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Old 09-06-18, 10:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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New kingsnake owner with a few questions

Always loved snakes, now that I am older I decided to finally get one. I went for a beginner level Grey Banded King snake. I figured there are more experts here than the guy at the local pet store. Any help would be appreciated.

1. I have a basking light that provides UVA. Do I need to also get a UVB light?

2. I got an exoterra 24x18x12 low tank, slightly over 20 gallons. Is this going to be big enough for life or will I need to upgrade in the future?

3. Humidity. It is naturally around 50-55 relative humidity in my house. The terrarium seems to be sitting around 60% relative humidity on the cool side. Is this ok for a grey banded kingsnake? If I need to decrease, how do I do that?

Thank you.
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Old 09-07-18, 03:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: New kingsnake owner with a few questions

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Originally Posted by sdiamond808 View Post
Always loved snakes, now that I am older I decided to finally get one. I went for a beginner level Grey Banded King snake. I figured there are more experts here than the guy at the local pet store. Any help would be appreciated.

1. I have a basking light that provides UVA. Do I need to also get a UVB light?

2. I got an exoterra 24x18x12 low tank, slightly over 20 gallons. Is this going to be big enough for life or will I need to upgrade in the future?

3. Humidity. It is naturally around 50-55 relative humidity in my house. The terrarium seems to be sitting around 60% relative humidity on the cool side. Is this ok for a grey banded kingsnake? If I need to decrease, how do I do that?

Thank you.

First off great first choice!

1. You don’t need it if the snake is eating rodents, but it won’t hurt the snake.
2. You’re going to want something bigger once it gets around 3yrs.old. (Though if you really want to, your snake can be healthy in your enclosure). Zoo med’s 20 gallon long is great for lifetime, but they always appreciate more space.
3.It is a little high for a kingsnake, but I don’t think it’s too dangerous. Though snakes can develop respiratory infections in too high humidity situations. To be safe lower it, move the water bowl from under the heat lamp, to the cool side, if it isn’t already, and use a smaller water bowl.
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Old 09-08-18, 05:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: New kingsnake owner with a few questions

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Originally Posted by sdiamond808 View Post
Always loved snakes, now that I am older I decided to finally get one. I went for a beginner level Grey Banded King snake. I figured there are more experts here than the guy at the local pet store. Any help would be appreciated.

1. I have a basking light that provides UVA. Do I need to also get a UVB light?

2. I got an exoterra 24x18x12 low tank, slightly over 20 gallons. Is this going to be big enough for life or will I need to upgrade in the future?

3. Humidity. It is naturally around 50-55 relative humidity in my house. The terrarium seems to be sitting around 60% relative humidity on the cool side. Is this ok for a grey banded kingsnake? If I need to decrease, how do I do that?

Thank you.

Welcome to the forum and the wonderful world of snake keeping!!
I'm a huge advocate for Kings, so let me start by saying "great choice for your first snake!!".

Now, on to your questions:

1) You do not need UVB lighting.

2) you will DEFINITELY want to upgrade the enclosure in 2 or 3 years. Your King "could" live in that enclosure forever, but it would be way too small for the animal to "thrive". My adult King is around 52" long, 800 grams and is in a 4x2x2 enclosure and uses every inch. I'm contemplating going bigger at some point.

3) Your humidity is fine. It's on the high end of the spectrum, but not at a dangerous level. Like mentioned above, putting the water dish on the opposite end from the heat lamp will help. Also, keep the water bowl fairly small.


Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We're happy to help.
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Old 09-08-18, 07:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: New kingsnake owner with a few questions

Craig, you have a 52" alterna?
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Old 09-08-18, 08:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: New kingsnake owner with a few questions

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Craig, you have a 52" alterna?
I have a 52"ish (meausred with an app.) adult Cal King.
He could be closer to 53-54" but he's all of 52. I round down cause I really don't know exactly.
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Old 09-08-18, 08:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: New kingsnake owner with a few questions

Ah okay. I was about to say, a 52" alterna would be getting close to a record breaker. They typically stay around the 3' range (although bigger individuals are out there).
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Old 09-08-18, 06:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: New kingsnake owner with a few questions

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I have a 52"ish (meausred with an app.) adult Cal King.
He could be closer to 53-54" but he's all of 52. I round down cause I really don't know exactly.
Yep Bandits right, grey banded kings stay a lot smaller, and they would do fine in that size enclosure, but I recommend a 20 gallon long. To be fair, you kind of just repeated everything I said.
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Old 09-09-18, 05:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: New kingsnake owner with a few questions

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Yep Bandits right, grey banded kings stay a lot smaller, and they would do fine in that size enclosure, but I recommend a 20 gallon long. To be fair, you kind of just repeated everything I said.
Yeah, I did repeat a lot of what you said. And for good reason. It's important, especially in today's internet age, to cross reference multiple sources of information. So, sometimes reiterating a point is helpful to the OP or anybody else reading. There are too many morons out there who will hear one thing, from one person, and apply it as if it is factual. And it's soooooooo easy for false information to be spread like wildfire.

Abraham Lincoln himself said "you cant believe half of what you read on the internet."


All that being said, I still would never put an adult King in a 20 gallon long. They are too active a species to have such a small footprint. A 40 breeder would be much better in my opinion.
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Old 09-09-18, 06:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: New kingsnake owner with a few questions

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Originally Posted by craigafrechette View Post
Yeah, I did repeat a lot of what you said. And for good reason. It's important, especially in today's internet age, to cross reference multiple sources of information. So, sometimes reiterating a point is helpful to the OP or anybody else reading. There are too many morons out there who will hear one thing, from one person, and apply it as if it is factual. And it's soooooooo easy for false information to be spread like wildfire.

Abraham Lincoln himself said "you cant believe half of what you read on the internet."


All that being said, I still would never put an adult King in a 20 gallon long. They are too active a species to have such a small footprint. A 40 breeder would be much better in my opinion.
Okay, that makes sense. I like that quote. My history teacher has, “you can’t believe everything you read on the internet, just because there is a picture and a quote next to it”-Abraham Lincoln.
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Old 09-10-18, 03:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: New kingsnake owner with a few questions

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Originally Posted by sdiamond808 View Post
Always loved snakes, now that I am older I decided to finally get one. I went for a beginner level Grey Banded King snake. I figured there are more experts here than the guy at the local pet store. Any help would be appreciated.

1. I have a basking light that provides UVA. Do I need to also get a UVB light?

2. I got an exoterra 24x18x12 low tank, slightly over 20 gallons. Is this going to be big enough for life or will I need to upgrade in the future?

3. Humidity. It is naturally around 50-55 relative humidity in my house. The terrarium seems to be sitting around 60% relative humidity on the cool side. Is this ok for a grey banded kingsnake? If I need to decrease, how do I do that?

Thank you.
Welcome to the forum! We're glad you're here.

I have a gray-banded kingsnake too, actually! His name is Lincoln.

Also, UVB lighting isn't necessary, but it won't hurt your snake if you use it.
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Old 09-11-18, 03:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: New kingsnake owner with a few questions

appreciate the help.

I got a zoomed 24 inch led terrarium hood with uvb. He is so small that he crawls up in the space between the lid and back, so I leave the uvb off, but the moonlight leds are cool. Little guy is real active at night. Going to feed him the first time tonight.

1. Do I need to feed in a separate enclosure?
2. Should I feed live or frozen pinkies?

Thanks,
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Old 09-12-18, 05:23 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: New kingsnake owner with a few questions

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Originally Posted by sdiamond808 View Post
appreciate the help.

I got a zoomed 24 inch led terrarium hood with uvb. He is so small that he crawls up in the space between the lid and back, so I leave the uvb off, but the moonlight leds are cool. Little guy is real active at night. Going to feed him the first time tonight.

1. Do I need to feed in a separate enclosure?
2. Should I feed live or frozen pinkies?

Thanks,
Huge, emphatic, NO on the seperate feeding tub. Seperate feeding tubs are old school and proven counter productive.
And let me tell you, you definitely don't want to try to handle a Kingsnake in feed mode. Granted being tagged doesn'treally hurt, it's still no fun for you or the snake.

There is absolutely ZERO benefit to feeding in a separate tub.
The reasons NOT to are as follows:
1) moving the snake stresses the snake, increasing the likelihood of a refusal
2) moving a snake that just ate stressesthe snake, increasing the likelihood of a regurgitated meal
3) moving a snake in feed mode skyrockets your chances of being bitten by a snake in feed mode. Defensive bites are one thing, but trust me, avoid food driven bites.

As for live or F/T. It really doesn't matter at this stage, since pinkie mice are harmless, but F/T is always the safer choice once prey items get big enough to fight back.
F/T are also cheaper and easier to buy and store in bulk.

The sooner you get them readily accepting F/T the better if that's your long term plan.
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Old 09-12-18, 11:07 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: New kingsnake owner with a few questions

Gray-banded Kings are certainly an interesting species, especially when comparing to other species of king snakes. Like I said, they typically range between 2.5'-3' as adults. A 20g would be fine for an adult of average size. However, I can agree with Craig that it would appreciate more room if you can provide it (when it's bigger, no need for it now).

Gray-banded Kings are almost exclusively nocturnal in the wild. They get no sunlight in the wild as they stay hidden all day, so theoretically they shouldn't need it in captivity either. Other species of kings can be and are found during the day, at least at certain times of year. Go out to the native range of gray-banded kings and you'll never find one during the day. That's why he is so active at night. In the wild, they hide in rock cuts. So that little space he keeps crawling into is probably more comfortable for him than a traditional hide would be.

I'll also agree that there is no real benefit to feeding in a separate container. If you can feed f/t, it would be a better option. If it'll only take live mice, then just do that for now.
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