Frequently Asked Questions (& Some Not So Frequently Asked Ones Too)

Welcome to our ever growing list of good questions, collected from thoughtful inquiries by caring keepers like you!

We try to categorize and organize this list as it grows, but the best way to use this page is with the "Find on page" function on your browser. Search for keywords you're interested in, not necessarily the whole question.

We try to keep this page updated based on our most recent inquiries, products, research and initiatives. If you see anything out dated, we appreciate your help in keeping this page at its best for keepers like you!

Please reach out to us at if you find any errors or have any other questions not found here. Thank you for your continued support and for growing with us.


Apex Reptile Enclosure Set-Up & Specs Questions:

Q: Are your enclosures easy to assemble?

A: Our enclosures are designed for easy assembly with simple snap-together construction. Enclosures are built up of our core blocks (ALTA 2’x2’x2’, ION 3’x2’x2’ and NOVA 4’x2’x2’) and combined in length, height or depth to create the desired build or your size and shape. Make sure to check out our assembly page for guided instructions.

Q: Are the enclosures waterproof out of the box?

A: PVC material itself is waterproof, even when there is a damaged surface, unlike wood. However, PVC enclosure seams do require silicone for the enclosure itself to be water tight. We recommend sealing the base seams and a few inches up the sides (depending on your substrate depth). Please keep in mind that even with the silicone, we do not recommend using PVC enclosures in place of aquariums. For water features, place a smaller aquarium or water tight dish to ensure easy cleaning and prevent spills.

Q: Do your enclosures come with ventilation options?

A: Our enclosures feature built-in ventilation to ensure a healthy environment for your reptile. We also have vent plugs available to close vents and retain more heat any humidity if needed. These can be placed in different areas of the enclosure to achieve different heat gradients.

Q: Can I combine a 3'x2'x2' enclosure with a 4'x2'x2'? Can I combine a 2'x2'x2' with a 3'x2'x2'? Can I combine a 2'x2'x2' with a 4'x2'x2'?

A: Yes, you can combine almost any sizes lengthwise on their 2'x2' side with length extension pieces

Q: Which enclosures can be combined?

A: Blocks can be connected on the same sized sides. So any two blocks can be combines length-wise on the 2'x2' side. NOVA 4'x2'x2' blocks can be combined with other NOVA blocks depth-wise and height-wise. The same goes for all the blocks, they can be combined with themselves depth-wise and height-wise.

Q: How do I connect and join the enclosures together? How do I expand an enclosure?

A: If you have one existing enclosure and want to expand it, you can get extensions here. These blocks only come with the pieces you need to expand en existing enclosure. Meaning, if you want to extend an existing enclosure height-wise, you would buy a +2' Height block of the size you need. You would replace the existing top with an extension top included in the kit and use the top of your existing enclosure as the top on the new block.

To combine two existing enclosures, you need them to either have a window each, on the sides you want to connect. Otherwise, you can replace the piece (like a side, back, or top, depending on which way you're extending) with an extension version of that piece.

Q: Can I add viewing windows to my enclosure?

A: Yes, you can add viewing windows to any side of the enclosure for easy observation of your reptile. Remember to only add a window if your reptile is comfortable with it as some may get spooked. Windows are added at the time you build your enclosure, or can be added later.

Q: Should I add a window to my enclosure?

A: We recommend adding a side window when you know you are going to expand your enclosure length-wise later. We also love having one window for more observation opportunities. We highly advise evaluating your animal's personality first. If you have an animal that easily gets spooked, a tinted or partially blocked out window can be useful to not spook your pet, but still be ready for enclosure expansion later.

Q: Can I customize the size of my enclosure?

A: Our modular design allows for easy customization by combining enclosure blocks together to build your desired size and shape. Enclosures are built up of our core blocks (ALTA 2’x2’x2’, ION 3’x2’x2’ and NOVA 4’x2’x2’) and you can create sizes by combining any blocks length wise, and combining like-sized blocks depth-wise and height-wise. You can even create corner enclosures! This means you can make a 6’x2’x2’ enclosure by either combining two ION 3’x2’x2’s or a NOVA 4’x2’x2’ with an ALTA 2’x2’x2’. This gives you options for expanding later as well as alters the look of your set-up.

Q: Can I stack multiple enclosures? How do I stack multiple enclosures?

A: Yes, our modular design allows for easy and strong stacking. We recommend stacking like-sized blocks on top of each other to ensure weight distribution along the enclosure frame. The interlocking design means the weight is not solely on the screws, but the enclosure frame is holding itself up structurally. Please do not place smaller heavy aquariums or objects on top of your PVC enclosure as this may cause sagging over time. Stacking pins are available in the shop to prevent enclosures sliding around, or may come with your enclosures when you are buying multiple. If you have an older generation enclosure, please contact us for a template to drill holes for the pins.

If you are having issues with stacking, please contact as in some instances an extra clear pillar helps with stacking heavier, wider door enclosures.

Q: What materials are Apex enclosures made of?

A: Apex Reptile modular enclosures are made of high-quality, dense 1/2” thick made-in-USA expanded PVC, chosen for its higher durability, longevity, humidity & heat retention, compared to alternatives like glass, wood, or even a thinner version or lighter composition of PVC. This material has excellent heat & humidity retention, rigidity and water resistance properties. We use this extra thick material to ensure enclosure rigidity and long lasting structure. When built, our enclosures don’t even hold their weight on the screws alone, the interlocking design means the enclosure has a strong structure before it is even screwed secured.

Q: Are the enclosures suitable for all types of reptiles?

A: Our enclosures are designed to accommodate a wide range of reptiles, from snakes to lizards and more. This includes terrestrial and arboreal species. The modular enclosures can be combined and set up to accommodate any needed height or length. As a caring keeper, we do advise you take into account nuances that may be applicable to your specific breed. Take into account security features for larger animals, water features, size requirements now and later, etc.

Q: What is the best way to use all the space inside the enclosure?

A: Since an enclosed habitat space is a bit different to the wild, you want to make sure you provide the enrichment and variety of activities as well as temperatures for your animal to explore and self-regulate. Think of what you can add to your enclosure in every dimension, including depth, height and length whether your reptile is naturally terrestrial or arboreal. You can add safe inclines to higher heat above and low-down hidden hides with lower temperatures which are underneath the basking spots or on a cooler side of the enclosure.

Q: How do I clean the PVC and Polycarbonate reptile enclosures?

A: You can clean & sanitize the PVC portion of the enclosure with any reptile safe cleaner. To clean the clear polycarbonate doors and windows, we recommend using soap and water. For best results, use an old cotton t-shirt or cloth when wiping your enclosure, as it will help reduce static electricity build up. You can also use a plastic polish such as NOVUS #1 to help polish, remove static and increase clarity on clear material. Please do not use abrasive chemicals such as Windex or all purpose cleaners on the clear polycarbonate doors, windows, substrate barriers etc.

Q: Do you offer different colors or finishes for the enclosures?

A: We currently only offer black and white PVC and the unfinished cabinet birch bases. The birch bases can be stained or painted to add color. PVC can be painted with some safe paints. Be sure to do a patch test first as some paint has trouble adhering to the PVC.

Q: Are the enclosures suitable for outdoor use?

A: Our current enclosures are designed for indoor use only. Unfortunately PVC will not withstand direct sunlight.

Q: Do you offer warranty on your enclosures?

A: We only offer a warranty on our hardware, if your latches or hinges break with normal use, reach out to us and we will send you new ones.

Q: Can I add heating elements to the enclosures?

A: Yes, our enclosures are compatible with heating elements to create the perfect environment for your reptile. You can attach the elements inside the enclosure with appropriate safety measures like cage bulbs, or you can select to have a screen top on your enclosure to have fixtures stay external.

Q: What is the best way to heat a PVC reptile enclosure?

A: You can read more details and see photos on our heat & light set-up page, but we generally recommend:

  • radiant heat panels
  • appropriately enclosed ceramic bulb socket with a heat emitting ceramic/halogen/deep heat projector/reptile heat bulb

Q: Can I use under tank heating with PVC enclosures?

A: We advise against it, no matter the kind of PVC enclosure. We advise against using under tank heating pads for material property and safety reasons. Under tank heating pads were originally created to stick to the outside of glass aquariums. With PVC being an insulating plastic, it tries really hard to keep the heat out. This means potentially unsafe temperatures. Under tank heat mats need to be used with some ventilation, so we do not recommend compress a heat mat between two surfaces. We have tried using engravings to make the material thinner for the heat to pass through, but this compromised structure more than the benefits it brought.

Q: How do I create a basking spot without using under tank heating?

A: You can create a nature-mimicking belly heat basking oasis by using some raised slate or wood underneath the overhead heating element in your enclosure. Even if you turn off the heating element at night, you can create a basking spot that retains the heat “into the night” as it does in the wild.

Q: How do I know which size enclosure to choose for my reptile?

A: We recommend selecting an enclosure size based on the size and species of your reptile, ensuring they have enough space to thrive. Generally, bigger is better, but you will have to provide enrichment within the enclosure. Simply providing more open space can instead intimidate your reptile. If your reptile started in a small enclosure, you can also place their smaller enclosure fully into a larger one, keeping the small enclosure open for your reptile to eventually emerge and explore the bigger space as they get comfortable.

Q: Are the enclosures suitable for breeding reptiles?

A: Many Apex keepers use these enclosures as a comfortable and secure environment for breeding reptiles. It is possible to create a single enclosure large enough to house both animals during breeding season and add a temporary partition to separate the large enclosure into two smaller ones sufficient to house each half of the power duo in their own space when they aren’t in the mood.

Q: Can I add additional features or accessories to the enclosures

A: Our modular design allows for easy customization with a variety of accessories and panels that can be customized during initial enclosure purchase or added/switched out later. Check out our shop for current available accessories, we’re always adding more.

Q: Are the enclosures easy to disassemble for cleaning or moving?

A: Yes, our enclosures can be easily disassembled for cleaning or moving, making them convenient and versatile. If you need to move large enclosures, you can split them into blocks to easily move them from room to room, up and down stairs or even to your own new forever home. Even if you have silicone sealed your enclosures, you are able to remove the silicone from the PVC and re-silicone when needed.

Q: Do you offer installation services for the enclosures?

A: Our enclosures are shipped flat packed and are designed for easy self-assembly with minimal tools required. This also allows for easy (yay, no-freight!) and safe shipping. If you have any issues during assembly, please reach out to us using the Existing Order Form Submission.

Q: Can I purchase replacement parts for the enclosures?

A: Yes, we offer replacement parts for all our enclosures to ensure continued functionality and longevity. Our modular design allows for easy customization with a variety of accessories and panels that can be customized during initial enclosure purchase or added/switched out later.

Q: Are the enclosures suitable for juvenile reptiles?

A: Our enclosures are suitable for many juvenile reptiles and can be easily added onto as they grow into their space. That being said, please be mindful that your reptiles may have come from living in smaller spaces and are generally timid of open spaces. This means a large enclosure should be an enriched enclosure, not just a large open space. If your reptile started in a small enclosure, you can also place their smaller enclosure fully into a larger one, keeping the small enclosure open for your reptile to eventually emerge and explore the bigger space as they get comfortable.

Q: Can I add additional levels or platforms to the enclosures?

A: Yes, our modular design allows for easy customization with additional levels or platforms to create a multi-level habitat. We are always adding shelving and platforms in our shop.

Q: Do you offer financing options for the enclosures?

A: Yes, we offer payment plans for our enclosures. To use this option, check out using “Shop Pay” and select “Pay in installments” instead of the credit card option when choosing a payment method.

Q: Can I add locks or security features to the enclosures?

A: Yes, you can add “Key Locks” when configuring your enclosure at time of purchase. If you already have a swing down door enclosure, contact us so you can purchase the polycarbonate with the appropriate key lock hole. Other options for adding key locks to an enclosure you already have are external locks that do not need the material to be altered.

Q: Are the enclosures suitable for arboreal reptiles?

A: Yes, our enclosures are suitable for arboreal reptiles when you select one or build one out to the appropriate height for the species you’re housing.

Q: What is a clear substrate barrier?

A: A clear substrate barrier is an additional piece that can raise the front lip of your enclosure to a higher level so you can fill the enclosure with substrate deeper than the original front lip allows. Substrate barrier heights that are available are 4”, 6” and 8”.

Q: Can I add substrate to the enclosures?

A: Yes, we recommend sealing the bottom inside seam with silicone prior to adding any substrate. Once sealed, your enclosure can be filled with substrate to create a naturalistic environment for your reptile, help with enrichment and even regulate temperature and humidity.

Q: How tall is the substrate level?

A: On most swing down door enclosures, there is about 3.5” of a substrate lip. You can add a taller substrate barrier when building your enclosure or purchase one separately when you need it.

Q: What is the divider that I can select when building a 4’x2’x2’ NOVA?

A: This divider can split a double door NOVA 4’x2’x2’ into two smaller enclosed habitats within the large enclosure. You can remove the divider by taking the top off and sliding it out of its tracks. This divider can be removed easily, but only through the removable top lid of the enclosure, not the front door.

Q: Can I use your divider with non-Apex enclosures?

A: These dividers are built for our double swing door 4'x2'x2' NOVA enclosures, they work best in those and it will most likely not work as expected or as effectively in a different enclosure.


Enclosure Troubleshooting Questions:

Q: My front door has warped, is there a way to fix this?

A: Yes! You most likely have an enclosure with a material we do not use anymore. Send a photo of the issue to so we can get you a replacement!

Q: My hardware has gone rusty, is there a way to fix this?

A: While our hardware works well for a wide range of heat & humidity, there may be something that triggers

Q: I am having trouble with stacking multiple enclosures, the middle needs more support, is there a way to fix this?

A: If you are having issues with stacking, please contact as in some instances an extra clear pillar helps with stacking heavier, wider door enclosures.

Q: My enclosure is not keeping heat in, how can I increase heat retention?

A: If you are finding your enclosure is not getting up to the desired temps, there are a few things you can try. First, evaluate what is inside your enclosure as well as the environment your enclosure is in within your human home.

  • Add natural heat-absorbing materials like substrate, wood, stone, etc to increase the surface area of warmth inside the enclosure. Reptiles usually need both ambient and surface temperatures, and the surface temperatures help support the ambient temperatures.
  • Try closing vents that are on the warm side of the enclosure. Using our vent plugs, you can close off the vents around the side on one side of the enclosure, so heat is retained more there. This is recommended to do on the non-window side of your enclosure if you have a window as the PVC will be more insulating.
  • If you have a screen top, you may need to safely cover some of it or potentially eventually switch to a solid top if you are able to.
  • Apex Reptile swinging doors will retain heat & humidity most effectively. If you have sliding doors, you can try adding a weather strip in between the sliding doors to reduce draft

Q: My enclosure is not keeping humidity in, how can I increase humidity retention?

A: If your enclosure is not keeping desired humidity levels, there are a few things you can try. First, evaluate what is inside your enclosure as well as the environment your enclosure is in within your human home.

  • Add substrate that holds moisture well, but do not keep it wet as that can cause mold.
  • Try closing some vents all around the enclosure with our vent plugs to retain humidity, but not all the vents as you do not want non-moving air completely.
  • Regular misting, manually or set up on a timer.
  • Add a bigger water dish or water feature if it is safe for your animal.


Shipping Questions:

Q: How long does shipping take?

A: Together with some super cool machines, your reptile’s forever home is made to order, with care, almost all in-house by our small-but-mighty team in the Arizona desert!! There is a lead time before your order ships, it is currently at 6-8 weeks. Once tracking information is available for your order, you will receive a tracking number. It may take a few days to update as we do not ship out every day. Once shipped, it is usually 2-5 business days until it arrives.

[Existing Order Inquiries]

Q: How much does shipping cost?

A: Shipping is free on all enclosures that are shipping to the contiguous United Stated. Currently we only ship to the contiguous US, but we will be introducing international shipping in 2024, so stay tuned! Shipping to Canada and other countries will have an added cost depending on your specific location and any fees included.

Q: Why do the enclosures have a lead time? Why don’t they ship right away?

A: Apex Reptile is still a small, family business and we make a lot of stuff in-house and made-to-order! We are delighted that you are still able to support us, by planning out your enclosure purchase in advance. We hope to grow with you and expand our capabilities as soon as we can. We have already made a lot of manufacturing improvements thanks to our experienced team and we hope to continue shortening our lead times, without compromising on our manufacturing and material quality.

Check back for more Q&As!

Last updated: 03/19/2024

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