General Advice For A Royal - Reptile Forums

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Old 29-06-2009, 11:20 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Bristol, UK
Posts: 134
Default General Advice For A Royal

Hey all,

Just want to say before I start, cracking website you have here!!

Im basically going to be getting a Royal Python mid July and im really excited about getting it. The shop let me hold both a fully grown (just over 4ft) Royal, and also a Baby, and I need to know a few things....

The shop (Reptile Zone, Bristol) will sell a bundle for £129.99 which includes...

- Royal Python Baby
- Exo Terra Faunarium (
- Heat Mat with Thermostat
- 1 Hide
- A Piece Of Wood
- Water Bowl
- Bag of Substrate

Does this sound good?

I have read that people use 'Rubs' to grow the snakes untill they are large enough for a Viv, but to me, the point of having a snake is so you can look at it and enjoy it, rather than have it in a cloudy box. Would the Faunarium be good to use over a 'Rub' or cluttered Viv?

So basically...

- Cluttered viv, Faunarium or Rub?
- Does the above deal sound good?
- With the Faunarium (Or viv infact...), how do you keep the hot side to the right temp, and the cold side to the right temp? Surley the heat just goes around the whole thing?
- Whats the general price of baby mice (I know it will vary between shops, but just wanted a general idea)
- Any other general advice would be awesome!

Feel free to post pics of your Royals/set-ups!

I've read all about the feeding problems they sometimes have, so im up to speed on that, and most other things to be honest. Im off to Spain on the 5th of July, and im not back till the 16th, so thought it would be best to wait till I get back to get it - Just have to wait I spose!!

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Old 29-06-2009, 11:31 PM
Wishlover's Avatar
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Location: Manchester
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That deal sounds very dear to me, I got a similar deal but mine was a 3ft wooden viv for my royal and she was fine going straight into it when she first came home.

The main thing you need to watch is that they have the correct heats otherwise they can be very very fussy feeders. I'm lucky as my Royal has only refused once in 3 years.

You can pick up wooden vivs on the net for about £50 and the stats for about £20, heat mats vary dependent on size and substrate can vary. I would suggest putting the snake into the viv straight away, as long as the viv is not too big for the size of the snake you get or they can get distressed. Make sure that there are a few hiding places and things for them to climb on. You should also be putting a daylight basking lamp in for the snake during the day, mine is on a 12 hour timer so it simulates day and night which also reduces the chance of feeding problems. The cold end wont be very cold but it will be cooler than the warm end as the heat from the heat mat tends to stay in the area that the heat mat is placed.

I usually pay about £1.50 for my rats, I think the mice are around the £1 mark depending on the size of them but as soon as the royal is big enough get it on rats as they get more nutrients from a rat.

Other than that as long as you have read up about everything you should be ok, if you want to have a look at the viv packs i got then go to Snake Kit CS1 (24" Wooden Viv Kit) and i think they deliver as well. You will need to make a guard for the light though but i made mine out of chicken wire - cheap and cheerful!

Hope some of this helps!

Last edited by Wishlover; 29-06-2009 at 11:34 PM..
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Old 30-06-2009, 02:17 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: london heathrow
Posts: 480

a 3ft viv is to big for a hatchling. if ur happy to pay that then cool its all new and should last a while. you can do it cheaper use private ad's on here. try to feed it rats from day one they come in about 5diff sizes start wiv smallest obviously. if u feed mice it my get addicted to them and difficult to get it on rats, then wen adult it'll have 3-4 mice per feedin or just one rat. big price diff on weekly basis
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Old 01-07-2009, 12:39 AM
rantasam's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Derby, UK.
Posts: 1,256

Sounds like the kit has all the essential ingredients. I'm pleased to see there is a thermostat included, so many shops don't and it's an essential bit of kit! I think the price is pretty reasonable too, considering it includes the snake as well.

Faunariums are fine for royals, just make sure you have hides in the warm and cool ends so they don't feel over-exposed with the transparent sides. Faunariums also have huge amounts of ventilation, which can sometimes make retaining humidity an issue. Some people combat this my placing a damp towel over the vent holes, or by putting in a moist hide (e.g. margerine tub with damp spagnum moss in it). It may not be an issue, but some snakes need raised humidity around shed time to ensure the skin comes off in one piece.

Another issue with faunariums is that the lids do not 'lock' into place as they do with RUBs. You may need to strap the lid on with a couple of strong elastic bands to ensure your royal does not force the lid off - they are deceptively strong.

I'd also be temped to swap out the wood for another suitably sized hide - one where the snake can sit snugly touching the sides and ceiling.

I'd also, if it were me, spend a little more on the thermostat now, to save buying a new one when you trransfer the snake to a wooden viv. Assuming you plan to use a wooden viv in the end of course, I think the best method of heating it is by a ceramic bulb. If you do plan to go down the wooden viv/ceramic route then buying a pulse-proportional stat now will control the heatmat and also the ceramic further down the line - saving money in the long run!

I personally would initially avoid housing your royal in an adult-sized viv. Some people have moved there littles ones into a viv straight away with no issues, but I have heard of many tales of royals that refuse to eat in larger spaces, but begin eating again when moved back into a smaller RUB. Each snake is different, but I don't see any harm in playing safe and starting them in a smaller enclosure.

You also ask about how to keep the temperature gradient in your viv. You'd be suprised, but the difference between the hot and cool end can be dramatic. Especially with mats. Mats will only heat the substrate directly above them. They do not warm the ambient air and do not heat the cool end. Very little convection takes place though using a heat mat. You will probably find the cool end temperature actually drops to the ambient room temperature even though the heat mat is heating the warm end. (This is why I am a keep advocate of ceramic heating when using a wooden viv - ambient and cool end temperatures are actively heated also, something a mat doesn't manage).

Ceramic heating will still provide enough of a temperature difference between the warm end and the cool end.. mine are roughly a 10'c gradient. It may sound like a lot, but it's easy to achieve with a bit of trial and error with bulb placement.

There's a great post here about royal fasting:

And Custom Guards: Ceramic Heater Guards | Spotlight Guards | Reptile Heating & Lighting Guards | Vivarium Heater & Light Guards will sort out all your bulb guard needs when the time comes.

Just for the sake of balance, I don't use any form of lighting as Wishlover does. The majority of snake keepers (certainly here on this forum anway) do not either. This is an example of different people doing things successfully in different way - which is part of the variety the hobby offers. If it works for Wishlover then great, but it isn't a necessity.
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