Register

He look so small -snake

Dogs and Cats, Other Pets, Poultry and Livestock. If it's yours and it runs, flies, swims or crawls, post about it here.
7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 6759
Joined: July 17, 2010
Location: Iowa
Thanks: 1
Thanked: 937 in 836 posts
BunnyBucks: 34,855.00

He look so small -snake

Post Number:#1  Unread postby akane » Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:45 pm


Isn't it a cute little snake. Now if you can name what the sucker is that will require a 6-8' enclosure you get bonus points. :lol: I call him Eoghan (oh-un, old celtic spelling argued about by etymologists to the point I don't care what modern names and meanings it spawned) and for now he's barely as long as my forearm.

Image

Image

Image

Now to continue the harassment of my husband all the long weekend to get the stand built for his glass enclosure so I can spend a few days getting it setup. I have gone bio-active with my enclosures using natural materials, soil microbes, and cleanup crews to keep the tank relatively maintenance free once established. I was going to at least get the glass wiped off last night but the house decided to go freezing and it takes 2 days for the stand no matter what because of waiting on wood glue. I got him to haul the wood in and deposit in front of the door so I could twist up my bad back trying to carry a bowfront tank I got cheap over it. :| Some days it's not worth trying. I desire a squirt bottle with a good stream at about 10' to hit the annoying cat and my husband from anywhere in the room. It would help my sanity. :p:
http://s1321.beta.photobucket.com/user/takakageri/library/
In order to save myself I must destroy first the me I was told to be -The Dreamer

7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 7355
Joined: December 26, 2009
Location: near London, Ontario
Canada Female
Thanks: 42
Thanked: 728 in 633 posts
BunnyBucks: 33,381.00

Re: He look so small -snake

Post Number:#2  Unread postby ladysown » Sun Jan 01, 2017 6:57 am


i don't know snakes from nothing, but looks nice.

could you explain this part abit more

bio-active with my enclosures using natural materials, soil microbes, and cleanup crews to keep the tank relatively maintenance free once established


my lad wants to make his snake easier to care for, this would intrigue him
ladysown

http://athomepets.weebly.com/
Primary Blog : http://athomepets.weebly.com/at-home-pets-blog.html
Old Blog: blogs/athomepets/

7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 6759
Joined: July 17, 2010
Location: Iowa
Thanks: 1
Thanked: 937 in 836 posts
BunnyBucks: 34,855.00

Re: He look so small -snake

Post Number:#3  Unread postby akane » Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:13 pm


That's opening a can of worms because I greatly enjoy natural chunks of ecosystem and have done it in aquariums for years so I can apply it to reptiles pretty much the same. I will cover setup mostly because cleanup crew comes easily after it's designed for them. The setup can be complex but once going many have said they have tanks in the 3 year old range that they have removed practically nothing from and just wipe the glass and water dish as needed. Even uneaten rodents and other dead foods for your reptiles are broken down into the soil mix by the cleanup crew before they rot but you need a really good cleanup crew mix and population for that. Things like bones may need removed. Amount of research and setup depends on the conditions you have to maintain for your snake. Many complain about low humidity tanks because not much lives in sand and you don't get the typical cleaners and soil microbes but I find them to be the easiest. Since you aren't watering much you can get away without a drainage layer and just a couple inches of sand/soil mix. About 60% sand and the rest top soil, compost, native soil, coir blocks (potentially dusty), peat, etc... Generally beetles are used more in low humidity instead of maintaining an area damp enough for isopods and springtails. Mealworms are the most common. They'll eat anything and you can provide moisture the same way you would in a mealworm culture bin with a chunk of potato or something similar. They are just eating poop instead of grain. The more you have to water the more complex it gets but the basic concept is to copy soil layering based on how damp you want things. You have a drainage layer of rock or clay balls usually separated by craft mesh or screen door mesh to keep a space for water collection and your critters (except some cleanup crew) out of it. On top of this you place your soil from fast draining sandy to heavy moisture holding. Sometimes I do a layer of sand as drainage and then my actual soil for living in. If you do a really deep substrate you want a way to water from the bottom. Some stick in a piece of pvc. I use plant pots with drainage holes. I set them on my separating mesh or directly on the rock if I don't use a divider and then add the rest of the soil or sand and soil layering. That way I have a pot, invisible if desired, and when I water the pot it goes to the bottom layer. I can also grow plants in a richer soil than my main tank if I want. The top is misted to simulate rain in varying amounts by the tank setup and inhabitant needs.

The main cleanup crew in everything but desert tanks are isopods (pillbugs, rolly polly, wood louse) and springtails. You can buy cultures of various species or collect native ones. Leaf litter is a frequently used item. The more buried and wet the better for bringing in springtails and small cleanup crew but this time of year in the north it will all be frozen. You will need a moist area for these to live. A piece of driftwood, leaf litter (can be sterile dried leaves if you don't want to bring in surprises), strips of bark (many use orchid, I use grapevine because I have them with many old branches that just peel away), and rocks that get extra watering around them will provide moisture in all tank settings. Some want to control everything they bring in and use sterile top soil, compost, sand and often organic material like peat or coir with pure cultures of specific cleanup crew species and others add some native soil to the mix to just get everything you find in the wild ecosystem. It's fun to watch but you never know what you get. Both have positives and negatives. Depends if you want to risk surprise shifts in the critters of your tank. For example if the balance is off in the soil mite population you can fill a tank with non-biting but irritating mites that eat everything but isopods and the poop you want them to and drive your reptile insane. You could also get useful soil mites that prevent pest mites and break down organics. Who knows what is in your yard or other chemical free location you can collect from.

A little more on the watering and heating setup. The concept is based on the fact the deeper you go the more moist and cooler things are while the sun heats and dries the top. It also changes your heat design from the usually preferred under tank heating to top heating because you aren't getting UTH through all that substrate. You use dry wood or rock, you can buy natural stone tile from hardware stores aside from native rock, to absorb lamp heat and create belly heat. You always want belly heat for reptiles. This is a more natural way things work in the wild. Some will even turn off the heat at night but it depends on your inhabitant versus room temps. You also tend to water the cool side more than the warm side to create a damper, cooler area for things and a dry, warm area to go. Temp and moisture gradients are maintained to allow everything to choose.

My 10g brown snake tank is my simplest non-desert setup. This pic shows the layering which is just protective sand for the glass, river pebbles, craft mesh, and the soil mix straight on top.
Image

He has a rock crevice from travertine tile, rock area, log for isopods, and a branch. I fill in the open space heavy with leaf litter for this particular snake and setup. Some I use less but this is a shy species that enjoys being under leaves on damp soil while hunting insects. The rocks are surrounding the water dish which hides it, provides a climbing structure, and helps keep cleanup crew out. I've drowned a lot of cleanup crew. :lol:
Image

A far more complex temperate setup is my bullsnake. I did sand, lined the walls with collected shale, filled with river pebbles, topped with a lot of playsand, and then used a mix of about 30% quartz sand with native soil and palm compost potting soil making up the rest. I buried some base rock for the heavier structures because these guys are bruisers and dig. It came out deeper than planned even though the pots didn't get buried but works. I'm repeating it in a 90gallon but instead of pure sand I'm doing my desert mix and then modify my temperate mix to have more moisture holding organics like peat moss. The blood python pictured originally comes from a more humid climate. I plan to make him a damp vermiculite with moss or palm compost buried bin to crawl down into to also help counter the drying effects of top heat.

Bull snake first layer of sand and pebbles
Image

Image

I did not do a drainage divider in this tank but just a whole lot of playsand straight over the rock. This is the start of the soil layer and established base rock for support in case of digging and the plant pots.
Image

Topped up increasingly with a native soil, sand, palm compost mix, and then a piece of wood for the cleanup crew that gets more frequent misting, rock structures for hiding, and I hid the pots from front view making the rock look like it continues as a solid wall behind the wood.

Image

Image

That is how complex you can get. I did a tank in between the dekayi 10g design and the bullsnake design topped in a slightly more native soil heavy version of my desert mix for desert king snakes that live on the edge of watering areas in otherwise arid land.
Image

Askook is a burrower
Image

Given the time he spends in the soil I have since put in taller driftwood and planted a hardy ivy in the pot buried to the back left corner for green anole lizards. Eventually Askook would eat them but they don't nearly fit in his mouth yet, they entertain when Askook is buried, use the space, and are practice for breeding more expensive day geckos. I don't have good pics of the whole thing yet. The lizards increased the required misting.
Image

Image

So again it's as simple or complex as you want provided you take the inhabitants needs in mind and build the soil appropriately, make a place for your cleanup crew, and water the correct amount. It seems like a lot but when you really just enjoy researching the ecosystem the animals come from it's fun to see how you can recreate it and what behaviors they show you that others never see like no one could tell me if Askook would climb, burrow, or choose rock caves. Askook burrows. I was shocked at how Koujin, the bullsnake, disappeared right down in the heavier soil mix the first day but then he took up residence in a cave on the warm side as his preferred way to live. Sometimes he lays in front of it on a section of open soil and sometimes if he really needs heat to digest he climbs up the rock tower to the heat lamp which is 90 something F at all times while the other end is about 74F. The animals from the main attraction reptiles to the cleanup crew get to choose how best to maintain themselves with the gradients.
http://s1321.beta.photobucket.com/user/takakageri/library/
In order to save myself I must destroy first the me I was told to be -The Dreamer

The following user would like to thank akane for this post
SarniaTricia

7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 7355
Joined: December 26, 2009
Location: near London, Ontario
Canada Female
Thanks: 42
Thanked: 728 in 633 posts
BunnyBucks: 33,381.00

Re: He look so small -snake

Post Number:#4  Unread postby ladysown » Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:12 am


fascinating. you've inspired the lad to change his snakes aquarium once summer hits. :)
ladysown

http://athomepets.weebly.com/
Primary Blog : http://athomepets.weebly.com/at-home-pets-blog.html
Old Blog: blogs/athomepets/

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest