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Cal King behavior update

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Posted by: wftright at Fri Mar 3 18:00:11 2006  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by wftright ]  

About three weeks after adding a large hill of Eco Earth substrate to my California Kingsnake's aquarium, more than a week after my kingsnake's last shed, and almost a week after his post-shed meal, my kingsnake's behavior has been similar to what I've seen in the past. He still spends most of his time hiding under that blue dish. I occasionally see him crawling around the aquarium. When he's moving, he is equally likely to have climbed to the top of his hill or be cruising around the big water bowl.

There's a half-log hide at about a third of the way from the warm end of the aquarium, and I had piled a little cypress mulch in front of the open end that points into the room. The mulch means that most of the area under the hide is hidden from the room. Occasionally, I see him pushing along the side of the aquarium through the mulch and under some moss. One picture shows him doing this burrowing. I have a series of pictures that would make a good animation, but I'm not sure that likes my animations.

While I don't see him digging into the Eco Earth very often, I see evidence that he's burrowing. There's a clearly defined hole in the top of the Eco Earth towards the top of the hill and another place where his burrow intersected the glass wall of the aquarium. One picture below shows him coming out of the hole. Part of his body can also be seen in the log hide. I can also see an opening where he's burrowed under the cool side water dish that sits on top of the hill.

Temperatures in my snake room have risen a bit as spring has come to Louisiana. My room temperature was often around 68 during January and February. Now, I'm seeing 75 much of the time. His thermostat is set around 88 which is the temperature on the top of the bark on the warm side of his aquarium. His warm-side half-log hide has run from about 79 to about 85 with an average in the low 80's. In the middle of the tank, a digital thermometer probe sitting just on top of the substrate stays in the low 80's. A quarter to a half inch under the substrate on top of the hill on the cool end, the temperature stays in the low 70's.

I can't say that I've seen any major change in behavior so far. He's liked hiding under that blue water dish for as long as I've known him. I've asked the pet store to get me another blue water dish in case anything ever happens to this one. I've also considered adding a second one to his cage to see whether he'd use both or just stick to the one he's always had. He's obviously taking advantage of the burrowing space. He may hide under his dish most of the time, but he goes through the Eco Earth occasionally. When he was shedding, he lived in the Eco Earth for days at a time.

I'm glad to know that he's making use of his burrowing space. I'm already planning where to add the next hill. While I don't like the thought of half-filling the whole aquarium, I like providing healthy hills of substrate in which he can burrow. I saw some ground walnut substrate at the store today and am considering building the next hill from this material. Another option is building the next hill from a sand-like material.

Any thoughts?



It's not how many snakes you have. It's how happy and healthy you can keep them.


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