Caging for green tree pythons (chondros) can be expensive. They require some specialized elements that aren’t found in mass manufactured caging products.
- Worst – glass or screen. These two materials are used in lots of mass produced animal caging, and therefore the least expensive. However they are also very poor at maintaining heat and humidity. They are not wise choices for housing chondros.
- Good – wood, MDF, or melamine. These materials have much better insulation properties than glass does, and can be made waterproof enough to maintain good levels of humidity without absorbing the moisture and rotting.
- Best – plastics. Nothing beats the insulation properties, and all plastics are impervious to moisture. This makes plastic the hands down best material to use for green tree python caging. However, it is the most expensive. Commercially made cages can run several hundred dollars, and generally are expensive to ship due to their size.
Recommendation: home made caging using a combination of materials from 2 or 3.
Since chondros are arboreal, they spend most of their time perched on branches. And since most of the reptile heating products are made for terrestrial animals, they won’t work for chondros.
- Good – heat lamps. Both infrared and ceramic types are OK here, and fairly inexpensive costing $30 or less per cage. Several chondro keepers have used either of these products successfully for many years. I find them too bulky and tough to deal with because of the shrouds required to use with them.
- Best – radiant heat panels. RHPs are more expensive, at around $70-$90 per cage, but they are much better for space concerns, and safer for the animals. Plus their life span is over 10 years. One of the more popular sources for RHPs is ProProducts.
Home Made Caging
I got an idea from using plastic tubs for hatchlings and yearlings to adapt larger plastic tubs into attractive display caging for adults. This is what I came up with.
This is a 45 gallon storage tub made by Sterilite. I purchased them from Target at $15 each. I then make a wooden frame ($10 in wood) for the front to house the sliding glass doors. The wooden frame is attached to the top of the tub, and the tub is turned on its side. I then cut a square opening in the bottom (back) of the tub for the vent. I purchased plastic floor heating register vents from Home Depot at $5 each. The RHP ($80 from ProProducts) is installed in the upper right corner and the light fixture ($10) is installed along the front just behind the wooden frame. The glass panes are 1/4″, and two of them with polished edges cost $30 from the local glass shop. This brings the cage to roughly $150 in materials, plus my labor.
These cages have been ideal for keeping and breeding chondros. They are lightweight, highly functional in both heat/humidity and spacial needs, and they are easy to construct when more are needed. In fact, transporting or storing them can be very easy by removing the wooden frames from the tubs and stacking the tubs inside one another.
Here are some other pictures of the same cages showing various angles and how they were put together. The last picture is from Buddy Buscemi who opted for an acrylic front instead of the wood/glass combination.