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Old 07-19-17, 04:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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FW's Snake Room

A brief reintroduction.



Since the loss of my Photobucket images I've decided to start a new thread for my snake room and the critters that call it home. Here's an updated picture of the room. Most everything important can be seen here save the two enclosures in the closet, which is directly behind the camera from this perspective. From left to right, the first thing just visible in the bottom left corner of the frame is my new incubator (more on that in a bit). Then a small shelving unit I use to store newspaper and other odds and ends, then the 28 slot six quart hatchling rack topped with the "Triplex," a custom three enclosure unit. The Triplex currently houses a Banded Rock Rattlesnake in the top slot, a Prairie Rattlesnake in the middle slot, and an Eastern Coachwhip in the bottom slot. The Eastern Coachwhip, though growing very fast, is so slight of build I was worried it might be able to slip between the glass doors, so I have that gap filled with a bit of cardboard. I've really been enjoying watching the Coachwhip come along, it is very active and alert. It always has an eye on me when I'm in the room and has a simply ferocious feeding response. A lot of fun to observe and work with. To the right of the hatchling rack is my little 10 gallon planted aquarium, next to it are three plywood enclosures. I still haven't got around to building a fourth, I've had the materials set aside for some time now but it seems something more pressing is always coming up. If and when I get around to building it the Coachwhip will likely move into it. Tucked away in the corner there are two eight slot 15 quart racks, the plastic rack is a Boaphile rack that is primarily used for juvenile Ball Pythons, and the plywood rack houses Colubrids. On the right wall there is a six slot 28 quart Boaphile rack that houses male and small female Ball Pythons, a seven slot 28 quart plywood rack that houses Colubrids and Crotalids, then a seven slot 41 quart plywood rack that houses Colubrids, and finally a seven slot 41 quart Animal Plastics rack that houses my adult female Ball Pythons, and a couple large male Ball Pythons. I like the Animal Plastics rack to a certain extent, but I really don't think it's ideal for Ball Pythons. I have two main issues with it; first that the tolerances are rather loose so that there is a bit of a gap around the top of each tub, resulting in too much ventilation even with no additional air holes, so that the tubs stay far too dry for Ball Pythons, and secondly, that the heating element used is only three inch heat tape, which makes for a rather small hot spot for the heavy bodied Ball Pythons. I plan on ordering another, more ideal rack at some point and using the Animal Plastics rack for Colubrids, but in the meantime I make due.



The two enclosures I designed to fit into the closet in the snake room. They are both done, just as soon as the glass I have on order comes in the new inhabitants will be moving in.



I built a new incubator in anticipation of multiple Ball Python clutches this year. My old incubator could hold only one egg box, this one can hold up to four. It's made of an only slightly modified Coleman 120 quart cooler, a small slot cut into top right corner to run wires through was all that was needed. Wrap a piece of eleven inch heat tape all the way around the interior, connect it to a small extension cord via a couple heat tape connectors and a bit of solder, run it through a thermostat, use some electrical tape to seal the connections and a bit of masking tape to hold it all in place, and add a couple layers of water bottles to keep the temps stable and voila! A simple, inexpensive, but very effective incubator. I open it daily to allow a fresh air exchange and to spot check the temps with an infrared temp gun.



Baby snakes! This is a Mystic x Spider clutch. I attempted three pairings this year, Mystic x Spider, Pinstripe x Normal, and Het Albino x Het Albino. The Mystic x Spider pairing went very well, I got two Mystic Spiders, four Mystics, and one normal. The sire, the Mystic, did a darn good job throwing six of seven Mystics, I was very happy. The only downside is that both Mystic Spiders are males, but what are you going to do. I'm keeping one of the Mystic Spiders, and one of the female Mystics. The Pinstripe x Normal failed for the second year in a row, I'm starting to think he's a dud. I know she's not. I just want a female Pinstripe darn it. The Pinstripe x Normal paring was the only paring I attempted last year, so it was a real bummer when nothing came of it. I don't think I'll try a single paring in any given season again, I like baby snakes too much to waste a whole year on a single attempt that may not work out. At least two or three a year should be good I think. The third paring this year, Het Albino x Het Albino, produced only four good eggs, one slug, and one infertile. The eggs are in the incubator even now, I really hope I hit the odds and get at least one Albino.



The Mystic x Spider clutch in their nursery tub, just before they shed.



Mystic Spider just after his first shed. A bit camera shy it is. This little one has a date with a Lesser female when he's big enough, looking to get a shot at an Elia Ball (Mystic x Lesser x Spider).
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Old 07-19-17, 04:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: FW's Snake Room

Thanks for the pictures...nice room setup!

Are those wooden hides? I've been using hollowed out trunk hides for some of my charges, bought when I first started, but I find that they retain the stink from the snakes' excrement and will only use smooth molded plastic from now on.

I also went away from the store-bought plastic water dishes due to those retaining excrement smells as well, and will only use glass bowls since they retain no smell whatsoever.
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Old 07-19-17, 05:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: FW's Snake Room

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Are those wooden hides? I've been using hollowed out trunk hides for some of my charges, bought when I first started, but I find that they retain the stink from the snakes' excrement and will only use smooth molded plastic from now on.
They are, I built them out of reclaimed wood from old wooden pallets. They're sealed with acrylic polyurethane, easy to clean. I had a post about them in my old thread, I'll have to put another post together for this thread.
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Old 07-19-17, 09:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: FW's Snake Room

Please be VERY careful using wood from pallets. Most pallets are treated with fire retardant and/or insecticide to prevent bad insects from hitching a ride inside the pallet wood and infesting the U.S. I would strongly recommend not using it for any build where the animals (or people) could come in contact with this wood over an extended period of time. Just a thought...
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Old 07-19-17, 10:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: FW's Snake Room

What colubrids do you keep?
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Old 07-19-17, 10:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: FW's Snake Room

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Please be VERY careful using wood from pallets. Most pallets are treated with fire retardant and/or insecticide to prevent bad insects from hitching a ride inside the pallet wood and infesting the U.S. I would strongly recommend not using it for any build where the animals (or people) could come in contact with this wood over an extended period of time. Just a thought...
https://www.1001pallets.com/pallet-safety/

There are rules about what each pallet should have on it and such. As long as you pay attention and seal your wood I imagine things would be fine.
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Old 07-20-17, 05:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: FW's Snake Room

Sweet setup!
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Old 07-20-17, 08:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: FW's Snake Room

jjhill001 Thank you for that link to that most informative article. It does an excellent job defining the pallet markings and what they mean and should be very helpful to anyone who uses pallet wood for DIY projects.
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Old 07-20-17, 02:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: FW's Snake Room

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What colubrids do you keep?
Primarily Texas natives, Rat Snakes, King Snakes, Water Snakes, a Racer, a Bull, etc. Some are captive bred, such as the Kings, some are field collected, like the Water Snakes.

None of the pallets I use are from overseas, they're all for domestic shipping only.
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Old 09-02-17, 11:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Harvey



The het albino pair proved, throwing a male albino. This little fellow hatched even as Hurricane Harvey encroached on the Texas coast. Just in time, as the storm knocked out power in my area for three days. I had some minor water damage in a couple rooms, and some minor wind damage on the roof, but the snake room and its inhabitants were unaffected. Other than being a few days without power that is, and maybe being a bit hungry as I did lose a couple hundred dollars worth of frozen rodents. I did have a lot of trees come down, including some of my really nice big Crape Myrtle Trees. Losing trees is always a bummer, but at least I have plenty of good branches to put in the snake enclosures now.
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Old 09-02-17, 01:03 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: FW's Snake Room

Glad you and your snakes made it through Harvey ok.
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Old 09-02-17, 02:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Harvey

That's the way to go...always look on the bright side of life!

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Originally Posted by FWK View Post
The het albino pair proved, throwing a male albino. This little fellow hatched even as Hurricane Harvey encroached on the Texas coast. Just in time, as the storm knocked out power in my area for three days. I had some minor water damage in a couple rooms, and some minor wind damage on the roof, but the snake room and its inhabitants were unaffected. Other than being a few days without power that is, and maybe being a bit hungry as I did lose a couple hundred dollars worth of frozen rodents. I did have a lot of trees come down, including some of my really nice big Crape Myrtle Trees. Losing trees is always a bummer, but at least I have plenty of good branches to put in the snake enclosures now.
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Old 09-03-17, 08:21 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: FW's Snake Room

Amazing job on that snake room, the clutches and the avoidance of any severe damage from ugly Harvey. Glad to hear about all the successes. Grats! I just hatched out a Candino bp clutch if you need a female down the road.
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