4. Tubs and Racks
Tubs are a very popular enclosure for chondros of all sizes. Some of the more popular brands of plastic tubs include, Sterilite, Rubbermaid, Itso cube, Isis, and Roughneck. They are cheap, easily modified, and come in many different sizes and colors. A significant problem with tubs is that manufacturers often change their design/specifications, sometimes annually. This makes it challenging to have a consistent rack style and can make finding replacement tubs almost impossible. So you should purchase ample tubs if/when you purchase a rack that only accommodates a specific tub model.
Another option is to use polycarbonate tubs such as Cambro or Carlisle. These are food-safe containers used by the restaurant industry, and dimensions are rarely changed. They are easy to clean, have excellent visibility, are available in many different sizes, and they are modular (two smaller tubs will fit in the same space as one larger one). The main drawback with polycarbonate tubs is their cost. Cambro can be quite expensive, while Carlisle is typically about half the cost. While they aren’t as heavy-duty as Cambro, they are a good alternative.
While tubs are usually used in rack systems, an individual tub can be used to house a single animal. The easiest way to set up a single tub for top heat is to drill several small holes in one side of the lid where you will place a heat element, such as a ceramic bulb. Alternatively, an under tank heater could be placed underneath one side of a tub for belly heat. In either case, a thermostat probe should be placed at perch level in the location of the hot/basking spot. More information will be covered on heating later.
Racks are typically used for housing multiple neonates and sub adults. They can be purchased, or built at home. A rack is basically a shelf system with an enclosed back that holds plastic tubs. They are constructed so that the floor of one shelf serves as the ceiling for the tubs in the shelf below it. Therefore tubs in a rack do not require lids, and animals are accessed by simply sliding a tub forward. Racks usually incorporate back heat or belly heat using heat tape. With back heat, the heat tape is secured to the entire (interior) back wall of the rack. With belly heat, heat tape is secured at the rear of each shelf in the rack. While racks are mostly used for housing neos to sub adults, they can be built to accommodate larger tubs for adults. Again, racks are ideal for keeping multiple snakes and are great space savers.