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Old 03-14-18, 09:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Terrarium Setup for Boa in SoCal

Okay, I'm having a bit of an issue keeping my new 7 month old Columbian Hypo Boa in a tub (currently Sterilite 32 qt -- Just until I can get a proper enclosure. I would have kept her in a terrarium but everyone is telling me it would be hard to keep the proper temp / humidity in this locale with a terrarium. Truth be told, I'm having ungodly issue doing so with a tub more than I ever did with a terrarium. I have yet to get the temps right or the humidity and am stressing and checking all the time. Does anyone else live in a dry climate and use a terrarium? I'm thinking of at least trying the terrarium.. thoughts?
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Old 03-16-18, 01:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Terrarium Setup for Boa in SoCal

I have a baby kingsnake in a terrarrium and I live in SoCal and she is doing fine! From what I've seen people are always arguing back and forth about what a "proper" enclosure should be, from tubs to tanks and the material used to make them. Glass? Wood? Plastic? People argue so much! Opinions are very divided.

From what I've gleaned from all these opinions and information, it shouldn't matter as long as the temp and humidity are right and the enclosure is big enough. If the tub isn't working for you, then perhaps a tank will. So far I'm liking my tank just fine.

That said it could also be your substrate. Some substrates hold humidity better than others. Is it too high or low? Are you misting? Are you using heat tape, or a heating pad? Do you have a thermostat?
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Old 03-16-18, 02:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Terrarium Setup for Boa in SoCal

The issue with tub vs glass tank isn't one boiled down simply to the material of cages. Sooo many factors go into determining whether a set up is adequate, it's not always 100% accurate to say one is better than the other. A tub with nothing but a UTH or heat tape isn't going to maintain heat as well as a tank with a CHE or light bulb, though it should hold humidity much better if there isn't too much air flow. Just as an example. Ambient heating will always be superior to belly-heat only, and it's harder to set up an ambient heater in a tub than it is in a screen top tank.

What exactly are your temps and humidity, and what are you measuring them with (digital vs analog)? What substrate are you using, and how are you heating the enclosure? Is the heating element on a thermostat, and if it is where is the probe located?
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Old 03-16-18, 04:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Terrarium Setup for Boa in SoCal

It's not really about what you pick, tub or vivarium, bioactive/planted or not, it's about what is inside for the snake... you can make excellent tubs for snakes, and **** vivariums, just as easy.

It should be of good size for the snake to utilize, and not just large enough for it to lay on either end and that's it
It should have substrates
It should have proper cover, branches, hides
It should be well maintained
It should have light, proper basking sites
It should have proper thermal, light, and humidity gradients

Just a terrarium or tub with some paper or even aspen, 2 hides, a waterbowl, and a UTH for the heat just doesn't cut it with what we understand about snakes these days. All those decade's old practices are horribly out of date but unfortunately still used as most recent care guides.

Heck, by accident I received last Reptiles Magazine which was in 2018(!!!!) putting a care guide for Leopard gecko's dated back MORE THAN A DECADE with very poor care instructions in it based on the, at that time, knowledge. This has drastically changed over the last 10 years, yet is still published as most recent.
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Old 03-21-18, 05:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Terrarium Setup for Boa in SoCal

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRD View Post
It's not really about what you pick, tub or vivarium, bioactive/planted or not, it's about what is inside for the snake... you can make excellent tubs for snakes, and **** vivariums, just as easy.

It should be of good size for the snake to utilize, and not just large enough for it to lay on either end and that's it
It should have substrates
It should have proper cover, branches, hides
It should be well maintained
It should have light, proper basking sites
It should have proper thermal, light, and humidity gradients

Just a terrarium or tub with some paper or even aspen, 2 hides, a waterbowl, and a UTH for the heat just doesn't cut it with what we understand about snakes these days. All those decade's old practices are horribly out of date but unfortunately still used as most recent care guides.

Heck, by accident I received last Reptiles Magazine which was in 2018(!!!!) putting a care guide for Leopard gecko's dated back MORE THAN A DECADE with very poor care instructions in it based on the, at that time, knowledge. This has drastically changed over the last 10 years, yet is still published as most recent.
Agreed, we need to do more for our animals, just because they're living and breeding doesn't mean they're healthy. Even visibly unhealthy snakes will breed. Heck, I've even seen a CA super motley boa female gave birth. She looked like a skeleton with some paper draped over it, had a bunch of slugs, and a couple of tiny babies, but hey she bred! Success story...right?? No idea if she survived the litter or not as the poster didn't post any updates on her.
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