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Children's Python vs. Corn Snake

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Skipper7

Juvie Member
Heyo everyone!

Does anyone know of a reputable children's python breeder in the US?

I want to broaden my horizons and bring a new scaly buddy into the family. This will be my first snake, so I want to start simple. From what I've been reading, Children's pythons and corn snakes are both great starters and can be kept in 20g tanks as adults. (I have a spare 20g at home)

However, it seems as though 20g is the MINIMUM size for corns and a perfectly OK size for children's pythons. Is this correct? It makes sense as corn snakes can get a lot bigger. Because of this, I am leaning towards the python.

Does anyone have input or an opinion? Also, does anyone have a reccomendation for a good snake forum? Not to bash this site, it is my #1 beardie resource.

Thanks!
 

Taterbug

BD.org Addict
Most snakes will do much better in larger enclosures and be really careful of "minimum" sizes. Many keepers and breeders don't give their snakes much more than a hide and water dish and that's no good life :(

Corn snakes are pretty charming - 20g is absolutely not enough for an adult though. They are active and inquisitive snakes and need space to stretch out and move. They also like to climb. My corn is somewhere between 4-5' long and inherited my dragons old 4x2x2 enclosure. He uses all of it and would use even more if I had the space. My guy isn't so keen on hanging out with me but he is curious and the only one of my snakes who seems to like to come out and explore.

No experience with children's pythons, but considering their length I am leery of 20g being enough space. You'll get so much more enjoyment out of giving a snake ample space and a well designed habitat - you'll get to see more behaviors and have a happier snake.

I have seen rosy boas recommended as good first snakes and the males stay small enough that a 20 should be fine. I have a hognose and love him to bits but they can be stressful as a first snake (go off feed).
 

Skipper7

Juvie Member
Original Poster
Taterbug- I completely agree with you about the "minimum" sizes. That's the main reason that the corn snake isn't my #1 choice. Also, I seem to have fallen in love with the python :lol:

I'm currently talking to a breeder about the python's sizes and tank requirements (I'm wanting to clarify on how big they actually get. Some places say 5 feet, others say 2.5. I assume this is confusion between the difference antaresis species.) Rest assured that I will not put an animal in a tank that is too small for it. I will be building a larger tank for skipper once the weather is nicer. After that, I will have a spare 40gal for whichever snake I decide.

How big do the boas get? I see that they can get up to 5 feet.

Thanks,
Patrick

PS: How long do frozen mice last in the freezer? And, your little hog nose is very cute!
 

Taterbug

BD.org Addict
I think the male rosy boas stay in the 2' range I think. They are sexually dimorphic, females being a fair bit bigger.

Then children's python are pretty cute, I've heard good things about them too :) I'd totally suggest a snake you are in love with vs a snake that is convinent. Long lived buggers make for serious buyers remorse.

Rodents, like any other meat, last a long time if frozen properly. I keep mine in a deep freezer and as long as they aren't frost bitten or allowed to thaw they should last quite a while (6-12+ easy). In a kitchen freezer the temps fluctuate a bit more (self defrost cycles) so meat doesn't last as long as in a deep freeze.

If you get a baby or young snake don't be tempted buy too much in bulk because your snake may outgrow the feeders and it sucks to throw out a bunch of perfectly good rodents cause the snake got too big for them :)
 

Skipper7

Juvie Member
Original Poster
That good to know! I actually was thinking about buying bulk.

I do have another question. Should heat be provided by a heat pad or a lamp? Does this vary by species?
 

Taterbug

BD.org Addict
Skipper7":22nbg8li said:
That good to know! I actually was thinking about buying bulk.

I do have another question. Should heat be provided by a heat pad or a lamp? Does this vary by species?

Bulk is way cheaper, and it's great once they stop growing (bulk rats are literally 90% cheaper than my local pet store) but pinkies for example come in bags of 100, adults in bags of 50. You could easily have waaaay to many left over pinks and not have saved money in the end.

Hooboy - I could spend hours on this question. ;)
It will vary a bit by room temps, enclosure material and by species, and either is an option. Generally though I prefer radiant (overhead) heat when possible. I heat all three of my snakes with radiant heat panels - they don't get as hot as lamps but keep things warmer than heat mats. Some comparison info: http://skies-of-salt.tumblr.com/post/132730518123/visualizing-the-thermal-gradient-reptiles-are
 

Skipper7

Juvie Member
Original Poster
Just heard back from the breeder. He says they will grow to a maximum of 36 inches (30 is more common) and that they can live comfortably in a 20gal. I'm still not sure about that, as I know they are active and like to climb. He has a few available that are very small (8-10 inches). I could always use the 20g for now, and then the 40g when skipper gets an upgrade.

Looks like I have a lot more research in my near future. I wasn't planning on making a decision until after the 16th anyway. I know I will need a gradient from 90-95 to 75-80. I'll run some temp tests with the bulbs I already have (che, black light, household bulb). I'm thinking a combo of over head (infrared) and a heat pad will be the most convenient and inexpensive choice for me. I like the idea of a combo so I can have climbing spots and the ground warm.

Do you have a reccomended thermostat that isn't very expensive? Which heat panels do you use?

thank you,
Patrick

I know I mentioned looking for cheap options, but a healthy/happy animal is my first priority. I can always wait and save more money before getting the snake. I am in no hurry.
 

Taterbug

BD.org Addict
Depending on the habits of the snake a mat and a radiant source combo would be good. I don't know if childrens pythons like to bask or not. Snakes can see colored lights too, so best to stick with IR or Visible sources. UV is also gaining popularity with snakes, its not needed but growing evidence shows it is beneficial. They aren't as needy as dragons but snakes can be a pretty deep rabbit hole too ;)

anyway! I use reptile basics heat panels, I like their hide boxes too. They also sell heat tape which is similar to heat mats but a little more versatile. http://www.reptilebasics.com/rbi-radiant-heat-panels

Hygrofarm thermostats have been reliable for me, they are about $25-30. I have another more expensive stat, but honestly, the hygrofarms work fine. https://www.amazon.com/MTPRTC-ETL-Certified-Thermostat-Germination-Reptiles/dp/B000NZZG3S/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486081144&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=hygrofarm+thermostat

Herpstat are nice if you want to control more than one device, but they are quite a bit more expensive. http://www.spyderrobotics.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=26

If you are looking to save money and aren't as concerned about aesthetics, plastic tubs can be great inexpensive enclosures with a few modifications.
 

Skipper7

Juvie Member
Original Poster
When you say they can see colored light, what do you mean? Use a normal house bulb for heat?

My current *but often changing* idea is this:
75w normal household bulb over warm side/basking spot
UTH under warm side
Hygrofarm thermostat hooked up to UTH
I want to avoid the heat panels if I can get a working setup without them.

maybe uvb over cool side? Would a 13w compact reptisun 5.0/10.0 do the job?
I figure the mat and household bulb will do a fine job getting the cool side up to par for a gradient.

Are aspen shaving OK for a substrate? They seem to be reccomended most places, but the dr. Fosters website said not to use them for balls.

I actually really like the plastic tub idea! We have a few sitting around at home. Only problem is that it would probably be in my room and wouldn't look nice. However, it would be a cheap way to get more space if I can't use the extra 40g. I'll look into that.


Thank you very much for the help. I'm sorry to pester you with questions, but I'd rather get information from someone who knows what they're talking about than from unknown sources :lol: I swear I am doing research on my own as well!


PS: While on the subject of lighting, can I put an Arcadia T5 22" D3 12% on the reptisun 24" t5 housing? This is for skipper.
 

Taterbug

BD.org Addict
The 22" T5 should fit fine. The lamps are standard lengths.

For colored light you mentioned black lights? I assumed you meant a purple or blue night bulb? Stick with white bulbs, household ones are fine. A compact would be fine, you'll need to look into their habitat and habits for the strength. I use a 5.0 tube for my ball python since they are nocturnal and don't bask naturally. Children's pythons might listed in the appendix of this paper http://www.uvguide.co.uk/BIAZA-RAWG-UV-Tool.htm

You plan sounds good. That's how I had my hognose setup before he got his heat panel. There are many ways to heat cages :)

Aspen is fine unless you need high humidity. It doesn't works so well for ball pythons because of their humidity needs. Coco-chips/mulch work well for humidity needing snakes. Keep an eye out for mold.

I'm happy to help if I can :)
 

Skipper7

Juvie Member
Original Poster
Ah, my mistake. I'll stay away from the black light. What is considered "high humidity" for reptiles?

EDIT: That source is INCREDIBLE!!!!!
 

Taterbug

BD.org Addict
That's a neat looking thermostat. I haven't heard of them myself but if you can contact the manufacturer ask if what the failure mode is, can it fail "ON" or does it have any safeties.

I have only used zoomed mats, so I can't offer any feed back in that regard.
 

Skipper7

Juvie Member
Original Poster
Good point about failing on/off. If you have a single cycle thermostat, how do you get cooler temps at night?

I like that the zoomed mats are cheap. They say that the 6x8 works for a 20gal. Is this true or do I need to get one that actually covers 1/2-1/3 of the tank?
 

Taterbug

BD.org Addict
I don't remember what sizes mine are. 1/3 of the tank would be better so the warm zone is big enough

For a night drop I'll have mine on a timer, not ideal so a two cycle one would be pretty nice
 
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