Getting back into snake keeping

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AUSyTyIN

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Greetings from the US. A little intro before I get to some questions:

Almost 20 years ago, right when I was out of high school, I got a beautiful male Jungle Carpet Python that I named Draco (for the dragon, not the Harry Potter antagonist). Unfortunately, I was a starving college kid and could only afford a budget cage setup that used a 55 gallon aquarium, but I made his life and enjoyable as possible. He had a good life. Unfortunately, he passed away 4 years ago. RIP Draco. You were a great friend.

Sorry for the old and blurry photo, but unfortunately this is the best picture I have of him. He wasn't very photogenic:
Draco 1.jpg

My favorite area of his pattern. I called it his grumpy face:
Draco 2.jpg



Fast-forward to the present. I had been wanting to get another snake for a while, but the timing was finally right. I started looking for local Jungle Carpet breeders, but didn't find any. Apparently they don't maintain an online presence, and the shops I called wouldn't share their breeders info with me. I called every exotic pet store within 5 hours of my house, but didn't find anything too interesting...mostly some unknown origin snakes, and after I had Draco, I realized how lucky I got that he had such amazing coloration as he was brilliant yellow in his prime. I eventually stumbled on the fact that there was an upcoming reptile expo in town, so I decided to wait until then.

I knew that I wanted to go all out on this one. I needed everything as well. I still have my old tanks setup, but wanted to do everything better, so I'm not planning on using anything from it. I want it to look like an enclosure at the zoo, and I was hoping there would be a cage vendor there where I could buy a setup like that; background, plants, hides, everything. Unfortunately, I struck out on that front as there were only a few cage vendors there, and none of them had anything even close to what I was wanting/needing. However, I did fall in love with this yellow boy. I was told he is a 1.5 year old "High Yellow Jungle Carpet Python" by the seller, but I can't help but wonder if he isn't a High Yellow Jag. Thoughts?

Leaving the Reptile Expo
1.jpg


Under the recommendation of the seller, we went to a local mom & pop pet store to buy everything he needed (more on this later...I have questions).

Here is his current setup, but I have a bunch of fake plants on the way:
3.jpg

He really likes this perch on the warm side. He's there 95% of the time:
5.jpg


As for a name; I wanted another dragon themed name. I had it narrowed down to Ryu (Japanese for dragon), Smaug (from The Hobbit), or Syrax (from the new Game of Thrones spin off series House of Dragons). However, shortly after I put him in the tank, my wife noticed something in his scales that decided his name.

Say hello to Archimedes named for the man who discovered Pi, the symbol for which is on his head:
6.jpg



Now for my questions:

Is he a full Jungle or a Jag?

The largest enclosure that I could buy was only 36"x18"x36" (0.91m x 0.46m x 0.91m). They said this would be good for his "forever home", but I'm not sure about that. The seller of the snake said he'd probably only be 4.5'-5' (1.37m-1.52m) long when full grown, but my previous Jungle was over 6' (1.83m) long, so I'm not sure I believe that. With both of those in mind, is there any chance this cage will be good enough for the rest of his life, or will I need to go larger?

I'm running a heating pad on a thermostat on the warm side, set at 90°F (32.2°C). I was told by the store to put the hide with 1/2 of it over the pad, and 1/2 not. I'm guessing the thought was so there would be someplace to hide on both warm and cold sides, but I doubt the cold side is significantly cooler. Below is a pic of the arrangement before I added bedding and after. I've only once seen him in there, but he was completely on the warm side. Should the hide only be 1/2 over the pad? If so, why?
7.jpg 4.jpg

Per the stores recommendation, I have a 100W day bulb, and a 60W night bulb that is always on. The warm side, measured at the height of the highest perch, is at 89°F (31.7°C) during the day, but it drops to 78°F (25.6C) at night when the 100W bulb is off. Is that too low of a night temp?

The cold side is always ~74°F (23.3°C) day or night. Is that warm enough? Too warm?


That's all the questions I can think of right now, but I'm sure I'll think of others. Thanks for taking the time to read through all of this. I'm really wanting to make Archi's life as enjoyable as possible!
 

Herpetology

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Definitely a jungle jag mate

Being a jag (do your research on Jags if you havent) he’s going to need less stressful environment, so less handling, more hiding, more decor etc, a smaller enclosure (like the one you have) might be beneficial in the case of a jag

Temps you want about 33-34c on the hottest end, cold end can be ambient temps really, as long as they can thermoregulate their temperatures :)

Depending where you live, you could probably get away without the nighttime heating
 

Sdaji

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There's no escape! Haha, welcome back.

Yep, that's a jag. They're prone to squirming around like they have neurological issues, because they do, but they probably don't suffer because of it and more than I do when I drop my spoon on the floor because I'm clumsy, except that they can't laugh at themselves.

I kept reptiles through my 'starving university student' years too, although rather than seeing it as an expense, I put all of the money I'd saved up to be able to afford to quit work and go to university into buying more reptiles, which I bred and used as my main source of income through my university years. I had a very cramped, uncomfortable bedroom, but it was a lot of fun and I loved it, never having valued comfort too highly anyway. I still have the descendants of some of the snakes I had back then, and I still have one snake I obtained as a hatchling the month before I started university, she's now over 20 years old, and I'm showing my age.

Have fun with your new snake, and I highly recommended getting more!
 

AUSyTyIN

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Thanks for the replies.

I discovered the Jag sway after I got him home and tried to look up "high yellow" carpet pythons. I wasn't aware that jags didn't like to be handled often. That's unfortunate :(. I fed him yesterday, and noticed his head was swaying while he was doing the last swallow, but I'm hoping it was just because of the extra weight he was having to support.

Should I get him another hiding space on the cold end? How about an elevated one, and if so on the hot or cold side (or both?)

How is keeping a Jag different that a jag? I saw above about cage temp, which seems higher than what I'm finding for Jungles. Granted I'm seeing everything in °F, so maybe it's just a conversion issue?

Do they get larger than Carpets? Smaller? It seems like their space requirement isn't as large.

Any other differences I failed to mention? Temperament, feeding frequency, etc
 
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Sdaji

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Thanks for the replies.

I discovered the Jag sway after I got him home and tried to look up "high yellow" carpet pythons. I wasn't aware that jags didn't like to be handled often. That's unfortunate :(. I fed him yesterday, and noticed his head was swaying while he was doing the last swallow, but I'm hoping it was just because of the extra weight he was having to support.

Should I get him another hiding space on the cold end? How about an elevated one, and if so on the hot or cold side (or both?)

How is keeping a Jag different that a jag? I saw above about cage temp, which seems higher than what I'm finding for Jungles. Granted I'm seeing everything in °F, so maybe it's just a conversion issue?

Do they get larger than Carpets? Smaller? It seems like their space requirement isn't as large.

Any other differences I failed to mention? Temperament, feeding frequency, etc

Just keep thems the same as any other Carpet. You can handle them as much as a normal Carpet, you'll just have to put up with seeing the twisty turny movements, so it's more a case of you probably not wanting to handle too much. They don't need different temperatures, they don't grow to a different size, they just have defective neurological systems which impacts their balance and coordination.
 

AUSyTyIN

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Thanks for the input. Would you recommend getting a snake hook for him? I never had one for Draco, but in hind sight it would've been nice, mostly because he was in a fish tank...


Do Carpets really not need the ability to completely stretch out? Most of what I'm seeing is the depth + width of the tank should equal the length of the snake. If that applies to Carpets, I shouldn't keep anything longer than 4.5' (1.37m). I haven't been able to measure Archimedes yet, but I think he's pretty close to that length already.


Also, I'm wanting to handle him, but most of the time he's in this pose. I'm pretty sure this means "leave me alone" though, right?
20220825_193011.jpg
 
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Sdaji

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Thanks for the input. Would you recommend getting a snake hook for him? I never had one for Draco, but in hind sight it would've been nice, mostly because he was in a fish tank...


Do Carpets really not need the ability to completely stretch out? Most of what I'm seeing is the depth + width of the tank should equal the length of the snake. If that applies to Carpets, I shouldn't keep anything longer than 4.5' (1.37m). I haven't been able to measure Archimedes yet, but I think he's pretty close to that length already.


Also, I'm wanting to handle him, but most of the time he's in this pose. I'm pretty sure this means "leave me alone" though, right? View attachment 333951

Get a hook if you want. It's not a particularly life-changing decision. Best case scenario you find it useful all the time, worst case scenario you rarely if ever use it but have it there in case you need it. As a snake keeper it's worth having.

Generally speaking, most snakes do well in an enclosure around half the length of their body, and I can't think of any which need an enclosure as long as their own body. As a general rule, younger snakes do better in smaller enclosures (with some exceptions, but pythons aren't among them).

That posture looks more like 'I'm hungry and hope something delicious wanders by' rather than 'I'm scared and will attack anything which comes near to scare it away'. It's difficult to be 100% sure from a still image, but it looks like the good, healthy, happy type of snake aggression. I'd give him a feed.
 

AUSyTyIN

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Hook ordered.

He's been in that pose ever since I fed him on Tuesday. Even when his on his elevated platform, he's looking down and paying close attention. I fed him a smaller adult mouse, as I was thinking that his first meal at home should be easy to eat. For reference, he's big enough that he could eat full size mice. Should I feed him again so soon after eating, or wait until it's been a week?

In other news, I added some fake plants to his cage last night. He stayed in his cave the entire time. Doesn't look like much, but doing this took me ~1 hour. I have more to do, but decided I didn't want to stress him out for too long.

Kindly ignore the reflection of the light fixture lol
8.jpg
9.jpg

Edit: I decided to feed him again today, even though he just ate 3 days ago. He previously ate a small mouse, but today I got him an average sized one. Once again, he struck and ate it almost instantly, then went right back into this pose. Should I feed him again?? Seems way too soon. He's not that big around, so I'd be leery to go anything larger than a large mouse..

20220826_202233.jpg


*2nd edit: I fed him again yesterday, but he still acts hungry...
 
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AUSyTyIN

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Thanks. I still feel like it's missing something, even though I've added more plants.

20220827_084203.jpg

20220827_084213.jpg

20220827_084256.jpg

I have a cork log that I'm wanting to replace the wood cave with, but have a question about that. Would the log deflect heat if it's the complete circle? I'm wondering if I should cut it in half lengthwise so the heat from the heating pad can be absorbed instead of the cork acting to insulate the hiding area from the heat...if that makes sense.
 

AUSyTyIN

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In the almost 3 weeks I've had him, I've only ever once seen him on the cold side, and that was when he was first placed in the enclosure. For reference, the elevated part of the hot side is 91-93°F (32.8-33.9°C) during the day. His heating pad is constantly at at 93°F (33.9°C). The cold side stays around 78°F (25.6°C). I feel bad for him since he's only using 1/2 of his cage. Is this normal, or should I try to raise the overall temperature of the cage?

you're missing a literal centrepiece :p
I'm open to suggestions. What are you thinking should go there?
 

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