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big home for chondro???

Discussion in 'Green Tree Pythons' started by fangsalot, Oct 3, 2005.

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  1. fangsalot

    fangsalot Elite Member

    ive read that "experts" recomend small enclosures for chondro,i have my female in a 55 gallon,is that ok?plus im havin a little difficulty keeping humidity high,if i cover part of the enclosure i wont have room for lighting.i have peat moss and some vermiculite as bedding and i keep it moist.a large water bowl on the floor.any good ideas?here she is... [​IMG]
  2. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    We keep a misting bottle handy and lightly spray the chondros and their enclosure a few times a day. 70-95% humidity depending on their shed cycle is the range I've read.

    I'm not sure how big 55 gallons is: could you post dimensions in inches or centimeters?
    I have my babies each in enclosures measuring 2ft x 2ft x 2.5ft (LWH) and they do fine. However, the enclosures are well-insulated: they are MDF lined with linoleum flooring. The lights and the CHE (covered with wire mesh) are mounted inside the tank.
    How are you heating your enclosure?

    I recommend getting Greg Maxwell's new book when it comes out "The More Complete Chondro". In the meantime, check out his website:
    There is a ton of good info on caring for GTPs.

    Good luck --- Sweet looking baby by the way! She's really got a lot of green and white coming in now! Keep posting pics! :)
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Andrea a 55 gal tank is 48 inches by 12 inches by 21 inches tall.
  4. venus

    venus Founding Member

    Beautiful.....great another person to post chondros to make me drool. :p.....keep the pics coming.
  5. GAsnakeman

    GAsnakeman Elite Member

    Larger enclosures cause higher stress lvels. Smaller enclosure give them more security. A 24x24x24 is what is recommended for a full grown adult by experts. I keep mine in small enclosures. I always see them in huge enclosures at zoo and they are supposed to be experts. Supposed being a key word in that sentence.

    As far as your humidity. You will always be fighting a battle of keeping your hummidity up as long as you keep it in a glass enlcoser.
    A few tips in keeping it up. Don't use bulbs for heat. Use CHE's or heat pads. Bulbs rob hummidity. Use florescent bulbs for lighting. add some sphagnum moss to your substrate and mist it. Close off as much of the air flow as possible.
    Don't forget. When you are constantly fighting to keep the hummidity up you may often end up with a wet enclosure instead of a damp one. Try not to let that happen and always keep a watchful eye for mold.
  6. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    I agree with the advice on the humidity... and I realize that there is a HUGE debate in the herp world about enclosure size/stress levels.
    I personally believe that stress is not a problem as long as the snake has places to hide (plants --live or fake--to hide under or behind) for a chondro; or appropriate hide boxes for other species. Assuming the enclosure is not in a high traffic area, near a lot of noise or has a cat perched on top clawing at the screen, size needn't be a stress factor. It looks like you've provided plenty of places for your chondro to hide itself if it feels insecure. I think that if she's eating regularly, the size of the enclosure isn't necessarily a problem. Mine climb around a lot at night and I'm happy that they have the space to do that. Every morning they're curled up behind or under their favorite plant, though!
    Humidity is tricky... cover as much of the air holes as possible and mist the enclosure and the snake with a spray bottle a few times a day. As the temps drop at night the humidity will increase, so you shouldn't have to spray late in the evening. Glass tanks aren't ideal for keeping humidity in, but it's not impossible: get a good temp and humidity gauge and experiment with covering more of the holes and spraying. (Some people cover the screen tops with damp towels...?)
    Good luck
  7. KrokadilyanGuy3

    KrokadilyanGuy3 Elite Member

    Never had a problem with humidity and glass tanks, myself, and if you have it set up right you shouldn't either.

    As for the enclosure size, from what I see, these experts keep Chondros in a smaller enclosures simply because it's easier to seclude a smaller area, easier to maintain humidity and is simply easier to maintain in any aspect. The size of the enclosure is of no importance if you can successfully provide the needs that the animal would need to minimize stress. This is why Zoo and other facilities with large enclosures can keep their animals in larger enclosures. Way I see it, if you're lazy, go smaller, if you have the attitude to present something spiffy on a larger scale, do it.
  8. GAsnakeman

    GAsnakeman Elite Member

    I keep mine in smaller enclosures not b/c of lazyness, but b/c I have a very large collection and lack of space. None of mine are in enclosures any smaller than recommended. Some in enclosures much larger than recommended.
    Plus, I work 14 hours a day and don't have time to clean and maintain huge enclosures.

    To be honest. I really don't appreciate you making that comment. I have no doubt that you were not meaning me specificly, but you have no idea about anyone else's situation other than your own to say that they should only go with a smaller enclosure out of lazyness. There are many reasons why smaller enclosures might be used.
  9. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I think that was just a poor choice of words. It does take a lot of work to maintain a large zoo type exhibit. It also takes a lot of effort to properly maintain numerous smaller size enclosures.
    What you use as far as size goes just depends on the individual situation and what you are trying to accomplish.
  10. Lyn

    Lyn Elite Member

    I my collection grows and grows, I have to use the minimum size cage for each particular works, the animals are happy, non stressed, and comfy....its whatever works for you and your situation....Lyn
  11. KrokadilyanGuy3

    KrokadilyanGuy3 Elite Member

    Going into a post a little deep, Ga. I meant no harm to any keeper, though I do have my aspects of many, however I did not mean to say lazy as it is normally figured in use. My mistake, next time I will clarify in words that suit direct definitional meanings. For the record though (I often forget about using direct wordings), refer to the beginning of the post to refer to what I meant by lazy.

    Let's open up a little bit..
  12. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    No need for anyone to feel attacked: if you keep your snakes in appropriate conditions within recommended enclosure sizes, I'm all for keeping it as easy-to-care-for as possible.
    Keeping herps or any animal shouldn't have to become a chore.
    I personally choose to keep only 4 snakes and give them extra large enclosures which I'm willing to spend the extra time and energy costs to maintain... I don't want to criticize anyone for keeping their herps in smaller enclosures, but I believe that keeping them in large spaces with enough hiding spaces and proper conditions is not stressful.
  13. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I agree. I see these arguements all the time that keeping an animal in a large enclosure is stressful. It should read that keeping an animal in a large BARE enclosure is stressful. After all, these animals did not evolve in a cage! They, by nature, lived in an environment far larger than any keeper could ever hope to provide. The difference is that, in the wild, they had numerous places to choose from in order to hide and feel secure. It's when we keep them in large enclosures in spartan conditions so that it makes it easy for us to just look in and see them on display that the problem arises.
    I personally prefer enclosures where you have to play find the snake! ;)
  14. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    YES! "Find the snake" IS fun... "find the poop" is a bit less fun and probably another reason why smaller, more spartan enclosures are popular. :)

    I think it's worth it, but I don't work 14 hour days and I don't have tons of herps!
  15. KrokadilyanGuy3

    KrokadilyanGuy3 Elite Member

    I, too, agree. What really bugs me though is what most small enclosures give reference too. (Rubbermaid rack systems and a bowl and hide box on newspaper/paper towels.) Call me a ****er, but I like to think keeping the animal is half of the appraisal.

    Then again, many people still provide natural enclosures in smaller set-ups, I have a Crocodile Skink in a 124sq inch (Floor space) enclosure with one of the best setups possible. It was accused of being a pic of a zoo setup when I showed a pic to someone, so smaller enclosures don't bother me. Maybe I just like looking at more than just plastic and metal.

    *No one be alarmed, I'm not accusing anyone.
  16. fangsalot

    fangsalot Elite Member

    man 124sq inch?wow! i keep my croc skink just in a 15 gallon tank and i only see him once a week (but i know hes in there because his waxworms and mealworms disapear)
  17. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    Zane: I agree with you completely! :)
  18. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    Zane, I can see why GA got offended, as I too took your comments quite personally.. with some species we keep we have found that they do better in smaller, more enclosed spaces that large enclosures - even with lots of hiding stuff etc. - our Blood Python is a prime example.

    We also keep some of our reptiles in natural-looking, harder-to-maintain enclosures, but some are in rack systems on newspaper/paper towel with water bowl and a hide - by your reckoning I take it you believe we are therefore not dedicated to our animals and don't keep them as well as some other people?
    - Most of our snakes are kept on newspaper for convenience - let's take Charley and Zeus, the common boas, or Monty, the carpet python as an example - do you know how much it would cost/how much time it would take to keep them on a natural looking substrate?? - these snakes defacate every two weeks, and it's not small!

    I understand you have your own opinion, but our animals are perfectly happy on paper and substrate - in fact paper seems preferable to many as it provides extra hiding space!

    In reference to the chondro enclosure - IMO 55g is far too big for a young chondro. I have seen many adults housed in the 2x2x2 recommended enclosure, and they have plenty of space, are very healthy and content. But everyone has different opinions,. if your individual snake does well in a larger enclosure then that's fine, but be aware that it could cause stress and non-feeding problems. We all can read and research and ask questions, but the best experience is personal experience, so see what works for you.
  19. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    Stay cool

    The last thread like this one got really out of hand and deleted. So let's keep cool :cool: and not go there. :D

    It would seem almost a law of physics that "the bigger the collection: the smaller and simpler the enclosures get". Unless you're a millionaire with a huge mansion to house your herps and hired help to do the maintenance.

    I personally prefer to keep "less (animals) with more (space, natural conditions)" and I've found 4 to be my uppermost limit at the moment.

    I can understand GA and Rachel getting offended at the word "lazy" and it's implications.

    BUT I also get offended when I'm told I'm stressing my animals by giving them space to move around in. All 4 of my snakes have naturalistic enclosures WAY bigger than the recommended adult sizes for their species. They hide all day in one spot, but they make VERY good use of the space at night! They eat well and regularly and are easy/docile to handle -- (mostly ;) )

    As long as you can provide the necessities for health for your species (especially a correct temp gradient and proper humidity and fresh water) and you know your animals are well-cared for, keep them in the types of enclosures that you feel most comfortable with.

    ANY enclosure that is not properly maintained could become a big health hazard... so the most important thing is for the owner to be able to maintain a healthy, clean environment. :)
  20. KrokadilyanGuy3

    KrokadilyanGuy3 Elite Member

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