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Old 03-19-18, 07:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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A Curious Possible Owner

Hello! So I am a young person interested in getting into the herp hobby, and one of the animals I am considering is a garter snake. So I would like to get a little bit of info about them. In a way it is my first herp in a way it is not, although in all practicality the former is essentially my situation. I'm a 15 year old mild ADHD and Asperger's Army Brat who wants to get into herping.(edited)
My family has tried a beardie before on impulse for me when I was around 7 or 8, but I was too young and due to my mother's uneducation, my conditions and other factors it was kind of a disaster that has spooked them from the hobby. We also sorta tried some wild turtles but they escaped, well one did and I let the other go. We tried a fish tank a few years later and once again it didn't work well because we aren't great with all the really complex and mind bending stuff of maintaining a 20 gal fishtank off of mostly basic internet search and pet store advice.(edited)
Now I want to try again, but this time I hope I am old enough, mature enough, and competent enough to try the hobby. My mother is very cautiously supportive but says it's will be all my work. I have a $20 monthly allowance and around $900 saved up. I will be moving soon (to a naval base in Corpus Christi, TX) so if I decide to enter the hobby I will get it then. I will probably get a job in that city too because my birthday is around the time of the move.
I have been considering a variety of reptiles and amphibians such as garters and corns and balls and red eyes tree frogs and chameleons, right now it's really between garter and corn and blue tongue skink and possibly the rainbow even though I have been hearing conflicting messages. So yes it is basically my first snake and I want to hear your take on them being a keeper yourself and I will see how you might stack up to my other research. My main thing right now is either herp or gaming PC upgrade so I can get closer to getting VR.(edited)
Ok there's my lengthy life story on the subject lmao.

But ye I am looking for an animal that is within that budget, is active in it's cage, does not need much space, can be handled easily, and is tolerant of beginner mistakes. I am inquiring about Thamnophis here but I will hopefully be getting info about other snakes with a similar prompt in other threads.
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Old 03-20-18, 12:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: A Curious Possible Owner

Well, garters are a bit more complex to keep due to their diet (fish, worms, amphibians), their habitat requirements, their UV requirements... and generally don't really like human physical interaction all that much.

They are loads of fun though, as they can be kept as a community in a large enough space.

Corns are very easy to keep, straight forward, and when kept right will also be active during most parts of the day.
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Old 03-20-18, 02:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: A Curious Possible Owner

First off, good for you for being able to look back at past attempts and learn from them. It sounds like you are putting thought into this next possible step and I commend that. Good job.

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Originally Posted by Moop515 View Post
But ye I am looking for an animal that is within that budget, is active in it's cage, does not need much space, can be handled easily, and is tolerant of beginner mistakes. I am inquiring about Thamnophis here but I will hopefully be getting info about other snakes with a similar prompt in other threads.
Corn snake (or any other colubrid like milk/king/rat) would be a pretty good choice. They can be squirmy little buggers when young but grow into a snake that is neat to handle and own. Plus they are pretty hardy and the care requirements are not difficult. They come in at a good price point too, especially if there are any reptile shows like Repticon near you. Plenty of color and pattern choices too. I usually recommend a ball python to a young person looking for a first snake but they don't move too much in the enclosure usually. One of mine does though. He likes to soak in his water and can be seen peeking out of his hides at you occasionally. They are super mellow to handle though and you can just sit with one on you for long periods of time. A corn will usually be trying to move most of the time you are handling it. They are both very neat but pretty different. MY 19 year old daughter wanted a snake to keep in her dorm and originally wanted a king or milk. After handling a few and then handling a ball she decided to get a ball. With all the friends around the ball just seemed like a better choice.
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Old 03-20-18, 04:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: A Curious Possible Owner

I like colubrids like Corn and King Snakes, I just got mine and she is easy to care for and has been cheap to care for beyond the initial expense($75 for the snake, and another $30 for the tank and care package, $20 heat pad and emitter, and some cheap aspen bedding). Things can be cheaper at reptile expos, where I got my King Snake and viv.

Ball pythons are cool and good starter animals too, but are prone to food strikes where they could refuse to eat for months at a time. They also require more strict humidity requirements than king snakes and corn snakes as far as I've seen. But they ARE much easier to hold, an acquaintance has one and he is a joy to hold. My king has acclimated to being held though, she's much better than she was a few months ago.

Some people prefer pythons, some prefer colubrids. It sounds like you're leaning more towards a colubrid there. For what it's worth, I plan on getting a ball python for my next snake Both are great animals.

$900 is much more than enough for starting a python or colubrid with a tank/tub and supplies, as long as you don't get one of the expensive morphs. Even if you did buy an expensive morph for $100-$300 you'd have more than enough left for feeding and supplies. I'd suggest getting a less expensive morph for your very first snake though.

Remember to give the snake a thermostat and some sort of heat source, like a pad or light! But not heat rocks, those can burn your snake. Put the heat pad/light/emitter on one side of the enclosure, so that the snake can choose between being warm or cool, and also one hide on each side for a total of 2(at least).

EDIT: There is a reptile Expo in Corpus Christi in August!
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Last edited by Noh; 03-20-18 at 04:10 PM..
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Old 03-21-18, 10:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: A Curious Possible Owner

I definitely encourage you to get into keeping herps. It is a really great hobby to be involved in and there are so many amazing animals I never get tired of it and it makes me wake up excited about every day.
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