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Old 02-01-14, 10:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Your view of the reptile hobby

What is your view on the reptile hobby as of now? What are some changes that would make it "better" in your opinion? In what direction would you like to see this hobby go?
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Old 02-01-14, 10:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Your view of the reptile hobby

Ball pythons,leopard geckos,corn snakes,bearded dragons,crested geckos is all people are buying and selling for money. 95% of videos i watch is of a 8 year old that has bought a leopard gecko and is going to start breeding them and i always think "wow your going to make lots of money cause not like your going up against giant breeders". Here is the reptile community.

In it for money-85%
Want to show off-5%
In it for the animals-10%

Why don't people try making morphs of other animals? Like tiger salamanders or green anoles other wise were just going to be stuck in the same cycle.
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Old 02-01-14, 10:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Your view of the reptile hobby

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Originally Posted by athms View Post
Ball pythons,leopard geckos,corn snakes,bearded dragons,crested geckos is all people are buying and selling for money. 95% of videos i watch is of a 8 year old that has bought a leopard gecko and is going to start breeding them and i always think "wow your going to make lots of money cause not like your going up against giant breeders". Here is the reptile community.

In it for money-85%
Want to show off-5%
In it for the animals-10%

Why don't people try making morphs of other animals? Like tiger salamanders or green anoles other wise were just going to be stuck in the same cycle.

This is pretty accurate.

You can divide the 10% that are "In it for the animals" to 8% uneducated on proper husbandry, and thinking their reptiles love them and love to dress up for halloween and sleep on their laps. 2% can say the scientific name of whats in their collection, and tell you some interesting facts.
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Old 02-01-14, 11:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Your view of the reptile hobby

It's hard to make any realistic changes because like you said, it's about the money.

The best companies are the ones that ask you questions such as your husbandry plans, but I understand why large scale companies may struggle to do this. Regardless young keepers and uneducated keepers will continue to buy from big time reptile "warehouses" and pet stores.

I think there are benefits to the select few species that are common to have morphs.
The morphs are usually expensive and sought after. This will typically lead to their better care.

I will most likely never breed any animals. I just try to buy from responsible companies, and give advice when it's asked for.
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Old 02-01-14, 11:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Your view of the reptile hobby

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Originally Posted by smy_749 View Post
This is pretty accurate.

You can divide the 10% that are "In it for the animals" to 8% uneducated on proper husbandry, and thinking their reptiles love them and love to dress up for halloween and sleep on their laps. 2% can say the scientific name of whats in their collection, and tell you some interesting facts.
Thanks i guess im in that 2%
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Old 02-01-14, 11:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Your view of the reptile hobby

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Originally Posted by athms View Post
Ball pythons,leopard geckos,corn snakes,bearded dragons,crested geckos is all people are buying and selling for money. 95% of videos i watch is of a 8 year old that has bought a leopard gecko and is going to start breeding them and i always think "wow your going to make lots of money cause not like your going up against giant breeders". Here is the reptile community.

In it for money-85%
Want to show off-5%
In it for the animals-10%

Why don't people try making morphs of other animals? Like tiger salamanders or green anoles other wise were just going to be stuck in the same cycle.
There just isn't a demand for morphs of other animals. There are a ton of Black/Texas rat snake morphs that you can easily buy for 40-50 dollars. My Grey rat snake was 35 dollars. Even if I bought one from a small breeder who specializes in North American rat snakes, it would have still only cost around 50-90 bucks. Ball Python morph easily start off at 200-400 dollars. People want the BP morphs because they're expensive and they're expensive because people want them. The only people buying lesser known reptiles are the people who genuinely like them.

Personallly, if there were one thing I could change, I'd like to see people stop treating snakes like pokemon. I think the reptile community is the only one that condones, if not encourages animals hoarding. How many times do we have to hear Tommy with 200 snakes say that it's okay to keep adult corn snakes in shoe boxes because "they like small spaces"? That isn't healthy for animals or the keepers.
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Old 02-01-14, 11:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Your view of the reptile hobby

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There just isn't a demand for morphs of other animals. There are a ton of Black/Texas rat snake morphs that you can easily buy for 40-50 dollars. My Grey rat snake was 35 dollars. Even if I bought one from a small breeder who specializes in North American rat snakes, it would have still only cost around 50-90 bucks. Ball Python morph easily start off at 200-400 dollars. People want the BP morphs because they're expensive and they're expensive because people want them. The only people buying lesser known reptiles are the people who genuinely like them.

Personallly, if there were one thing I could change, I'd like to see people stop treating snakes like pokemon. I think the reptile community is the only one that condones, if not encourages animals hoarding. How many times do we have to hear Tommy with 200 snakes say that it's okay to keep adult corn snakes in shoe boxes because "they like small spaces"? That isn't healthy for animals or the keepers.
Right on
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Old 02-02-14, 01:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Your view of the reptile hobby

I get tired of the crazes. At least with the ball pythons holy cow. Dont get me wrong, I love that they are the economy of the reptile trade right now, and I think they are beautiful animals. But honestly when you go to a show, and 90% of the herps there are ball pythons, it shows that most are just there for the money. I honestly like going for the other animals, the skinks, moniters, tree boas, and the colubrids. I will check out a colubrid or a boa any day of the week over a ball. Ill own a ball python one day but honestly lets get some variety back into things..

But also I agree with cosmic. The motto for snakes shouldnt be gotta catch em' all. How about we breed for the fun of it, to learn something..
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Old 02-02-14, 01:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Your view of the reptile hobby

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Originally Posted by kwhitlock View Post
I get tired of the crazes. At least with the ball pythons holy cow. Dont get me wrong, I love that they are the economy of the reptile trade right now, and I think they are beautiful animals. But honestly when you go to a show, and 90% of the herps there are ball pythons, it shows that most are just there for the money. I honestly like going for the other animals, the skinks, moniters, tree boas, and the colubrids. I will check out a colubrid or a boa any day of the week over a ball. Ill own a ball python one day but honestly lets get some variety back into things..

But also I agree with cosmic. The motto for snakes shouldnt be gotta catch em' all. How about we breed for the fun of it, to learn something..
Ball pythons at expos are like collectors items. Oh look! a new and shiny toy! Same with non-locale morph boas.

If I ever get a ball python I'm owning a normal one.
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Old 02-02-14, 04:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Your view of the reptile hobby

The best thing that can change in my opinion is for people to start respecting the laws and not keeping/importing illegal animals as well as not taking anymore specimens from the wild.

You may not agree with the laws of the land but you can always move!
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Old 02-02-14, 05:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Your view of the reptile hobby

I don't like the fact that people are keeping reptiles and showing them off in improper enclosures, and who are extremely close minded in thinking they know what they are doing because someone, or the pet store, or the website they read once said so and so. Or those who think it's "cool", and "badass" to own reptiles or arachnids, and end up keeping them in horrible conditions and not knowing a damn thing about them other than "they eat rats".

I might not know most of the scientific names to all the reptiles I own, but I always want to learn about them and I do what I can to give them the best care I could provide them with. If I can't provide an animal with what they need or more, I don't get it. Simple as that. Since owning my first gecko seven years ago, reptiles are my life and I can't imagine not continuously reading up on them and devoting all my time into my guys.

I also can respect my animals. I don't need my water monitor to be a cuddle buddy so I can walk around and show him off, or my ball python to be some thousand dollar morph. I respect my animals for what they are, and I'll take my healthy pissy monitor over an overweight dying lizard who loves attention any day. If I'm to get an animal, it's not to show it off, but because I like it, because I want to experience the species, and I want to learn more about them.

I also never want to breed my guys for money, and I definitely don't own reptiles for the money. Hell - my reptiles own my money haha. If I was to ever breed, it would be for the sole purpose of trying to produce something amazing. I've thought of breeding my leopard geckos before, or maybe some corns or something, but I think about it hard and realize there's enough of the species as it is and won't do it.
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Old 02-02-14, 06:07 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Your view of the reptile hobby

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Originally Posted by Mikoh4792 View Post
Ball pythons at expos are like collectors items. Oh look! a new and shiny toy! Same with non-locale morph boas.

If I ever get a ball python I'm owning a normal one.
Same. Either that or an albino. Simple.

Don't get me wrong, there are some amazing looking morhps, but there's no way in hell I'm paying $1000+ for it.

And Lankyrob I also agree with that statement!
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Old 02-02-14, 07:17 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Your view of the reptile hobby

Quite simply, despite what a passionate, vocal minority on forums may say, the hobby is driven by money, which leads to greed, which leads to misinformation.

People get on the internet or go to shows and see all these wacky mutations with outrageous price tags, they think it is a get-rich-quick scheme, then they get into the hobby for all the wring reasons, make wrong decisions, often the animals suffer, then they realize the market for these animals is often a facade and not what they imagined, and by golly, there is actual work involved. Also, there is by-product, and we're getting to the level of cats & dogs. For a longer version of this rant, see my blog posting here.

And that is not all...in the meantime, given this new "hobby" we have where everyone is breeding, and few people keep their animals for longer than a few years. In decades past, reptiles were fairly easy captives and we had few issues with them; most people kept them in wooden enclosures and how often did we hear abotu URIs?. But now, I think we have created problems (some of which are on a larger scale than just genetic mutation quirks), and we are told we have to offer more UV lighting and vitamin supplements, and cricket dust, etc, etc. For more on that, click here. You may want to do some research on nitrate fixation and mycelium, to get a better grasp on that issue.

----
Changes and direction for the future? I dunno...getting people to stop focusing on money and greed is a tough obstacle. People think they are being noble, and supporting USARK and organizations like that, but look at most of the big name supporters: just big breeders trying protect their so-called "right" to keep snake in plastic tubs....all so all of everything I described above can continue to go on. Its not a pet store problem, because they just sell what the supply companies tell them to: Exo Terra, ZooMed, Zilla, all of them. Its like anything else in the world. WE are the product, and whatever issue problem breeders come up with and these reptile companies figure out a solution that hobbyists can walk into a store and purchase out of a box, and make money off of....that keeps things going. And many of these products have shown longterm that they are detrimental to the health of herps, not helpful.
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Old 02-02-14, 07:27 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Your view of the reptile hobby

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Originally Posted by StudentoReptile View Post
Quite simply, despite what a passionate, vocal minority on forums may say, the hobby is driven by money, which leads to greed, which leads to misinformation.

People get on the internet or go to shows and see all these wacky mutations with outrageous price tags, they think it is a get-rich-quick scheme, then they get into the hobby for all the wring reasons, make wrong decisions, often the animals suffer, then they realize the market for these animals is often a facade and not what they imagined, and by golly, there is actual work involved. Also, there is by-product, and we're getting to the level of cats & dogs. For a longer version of this rant, see my blog posting here.

And that is not all...in the meantime, given this new "hobby" we have where everyone is breeding, and few people keep their animals for longer than a few years. In decades past, reptiles were fairly easy captives and we had few issues with them; most people kept them in wooden enclosures and how often did we hear abotu URIs?. But now, I think we have created problems (some of which are on a larger scale than just genetic mutation quirks), and we are told we have to offer more UV lighting and vitamin supplements, and cricket dust, etc, etc. For more on that, click here. You may want to do some research on nitrate fixation and mycelium, to get a better grasp on that issue.

----
Changes and direction for the future? I dunno...getting people to stop focusing on money and greed is a tough obstacle. People think they are being noble, and supporting USARK and organizations like that, but look at most of the big name supporters: just big breeders trying protect their so-called "right" to keep snake in plastic tubs....all so all of everything I described above can continue to go on. Its not a pet store problem, because they just sell what the supply companies tell them to: Exo Terra, ZooMed, Zilla, all of them. Its like anything else in the world. WE are the product, and whatever issue problem breeders come up with and these reptile companies figure out a solution that hobbyists can walk into a store and purchase out of a box, and make money off of....that keeps things going. And many of these products have shown longterm that they are detrimental to the health of herps, not helpful.
I agree with all of this. I understand the novelty of morphs and such, but isn't the fascination with reptiles supposed to be why they are the way they are in nature? To me a normal ball python is much more interesting than a $5000 morph ball. And I often see people commending big breeders for all the hard work they've done to achieve these multi-gene morphs. The way I see it is, the animals are the ones doing all the work, and going through all the stress of producing. All "we" are doing is 1+1=2.
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Old 02-02-14, 07:34 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Your view of the reptile hobby

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I agree with all of this. I understand the novelty of morphs and such, but isn't the fascination with reptiles supposed to be why they are the way they are in nature? To me a normal ball python is much more interesting than a $5000 morph ball. And I often see people commending big breeders for all the hard work they've done to achieve these multi-gene morphs. The way I see it is, the animals are the ones doing all the work, and going through all the stress of producing. All "we" are doing is 1+1=2.
I agree, nature did it right.
That being said, I definitely understand people liking morphs. The issue is almost none of these people buying expensive morphs want them for pets and are most likely putting them right in a rack system and preparing to try to breed them.
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