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lucky8926
10-24-2004, 14:34
I've been thinking about getting a snake, but don't have any knowledge about breeds, care, etc. Here are my questions. I have a 10 gal aquarium, will this be big enough? What breed do you suggest? What will I need to get? What do you recommend feeding it? Are they easy to take care of? If there is anything else you can think of let me know, any help would be appreciated. Thanks!!

Jaegergirl
10-24-2004, 18:13
here are a couple of sites with a wealth of information...

http://www.kingsnake.com/
http://www.ssnakess.com

we had 2 california kings snakes. they were pretty easy to take care of, they weren't poisonous (so they could be handled without worry), and didn't get very big. i'd love to get an emerald tree boa or a green tree python. neither one can be handled but i just think they are beautiful to look at. maybe someday when we have some extra cash... :) ;)

a 10 gallon tank would be fine for any of the smaller snakes, like the king snakes. do you know if there are any reptile clubs in your area? here in ohio we have NOAH http://www.noahonline.net/mtlog/archives/index.shtml. they have a reptile show every couple of months which we have attended several times. it's a great way to see what's out there and talk to people who own and breed snakes. maybe you can see if there's anything like that available near you.

good luck.
:)

lucky8926
10-24-2004, 18:24
Thanks for the info!! I will have to check and see if there are any reptile clubs in my area.

i luv g.r.i.t.s
10-24-2004, 20:42
Ive raised snakes for a while everything from corn snakes to 16 ft pythons.I think if you have the time for it the best one might be a red tailed boa.It eats good unlike some ball pythons, and dont grow at such a fast rate as the burmese.If these constrictors are still to big, you can start with corn or king snakes.Although kings are canibles so you can only (usually)have one.I could go on and on because I loved rasing them and talking about them but I go overboard some times.PM me and I can send you alot of info you would need and some breeders that sell.

tpiini
10-24-2004, 21:15
I used to have Boas. If I remember correctly, the rule of thumb for terrarium size was 1 cubic foot of space per foot of snake.

shawnster
10-25-2004, 20:30
I have a Ball Python. Pretty easy to take care of and I got lucky and got a great eater. BP's are known to be picky eaters but mine has never turned down a meal. From what I hear Kingsnakes are great to start off with. I started with my BP and to start off with I was nervous cause there's alot to think about, like temps, humidity and hides among other things. But I done alot of research and have had no problems. Of course I always enjoy the look on peoples faces that are talking about there pets then I tell them that I got a snake...lol. For a great BP forum check out the following link.

Shawn

Click here for BP link (http://www.ballpython.net)

lucky8926
10-25-2004, 20:37
I've narrowed it down to a ball, corn or king. i luv g.r.i.t.s has been helping me out quite a bit too!!

i luv g.r.i.t.s
10-25-2004, 20:37
Remember they look cute when they are small but some end up like this........... http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2004-2/657161/pet.jpeg

lucky8926
10-25-2004, 20:51
That would be a great starter snake for me!!;f

W Turner
10-26-2004, 11:51
I have kept ball pythons, kingsnakes, corn snakes, a red tail boa and a blood python in addition to various lizards.

For a starter snake a young captive-bred ball python is hard to beat. Captive-bred specimens are usually not picky when it comes to food (mine would eat pre-killed mice/rats) and are far healthier overall. Balls also stay a good size (5ft. is large) and grow at a rate that will allow you to save for a larger cage (I used a 30 gallon) later.

If you just want one that will live in a 10-gallon for it's entire life, a Rosy Boa is a good possibility as well. They genrally don't get over 3 feet and are easy to keep, just don't keep water in there all of the time. About one out of every three days is best. Otherwise they tend to regurgitate their food.

If you have any other questions, pm or emil me!

Bull

engineer151515
10-26-2004, 11:58
Have 4 corns.

All in one (large) tank.


I enjoy them as pets.

Here's a picture of 3 of them.


The fourth is a Miami coral snake. It "found" my wife and crawled onto her foot! Instead of just stomping it to death (which most people would do) she CAUGHT it and brought it home.

What a WOMAN!

lucky8926
10-26-2004, 12:20
I found one I would really like to have but they're really expensive, so I'll pass. A Green tree python. There was a picture of a red green tree python that was amazing!! But a little out of my price range.

Jaegergirl
10-26-2004, 14:51
Originally posted by lucky8926
I found one I would really like to have but they're really expensive, so I'll pass. A Green tree python. There was a picture of a red green tree python that was amazing!! But a little out of my price range.

you and me both! we found some babies down in columbus for around $350 but with christmas coming around, we couldn't justify the expense. or maybe the babies were emerald tree boas. anyway, they both are are beautiful and i would love to have one some day. :)

Hamsquatch
10-26-2004, 15:06
We just got our first snake (my first, my wife has had many) – a Knoblochi Mountain King Snake. We have her in a 29 gallon aquarium with furniture (a fake tree) to climb on, and an under-tank reptile heating pad located on one end of the aquarium so that she can ‘thermoregulate’. We also have small ‘hides’ in each of the temperature extremes, too, I can’t speak for all commonly-kept snakes, but ours is the sweetest creature (a shock to me!). She loves to hang out on us when we take her out, and she even teases our eight cats thru the glass. Maintenance is not too demanding – she gets fed mice once a week – but we do usually end up changing her water and tidying up her cage every night. ;a

lucky8926
10-26-2004, 23:57
I can't wait to get mine!! I'm starting to lean toward getting a ball python now. The only thing now that is stopping me from making a final decision is that they are "picky eaters"

tpiini
10-27-2004, 07:25
When we had snakes many years ago we had red tailed boas. They were good snakes, but did grow to be very large. I had to build a very large terrarium for them. The great thing about the Ball Pythions are that they do NOT get to be too big. About 5' is the max. We had a friend with some Ball Pythons and I thought that they were the perfect "House snake." If I were to do it again, I'd probably go that route.

Jaegergirl
10-27-2004, 09:21
Originally posted by lucky8926
I can't wait to get mine!! I'm starting to lean toward getting a ball python now. The only thing now that is stopping me from making a final decision is that they are "picky eaters"

my brother had 2 of them for a while (actually, he was snake sitting for a friend for a couple months). he went to feed one of them a live mouse and the mouse bit the snake so the snake refused to eat it. it got to the point where my brother would have to "flick" the mouse on the head to "stun" it so the crazy snake would eat. don't know if that's common or not but it sure was kind of comical. :)

lucky8926
10-27-2004, 09:40
LOL thats pretty funny!! He had to give the mouse a concussion so it wouldn't hurt the snake!!^b

mzenzer
10-27-2004, 10:07
As others have said, Ball Pythons can be picky eaters, but that is usually just with the imports, i.e., wildcaught. Captive bred are normally no problem. My captive bred Ball eats with a gusto, as ravenous as any corn/kingsnake. Get a young CB Ball and start them out on frozen/dead mice, and you'll have no feeding problems from there on out.

Just remember they come from dry, hot environments. Keep your tank that way and it'll be fine.

With that said corns are great, and there is an amazing variety of phases available.

Besides, which snake you pick first is irrelevant, once you get the fever you WILL be getting more. Prepare yourself for a house full of snakes!

lucky8926
10-27-2004, 11:48
What is a good age snake to buy or does it really matter?

fade2black
10-27-2004, 14:35
I would get a juvenile because they are fun to watch grow up. Most reputable breeders keep shed and fed records, and won't sell a snake until it has at least shed once and has eaten a few times. Make sure you get one from a reputable breeder and don't be afraid to ask for references and follow up on them. If they are a good breeder they will have no problem giving you plenty of references.

mzenzer
10-27-2004, 16:54
Originally posted by lucky8926
What is a good age snake to buy or does it really matter?


As fade2black said, as long as its shed at least once and eaten a few times, you should be good to go. Juveniles are fun to watch grow.

mzenzer
10-27-2004, 16:56
Also, you should pick up this book - The Ball Python Manual by Phillipe De Vosjoli, Advanced Aquarium Systems.

tpiini
10-27-2004, 18:29
Originally posted by Jaegergirl
my brother had 2 of them for a while (actually, he was snake sitting for a friend for a couple months). he went to feed one of them a live mouse and the mouse bit the snake so the snake refused to eat it. it got to the point where my brother would have to "flick" the mouse on the head to "stun" it so the crazy snake would eat. don't know if that's common or not but it sure was kind of comical. :)

Strange as that may seem, it's not unusual. Snakes will kill mice/rats/whatever only when they're hungry enough to eat them. If they're not hungry, they can be seriously mauled by the rodent and they won't defent themselves. Don't EVER put a live rodent in the terrarium and leave without making sure that the snake has killed it.

bethann
10-30-2004, 18:46
Originally posted by Jaegergirl
it got to the point where my brother would have to "flick" the mouse on the head to "stun" it so the crazy snake would eat. don't know if that's common or not but it sure was kind of comical. :)

My husband had a savannah monitor who had the same thing happen. A mouse bit him and after that I had to stun the mouse or the lizard wouldn't get near it. It was pretty funny watchin that huge monitor run from a little bitty mouse.
Beth

shawnster
10-30-2004, 19:59
I've heard of that happening. When I first got my BAll Python, I was feeding him live mice. About a month or so after I got him I started him on frozen mice. He's never turned on down. When I first tried to start him, the first one I didn't get thawed enough and he struck and coiled and "killed it" and swallowed so I thought, "wow, this is pretty easy". Then the next day I went to check on his water and opened up his lid and the most horrible smell hit me and I seen a half digested mouse in the corner that he threw up...very nasty and not fun cleaning that up. So I tried again and I think I got the process mastered now, I haven't had any more problems. But Yes, please feed pre killed or frozen. It's not worth getting your pet chewed, and scarred up.

Shawn

W Turner
11-01-2004, 15:28
Like was posted earlier, I just wanted to reiterate that captive bred ball pythons are not usually finicky. Some pet stores deal in wild-caught/imported specimens and that is where ball's got the reputation for being picky eaters. In my area, captive-breds go for $70-$100 and the wild-caughts are usually $25-$50.

Look over the entire snake to check for health. Look for any discharge from the eyes, nostrils, etc. The body should be full and the skin should be clean and not wrinkled. The eyes should be clear and bright, if there appears to be a film over JUST the eyes, stay away from that one (it is likely that it has pieces of unshed skin on it's eyes, which could result in blindness). If the skin appears dull and the eyes have a milky look to them, the snake is likely getting ready to shed so leave and come back in about a week and it should have shed by that time. Also they can be very cranky when preparing to shed (AKA "in blue"), so they may strike seemingly unprovoked because they are effectively blind during that time.

I started my BP in a 10-gallon aquarium with a tight-fitting, secure lid and a flourescent light with a heating pad under the tank. When he was 3' long, I transferred him to a 30-gallon tank where he lived until I traded him. A few things to remember...

-Start "training" him to eat pre-killed or thawed mice as soon as possible
-Never feed anything larger than the thickest portion of the snake. This lessens the likelihod of him "giving" the mouse back after it is partially digested.
-Use a quality litter in the cage and change it frequently. Shredded Aspen, shredded newsprint, processed tree bark, etc. all make good substrates. I use crushed walnut shells and/or corncob. NEVER use cedar shavings, IIRC the cedar oils are toxic to reptiles.
-Never use a heat rock. Their temp is not regulated and they can badly burn snakes because their bellies are not very sensitive to temp. I use a human heating pad because it is easily adjustable.
-Don't let one strike discourage you. Some snakes take time to adjust to being handled. I have never had a ball strike at me, and they are generally very docile, but the posibility is always there. At worst, it will be similar to a cat bite. Some snakes have an anti-coagulent in their saliva that thins blood when it comes into contact, so don't freak if you get bit and it looks like the wound is bleeding a lot.

If you have any other questions, feel free to pm or email me.

Bull

elsolo
11-03-2004, 17:13
get your snakes used to eating pre-killed rodents.

All it takes is one rear rat leg to get out of a coil, and it can rip a few scales out of your prized snake. then you have to swab it every day with disinfectant so your pet doesn't get infected. pain in the rear.

lucky8926
11-13-2004, 01:32
I finally made my decision and have my setup. Here it is:

29 gal tank with lid, under tank heater, overhead ceramic heater (both on a rheostat) digital indoor/outdoor thermometer with humidity guage, water dish, and half a small box as a hide. I know I will need 2 hides, and the one is just temporary until I get my temp/humidity levels correct...which brings me to this. I want everything to be correct before I get the BP. Right now my basking area in the hide is 96 (too hot) and my cold side is 76 (too cold) and my humidity is only 40% (too low) I am using newspaper as a substrate and have kept adding layers of it to bring the floor temp in the hide down. As mentioned earlier I have the overhead and undertank heaters hooked up to a rheostat. I don't even have the overhead on and the rheostat is turned on low but still too hot. Any ideas for getting my temps/humidity under control??

tpiini
11-13-2004, 09:10
When I built my terrarium I wired a regular house thermostat to trigger some relays that turned on light bulbs under one side of the floor for heat. I'm sure that you could do the same with your heaters. As far as humidity, I just had my water box right over the heated area and the natural evaporation kept things okay.

Hope this helps a bit,

Tom

fade2black
11-13-2004, 11:48
Originally posted by lucky8926
I finally made my decision and have my setup. Here it is:

29 gal tank with lid, under tank heater, overhead ceramic heater (both on a rheostat) digital indoor/outdoor thermometer with humidity guage, water dish, and half a small box as a hide. I know I will need 2 hides, and the one is just temporary until I get my temp/humidity levels correct...which brings me to this. I want everything to be correct before I get the BP. Right now my basking area in the hide is 96 (too hot) and my cold side is 76 (too cold) and my humidity is only 40% (too low) I am using newspaper as a substrate and have kept adding layers of it to bring the floor temp in the hide down. As mentioned earlier I have the overhead and undertank heaters hooked up to a rheostat. I don't even have the overhead on and the rheostat is turned on low but still too hot. Any ideas for getting my temps/humidity under control??

Do you have a water dish in there for the snake? That will help raise the humidity. Also, try covering half of the screen top with saran wrap or something to keep the humidity in the tank. All of your himidity is going out the top. As for temps, a good thermostate will keep turing your UTH on and off to regulate the temp. I don't think you need the overhead heater as BP need belly heat.

lucky8926
11-13-2004, 12:24
tpiini- do you think you could give me a quick "how to" on those home-wired thermostats?

fade2black-I have a water dish in there, but I will have to try out the saran wrap idea!

I wet a sponge and placed it in there just for an experiment to see if that would raise the humidity and it did, but only up to about 53%. By the time I figure this all out it is going to be too cold (I've noticed alot of breeders won't ship if the temp is below a certain temp)

tpiini
11-13-2004, 13:20
[QUOTE]Originally posted by lucky8926
[B]tpiini- do you think you could give me a quick "how to" on those home-wired thermostats?

Go to your local electronics store. Radio Shack is fine. You want a transformer that will step 120 volts down to 12 volts. You also want a relay that will handle 120 volts, but needs 12 volts to switch it. The relay and transformer should only set you back about ten bucks. Just run 120 volts to the transformer and to one side of the relay. Then take your 12 volt output from the transformer and run that through the thermostat. Run the wire out of your thermostat to your relay so that when the thermostat cycles on & off, it opens and closes the relay. Run the wires out of the switched side of your relay to whatever you're using for heat.

It may sound confusing, but once you have the few parts in front of you it will all make sense. Just wire it up on a bench first and play with it and you'll see how simple it is.

lucky8926
11-13-2004, 14:03
^8 confusing is right.. Do you have a pic or maybe even a hand drawn diagram to give me a little better idea. what exactally do you mean when you say "run 120 volts to the relay" would that be coming from a wall outlet?

tpiini
11-13-2004, 14:49
Originally posted by lucky8926
^8 confusing is right.. Do you have a pic or maybe even a hand drawn diagram to give me a little better idea. what exactally do you mean when you say "run 120 volts to the relay" would that be coming from a wall outlet?

Hmmm... I'm somewhat computer illiterate, so I'm not sure how I'd get a diagram posted. But I just fumbled trough my "box-o-junk" downstairs and found the parts that I had used. Good thing, because I forgot that there was a rectifier in the circuit to switch the AC from the transformer to DC for the relay.

So how's about you E-mail me at tpiini@yahoo.com with an address. I'll box this stuff up and mail it to you with the best hand written instructions I can come up with. Oh yeah, the price is "Free", with shipping, handling, tax, license, dealer-prep & options included.

Tom

fade2black
11-13-2004, 21:34
Originally posted by lucky8926
tpiini- do you think you could give me a quick "how to" on those home-wired thermostats?

fade2black-I have a water dish in there, but I will have to try out the saran wrap idea!

I wet a sponge and placed it in there just for an experiment to see if that would raise the humidity and it did, but only up to about 53%. By the time I figure this all out it is going to be too cold (I've noticed alot of breeders won't ship if the temp is below a certain temp)

Check out your local reptile shows too. I know the there is one in Indy every month. Check kingsnake.com for a listing of events. They have the best list out there.

lucky8926
11-14-2004, 00:32
tpiini- e-mail sent

fade2black- I will have to check and see if there is anything coming up in my area, thanks!!