Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Advice for a first time snake owner

Discussion in 'Snakes' started by ellenlouisepascoe, May 29, 2017.


  1. ellenlouisepascoe

    ellenlouisepascoe PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2013
    Messages:
    5,860
    Likes Received:
    7,028
    So, after some bargaining between myself my husband and my nephew we have decided to get a snake. It will be mostly my nephews however obviously as he is currently in phase 1 of army training most of it's care will be down to myself and my husband ( although he is home most weekends ) having had nothing much to do with snakes before we have visited some different shops, did some reading online and handled a couple of type of snakes and we have settled on a Royal / Ball python.

    We will be going for an established snake rather than a youngster, we haven't decided what morph as of yet however this month we will be buying the equipment. This is the list I have so far :

    1) 3x2x2 Vivarium - I am looking for a suggestion on brand as it seems opinions vary how ever it is a wooden one we are looking for
    2) Under Tank Heater
    3) Some substrate I see a lot of recommendations for just paper however open to suggestions for this too
    4) 2 hides for either end of the viv
    5) Water bowl
    6) Fake plants etc ( these are optional and I am not sure whether we will bother with them unless there is a benefit to using them )
    7) Food - easy one my raw food supplier also sells rats / chicks / mice
    8) Feeding tongs

    I have also found a couple of local reptile specialist vets which we will register with.

    Is there anything I am missing ? Any hints or tips would be appreciated :)
     
  2. ShibaPup

    ShibaPup PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2017
    Messages:
    1,412
    Likes Received:
    3,505
    Wooden vivarium - VivExotic are flat packed, fairly inexpensive and very easy to get.

    Thermostat - regardless what heating method you choose a thermostat is a must to control the temperature.

    Digital thermometer to monitor the temp.

    Under tank heater? I'm assuming you mean a heat mat? They aren't really suitable in a vivarium - my choice would be a ceramic heater holder, ceramic bulb with a guard and pulse thermostat. You'll need the ceramic guard to stop the snake from potentially burning itself.

    Substrate - Use whatever you like. My personal favourite is soil.

    Everything else sounds good.

    Royals are known for fasting and being picky eaters - they can go a while without eating especially during the breeding season.

    They are also fairly shy snakes so personally I would get fake plants, low branches to provide plenty of cover for the snake to feel secure.
     
  3. StormyThai

    StormyThai Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Messages:
    9,273
    Likes Received:
    21,323
    I second the ceramic heat bulb. My old boa came to me with burns all down her underside due to under tank heating.
     
  4. ellenlouisepascoe

    ellenlouisepascoe PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2013
    Messages:
    5,860
    Likes Received:
    7,028
    Thanks Guys, I read one thing that states the heat matts are the best source and then another that says bulbs but I will definitely go for a bulb. Any suggestions on brands as quite like fish keeping / dog ownership I would imagine some brands are better rated than others.

    I am definitely happy to go with plenty of decoration in the viv, my favourite part of fish keeping is the plants and scaping their environment, I was looking at fake vines and fake hanging plants in a shop we were in I also like the look of the soil / bark looking substrates however I did not know what benefit they had over simply using paper or kitchen towels. VivExotic is one of the brands I was actually looking at as you can get the matching cabinets and I believe you can also fit a lock to them? Although the snake will be upstairs in my nephews and away from the dogs I would like to be able to lock the Viv
     
  5. BlueJay

    BlueJay Pack of Losers

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2013
    Messages:
    6,237
    Likes Received:
    15,990
    More natural substrates are going to give any animal more enrichment than a clinical set up. Not going to be as easy to clean out, but being able to trundle around through and under an appropriate substrate is good for them! It's also going to hold humidity better than paper towels. My boas and colubrids were always making tunnels and burrows :)
    While technically ground dwellers (and pretty clumsy...), royals will climb given the opportunity, so make sure decor etc is plenty sturdy for them; bamboo root, mopani wood and other branches would probably be better than vines.

    Heating wise, I use mostly ProRep and Microclimate stuff
    Guards are 100% necessary with bulbs of any kinds.
    You can get locks that fit any sliding door; they clip round one side and the lock slides on and off :)
    [​IMG]
     
  6. ellenlouisepascoe

    ellenlouisepascoe PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2013
    Messages:
    5,860
    Likes Received:
    7,028
    I luckily have plenty of mopani wood around the house as we use it in aquariums too! Thanks for the suggestions!
     
  7. ellenlouisepascoe

    ellenlouisepascoe PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2013
    Messages:
    5,860
    Likes Received:
    7,028
    Soooooo meet William snakesphere. The Royal Python- Normal

    received_1946026688942505.jpeg
     
    SpicyBulldog likes this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice