Beginner snake suggestions?

Discussion in 'Newbies forum' started by winchester, Feb 1, 2016.

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  1. winchester

    winchester New Member

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    Hello :D

    I've thinking about buying a snake for a few years and deemed it too difficult without researching beforehand. I since house-shared with some friends who owned an olive python and Darwin python and have since decided I quite enjoy snakes and that with research and some tips from the more experienced, I'll learn quickly. I came here for suggestions as I'd like to find a snake that would be suitable for me in size and temperament. I would also like to start with a cheaper snake if possible, but its not a massive issue.

    I have a few questions:


    1)How much room does a snake need? Any guide to how many extra cm/m to measurement of the snake?

    2) I understand that snakes all have their own personalities, but I'd love some suggestions for smaller pythons that tend to be more docile, passive and are easy keepers to learn with. Is it true that pygmy pythons are hard to aquire?

    3) How difficult would it be to grow small/medium, live plants in the enclosure and is there a list of suitable ones to use? Pros and cons to using real plants? I know green tree pythons (which I'm not ready for being an absolute beginner) need some greenery in an enclosure however is it ok to use with other pythons or does that narrow my options for a python even more?

    4) Is there a difference in temperament between makes and females? My housemates had a female Olive and a male Darwin and they were both pretty shy/jumpy and snappy.

    5) I prefer the look and versatility of a DIY enclosure from a large corner tv cabinet, however i'm not sure if the type of snake i'll be looking at will be arboreal or if it will be more comfortable in a horizontal enclosure? I'd like to make a decision on which snake to get, then put together an enclosure and have it running for a little while before I get a snake. Does this sound like a good idea?

    6) Will it be ok to get a hatchling that has shed and is feeding on its own? What age do you recommend?


    Thank you so much in advance!
     
  2. mikethemidget

    mikethemidget Not so new Member

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    Hey mate welcome to the forum! I've only been on here a few months but I'll tell you what my partner and I chose to do for our first snake.

    I would HIGHLY recommend a Stimson Python for a first, as they only grow to 1.2m maximum, are usually very docile and easy to maintain along with having a lovely temperament if they are cared for correctly!
    Stimson's are significantly cheaper than most snakes, ours cost $195 as he was a yearling. If you get a fully grown stimson they can cost $400-600.

    1) It definitely depends on the snake. For a Stimson Python like we got at a year old, they only need a click clack style container about 35cmx35cm or roughly equivalent. They actually prefer smaller enclosures.
    *Speaking of vivarium size however, each snake is different and will adapt differently. Ours adapted to a 1.2mx 40cm x 40cm tank immediately and loves it!

    2)Again, definitely a Stimson python or depending on where you are in oz, in syndey the equivalent children's python is a stimsoni hybrid according to this link here. They have a fantastic temperament naturally but will only be as happy as you make them with good care and maintenance!
    http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/nature/CurrentSpeciesList.pdf

    3) Unfortunately i have no idea about growing live plants in the enclosure and you'll have to wait for more experienced members to respond.

    4) As far as temperament between sexes goes there appears to be no difference from my research. Also bear in mind, depending on where you get your pet, you will probably have no idea of the sex unless its over a year old and has been sexed previously. You can always get it sexed later on when its older and is safer to do so.

    5) Different snakes prefer different environment. The Stimson I recommend, highly prefers longer enclosure over tall enclosures as it isn't usually a climber. They prefer to bask on a rock at almost ground level or just above as opposed to climbing tall trees.
    * Again this being said, every snake is different. Our stimson friggin loves to climb, I even made him an actual ladder which he always uses, and loves to ascend the log.
    ** I forgot to add, that absolutely it is a good idea to set up heating elements like the mat and have it running with temperatures stable for at least a day or two so you KNOW that the snake has a safe place to come home to, I would not recommend ANY other way.

    6) I never had a hatchling so I cannot tell you how tough it would be. Other members will soon recommend advice on this; IMHO though, a python less than 1.5yrs would suit you perfectly as they are significantly cheaper than fully grown adults or older, are already feeding and familiar with how things work, and are still young enough to grow and develop a personality with their new owner!

    The best advice I can give you is to research absolutely everything you can about habits, traits, enclosures, feeding, temperaments, illness, etc for whichever snakes interest you, in your own time and you'll quickly figure out what would suit you best.

    Best of luck mate and welcome again!
     
  3. winchester

    winchester New Member

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    Thank you! So looking forward to finally taking the plunge!
     
  4. Herpo

    Herpo Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    While your statement about smaller species is generally true, dont rule out carpet pythons because of their larger size. I have one, and he is so calm. He will sit on your shoulder for hours on end if you let him. Having said that, all snakes are different, and every species will have some bad eggs. But as long as you are careful when feeding, you'll be OK.

    1) To answer this, well probably have to know what you plan to get. Carpets will require more room then children's, spotted or stimsons pythons, so factor that in.

    2) From what I have heard, pygmies can be hard to acquire. Now, for personalities, I think that stimmies, as Mike said, and carpets are a great choice. Both can be "tamed" with regular handling. But to make sure, ask to handle the snake you want to buy before doing so. Most breeders and stores will let you. Just remember that the key word with reptiles is patience.

    3) I wouldn't use live plants if I was you because you are new, and they will likely raise the total price of the snake and its heating and enclosure. They are also higher maintenance. But if you do choose to go live, you choice should be selected with the snakes species in mind.

    4) As far as I know, there are no real differences between males and females.

    5) Basically, you should form a choice about the cage after choosing the snake species you want. Stimmies, for example, are a mostly terrestrial species, while JCPs are arboreal. Having said that, provide enough climbing opportunities and hides in the cage and your snake should be happy.

    6) If you want to handle, hatchies are usually easier to calm. Keep in mind some hatchies (a good few infact) can be pretty nippy before calming down, so work around that.

    I would recommend a carpet because I have heard a few stories of the smaller species going off food more easily, whereas carpets are MOSTLY regular feeders. If you do go for a carpet, I recommend Murray Darlings or Diamonds, as both are usually calm and handle well. However, the can get quite large, and so may not be for you.

    Welcome to the forum and to the hobby. Hope you enjoy it, it really is a rewarding experience.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
  5. winchester

    winchester New Member

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    We live in an apartment, so a massive enclosure wouldn't really be possible and i'd feel uncomfortable keeping a larger python in an enclosure too small. What size enclosure do you have and what type of carpet python is he?
     
  6. Herpo

    Herpo Well-Known Member

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    I have a cross between a coastal, jungle and Murray Darling Carpet python. His adult enclosure will measure anything between 100x60x60cm to 120x60x69cm depending on size.

    I have pics of him here

    Herpo
     
  7. BredliFreak

    BredliFreak Well-Known Member

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    For small pythons, Antaresia pythons are your best options however their enclosure is more length based whereas with carpets they prefer height, though IMO give them a bit of length.

    1 - as [MENTION=41642]Herpo[/MENTION] said
    2- It comes down to individual snakes in terms of personality. Pygmies are hard et to acquire and more expensive
    3- unless your a brilliant gardener I wouldn't
    4 - Again, down to the individual snake
    5 - Depends on the snake, as I said an antaresia is more length based and carpets are more height based
    6 - Doesn't matter, depends on if you want to wait ages for it to grow or have it big in the one package. As long as they are good feeders, shedders and have no diseases they should be fine. Yearlings are good if you don't like them nippy but still want to experience "taming"

    Hope this helps
     
  8. winchester

    winchester New Member

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    I can't figure out how to edit my post, so I'll just say here that yes, I've done some research regarding the plants and fake greenery looks like a better and safer option.There are some really nice, realistic plants available around :) I love gardening, but I'll just continue that outside haha.
     
  9. Herpo

    Herpo Well-Known Member

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    Regarding how well carpets feed, mine just smashed a weaner rat.
     
  10. winchester

    winchester New Member

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    I'm really considering a carpet :oops: They do seem like a really good snake to start with and I really don't mind how big the snake gets, I just worry about it being squished in an enclosure if I can't fit one that is very long in my room.
     
  11. Herpo

    Herpo Well-Known Member

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    Remember that alot of carpets prefer height. If you don't want too big an enclosure, consider a Jungle. Know however that some can have bad temperament, so you'd want to handle it before buying.

    http://www.snakeranch.com.au/ (take a good look at the site. Lot's of good info on handling, feeding, caging, and individual snakes)
     
  12. BredliFreak

    BredliFreak Well-Known Member

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    Well if you don't mind size then bredl's pythons are good, and have a better temperament than jungles usually. They are very pretty too and they generally tolerate height based enclosures though again I would give them some floor space as well.
     
  13. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Power Seller Power Seller

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    You will get lots of suggestions on what is a good beginner snake but the truth of the matter is that there is good & bad in all species. For every snake you hear suggested as a great beginner animal someone else will have a horror story based on their experience.

    IMO the best option is to pick a species you like. Colour & pattern variations within that species will make your decision hard enough.
    This is an animal you could have for 20 years or more so make sure its something you love to look at yourself rather than something that someone has suggested would be good for you.

    Other than that welcome & enjoy your trip through this wonderful hobby
     
  14. winchester

    winchester New Member

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    I'm already so overwhelmed ahaha :) Love, love, loving the Albino variations of some of the carpet pythons and if I can find one in my area in the future i'll have to go visit the breeder. I love the beautiful pattern of the original colours but something draws me to the albino, very stunning. I'm assuming they cost double the price, but if its really what I want I figure I may as well go for it.

    I've figured out that I can fit a decent enclosure in my room (current housemate terrified of snakes lol), not as much floor space but can give more height. About 1m x 1.8/2m.
     
  15. mikethemidget

    mikethemidget Not so new Member

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    If that's the only space size you have, then the Stimson Pythons probably is less suited than the carpet pythons and more "jungle" familiar pythons. As a few of us have said, the Stimson's mostly prefer length and the Carpet's mostly prefer height. That being said, you could easily fit a full size Stimson in that size vivarium without problem or upset, they just are unlikely to USE all the height, but will be very happy. Albinos sound incredible, i've never seen one personally but I imagine if they are popular and rare that = Big Money! Best of luck either way mate.
     
  16. Herpo

    Herpo Well-Known Member

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    If you're going for an albino Darwin (top end carpet) python, that size sounds good. They sell them at my local store, and their display male is stunning. He won at the Easter Show in 2011 I think.
     
  17. Snapped

    Snapped Subscriber Subscriber

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    I'd go with the snake you want. The albino Darwins are beautiful looking snakes and usually have good temperaments.

    There are several breeders on this site (have a look at the "for sale" part of the forum and you can get an idea of what is around), and if you get a hatchy/juvenile, then you will only need a click clack container/heat mat/thermostat as the basics for the first year, and that takes up minimal room.
    And being mainly arboreal, a taller enclosure will be fine, which can be fun to make out of a converted corner tv unit etc.
    (I'm almost finished my first conversion :))

    For my first snake I got an a 4yo Murray Darling, he's about 6 foot, and an absolute darling to handle.....he's never attempted to strike/bite, I've had 3yo kids handle him (under supervision) and I love him to bits. They have a good reputation in general for being a placid snake, however there are always exceptions to the rule in any species, good or bad.
    My 2nd was a Rough Scale Python, smaller species, but a beautiful looking python.
    My 3rd will be an Albino Darwin. :)

    If you can get to a pet store that sells snakes, go in and have a look at the different ones, ask to handle a couple of them.

    But I wouldn't buy from one, I'd go with a breeder, you will get one much cheaper than the mark up of a pet shop, for example, Amazing Amazon has them for $795, where you can get them from a breeder for around $500. And some breeders will also send them interstate via plane, for around $90 (obviously depending where they are sending to).

    Good luck, it's great you are doing your research first.

    Some really good articles by Doc Roc on the basics can be found in the following link, I'd read 1 - 4 & 10, he also "road tests" different snakes in no 10. Highly recommended reading, easy to follow.http://www.southernxreptiles.com/RA ARTICLE PAGE.htm


    And a good idea is to sort out your reptile licence now, because many states can take up to 6 weeks to process.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Forgot to add this, it's the link to getting a reptile licence in NSW http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/wildlifelicences/ReptileKeepersLicence.htm
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
  18. Iguana

    Iguana Well-Known Member

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    I've known a couple of people with Stimson python's and considered getting one myself, they generally have lovely temperament's and if you get it from a yearling or hatching they will tame down wonderfully, however you can get many tame adults too. You can get a variety of beautiful colors/morphs/locals ect and they don't require a huge amount of space, you can keep one in a 3X2X2 enclosure, which doesn't take up a whole lot of space, compared to other snake's enclosures.
    Plus they are very hardy and will generally forgive most small husbandry mistakes which can occasionally happen with a first time reptile keeper.
    I briefly worked in a reptile store and all the Stimson's were wonderful, to both look at and work with, great beginner snake.
     
  19. alexbee

    alexbee Not so new Member

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    Ok so all your questions have been answered.. one thing i think you should keep in mind is its cool to watch your snake grow.. Ive know 5 different people who have had a childrens or something like that and regretted it because they only grow to such a small size... I think the perfect first snake is a Bredli.. best attitude probably one of the cheapest snake (i saw someone selling for $90 on here) but they still get to a decent size.. Another one to consider would be a jungle...



     
  20. winchester

    winchester New Member

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    I do like bigger animals... we have big dogs, massive cat and a massive horse. Smallest thing is the mini pony lol. I do love the idea of a bigger snake, but I'm still hesitant to consider something much bigger :p I'm visiting a local breeder in a few weeks and I'll get to check out some various snakes there including the Darwins I'm interested in. I've never really been around larger snakes, apart from on the other side of a glass wall at the zoo. It will be good to see what I have a preference for and talk to the breeder about his experiences.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Im also in Sydney, which store if you don't mind me asking? :)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thank you! :D Already applied for my reptile license :D Starting to get excited!

    Yes, I usually shop around and then buy things online (not pets) or go to wholesaler/breeder. I'd like to know what parents it came from if possible and usually a breeder will know what sort of personalities the snakes currently have.

    A year in a hatchy container? I didn't realise they grow so slow? I actually have no idea at what rate a snake grows, but I'm assuming that they can be upgraded from the smaller containers to like 60l storage containers as long as they have vents?

    What size would a hatchling carpet snake be and what size would it reach at a year? :rolleyes:
     
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