how do you keep your reptiles?

Lycanthrope

Arachnolord
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just wondering how you all keep you herps, like what type of enclosure, etc. the only herps i have this moment are a ball python, a florida kingsnake, and of course popeye the one eyed iguana with an offset jaw. ive had a couple people make rude comments about how my snakes are housed- they are in large plastic storage tubs with news paper on the bottom which is changed very often. both containers have a circumference (sp) of at least 2x the length of the snake living in them. in my opinion this is fine housing for a snake, and once they are full grown and i have more space then i may move them to something more pleasing to the eye. opinions are welcome.
 

atavuss

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Originally posted by Lycanthrope
just wondering how you all keep you herps, like what type of enclosure, etc. the only herps i have this moment are a ball python, a florida kingsnake, and of course popeye the one eyed iguana with an offset jaw. ive had a couple people make rude comments about how my snakes are housed- they are in large plastic storage tubs with news paper on the bottom which is changed very often. both containers have a circumference (sp) of at least 2x the length of the snake living in them. in my opinion this is fine housing for a snake, and once they are full grown and i have more space then i may move them to something more pleasing to the eye. opinions are welcome.
I keep my reptiles in glass reptile terrariums with sliding screen tops. they range in sizes from a 135 gallon (4' tall by 2' square) for an adult ball python and 60 gallon long for bearded dragon and blue tongue skink to 40 gallon for hog nosed snake, rosy boa, to 20 regular for tokay gecko, to ten gallon tall "hex" for juv crested geckos (one in each). I used to have well over 600 gallons in various sized glass "reptile" terrariums but as some of the reptiles have died off from old age or selling or trading them my reptile collection has dwindled. I have mostly inverts kept in kritter keepers now.
I don't see where someone would get off saying bad things about how you keep your snakes, as long as they have the proper heating and are fed and watered well.......
Ed
 

Phillip

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Glass is nicer looking...

However the folks that comment on how it's wrong to keep a snake in a plastic sweaterbox simply do not know what the snake requires to be happy so I wouldn't worry too much about the comments. From the description you give you are doing just fine. Mine are kept in everything from small critter keepers and shoeboxes to 40 gallon breeders for some of my adult pairs and groups. I also have some adults such as the greybands who still are kept in sweater boxes. It all comes down to personal preferance and how much room you have for tanks. Most of the large scale big name breeders use the sweater box and rack systems so there really is no question as to whether or not they are ok but the glass setup is nicer looking and I will always have some in glass simply because of the display qualities of the setup. As far as suggestions the only one that pops into mind is that if you look around you can find sweater boxes that are just about as clear as glass and they actually look quite nice. Another thing that looks good for smaller colubrids and such are the large but short critter keepers that are something like 17 long
( ballpark guess on size ) they not only look nice but they stack well also.

Phil
 

Bry

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I keep my snakes in a variety of enclosures. Glass enclosures are a pain to move around, especially when you move as much as I do. So, I stick with the smaller tanks. My preferred size are the 20 longs, my little ball python is in a 10 gal., and my juvie corn is in a 10 gal. 1/2 tank. What that means is, the tank has the floor space of a 10 gal, but it is only half as tall. I have one snake in a 2' wide Boaphile plastics cage, My gray ratsnake lives in a 4' wide Precision cage, my black rat and Okeetee corn are in tubs, and I plan to switch them to something else more visible very soon. I know they do fine in tubs (they've been in them since January), but, I like to be able to see my snakes. My two Hog Island females are in a 4' wide x 2' deep x 18" tall wooden enclosure that I built. Not a very pretty cage, but it's functional, and works quite well.

Bry
 

Craig

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I think sweater boxes are great for snakes. i've been using them for years for rescue snakes that i have had on a temp. basis, and snakes that I don't display. i think who ever made nasty remarks towards you has no idea what they are talking about. As a professional I assure you that they are fine. another plus side of sweater boxes is the fact that the sweater boxes are really easy to heat and keep humidity up.

o yeah for lizards i use larger enclosures. my iguana is housed in a enclosure that is 4' tall 6' long and 3' wide. the adult housing i have for my girl friend's water montior is 6' tall 12' long and 6' wide. this is massive. but so is the lizard.
 
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Sicarius

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Jun 13, 2003
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newspaper and sweater boxes are fine for snakes, I ALWAYS kept my corns, boas, retics, etc... on simple substrate to avoid contamination @ cross contamination. Also worked at a small Zoo for 5+ yrs. and we kept ALL of our 'behind the scenes snakes' in the most basic ie; sterile conditions possible . All were happy as a captive snake can possibly be. Just blow off the naysayers, cuz' nobody who truly knows reptiles would be bashing you bro.
 

Lycanthrope

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yeah i didnt really take him seriously at all. no matter how many times i tried to explain he he was just stuck in this "its a pet so why doesnt it play and have toys" mentality. i guess some people just dont get it:rolleyes: . thanks for all the replies
 

Crotalus

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Right now I keep my snakes in glass terrariums with sliding doors. I keep them on bark, cos I like the more natural look and its easy to clean. The decoration is roots, stones etc for shelter. Ventilation is aluminium mesh on the top, approx 40% of the top.
Soon Ill make new cages with aluminiumframes, and metal bottom and back piece and one side in metal aswell.
Cant wait til its done.
Offcourse the snakes dont suffer (well most anyway) in a plastic sweater box but i dont like the way it looks, I want my cages to be an "eye piece" aswell as an good cage for my animals.

The fear to bring in roots, stones etc from mother nature is beyond me. I kept snakes for 20 years almost and never had any problems with mites or other harmful bugs. Then i know people who kept snakes in sterile or almost sterile conditioons and had varoius problems with mites, infections etc.

/Lelle
 

Doug H

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neonates are kept in shoebox's then move up to sweaterbox's, I only keep Pituophis,so my adults are in cages 3-4' long X 2' deepX12"-15" high. I have a incadesent on one side. I used to keep adults insweater box's but when the poop in a smaller encloser it just makes a mess.

DougH.
 

skinheaddave

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I think that all that needs to be said has been said. As long as the snake has what it needs, the rest is up to you.

Personaly, my snakes get a range of enclosures. I have a stack of nicely finished wood enclosures I built which have everything from a very elaborate, natural looking enclosure at the top down to a very simple newspaper, hide box and water dish setup at the bottom. I also have my juvenile snakes in very simple tupperware and newspaper type setups.

Cheers,
Dave
 

Ravnos

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I vary from plastic critter keepers, to shoe boxes, to sweater boxes, to various terrariums, to big commercial acrylic cages, and then to home-made plywood & plexiglass cages depending on size of the animal and its general needs.

Rav
 

BugBoyX

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Well here's my two cents....probably there's a lot of people who aren't going to like it.....but.....I keep all my snakes (now that's only 2) in very big (by comparison) enclosures. Now I know that lots of people keep and breed many species of snakes very well in stuff like sweater and shoe boxes...but..when I see my 5' Fla. King in her 100gal. tank, all stretched out or just cruising around and think that there are people who would put her in something a small as a sweater box..well I just don't know. Her tank measures 5' by 1.5' by 2', she's got a large water dish to soak in, branches to climb and various hides to choose from. She's very active, eats well and I've had her for about 11yrs. now. I'm not trying to breed her, she just a pet(more like a scaly kid)......so I think that she deserves the best I can give her. I know this doesn't work for big collections or breeders, but it works for me and if you're just keeping a snake or a few as pets, I really think it's best. My rule of thumb.....the tank, cage, whatever should have a measured length and width no shorter than the snake's length.....I even go further and don't go any shorter in length than the snake is long. I know lots of people aren't going to like this and will have problems with it, but it's what I do....and after seeing how my animals react and behave to all the space....I really think it's best for "pet" snakes.
 

Bry

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Actually, Aggro, I don't see why anyone would have a problem with your setup. I agree on one point, large, naturalistic setups just aren't realistic for those w/ large collections. Especially for those snakes intended as breeders. For babies, yes, I think they should have small enclosures. But, I think it's more concievable to provide somewhat roomy enclosures for adults as long as they have adequate places to hide, as you already stated. Adult kingsnakes don't seem to care much about hiding, IMO. Adults don't stress as easily, because they're not such easy prey at a larger size. It's all a matter of what works best for the keeper, as long as it's also good for the snakes. Sweaterboxes, shoeboxes, tubs, and racks work best for those w/ large collections, but nice-looking, good-sized display cages are more suitable for small collections. The only thing I would probably not understand, is keeping a collection of 1-3 snakes in tubs where you can't see them and enjoy them. If you can't see and enjoy the few snakes you do have, then what's the point of keeping them at all?

Bry
 

Lycanthrope

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as i said i only have 3 herps, a green iguana, a ball python "(2') and a 3-3.5' Fl. king. the iguana and the ball werent things i planned on getting, i adopted them because otherwise they would have died. the iguana is missing an eye and had a broken jaw (now is able to eat again), and was sitting in the backroom of the petco i work at under a blanket with no light, food, or water in a 10 gallon when i first got there. he had been there for 2 weeks in those conditions and was extremely close to death. you could see every bone in him, and they were just going to let him waste away to save the charges of euthanizing him. i brought him home and fed him vegetable baby foods after the vet said nothing could be done (aside from euthanizing him) for the jaw. within a month he was eating solids, albeit with a jaw that knitted crooked. i named him popeye. he is alive, well, and very green and fat after his 6 months or rehabilitation. he stands at around 2.5', and is living in a 50 gallon aquarium rightr now. the ball python i took in after he was severely chewed up by a mouse, requiring stitches. i cared for him until the stitches were removed. it was decided that with his scar he was unsaleable and would be euthanized, so i took him in. he is currently 2' and living in a plastic sweater box as mentioned in my original post. the Fl. king came to petco at 3'. it was decided we had no place for him so he would be sent to our sister store. ive seen that store and its miserable conditions, and couldnt stand to see the snake go there, i had fallen in love with him from the time i opened the snake bag. so, i bought him. he also lives in a large sweater box as mentioned. i live in an apartment, with my fiance and two soon to be three kids, so space doesnt allow me to put them all in the aquariums id like to, at least until we get a house.
 

Bry

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Maybe I should've been a bit more clear. My post was more directed towards people who never want to put them in an enclosure where you can clearly see them. They just seem to want to toss a snake in an opaque tub to say they have a snake. If space or funds temporarily restricts you from putting them in an enclosure that allows visibility, then I understand that. In fact, 3 of my snakes are in tubs temporarily, but I plan on putting them in something where I can see them before long.

Bry
 

Lycanthrope

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no i understood you, my explanation was keyed toward this:

think that there are people who would put her in something a small as a sweater box..well I just don't know.
and this:
and if you're just keeping a snake or a few as pets, I really think it's best. My rule of thumb.....the tank, cage, whatever should have a measured length and width no shorter than the snake's length.....I even go further and don't go any shorter in length than the snake is long.
no

of course mines not 5' yet, by the time she is she will be in the 50 gallon occupied by the iguana.
 

BugBoyX

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I think that's great that you're taking responsibilty for these unwanted and injured herps. My comments were more general and not specifically directed towards how you're keep your animals. I've just run into too many publications and people who are really into keeping snakes as low maintanence as possible (again for breeders and large collections that's understandable), with out really thinking about the "quality of life" for the animal. Yeah snakes will survive in very small, contained conditions, but I really have to wonder about how well they're "living". I know "They're just snakes and don't have feelings or emotions.", but you've got to admit that a snake in a large dynamic environment looks a lot "happier" than one in a box. Just putting in my two cents.... I'll be back for the change.:D
 

Lycanthrope

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i live in an apartment, with my fiance and two soon to be three kids, so space doesnt allow me to put them all in the aquariums id like to, at least until we get a house.
all the change i have is right there. short on space and money. i didnt go buy reptiles just to keep them in boxes, they fell in my lap with no place to go. my kingsnake seems happy enough, and both snakes shed properly. the snakes at the shop have constant bad sheds from what i believe to be stress from bad conditions/overcrowding. in fact my ball never had a good shed until he came to my home from the shop. by no means do i mean this to be compound evidence that my snakes are singing and dancing while im at work, but it does tell me things are satisfactory, which will just have to do for now:) .
 

Kenny

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Size

Hi
My Burmese python ( 2 + feet ) is right now in a 25 inch long, 18 inch wide and 10 inches high cage/glasstank.

Like this: --------------------- 25 inches
l l
l l 18 inches
l l
Like this: ---------------------- 25 inches
and height is 10 inches.

This will change of course. :)

Kenny
 
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