Beginner snake options...?

Discussion in 'General Reptile Discussion' started by Sam Simpson, Mar 31, 2019.

  1. Sam Simpson

    Sam Simpson New Member

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    My first thread, don't know if this is how to go about it but here goes.
    I'm 16 years old looking to get my first snake, wanted one for years. I'd like one a decent size but ideally not too aggressive and not too difficult or complicated to care for. Just a solid starter snake for a novice. What does everyone recommend?
     
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  2. Herptology

    Herptology Well-Known Member

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    I like coastal carpet pythons, what do you like?

    This is the first step
     
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  3. Sam Simpson

    Sam Simpson New Member

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    Big fan of water pythons
     
  4. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    If you have the opportunity, play with some snakes and see which ones appeal to you.

    The two main options are: 1) Antaresia, all of which are all about the same size, all the same to care for, all the same in terms of behaviour, they just look a little different. Some people will tell you there are significant differences between them, and after decades of working with literally thousands of them, I say no. Individuals vary but not really species. Spotted Pythons are a little larger and some lines (as opposed to species) feed better than others, but as species they're all similar with a similar range of temperaments and feeding response. Blonde Macs (a type of Spotted Python) are among the best feeding Antaresia, but once established they're all good.

    And 2) Carpet Pythons. These vary a bit more in terms of size and temperament. They're all much larger than Antaresia, most feed well, most are pretty tough (Diamonds are the biggest exceptions there), most are pretty good handlers (some lines of Jungles are exceptions and Darwins are a bit mixed).

    The other option worth looking at is the Woma, which is a medium sized snake and about the only option significantly larger than an Antaresia but significantly smaller than a Carpet. They're good looking, brilliant feeders (SA Womas can be a little tricky as youngsters, but the others are very enthusiastic) and usually handle well other than their strong feeding response.

    Other options are venomous, very large (eg Olives) or more difficult to keep (eg Chondros). Maybe Water Pythons deserve a mention. They're about the same size as Carpets, tough, easy to care for, great feeders and very beautiful, but they have a partially deserved reputation for being snappy. If you get a good one it's the nicest snake you could hope to own, but if you get a snappy one you're either a very good handler or you'll get bitten a lot. I've kept a fair few and bred hundreds of them and all but one of my adults have been excellent handlers, but there are some nasty ones out there. For me personally these are the #1 Australian python because they're such lovely, alert, aware snakes (Carpets etc just seem so dull natured in comparison), incredibly beautiful and very different looking from anything else available in Australia with their patternless bodies, amazing iridescence (check out some of the pictures I've posted on APS if you like), but preferences vary and these are certainly not very popular.
     
  5. cagey

    cagey Subscriber Subscriber

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    Sdaji,

    Nice piece.
     
  6. Rob Colbert

    Rob Colbert Not so new Member

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    Congratulations on your very first post. This is a great place for beginners and experts alike to learn and teach at the same time.

    It's natural when your looking at your first python to want something solid a good size one.
    It's like a P plater looking for his first car. Thumping V8 seems to be a great attraction.

    Don't worry us old blokes have been there

    A couple of ideas and I agree with some of the suggestions above.

    Try handling a number of different Python's of different sizes and breeds. Go to your local Reptile Seller and you could get some really good advice as you handle diffredif species.

    My first recommendation would be to start with something small. Your very own baby to grow with. But don't worry in 4-7 years depending on the species you could have something solid on your hands

    Children's Python's, Black Headed Python's, NT Carpet Python's and Coastal Carpet Python's all come to mind as hatchlings and even as a bit larger python to start with.

    If you want to jump straight into the larger python then I can only suggest don't make a quick purchase from a private seller. If you are wanting to buy from a private seller before you say yes over the phone go and meet the owner. Ask them to get the snake out of it's enclosure. See how the snake reacts in the cage. Is it calm and comes out easy or is it cage defensive. If it is cage defensive then as a first snake I would not buy it.

    If you can buy from a reputable distributor they will be more inclined to help you find the right snake for you whether it be small to start with or something a bit bigger.

    My ladt bit of advice is enjoy your very first python. Learn as much as you can about your python and you will have a friend for a very long time.

    Good luck mate

    And keep coming back here for any questions you have.
    Aussie Python's is a place that holds a wealth of knowledge
     
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  7. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Power Seller Power Seller

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    As a private breeder & seller I take offence to this.
    Suggesting that commercial outlets offer a better service is almost laughable.

    I do agree that there are and always have been a minority of 'shady' people in the hobby but are these not in all walks of life?
    Most commercial outlets will sell you a pile of extras that you dont need and have no knowledge on the animal they are selling, (a bit like the puppy in the window but worse).

    I would suggest going straight to a private breeder but do a little homework first.
     
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  8. Rob Colbert

    Rob Colbert Not so new Member

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    Dear Paul, I am sorry you took offence at this. No harm meant. My wording should have been more clearer as i was not refering to the private breeder but to the private seller as clearly mentioned in my statement.

    I was trying to warn about the snakes that get sold from person to person to person. Eg Gumtree. Sellers not Breeders.

    My cousin has a very reputable Python Breeding Buisness in NSW. He is always the first point of contact i go to because of his extensive knowledge and i respect him because of his experience as a breeder.

    As for the pet style store type seller you are very right there are alot of dodgie ones out there. But if you noticed I did say reputable.

    My intent if you carefully read it again instead of looking for something to take offence at was to give the young fella some pointers as to what signs to look for not who to look for as baddies as suggested by you.

    I am sorry you took offence Paul, but if thats all it takes to offend you then unfortunately your in for a rude shock

    And really as mature adults that we are, if mature, one would question why would someone write back to a 16 year old to offer some friendly advice just to secretly put in the post something to offend a Private Breeder.
     
  9. danyjv

    danyjv Active Member

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    Diamond pythons are definitely worth a look at . From my experience there always been very placid and can get to a decent size. But that’s if you like them of coarse . Snakes live along time so you want to choose the one you love


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  10. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    Their propensity to drop dead while young because of specific thermal requirements which are difficult to understand and not typical of most other snakes, which is a little bit difficult for most newbies to understand let alone provide, has also earned them a worldwide reputation as a problematic animal.

    For some reason people in Australia choose to ignore this! It's very strange.

    They gained a reputation as being a good snake for beginners because they are the only python found anywhere near Australia's largest city, so people could go and catch one back before anyone was breeding anything. This also made them one of the most accessible pythons in Australia's second largest city back when keeping was getting started and breeding was rare.

    While young they'll cope with the normal heating methods, but as they age they do poorly and rarely live long. They do tend to handle well and they do look pretty, and new keepers have their first few years of life to say 'Yay, I love my snake and it's all going well!' which is why this completely inappropriate belief of Diamonds being good beginners' snakes has persisted.
     
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  11. Southernserpent

    Southernserpent Not so new Member

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    I don't keep diamonds myself but I am interested in them in the future. Sdaji in you experience what is the best way to keep them regarding temperature requirements and cycling?
     
  12. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Power Seller Power Seller

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    I have to agree.
    People tend to run Diamonds either with too much heat for way too long or too cold because of that cold climate python branding they seem to have earned & most dont survive to be more than 10 unfortunately.
    Our oldest is 15 this season so Im starting to think we might be doing ok.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Apr 4, 2019, Original Post Date: Apr 4, 2019 ---
    Im not easily offended Rob and have been around enough years that Im rarely shocked.
    Maybe you would find reading your post before pressing the reply button might help avoid missinterpretation.
     
  13. Herptology

    Herptology Well-Known Member

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    Water pythons are sick, get one :p I don’t know much about them apart from they aren’t hard to keep and can make an amazing first snake.

    Very beautiful too
     
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  14. Rob Colbert

    Rob Colbert Not so new Member

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    Paul, I didn't become a member to cause issues or to offend people. I was just trying to help the young bloke.

    Paul I am really sorry to offend you. I will check my posts again in future.

    Like I said my cousin is a very successful private breeder and have so much respect for his abilities and knowledge.

    I will take your advice Paul but can I offer you some friendly advice and no intention to offend.

    Maybe in the future instead of picking on someone's little mistake in their post and having to make it public, try and look for the positive. Of course if it is a direct attackor someone trolling sure make a scene, but really not over an unintentional comment you and I both know was not an attack at you personally.

    Paul sorry I upset you. I hope we can put this behind us.

    By the way I live in Gippsland. Do you have a website. I would be more than happy to support you and check out your snakes.
    As long as you don't give me a biff

    Sorry again mate
     
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  15. Sam Simpson

    Sam Simpson New Member

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    As of today I've got my hands on my first python! A zebra jungle carpet python hatchling that's mother is a beaut. This post has really encouraged me to get to know him and I'm super excited to get started.

    Thanks for your help Rob :) Much appreciated
     
  16. Herptology

    Herptology Well-Known Member

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    Jungle :p goodluck, don’t get bit mwhahaha
     
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  17. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    I could write a book on the topic, it's a bit too lengthy to describe in a forum post, but basically, low ambient temperature most of the time, some periods of very low temperatures, most heat provided by a radiant source, never conductive and only rarely ambient.

    With most pythons ambient and/or conductive is preferable and in almost all snakes this is either ideal or works very well. Bredli and Murray Darlings also go well in conditions similar to Diamonds, but they are also perfectly happy with normal tropical python techniques and don't suffer/drop dead like Diamonds do. For most snakes, especially pythons, all you need is a heat cord or heat mat. For Diamonds this is deadly.

    It's funny, people have been observing the problem and writing about it for literally decades (I first learned about it from a book in the mid 90s when I was new to keeping snakes, back then the ideal method of keeping wasn't understood but the problem was certainly known) but most people in Australia either ignore it or somehow have remained oblivious. I spent my honours year investigating natural thermal environments and how temperature affects ectothermic animals, so along with decades of experience keeping a lot of animals, mostly reptiles, for me it's a very tangible concept, but for most keepers, especially newbies, Diamonds are definitely best avoided. But, year after year I see them recommended, and year after year we see them suffer and die.
     
  18. Rob Colbert

    Rob Colbert Not so new Member

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    Awesome choice mate. Great python. You will learn so much along the way as you watch your Zeb Jungle grow.

    I have a Jungle Coastal and he has grown into a big boy.

    If you have any questions keep coming back. No question is to silly to ask. There is alot of knowledge here.

    Love to see some pictures if you like

    Regards Rob
     
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  19. Snakey73

    Snakey73 New Member

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    Scrub python, that way u will learn quicker..
     

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