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New Garter Snake Vision Cage!

By Snake Discovery on

Emily: Hey everybody. Today we have an exciting project to put together. We were approached by Custom Cages, which is, ironically, the same company that owns own Serenity, which was an aquarium cleaning business that I worked for a long time ago. As of recent, they also own Vision Cages, which is a wonderful line of cages for reptiles that Ed and I have always wanted to try, but we never had the opportunity to. Ted and Mark with Vision or with Custom Cages, approached us and asked if we would be interested in trying out one of their cages.

The only problem is that I must have misread the dimensions and this enclosure was supposed to be for one of our great tree pythons, because they're great at holding in humidity. It's a lot bigger than I was expecting it to be. I'm going to open it up and I think I have a backup plan on how we're going to utilize this cage. First, we have to see what it looks like.


Emily: All right, let's see what this guy looks like. One thing that I like about Vision Cages, even though I've never tried one before, is that they're all one piece, so there's no assembly required. This is so exciting. Our first vision cage. You're ready for this moment? I could have cut right in there. Look at that. Okay, so it looks like we have our glass panels on this side, which I might pull out just to set aside. Then the cage itself it's right here. That looks really cool. Wow, it's surprisingly light.

Ed: Do you need a knife?

Emily: I think I will need a knife for this one. It's like metal.

Ed: You'll need tin snips then.

Emily: Tin snips? I've never heard of that before.

Ed: Or wire cutters.

Emily: I do know this. Okay, I'll go get that.

Ed: Go grab those.

Emily: I can't.

Ed: You need help?

Emily: Yes, we'll trade. I'll hold the camera. You get it, Ed. Squeeze. It's really easy, isn't it? I don't know how to cut these. Thanks to editing, that's now off. Nice.

Ed: Shiny.

Emily: So, even like that. That's easy. That's really slick. Okay, nice. I really like that.

Ed: You see what's taped in there, don't you?

Emily: Yes, there were handles. Nerve-wracking. I can only do this once. Better be straight.

Ed: It's going to be straight enough.

Emily: Yes, that's true.

Ed: This isn't building channel.

Emily: I'm not going to pull out a level for this.

Ed: [laughs] That's good.

Emily: Nice. That's really easy to put together.

Ed: The one on the right is a little lower, but that's all right.

Emily: It's close enough.Okay, so the one thing that concerned us with this enclosure and the species we're keeping in it, which are garter snakes, were there were a couple of gaps which for many species of snakes out there, it's not going to cause an issue at all. Since will have garter snakes in here that will probably someday give birth in here, baby garters are teeny tiny little things and they would be able to squeeze through the little gap and in between the glass panes here. As well as we saw a little bit of a gap down at the bottom here and up near the top where this glass slides into around the frame.

What we did was we took some weatherstripping, and we attached it to the side frame to block this gap. Now the glass slides perfectly in front of it and creates almost a seal there. Then we also added the weatherstripping in between the glass panels to block that gap. I think that's the only concern we have with us enclosure. The last thing we have to do is since we put a little bit of sealant here, we're going to cover that in some shiny metallic black paint so it matches the rest of the trim.

We did not add the weatherstripping on this side because this glass panel is on the inside tracks, what actually is already flush with the frame and there is no gap there. This is really only an issue with garter snakes or water snakes, because they give live birth to very small neonates. Any other species of snake that you're going to keep in this enclosure, even adult water snakes and garter snakes, there's no risk of them escaping from what we can tell.


Emily: One thing I really liked about this is how light it is. It took two of us to take down that 40-gallon terrarium, and either Ed or myself alone can lift this up to our shoulder height.

Ed: It's just because I'm that strong.

Emily: The next thing I really like about this is there's still a grate on top so I can still hang my cool log that they love. The question is, is our magnetic ledge going to work or will the plastic be too thick for the magnets to attract one another. Let's see. It works.

Ed: Nice.

Emily: That's so cool. They have a little look out here because the ceiling is raised. They're going to love that. I'm so excited. It's set up. It's beautiful. Now we're going to put the snakes back in. First we'll put in our California red-sided, which doesn't have super red sides, but she has beautiful blue stripes down her back. See how much calmer she is. She had tons of energy and she wasn't very tame when we first got her, but she's really slowed down now that she's with other garters. Go on in. Check it out. You're the first.

Ed: Go poop first. Claim it as yours.

Emily: Next we have Twiggy, who is just a plain old common garter snake. She actually goes to a lot of my programs because she's so friendly and she eats in front of crowds. Here you go. Check it out. Next we have-- You're going to musk all over me, aren't you? It's all right. He musked all over the bend. Well, too late, hands already smell.

Ed: Hands already smell.

Emily: This is the California red-sided, a newer one. Man, she has grown quite a bit since we got it. I didn't realize that till just now. You reek.

Ed: It'll be breeding size next year.

Emily: Yes, she will. 2020, getting babies from them.

Ed: Breeding size this year, but--

Emily: Waiting for male. I'm going to wash my hands.

Ed: Emily got musked on.

Emily: It reeks.

Ed: Hi. That is adorable. She's like, "Give me food. I demand food."

Emily: That's really cool. If anybody wants to make a ledge like that, we actually have a video on how you can make one of those at home. We made that one, actually. Next we have Prius, who is our hybrid garter snake. She recently had nine babies about, what would you say, three, four weeks ago? Something like that.

Ed: Something like that.

Emily: I still smell like musk thanks to you. The exciting thing is, I'm pretty sure she is gravid again. We did not pair her up a second time. She's just having a second round of babies this year, we are almost positive. Do you think so? You're feeling it too, right?

Ed: I think she might be.

Emily: I'm pretty sure she is.

Ed: Either she gained weight back really fast and now she's chunky, or--

Emily: Hi, Twiggy. I'm pretty sure she's going to have another round of babies, which--

Ed: Do you have food for me?

Emily: Last but not least, we have Fatness, our albino checkered garter snake. A lot of people say that garter snakes aren't handleable, and they're too quick, and they move around. They just don't tolerate it. As you can see, if you socialize them and handle them a lot, they calm right down. It's awesome. They're great little snakes to have. Go on in, check it out.

Ed: It feels like it's missing something.

Emily: It's dark in the back, isn't it?

Ed: Yes.

Emily: We added a UVB bulb.


Emily: Well it's all set up and I'm already in love with this thing. Honestly, it's just a nice, professional looking enclosure. I love that there are solid sides so that they can feel more secure on the inside. I also love that it's front opening instead of the old 40-gallon tank where I had to step up onto a step ladder and reach in from above. Thanks to this new style, I don't need a step stool anymore. I also love that it has a bigger footprint so there's more exploring space for the snakes inside. It's not only wider, but it's also taller too. We can actually get creative and use more of these magnetic ledges around the top and really utilize all that upper space.

I love that it came with space for not only a basking light, but also a UVB light in the back. Although a lot of people say you don't need one for snakes, some people do find benefits using UVB lights for garter snakes. We're just going to try it and see if we notice any differences in their behavior, their eating habits. At the very least, it makes the enclosure a lot brighter.

Emily: Lastly, the vision enclosures, from what I've heard, last forever. I know people who have had the same vision enclosure for like 20 years and it looks just as good as new. This is an enclosure we're going to have for a very long time. I just want to send out a huge thank you to Ted and Mark with Custom Cages/Vision Cages for sending us the 322. This thing is amazing. Our garter snakes are also in love with this. They've been exploring non-stop since we put them in here.

Ed: It's just been like 30 minutes now.

Emily: Yes, like 30 minutes. Are you pooping?

Ed: Told her to poop. That's the first one I told to poop. Christen it.

Emily: Yes, she is christening it right now. Thank you for doing that.

Ed: She is even looking at you.

Emily: She's watching us while she poops.

Ed: She is like, "Look at it. Clean it now."

Emily: Quit it. You're spreading it around. This is the new enclosure. Anyway, we do have two more albino checkered garter snakes, but we're keeping them in a separate enclosure so that this one isn't too crowded. If anyone watching this is interested in acquiring a vision cage like this one, you can go to or if you want to check out what Custom Cages has to offer in other styles, like huge, they call it the majestic line, they truly are majestic. Go to Thank you not only to Custom Cages for this enclosure, but also to everybody who's watching today's episode, and to our Patreon supporters for all of your generosity in supporting this channel. Thank you again everyone involved, and we'll see you next time.

Emily: Too late, now you have to be on camera.

Ed: [laughs] Good luck.

Emily: What are we doing? You've got to talk. People like it when you're on camera.

Ed: [laughs]

Emily: You're so stubborn. You're so stubborn.

Ed: There's a robin outside. Hey mister. Hop, hop, hop. Somebody pooped in there.

Emily: Thanks for poop. There's several poops in here. Thanks, guys.

Ed: [laughs] We move, so we poop.

Emily: Gross. Thanks to this new style, I don't need a step stool anymore.

Ed: [laughs]

Emily: Are you okay? I can just do a beep.

Ed: It's on the ground now. [laughs]


[00:12:23] [END OF AUDIO]

About Snake Discovery

"I have always had a passion for exotic pets. I was hardcore into parrots throughout college, and after I achieved my Bachelor's degree in Fisheries & Wildlife, I dove into the world of reptiles and pursued a career in exotic animal education.

I started by working as a Naturalist for the Department of Natural Resources, where my job was to create educational programs about wildlife, trees and plants, insects, geology, etc. Naturally, my favorite programs were the ones that incorporated wildlife, especially reptiles and amphibians.

After my temporary position with the DNR ended, I wanted to continue it on my own! So, I started up a small business for which I travel teaching people about reptiles. Now I go to schools, libraries, scouts, and more, to share my love of these often misunderstood animals.

My YouTube videos provide them (and you!) with care tips and fun facts to encourage further learning!"

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