This is my setup for my female Sorong Green Tree Python. This setup was built by a friend of mine, Byron Zimmerman, who has had many years experience building custom cages for reptile keepers.
This cage design was based on Greg Maxwell’s cage design that he describes in his popular book The Complete Chondro. I thought if any cage is going to be ideal for my chondro, it has the be one that has been tried and tested over many years with successful results time and again!
This cage is 90cm long, 60cm high and 60cm deep. It is made out of laminated chip board that has a peel-and-apply green waterproofing contact paper on the inside. This has proven to be ideal as daily spraying is needed for my chondro because they require high humidity levels. Ideally once you have finished your daily spraying the humidity in the enclosure will increase to 100% and then decrease over the next 24 hours until you spray again. If no effort is made to waterproof the interior of a cage that has to withstand these high humidity levels then over time swelling and rotting will occur.
In the enclosure I have placed natural branches horizontally across the cage. The branches were taken from a dead tree in my garden. Care must be taken to make sure that the branches you use do not contain any harmful toxins to your snake. I find these branches are very attractive and the bark has a fairly rough surface which can assist my snake when it comes time to shed. I have also used plastic plants in order to give the enclosure a more natural look. Because chondros are secretive snakes and are primarily so during the day, the plants give my female some security as she can hide under them during the day when the light is on.
Adequate ventilation is an important part of the enclosure as insufficient ventilation will result in stale, stagnant air which can induce the growth of mould and mildew. This is dangerous because mould and mildew can cause your chondro to develop a respiratory infection. For ventilation I have four ventilation holes with a 6cm diameter that have plastic ventilation disks in them. I find that this seems to work well and provides adequate ventilation.
The heating pad has been placed at the top right hand side of the enclosure near to the top branch. I place the probe of my compu-thermo on this top branch under the heating pad and maintain a temperature of 29 degrees Celsius. The horizontal branches and the rectangular shape of the cage allows for a heat gradient on the top branch where my condro always perches.
The light that I use allows me to view my chondro in all her glory during the day. These snakes are, however, nocturnal so I make sure that the light is on a timer that is on a 12 hour on/off cycle. The light that I use is a full spectrum white light fish tank light. I find this light seems to bring out her colours.
For substrate I have chosen to use eucalyptus mulch which can be purchased at most nurseries. This substrate looks attractive and natural in a display enclosure while at the same time holding moisture very well which increases the humidity in the cage.
For water I use a large plastic water bowl, which gets disinfected every couple of weeks in a dilute bleach solution. Make sure that this is done especially if your snake decides to defecate in the water.
Overall this setup is not only very attractive but is also an ideal environment for my chondro and over the last 4 years she has done extremely well in this enclosure!
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