Newbie, Can I Check Some Things Please? (Cornsnake related) - Reptile Forums

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Old 01-01-2009, 08:07 PM
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Default Newbie, Can I Check Some Things Please? (Cornsnake related)

I joined the forum last year, having kept several lizards in my lifetime and thinking I would like another, or maybe a snake, having had a break from the hobby.

Today, after giving it much thought over the last year or so, we have bought a cornsnake. Partly as my son, who is 12 has wanted one for ages also, and his hamster, which he had looked after very well, died on Boxing day. (Sorry, I DO go on... )

We visited a localish 'exotic pet' shop, after our mor e local pet shop that sells a few reptiles didn't impress me. After chatting to the owner and being shown a few corns, my son chose a snow corn, grown on baby, about 3 months old.

I just want to check the advice we have been given is correct, as we didn't get a care sheet (was busy, so wonder if he forgot, although he did take his time with us and was very helpful)

We bought a 3ft viv, which we are told will do the snake as an adult also, although we have been given the small box the snake was in in the shop (probably 8"x5"x2 1/2 " deep) which has a small water bowl in it and we were told to make a '#hide' out of half a toilet roll tube, and keep the snake inside this box, in the larger viv until it has shed once or twice more. The chap did say it was OK to feed the snake in the main viv though. We have been given a heatlamp (spotbulb, I think a red one) and thermometer, but no thermostat or heatmat. He said the snake would be fine at night when the light was off, in a warmish house. The small box has wood chip substrate and he has given us some for the main viv aswell.

We were told to feed the snake on Sunday, and not to worry if it doesn't eat for a week or two (was feeding well in the shop) but if it still hasn't eaten in two weeks to take it back to the shop for him to check over, and if there's any problem we can exchange it. He also said if we want it sexed he can do so in a couple of months for us.

I don't want to sound like I am questioning him, as no doubt he knows far more than me, and I know different people do things differently, but I just wanted to check all this sounded OK?

Thankyou!
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 01-01-2009, 08:47 PM
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You don't need a heat mat as well as a bulb, but you do need a thermostat (dimming for a bulb). As for letting the hatchling out to feed in the viv RUBBISH - it will get freaked out by the huge open space and not feed. Just offer the food inside the tub.

Providing the temps are right, and the snake has been feeding regularly then at that age, there should be no reason why it will not feed.

Also, as for letting it out into the viv after a shed or two, don't. Snakes do not appreciate huge open spaces (and a 3 foot viv will be huge for a 3month old corn!), they become stressed and will not feed. Just gradually increase the tub it is in, inside the viv. Personally, and this is only my opinion based on keeping snakes for the past 20 years and having worked with dozens of species, I would not introduce the corn to the viv until around a year old, and even then with a lot of cover.

Keep the light on for 12-14 hours a day, at around 84F at the warm end, and check the type of wood chip - also, make sure that food is offered dry to avoid substrate sticking to it. Usually, you should leave a new snake for around 7 days undisturbed to settle in before offering food, although that said corns usually will feed without difficulty.
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:54 PM
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Yeah - he's right. My brother used to have a snow cornie - lovely colour!
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:55 PM
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which shop in dorset was it - heat lamps can be used for snakes but mats are better - a thermostat is definately required - yes a 3ft will do an adult but a young snake will be ok in a 10ltr tub until its at least 18 months old - night time heating is still required - so snake will not be ok in a warmish house at night with no heating unless you house is over 25 degrees C,

as for feeding leave the snake alone for a week, only change water every couple of days - then offer a feed - if it refuses leave for 5 days then try again.

can ya pm me the name of the shop and can tell u if i know of it and if its any good.
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Old 01-01-2009, 09:01 PM
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When I first got my corn from my local rep shop I was advised to keep it in a 3ft viv which she was and she was fine and always fed. Not saying it will work for you but it does work. However I would recommend housing it in maybe a 2ft longish plastic tub so that he can properly thermoregulate. But aslong as you fill it up so there are lots of places to hide and not many open spaces he should be fine. Good luck with him.

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Old 02-01-2009, 12:02 AM
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Thanks so much everyone.

Tigger79, I should have changed my profile. Have now, as I am no longer in Dorset.

I am really annoyed with myself now for not doing more research before going to the shop and buying a snake.

I will get a heatmat and matstat tomorrow. For tonight, is it best to leave the lamp on so the snake will be warm enough? If so, should I cover the little tub the snake is in with something so it is dark?

Because it s a wooden viv, should I put the mat inside that, and the under (outsie) one end of the tub the snake is in?

I'll leave a bit longer than Sunday before feeding to, and just leave te snake to be for now.

I hate calling it 'it' or 'the snake' but we don't know if i is a he or she yet, and my son has insisted on calling it 'Frostbite'.
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:38 AM
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well depends on how warm it is inside the viv - as long as its 22 or over that will be ok for another night
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:12 AM
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Thanks. I'm not sure it will be warmer than that in the viv with the light off. I have decided to leave the lamp on and cover the little box the snake is in with some paper towel so it is darker.

I will get a heat mat and matstat tomorrow.

The chap in the shop did say he turns the heatlights of at night, but as he has lizards etc in the shop too, I would guess all the other vivs keep the whole place warm.

Thanks again. I feel such a idiot.
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Old 02-01-2009, 02:05 AM
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When you get the heatmat put it inside the viv
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