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Boa Enclosure Tips and Help?

Discussion in 'Common/Red Tail Boa' started by MicahC, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. MicahC

    MicahC Elite Member

    Hi Everyone,

    I have a common boa constrictor in a 75 gallon glass tank (48 in x 12 in x 21.5 in). I was wondering if this was a good size for a four foot boa or if there are any recomendations for a better sized enclosure.

    Also, what should the temperature and humidty should be because I have seen a mixture of reccomentations for temps and humidity online. Do you think that I should have a good amount of climbing branches in the tank or is it not necessary for her age...i think 1 and a half years old. Is coconut fiber bedding good or do you think aspen or bark works better?

    I guess that is it. Thanks!
  2. TJOHNSON722

    TJOHNSON722 Elite Member

    A 75 gallon will work, for now. You got to think these animals reach up to 10 ft or they can.

    I recommend the same temps located on here under caresheets. Measured only with a digital thermometer hygrometer with probe.

    They'll use sturdy climbing branches. So yes.

    I use cedar 100% chemical free, no added other types of wood mulch bedding for mine. You can get it at your local nursery.
  3. dragon86

    dragon86 Member

    Cedar is no good for reptiles, it has an oil that is irritating to they. Aspen, cypres . Are best.
  4. TJOHNSON722

    TJOHNSON722 Elite Member

    I completely meant cypress. My bad. I do know that. Lol.
  5. Whiskey78

    Whiskey78 Member

    My 4 ft boa is in the same tank and is very happy (for now ). I have used aspen for years on all my mature snakes with no issues. I keep his warm side around 92 and his cool side at the temperature in my house, usually around 80. I keep his bedding deep because he loves to burrow, but I have heard most of them like to climb.
  6. MicahC

    MicahC Elite Member

    Well, my only concern for the aspen is if the snake would so happen to digest it while I fed it. Also, my snake will be 1 this January. It was hardly growing at all for the first 6 months I had it because I was only feeding it mice. Then I tried out rats and BOOM!! 2 feet in only a few months.
  7. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Your enclosure is adequate, but your snake will likely outgrow it (unless you have one of the smaller subspecies - which would have been labeled as such.).

    Aquariums are seldom the best choice for larger reptiles, and as your snake grows, you will be better off building a custom enclosure, or buying one meant for reptiles from a specialist builder (there are many).

    Once your snake gets larger (and heavier) lifting it out of a top-opening cage will become a bit of a chore! My girl weighs about 40 pounds right now. I could not imagine having to lift her out of an aquarium or top-opening enclosure. Between her weight, and being over 9 feet long, it would be a real workout.

    Many members have built their own cages, and you can find tons of ideas and inspiration in the construction forum. Several have also bought nice enclosures from various companies, and I'm sure you could get recommendations for them as well.
  8. MicahC

    MicahC Elite Member

    Thanks. I know I will have to build a 6x4 cage in the next year or so. How big do you think it will get before I should need to take it out of the cage? 5-6 feet? Because I saw online that the length should be about 2/3rds the length of the snake. It was labeled as a Columbian Red-Tailed Boa, but after some research I found out that Columbian boa's aren't red tails.....Also I have had trouble keeping the temps up recently and the boa hasn't been moving around hardly, so do you think that once I get the heat mat and heat emitter tomorrow that the boa will actually start to utilize the climbing branches?

    Also, do you think that 4 feet is a good size for a 9 month old Boa? How much should I take the boa out? Because when I take her out she seems to enjoy it and gets really excited. She is pretty tame and allows others to hold her all the time.
  9. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    A cage 2/3rds the length of the snake is a good start. 6 feet is adequate if your snake does not exceed 9 feet in length. Knowing the gender will help, as females tend to be larger than males.

    If your temps have been low, a sluggish snake is normal. Don't let it last though, as they can get pneumonia (respiratory infections) if their temps are inadequate. Once you have proper temps, your snake will probably be a little more active. Just make sure any branches you use aver very sturdy - boas can be clumsy.

    There is no set rule for length of snake by age, but 4 feet sounds decent for a 9 month old.

    As to handling, use common sense. Don't handle while about to shed, or for 48 hours after a meal. The rest is fair game. Handle as much as you like, so long as your snake does not act stressed, and maintains good health and appetite.
  10. MicahC

    MicahC Elite Member

    Yeah. I have no clue about gender yet. I might ask a pro to probe it some time. I have been worried about the respiratory infections because it has been in about 78-80 during the day and like 76 at the cold of night. And of course, I know not to handle until after 2 days after meal and all. When about to shed, do you mean when I notice the cloudy eyes?

    And hot side 92 at basking 85 at side, and then cool side low 80's. Night time of...? Low 80's? Also, is it necessary to have a water dish it can fit in?
  11. MicahC

    MicahC Elite Member

    Also, I am planning on putting some large wild grape vine pieces in the cage. Will putting them in the oven on 200 degrees for 2 hours be enough to kill all mites and whatnot?
  12. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    If they fit in your oven - just make sure they aren't touching the heating element.
  13. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    And 2 hours is not necessary. 20 minutes should do it.

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