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Old 04-25-18, 02:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I think I'm done.

I think I'm done asking questions on the website. I can't handle the conflicting, contradictory information that makes no reasonable sense.

Take my recent thermostat issues. Where do I put the thermostat probe? Answers I got: A) taped to the heat pad, B) sandwiched between the heat pad and the bottom of the glass, C) under the substrate on the glass inside the viv. I even spent $70 and bought new thermostats for both my vivs so that I could have better streamlined probes that would facilitate any of these three.

I read that by taping the probe to the pad I should have hot spot temperatures within just a few degrees of the thermostat set temperature. WRONG. My thermostat is set to 90 degrees. The thermostat probe is reading 90 degrees on the bottom of the pad. After 6 hours, my hot spot temp measured 80 degrees and 15 hours, my hot spot temperature is *still* reading 80 degrees via IR temp gun measuring the surface of the substrate.

Now someone's asking me if I'm measuring the surface or the substrate? What in the name of BACON does that even mean? I'm measuring the surface OF the substrate. What other surface would I be measuring? The glass on top of the pad inside the viv? Why would I measure that? My snake doesn't lie on the glass, he lies on the surface of the substrate!!!!!

Do I measure the glass under the substrate or the top of the substrate? Cue long, long, long, never ending debate in which no one ever ever agrees and I still don't know what I'm doing.

if these temperatures are so freakin' all fired *critical* why is there no consensus? Why is there no consistency? Why isn't there one simple standard of probe placement and hot spot measuring location that any idiot can understand?

Every time I think I'm doing something right, someone pops up and tells me I'm doing it wrong, I need to buy still more equipment. I own 4 thermostats now, for 2 herps and I still can't get any of this right.

And don't even get me started on the freakin' never ending feeding schedule debate. I still don't know how much and how often I'm actually suppose feed my snakes. And if any of my snakes ever regurge again, I certainly won't mention it here.

At this point I'm read rehome all my herps and give up on this because I just can't take the stress of never knowing what the hell I'm doing and never getting anything right.


I came here for information. All I'm getting is major stress and anxiety. You want to know why you get noobs who ask a question and then never come back? This is why.
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Old 04-25-18, 02:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: I think I'm done.

You'll find differing opinions and methods in all forums in this hobby as well as conversing with veterans and experts. If you are unable to collect differing opinions and formulate something that works for you, then I would, with all respect intended, move on to something more suited for you. All the best, whatever you decide. Like all noobs, as you put it, I think you are overthinking, overanalyzing and looking for a "one way only" approach, and that is why people leave the site or the hobby.
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Old 04-25-18, 02:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: I think I'm done.

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Originally Posted by ANDY_G
Like all noobs, as you put it, I think you are overthinking, overanalyzing and looking for a "one way only" approach, and that is why people leave the site or the hobby.
I wouldn't be overthinking it if I weren't getting bombarded with so much conflicting information.

Yes, I am a NEWBIE. Too much conflicting information is overwhelming for NEWBIES. I wrote a post looking for simple answers. Where do I put a probe? Where do I take a temperature measurement? When a NEWBIE asks a question like this they're not looking for a professional level debate on snake care. They're looking for short, understandable ANSWERS that they can put into practice. There's a time and a place for experienced keepers to debate, and a NEWBIE'S question isn't one of them.

Y'all led me to believe that my snake regurgitated because of temperature issues on the hotspot and that I needed to fix the hot spot temperature to prevent further regurg. I have to overthink it because y'all have led me to believe that if I don't overthink it, and lose sleep over it, and sell a kidney in order to afford to keep buying more and more stuff, and get everything little thing absolutely freaking PERFECT that my snake is going to suffer needlessly, continue to regurg and potentially DIE because my husbandry isn't PERFECT.

Which wouldn't be so bad if y'all could actually agree as to what PERFECT is.

I want to fix my temperature issues. It's great that experienced keepers can debate this stuff ad nauseum but that doesn't help a NEWBIE who's trying to set things up right.
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Last edited by phenyx; 04-25-18 at 03:00 PM..
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Old 04-25-18, 03:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: I think I'm done.

Well, in fairness we were all newbies at some point. We've all been there, some of are just better at handling it I suppose. But guess what...we listened to a myriad of different keeping methods and opinions and we figured it out. These are animals, not math equations. There are different ways to keep them and that's just how it is. You could have 10 different people who will tell you 10 different things about the same species of snake, and all can lead to having a healthy snake.

With that said, you will always get conflicting opinions, because no one keeps their snakes exactly the same as the next person. You have to use a combination of what you learn in a way that works for you and your pets. Hell, if you need to (for your ease of mind), just pick one of the suggestions and go with that until it no longer works. Most snakes are hardy enough to live through a little trial and error, especially when the methods you're trying aren't unconventional.
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Old 04-25-18, 03:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: I think I'm done.

Like Andy and Bandit said there's not really a one size fits all answer. You're going to get different suggestions on subjective topics. The best thing to do is to take all of the information and devise a plan that works best for your collection. I believe most people recommended the probe be placed between the UTH and the bottom of the outside of the enclosure. That's where the majority of us have our probes but I guess that method didn't work for you and you tried something different. Sometimes it takes a little bit of trial and error before getting it right. If at first you don't succeed then try again. Getting your husbandry dialed in can be tedious and frustrating but once you get it right then things should go smoothly. Best wishes with whatever you decide.
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Old 04-25-18, 03:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: I think I'm done.

And I still don't know where to put a thermostat probe and where to measure the temperature of the hot spot with my IR temp gun.

My BRB needs a hot spot around 86-88 degrees. Is that measured on the surface of the substrate? On the glass below the substrate? Oh, but I'm only supposed to have 1/4" of substrate over the hotspot according to Craig Frechette, but according to someone else I'm supposed to have substrate deep enough that Jerkface can burrow if he wants to. Can't burrow in 1/4", but I can only have 1/4" substrate over the hotspot but Jerkface frequently burrows so it needs to be deeper, but it can't be deeper and on and on and on and on. Not to mention that I'm making all these changes and trying to fix my hot spot temperature in the enclosure of a snake that regurged last Friday and is probably getting even more stressed out by my fumbling around, but if I'd left it the way it was he'd have gotten even sicker and continued to regurge so you have to change it NOW, but don't stress out your snake even more, but change out your thermostat NOW because you have BAD HUSBANDRY.

I still don't know if I'm feeding my snakes correctly. Is 12% of body weight every 7 days all good and proper for all constricters like BallBuster says or is it Power Feeding that will lead to obesity like Big Snake Girl says? No bulge, moderate bulge, same size as girth, 1.5x girth, move up a prey size when there's no longer a bulge, there should never be a visible bulge after feeding...WTactualF? All I want to know is how often and what to feed my Ball Python. I've been here 3 months and I still don't know. At this point all I can assume is that I'm doing it wrong and Nagini will either starve or be obese.

All I've learned here is that everything I do is wrong according to someone.
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Old 04-25-18, 04:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: I think I'm done.

Again, this is just what works for me. YMMV. I measure the temps underneath the substrate because I know that's the hottest spot. If those temps are in range then there's no risk of the snake getting burned when it burrows. I have about 2 inches of substrate in each of my enclosures. Most of my snakes have hot spots of 86-88 also. My t-stats are set at about 92-93F to get the desired temps. All of my probes are between the uth and the outside bottom of the enclosures. I used to have my probes inside the enclosures but the snakes kept moving them or peeing/pooping on them and throwing the temps off. I don't have those issues anymore.

Feeding is another subjective subject where you'll get varying opinions. I tend to feed my snakes a bit heavier than some keepers especially when they're young. I use the 10-15% of body weight formula for the first two years then I dial it back a bit. I don't keep BRBs but for most snakes feeding every 7-14 days is a good guideline to follow for hatchlings and adults. Your snake won't be overfed or starved within those parameters. You'll also learn to "read your snake" as time passes and develop a schedule that works.



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Old 04-25-18, 05:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: I think I'm done.

The thing about the internet is that you don't know who has what kind of experience...is the person giving advice while simultaneously asking for help about something they should know if they're giving out advice? Have they just read things somewhere online and have yet to get the actual hands on experience and they're just regurgitating what was read? I can tell you that I'd be conveying my own opinion on a lot of things here if:

1. I had the spare time in the day to do that, but my career and family time take precedent
2. I was certain whoever was asking actually listened. Although I usually prefer to be diplomatic, I will not sugar coat things, so that can be a turn off for people sometimes. Oh well.
3. I wasn't a moderator. I'd have more freedom to truly speak my mind...

It may be worthwhile considering who you're listening to, what relevant experience they actually have, and consulting people you consider to be worth listening to via PM instead of asking open questions if you don't want a variety of opinions on. Also, I of course advocate going outside of our forum as well and visiting both facebook pages as well as going to reptile expos to speak with people who can help you. And also to add...the MAIN reason you are overthinking everyone is because you are uncertain of yourself and you don't know who to listen to or what to make of things, which is part of being new, but let's be clear that is NOT fault of anyone else or yours for that matter. Everyone goes through it and you should really be thankful that there are so many people offering their thoughts and differing opinions because it used to be really hard to figure things out when everything was being imported and everyone wanted to keep their methods a little closer to their chest...lots more learning the hard way.

As far as your few questions here:

- Probe is fine taped on bottom of heat pad but foil tape can sometimes trap and radiate heat so try taping just below the sensor rather than on it.
-I don't have a strict feeding regimen...sometimes my snakes get only 2% of their weight, sometimes its 20...sometimes its every 4 days and sometimes its every 2 or 3 weeks depending on the individual and species, the biggest thing is feeding accordingly which unfortunately only comes with practice.


last but not least; there will NEVER EVER be a time where everyone agrees with what you do or how you keep something. Just doesn't happen. Sometimes majority rules, but not always. Once again, all the best with whatever you decide.

Last edited by Andy_G; 04-25-18 at 05:15 PM..
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Old 04-25-18, 08:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: I think I'm done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phenyx View Post
I think I'm done asking questions on the website. I can't handle the conflicting, contradictory information that makes no reasonable sense.
I think that might just be keeping reptiles in general. Just from googling care of RTBs I've found 500 different answers. One says don't feed more than x amount of times in x period, one says if you don't feed at least that much it will die....

I guess just take one extreme and the other and go somewhere in the middle?

It honestly sounds like it doesn't matter as much as people might make it seem. Some things as far as safety like not feeding live seems to be concrete, others just guesses within guidelines? If its not broke theres no reason to fix it.
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Old 04-25-18, 09:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: I think I'm done.

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Originally Posted by EL Ziggy View Post
Most of my snakes have hot spots of 86-88 also. My t-stats are set at about 92-93F to get the desired temps. All of my probes are between the uth and the outside bottom of the enclosures.

Feeding is another subjective subject where you'll get varying opinions. I tend to feed my snakes a bit heavier than some keepers especially when they're young. I use the 10-15% of body weight formula for the first two years then I dial it back a bit. I don't keep BRBs but for most snakes feeding every 7-14 days is a good guideline to follow for hatchlings and adults. Your snake won't be overfed or starved within those parameters. You'll also learn to "read your snake" as time passes and develop a schedule that works.
This ^^^^^
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Old 04-25-18, 09:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: I think I'm done.

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Originally Posted by Andy_G View Post
It may be worthwhile considering who you're listening to, what relevant experience they actually have, and consulting people you consider to be worth listening to via PM instead of asking open questions if you don't want a variety of opinions on. Also, I of course advocate going outside of our forum as well and visiting both facebook pages as well as going to reptile expos to speak with people who can help you. And also to add...the MAIN reason you are overthinking everyone is because you are uncertain of yourself and you don't know who to listen to or what to make of things, which is part of being new, but let's be clear that is NOT fault of anyone else or yours for that matter. Everyone goes through it and you should really be thankful that there are so many people offering their thoughts and differing opinions because it used to be really hard to figure things out when everything was being imported and everyone wanted to keep their methods a little closer to their chest...lots more learning the hard way.
How can a newbie who's just joined the site, or even one like me who's been here a couple of months, have any idea who has experience and who's regurgitating information? I know that BigSnakeGirl keeps BCCs and seems far more knowledgeable about their feeding and care than anyone else but everyone else is just as much a mystery to me as the first day I joined. Short of asking for responders to post their CVs along with their responses, there's no way to tell if the person telling me to only use 1/4" of substrate over the heat pad is experienced and knowledgeable or if he's just regurgitating information off the internet.

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- Probe is fine taped on bottom of heat pad but foil tape can sometimes trap and radiate heat so try taping just below the sensor rather than on it.
Why does it matter if the tape radiates heat? Whatever heat it radiates would be the same temperature as the pad. In any case, that won't work with the brand new thermostats I just spent $70 on. The probe I have goes directly from stainless steel sensor rod to flexible wire with nothing in between. If I only tape the wire then the wire bends and the probe dangles down and has zero contact with the pad. Do NOT tell me I need to buy new thermostats again. I am very hesitant to peel back the pad and sandwich the probe between the pad and the glass because it would create an air bubble and result in heat loss. I can't get the substrate to heat properly now, much less with a giant air bubble in the middle of the pad.

Currently, my thermostat temp is set to 95 degrees. It's been there for at least 8 hours. Prior to that it was set to 90 degrees for 12 hours. In 24 hours, my hot spot temperature has yet to rise above 80 degrees. It has been at 80 degrees since midnight last night. Do I set the thermostat to 100 degrees?

I bought the ZooMed ReptiTherm UTH sized for a 10-20 gallon tank. My tank is 10 gallons. Is there some experienced keeper club secret that I should have bought an oversized pad? Or do I have to sacrifice a goat to get this damned hot spot to the correct temperature?

At the moment my BRB is trying to recover from a regurg in a tank without an appreciable hotspot because *nothing* I've done is working.

Quote:
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-I don't have a strict feeding regimen...sometimes my snakes get only 2% of their weight, sometimes its 20...sometimes its every 4 days and sometimes its every 2 or 3 weeks depending on the individual and species, the biggest thing is feeding accordingly which unfortunately only comes with practice.
So according to this I could feed my 230 gram BP anything from a 2 gram pinky to a 40 gram small rat every 4 days to 3 weeks. Because that totally makes sense. I'll just stick with starving/powerfeeding/whatever the hell I'm doing that's probably wrong. I know! I'll give her 40 gram small rats every 7 days. It doesn't matter because there are no right answers. Everyone does it differently and everyone is right. I could even give her a rabbit and she'd be just fine. I can just make this **** up as I go along now because I can't make heads or tails of the information overload and it doesn't matter because there's no right answers anyway!
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Old 04-25-18, 09:55 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: I think I'm done.

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So according to this I could feed my 230 gram BP anything from a 2 gram pinky to a 40 gram small rat every 4 days to 3 weeks. Because that totally makes sense. I'll just stick with starving/powerfeeding/whatever the hell I'm doing that's probably wrong. I know! I'll give her 40 gram small rats every 7 days. It doesn't matter because there are no right answers. Everyone does it differently and everyone is right. I could even give her a rabbit and she'd be just fine. I can just make this **** up as I go along now because I can't make heads or tails of the information overload and it doesn't matter because there's no right answers anyway!
This is what is causing you all your problems right here. You took what he said and tried to calculate it down to exact numbers, and there are too many variables, and now you're frustrated. His whole point seemed to be (and correct me if I'm wrong) that it does not need to be all about exact weights (both of the rats and of the snakes) or the exact amount of days. You can come up with your own regimen that works for you and your snakes.

You know, I've never weighed my snakes or the food I've offered them. At the nature center I used to work at, we never weighed any of the snakes or the rats we gave them. At home I feed my snakes once a week or so, sometimes once every two weeks. Sometimes one will wait three weeks and the others are still eating weekly. They're healthy and are doing fine. I eyeball the rats and see what might make a slight lump, or maybe no lump at all. I just got given 60 frozen hoppers for free. All my snakes eat rats bigger than that, but I'll just use them and feed them 2-3 at a time until they seem full.

Again, it doesn't need to be an equation (unless for some reason, you need it to be). In my opinion, if I had to weigh all my snakes and their food, and feed them to the day every single feeding period, that would make it a lot less fun for me.
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Old 04-25-18, 10:59 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: I think I'm done.

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This is what is causing you all your problems right here. You took what he said and tried to calculate it down to exact numbers, and there are too many variables, and now you're frustrated. His whole point seemed to be (and correct me if I'm wrong) that it does not need to be all about exact weights (both of the rats and of the snakes) or the exact amount of days. You can come up with your own regimen that works for you and your snakes.
I was using hyperbole to make a point about the useless absurdity of telling a newbie "do what works for your snake" in all situations.

For example: A newbie reads all this conflicting information, gets confused by it and decides to feed their 200 gram BP an 8 gram hopper mouse every two weeks for 3 or 4 months. The snake isn't dead, it's roaming around at night, and they've just read this post about how there's no hard and fast rules for feeding so they think, "hey, my snake isn't dead so this must be 'working for my snake'." Because they're a newbie, they don't know what an underweight snake looks like, and they probably don't own a scale, so that poor critter could lose a significant portion of its body weight before the newbie has any clue that there's a problem.

My point is that newbies do not have the experience to recognize what "working for your snake" actually looks like.

I thought the temps in my BRBs viv were "working for my snake" until he regurged last week because I did not have the experience to know they weren't. Then I got blasted from all sides with "you have to fix your temperatures now!" Now, I'm frantically trying to correct the temperature issues and I'm not having any luck at all because all I'm getting now is "do what works for your snake".

I don't know what works for my snake because what I thought was working for my snake was WRONG.

I know what won't work for my snake - a hot spot that I will not heat beyond 80 degrees (via IR temp gun) no matter how high I turn the thermostat. I'm sure he's cold and stressed because he can't get warm. He's recovering from a regurg and I'm sure my fumbling around isn't "working for my snake".

I don't know how high I can turn the thermostat/heat mat before it burns out the heat mat, damages my paint or catches fire. (I've already turned up the thermostat once and it had zero effect on the hot spot temperature.)

So I guess I'll just let him remain stressed out and cold with a sub par hotspot. Or take out all the substrate out of the tank and let him live directly on the glass. Or hang a blow dryer over his cage and blow hot air in. (For those who missed it again, I'm making a point using hyperbole.) Is he fine at the lower temperature? How should I know? Everything I do is just a random shot in the dark at this point because I do not have the experience to know what "working for my snake" looks like.
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Last edited by phenyx; 04-25-18 at 11:07 PM..
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Old 04-26-18, 04:59 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: I think I'm done.

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Originally Posted by phenyx View Post
I think I'm done asking questions on the website. I can't handle the conflicting, contradictory information that makes no reasonable sense.

Take my recent thermostat issues. Where do I put the thermostat probe? Answers I got: A) taped to the heat pad, B) sandwiched between the heat pad and the bottom of the glass, C) under the substrate on the glass inside the viv. I even spent $70 and bought new thermostats for both my vivs so that I could have better streamlined probes that would facilitate any of these three.

I read that by taping the probe to the pad I should have hot spot temperatures within just a few degrees of the thermostat set temperature. WRONG. My thermostat is set to 90 degrees. The thermostat probe is reading 90 degrees on the bottom of the pad. After 6 hours, my hot spot temp measured 80 degrees and 15 hours, my hot spot temperature is *still* reading 80 degrees via IR temp gun measuring the surface of the substrate.

Now someone's asking me if I'm measuring the surface or the substrate? What in the name of BACON does that even mean? I'm measuring the surface OF the substrate. What other surface would I be measuring? The glass on top of the pad inside the viv? Why would I measure that? My snake doesn't lie on the glass, he lies on the surface of the substrate!!!!!

Do I measure the glass under the substrate or the top of the substrate? Cue long, long, long, never ending debate in which no one ever ever agrees and I still don't know what I'm doing.

if these temperatures are so freakin' all fired *critical* why is there no consensus? Why is there no consistency? Why isn't there one simple standard of probe placement and hot spot measuring location that any idiot can understand?

Every time I think I'm doing something right, someone pops up and tells me I'm doing it wrong, I need to buy still more equipment. I own 4 thermostats now, for 2 herps and I still can't get any of this right.

And don't even get me started on the freakin' never ending feeding schedule debate. I still don't know how much and how often I'm actually suppose feed my snakes. And if any of my snakes ever regurge again, I certainly won't mention it here.

At this point I'm read rehome all my herps and give up on this because I just can't take the stress of never knowing what the hell I'm doing and never getting anything right.


I came here for information. All I'm getting is major stress and anxiety. You want to know why you get noobs who ask a question and then never come back? This is why.
Go to the other snake forum on the internet and you will literally get 100's of different answers on a question. Some of the best ones I like is "Well I don't own said species but I read on the internet that you should......." SMH. I've owned snakes longer than 90% of the people on these forums have been alive. I have stated my snake keeping facts, not opinions and my gosh some of the responses I get are beyond entertainment, flat out stupid. I too have given up stating facts on some of the less common issues people ask about. It gets tiring a 20 some year old that believes they are a reincarnation of Einstein because Google told them so responding back to questions. Snake care comes with experience and 99.9% common sense. Don't worry about seeking out that other 0.1% of knowledge, it ain't worth the frustration you have encountered. Bottom line is some snakes are much tougher to raise and keep in captivity than others. Boa Constrictors, Burns, Balls, Corns, Garters, etc. are easy. Get wrapped up in where to place probes and you will literally go crazy. Want to hear a confession.....I have 3 Balls and 1 Burm that have NO thermostat and they live happily and healthy. My snakes didn't have thermostats in 1980 when I started so why in the heck would I fix something that ain't broke for me now. I'm not going into detail how I do it, it ain't worth the hammering or judgement from someone that has a 1000 dollar thermostat then turns right around and complains about the price of a 5 dollar Wal-Mart plastic tub. On your BRB......they are tougher to keep in captivity. Google didn't tell me that, I experienced it. I no longer own a BRB. I didn't cook it or kill it. I GAVE IT AWAY to someone that I knew enjoys keeping snakes that require more attention to detail and enjoys their temperament. I'm done ranting. Hang in there and just keep snake keeping simple. Feeding schedules and prey size? Ask yourself one question, do snakes have size and schedule in the wild when they eat. Snakes get fat cuz 99% of the people that own them want them BIG fast. If you become a 1%'er that really cares about snakes and ignore the 99% that give guesses instead of facts, you will be fine.
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Old 04-26-18, 07:23 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: I think I'm done.

This is why it's important to do research BEFORE bringing an animal home.

You were offered advice on the probe situation and you chose one way that appears to not be working out for you. How bout trying the way experienced keepers have advised and sandwich it between the UTH and the glass?

As for measuring the temps ON THE SURFACE: it matters because snakes BURROW.

If you're not willing to research the animals, put in the effort to set them up properly, maybe snakes aren't the pets for you.

You're NEVER going to get ONE perfect answer. No groups of people ever agree that there is one right way to do whatever it is they're discussing.

It takes time, effort, trial and error and....you guessed it, PRIOR RESEARCH. I wasn't spoon fed info when I started in this hobby back in 1999-2000. I went to libraries, read books, studied the animals I was keeping. I STILL do that, because I am still learning. I will NEVER know everything.
The more you know about the animals you're keeping the better a home you can provide for them.

P.S. you're SOOOOOO close!!! Once everything is dialed in it really becomes easy.

Also, I highly suggest reading a few books. Books will be less contradictory and much more reliable than the internet. As discussed above, you never know who's posting online or what their credentials are.

Last edited by craigafrechette; 04-26-18 at 07:33 AM..
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