An acrylic terrarium is a perfect place for your reptile to live and breathe. There are many types of plexiglass terrariums available out there. However, they can be quite expensive.
Unlike common pets, reptiles need some special care. So, you need a durable reptile closure for your fancy reptile pet. You’d be surprised to know that you can build a DIY reptile enclosure at home.
This brief guide highlights all aspects of building a DIY reptile enclosure at home. So, let us get into it!
Is plexiglass good for reptile enclosure?
Yes, plexiglass is a good material option for reptile enclosures. It is more durable than standard glass. Plus, it doesn’t break like a typical glass panel. Therefore, plexiglass is a relatively safer option here.
How thick should plexiglass be for a terrarium?
The right thickness level of plexiglass depends on the dimensions of your reptile enclosure. Plus, for every reptile, the thickness would also vary. On average, 1/4 inch is considered the safe thickness level. Some homeowners also opt for ⅛ inches thick Plexi glass. Therefore, depending on your personal preferences and the cage’s dimensions, you can choose between these two thicknesses levels.
How to Build a Reptile Terrarium?
Now, let us explore what it takes to build a reptile terrarium. Here is all you need to know in this regard:
Materials You Will Need
Let us first explore the materials you will need for this project. Here is a list of these materials.
- Acrylic Sheets
- A Saw
- A Drill
- Wooden Frame
- Hinges (If needed)
Steps to Build a DIY Reptile Enclosure
Now, let’s go through the steps it takes to build a DIY reptile enclosure.
Step 1: Choose the Right Dimensions
First, you have to choose the right dimensions for your reptile enclosure. There isn’t one fix size for all reptiles. For example, a chameleon requires a wider space to breathe instead of a taller one. Anyhow, here are some common dimensions mentioned for your ease.
|Reptile||Minimum Dimension Requirements|
|Bearded Dragon||25″ x 25″x 25″ inches|
|Chameleon||4′ x 4′ x 4′ feet|
|Leopard Gecko||18″ x 12″ x 12″|
|Corn Snake||12″ x 24″x 12″ Inches|
|Ball Python||4′ x 2′x 2′ feet|
Step 2: Build a Wooden frame
Next, you have to build a wooden frame that follows your chosen dimensions. As we mentioned earlier, you can also choose a readymade frame and install plexiglass in it.
That’s a relatively easier process to follow. In case you want to build from the start, you will have to make a frame from scratch.
So, cut the wooden sheets and join them all with each other. Use hinges and screws to join them with each other. You should leave some open space within the frame for maximum ventilation.
Note: For maximum air passage, you should leave a hole or two in the enclosure’s frame.
Step 3: Time to Order Plexiglass
Once the frame is all done, you have to choose Plexiglass. Here, it is best to order custom-cut acrylic sheets that perfectly fit with your reptile enclosure’s frame.
If you have the experience and access to the right tools, you may also cut the plexiglass panels according to your chosen dimensions.
Glass Genius is the best online glass marketplace for buying acrylic glass sheets. You can buy all types of acrylic panels at the best prices.
Step 4: Glue the Plexiglass
Use quality adhesive to join the acrylic sheets with the enclosure’s frame. First, use epoxy (Ideal for joining two acrylic sheets together) so that the Plexiglass grips the wooden frame. Hold it with your hand until it fully grips. Next, apply the adhesive and let it dry for some time.
Step 5: Make the Door
Next, build a door for your pet enclosure. If you have bought the readymade frame, you can skip this step.
If not, cut the wooden sheet according to the door opening of the enclosure. Place the acrylic glass sheet in the center of the door’s frame (if you wish to add it). Repeat step number four to glue the plexiglass with the door’s frame. Now, use hinges and screws to attach it with the frame. Ensure that it fits properly.
Step 6: Attach the Top with the frame
Now simply attach the mesh top with a frame. You can use a staple gun to staple it with the frame so that it sticks there. Ensure that the mesh top fits properly.
Step 7: Ensure that it’s all good
Congrats! Your DIY reptile enclosure is ready. Before you let your pet test it out, you should inspect the cage properly. Look for any uneven surfaces or cuts around the frame. Also, ensure that the plexiglass is nice and tight. There shouldn’t be any loose corners.
So, that’s how you can build a DIY reptile at home. The whole process is quite simple and easier to follow. Here, you should not compromise on the quality of materials. Go with a solid wooden frame. Also, ensure that you buy quality plexiglass panels. For the best quality and peace of mind, Glass Genius is the right marketplace. You can order ready-made and custom-cut acrylic panels in any dimension.