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Old 10-31-17, 11:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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California Kingsnake

Hi there my name is Monique,my son has recently left me with a 1yr old Kingsnake to babysit for a yr.Im just looking for advice on optimal care seeing as he's his baby
Thank you
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Old 11-01-17, 06:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: California Kingsnake

Hi there! Happy to help you. California Kingsnakes are relatively easy to take care of, and can be easily maintained by any normal colubrid care sheet. However if you would like me too I can make a easy Care Sheet anyone can follow. They do take me some time though, so please contact me if you would like one. Thank you, hope you have fun with your son's Kingsnake!
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Old 11-01-17, 10:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: California Kingsnake

Awe Thank you..
I have a daytime light and nighttime I notice daytime is sitting at 80 which I think is still too cool right? Nighttime light sits 85 should I maybe just get stronger wattage for daytime ?
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Old 11-01-17, 02:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: California Kingsnake

The night time temp seems fine, but I would try to get at least a 90F hotspot for day time temperature.
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Old 11-01-17, 02:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: California Kingsnake

Okay, I will make something short to allow you to take care of your kingsnake. Hope this helps!

Enclosure: Adult kingsnakes need at least a 20 gallon long enclosure while hatchlings can be maintained in a smaller 10 gallon enclosure. If you don't want to buy separate enclosures for different periods of time you can just buy the 20 gallon long tank. I recommend you either section off half of it, or provide a variety of hides to make the snake feel more secure.

Heating/Lighting: California kingsnakes require some amount of lighting/heating. Ambient temperatures should be 75F-80F on the cool side, and 80F-85F on the hot side. Surface temratures should be about the same, however there should be a hotspot on the warm side that gets up to at least 90F-95F. As long as the snake has somewhere to retreat to temps can even get a little bit higher then this. The easiest way to check temperature is with a reliable infrared temperature gun. UVB Lighting is not needed for snakes, they get their d3 through the whole prey food they eat.

Feeding: In captivity California kingsnakes can be maintained on a pure rodent diet. Rodents should be as big as the thickest part of the snakes body, and should leave only a slight noticeable gap. Of course you can always feed multiple smaller prey if you don't feel comfortable feeding bigger rodents. Cal kings can be given mice their whole lives so it isn't necessary to buy rats, and other feeders. If it isn't already, I highly recommend feeding frozen thawed, it is safer for the snake, and is more humane for the mouse. Cal kings can be fed appropriate sized rodents every week for adults. Seeing as your sons is still a little young, I would recommend feeding every 5-6 days, until he is at least two years old, then you can start feeding weekly.

Taming Process: Like most colubrids cal kings have a normally docile temperament, so it isn't too hard to get them well used to you. For best results try to handle him once daily, for at least ten minutes, (unless you have fed him on that day, in which case wait for at least 12-24 hours). If you follow these steps he should be nice in tame when your son picks him up.

If you have any other questions feel free to ask! I had a lot of fun making this by the way, and this should help you keep a happy and healthy kingsnake.
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Old 11-01-17, 03:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: California Kingsnake

Thank you DJC Reptiles sooo appreciated!!
So again I should get a 100watt for daytime ? I'm pretty sure that one is a 75 and obviously not getting warm enough or should I bump both of them up to 100's? Like I said low 80's is the warmest it's getting .He eats like a champ been feeding 3-4 pinkies a week.
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Old 11-01-17, 04:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: California Kingsnake

If you feel like you need a bigger wattage, go for it! Although you should be able to get good temps with the 75 watt, try to move it closer to the screen top. If you don't have one already the temp gun should help you find the exact temperature. Night time temps seem to be fine, it is okay if there is a slight temperature drop. If you can't reach desired temps with the 75 watt then I would go for a 100 watt. I use a 75 watt exo terra infrared bulb, and that works for me both day and night time, so maybe you have a 50 watt? If you are not sure, I would recommend going with the 100 watt just in case, just make sure you raise it up enough to provide the desired hot spot temperature.

Hope this helps!
-DJC Reptiles
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Old 11-01-17, 07:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: California Kingsnake

I thought I had to have a white daytime and red for night? I can leave the red one on all day and night ?
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Old 11-01-17, 07:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: California Kingsnake

I thought they were supposed to signify day and night for the snake? Sorry for all the questions, the snake w dropped on me with no notice lol
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Old 11-01-17, 08:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: California Kingsnake

I use red heat bulbs for day and night also. They're on a dimmer so I turn them down a bit at night.
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Old 11-02-17, 04:06 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: California Kingsnake

The snake won't be able to see the infrared light, as long as there is a noticeable change in day and night in the room you keep him, then it should be fine. Most people use day and night time bulbs because it looks better. However, I have found that my day time bulbs burn out really fast, and are completely unreliable. So I switched to using pure infrared heat bulbs and that works well for me. Honestly it is whatever works for you, some stores even allow you to return day time bulbs if this happens. Hope this helps!
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Old 11-02-17, 06:50 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: California Kingsnake

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The snake won't be able to see the infrared light, as long as there is a noticeable change in day and night in the room you keep him
Not true. Some snakes certainly can see red light and it is shown to disturb the circadian rhythms of some species of snakes. Some more that others.

Blue 'moon lights' are even worse as all snakes can see into the UV element of the spectrum.

I would not advocate any light emitting sources at night. There is no need as there are plenty of solutions that avoid such sources (rhp's, che's, true infrared heat sources etc).

You've made a number of bold claims in an authorative tone on a number of subjects some of which are incorrect and some unsubstantiated and a matter of opinion not fact.

The danger with this approach is that beginners may accept such advice without challenge or thought.
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Old 11-02-17, 07:38 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: California Kingsnake

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Originally Posted by dannybgoode View Post
Not true. Some snakes certainly can see red light and it is shown to disturb the circadian rhythms of some species of snakes. Some more that others.

Blue 'moon lights' are even worse as all snakes can see into the UV element of the spectrum.

I would not advocate any light emitting sources at night. There is no need as there are plenty of solutions that avoid such sources (rhp's, che's, true infrared heat sources etc).

You've made a number of bold claims in an authorative tone on a number of subjects some of which are incorrect and some unsubstantiated and a matter of opinion not fact.

The danger with this approach is that beginners may accept such advice without challenge or thought.
I did not say all snakes cannot see infrared light, I said [I]the[I] snake, referring to his California king snake. Please read what I said more carefully before complaining about it
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Old 11-02-17, 07:40 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: California Kingsnake

And your source for Cali kings not being able to see infrared light?
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Old 11-02-17, 07:45 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: California Kingsnake

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Originally Posted by dannybgoode View Post
And your source for Cali kings not being able to see infrared light?
(Note: Sources used can be found here Reptile Lighting Information)

The article states, "Infrared light is the suns warmth, and basking reptiles absorb infrared radiation extremely effectively through their skin. This part of the light spectrum is invisible to humans and most reptiles, but some snakes can perceive the longer wavelengths (above 5,000 nanometers) through their facial pit organs" (Baines). California kingsnakes do not have heat pits as with species of pythons, boas, and pitt vipers, as such they cannot detect infrared light.
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