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Old 11-13-17, 02:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Jul-2017
Posts: 42
Question Setting a terrarium up for a californian kingsnake

What kind of thing do you need for a cali from substrate
To heat lamps. Can anyone reconmend me some products to setup a terrarium for my cali kingsnake.

Greets Mike
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Old 11-14-17, 11:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan-2015
Location: Youngstown
Posts: 904
Re: Setting a terrarium up for a californian kingsnake

Depends on the kind of terrarium you choose. Heat pads/mats paired with a thermostat for glass and most plastic enclosures is overall the easiest way to take care of the heating needs of a California Kingsnake, they do not require special lighting the way a lizard or such would.
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Old 11-15-17, 04:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep-2012
Posts: 316
Re: Setting a terrarium up for a californian kingsnake

Originally Posted by werled View Post
What kind of thing do you need for a cali from substrate
To heat lamps. Can anyone reconmend me some products to setup a terrarium for my cali kingsnake.
Mike, it seems you have pretty much worn out some really helpful users like Danny (dannybgoode) and TRD with your repeated questions about the most basic issues about (snake) husbandry. Of course I donít know how much research you did before you got your snake, but pretty much every question you asked so far has been about the absolute minimum information which can be found with a simple Google search within minutes (or using the Search-function of this forum).

Itís one thing to ask questions about specific issues or for clarification of an information, but a question like this shows a lack of your own initiative and an expectation to get a simple solution ready to go without trying to find the answer for yourself. In my opinion this shows some disrespect for all the other users who try to be helpful and spend their time answering questions.

Keeping a Californian kingsnake is no rocket science, it is still one of the most kept snakes and there are literally tons of books and other information available.

OK, having said what, back to your question.

There is not ONE way to keep a Californian Kingsnake, you can do it several ways and you have to decide what you want. I can only tell you how I kept my snake until it died a few years ago after being with me for more than 20 years.

I had a male, it was about 120 cm (4 ft) long. I kept him in a terrarium 120 x 60 x 70 cm (4 x 2 x 2 ft) (length x width x height). I used ReptiBark as substrate (it is fir bark), a water bowl big enough for the snake to bath in it, several pieces of cork and a large, flat stone as hiding places and some branches.

For lighting I used a fluorescent tube of the same length as my terrarium for the ambient lighting (T5 or T8 doesnít matter, I used both kinds over the time) and a 50 W Metal Halide Lamp which also emits some UVB (BrightSun Jungle) as the only heat source. I donít use any UTH or RHP or thermostats in any of my enclosures. I put a suitable lamp above one corner in the terrarium to create a bright heat spot and creating a thermal gradient to the opposite side of the terrarium. The reason behind this is that a reptile will associate heat with bright light, so the brightest spot in my enclosure is also the hottest spot with temperatures between 30C and even up to 40C (for some of my racers) (86F to 105F), gradually reducing to the other side of the enclosure where I have room temperature.

I still use the same setup for my European snakes, I switched the ambient lighting to LED lights whenever one of the older sets failed. For heat I use 35 W Halogen lights in smaller enclosures and 50 W or 70 W Metal Halide lights in larger enclosures.

If you use this approach make sure your heat lamp is hot enough to create a hot spot but not too hot to heat the whole terrarium. Use a thermometer to measure the temperature on the surface directly below the heat lamp after the lamp has been running for several hours and do the same at the opposite end of the enclosure. The temperature should be between 30C and 35C under the hot spot and room temperature at the opposite end. If your room temperature doesnít drop below 20C during daytime over an extended period of time you are fine.

Place one hiding place below the heat lamp, creating an exposed basking spot for your snake and put other hiding places and the branches in your terrarium, so your snake can choose where it wants to hide and which temperature it wants. The water bowl should be on the cool side of the enclosure. If your room is getting hot during summer switch the heat lamp and if necessary the ambient light off for the hottest days.

I fed my adult snake a big mouse (>26 g) every two weeks. I never fed when the snake was going to shed until shedding was done.

I spray some water every day in every enclosure. My kingsnake enclosure was only misted so the surface of the substrate would be moist but not soaking wet. By doing so you avoid the building of dust when your substrate dries out and some snakes prefer to drink droplets of water from their surrounding or their body.

Please feel free to ask any additional questions if something in my explanations is still unclear.

1,0 Lampropeltis triangulum campbelli, 1,2 Gonyosoma oxycephalum, 1,2 Philodryas baroni, 1,2 Spilotes pullatus, 2,1 Spilotes sulphureus, 0,1 Gonyosoma boulengeri, 1,1 Zamenis longissimus, 0,1 Malpolon sp., 1,1 Malpolon monspessulanus
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