ReptiFiles was provided a free Toxirium 40″x16″x16″ PVC Reptile Enclosure in exchange for an honest review, whether positive or negative. The review below is my honest, unbiased opinion.
Back in 2020 I did a review of the Reptiz PVC enclosure. Although it seemed serviceable enough upon first impression, after a couple of years of use, it became disappointingly clear that the enclosure simply could not withstand the test of time. The acrylic doors scraped against each other and scratched horribly, the bottom panel shifted and started to leak substrate, and most frustrating of all, the side vents allowed baby ocellated skinks, CUC, and feeder insects to escape. As a result, my initial ReptiFiles Rating of 4 stars dropped down to 2 stars.
Since then, Reptiz has rebranded to “Toxirium,” the poorly-rated “arboreal” PVC enclosure was retired, and the terrestrial PVC enclosure was redesigned. After implementing these changes, Toxirium reached out to me to see if I was willing to give them a second chance. As someone eager to support progress within our industry, naturally I answered, “Of course!”
So here we are, with the Toxirium PVC Reptile Enclosure 2.0. For consistency, this new enclosure is also white PVC and measures 40”L x 16”W x 16”H (although it should be noted that all of Toxirium’s current enclosures use the same general design). Other sizes offered by Toxirium are 44” x 20” x 20”, 4’ x 2’ x 2’, and 8’ x 2’ x 2’. Matching enclosure stands, stacking kits, and ventilated cabinets are also now available.
- 40”L x 16”W x 16”H / 100 x 40 x 40cm
- 44 gallon capacity
- 4” substrate basin
- 18 lbs
- White or black PVC color options
- Aluminum frame
- Full mesh top with two support bars
- 49% mesh block
- Removable acrylic sliding doors
- Door “lock” included
- Preassembled base with support bars
- Raised base to accommodate heat mat
- Wheeled base option for easy movement
- Wire port
- Generous ventilation slats on both side panels
- All tools required for assembly included
- Stackable with stacking kit (not included)
- $239.99-$251.99 as of October 2023 (depending on color)
- Free shipping
- Ships flat
Unboxing & Assembly
This enclosure is unusually lightweight. At just 18 lbs plus the box and shipping material, the entire box was relatively easy to carry by myself. This is partially due to the fact that 40” x 16” x 16” is substantially smaller than my usual 4’ x 2’ x 2’ review enclosures, but credit is certainly owed to the light-yet-relatively-strong PVC panels and aluminum framing.
I opened the box to find everything well-organized and neatly packed. An instructions booklet is included, as well as a hammer, miniature screwdrivers, and necessary hardware. I understand that it can add to manufacturing cost to include print instructions rather than just a QR code, but personally I still find print instructions more helpful than ones I have to scroll through on a screen.
The previous enclosure I reviewed arrived very dirty and minorly damaged. This one, I am happy to report, was undamaged and only had a couple of dark smudges which I’m sure could be easily removed with a melamine sponge (Magic Eraser) and water. The ventilation slots on the side panels contained some debris from the manufacturing process. One of these days I would love to see a white or light-colored PVC enclosure that arrives protected by a film similar to what you usually see covering acrylic panels.
Speaking of acrylic doors, the protective film covering those and the substrate dam was easily removed in one piece. I have had experience in the past with doors covered by a stubborn film that shredded as it peeled, so this is always worth noting. Although the assembly instructions recommend building the doors into the enclosure, I found that this is not necessary, as they can be popped in and out after the enclosure has been built. Attempting to keep the doors in place during construction makes things unnecessarily complicated, so I recommend leaving this part for last. I did notice, however, that no matter how tightly I tried to install the door handles, they remained loose and a bit rattle-y to the touch.
Much of the enclosure comes pre-assembled, which means that it comes together fairly quickly. Assembly is mostly a matter of placing PVC panels and installing screws where appropriate. I didn’t need to use the hammer, but everything still fit together securely without feeling loose — likely a result of the partial preassembly and stabilizing screws. However, one of the “alignment cylinders” did get stuck despite not being inserted more tightly than the others, and I almost gave up on trying to remove it. Two of the corner screws also did not install tightly, instead just spinning in place half-installed.
Design & Functionality
One of the things I didn’t like about the previous version of the Toxirium PVC Reptile Enclosure was the ventilation slits. This design does make for excellent ventilation when combined with a mesh top, but the slits are also large enough that insects and particularly small reptiles can escape from the enclosure. This also means the enclosure is not compatible with bioactive without modification.
I am not a fan of acrylic doors — all of the PVC enclosures in my own collection have glass doors instead. Although lightweight and very shatter-resistant, acrylic is soft and scratches easily. It’s also flexible, and in the case of particularly large acrylic sliding doors, it can even become an escape risk for determined snakes. Another problem with the doors in the previous design is that they were impossible to remove/replace without taking the enclosure apart, so when they became scratched, I just had to live with the diminished visibility and strip of uncleanable “no man’s land” where they overlapped. I am glad to see that this problem was fixed with door tracks that make the doors removable. This makes them easier to clean, and in case you (like me) prefer glass doors, they can be easily replaced as well. The acrylic doors of the 40” x 16” x 16” enclosure are not large enough for the material’s natural flexibility to create an escape risk. Although the handles of the enclosure don’t fit very well, I do appreciate that Toxirium upgraded to larger handles rather than the tiny knobs of the previous design, which makes the doors easier to use.
The included “lock” is bizarre at best and essentially useless at worst. It’s just a tiny key-shaped piece of metal that you stick into a hole in the door to jam the sliding mechanism. Although there’s a suction cup included to prevent this key from getting lost, it’s extremely easy to remove, definitely not child-proof, and may fall out if you walk by too heavily or the enclosure’s occupant rattles the doors.
Even though the former design also came with the base and top pre-assembled, this version is notably stronger. Everything fits tighter and more securely, and both the base and top are reinforced by thick support bars. Each of the corner pillars are additionally reinforced by a rod that goes through the center. It all seems a bit overkill at first glance, but considering that these enclosures are intended to be potentially stackable, reinforcements like these are a good precaution against enclosure collapse, particularly if heavy substrates and/or décor are being used. That said, due to the nature of the materials used, while the panels are not flimsy, they will dent if abused, and the aluminum frame also has the potential to deform.
The mesh top is also quite strong, and will most likely gracefully withstand any cat that likes to hang out on top of terrariums, as I sat on it myself with no signs of immediate mesh failure (I am much heavier than even a very fat cat). I’m not saying the top of this enclosure would make a good place to store your dumbbells or bags of substrate, but it should be fine for normal abuse. I will note, however, that the thickness of the support bars on the top will cast significant shadows for UVB and daylight tubes/LEDs, so that should be taken into account when planning a high-UVI basking area. The mesh also doesn’t fit perfectly in its frame — my enclosure’s mesh bowed outward slightly. It’s unlikely to affect performance, but it is worth noting.
Speaking of mesh, assuming I did my math correctly, this enclosure’s mesh blocks roughly 49% of UVB. This number should be accounted for if you’re installing a UVB lamp above this enclosure without a Solarmeter 6.5 on hand. Use this table from Reptile Lighting on Facebook to help you calculate UV Index (how much UVB your reptile is getting at a given location) based on which bulb you’re using (Zoo Med or Arcadia only), which fixture you’re using, mesh block percentage, and distance.
The optional wheels are an interesting feature. I imagine that they’re convenient for cleaning or reaching escaped reptiles if you have a hard, level floor and plan to stack the enclosures or use the enclosure with one of Toxirium’s stands or cabinets. While there is potential for the enclosure to roll around a bit if it’s not heavy enough, overall the wheels don’t seem like a stability risk.
As a final design note, I like that Toxirium makes white enclosures an option. White is not very popular in the US reptile keeping community at present, possibly because they show dirt more, but personally I think they actually have the potential to look cleaner, and a white interior reflects light better than black, which results in a brighter, more light-efficient environment for your reptile. However, I do wish that the door handles, wire port, and plastic frame components also came in white for the white color option, as I find the black accents to be disruptive to the clean white aesthetic.
Things I Liked About the Toxirium PVC Reptile Enclosure
- Easy assembly. Although there are lots of parts to this enclosure, the pre-assembled top and base, removable doors, and generally well-fitted joints mean that the hard parts are essentially done for you. Plus, assembly is essentially silent — no disturbing your neighbors or family with loud hammering!
- Assembly instructions included. Plus, the instructions are well organized and easy to understand.
- Lightweight yet relatively strong. 18 lbs is heavier than the previous design, but the sturdiness easily justifies this change, and it’s still light enough for one average-sized person to move alone.
- Full mesh top with excellent ventilation. Ventilation on the top AND sides makes for superior airflow in an enclosure. This means that while it may struggle to retain heat and humidity efficiently, it facilitates diverse temperatures gradients and prevents mold/mildew/general stagnation. Furthermore, the full mesh top allows for easy and safe lamp placement anywhere you want them.
- Doors pop in and out for easy cleaning. If you’ve had an enclosure with sliding doors that aren’t removable, you know what a pain this is. The removable doors will help you keep your doors clean and the enclosure pleasant to look at, and create easy access for setting up the enclosure’s interior environment.
- Available in white as well as black. White enclosures reflect light rather than absorb it, making them more light-efficient than the traditional black and creates a brighter interior for pet reptiles. Plus, it helps hide water spots!
- Plausibly stackable. Many enclosures these days are advertised as “stackable,” but I’m quite skeptical of their ability to support a thick layer of sand or soil substrate with a generous amount of heavy décor such as wood or stone. The reinforced base on this enclosure, plus the central support rods in the frame, lead me to believe this is actually possible without risking collapse.
- Disassembles easily if needed. Sometimes you need to take a reptile enclosure apart, whether because you’re moving or you’d like to put it in storage. Because of the way this enclosure comes together, as long as you don’t silicone the seams, it will come apart for storing flat just fine.
At the time of this review’s publication, the Toxirium 40x16x16 PVC Reptile Enclosure is less expensive than a comparably-sized front-opening glass terrarium from Exo Terra or Zoo Med.
In case you’re not quite sold on the Toxirium stacking kit, due to this enclosure’s unique dimensions, it also fits perfectly on a baker’s rack!
Things I Disliked About the Toxirium PVC Reptile Enclosure
- Not suitable for use with particularly small reptiles without modification. Particularly young corn snakes, kingsnakes, milksnakes, African house snakes, garter snakes, ocellated skinks, viper geckos, and similar species are capable of using the ventilation slats to escape.
- Not suitable for bioactive without modification. The ventilation slats will allow CUC organisms such as isopods and beetles to escape. CUC don’t usually infest homes, but it can be annoying.
- Ventilation slats are an escape risk allow loose feeder insects to escape without modification. This doesn’t mean that insectivores and omnivores can’t be housed in this enclosure, but all feeder insects must be offered strictly via tongs or inside a secure bowl.
- Materials are not particularly durable. The PVC panels dent and scratch easily, and certain parts of the aluminum frame are vulnerable to deforming if abused. Because I wasn’t paying attention when unboxing this enclosure, I accidentally (and surprisingly easily) bent part of the lower frame. It didn’t affect the function, fortunately.
- The plastic accessories (wire port, door handles, and frame joints) don’t match the color of the enclosure if you choose white. This is strictly an aesthetic preference of mine, but I feel like neglecting to change the color of the plastic accessories along with the panels stems from a lack of attention to detail rather than a deliberate design choice.
- Door handles have a loose fit and rattle when grabbed.
- Mesh blocks a high percentage of UVB. A 49% block is quite significant, and means a lot of wasted UVB. However, due to the height of this enclosure, it is not safe to mount a T5 HO UVB unit on the underside of the mesh.
Conclusion: A strong but lightweight alternative to the traditional glass terrarium
ReptiFiles Rating: 4 stars
The Toxirium PVC Reptile Enclosure’s new design is overall a noteworthy upgrade from the previous version: it’s stronger, cleaner, and overall more user-friendly. However, it still has the same vulnerabilities from the side slats, the tightly-woven mesh is quite unfriendly to UVB provision, and material longevity is questionable.
It pains me to penalize an enclosure design that prioritizes ventilation so well, but when it compromises enclosure security and reduces its utility, that’s something which simply can’t be overlooked. However, 4 stars have still been awarded to this enclosure to acknowledge the balance it achieves between weight and strength, as well as ease of setup and use.
What reptiles can be housed in the Toxirium 40x16x16 PVC Reptile Enclosure?
This enclosure, like the more common 36x18x18Suitable for terrestrial lizards <12” / 31cm long and snakes <40” / 101cm long. HOWEVER, please note that hatchlings/neonates of many of these species may be able to escape through the side vents and take precautions accordingly.
- African fat-tailed gecko
- Cave gecko
- Childrens python
- Corn snake*
- Fire skink
- Garter snake*
- Hognose snake
- Knob-tailed gecko
- Leopard gecko
- Ocellated skink
- Red-eyed crocodile skink
- Rosy boa*
- Sand boa
- Sandfish skink
*This enclosure may only be suitable for temporarily housing juveniles of this species.
My Advice for Using This Product
- If you want to use this enclosure for housing particularly small reptiles, bioactive, or you want to let feeder insects run loose for your pet to hunt, then you will need to modify it so the side vents are covered. Window screening will allow continued airflow, but it’s difficult to effectively install; covering the sides with poster board or filling them with silicone/hot glue is easier, but it also cancels out the extra ventilation benefit.
- If you are worried about water leaks, seal the base with 100% silicone sealant. The base may come pre-assembled, but it is not pre-sealed.
- Do not mount lamps inside of the enclosure. Although some of the product images on the manufacturer’s website suggest that a dome lamp can be mounted inside the enclosure, I strongly recommend against this practice, as placing a dome lamp inside a reptile enclosure creates a significant burn risk! Although it’s safer to mount fluorescent or LED fixtures inside the enclosure, I still recommend against this practice in any enclosure <24” tall for safety reasons.