OK - I'm officially blaming the wife for this one.

Musicwolf

Arachnoknight
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OK - I'm officially blaming the wife for this one. - Kenyan Sand Boa question.

She spotted a Kenyan Sand Boa at the LPS for $50 and then talked the owner down to only $40. It's an adult female, and she bought it. Problem is, I research all my new pets thoroughly before buying them, but I knew nothing about Sand Boas other than that I had a perfect aquarium for one (12" x 30" and 6" deep).

So, I bought the LPS recommended "Reptilite Calcium Substrate Sand" which has spherical grains to prevent scratching etc. etc. etc. After researching here and other sites, it appears that Aspen shavings are the way to go, but will this substrate suffice for a while? I'll be feeding in a separate container with no substrate, so will that prevent ingestion - or do I need to try and re-bag the one bag that I already put in and see if they'll take it back?

Still working on heating one end of the aquarium as well - temporarily using a human heating pad and monitoring the substrate with a digital thermometer. Thanks in advance for the help.
 
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Lorgakor

Arachnomom
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Sand will work temporarily, but aspen chip is the best to use for sand boas. Sand will be irritating for their eyes, as well as very drying. It also tends to be dusty, messy, and it seems to hold onto smells. But in the mean time it should be okay as long as you feed in another container. Try feeding in a rather small container though, as they need to feel secure to eat.

As for heating, you need to monitor the lowest place the snake can get, meaning right on the bottom glass of the tank. Temps of 90 degrees would be ideal on the hot side. If you measure on the top of the substrate, the glass underneath could still be hot enough to burn the snake, it will burrow down. The sooner you can get a proper heat pad and a thermostat the better.

Congrats on the new snake, I love sand boas. Post pics!
 

Crysta

Arachnoprince
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where do you normally find sand boas in the wild?
 

Musicwolf

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Here's my proud wife {D She confessed that she's wanted one for a while.

Closer up to see the snake.

Just getting her set up.

She dove right in.

She explored the whole tank and then got a drink from the water bowl.
 

Crysta

Arachnoprince
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Why not make something hard packed sand akin the environment?

hm that would be not fun to clean.

yay for aspen.

And no mean to offend you, their common name made me...blabbery. :p
 

Musicwolf

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And no mean to offend you, their common name made me...blabbery. :p
Heh, sorry about that :razz: I shall call her Eryx colubrinus loveridgei from now on :D

No worries - - I'm that way when people start naming the Tarantulas by common names too.

As for the substrate - that will be temporary - I'll switch to Aspen when I get the chance. :8o
 

Kuro

Arachnosquire
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look at that snausage! big gal. nice looking boa..most interesting face
 

the toe cutter

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You can mix the sand with bed-a-beast or the like and that will help drastically. Thats what I keep all of my Psammophis and Rhamphiophis on as they are from the same region as your Sand Boa, and burrowers as well. It will hold humidity far better than both straight sand and aspen bedding, aiding in the ecdysis process and maintain their tunnel integrity better. Excavator clay is also handy to mix in as well for added tunnel strength. It is not difficult to clean and since your new Sand Boa is mainly fossorial, it will more than likely defecate in the tunnels and you will have to change the substrate at the same intervals anyway. It is also pretty cheap and more aesthetically pleasing as well. Just always make sure that you either freeze or treat any new store bought substrate for mites for atleast a few days prior to use, and quarantine your new addition for atleast a month. Good luck with that beast! Atleast we know she was fed VERY WELL!
 

Musicwolf

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You can mix the sand with bed-a-beast or the like and that will help drastically. Thats what I keep all of my Psammophis and Rhamphiophis on as they are from the same region as your Sand Boa, and burrowers as well. It will hold humidity far better than both straight sand and aspen bedding, aiding in the ecdysis process and maintain their tunnel integrity better. Excavator clay is also handy to mix in as well for added tunnel strength. It is not difficult to clean and since your new Sand Boa is mainly fossorial, it will more than likely defecate in the tunnels and you will have to change the substrate at the same intervals anyway. It is also pretty cheap and more aesthetically pleasing as well. Just always make sure that you either freeze or treat any new store bought substrate for mites for atleast a few days prior to use, and quarantine your new addition for atleast a month. Good luck with that beast! Atleast we know she was fed VERY WELL!
Thanks for the help :) - yes, she does appear well fed - she had just eaten the same day that my wife bought her.

Couple other questions - how often should I feed her? I've read once a week, every two weeks, and once a month.

Also, I know that she needs one end of the tank heated to 90 degrees . . . but what is the general upper limit without burning her, and should it be heated 24/7? I'm being very cautious right now, but obviously don't want to err to either extreme. FYI - the house stays at 77 degrees most of the time.
 

the toe cutter

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Thanks for the help :) - yes, she does appear well fed - she had just eaten the same day that my wife bought her.

Couple other questions - how often should I feed her? I've read once a week, every two weeks, and once a month.

Also, I know that she needs one end of the tank heated to 90 degrees . . . but what is the general upper limit without burning her, and should it be heated 24/7? I'm being very cautious right now, but obviously don't want to err to either extreme. FYI - the house stays at 77 degrees most of the time.
Ok for feeding 1 appropriately sized rat a week is fine. Judging from her size I'd say probably a nice small rat would suffice.

And you will need a hot spot of about 90F. Now for these particular animals being mainly fossorial, it would be more beneficial to go with a heat lamp and heres why; A heating pad will raise the temperature of the substrate from the bottom up and by nature they thermoregulate by burrowing down to a comfortable level within the substrate, thus making a heat pad less condusive to its natural inclinations and overall health. That should answer the question about a the maximum heat as well! Does that mean that a heat pad and aspen chips will doom your animal to death? No, but I always thought as a hobbyist, it is "ideal" in any animal husbandry to attempt to replicate the natural conditions for your animal as closely as possible for better care and longevity of the animals we have! I say that simply because I'm sure some people will read this and get all upset thinking I am telling them that their care is inadequate. As far as does it need to be heated all the time, no. There are two rainy seasons in Kenya. A short rainy season in November and a longer one that usually lasts from the end of March in to May. That being said, if you look at weather reports from Kenya and the surrounding regions, the highs for this time of year are around 90F/day and lows of 75F/night and rainy. So your ambient air temps should do fine at night, but use a thermometer with the probe end IN the top of the substrate to be sure. The reason for this is simply because you have to remember that they are fossorial and get their heat mainly through conduction rather than from direct solar radiation so check soil temps. African reptiles have been some of my absolute favorites to work with, thats what I plan on focusing ALL of my snake breeding efforts towards in the future and I hope you enjoy this one just as much! Thanks, and I hope that helps!
 
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demonmyst

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Nov 6, 2010
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sand boa

Uhhhh..... Sand boa......What's in the name sand.......It should be in sand. I don't know I own over 40 reptiles and love everyone. This is one I don't have but I'm looking into getting one. Every time I go to the pet store they are always in sand. I have a few friends with them and all are in sand.
 

demonmyst

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Nov 6, 2010
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Sorry meant to add....... Feed in different cage. That's how I usually do it. I've heard they don't usually turn aggressive either way but some snakes do and that's why I do it. To make it where there would be no sand in their food or mouth feed in a different cage.
 

DansDragons

Arachnobaron
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Uhhhh..... Sand boa......What's in the name sand.......It should be in sand. I don't know I own over 40 reptiles and love everyone. This is one I don't have but I'm looking into getting one. Every time I go to the pet store they are always in sand. I have a few friends with them and all are in sand.
sand in the wild, is much different than sand made in a factory :)
 

the toe cutter

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Uhhhh..... Sand boa......What's in the name sand.......It should be in sand. I don't know I own over 40 reptiles and love everyone. This is one I don't have but I'm looking into getting one. Every time I go to the pet store they are always in sand. I have a few friends with them and all are in sand.
Oh nice, trying to be clever! Sand boas are usually found where desert sand mixes with normal soil. And pet stores aren't usually the model of captive husbandry! Rarely do they get the proper care for their animals half way right! And since you can not provide an entire eastern continent of range for these animals, you must compact all of their needs into a small enclosure. That is why alot of sand boas in captivity don't shed properly on average. And the reason for why it is best to mix sand with another medium that would make the substrate more porous(able to contain more water).
 

Crysta

Arachnoprince
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Uhhhh..... Sand boa......What's in the name sand.......It should be in sand. I don't know I own over 40 reptiles and love everyone. This is one I don't have but I'm looking into getting one. Every time I go to the pet store they are always in sand. I have a few friends with them and all are in sand.

If you notice, I was making fun of the 'sand boas' common name :)
 

Musicwolf

Arachnoknight
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Jul 2, 2010
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283
It's still not my fault!

Alright, so my wife ended up naming her Juliet . . . . so it's not really my fault that I bought a male Python regius two days later and named him Romeo :D.

Basically, I HAD to - - I mean, what's Juliet without a Romeo? Besides, I got him (2.5'+ long) and his 30 gallon aquarium enclosure with all the fixings for $25. See . . . still not my fault {D
 
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