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Old 02-23-03, 07:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New snake owner needs help...

I'm interested in acquiring a snake. However, I don't know jack about them I want either a harmless constricting snake or just a plain harmless snake, as there are little children and pets around here. However, I also would like a snake at least several feet long, but nothing overly large. What snakes do you guys recommend for novice snake owners? I would also like to know what I need for a good setup for the snake...thanks in advance
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Old 02-23-03, 07:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Shroom,

Trippy name, and welcome

I figure most ppl her will tell you either some kind of corn snake or Ball python, I have both, (and others) they are great
so do some research on them and let us know any further questions you may have

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Old 02-23-03, 08:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You are one of the smart ones doing your reserch befor buying well lets see a good starter constrictor depends what you call least several feet long there is ball python 4-5 feet give or take verry nice snake. A common boa constrictor BCI 9-10 feet also verry nice snake.if you hear that a burmese is a good starter snake RUN as fast as you can LOL there are nice snakes but but get way big like any where from 12-23 feet. if you want that in the future get a boa to start you will se just how strong a 8 foot snake can be.

As for housing I say a 20-25 gallon could give you a good start but later you might go on a adventure ade build your own cage
and a heat lamp over top I dont belive in heat mats but there are alot of ppl hear have good stories about them.a hide box and some rocks and branches also a water bowl that is big enuf for the snake to soak in

I am shour that there will be other posts with a lot of good advice so yous your judgement and and ask if you dont understand

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Old 02-23-03, 08:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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By harmless I'm guessing you mean mellow. You don't want something known for being bitey. By several feet what range do you want? 4-6 feet? over 7? if 4-6 feet is fine you could be happy with a ball python aka a royal python. they get the name ball python from the tendancy to hide their head in a ball of coils when threatened.

If you want something a bit longer you may want to consider a common boa or perhaps a rainbow boa. Common boas get to be 7-9 feet

How ever one thing to consider, when the common boa is full adult size it will be big enough to eat a small cat. All of them could probably hurt a cat.

You might also consider a colulbrid such as a corn snake or a king snake. These tend to stay smaller then the boas and pythons how ever i've found they are a bit more nervous and tend to be less handlable.

What ever snake you decide on, buy a book for that species and read it.
All the snakes i've mentioned are fairly common due to ease of feeding, disposition and colours.

For a good set up there's a couple ways you can go. Display cages, racks and rubbermaids. Personally I like Display cages, as I like to see my snakes and they look nicer when incorperated with other furnature.. Display cages can be made from wood, acrylic, or glass. Don't be surprised if you spend more on the set up then the snake. A good set up would be a cage big enough to house the snake as an adult. A general rule of thumb is that you want 1 square foot for each foot of snake. A good set up for a ball python would be a front opening 50G terrarium, an undertank heating pad connected to a rheostat (you can buy one or make one), two hide boxes just big enough for the snake to fit in and a water bowl big enough for the snake to soak in. You can use a substrate such as newspaper or paper towel but those don't look as nice or provide the humidity benifits of something like cypress mulch. A regular light on a timer for day/night cycle is a nice touch but not required. You can also provide things such as logs and branches to climb on and backgrounds.
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Old 02-23-03, 08:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you are one who prefers a little more in the length category and are looking at colubrids, here is a link to a Lampropeltis (kingsnakes and milksnakes) information page with pics and some general info. I'd recommend a South Florida Kingsnake or a Honduran milksnake. Both max out at roughly 5' and are very attractive.
Cranwill's Captive Bred Snakes
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Old 02-23-03, 11:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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thanks for all of the replies and help -

I think the ball python would be a good choice for me. Would anyone happen to know how much they run approximately? Any links would also be a big help. Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-24-03, 12:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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check out of ssnakess classifields...they normally have a bumch of ball pythons for sale or trade. I would reccomend JKReptiles if you should happen to see their thread.

Count your fingers b4 and after feeding anything over 10feet!
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Old 02-24-03, 08:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If you decide to get a ball python you will be very happy. but do lots of research and post any question you have here it is a very good site. Also as far as price it can be a very large range from $20 for a normal ball to morphs that cost several hundered dollars. Lisa also has very good advise and I agree with her that you need to buy a book for that type of snake.
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Old 02-24-03, 09:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If you decide on a Royal (Ball) Python PLEASE be sure to get a captive bred one. Wild caught imports can be tough to get and keep eating on occassion.

I personally would recommend a colubrid, a kingsnake or a ratsnake, but that's me...colubrids are less husbandry intensive for a novice, they don't need temps in the 90's and high humidity. For a ball python, a drop to 70 would probably cause them to go off feed, but that temperature usually won't faze a north american colubrid.

Just my 2 cents
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Old 02-24-03, 09:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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A Rosy Boa is a great Choice for beginners. They are fairly small but the females get up to around 3 feet I think. They come in lots of great colors. Don't have high humidity requirements. Most of them are very tame from the beginning of tame down in a couple days. The nice thing about Rosies is that they are slow moving so novice handlers don't have to worry so much about it getting away.

Whatever you choose, please read up a lot on the internet and in any books you can find. Research research research. You can never know too much about an animal before you bring it home. Good luck with your choice and Welcome to sSnakeSs
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Old 02-24-03, 09:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
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A ball python would be a good choice to start with but you must do a lot of research first. Check the internet for care sheets and look at as many sites you can find. Care sheets by Melissa Kaplan are excellent. Getting a book would also be a good idea.

As for the price, I haven't personally seen them as low as 20$ but you never know? Usually, they are in the 75$-150$ price range. Be sure to get a captive born (CB) or even better captive breed and born (CBB). These snakes make better pets, acclimate better to artificial environments and have less medical problems such as internal parasites, etc.

The big thing is to expect to spend more on the snake set up than the actual snake. A 30 or 33gal tank is supposedly sufficient for an adult ball and that will run you at least 100$ new with screen top if not more around 120-140$. Even if you luck out getting one second hand or building your own terrarium you have to factor in heating, UTH's are usually most commonly used, hides, lighting, water dish, substrate, thermometer, hygrometer, starter stock of food... Some of these things don't cost much but when you add it all together setting up a snake usually costs twice as much as the snake if not more.

So, just be prepared for a big expense at first but once set up the costs become minimal. Feeding a ball python rarely costs more than 10$ a month and unless there is a problem, vet visits are pretty rare. Also, take the time to set up your snake's home before you purchase it. I've seen so many people go out and get a snake, come home and then start figuring out where to put it and how to care for it.

Obviously you don't seem to be one of those types as you're researching first which is the best thing you could do to start

So do some searches on ball pythons and don't be shy to ask us questions to help you along

Keeper of 5 snakes, leopard geckos, 1 green iguana, 20+ tarantulas, 2 dogs & a bunch of rats!
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Old 02-24-03, 10:03 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I would suggest a house snake.THey tend to constrict their food and are harmless. They size ranges from 3-4 feet.They are quite easy to care for and don't need a lot of space.I would say a 20gal long could house 1 adult or if you wanted something with more room a 30gal or 33gal would do. They are real cheap too.The most i've seen them go for is $35 for a baby.
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Old 02-24-03, 10:09 AM   #13 (permalink)
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My picks are Corn, Rosy Boa, Ball Python. In no particular order. Like others have said if you do go with a ball make sure it is Captive Bred. That should hold true for any animal.
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Old 02-24-03, 10:48 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I would suggest getting one from a private breeder. I'm not sure where you're located so it is a little difficult to suggest one. Also you might want to check into local laws first.
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Old 02-24-03, 10:50 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I am not trying to discourage you from a ball python, just be sure you understand that even Captive breed/born ones will go off feed for periods of time. If this is gonna be a major stress thing for you, you would do better with a gopher snake or a corn. Also , the BP's are more picky about temps and humidity. They are very sweet snakes, tho, so long as you won't be stressed by periods of nonfeeding, they are great. Also, you know to feed prekilled or Frozen/Thawed, right?
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