ReptiFiles was provided a free Reptiz Tall PVC Reptile Terrarium in exchange for an honest review, whether positive or negative. The review below is our honest, unbiased opinion.
If you have an arboreal reptile in the US, glass is the industry standard. Available in common sizes such as 12x12x18, 18x18x24, and 18x18x36, they are as tall or taller than they are wide, and can accommodate most small and medium-sized arboreal species that prefer vertical to horizontal space. The largest glass “arboreal” terrarium I’ve seen is 36” x 18” x 36”.
Glass is great for display enclosures. It’s easy to clean, sleek, and attractive. On the downside, however, glass is also incredibly heavy, fragile, and since it’s transparent, it can also stress reptile occupants if left uncovered.
PVC is more durable than glass, substantially lighter, and because it’s opaque, it can also help reptile occupants feel more secure in their enclosure. But for some strange reason, PVC arboreal reptile terrariums are massively unpopular and difficult to find.
Reptiz is a very new reptile enclosure manufacturer just barely stepping into the American reptile housing market. Based in China, they claim to offer “ingenious,” “very durable,” and “high quality” reptile enclosures at budget prices.
Reptiz sells PVC arboreal enclosures at competitive prices, which is a tempting offer for anyone who needs a tall reptile terrarium but prefers the advantages of PVC to the usual glass. So naturally when Reptiz got in touch with me several months ago about contributing a couple of enclosures for review, I took the opportunity to get a closer look at the function of tall PVC reptile terrariums beyond the theory.
- 45 x 45 x 80 cm = 18” x 18” x 31”
- White PVC panels
- Lightweight aluminum frame with black coating
- Swinging acrylic door with silver latch
- Partial mesh front for better ventilation
- Separate substrate tray
- Mesh top
- Ships flat
- Tool-free assembly
- $50 shipping to the US
- Advertised as suitable for a variety of reptiles
After waiting about two weeks for shipping, the Reptiz Tall PVC Reptile Terrarium arrived on my doorstep in two large, flat cardboard boxes. The first contained the substrate tray. The second arrived one day later and contained the actual enclosure. I was a little confused about the substrate tray at first, as this component was mentioned nowhere in the product description.
The boxes were a little dinged up (honestly, that’s about the best you can expect when ordering a large package internationally), but not significantly damaged.
Upon opening the box to do a quick inspection, I found everything intact and well secured for shipment. There was a significant amount of dust inside the package, along with what looked like dirty fingerprints and smears on the white PVC panels. I also noticed some gray scuffs and scrapes, possible machining marks, and pin-sized dents. Looking at the frame pieces, I noticed scratches and scrapes there, too.
Fortunately the acrylic was covered with protective film and 100% pristine. Unfortunately, the protective film for the acrylic was stuck in the frame of the door, and took some picking to get out.
The base panel is a dark gray color with an interesting imitation wood or possibly leather pattern imprinted on it for texture. It’s 2mm thick and quite flimsy, which is not something I like to see in a base panel. The base also had a slight chemical odor to it.
Also included in the shipping box was some simple visual instructions for assembly. The pictures suggest extremely easy assembly. I thought to myself at this point that if the enclosure is really that easy to put together, it would be the simplest enclosure I’d ever had, short of buying it already assembled.
This enclosure was slightly cleaner than the other enclosure that I reviewed for Reptiz two weeks ago, the Reptiz PVC 40 Gallon Terrarium, which needed significant cleaning before assembly. This one only needed a quick wipedown.
After the wipedown, I referenced the instructions for putting the terrarium together. Unfortunately, these instructions — while simple and straightforward — proved to be inadequately comprehensive. (And after putting together several enclosures and enclosure accessories for other reviews, I think I’m justified in that statement.) I had to do a fair amount of guesswork about the steps in between the ones displayed on the instructions.
It was also a little tricky determining which pieces were which. For example, the panels for the sides could stand to be labeled as to which ones are for the sides and which one is for the back. They are identical in dimensions and appearance, but have slightly different tracks. It can be figured out if you think critically, but I can see room for confusion there.
Aside from the instructions themselves, the pieces slid together quite nicely and securely. Because of the nature of the sliding frame, disassembly is actually very easy with this enclosure, which is a first. I’ve expressed a frustration with enclosures that have been hard to take apart in the past, but now that I’ve had an enclosure that was actually easy to take apart, I’m not sure how I feel about this feature.
At first I assumed that the substrate tray was intended to go inside the terrarium, but that clearly wouldn’t work, so I tried the outside. To my dismay and frustration, it still didn’t fit. I tried everything I could think of, but at the end of the day, the tray wasn’t large enough to fit around the base of the terrarium. Increasing the dimensions of the tray by about one centimeter (or even half a centimeter) on each side would likely solve this problem.
There are multiple sizes available for this enclosure. The Reptiz Tall PVC Reptile Terrarium that I reviewed measures 45 x 45 x 80 cm, or about 18” x 18” x 31”. This is slightly taller than traditional 18x18x24, making it roomier than average, which I appreciate about this design. The full list of available sizes is as follows:
- 32 x 32 x 46 cm (13” x 13” x 18”)
- 42 x 42 x 66 cm (16 x 16 x 26”)
- 45 x 45 x 80 cm (18” x 18” x 31”)
- 50 x 50 x 100 cm (20” x 20” x 39”)
- 60 x 60 x 120 cm (24” x 24” x 47”)
Price is comparable to other options of this size. A glass arboreal reptile terrarium of similar dimensions will run you about $120-$200 USD, excluding shipping. This is about the same as you can expect to pay to purchase this enclosure with shipping, so no particular points for affordability here.
Ventilation is quite good. The mesh panel at the bottom of the front surface creates a chimney effect and promotes better ventilation than average.
The mesh blocks ~43% of UVB. A quick test of the mesh top with a Solarmeter 6.5 revealed that the mesh blocks approximately 43% of UVB. Considering that installing heat and UVB fixtures is standard practice with arboreal reptile terrariums, anyone who uses this enclosure will need to keep in mind mesh interference when calculating what type of UVB bulb they will need to use and what will be a safe basking distance.
The mesh is reasonably strong. It’s not as sturdy as Maximum Reptile or Zen Habitats, but it seems to be sturdier than the stuff that comes with front-opening Exo Terra and Zoo Med enclosures. I have been able to place relatively heavy objects (ex: gallon of water) on top of the screen without visible signs of excess strain. I can’t say whether the enclosure is cat-proof, however.
The door hinges are loose. The door allows for easy physical and visual access to the enclosure, but the hinge design is very loose. Because of this, the door hangs down from it, rather than being suspended, and the door scrapes whenever it is opened/closed.
There are gaps between the door and frame even when closed. This isn’t a big deal for most arboreal species, but it does mean that this terrarium is definitely not suitable for housing any kind of microgecko (ex: mourning geckos). This also may allow some feeder insects to escape.
Things I Liked About the Reptiz Tall PVC Reptile Terrarium
- Tight slide-lock assembly
- Excellent ventilation for an enclosure that doesn’t have mesh walls
- Reasonably strong mesh
- White panels reflect light, resulting in a brighter interior
- Lightweight and very easy to move
Things I Didn’t Like About the Reptiz Tall PVC Reptile Terrarium
- Product arrived dirty and minorly damaged
- Inadequate instructions
- Door sticks a little before opening and scrapes during opening/closing
- Substrate tray was unusable
- Incompatible with most substrate options
- Mesh panel near base is likely to make this enclosure prone to leaks
- Including shipping, the price is comparable to other, better options on the market
I find the fact that the substrate tray didn’t fit the enclosure to be a major failing of functionality for this terrarium. Without a substrate tray, the terrarium can’t use any kind of substrate aside from paper towels/shop towels, and it is likely to be leaky, even with silicone sealant.
Some might say that this shouldn’t be an issue because arboreal reptiles don’t spend much time on the ground and don’t “need” a substrate as much as terrestrial reptiles do. But I find that not using a thick layer of substrate tends to cause problems for humidity management, especially if you live in a dry climate. It also makes this terrarium completely incompatible with naturalistic or bioactive setups (unlike glass terrariums).
It would be better to redesign the terrarium so the front mesh panel is raised off of the floor with a solid PVC panel, about 4” tall. This will preserve the chimney effect and ventilation while also enhancing the functionality of the enclosure, even without the substrate tray.
Conclusion: Needs Improvement
ReptiFiles Rating: 3 stars
The Reptiz Tall PVC Reptile Terrarium offers competitive sizing, impressive ventilation, and is significantly more lightweight than similarly sized glass enclosures. But it also struggles with poor assembly instructions, a rough door design, and significant limitations relative to usability, which makes its otherwise competitive price point look excessive. The enclosure is useable, but far from exceptional. In fact, compared to its competitors in the American market, one could say that this enclosure falls significantly below average.
If enclosure weight is a major issue for you, then the Reptiz Tall PVC Reptile Terrarium may be a suitable choice. Otherwise, you’re better off putting your money toward a different enclosure.
The 18” x 18” x 31” Reptiz Tall PVC Reptile Terrarium can be used for housing small arboreal snakes and lizards such as:
- crested gecko
- gargoyle gecko
- green/brown anole
- rough green snake
Our advice for using this product:
- During assembly, make sure to slide both sides of the panel into place at the same time, or else it will get stuck.
- Place the floor panel after the walls are in place, but before adding the top.
- Use with a durable blue shop towel for substrate for a disposable, absorbent substrate.
- Don’t use anything even mildly abrasive on the acrylic door, as this will scratch and cloud it.