I'm designing the skinks' new cages and am thinking about acrylic. Any thoughts on this as a cage material? My understanding is that it has the benefits of being lighter and less fragile than glass, and doesn't scratch like plexiglass. Any drawbacks (other than expense) that I'm missing?
I'm thinking of a cage roughly 4 feet tall, 3 feet wide and 2.5 feet deep. Hinged doors on the front and a screen top.
Opinions and recommendations are invited.
-M
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I'm designing the skinks' new cages and am thinking about acrylic. Any thoughts on this as a cage material? My ... wide and 2.5 feet deep. Hinged doors on the front and a screen top. Opinions and recommendations are invited. -M

Acrylic does get scratches. I don't think your skinks will make marks easily, though. And you can get kits from the manufacturers to buff the scratches out.
It *is* incredibly lighter. My 110 gal acrylic could probably be toted around by a couple of kids, while my 90 gal glass is tough for two adults to carry. Acrylic is also much harder to break, and I believe the seams cannot degrade like the silicone ones in glass. It can withstand a blow that would shatter glass. It can also be formed into cool shapes like cylinders and have preformed shelves and such put in, if you are going through a custom dealer.
However, it is more expensive than glass. My custom 10 gallon that I bought back in the mid-90s cost me $120. But maybe prices have come down. shrug If you're buying it from an aquarium manufacturer, make sure the opening in the top is big enough for your needs.

Jennifer
I've used Lexan, which is similar but more scratch resistant that acrylic and it won't warp. It's also somewhat heavier. The catch basin at the bottom of my mangrove snake enclosure is made of lexan. I've also been fond of using lexan as covers on my aquarium tanks.

I know you're concerned with humidity and ventilation. If you construct the cage as specified with only a screen top, would that degrade your ventilation? Seems like you're constructing basically a large aquarium with a screen top.
Anyway, I prefer Lexan. The cage is going to be expensive (but then, you knew that). You'll need 2pcs 4x2.5 (sides) 2pcs 4x3 (front & back), 2pcs 3x2.5 (top & bottom). Sheets usually come 4x8, 5x8 or 6x8 sizes. There's gonna be waste depending on sheet sizes and how you figure your cuts.

I'd have the shop cut it to spec for you. I'd use 3/8in width for strength and you'll want to screw it together and use clear silicone on the screw threads. Make sure you have a high-speed (rent a Makita or Milwaukee) drill and make sure the bits are new and sharp. This stuff cracks easily with dull tools.
Also, corner reinforcements would be a good idea. I do believe they sell them in lexan and I know for a fact that you can buy lexan hinges for the doors in front. Anything else occurs to me, I'll post it.

Cheers,
Kurt
I'm designing the skinks' new cages and am thinking about acrylic. Any thoughts on this as a cage material? My ... wide and 2.5 feet deep. Hinged doors on the front and a screen top. Opinions and recommendations are invited. -M

Just in caseyou don't already have a company to purchase items from.. http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/default.asp?cookie_test=1

Look under "Sheets/Rods/Shapes" for acrylic supplies. They have buffing compounds for scratches, acrylic hinges, knobs and such.
I've used Lexan, which is similar but more scratch resistant that acrylic and it won't warp. It's also somewhat heavier. ... mangrove snake enclosure is made of lexan. I've also been fond of using lexan as covers on my aquarium tanks.

I thought you had them in converted shower inserts. Do I remember wrong, or did you change it?
I'd have the shop cut it to spec for you. I'd use 3/8in width for

I think I'm gonna wuss out and have it made. I considered doing it myself, but it's already gonna be fairly pricey and if I* screw it up, I will have just thrown the money away. If *they screw it up I can make them fix it.
The tough part will be convincing Richter to let someone else do it.

Oh, and I didn't mention, but I'll also probably have side vents that will be adjustable. If that's not enough I'll rig a computer fan to the top.
-M
Just in caseyou don't already have a company to purchase items from.. http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/default.asp?cookie_test=1

Cool site, thanks!
-M
Acrylic does get scratches. I don't think your skinks will make marks easily, though. And you can get kits from the manufacturers to buff the scratches out.

They do have pretty sharp claws and they will scratch the walls repeatedly. What do you have in your acrylic, and if they have claws how's it working?
withstand a blow that would shatter glass. It can also be formed into cool shapes like cylinders and have preformed shelves and such put in, if you are going through a custom dealer.

OOh. I hadn't even thought about fun shapes. Round might look nice...
-M
For those who are interested in such things, I've
been looking at bunches of custom cage designers
here:
http://www.corallus.com/supplies/enclosures.html
I'll probably go with Maryland Custom Caging, because they're close and I like their basic design.
J Worlds has some incredible looking cages (aside
from the really cheesy decorations), but they're
charging a couple thousand for a good sized cage.
I'm willing to spend on this project, but not
quite that much!
-M
adults to carry. Acrylic is also much harder to break, and I believe the seams cannot degrade like the silicone ones in glass.

What is used to join acrylic?

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