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Kenyan Sand Boa or?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
My boyfriend currently has a 1 year old bearded dragon named Uni. She's beautiful and getting to be so big! We have her in a 20 gal long lizard aquarium at the moment and he's looking at getting her a 65gal next week.
We're talking about maybe getting something that wont out grow the 20 gal, and having it in that tank. Since he doesn't like geckos or frogs or anoles, it limits our opportunities.
There's a very smart lady who owns a very nice reptile store around the corner from me (it's where he's probably going to get the tank). She was suggesting a Kenyan Sand Boa, which we both quite like, and he pretty much already has the setup for because of Uni.
We've done some internet searching about it, and think that may be the best option, but I was wondering if anyone else had any input. Are they good pets? Can they be handled easily? Are there any other reptiles that you can think of who would be happy in a 20 gal long?
Thought I might ask
Jess
post #2 of 22
What's wrong with geckos? A leopard gecko would fit into a 20 long perfectly. ....they don't do much though, just lay around and sleep.

Are you sure a 65 gal will be large enough? I have a 60 gal in storage that doesn't really have much floor space. A lot of people seem to use the cages that are more um..case like? front opening. Custom ordered or homemade. I've also seen pictures of people using old store display cases.

I think there are a few people that own corn snakes around here, no idea if any own boas but I can suggest some reptile forums that may be able to help you.

This one even has a couple threads in the boa section with people asking about sand boas already. http://www.reptilerooms.com/PNphpBB2+main.html
(you might even want to join for the beardie section )

And this one has a lot of different sections for species. http://forums.kingsnake.com/
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Yep, the 65 gallon that I was talking about is a reptile tank designed with glass doors on the front so we don't have to move her lights around every time we want to see her. being that it's a reptile tank, it is designed to be longer than a traditional aquarium. the 65 gallon is what the lady at the reptile store suggested (and dang, she knows a lot about reptiles!).
Thanks for the links! I'll check them out
found one called reptile forums too...but I'm a bit intimidated by how many different categories they have in their forums.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
oh and he doesn't like geckos because he's a dork! lol! He had two leopard gecko's with an ex of his (she asked to keep them) and just found them boring and a hassle to care for with the misting.
It's true, anything that needs moisture probably shouldn't be in my apartment...dang its dry here during the winter, even with my humidifier!

For the record, I think they're pretty.

Still leaning towards the boa's...since the uromastyx wont fit in the tank in the end and we'll end up with even more pets!
post #5 of 22
I think you'd be happier with a beautiful Corn Snake They are doscile and VERY handlable, they are a great beginner snake. & BEAUTIFUL... must prettier than a sand boa.


(YES, these are mine & they are ALL corn snakes of different varities)















post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
yes, they're beautiful, but from what I've read they'll outgrow our 20 gallon long tank...
we were ooing and awwing over a red one a few days ago...definately beautiful snakes!
post #7 of 22
Ok, thanks for clearing that up about the cage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylorna View Post
oh and he doesn't like geckos because he's a dork! lol! He had two leopard gecko's with an ex of his (she asked to keep them) and just found them boring and a hassle to care for with the misting.
It's true, anything that needs moisture probably shouldn't be in my apartment...dang its dry here during the winter, even with my humidifier!
You do not mist leopard geckos! They're a desert species originally from areas of/around Pakistan and Afghanistan. Spraying water directly on them or too high of humidity in the whole cage can cause respiratory infections. Instead they need a humid hide, simply a small tupperware container with a door cut in the side and moist moss or paper towel inside it. This works for some other reptiles too. As for leos being a hassle, they're one of the easiest lizards to care for. Your beardie's care is much more intensive.

Don't be intimidated by either reptile forum. If you decide to join one or both you only need to post in the sections that interest you. On reptile rooms I only post in the turtle/tortoise, general geckos (if someone asks about golden geckos), and occasionally general discussion areas. On the kingsnake forums, I keep to the box turtle section.
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylorna View Post
yes, they're beautiful, but from what I've read they'll outgrow our 20 gallon long tank...
we were ooing and awwing over a red one a few days ago...definately beautiful snakes!
My adult corns and thousands of those in the hobby that I know house their corns in 20 gallon enclosures.

a great place to do some research and hear the same, straight from hundreds of those that own them in a forum much like this but for corn snakes you can go to http://www.cornsnakesource.com/forum/

& they can confirm what I say

(below, taken straight from 'my' website) www.csicorns.com (& no I'm not pushing you to buy a corn from me... lol... cause I dont even have any to sell) LOL. I'm not breeding mine till next year. I just really think they make great pets for beginners, so I suggest them.

Setting up a Vivarium
A basic vivarium (or "terrarium") for a corn snake should consist of at least: a 2-5 gallon or equivalent vivarium for a hatchling, a 10 gallon vivarium can comfortably house a Corn snake from hatchling to roughly 15-18 months of age a 20 gallon long or larger vivarium for an adult (30" x 12½" x 13") with secure screen cover, a suitable substrate (no pine or cedar, plain paper towels are suitable for hatchlings also shredded Aspen commonly is used) a heater, a water dish and a hide at both the warm and cool end. There are many varieties of housing for Corn Snakes out there, from Rack Systems to elaborate front opening enclosures, do your research and find what type of housing fits your situation best. The vivarium should be fully set up before obtaining a snake, as this will allow you to observe and adjust the temperatures so that the snake isn't too cold or too hot for any period of time.

A hide should be placed at each end of the temperature gradient, as this will allow the snake to thermo regulate without the fear of being forced out into the open. Hides can be as simple as cardboard boxes and should be replaced when soiled (along with the bedding immediately surrounding it.) A more natural look can be obtained by purchasing half-log hides and hides that resemble rock formations.
post #9 of 22
Lore, your snakes are gorgeous! I've never owned snakes or any reptile so I can't help, but I do love snakes! We have an abundance of garter snakes here and I can't help but scoop 'em up and pet them!
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
I actually laughed pretty hard when I saw garter snakes on the list of hearty ones, since we have one living in the walls at work (on a farm). They are pretty little guys though
You know, Lore, I looked on that forum you sent and most people say they have their corns in a 30 gallon....or at least that I could find. I'm going to do some research on uromastyx today, but so far am leaning towards a sand boa. Surprisingly enough dad made some funny sounds when I told him what we were thinking about. I thought he was the cool parent! lol
Again...you have such beautiful snakes!
post #11 of 22
Just a suggestion. Before you put anything into your beardie's old tank, make sure to thoroughly disinfect it. They naturally carry coccidia as part of their gut flora, where as other reptiles don't.

Also a good reminder for always washing your hands between handling pets.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
My boyfriend has some sanitizer next to the tank for that reason, but excellent reminder regarding cleaning the tank itself! I would have never thought of it
post #13 of 22
Hi I own 4 different types of snakes, I have a redtail boa,blood python,ball python and last but not least a california kings snake. I am a big reptile person. I have never owned a sand boa they just have never been my thing. Have you thought of a hog nose they are cute as heck im not to sure about tank sizes for these little guy. I just wanted to let you know that we have are california king in a 20/L and he couldnt be happier. he is about 11 years old now so he is pretty much done growing after a certain age they just grow like 1/3of an inch a year. they are very cool colored snakes almost like a zebra but they have a very strong musk they will release when they feel threatened or scared but they are so easy to maintain no moisture needed not to much needed in the heat department as well, they are very hearty snakes.I hope I gave you some type of info that was helpful. Let me know what you end up getting. Maybe we can exchange snake stories..
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hey! Yeah, you know, the lady at the reptile store said something about a hog nose, but I'm not sure what kind she means because when I do searches it always comes up as conservation societies, etc....and there's eastern, western, etc. Do you know anything more about them?
She said they were gentle and stuff (I trust her more), but the lady at petsmart convinced my boyfriend that they were poisonous. What the heck?
I'll look into kings, if you say you have one that's happy...I think that was another one that I read needed a bigger tank. Are people just tank happy?

I may end up with a bearded dragon actually. My boyfriends friend has one that isn't doing so well, and while he's given him some tips, he's also offered to take it on. If that happens (and it will be soon if it does) he's going to try to nurse it back to health and give it to me. I figure he's got till I go to the reptile show to figure that situation out, because if we get to the show and there's a pretty pretty, I'm so getting it!

Where do you guys keep your tanks by the way? I'm running out of space to put a table or something of the likes in my living area. Got the top of a bookcase, but the cats can get to it. Do you have shelves or something? I was considering getting some of those cheap wooden plank shelves and putting them next to my sliding glass door where I have my orchids and stuff and just moving that stuff onto the shelves with the snake/lizard. It gets indirect filtered light there, so no worries about burning the babies
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
what kind of bedding do you use for your snakes?
My bf is insistant that he uses crushed walnut despite my reading on many websites that he shouldn't. I told him that when I have a reptile it will be using aspen shavings....he said that any type of bedding can cause impaction and that the breeder who he got his bearded dragon from has been using walnut for 30 years.
so...when I have mine, what should I use?
post #16 of 22
... If you get a Bearded Dragon however, I'm sure you know that you'll have to upgrade your tank eventually. A 20 gallon long tank is NOWHERE near enough room for an adult sized beardie. We have our Adult Female Beardie in a 40 gallon breeder tank and I would still like to see her in something larger eventually.

In responce to your question about substrate with snakes, we use Aspen. They CANNOT ingest it so long as you DO NOT feed them on it. They should NOT be fed ON ASPEN or on any sort of material that they could swallow along with the mouse, which is where the impaction could occour.
I feed all of my snakes in a seperate container (rubbermaid or sterilite bin with a lid with air holes in it) then they are put back in their enclosures when they are through.
85% of people in the hobby do it this way, the rest offer food IN the enclosures on a piece of cardboard or a solid piece of plastic to help avoid them taking in large pieces of the aspen with the meal that could not pass and cause impaction.

For me... there that is still a risk I do not want to take, therefor I feed them all in seperate bins. (they are all in individual, seperate feeding bins during feeding time)



Hope this helps.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylorna View Post
Hey! Yeah, you know, the lady at the reptile store said something about a hog nose, but I'm not sure what kind she means because when I do searches it always comes up as conservation societies, etc....and there's eastern, western, etc. Do you know anything more about them?
She said they were gentle and stuff (I trust her more), but the lady at petsmart convinced my boyfriend that they were poisonous. What the heck?
Certain states do protect their native species and have restrictions on what or how many can be taken from the wild. That may be why you get some conservation sites.

Hog nose snakes are non venomous and they're not an aggressive snake at all. They do however roll over, excrete a horrible smell, and play dead when they feel threatened.
I've caught a few of the wild ones here, western hog nose, and have never had them really even struggle to get out of my hands.
A problem you may run into though is their diet, wild caught snakes may be hard to feed mice to. Their diets in the wild include small lizards and toads.

As for your boyfriend saying "the breeder uses this" or "the breeder says this" etc. Just like with dogs and cats, not all reptile breeders are concerned with producing and keeping healthy animals.


-In general the people at petsmart and petco no nothing about the animals they sell, it's just a job to them. Never believe anything told to you at a pet store, always do your own research.
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
thanks guys!
Yes, I do know that I'd end up with having to buy a bigger tank...for sure. On the other hand, the bigger tank would probably be worth it to take a little sick dragon out of a neglectful situation. There's something that tells me that it's not going to happen, so we'll see.
I was planning on taking the snake out for feedings, as you suggested but that begs a second question. If you're taking the animal out for feedings, what does it matter what kind of substrate you have it on?

I had a feeling the snake wasn't poisonous, and yeah, I very rarely listen very intently to those folks, they just sometimes sound like they know what they're talking about.

I don't think I'll ever be able to convince ryan to change his mind about his substrate, but at least I can learn about proper care...and then change things when we move in together and I end up taking care of the reptiles lol!
post #19 of 22
well some snakes need certain bedding for moisture issues so they can breath better and shed easier there are alot of different reasons like all my snake have different types of terrarium subtrate. my blood uses forest bark (he needs alot of moisture)but you have to be careful with that stuff cause there are little tiny bugs in this stuff so I always boil it drain it then cook it in the oven for a long time to kill anything (and it sucks cleaning when you go to clean the cage)and again just like someone said you dont want to feed them in this stuff but then again you always want to sperate the feeding area from there home enviroment. for temperment reasons more or less. I used to use crushed walnut (it say biodegradable but I beg to differ)for my redtail but now I use just plain green turf same for my caliking (by the way do a little more research on these guys cause they shouldnt need anything bigger then a 20/L) the plain green turf is easy to clean but if you have a snake that needs alot of moisture all the time then this is not the right kind of bedding for you. unless you get a seperate container and fill it with reptile moss and keep it moiste and cut a hole for them to go in and out. they usually know when they need it. as for shelfs we have built our own stands for them and they have a room of there own so we keep our animals away from there room. sorry I wish I could help you a little better. when we had them in the living room I caught one of my cats inside the tank with my redtail just sitting at the other corner lid was on it and everything and this was a slide off lid you know a basic reptile enclosure I still have no clue how he got in there anyway that is when the snakes got promoted to there own room. if you need to know anything else feel free to write me. Oh! Ball pythons are good starter snakes but again will eventually need a bigger cage.

p.s I wouldnt use aspen with any type of reptile or animal this is just my opinion (experience) there is to much dust that can cause respritory problems in snakes.
post #20 of 22
make sure you do your research and know them entirely

Rear-fanged venomous
Although Western Hognose snakes are rear-fanged venomous, this is nothing to worry about. Firstly, the enlarged teeth are located so posteriorly in the jaw that you'd just about have to have your finger down the snake's throat to be punctured. Secondly, the salivary secretions of this snake are not very potent as far as humans are concerned. The primary function of the toxic secretions is to subdue toads as they are being swallowed and they are rather ineffective on anything much larger. In fact, it is believed that the primary function of the enlarged teeth is really to puncture and deflate toads.

Here is a great site for you if you do plan to get a Hognose. http://www.baars.org/hognose.html

They are a great pet.

post #21 of 22
That's kind of odd, they're usually listed as non-venomous and I have seen them in pet stores with no mention or restrictions on buying them, even in communities that have venomous snake laws (at least one community even has BSL, go figure ).
I have handled some wild western hognose, and never even had them bluff that they would bite - unlike the corns and bullsnakes that try to pretend they're rattlesnakes.



Edit: Further reading - they're like western garters. That said (and read) I'd rather get bit by a hognose then have another cat bite.... I think that puts their 'danger' to humans in prospective.
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
lol! ok, that does put it into perspective.
it might have been a bullsnake that we saw at petsmart, come to think of it. Either way, it's good to have information on the hognose, since I know she did suggest it.
Still no word on the dragon, and given that the boyfriend just got a second position at his workplace, we might not be able to go to the show...have to see.
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