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Old 09-26-2019, 10:24 AM   #1
Dalis_mum
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Default Exo-Terra tall and wide terrarium/vivarium

Settle in for a long one. I'm answering every question I've every been asked about this habitat, and some no one seemed to think of. Lol.

I have been using this habitat for about 5 years and have no real complaints. I switched to it whilst playing guardian to a prolific bar chewer and determined repeated escape artist. It proved the only environment in which I could keep her safe from herself and the outside world.

The dimensions are 90cm long, 45cm deep and 45cm high. So whilst there are larger cages on the market now I still prefer the exo terra for the extensive other benefits.

Stylistically the tank is very sleek and looks good in my home. A neat black trim and wipe clean glass, I bought it second hand half a decade ago and it still looks like new, and I've moved house with it twice.

The glass is not as thick as a standard aquarium as it doesn't need to contend with the outward pressure of holding water. This means that whilst it's bulky and still preferable to use two people to carry it, I can shuffle it short distances by myself as it's less weighty (without any furbeans in of course).

The plastic has proved chew proof. The first hamster and subsequent gerbil were super chewers, the plastic trim however has not shown any signs of damage from them.

The mesh lid allows a good level of ventilation but is also too fine to be chewable. It's also Strong enough to tolerate a few hanging toys. I loop garden wire through the mesh to provide places to attach things that require a more open space with which to clip on.

The lip at the front is approximately 5inches, good for providing substrate for a moderate digger. If you have a deep digger I have previously used a 22L Samla bin from ikea with ventilation holes drilled in and a long bendy bridge (this was Dotty the gerbils favourite). Eddie won't dig, not even for food or treats so I keep a lighter substrate layer and extra toys.

The front opening doors make the entire cage accessible. This makes cleaning, handling and taming ridiculously easy. I have a shelf set up at the front for Eddie and he comes to the front willingly for cuddles and strokes. He also sits there to watch TV with me.

Whilst shelves cant really be attached to the walls, they are so easy to make. I have in the past used dowel as supports. At present my shelf is a plank of wood supported by large bendy bridges. Easy peasy to remove and clean or change position.

Eddie's current set up is low level as he's started showing signs of aging but I've managed to fit lots of toys in in the past as well as a 12inch wheel, large (chinchilla) bed/house, large ceramic toilet/salt celler, food bowl, water bottle, large tubes boredom breakers.

Non-barred cages often pose questions about water bottles. I've used metal ladders, velcro and hanging wires over the years, dependant on the animal and their needs.

I use a thermohygrometer with all my animals except my mice (the mice keep chewing off the probes, idiots) and only in June's heat wave have I had issues with cooling, though this was the same for everyone this June. There is space underneath the tank for a heat mat, and the glass construction means it won't compromise the base, perfect for the winter when you don't want to keep the central heating going whilst at work. I use a 40cm mat and a thermostat. This prevents overheating and I only heat half the cage so there is escape from it should they want to.

Since I switched to the Exo-Terra, I've not observed any stereotypic behaviour. And a final plus, the front doors lock, so if you have little hands in the house, your little friend can be completely safe

The only cons I have found for the exo terra price and a desire for the XXL version.

Second hand five years ago, I paid 100, but as previously stated, it lasts and if anything, I think I could sell it for more now as it's still in great condition and their price has jumped. If I was making the investment again I would go for the 90cm tall (XXL) version and make a full sized shelf to be a double layer cage. I'm a true convert to the exo terra. Never looking back.

Anything unanswered?
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Old 09-26-2019, 10:27 AM   #2
Dalis_mum
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Default Re: Exo-Terra tall and wide terrarium/vivarium

The photo didn't post, fingers crossed for this time
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Old 09-26-2019, 12:06 PM   #3
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Exo-Terra tall and wide terrarium/vivarium

Thank you Dali’s Mum. Great review and it sounds amazing. Makes me really want one! I used to think they were expensive at 155 but jumped to over 200 now! Huge price jump. Some kind of import tax or exchange rate change I guess as they are US made I think. Good to know used ones last well.
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Old 09-26-2019, 12:18 PM   #4
Dalis_mum
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Default Re: Exo-Terra tall and wide terrarium/vivarium

When buying used ones ALWAYS check the lid. Reptile owners open just sit a heat lamp on the mesh, this sometimes causes warping in the plastic which a determined hamster might be able to use as an escape. Also, check the mesh for rust. I don't know what some reptile owners are doing but they're often rusty on top.
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Old 09-26-2019, 04:54 PM   #5
Ria P
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Default Re: Exo-Terra tall and wide terrarium/vivarium

Thank you for this very informative post.

Ever since you've mentioned them i've been looking for them on Gumtree etc

Love Eddie's set up and the thought of Eddie sitting on his shelf watching TV made me laugh!
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Old 09-26-2019, 05:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: Exo-Terra tall and wide terrarium/vivarium

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalis_mum View Post
I don't know what some reptile owners are doing but they're often rusty on top.
I'd imagine it's something to do with the humidity level some reptiles require. Perhaps a combination of heat causing a coating to degrade when it's kept on top directly if there is some sort of coating on the mesh, which in theory would allow rust.
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Old 09-26-2019, 10:01 PM   #7
Dalis_mum
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Default Re: Exo-Terra tall and wide terrarium/vivarium

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ria P View Post

Love Eddie's set up and the thought of Eddie sitting on his shelf watching TV made me laugh!
It's only in the past few months he has done this. As he's become less physically active. I took down one of the screens/backgrounds on the tank thinking 'if I can't keep him physically stimulated, he might like some visual stimulation'. Turns out he loves it.

Amity, I think it's something they clean with. I've kept snails in exo terras and never had rusting. Of course snails can't have cleaning fluid used in their enclosures. It's the only anomaly I could think of. I've just not tested it as a theory.
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Old 10-01-2019, 10:06 PM   #8
Dalis_mum
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Default Re: Exo-Terra tall and wide terrarium/vivarium

I was flicking through some photos looking for something else and found a photo of Edison's set up when he was younger. He loved the hanging obstacle course. Unfortunately he isn't agile enough these days. Just thought I would share to show what's possible.
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