain the acrylic. So your clear panel is now brown. If it was me, I would have dedicated terrestrial and arboreal containers. And in the terrestrial setup the floor panel would not be clear acrylic, but a black plastic, perhaps ABS.

I've been thinking about this stuff for years and years. So far there is no one size fits all container in production that doesn't require a modification. The product that requires the least mods is probably the ExoTerra, using an arboreal for a terrestrial is the easiest mod and only one needed.

I think @Red Eunice would have good suggestions for acrylic thickness. He makes his own.
 

elysium

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@viper69

Agreed that going too large wouldn't be a real issue, if apartment space wasn't a concern lol. Currently in my 500 sqft mansion I need to save all the space I can, though not at the expense of my critters so I'll go as large as necessary is my point I guess.

The confirmed females are the smithi, versicolor, purpurea and gbb, the males are the p met and another gbb. I will eventually have to get a female p met however. The balfouri and Amazonica are just slings but I'd eventually want females of those as well and I'd like to think ahead so that when they do need enclosures they would fit right in with the rest of them and not break the pattern.

I too was concerned about the p met and Amazonica which I agree are the two that would make me lean toward the 10x10 vs the 8x8 size. But getting 10x10s made for all of them seems a bit excessive. A very odd dimension it would be, but would 9x9 be a nice compromise for all of them if I really needed to nail down one size fits all? I mean I'm getting them custom made anyway so doesnt really have to be a nice round even number..

The end goal is to somehow mount a rail unto my living room wall where they will be lined up neatly, and then have a long LED bar that spans on top of all of them. The terrestrials would be on a separate level.

The problem with the exo Terra is that the cheapest one I saw here at the expo the 8x8x12 was 50 bucks, with the bigger ones going for around 80+. Then I would need to convert all the screens to drilled acrylic or plexiglass, etc. The one shop which I intend to get these Jamie design custom made ones from quoted something around 60 bucks if I get multiples, using quarter inch thickness. I'd say that's worth it for a good product, even if it's a bit more.

I never knew that staining was actually an issue, but I suppose everything goes through wear and tear. I suppose a black bottom wouldn't be too bad, though then I would lose the flexibility of being able to convert it to an arboreal and vice versa. I can inquire if that would add or take away from the cost but I am inclined to think that for simplicity I would just live with a bit of browning after a few years. The other alternative would be to have some kind of tray or plastic drop sheet at the bottom to hold the substrate.
 

Introvertebrate

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Price wise, 5-10 gallon aquariums are hard to beat. Tip them on their side for arboreals. You'll still need some acrylic to cover the open side.
 
Last edited:

Red Eunice

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Ah!! Another in the search of the Holy Grail of T enclosures. When discovered. Please, please let the community know of their existence.
Joking aside, and the reality is, they don't exist. Some come close but still require slight modifications to be suitable. I agree with @viper69 on the statements he posted above. Pretty much covered everything and even that acrylic will stain when exposed to eco-earth, even soil, over a period of time. Plus 10 years+ down the road, acrylic will discolor, although slightly, to an amber tint. Basically from UV rays, but manufacturer's are getting better at prolonging this effect with new additives.
I can speak only on building arboreal enclosures from acrylic, using Sterilite and Bella containers for most of my terrestrials and OBs.
Personally, I err on the side of larger, arboreals, IMO, are better at hunting prey vs terrestrials. Since you've posted a limited space, I suggest the larger size, eliminate the " jack in the box " effect as much as possible.
As for the thickness, I've used .220", but only on the sides to keep down the weight and for structural strength. They were built for a fellow keeper and I believe for P. ornata/fufilata. For same sized enclosures, arboreal/terrestrial, I would use .180" thickness if using soil as a sub, .160" if using eco-earth. Most of my personal enclosures are of .160" acrylic, (5"X5"X12", 8"X8"X16"), larger are of .180" thickness (10"X10X24", 12"X12"X24").
The thicker the heavier, so whatever a "rail" is, bear in mind the enclosure/s weight it has to support.
Note: these are my suggestions and experiences from building enclosures, others may agree or disagree. Best of luck on your decisions and keep us posted.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
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@elysium I agree with Red. Take all the advice and run with it. On the ExoTerra, all you need is a single piece of acrylic, you don't do anything w/the frame itself> http://arachnoboards.com/threads/ex...rom-arboreal-to-terrestrial-pic-heavy.259864/

Another thing to mention with Avics, they like to put their poop on anything, offing wiping it all over like toothpaste. Now it's water soluble mind you ultimately (warm water more so), it would be easier to clean glass than to clean acrylic, another factor to consider. Acrylic scratches pretty easily.

Alternatively, instead of acrylic, I would go with Lexan (trade name), trade chemical name is polycarbonate. It's much stronger than acrylic.

If familiar with the RC car/truck world, the bodies are made of Lexan. Owning one myself, I can attest to the strength of Lexan. It's incredible.
 

elysium

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@Red Eunice @viper69

So I decided to go with pretty much Jamie's design and size 8x8x14 and 4 enclosures to start. the first four Ts to go in should be fine in there, the Pokie and big avic aren't ready. contacted a local shop that is quoting me the below for the same design.

The acrylic is $42.00 and out of 0.22” if you wish to go with Lexan it is $60.00 per piece and out of 0.25”.

They said 3/16 acrylic would be the same price.

I am thinking I should bite the bullet and get the Lexan as the all around better choice. What are your thoughts on this, is the Lexan a no brainer here?
 

Vanessa

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Thanks for tagging me on this. Keep me posted.
 

Red Eunice

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@Red Eunice @viper69

So I decided to go with pretty much Jamie's design and size 8x8x14 and 4 enclosures to start. the first four Ts to go in should be fine in there, the Pokie and big avic aren't ready. contacted a local shop that is quoting me the below for the same design.

The acrylic is $42.00 and out of 0.22” if you wish to go with Lexan it is $60.00 per piece and out of 0.25”.

They said 3/16 acrylic would be the same price.

I am thinking I should bite the bullet and get the Lexan as the all around better choice. What are your thoughts on this, is the Lexan a no brainer here?
How deep are your pockets?
Lexan is much stronger than standard acrylic, nearly 100X, and weight wise almost the same. At their pricing, very reasonable, and you can afford it, go with the polycarbonate over acrylic, better value and durability.
At .250" thickness, the dimensions, and you're getting 4, I don't see a weight problem using standard shelving.
My only thought is a pokie, full grown may be a bit of a cramped enclosure. Ok, for the P. metallica, but none of the other species. IMO!
Are they drilling the ventilation holes for you? Or installing screen vents?
 

viper69

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@Red Eunice @viper69

So I decided to go with pretty much Jamie's design and size 8x8x14 and 4 enclosures to start. the first four Ts to go in should be fine in there, the Pokie and big avic aren't ready. contacted a local shop that is quoting me the below for the same design.

The acrylic is $42.00 and out of 0.22” if you wish to go with Lexan it is $60.00 per piece and out of 0.25”.

They said 3/16 acrylic would be the same price.

I am thinking I should bite the bullet and get the Lexan as the all around better choice. What are your thoughts on this, is the Lexan a no brainer here?
Like anything else, if you can afford, get the Lexan. I would, it's so much stronger. If you watch some videos on it you'll be impressed w/the abuse it can take. I can take a hammer to my RC Lexan body and it won't have a mark. Do that to acrylic and it's broken.

I wouldn't put a Poki in a container that small, even a Met., but that's up to you. Good luck!
 

Vanessa

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I wouldn't put a Poki in a container that small, even a Met., but that's up to you. Good luck!
What about an avic? In an 8x8x13? An A. avic, my Unknown avic, and an A. versi? That was what I asked this guy to quote on originally - an 8x8x13. @elysium has kinda taken this and run with it... managing to get a lower price than I was quoted in the process. Hahahaha!
 

viper69

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What about an avic? In an 8x8x13? An A. avic, my Unknown avic, and an A. versi? That was what I asked this guy to quote on originally - an 8x8x13. @elysium has kinda taken this and run with it... managing to get a lower price than I was quoted in the process. Hahahaha!
Depends on the Avic. A versi sure, maybe an A avic. too. Elysium is your T manager, how nice!. A metallica can be large 6".

It really depends on how much space you are comfortable in doing husbandy, AND how much you feel your animal deserves etc.
 

Vanessa

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I laugh, but I'm really not that thrilled with him getting a quote that much lower than I did. I don't like people who do business like that. I might consider just going to the next guy up who quoted me and see if I can get him down a bit lower and just pay more to deal with someone who doesn't pull stunts like this guy.
 

elysium

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@Red Eunice @viper69
well luckily I don't intend on getting any other Poec except a female metallica which I guess is okay for space, but perhaps a bit trickier for maintenance. For now my subadult male will go in there until he matures (which should be in a molt or two) and I figure out what to do with him.

I guess it makes sense to be going for the Lexan so I will go with that. I've also watched a bunch of videos of the comparisons and the impact absorption of polycarbonate was pretty impressive. Thanks for the advice folks!

Do you think that since I'm going for lexan I could afford to go thinner than .25? Not sure what the next thickness down would be but what's the lower bound you would suggest not going below?

@VanessaS it is very strange how the price I was quoted was so much lower. Is there a chance they might've quoted you the Lexan price? They pretty much gave me flat price per, no quantity discount. I'm a bit weary myself of the low price but I think I will order one to try, they said 7 to 10 days completion. Once i see how that one turns out I guess I'll other three more.
 

viper69

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I laugh, but I'm really not that thrilled with him getting a quote that much lower than I did. I don't like people who do business like that. I might consider just going to the next guy up who quoted me and see if I can get him down a bit lower and just pay more to deal with someone who doesn't pull stunts like this guy.
I'd certainly ask the original guy and see what you get as answer.
 

viper69

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@Red Eunice @viper69
well luckily I don't intend on getting any other Poec except a female metallica which I guess is okay for space, but perhaps a bit trickier for maintenance. For now my subadult male will go in there until he matures (which should be in a molt or two) and I figure out what to do with him.

I guess it makes sense to be going for the Lexan so I will go with that. I've also watched a bunch of videos of the comparisons and the impact absorption of polycarbonate was pretty impressive. Thanks for the advice folks!

Do you think that since I'm going for lexan I could afford to go thinner than .25? Not sure what the next thickness down would be but what's the lower bound you would suggest not going below?

@VanessaS it is very strange how the price I was quoted was so much lower. Is there a chance they might've quoted you the Lexan price? They pretty much gave me flat price per, no quantity discount. I'm a bit weary myself of the low price but I think I will order one to try, they said 7 to 10 days completion. Once i see how that one turns out I guess I'll other three more.
Red would know better than myself on this one re Lexan.
 

Vanessa

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I'd certainly ask the original guy and see what you get as answer.
That is my plan, but I don't want to mess with the deal that he is giving @elysium. Once he gets his stuff, I might go back to him and ask for a quote update and see what he says. Maybe I am being a bit unfair because he might come back with a lower quote.
 

elysium

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That is my plan, but I don't want to mess with the deal that he is giving @elysium. Once he gets his stuff, I might go back to him and ask for a quote update and see what he says. Maybe I am being a bit unfair because he might come back with a lower quote.
That is very nice of you and I appreciate that. :)

I will keep you posted on the process and at the least you'll know what you will be dealing with..
 

viper69

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That is my plan, but I don't want to mess with the deal that he is giving @elysium. Once he gets his stuff, I might go back to him and ask for a quote update and see what he says. Maybe I am being a bit unfair because he might come back with a lower quote.
Yeah you could call up and Ely's price gets jacked up higher haha most likely. Keep us posted when it's your turn!
 
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