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Would Really Appreciate Some Help!

Discussion in 'Snakes - General' started by Caprisaurus, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Caprisaurus

    Caprisaurus New Member

    Hey everyone,

    I'm new to snakes and this forum and I have a few questions:

    1) Glass tank vs plastic storage bin? What size for babies, juveniles, and adults?

    2) I'm planning on using the Zoo Med 10-20 gallon UTH. Is that safe to use on the plastic storage bins? How do you suggest setting it up and where would I put the tub so it doesn't catch anything around it on fire?

    3) What to look for when I get my snake? I've heard it's good to use white paper towels for a while to see if they have mites? How long would I do that and are there any dangerous chemicals or anything in the paper towels?

    4) I'm hearing conflicting answers about where to put the thermometer probe in the setup. Some people say right on the glass under the substrate because they can burrow down and burn themselves, others say on the substrate and they'll move if it gets too hot. What do you recommend?

    That's all I can think of for now. I(and the snake) would really appreciate any answers!
  2. cctbspencer

    cctbspencer Elite Member

    Hello and welcome! I'll give you my two cents worth in the order you asked.
    1) Either can be suitable. If you want a more natural looking setting for a display in your home go with the glass. Plastic bins are generally easier to maintain humidity in. Few (if any) plastic bins have secure enough lids for snakes; you'll have to work that out. This decision depends on a number of factors including but not limited to: the species you select, your budget, the desired look, etc. As far as size goes, it depends on the species again.
    2) First of all, you must use a thermostat regardless of whether you select glass or plastic. Zoo Med says glass only. I know people who use this UTH on plastic though. You must leave an air gap under the enclosure to prevent overheating of the pad. You'll want a hard heat resistant surface for your enclosure.
    3) Don't rush into a purchase just because you want a snake. If there are expos in your area, go there. Walk around and look at everything before committing to one breeder. Ask questions and use common sense. Look for clean cages. Paper towels are an excellent substrate for at least the first month while you monitor your new animal's overall health.
    4) Thermometer probe or thermostat probe? You should invest in a non-contact infrared thermometer in order to monitor temparatures throughout your enclosure. $35 at Lowe's.

    I am not going into tons of detail here. The most important thing for you to do is research. Read everything you can and then read it again! There are care sheets on this website when you start deciding on a species. Also, never, ever be afraid to ask questions. There are many very knowledgable people here who are willing to help if you are willing to listen.
  3. TJOHNSON722

    TJOHNSON722 Elite Member

    They basically covered it above. I use papertowels/newspaper for 3 months though. It's a quarantine period to see if anything more than just mites. Keep setup simple too. Youll have 20+ years of them living to add cool stuff.

    I've used a tub and glass, honestly, i hated the tubs. I had to use duct tape to make sure its secured. I would go with glass and make a hard top out of plywood, or whatever with holes cut out for heat or lights.

    I would also recommend an infrared temp gun. You can search internet and find them for 20.00 all day long. You can get a thermometer with probe, but to check temps all over (cold side, hot side, overall temp) you would need multiples.

    Uth must be set on a thermostat or they will get too hot. These range from 20.00 to 350.00+. I use hydrofarm thermostats. Found them on and reviews say nothing but good things. I still check them with the temp gun though. So far so good. (I use heat tape due to custom cages, not Uth).

    Get as big of cage as possible too. Depending on species you want. Little baby ball pythons will need equivalent of at least 4x2x2 as adults. Your only saving $$. I also recommend EXPO's. You see multiple breeders there. Also when you do get one, find out what they've been eating and how often for your records. If its only been on frozen thawed since babies, yay you can keep them on it. It saves guesswork.

    Good luck

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