260gallon 3x3x4 custom “Tree canopy” enclosure - Dendroboard
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Old 07-05-2019, 05:44 AM
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Default 260gallon 3x3x4 custom “Tree canopy” enclosure

Hola frog fam,

Apologies as this isn’t necessarily dart frog related, but at least it’s viv related haha. It is a setup soon to house an Emerald Tree Boa. I posted a little teasing pic in my other custom enclosure post.

Below is an enclosure I designed, along with the “insert” and “background” that will go inside of it. I wanted to do something different from your traditional style vivarium; basically, I didn’t want to house an ETB in a dart frog style vivarium. Because of the placement and viewing level of this vivarium, I wanted a true feeling of looking into a slice of rainforest canopy. I’ve already gotten a few messages, so maybe I’ll try to do a better job of documenting with photos of the whole process for those interested. I’ve been experimenting with sculpting epoxy as of late; I only used a tad during this project to seal the fake leaves to the branches of the tree. Next project is a “mudbank” style enclosure for turtles 5x2x3’!
Here’s the enclosure still wrapped and placed on a deck, which will soon be covered after some more work. I’ve been experimenting with some irregular enclosure shapes, and since this sits right across the hemisphere dartfrog enclosure, I came up with this style for the verticality. We’ve been tossing the term “chimney-style” around to describe it. The base of this enclosure is just below eye level, and being this animal will be high in the enclosure, you almost have to look “up into the canopy” to see the snake. You can see stairs that descend just behind it — the enclosure will be viewable on 3 sides and blacked out in the back.

This is the beginning of trying to create the tree. Let it be known that this entire “tree” measures 46” tall and 31” across. Our horticulturist trimmed down a Bougainvillea almost a year ago and I saved the stumps knowing I would use them eventually for a project. Well, this was it. This is the Bougainvillea stump with a few pieces of wood both screwed and ziptied for support. I got the idea for this from a few Manzanita perches I had seen for parrots. Similar idea, different approach.


Adding more wood and initially playing around with fake plants. I’ve always hated the idea of fake plants, however, being that this is an exhibit and for the welfare of the animal, the less often we can poke around and disturb him, the better. I remember thinking here, “....meh”


“Ok... not too too bad... I guess...”


Ok, before this is where I did extremely poor in taking photos. I added more fake plants and placed them in spots that would still leave areas for the boa to perch out in the wide open. They are also ziptied just like the wood pieces. I used the expoxy, covered in a dirt “smear,” to make the ties unrecognizable. I can get close ups next time I’m near it. Basically I laid the expoxy over the tie, smoothed it out, then took damp dirt and “smeared” it to stain the color to my liking; the epoxy dries up just fine. Yes, that is my arm at the top for scale o_o


Trying to get an idea of where I would want to put some vines. Nothing extravagant done to make these vines. I think it’s important to always
make vines of varying diameters. It makes for a more natural appearance.


Here is the progress before planting more smaller epiphytes — about 40hrs total so far. It has a nice huge of green, which will sit in nice contrast to the background of the enclosure. The only live plants are the 4 Vriesa sp. you see. The moss is fake for now until I can get a hold of some good stuff.


And here is the progress of the background. I will start adding more greenery soon. It measures the entire back and hypothetically will just need to be glued on. It’s coming along very well.
2 weeks ago:


Today:
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Old 07-05-2019, 08:13 PM
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Default Re: 260gallon 3x3x4 custom “Tree canopy” enclosure

This is very attractive! Clearly you put thought into making an enclosure specifically for the animal in question.

ETBs are a pet I had considered having a few years ago. They are very beautiful, and they can live in a more height-oriented enclosure, which is the kind I prefer to make. I was deterred from doing so by discovering how damaging their bites were, how temperamental some of them could be, and how expensive the gorgeous "Amazon Basin" captive-bred ETBs were (often ~$5,000, apparently). I was not at the level of expertise necessary to care for such an animal.

When he's ready to go in, I'd love to see photographs of him.
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