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Christmas Boa - Heating/Caging Concerns.

Discussion in 'Boas *General*' started by BCI, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. BCI

    BCI Member

    Okay, so my friend just informed me I have a "Christmas present" arriving the 26th or 27th, so I need to be home to sign for it. After much prying, it turns out it's an 18" female Central American Boa. She is a beautiful "naturally" colored snake.

    I am 7 months pregnant with my first child and my fiance and I were planning on getting a BCI in late February/March. AFTER we set up it's 4ft enclosure and had everything necessary to care for her. Well, now, on a tight money bout due to Christmas/New Years, I have a snake on the way and no heating pad/enclosure. We have an enclosure, just no lid for it. Now, I live in Louisiana, so temperature isn't a HUGE concern, but we are having cold snaps, dropping the in-house temps to the mid-lower 60s at night. During the day, it stays around 70. We can, in no way, shape or form, afford a heating pad until mid-January unless I can trade my large fish tank filters for one. We also don't have a lid for the 4ft tank so she's going to have to live in a large rubbermaid until we can get one. That part I am not as concerned about.

    We do have a space heater we keep in the kitchen (our apartment has NO insulation and we don't have central, just a window unit in the bedroom) and I could keep the rubbermaid near that for at night, but it won't provide stable temps as they rise/fall outside, good basking spots, ect.

    I'll post some pics when I get her, but I would appreciate heating advice. I'm posting an ad on CL right now to try and sell/trade my filters now.

    Thank you,
    BCI
     
  2. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    My advice would be to cancel shipping till you're set up to care for it. Those low temps will give a tropical snake a respitory infection. If you can't get a heating pad that's only about $30 then several hundred at the vet for antibiotics and shots I'm sure is out of the question. Not trying to be mean but that's the truth. Good breeders will work with you and hold it till you're ready
     
  3. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    I'm with Joey, you have plenty of time to cancel the shipment order.
    You want to have everything set up prior to the snakes arrival, shipping is stressful, as is coming into a new environment. You want the temps and humidity to be spot on, or you're going to have a sick snake on your hands...
     
  4. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    This is one of the reasons that I oppose giving live animals as Christmas gifts. You, and the snake, would be better off waiting until you can get things set up properly.
     
  5. BCI

    BCI Member

    I'm trying desperately to get in touch with the breeder (to no avail due to the holidays) but I just read on their website that they only ship Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays. With tomorrow being a holiday, I doubt the snake will be shipped and next Tuesday/Wednesday are holidays as well, so hopefully they won't be shipping Monday. My friend has agreed to get a heat mat for her, though. So she will be warm. He is just getting a seedling heat mat, nothing extravagant. She will be either in the rubbermaid or 20 gallon tank I have (tall). This should hold her over until mid-January when we can get her large enclosure set up for her. At least get the top for it, cypress mulch and heat lamps.

    I don't like live animal gifts, either. It's extremely stressful on me and the animal. And this friend has a history of doing this. First it was a 10 gallon fish tank and it seemed like every time they came over they had a fish in hand to add. The final stock was a goldfish, a dinosaur bichir, a mystery snail, a peacock eel, a bristlenose pleco and an oscar. /: He wouldn't listen that none of the fish were compatible, had the same water needs or would even fit in that tank full-grown. It was really frustrating and now the only surviving fish is the Oscar, who, at 2.5" fits in the tank, but is being re-homed as soon as I find someone that wants him. He didn't even let the tank cycle before he started bringing over fish. sigh.
     
  6. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    Well you have the power to refuse to accept these "gifts".... Since they don't seem to have great lives. Animals are not gifts.
    Have you read up on the husbandry requirements of this boa? How do you plan to control the temperatures and humidity in the enclosure? I don't think a heat mat is enough. You don't have money for a proper set up, how will you afford to feed him/her? I'm not trying to be negative or harsh, just practical.
     
  7. BCI

    BCI Member

    If I cannot get in contact with the breeder before she is shipped, I really can't do much. I have read up on the husbandry and I have a digital thermometer (I am not new to reptiles). As far as humidity, I cannot find anything saying Central Americans need humidity. Substrate will be paper towel until she's in the big tank, so I can always mist it if need be. We can feed the snake, (It's $10 for a box of f/t or worst comes worse, no more than $2 for a live feeder that would be prekilled) t's just a matter of not having the money for the larger things at the moment. If I refuse the snake, he will keep it and I can guarantee it will be mistreated and probably not even heated at all.... I'm in a really bad position but I am trying to do what I can for the sake of the snake.
     
  8. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    Yeah, I understand. I want the best for your snake as well :). It's good that you have a digital thermometer. Can you email the breeder and explain the situation to them?
     
  9. BCI

    BCI Member

    I have, just hoping the email is checked before she is shipped at this point.
     
  10. BCI

    BCI Member

    The filters should be getting picked up Thursday for $50. With my friend getting an 8.5x20 heat pad, I can pick up a heat lamp and a lid for the big tank. Maybe even the cypress mulch.
     
  11. boidaesplace

    boidaesplace Well-Known Member

    Awkward for sure. But from our experience the Boas are rather hardy and sre relatively easy to care for-not needing alot of extra attention as some breeds do. We have a columbian red tale (about 7' now) , we had an under tank heat pad when we got him, but switched to a ceramic bulb now, we have a water dish big enough for him to get into when he needs to, and he has been doing great, eats well, and has great sheds..and has an awesome disposition! Hopefully it works out for you, sounds like you are trying to accomodate it? We think you'll do just fine! Best of luck.....and Happy Holidays!
     
  12. BCI

    BCI Member

    I have a few bricks of eco earth, should I use that or cypress mulch?
     
  13. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    I would hold off on adding substrate until you've seen a healthy urate and poop. I always use paper towels for the first month or so.
     
  14. BCI

    BCI Member

    Okay. I'm getting 40 watts (2ft) of 11" heat tape but it's gonna take 2-4 weeks for my thermostat to get here. It's a 75 gallon, as long as I watch temps will she be okay?
     
  15. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    What is the footprint of it? Id imagine that would be large enough. The heat tape might be ohk, I've never used it so I can't really give advice about it.
     
  16. BCI

    BCI Member

    Everyone is saying it will be 130F uncontrolled but that seems a bit much for 40 watts over a 2x1 area.

    Footprint is 4'x1.5' and it's 2' tall.
     
  17. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    That would be entirely too hot. Can you put it on a thermostat? It does need to be controlled or the snake will overheat. I used Rubbermaid tubs for a couple of mine, but I cut out holes in the lids and sealed them with screen. I used lights as a heat source but had them on a thermostat.
     

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