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RE: Setup & Costs for baby cal kingsnake

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Posted by: FunkyRes at Tue Jul 11 02:59:12 2006  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by FunkyRes ]  
   

There is a care sheet for kingsnakes I think hosted here, but I'll show you what I'm doing.

I don't know what your budget it, but I recently set up a tank for a baby arizona mt king. Cal Kings get bigger, but for a baby, the setup I did should work.

I would not go smaller than 10 Gallon aquarium if you haven't already bought a cage.

Don't use a wallmart 10 Gal aquarium - they are cheaper than same size aquariums elsewhere, but the plastic ridge on the outside - it is too flexible for a lot of the clips that screen lids use, resulting in clips that don't stay in place (resulting in escaped snakes).

A lot of places sell 10 Gal setups that include a lid already that is appropriate for keeping these escape artists in - and yes, kingsnakes are escape artists. Most snakes are to some extent, but kings are good at it. So if you can get a tank built with snakes in mind - that's great. Just don't get a wooden tank with a built in light socket. Wooden is fine (but more $$$), but king snakes should be heated from beneath, not a light bulb.

The heating pad I'm using now cost ~ $25.00 or so at local pet store, and attaches to the bottom (heats through the glass). Thermostat controlled is better, but more expensive. The heat source should be on ONE SIDE of the cage, not in the middle - so the snake has warm and cool and can pick.

Needs a water dish. I tend to like the fancy ones that look like rocks, but the snake doesn't care what it looks like, a small dog water dish can be had for a few bucks at a typical grocery store and work extremely well. Water dish should be on the cool side of the tank.

Needs a hiding spot. I like to use broken ceramic pots that they can crawl under, but I just found a really neat product that I'm using with my young female Cal King (~ 30 inches) that she absolutely loves. It was ~ $30.00 and she will soon outgrow it, but it really looks good and she likes it so much I bought a second for my Arizona Mt. King. There should also be a hiding spot on the cool side of the tank.

For bedding - I like to use the Coconut Fiber product made by Fluker's. I pay about $4.00 (little less) per brick, but one brick is way way more than a 10 Gallon tank needs. It's a little bit of a PITA to work with because it has to expand in hot water, then have the water squeezed out of it and dried. But it's really nice bedding, I love it because it absorbs moisture well, and the snakes love to dig in it.

Picture of neat hiding cave - the two pieces are held together with magnets:




The 10 Gallon setup for my yearling Arizona Mt King (arriving Wedensday) is below. This tank is designed for reptiles, though I wish the screen were a stronger material.



That thing next to the water dish is a broken piece of a pot - so that the snake has a hiding place on the cool side of the cage.

-=-

For a cal king, it will outgrow a 10 Gal in a couple of years, but a 10 Gal. should serve for awhile. Lid needs to be tight, I like the kind that slide in and have hole for inserting a metal rod to keep them from opening. Hiding places can be cheap (like the broken plant pot) or designer (like the cave) - the snake itself doesn't really care too much, as long as it can completely hide. One on warm side, one on cool side.
-----
3.0 WC; 0.1 CB L. getula californiae
0.1 CB L. pyromelana pyromelana
0.1 WC Elgaria multicarinata multicarinata (gravid)


   

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