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Most affordable place to buy decor (wood, backgrounds, etc.)

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  • Most affordable place to buy decor (wood, backgrounds, etc.)

    Title pretty much says it all.

    Where would you guys recommend I pick up some affordable large pieces of ghostwood, quality driftwood, backgrounds, and just all-around decor for a big cage?

  • #2
    Re: Most affordable place to buy decor (wood, backgrounds, etc.)

    Hard to say what's in your area (from 'here')....or how far you want to go?

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    • #3
      Re: Most affordable place to buy decor (wood, backgrounds, etc.)

      If you are able to treat wood yourself, it would be best to grab fresh branches from your local wilderness and bath them in bleach for 4-7 days and then bake them in the oven for 12 hours or set them in the sun for a couple weeks. I cannot treat my own wood so I buy them from local reptile expos or reptile stores. Make sure to file off all sharp points. If it is sharp to you it will cut the skin of the snake. You can usually print out backgrounds for glass tanks pretty cheap. If you have an opaque cage then you would have to get a little more creative. You can make good looking backgrounds by shaping foam, adding a few coats of a foam cement, paint, and sealing it. If you want it to be able to support an adult animal they will have to be strong which means heavy. Newspaper stuffed chicken wire covered in cement, paint, and sealing it can make some really good looking fake rocks and branches but they will be very heavy. For climbing branches, a real branch is prefered as it is both lightweight and strong.

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      • #4
        Re: Most affordable place to buy decor (wood, backgrounds, etc.)

        Originally posted by acephantom903 View Post
        If you are able to treat wood yourself, it would be best to grab fresh branches from your local wilderness and bath them in bleach for 4-7 days and then bake them in the oven for 12 hours or set them in the sun for a couple weeks. I cannot treat my own wood so I buy them from local reptile expos or reptile stores. Make sure to file off all sharp points. If it is sharp to you it will cut the skin of the snake. You can usually print out backgrounds for glass tanks pretty cheap. If you have an opaque cage then you would have to get a little more creative. You can make good looking backgrounds by shaping foam, adding a few coats of a foam cement, paint, and sealing it. If you want it to be able to support an adult animal they will have to be strong which means heavy. Newspaper stuffed chicken wire covered in cement, paint, and sealing it can make some really good looking fake rocks and branches but they will be very heavy. For climbing branches, a real branch is prefered as it is both lightweight and strong.
        Thanks for the tips. I was thinking about making something custom for the background long-term but wanted to buy some sort of printed background and then have it laminated for temporary until I have time to build the background.

        There isn't much good wood here locally I'm afraid. So I'm more looking to buy from an online retailer. Nothing interesting ever happens near me... I live in a remote isolated (crap) area.

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        • #5
          Re: Most affordable place to buy decor (wood, backgrounds, etc.)

          There are many places to buy wood branchs online but they aren't the cheapest things.
          NEHERP - Wood Decor For Vivariums & Terrariums (Main)
          • Ghostwood Logs - Ghostwood Sticks - Sandblasted Ghost wood
          Coastal Driftwood
          Large Driftwood: Decorations | eBay

          Worst case scenario you can make your own with cement but it will be heavy. Or you could buy wooden dowels which just don't look natural. Just make sure it is a safe wood. All I know is that Pine and Cedar are not safe woods.

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          • #6
            Re: Most affordable place to buy decor (wood, backgrounds, etc.)

            Right, you don't want to use branches from trees that have irritating aromatic oils (like pine & cedar), also don't use much bleach to clean them. If it's not well-diluted, it will never leave the
            treated branches & is more harmful than if they were breathing pine or cedar. Wood is porous & bleach lingers long...personally, I never use bleach (diluted or otherwise) on branches...only F10
            or chlorhexidine, neither of which leave harmful odors.

            I found one of my nicest branches when kayaking a local river...it was drifting, and after cleaning & baking it in the sun, I trimmed it to fit one of my large male rat snake's cage. It has a nicely-
            curving shape that he lounges on....it looks totally awesome. But other, straighter tree branches work too. I have huge trees as well as small "volunteers" that often need trimmed or removed.

            If you're looking for background scenery for a glass tank, you might ask local artists (like in high school) if they'd like to paint something for you...it would be unique, you could give them a rough
            idea what you want & the size, & they'd get the practice as well as whatever price you agree on. Might be a win-win? (& who knows, maybe someday they'll be famous?)

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            • #7
              Re: Most affordable place to buy decor (wood, backgrounds, etc.)

              Originally posted by Noelle7206 View Post
              only F10
              or chlorhexidine, neither of which leave harmful odors.
              I didn't realise F10 could work.

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              • #8
                Re: Most affordable place to buy decor (wood, backgrounds, etc.)

                I really like the YouTube projects from lizard landscapes. I would like to build a fake rock wall using his methods, a natural style big water / soaking dish with like a cave-like look so that she feels safe while soaking, but is still easy to clean. Some rock hides, and other play things. I'd also like to make some branches as well using the same methods.

                He basically just glues together Styrofoam, puts a good layer of grout on, paints, and seals. My question though is whether or not she'd break these structures as she gets bigger... Not sure Styrofoam is going to be too weak. For the hides though it should provide good insulation and keep in the warmth well.

                I also have plans to get a PVC tube, have it cut in half, use hinges/simple lock so that I can get her out of the tube when I need to. I'm going to adhere rocks to the inside and outside to give her grip and a more natural feel. What do you guys think of this idea? I think it would be an easy cheap project. Considering trying to sell them as well for cheap if it works out well.

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                • #9
                  Re: Most affordable place to buy decor (wood, backgrounds, etc.)

                  Originally posted by TribalMethods View Post
                  My question though is whether or not she'd break these structures as she gets bigger... Not sure Styrofoam is going to be too weak. For the hides though it should provide good insulation and keep in the warmth well.
                  I like his art work as well. His method is fine for animals less than 5 pounds. Heavier than 5 pounds and it is just too weak. Zoos make fake rock out of waded up newspaper wrapped in chicken wire and coated in cement. This works for animals up to a hundred pounds and then you want to look into real rock. You cannot make it look as stylish as the foam method but it is stronger and heavier. It is the same method with the foam method with stronger materials.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Most affordable place to buy decor (wood, backgrounds, etc.)

                    I'm in the same boat as you... My husband gave me a 3'x18"x3' glass exoterra terrarium for Christmas and I'm going to do a bioactive viv in it for my whites tree frog colony. I ended up purchasing cork bark flats in bulk from NEHERP and Pangea (20lbs so far) and black aquarium silicon and the NEHERP background texture mix. I will silicone the cork to the back of the tank, then put silicon in the small gaps and press the fibers (texture mix) into it. I *may* have to use some great stuff foam if some of the pieces rise off the background (don't want anything climbing behind the cork). I had planed to also silicon branches from the sides, but we will have to see how that goes.

                    I've ordered ghostwood branches from NEHERP in the past and they are not cheap... I am going to a local show this weekend in hopes of finding more cork bark and large branches at a good price.

                    You can also buy "cork bark tiles" that are standard sizes for the Exoterras... You might be able to use those and silicon them down to the background of your cage / tank. If you are doing a pvc cage, you may be able to secure with screws as well through the back of the cage.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Most affordable place to buy decor (wood, backgrounds, etc.)

                      You might try Black Jungle terrarium supplies or LLLReptile.
                      Also some craft stores or parrot supply stores sell nice grapevine and other woods.

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