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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since most people don't get to see many reptiles, I thought I'd post some pics of my reptile collection for you guys. I don't have updated pics of everyone and I don't have any pics of my geckos, but I do have some of most of the snakes. Most of the outdoor shots were taken around easter last year.

I've been keeping reptiles for ~8 years now. I started with crested geckos and have kept them as my classroom pets, which the kids love. I also have snakes, a blue tongue skink, and some gargoyle geckos. The snake species I currently have are: ball pythons, boa constrictors (BCI / BCA), Kenyan sand boas, a Brazilian rainbow boa, and a jaguar carpet python.

Now for the pics!
Two of my ball python females, "Cinna" a cinnamon morph (bottom of pic) and "Elaine" a pastave (pastel / mojave morph).


A newer pic of Cinna from earlier this year showing how large she is and her patterning.


"Kirby" my hypo male BCI (common boa)


A closeup shot of Kirby's scales in better lighting. This is normally the color he looks outside.


"Jax" my male south Brazilian BCA (boa constrictor amarali)


"Gambit" a motley CA bci (Central American common boa)


"Rogue" my Brazilian rainbow boa. This pic does not do justice to her colors



"Quincy" A blue tongue skink


"Zelda" a female Kenyan sand boa (anery morph). She is about twice this large now.. ~ 3' long which is her adult size


Now two planted terrariums. The first is 12" x 12" x 18" and will house a single gargoyle gecko once everything is grown in. The second is an 18"x18"x24" and houses a single crested gecko in my classroom





I don't have any pics of the snake enclosures or my carpet... I will try to take some and update the thread later this week.
I hope you enjoyed the pics!
 

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It's really nice to see some of your scaly pets! :)
The pattern and colour of the Brazilian rainbow boa is particularly interesting, I have never seen one up until now.
Thank you for sharing these, I will be waiting for the extra pics! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys!
Reptiles almost always look better in natural light and in person. Many of these snakes don't look good inside (under florescent or incandescent light). The pic of rogue does not do her justice in any way... I will try to get an outdoor pic of her so that you can see her iridescence.

Faerybee- Reptiles don't take up as much room / time as you'd thihk. Mine eat every 1-4 weeks depending on the species and age and they poo / pee around the same interval. I change water several times a week and check enclosures, but the snakes are just as happy not being handled as when I take them out. I try to handle all of them at least once a week to check for issues though.

I use 4'x 2' pvc enclosures to house my larger two snakes and the skink. As the others grow they will also be upgraded to enclosures. Right now most of the snakes live in snake racks, which is like a drawer system with heating and clear plastic tubs. Some species like the sand boas and ball pythons are more comfortable and less nervous when housed this way. Others, like the carpet, BRB, and Gambit, will be upgraded as they grow large enough for an enclosure.

I house all the reptiles in a single spare bedroom and heat it using a space heater hooked up to an industrial thermostat. This keeps the room at 75f in the winter months. I use a humidifer when the heater runs a lot to keep humidity up as well. All of the racks and cages have either heat tape or heating pads (under tank heaters) hooked up to a herpstat (reptile-specific thermostat) and the lighting is on a timer system. About the only thing I don't have is an electric mister.. I'd love one, but they are pricey and can malfunction, flooding the enclosures they are hooked to.

Pegg- I love corn snakes... So active and all the bright colors! Unfortunately, they are a native species in my state and are illegal to own, so I won't be able to own any unless I move out of state at some point. :/

I will try to get a few updated pics for you guys and post this weekend. :)
 

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I think reptiles are fascinating. I used to love lizards and frogs ever since I was a young child. I looked into keeping some again several years ago, but through my resesrch, I realized that to do it right it can be about as involved as fishkeeping, which is a hobby I don't do anymore because I have my hands full enough with my 2 budgies and 3 parrots already :).

I know someone else (internet, not in person) who also has the most beautiful snake collection. She talked about and showed the rack system you mentioned. I had no idea some species were kept that way.

You said you have a crested gecko? I'd love to see that! Years ago I had a pair of Standingi day geckos. The large mature male clamped onto my hand so hard I could not get it off, until stuck my hand (and him) in a bag and he jumped off. It was quite painful. Ah memories... I wish I could get something reptilian again :).
 

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You have a wonderful collection.

We have an amazing reptile pet shop near us and they recently had a venomous open day where they bought some of their own pets in for people to see as well as having a monitor lizard and some other great exotics.

I'm always fascinated by lizards and do think I'd like to own one but I've never taken the step. Plus I don't have any room left now as I'm maxed out with birds. :p

Is there any type of snake of lizard that you'd like to own?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ravensgryf- I'll try and get a pic of some of the geckos for you. My adult crested is at school but my juvie and gargoyles are here at home. Some species are hard to care for and time-intensive. Especially the amphibians and many lizard species. Others are really low maintanance. My BTS only eats once time and week and can be quite happy with canned dog food (I also mix in raw egg, veggies, etc. but it is not necessary). You just need to give them a good heat source and make sure you supplement calcium D3 and vitamins. My boas only eat once every 4 weeks and like the skink, you just provide proper heat.. Both of these get misted once - twice a day. My geckos eat every 2 days and are fine at room temps and can live in smaller terrariums, so they aren't so bad. Since they are nocturnal, they don't even get supplemented with UVB... Their diet includes Cal D3 and vitamins. I used to keep freshwater planted tanks (high light, co2, etc.) so I know what you mean about the work load... That is one reason I got out of fish. I would not keep any of the monitors, a bearded dragon, the uromastyx, or dart frogs due to that...I think the work load would be similar.

Sassy- Thanks! I love mine too... He/ She has so much personality. He is a Meruke, I'd love to get a northern Australian BTS.. Many here breed them and I'd love a CB one. Mine was "farm raised" and doesn't appreciate handling.

Therm- I have a list of my "most wanted" reptiles lol. I'd always love more morph gargoyle geckos, but my main desire is for some locality boas... namely BCL (boa constrictor longicauda), Nicaraguan boas, and a non-locality morph boa, a BCI called a "sunglow". A combination of albino and hypo...resulting in an animal that is pinkish with coral patterning. I will not be getting any more ball pythons, even though they are gorgeous... They do not feed well. My female Elaine from the pics above went on a months' long hunger strike and lost a TON of weight. She just decided that she no longer wanted f/t rats like she used to take easily. I finally got her to eat, but she will only take f/t mice now, so has to be fed 2-3 at a time which is not the healthiest thing. You don't get problems like that with boas or carpet pythons.

I would also be interested in some sort of frog at some point.. I was looking into pixie frogs or whites tree frogs (dumpy tree frogs). They take more time and care though, so I am going to wait and see how time intensive the birds are first. A leopard gecko wouldn't be out of the question either... I've never had one and think they are beautiful. I have a bug colony to feed my skink and geckos and think I would have plenty of feeders for a frog also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Some more hard-earned pics from today lol.
This is my largest garg "chubs". He has roughly tripled in size since I got him in April. He is not used to handling yet and I took him near a window for pics. The little guy jumped about 3 feet from my hand into open air and then scurried under our fridge... cue me with flashlight, husband with a broom on top of the fridge to scoot him out. :/ Once I did get him back, he peed on me for good measure, but this is the best pic I've ever gotten of him, so maybe it was worth it. :p


Here is a pic of Harry, my jaguar carpet python. He is mostly Iranian Jaya, but also a small percentage coastal carpet. He is very flighty and doesn't like to be handled, so I got a pic of him in his tub. Note that this size tub (cb70) has about the same footprint as a 40gallon "breeder" size aquarium.


Here is a pic of the skink enjoying his chow for this week. I just love the polka-dot arms lol


Jax in his enclosure. The lighting isn't the best (it is a neutral LED strip) so his color is off.


This is a pic showing the stack of pvc cages. The skink is on top with Kirby in the middle, and Jax below. Please excuse the glass. There are reflections and i sprayed them this morning, so there is some condensation on the glass too.


Here are the two racks I have. The CB70 is on the right and the smaller rack (equivilant to 20gl footprint) is on the left. You can see some of hte snake names on the tubs. Several have condensation from me spraying them today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks guys! It was the beauty of reptiles that drew me to them.. Especially the patterning on the snake species.. So much variety!

shaz2128blue- If you are really interested in snakes, just do a LOT of research first.. There are some species like corn and king snakes (and Kenyan sand boas) that are easy to care for. There are some species that are harder, but it is best to start with a species that tolerates a wider range of temperature and humidity.

I did a lot of research before getting started with mine and it was very helpful. I'd say the hardest thing is getting the right enclosure and getting the humidity and temperature right. I would not advise going with a glass tank.. Either a plastic tub setup or a pvc cage (like mine) is best. I used to keep my ball pythons in large plastic bins with locking lids before I got the rack and they worked well. It takes a lot of patience and a good bit of money to get the right equipment though. A good thermostat is a must as a poor one can burn your snakes quickly.

I would not say snakes or reptiles are "affectionate" like some mammals and birds can be. Most reptiles learn to tolerate handling and may look forward to getting out of their enclosure and moving around. Some may wrap around you or lay on you, but it is because you are warm and act as a heat source and not an expression of affection. That said, some of the more intelligent species like blue tongue skinks and monitors / tegus have been shown to recognize their owner and learn "tricks", etc. Some even appear to enjoy petting if tamed from an early age.

Other than researching, I'd say purchasing your reptile from a good breeder and getting a juvenile and not a young hatchling is the most important thing to do... Often very young snakes are tricky to feed and as a newbie, you want an animal that feeds well on frozen/thawed rodents. I would not advocate buying from a pet store.

You are right about rats.. Some of mine have been very affectionate, but I have found that is not the norm.. At least, not unless you buy from a breeder with really good lines. Most of my rats are very smart and know their name and know things like when it is feeding time or cage cleaning time, etc.
 

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This thread is so interesting! I'm learning a lot by reading all of your replies :). That's an amazing pic of the Gargoyle gecko. Thank goodness you managed to get a great pic after all you went through to get the pic :D! I love those eyes. So exotic. Dog food for the skink? That's interesting.

This is making me daydream a bit. Now I wish I could get some reptiles and frogs, fish tanks again, more parrots, more budgies, and a puppy... :laughing2: but right now just isn't the best time unfortunately! I'll be looking forward to seeing your new posts here :).
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ravensgryf- In the wild, skinks are scavengers and feed on dead bodies, vegitation, and any fruits / veggies available (usually fallen on the ground and rotting). The ywill also eat worms, snails, bugs, etc. I know many breeders that have been breeding for decades and successfully raise their skinks on cheap dogfood (pedigree) with vitamin / d3 supplements. I go a step further and mix some raw eggs, shredded veggies, and egg shell into my dog food first. I then freeze the batch in ice cube trays and thaw out every week. Some people try to make a totally homemade diet (using whole meats, veggies, supplements, etc.) but it is safer / easier to use dogfood as a base because it already contains vitamins and minerals, some organ meats, etc.

My geckos eat a prepared diet too.. You can buy it in powder form (like a protein shake for humans) and add water to it. It contains honey, pollen, nectar, fruit, vitamins, minerals, and protein (some kinds even use bug protein). The geckos seem to love it and it provides a whole diet for them. I will also offer live bugs dusted with d3/cal and vitamins every once in a while. The skink will also eat live prey and absolutely loves blueberries and green beans.

If I had to recommend a starter reptile, I'd hands-down go with a blue tongue or pink tongue skink if you have room for a 4'x2' enclosure. These guys will use all of the space you give them. If you aren't queasy, I'd go with a snake... Even less maintenance if you can handle feeding f/t rodents. I enjoy handling the snakes more... no risk of jumping behind the fridge like with the geckos :D

I'm glad you're enjoying my posts. I love talking about my reptiles and helping people start out. I used to be a mod on a FW aquarium forum when I was in college and liked helping people then too. Reptiles are a lot like fish in that the advice you get at the pet store just doesn't cut it and will often lead to dead animals.

Reptiles are also similar to fish in that starting out is expensive... The proper enclosure, heat, light, etc. can set you back a lot. I remember putting about $600 into my first planted high light tank back in the day and it can cost you about that much to setup a 4x2 enclosure.. The enclosures run about $350 and up depending on who you buy from and a good thermostat will run between $200 - $500.. I have two herpstats, one that can run 2 enclosures and one that does 4. Food isn't that expensive unless you are keeping something that eats veggies and live insects (and you don't have an insect colony to feed them). Frozen rodents are pretty reasonable if you buy online in bulk.

If you ever decide to give it a go, just pm me and I can recommend some brands of stuff and websites that are reputable. We also have an online forum that has a huge BOI for dealers and breeders that helps keep the community somewhat honest (it is a board of inquiry that you can post questions about dealers or stories of who to avoid). There are a lot of shady people in the industry (same with birds I'd imagine) so it pays to be careful. :/
 

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It's so nice to see people who really take the time to research the animal of interest, and provide the best diet, environment, proper set up and equipment, etc. whether it's birds, reptiles or any animal.

There is a great reptile store near me. Clean, large store with a wide selection of reptiles and amphibians. I think they usually have some fairly rare species too. That BOI on the reptile forum sounds like a great idea. Maybe "someday" when I can add more animals :). If that time comes, I will definitely PM you.
 
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