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Thread: Any snake owners around?

  1. #1
    God in the baking Sean R. R.'s Avatar
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    Any snake owners around?

    Hey guys, thinking about getting a pet corn snake. Completely fell in love with the species after a trip to the south of France where a friend of a friend had one.
    I've decided to make myself a 40 gallon tank to be sure they'll be comfortable for their whole lifespan. I've been told 40 gallons is too much for an adult corn snake.

    Any input on this? I've been spending the last few days reading documentation on pet corn snake care and lots of different people have lots of different opinions on the subject, going from the substrate, to using heat mats or heat lamps, to 20 gallon tanks or 40-50 for adult corn snakes, etc, etc...

    These species being quite resilient contributes to the difficulty in finding optimal care conditions I guess.

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  2. #2
    Bronze Member Bartmanhomer's Avatar
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    Re: Any snake owners around?

    I always wanted a snake for a pet. My snake choice is a cobra.

  3. #3
    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: Any snake owners around?

    As a kid,I had a gopher snake,much like a corn snake. I have always liked snakes,very interesting animals. Bart,a cobra is really NOT a pet, here in most states they ate illegal to have.

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    Apprentice of Doom Shahaku's Avatar
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    Re: Any snake owners around?

    See if there's a reptile rescue anywhere near you. I know there's one close to me. She has anacondas, pythons, and a cobra (who had to be defanged after nearly killing her, which she hated, but it was that or put the snake down). Her husband has had some close calls feeding the anacondas as well. One wrapped around his neck and nearly suffocated him one time.

    I would say, find a local rescue and volunteer with them at least one day a week for six months. Once you've been around them for awhile, you'll have the education you need to make a decision.
    We are what we are. Nothing more, nothing less. There is good and evil among every kind of people. It's the evil among us who rule now. -Anne Bishop, Daughter of the Blood

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  5. #5
    God in the baking Sean R. R.'s Avatar
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    Re: Any snake owners around?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shahaku View Post
    See if there's a reptile rescue anywhere near you. I know there's one close to me. She has anacondas, pythons, and a cobra (who had to be defanged after nearly killing her, which she hated, but it was that or put the snake down). Her husband has had some close calls feeding the anacondas as well. One wrapped around his neck and nearly suffocated him one time.

    I would say, find a local rescue and volunteer with them at least one day a week for six months. Once you've been around them for awhile, you'll have the education you need to make a decision.
    Thing is, there are no legal pet snakes that are native to france (they're all protected species). All the legal ones are bred, and usually american or african varieties only. I wanted a fairly young snake tbh, their temperament can really change when changing owners and it can take as much as a couple of years for an adult snake to accept a new owner.

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  6. #6
    Apprentice of Doom Shahaku's Avatar
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    Re: Any snake owners around?

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanRave View Post
    Thing is, there are no legal pet snakes that are native to france (they're all protected species). All the legal ones are bred, and usually american or african varieties only. I wanted a fairly young snake tbh, their temperament can really change when changing owners and it can take as much as a couple of years for an adult snake to accept a new owner.
    I'm not saying you have to rescue one, I'm just saying it's a good jumping off point to get experience with a variety and knowledge of what they need, etc. And honestly, I didn't see this was your post, I thought it originated with Bart. I don't know how I missed the first post in the discussion, but there you have it.
    We are what we are. Nothing more, nothing less. There is good and evil among every kind of people. It's the evil among us who rule now. -Anne Bishop, Daughter of the Blood

    I wondered if he could ever understand that it was a blessing, not a sin, to be graced with more than one love.
    It could be complicated; of course it could be complicated. And it opened one up to the possibility of more pain and loss.
    Still, it was a blessing I would never relinquish. Love, genuine love, was always a cause for joy.
    -Jacqueline Carey, Naamah's Curse

    Service to your fellows is the root of peace.

  7. #7
    Sr. Member Eleanor's Avatar
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    Re: Any snake owners around?

    Getting to know animals by volunteering in a shelter is a good idea, Shahaku. Especially animals like reptiles who need specific care.

    I never had reptiles, but I did have small pets like rats and hamsters whom I kept in a cage. In my opinion, a cage can't be too big, compared to the space they have in the wild. So I've always created the best and biggest living space for my pets I could possibly give them. At one point I even created walking boards all around the room for my rats to walk on, leading to different little chambers. Making them a great home was part of the fun for me.

    Read up on what this species needs as much as possible and see how they live in the wild. Then recreate that living space. Good luck!
    Last edited by Eleanor; 29 Oct 2018 at 23:12.

  8. #8
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Any snake owners around?

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanRave View Post
    Thing is, there are no legal pet snakes that are native to france (they're all protected species). All the legal ones are bred, and usually american or african varieties only. I wanted a fairly young snake tbh, their temperament can really change when changing owners and it can take as much as a couple of years for an adult snake to accept a new owner.
    This depends on the snake and how/where it was handled and raised. We adopted a ball python in her 30s...we were her fourth owner. Before us, she lived in the education department of the museum I worked at.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

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  9. #9
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Any snake owners around?

    I'm guessing, based on my own corn snake experience, that people consider 40 gallons too much tank because they are rather laid back and prefer to bask or burrow unless they are being fed or handled, and it ends up seeming like a waste of space (plus its harder to heat properly, etc., which what is probably really causing problems). I've only had one as a pet, but have housed quite a few temporarily between owners and while moving wild ones from more urban environments to relative safety.

    As long as you get a long tank vs. a high tank (corn snakes can climb, and will--especially to "hibernate", but they mainly hang out on the ground in the wild to chase their food), a single adult can be fine in a terrarium bigger than 20 gallons in size. Its been my experience that most habitats (as long as the reptile can move around comfortably into the different "zones" they need to access) that size is less important than things like a proper thermal gradient, a basking site, hiding box, etc. For a corn snake, if you have the right temp zones, a hide box in each temp zone, a water bowl large enough the snake can curl up into and submerge in without spilling, a basking site, I'd just shoot for an enclosure as long as the snake will likely get, and as wide as you can find and practically manage for that length. All the better, if it is tall enough to have a ground zone and enough space for a good sized branch and maybe a ledge or two.

    I'll also say that I'm not a fan of live feeding captive snakes that will take pre-killed prey. One, pre-killed prey can be killed more humanely than being terrified and eaten alive, and two, I've seen captive bred snakes severely injured by live prey. I know this isn't something you brought up, but its something I've seen advocated when people want to provide as natural an experience as possible. There's really nothing natural about breeding and raising snakes in captivity--corns are easy because they are adaptable and tolerate a wide variety of conditions in the wild, which makes them less picky in captivity...and part of the reason they live so long in captivity vs. the wild is because we remove many of the hazards they would encounter otherwise (pathogens from prey, injuries from prey, predators, extreme conditions, etc.).

    This is actually a really good info site for setting up an enclosure for a corn snake: http://reptileknowledge.com/care/corn-cage.php

    I also like this guy, who is an actual herpetologist: http://blogs.thatpetplace.com/thatre.../#.W9hnw01Rd7h

    ...they differ a little bit in their opinions, but the areas where they disagree are pretty trivial with regard to the actual health of the snake. Unfortunately, there's a lot of bad reptile advice out there...which shouldn't be confused with opinion on what is better/best for the animal. After all, our interpretation of how they are doing outside of survival is pretty subjective to our interpretation--its not like we can take a survey of pet snakes everywhere!
    Last edited by thalassa; 30 Oct 2018 at 07:11.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  10. #10
    God in the baking Sean R. R.'s Avatar
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    Re: Any snake owners around?

    Quote Originally Posted by thalassa View Post
    I'm guessing, based on my own corn snake experience, that people consider 40 gallons too much tank because they are rather laid back and prefer to bask or burrow unless they are being fed or handled, and it ends up seeming like a waste of space (plus its harder to heat properly, etc., which what is probably really causing problems). I've only had one as a pet, but have housed quite a few temporarily between owners and while moving wild ones from more urban environments to relative safety.

    As long as you get a long tank vs. a high tank (corn snakes can climb, and will--especially to "hibernate", but they mainly hang out on the ground in the wild to chase their food), a single adult can be fine in a terrarium bigger than 20 gallons in size. Its been my experience that most habitats (as long as the reptile can move around comfortably into the different "zones" they need to access) that size is less important than things like a proper thermal gradient, a basking site, hiding box, etc. For a corn snake, if you have the right temp zones, a hide box in each temp zone, a water bowl large enough the snake can curl up into and submerge in without spilling, a basking site, I'd just shoot for an enclosure as long as the snake will likely get, and as wide as you can find and practically manage for that length. All the better, if it is tall enough to have a ground zone and enough space for a good sized branch and maybe a ledge or two.

    I'll also say that I'm not a fan of live feeding captive snakes that will take pre-killed prey. One, pre-killed prey can be killed more humanely than being terrified and eaten alive, and two, I've seen captive bred snakes severely injured by live prey. I know this isn't something you brought up, but its something I've seen advocated when people want to provide as natural an experience as possible. There's really nothing natural about breeding and raising snakes in captivity--corns are easy because they are adaptable and tolerate a wide variety of conditions in the wild, which makes them less picky in captivity...and part of the reason they live so long in captivity vs. the wild is because we remove many of the hazards they would encounter otherwise (pathogens from prey, injuries from prey, predators, extreme conditions, etc.).

    This is actually a really good info site for setting up an enclosure for a corn snake: http://reptileknowledge.com/care/corn-cage.php

    I also like this guy, who is an actual herpetologist: http://blogs.thatpetplace.com/thatre.../#.W9hnw01Rd7h

    ...they differ a little bit in their opinions, but the areas where they disagree are pretty trivial with regard to the actual health of the snake. Unfortunately, there's a lot of bad reptile advice out there...which shouldn't be confused with opinion on what is better/best for the animal. After all, our interpretation of how they are doing outside of survival is pretty subjective to our interpretation--its not like we can take a survey of pet snakes everywhere!
    I would be lying if I said I wasn't extremely eager to hear your take on this. Glad you responded !

    In France, feeding live prey is illegal for pet snake owners, though certain breeders and conservationists can get a special (read: expensive) license to use live prey (they have to breed themselves) for their snakes. I was not interested in feeding live prey to my future snake either because buying frozen prey in bulks is much cheaper, and there is no risk of them retaliating.

    Being a complete novice, I am extremely scared of getting the temperature gradient and the humidity levels correct. Seeing that I probably need a smaller tank than I was expecting, I hope it becomes easier for me to manage that than I thought.

    Thanks a lot for the input, I will check those two links ASAP.

    Check out my blog! The Daily Satanist

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