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It's definitely a "hobby" to me as well. I can't call animals that I barely touch "pets", but I have studied biology at degree level and animal welfare at masters level - how many people do this on the basis for their interest in their pet pooch? Just because this is a hobby for me in no way means I care less about my critters and I don't understand the criticism of the term.

In terms of what has changed? I agree with posts about variety of species available - in a way I wish I was older in the mid nineties when I started keeping snakes as I may have been more able to get experience with some of the wonderful oddities that were available then. As a 12+ yr old I was constrained by a lack of funds and an abundance of house rules though so my experience was fairly limited.

I think the internet has been a wonderful thing albeit a double edged sword. If you are critical enough about your sources the available information is spectacular - however a lot of it is complete junk and it's so easily spread around. Their are certain "rules of thumb" that seem to become gospel and I think this can lead to a lack of common sense. On a social level there are more reptile keepers about than I had ever realised and I've met some really good people through social media.

I've been really disillusioned with a lot of "the hobby" for the last couple of years but finding a renewed enthusiasm for it now - it's just a case of finding the right niche within it I think.
 

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the hobby used to be about mystery's, why a species did this or that, how a species reproduced, there was a time we didn't know if a gravid female was going to pop out an egg or a live baby, we didn't know what behaviors we were seeing where or meant, we didn't know what caused reproduction we didn't know how to hatch some eggs, we didn't know about the maturing process of neonates, a lot of things were new as they happened, a lot of people were, in their little rooms, seeing things very very few people had ever seen. an import could bring a species or subsp no one had any real experience of, it was square one stuff, learning as we kept.

now its about layers of pigment and how not to be left with too many babies at the end of the season, the end results seem so much more meaningless now.

rgds
ed
ps the loss of my favorite snake recently has probably clouded my judgement some, new keepers are not responsible for anything other than picking what they like to work with and from whats available. our entire way of life has been transformed over the past 25yrs and to expect the hobby to remain static to our favorite period is nothing but a fantasy. just as species evolve so does the hobby, nothing can stop this, u can either embrace it or the leave the hobby and reminisce about the good times.
 

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I'm 40 in September and last year I finished my wish list of species that I wanted to keep.
I did the bloods,royals etc then ended up with a boa that I kept for over 15 years whilst I took a break from the hobby.
He died and then I got a taste for the hobby again but....the hobby had taken a turn for the worse with all these horrid morphs.
Since I came back I have kept bloods and then onto proper snakes like merauke scrub pythons and a german line jungle carpet python and my albino burm.

How has it changed for other long time keepers?
I have been a herper since I was 12 years old.
"Proper snakes"...wot scrubs and carpets??.....really?
 

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There wasn't as many reptile shops so therefore more variety, Also people will only stock what sells. It's still easy to find what you want because there are still shops out there that cater for the minority that what the rarer species. I found an Aquatics place last month that had the largest selection of tropical fish I have ever seen. Also at sensible prices...Rams £1, Balloon Mollies 50p and the rarer species were equally as low.
yeah, i know there are still shops out there that sell the rarer stuff- but the key words there are 'look for them'- my point is that you never had to, as most shops sold a mix of common & rare, whereas now you have to hunt for such shops (talking about fish here). there are 9 aquatic shops within 8 miles of me- of those, 2 of them- fins aquatics in wickford & maidenhead aquatics in billericay- are too new to have much stock yet (but plan to get rare stuff), another will get rare stuff to order, another is hit & miss- that leaves 5 shops with little to no unusual fish. 10 years ago, all 5 of those shops sold both common & rare species. tbf, one of the 5 still tries, but their supplier seldom has anything interesting on their lists anymore.
 

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Well I go back to the time when all we had was a light bulb a fish tank or a converted cupboard , forty plus years , my first snake was a dice snake although it was advertised as a grass snake . The hobby , and yes it's a hobby , has come on leaps and bounds since then and with the internet it's never been easier to find the snake you want and all it's needs . When I started corn snakes were rare in the hobby and keepers even rarer , it was trial and error as there wasn't even any books never mind the internet . You are spoilt nowadays , spoilt for choice of the species you can get and spoilt for the equipment available , not to mention the information you can find to get you started. If you don't like one particular species don't get it , pointless knocking it everyone has different tastes. I have built up a varied collection over the years and find all snakes fascinating . About time all this back biting and sniping stopped or all your going to be left with is a site full of newbies .
 

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Dunno bout morphs .... But FACEBOOK is killing the hobby and killing all the forums !!
This is what I was wondering ?
Well apart from stealing babies sweets I have often seen them loitering in gangs round our town centre generally harassing old ladies. I've seen them shoving old she'd skins through letter boxes. I've seen them deliberately giving mites to normals.

They really are the scourge of our hobby. :bash:
 

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Well apart from stealing babies sweets I have often seen them loitering in gangs round our town centre generally harassing old ladies. I've seen them shoving old she'd skins through letter boxes. I've seen them deliberately giving mites to normals.

They really are the scourge of our hobby. :bash:
Yeah, my girl's a morph, and you should see the shocking tweets she sends to normals- it's proper cyber bullying. :( Such an evil, evil girl.
 

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I've kept rep's for a while, in the last few years I joined RFUK, 2009 ?, Captive Bred etc in order to reach out to a wider community, CB is more pleasant but under used, RFUK continues to be the most popular but has become far more vociferous/point scorey, tried FB, eek, wasn't for me. I find it harder & harder to use RFUK, interseting posts get posted then they slide/get hijacked into my knobs bigger than your knob/I'm right, your wrong.

I'm not particualrly a morph person, there are many species out there if you take the time to look, the majority of posts on RFUK are about the "common/standard" species, if you knock these out then there's not a lot to read but I guess that's what most people/the industry supporting/proffiting from the hobby want. I don't dislike morphs, well accept albinos - whats the point, but I don't like the growing "got to buy em' all now/breed em' all right now" don't see the fun in that, I buy/keep what I like/what takes my fancy & that's good enought for me.

Despite my time in the hobby I'm still learning & probably always will be, some times I might buy what everybody else has, sometimes not, not because I have to but because I like what I like.

For me the hobby hasn't changed a great deal, yes knowledge has sizably improved/been fine tuned which is good but the internal bitching on RFUK has reached an all time low, its not the be all & end all of the hobby but forums & the like are playing an increasing part of the hobbyist community & the back biting/point scoring that has developed serves nobody but the hobbies opponents.

I'll get me coat
 

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yeah, i know there are still shops out there that sell the rarer stuff- but the key words there are 'look for them'- my point is that you never had to, as most shops sold a mix of common & rare, whereas now you have to hunt for such shops (talking about fish here). there are 9 aquatic shops within 8 miles of me- of those, 2 of them- fins aquatics in wickford & maidenhead aquatics in billericay- are too new to have much stock yet (but plan to get rare stuff), another will get rare stuff to order, another is hit & miss- that leaves 5 shops with little to no unusual fish. 10 years ago, all 5 of those shops sold both common & rare species. tbf, one of the 5 still tries, but their supplier seldom has anything interesting on their lists anymore.
Truth is, there are loads of rare fish speies out there Wilks. The aquatics hobby has a range of species unparalleled by any other area of pet keeping. You just don't know where to look.

If you drove you'd find an entire new world available to you, other shops, specialist breeders and dealers operating out of their own fish houses, specialist clubs and societies with their own auctions occasionally offering for sale UK firsts. And then international sellers offering hobbyists all kinds of uber rare species via transhippers through sites like Aquabid.

You're beliefs of 'unusual fish are hard to find' are only in your head. : victory:
 

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Also, some of the species glebopalma28 listed look awesome. Would be awesome if we could still get those... the wolf snake and Pseudoxenodon look awesome. Were CB specimens readily available then, once upon a time?

Unfortunately, most of what came in in the past was WC, although LTC were often available from the continent. I did breed Lycodon butleri, laoensis and ruhstrati myself, the young went to Germany and I don't know what became of them after that. As far as Pseudoxenodon is concerned I kept bambusicola but never got them to breed, but did manage to breed macrops and stejnegeri.

Kindest regards,
Alex
 
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Unfortunately, most of what came in in the past was WC, although LTC were often available from the continent. I did breed Lycodon butleri, laoensis and ruhstrati myself, the young went to Germany and I don't know what became of them after that. As far as Pseudoxenodon is concerned I kept bambusicola but never got them to breed, but did manage to breed macrops and stejnegeri.

Kindest regards,
Alex
Interesting to hear of breeding success with Pseudoxenodon here in the UK. What did you used to feed yours?
 

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Interesting to hear of breeding success with Pseudoxenodon here in the UK. What did you used to feed yours?
This was a good few years ago and at that time I had access to frozen amphibians through a biological supply house they took American Green and Grey Treefrogs, Leopard Frogs, Edible Frogs and Xenopus. The macrops also took Hemidactylus and Gehyra geckos and would also take fish and Peromyscus fuzzies on occasion. I know people generally recommend keeping these species on the cool side, but I've found that a lot of species that are reluctant to take warm blooded prey under normal conditions, are easier to cope with when provided with a warmer basking spot. So keeping their cooler habitat in mind, I used a relatively large vivarium measuring 56" x 32" with a cooling plate on one side to create a temperature of 50°C with a basking spot of 100°C. I also had Vita-Lites running the full length of the cage, I believe that UVA can help with recognition of prey species with diurnal species. They had about 6 inches of leaf litter to bury in. My original animals, groups of 2.2 for both species, came in from Russia and weren't held for an extended period of time as often happens with Western importers, I think getting relatively "fresh"animals like this is a big advantage. Other than that I left them completely alone and covered the front of the vivs. The macrops relaxed over time and became quite outgoing, stejnegeri remained shy and bambusicola were always very flighty.

Kindest regards,
Alex
 
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saying the hobby is crap because other people keep snakes you dont like is like me saying subway is crap because other people prefer chicken tikka over meatball marinara, what they keep doesn't affect you and should have no bearing on how you view your own enjoyment of it, if you let other people's preferences annoy you that much you may need a few more hobbies to keep your mind off it, you enjoy your meatball marinara and others will have their chicken tikka.
 
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