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Thread: Nooby Snake?

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    Default Nooby Snake?

    Hello everyone,
    I am brand new to snakes but Im starting to get interested in them. Can anyone recommend a good first time beginner snake? Id like it to be generally small, easy to handle, and simple to care for. Also, does their food need to be alive? Lastly, Im afraid of being bit by one so does it hurt if your bit and whats a good way you recommend to not get bit without wearing gloves and such? Just like gentle handling?
    These are the questions I have for now but I will have a lot more. Thank you everyone.

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    Hey!

    Someone I can relate to! About a week ago I posted a very similar thread with the same question about beginner snakes. Here is a link: http://www.pangeareptile.com/forums/...ad.php?t=11183

    Since last week when I posted that, I went down to the White Plains reptile expo on Sunday and came home with this absolutely awesome Columbian Redtail Boa (in my avatar). He is SOOO personable. I honestly didn't think that snakes could be so friendly haha. However hes going to get pretty big, 7-10 feet, so that might not be what your looking for if you want one that won't get to big. I've heard that corn snakes are awesome beginner pets. You might also want to look into Ball Pythons, however they also get fairly big (5-6 feet I think, someone correct me if I'm wrong please ). I think they are really great and I've held a few and they seem to be VERY laid back and relaxed.

    As for feeding live food, no you don't have to at all! As a matter of fact a lot of people will tell you that you probably shouldn't. I myself do not feed live because I am mainly afraid that if my snake isn't hungry, then he won't be interested in the food given to him and before you know it the prey can bit the snake and if you check out Dr. Alan's website at http://www.downeastherps.com/
    you will find pictures and stories of snakes being attacked by mice and rats.

    As for being bit I have a bit of a funny story actually. When I was at the expo on Sunday I started talking to a Leopard Gecko and snake breeder named Fred Bruckman, who was a very nice guy and was full of answers. After I had held multiple snakes I decided that the Columbian Redtail was my favorite. But during the time that I was talking to him he was holding a black and white California Kingsnake, which from what I've heard are pretty friendly snakes (and will probably be my next). Anyway, he was holding this snake and wasn't really paying to much attention to it because he was answering my questions and there was a young girl who was handling one of his ball pythons. The Kingsnake he had jumped a bit when he moved his hand to quickly (gentle care and slower movement while handling a snake is key) and it bit the very tip of his pinky and refused to let go. He didn't seemed phased at all. Actually what I thought was kinda funny was that he went on for another 10-15 minutes of answering more questions from me until he finally decided to remove it from his pinky. It was hardly bleeding and really just looked like he received two shots ... on his pinky haha. That was quite a bit reassuring and I have been handling my snake just about everyday and I have not been bit yet.

    Hope this info helped! If you have anymore questions, ask away! I'm sure that if I can't help you with my basic information then the real, snake crazy, people on the forums can!
    -Wilson
    0.0.1 Garg
    2.2.0 Cresteds
    1.0.0 Columbian Red Tail Boa
    0.1.0 Blue Crowned Conure
    1.0.0 Black lab

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    Thank you so much. That reassures me a lot. I think I will go with a corn snake first and then move on up to bigger snakes if I really feel like it. Im actually not entirely sure if I can even get this snake first because my mom isnt too fond of them but I said Id keep them in the basement. By the way, can I keep them in the basement with an undertank heater? And do they need a light spectrum because my basement is window less. Lastly, do they need a cool and hot side, like leopard geckos? If anyone can direct me to a corn snake care sheet that covers pretty much everything, thatd be helpful too.

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    Oh man this is getting better and BETTER! MY Mom also is not fond of snakes! Well she wasn't beforehand.

    Also make sure you do a lot of research before making a purchase, so make sure that if you want a cornsnake then you check some caresheets. I would suggest googling it.

    As for heat sources, it really depends on the type of snake that you get. When I purchased a few of my cresteds I bought a heat pad to go under their tank (they are housed in pairs still because they are only juvies) and I purchased one that was a bit to small then what I wanted. I bought one for them in the first place because it was early spring and still quite cold.

    So I salvaged the small one and for now am using it on the bottom of my snakes 20'' long tank with a heat lamp as well. I'll have to buy a larger one when I buy a larger tank in about 6 months to a year because he will get to big for this tank! From what I've read most snakes should have a cooler and warmer section in their tank mainly because they are cold blooded animals and without the heat source they will get crabby, stressed and it can have an impact on their eating. Because of this I have my heat lamp on the same side of the tank and the heat pad.

    I don't think a basement would be bad at all. However is it a finished basement or just a standard concrete floor, cinderblock walled basement? Is it dry year round? Mold? Mildew? If you have the space I would suggest keeping him possibly in your room? Thats what I'm doing.


    Not having a window in the basement shouldn't be a problem. You should never put him in direct sunlight anyway.

    And as for care sheets for cornsnakes ... no clue. I'm sure you can easily find some though.

    ***EDIT***
    I myself have a question to anyone else who reads this. It's only been about 4 days since I fed my boa and according to http://www.redtailboas.com/general_c...eral_care.html
    they said feeding every 4 days is fine. So heres my quesiton: Since he doesn't seem to be interested with the F/T mouse I have so kindly provided, should I toss it or can I possibly save it by just tossing it back in a ziploc and back in the freezer? My initial feeling is just toss it but I would hate to waste it... As for now I'm going to toss this one because I don't have a response and it can't do any harm. But for future reference that would be helpful.
    -Wilson
    0.0.1 Garg
    2.2.0 Cresteds
    1.0.0 Columbian Red Tail Boa
    0.1.0 Blue Crowned Conure
    1.0.0 Black lab

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    It is kind of humid in my basement and it isnt finished, concrete floor cinderblock walls, etc. But i have a dehumidifier that I can use down there. Since there are no windows, I will provide a 12 hour compact flourecent bulb cycle ( The type of bulb you get at your local home improvement store ) and just put that on a clamp light and put it over the snakes tank along with a heat light. Will this do well?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wil19b85 View Post
    Oh man this is getting better and BETTER! MY Mom also is not fond of snakes! Well she wasn't beforehand.

    Also make sure you do a lot of research before making a purchase, so make sure that if you want a cornsnake then you check some caresheets. I would suggest googling it.

    As for heat sources, it really depends on the type of snake that you get. When I purchased a few of my cresteds I bought a heat pad to go under their tank (they are housed in pairs still because they are only juvies) and I purchased one that was a bit to small then what I wanted. I bought one for them in the first place because it was early spring and still quite cold.

    So I salvaged the small one and for now am using it on the bottom of my snakes 20'' long tank with a heat lamp as well. I'll have to buy a larger one when I buy a larger tank in about 6 months to a year because he will get to big for this tank! From what I've read most snakes should have a cooler and warmer section in their tank mainly because they are cold blooded animals and without the heat source they will get crabby, stressed and it can have an impact on their eating. Because of this I have my heat lamp on the same side of the tank and the heat pad.

    I don't think a basement would be bad at all. However is it a finished basement or just a standard concrete floor, cinderblock walled basement? Is it dry year round? Mold? Mildew? If you have the space I would suggest keeping him possibly in your room? Thats what I'm doing.


    Not having a window in the basement shouldn't be a problem. You should never put him in direct sunlight anyway.

    And as for care sheets for cornsnakes ... no clue. I'm sure you can easily find some though.

    ***EDIT***
    I myself have a question to anyone else who reads this. It's only been about 4 days since I fed my boa and according to http://www.redtailboas.com/general_c...eral_care.html
    they said feeding every 4 days is fine. So heres my quesiton: Since he doesn't seem to be interested with the F/T mouse I have so kindly provided, should I toss it or can I possibly save it by just tossing it back in a ziploc and back in the freezer? My initial feeling is just toss it but I would hate to waste it... As for now I'm going to toss this one because I don't have a response and it can't do any harm. But for future reference that would be helpful.

    I suggest you get him really hungry let him take a live one and then dangle the F/T one in his face.
    John Barkowski
    1.0.0 Ice/Sandfire Bearded Dragon
    0.1.0 Beagle Terrier
    0.1.0 Toy Chihuahua
    Unless we act now to stop illegal trade, we will eventually find only a dust bowl, emptied of all its forests and animals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reptile4life View Post
    I suggest you get him really hungry let him take a live one and then dangle the F/T one in his face.
    Haha, hes never had a live one before because he was raised on F/T. I'll try feeding him in a couple more days. I know the one I fed him 4 days ago has passed successfully because he left me a present yesterday.
    -Wilson
    0.0.1 Garg
    2.2.0 Cresteds
    1.0.0 Columbian Red Tail Boa
    0.1.0 Blue Crowned Conure
    1.0.0 Black lab

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    To stay on topic with this thread, I for one will vouch for corn snakes as the best beginner snake. They stay small, almost all are quite docile, they have a very "gentle" price, their husbandry is as simplistic as it can get, they are pretty active and can be enjoyable to watch, and you can even pick the color you want from tons of different choices HAHA! Krnggangpe94, feel free to ask me some more questions if you'd like as well.
    Now Wil19b85- First of all, your setup needs some tweaking. First cover that screen lid with neatly folded tinfoil. That poor snake is never going to have a decent shed with what you've got going on now. Secondly, add two small, dark, secure hides; one on each side. The faux half log does not count for either. Other than those couple things, you're looking good. On the feeding, slow it down. Boas are "slow growers". Feed that little guy a rodent that leaves a lump in his body once per week. Offer the f/t item with tongs or forceps. Sticking your big hand in there could cause him to be nervous. Keep in mind though that sometimes baby boas just dont acclimate quickly; you just have to be persistent. Recently I aquired another Hogg Island boa that held out for a month befor having its first meal while with me. If it doesnt take the f/t rodent, you can pop it back into a ziploc bag and refreeze it not long after its been thawed for one more feeding attempt. I never refreeze anything twice. To add to feeding though, I could almost guarentee with the addition of two small, tight, dark hides, your baby boa would deffinately not resist the temptation of a live small adult mouse.
    Good luck to both of you! Hope this all helped,
    -Adam
    2.2.6 (+ many eggs) Crested Geckos - Rhacodactylus Ciliatus
    2.2.0 Hogg Island Boas - Boa Constrictor Imperator
    1.1.0 Ackie Monitors - Varanus Acanthurus
    0.2.0 Ball Pythons - Python Regius
    2.2 (+ many eggs) Corn Snakes - Pantherophis Guttata
    0.1.0 Sonoran Gopher Snakes - Pituophis catenifer affinis
    1.0.0 Bearded Dragons - Pogona Vitticeps
    1.0.1 Rankins Dragons - Pogona Henrylawsonii
    1.3.0 Leopard Geckos - Eublepharis Macularius

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    Hello Adam,
    Id like to know if this set up Im planning to do will work well:
    20L tank with abot 2-3 inches of aspen shavings that you usually use for hamsters and such. A 8 watt UTH from Zoomed on the left side of the tank. For hides, Im not 100% sure, because nothing seems large enough. Can anyone recommend something? For a water bowl, I will use a small ceramic dog water bowl. As climbing material, Ill find wood peices outside, bake them for about 20 min, and put them in the tank. I will also attach fake vines/plants to the wood peieces. Will this be a sufficient habitiat that the corn can live for its whole life? And also, for cleaning, can I just spot clean and then about every month, replace the subtrate, etc?

  10. #10
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    Thanks a lot! I can easily fold some tinfoil over the screen. Is that to keep humidity in? Also as for the hide(s) the one I have in there (if it even remotely falls under that category) is only temporary until I can get out and pick up some better ones. I'd also like to put a little stick or something in there for him to climb on and maybe just make the tank look a bit nicer. Thanks for the info!

    **EDIT**
    What you said about spot cleaning and then about every month, replacing the substrate is what I have read on most sites. Some people will say to replace it all less then once a month. As for me I'm shooting for about once every 2-3 weeks.
    -Wilson
    0.0.1 Garg
    2.2.0 Cresteds
    1.0.0 Columbian Red Tail Boa
    0.1.0 Blue Crowned Conure
    1.0.0 Black lab

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