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Old 04-28-17, 04:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Diving in Headfirst...in a shallow pool

Okay, I'm going to come into ownership, or should I say partnership, with a JCP next week and I have a few questions. It's, supposedly it's a he, 6yrs old and 9ft in length, and supposedly rather docile.

I've never had a snake over 5ft, and never a python. I'm not afraid to handle it, but until it gets used to my activities, cleaning regimen, feeding schedule, I need a little more info...

1. Until I get a proper enclosure, PVC or otherwise, is it okay to keep it in a 55gal aquarium? Clamps will be used on the cover, UTH, etc.
2. Avoiding bites...should I use hooks until the snake is settled in, used to feeding, etc., or should I just proceed as I have been with my other Colubrids...minor, careful, handling? My BP doesn't count.
3. Should I keep a spray bottle of vodka close by if bitten? or some cotton swabs and dab vodka on the lips if bitten? Not that I want this to happen, but it might until it gets settled in.

I know I should just feed, spot clean, etc. for the first few weeks, and the hooks are probably a good idea until those weeks pass by, but I thought I'd ask here anyway.

And yes, I know I have some more reading to do, videos to watch, etc. but there's always a starting point for everyone. I'm just starting with a mature snake that I hope is somewhat composed...whatever that means!
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Old 04-28-17, 08:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Diving in Headfirst...in a shallow pool

Congrats on the new carpet. They're really fun snakes to keep. A 9ft jungle would be a monster. They average about 5-7 ft. Coastals and Bredli are the larger Morelia ssp. If the snake is 9ft a 55 gallon tank will be pretty tight but you may be able to get away with it for a little while. A 6x2 would be a better option when you upgrade. I don't really trust those tank clamps either but I guess they work for others. I had a BP escape when I used them years ago. A snake hook is a pretty good idea especially when dealing with new snakes. I use one with all of my snakes. I doubt you'll need the spray bottle. It sounds like you've got a good plan for letting him settle in. Get your temps and humidity dialed in before he arrives, get a few meals in him, and after that it should be smooth sailing. Share pics when you can please.
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Old 04-28-17, 09:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Diving in Headfirst...in a shallow pool

At 9 feet, you'd better get some pretty stout clamps. And reinforce with a few cinder blocks. As Zig says, while you are waiting for your larger upgrade enclosure (and waiting for your new snake), get your settings dialed in so you are ready to receive your new snake without any hiccups.

As for a hook, I ALWAYS use a hook anytime I need to go in the enclosure, regardless of the reason. If you put your 98 degree hand in there and startle your 9 ft python, and it reacts for the wrong reason (feeding time?), you will wish you had used a hook. Hook training will "notify" the snake that nothing warm or tasty is coming its way.

*If* you get bitten, usually it will be a bite/release action. Sometimes, it will be a bite/constrict deal. I know some will advocate for alcohol or other volatile. Not a great idea, this can be harmful to the snake. Cool, running water usually works, or just rest your hand on the table and let it release (easier said than done, but definitely doable).

Best of luck, and yes, please do post up pics when you can!
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Old 04-28-17, 09:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Diving in Headfirst...in a shallow pool

I agree with the above. A 9ft jungle and a male no less. Would be very very big. My suspicion is they are being very generous with their estimations. Even small snakes are very difficult to get an accurate length on much less bigger ones unless you have lots of help. I highly doubt he is a big as claimed. Good luck and post pics.
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Old 04-29-17, 01:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Diving in Headfirst...in a shallow pool

As said above tap training with a hook, is definitely a good idea with a 9ft python and get the pics up asap please
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Old 04-29-17, 03:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Diving in Headfirst...in a shallow pool

Well, I haven't had the need for hooks yet, so I need to source some rather quickly.

I'm looking at the BoaMaster 8' melamine cage for a permanent home...it looks nice, has more than enough room, and he's just down the road from me in Virginia so I'll save on shipping. I've seen the video reviews of his cages...most are satisfied, especially for the price, but this cage is a bit larger, and melamine, not the PVC laminated foam most seem to buy at the sub $250 range; so, unless I locate some bad reviews, I'll probably start with that cage for my large snakes (I want a Boa and D'Alberts Python).

In the meantime, it will be a 55gal, unless I find something larger for a decent price, and some, uh, cinder blocks to hold him in.

As for the alcohol treatment for a bite...I've also heard of results with lemon juice, or just pouring water (cold?) over the nose. Maybe I'll just wear a sweatshirt for the first few times so it won't be too traumatic if I do get "nipped".

Thanks for all the encouragement, and I'm looking forward to this experience.
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Old 04-29-17, 06:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Diving in Headfirst...in a shallow pool

Scuba, even if you don't have a hook, you can use a paper towel roll, dowel rod. Really anything that can simply "tap" the snake with upon opening the enclosure just to signal the snake, meaning "hey, this tap means it's not dinner time". You'd be surprised how quickly the behavior is learned. Or, use a paper plate as a barrier between you and the snake to "block" your heat signal and create a neutral visual signal.

I'm anxious to see pics once you get it!
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Old 05-05-17, 12:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Diving in Headfirst...in a shallow pool

The best way to make sure you don't get locked up by a carpet is don't stick your hand in their cage. I don't believe in reaching in any snakes cage without a hook. Most pythons are creatures of habit develope good habits with your animal and you won't have any problems.
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Old 05-05-17, 12:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Diving in Headfirst...in a shallow pool

Well, I do know not to grab for the head, or anywhere near it, but I do plan on using a hook to get the first grip, the closest grip nearest to the head, yet back from the head, and then use my other hand to grab the snake's body further back.

Pick up the case tomorrow, the RHP and Herpstat arrive Monday, so I probably won't get the snake until Tuesday or later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ubermenchwhite View Post
The best way to make sure you don't get locked up by a carpet is don't stick your hand in their cage. I don't believe in reaching in any snakes cage without a hook. Most pythons are creatures of habit develope good habits with your animal and you won't have any problems.
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Old 05-09-17, 11:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Diving in Headfirst...in a shallow pool

Here's the JCP pic the seller provided...


Here are some shots from the viv before completion and after completion...














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Old 05-09-17, 11:23 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Diving in Headfirst...in a shallow pool

The finished viv w/heater running...it was too early for the lights to come on, but they came on at 8am as programmed.



Now I have to find a place in this room to start stacking vivs and start transferring snakes out of the terrariums as they grow up...

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Old 05-09-17, 11:27 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Diving in Headfirst...in a shallow pool

Enclosure looks good!

Snake isn't 9 feet. Not your fault though you just went with what they said.

Also, the alcohol thing is only if the snake latches on. Most of the time snakes bite and let go, especially larger snakes. They bite for feeding or defense. Defensive bites are quick strikes. I don't think you need it.
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Old 05-09-17, 11:31 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Diving in Headfirst...in a shallow pool

Nice looking critter and enclosure Scuba. The reptile room looks great too.
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Old 05-09-17, 11:46 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Diving in Headfirst...in a shallow pool

That does not look particularly like a jcp. Do you have some close ups of the head - top and side?

The reason i ask is it doesn't look dissimilar to an Australian scrub python - Morelia kinghornii. Google some pictures of both and see what you think. A close up of the head would settle it as they have very distinct head scales.

Warning. If it's a kinghornii it may get very very big and very aggressive.

I could very well be wrong because it's not a great photo but the markings just don't look Morelia spilota sp. to me and there appear to be side pits on the mouth. That said Morelia spilota sp. come in such a wide variety of markings it may be.

If it is a carpet it looks more like a mcdowelli (coastal carpet).

I'd certainly want to double check and more than happy to be corrected by anyone who thinks differently.
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Old 05-09-17, 11:55 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Diving in Headfirst...in a shallow pool

Quote:
Originally Posted by dannybgoode View Post
That does not look particularly like a jcp. Do you have some close ups of the head - top and side?

The reason i ask is it doesn't look dissimilar to an Australian scrub python - Morelia kinghornii. Google some pictures of both and see what you think. A close up of the head would settle it as they have very distinct head scales.

Warning. If it's a kinghornii it may get very very big and very aggressive.

I could very well be wrong because it's not a great photo but the markings just don't look Morelia spilota sp. to me and there appear to be side pits on the mouth. That said Morelia spilota sp. come in such a wide variety of markings it may be.

If it is a carpet it looks more like a mcdowelli (coastal carpet).

I'd certainly want to double check and more than happy to be corrected by anyone who thinks differently.
The colouration and side/belly pattern seen in the pic are definitely carpet python and not scrub.

I would agree that the colour is a little more towards a Coastal but it's probably a mix with like mostly Jungle and some coastal. Either way it looks healthy.
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