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I'm New And Trying To Decide

Discussion in 'Snakes - General' started by Moop515, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. Moop515

    Moop515 New Member

    Hello everyone, I just need some help with a nagging problem of mine: what reptile (more specifically snake in my head as of late) to get. I am a teenager with a very limited budget and under 1000 total money. I currently make a $20 a month allowance. I am also military so I move every so often (although as I get older and prepare to move out at around 2 or so years minimum time.) I am about to move from Fort Knox, Kentucky to Corpus Christ, Texas. So to the meat of it, I am in somewhat of a dilemma. I want a scaly friend that meets (reasonably for a reptile) these categories:
    1. Is at least somewhat friendly and is tame enough for some regular (ish) handling. Especially in the category of me even just chilling with it while I say play video games or even sit somewhere watching TV or playing board games with my family.
    2. Is low enough maintenance so that the creature is not a burden, it would be great to have around 15 minutes of average daily care max.
    3. Hopefully won't be too boring in its cage during at least some normally waking hours as to not be an eyesore.
    4. Cannot cost too much $$ or experience to feed and clean. I do not have the time to always be at its side.
    5. A small enough size, so like it does not get in the way. Like probably a 40-gallon tank at an extreme maximum.
    6. A lifespan that hopefully is not horribly burdensome.

    I originally was going to go for a Ball Python, but after reading some conflicting messages on the possible irritatingly high amount of climate control it requires, and how although it is "docile" they do not actually enjoy handling and are just defensive. Although it is not completely off the list for me. I am also considering a Kenyan Sand Boa and a Rosy Boa. I have heard corn snakes are good too, but they seem I guess because I feel as though the majority of the time I would have it out would either be to just see what it does or chill with it. I even considered a chameleon seeing as I got to hold one at a local pet store and it literally came up to the cage and was "asking" to get out. It was cute on my hands and crawled up my head. I am a beginner and have never in my life truly cared for something like this before. I want to know for one: what my expectations should be, too if you think I am right for this, and of course which pet you recommend. General conversation on all this is welcome.
  2. Qwerty3159

    Qwerty3159 Elite Member

    I don't really think many reptiles enjoy handling, just that there are some species that are tolerant of it. Snakes in general can be defensive when young but usually mellow out with age. Unfortunately it seems that most of the animals that will sit around when you handle them are also the ones that will sit and do nothing in the cage and vice versa, the active animals are the ones that require more attention when being handled. That being said I think all of the species you're looking into except chameleons would be a good beginner animal, but each has its own compromise.
    Corn snakes are an excellent beginner snake. A lot more active than something like a ball python, but not really a "chill out" snake.
    Ball pythons are a popular beginner snake but sometimes their pickiness and seasonal reluctance to feed can stress people out.
    Kenyan Sand boas are very mellow but stay buried in their substrate almost always, and you said you wanted a somewhat active animal. I have no experience with Rosy boas but I've heard good things about them.

    The first snake I ever owned was a Checkered Garter snake and I highly recommend garters because they are extremely simple to care for, can be "taught" to feed on rodents with a little patience, and they are always active in their enclosures. They can become very mellow and easy to work with especially if you buy a captive bred animal.
    Atroxus likes this.
  3. Atroxus

    Atroxus Well-Known Member

    One thing I have heard/read is a fairly common trait among ball pythons is that they can be relatively intolerant of changes, resulting in them going off feed when moved to a new enclosure. I am not sure if a move to a new location in the same enclosure would have the same potential to stress them or not, but it may be worth considering.
  4. Moop515

    Moop515 New Member

    Ok, good points. So I am considering the Boa more heavily seeing as some people say they are active at night ish. So you say garter snakes might possible, and ok to tame, I will look into that. Here is another good question, are any of these snakes ok if I like need to leave for a week every once and awhile if say family wants us to visit or some emergency. Also what are your opinions of sandfish skinks.
  5. AmityReptiles

    AmityReptiles Well Established Member

    I always like recommending western hognose snakes, especially for beginners. They don't bite unless feeding, they are low maintenance and a smaller size. They are typically very active during the day, but from my experience will chill with you just fine (females especially). My female is very docile, never refuses food unless shedding, and recognises me when I come in the room and goes up to her glass and rubs on it to be let out.
    Males can be tricky though with feeding even after being well started on mice, and they seem to be more scared and defensive. So if you go that route get a well started female.

    And yes I would say every snake would be fine left alone for a week provided they have supportive conditions in their enclosure and plenty of water.

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