What is that one piece of advice that you wish someone had given you when you first started keeping snakes?

HerpDerp

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Hi all,

My name is Matthieu, I'm in Melbourne and I've always wanted a pet snake. There is nothing more frustrating for me than people who intentionally or unintentionally abuse their animals because they are ignorant or because they want to join the latest fad. This has lead me to be apprehensive buying a snake as I don't want to be one of those people. But I have been doing research and I feel as though I am financially in a place where I can deal with any vet bills or other emergency expenses that might arise.

My question to you is, what is the one piece of advice you wish that someone had given you when you first started keeping snakes?

You can research as much as you like but I find that there are some things that only experience will teach you. And I would like to mine the well of experience on this page.
 

Allan

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This is 100% what I am afraid of! haha
When you start out, it's very easy to enthusiastically grow your collection to a point where maintenance becomes very time consuming. That's when you find out if you're a diehard reptile keeper who keeps cleaning, feeding, breeding smelly rodents and building more enclosures with a smile or one day feels that all these chores have killed your hobby. I've friends who have gone both ways.
 

HerpDerp

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That's when you find out if you're a diehard reptile keeper who keeps cleaning, feeding, breeding smelly rodents and building more enclosures with a smile
I suspect that I may be this person but unfortunately do not have the time. I will have to reign myself in.
 

Jay Exotic

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Best piece of advice I got as a new keeper was about thermal gradients. It is important to have the hot spot but more important is to have a cool spot for your snake to be able to retreat and hide once it has warmed up. For example I have my imbricatas (SW Carpets) hot spot at 36 but make sure that the cool end of the enclosure is at 20. The snake will find the perfect spot within that gradient to sit as per its needs.
 

HerpDerp

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Best piece of advice I got as a new keeper was about thermal gradients. It is important to have the hot spot but more important is to have a cool spot for your snake to be able to retreat and hide once it has warmed up. For example I have my imbricatas (SW Carpets) hot spot at 36 but make sure that the cool end of the enclosure is at 20. The snake will find the perfect spot within that gradient to sit as per its needs.
The gradient is what I am most concerned about to be honest.
Mostly I don't understand how two different environments coexist in one small tank. I mean that is a 16 degree difference in the one tank. Is that even possible?
 

Herpetology

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The gradient is what I am most concerned about to be honest.
Mostly I don't understand how two different environments coexist in one small tank. I mean that is a 16 degree difference in the one tank. Is that even possible?
it wont always be that big of a difference, usually itll be 32-35hot end and a 25c cold end (a bit less inside their hide) etc theres a few ways to do it but it comes down to your tank design, for example mine has a divider between the hot end and cold end, the hot end is basically a "hot box" with a heat cord tile on the floor and they can go in and out as they please - cold end is just room temp

and my other design has a 60w phillips heat globe that has a 80 degree heating angle, rest is a "cool end" thats no where near as hot as directly under the light

Thermostats are important and theres lots of options! safest bet is microclimate or Habistat brands

left links for both heating options:
Heat globe - https://www.bunnings.com.au/philips-60w-es-r80-clear-floodlight-reflector-globe_p4324296
Heat cord - https://www.ausreptiles.com.au/heating-and-lighting/heat-cord/heatcord-6m
 
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HerpDerp

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it wont always be that big of a difference, usually itll be 32-35hot end and a 25c cold end (a bit less inside their hide) etc theres a few ways to do it but it comes down to your tank design, for example mine has a divider between the hot end and cold end, the hot end is basically a "hot box" with a heat cord tile on the floor and they can go in and out as they please - cold end is just room temp

and my other design has a 60w phillips heat globe that has a 80 degree heating angle, rest is a "cool end" thats no where near as hot as directly under the light

Thermostats are important and theres lots of options! safest bet is microclimate or Habistat brands
very helpful!!! thank you so much
 

Timmah

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Keep it simple, dont over do things, dont over think, dont spend every second monitoring your snakes behaviour, temps etc
I saw advice along these lines (might have even been you @Herpetology!) when I first came on here and can say it's been 100% spot on for me. I haven't freaked out about to the actual degree temps or anything and Smaug has been feeding, shedding and growing as expected, so definitely great advice for us newer snake owners!

One thing I'd wish I'd known is how interested all my friends would become and asking a million questions! You can never really tell who will freak out and who will be keen either ;)
 

Herpetology

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cant be bothered going through all the replies to check if this one was posted already

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR SETUP READY WELL IN ADVANCE TO BUYING THE SNAKE

no good getting everything at once including the snake, just to find out your heating or setup arrangement is not good
you want it ready to go atleast a week in advanced, measuring those temps to be suitable for the snake etc etc
 

HerpDerp

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cant be bothered going through all the replies to check if this one was posted already

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR SETUP READY WELL IN ADVANCE TO BUYING THE SNAKE

no good getting everything at once including the snake, just to find out your heating or setup arrangement is not good
you want it ready to go atleast a week in advanced, measuring those temps to be suitable for the snake etc etc
This is 100% the truth. Would be aweful to plop your snake in its enclosure, turn everything on and find out nothing works properly or you've bought the wrong equipment for what you want to do.
Then what are you going to do? You're up a certain creek without a paddle.
 
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