Friday, May 16, 2008

Python Revisited

OK. I've rethunk the python situation. I've applied for my Recreational Reptile License from EPA/QPAWS and this should arrive in the next few business days. I've bought myself a small snake hook similar to the one here. I need to buy a bigger one like this as well, but that can wait a little bit.

I've also decided that instead of going out and building vivariums right away, I'd buy a couple of smaller ones off local sellers and use those for now. Much easier to hand over some cash than to have to get all the bits to build one! :)

So, I've spoken to Simon who has decided to offload some of his 25 snakes and get his collection back down to a manageable size of around 10. If you start this as a hobby and then end up with too many, it takes too much time and you lose the enjoyment - like so many things in life.

I'll be buying a pair of apparently unrelated yearling Jungle Pythons (Morelia spilota cheynei) from him, one male and one female (from what we can tell) and a 3 year old male Centralian Python (Morelia bredli). That should easily keep me busy getting used to these guys and also learning what they like and don't like. :)

So, with the new 800 mm wide * 600 mm high (split in 2) * 400 mm deep melamine enclosure, I've decided to take to it with a jigsaw - nothing like taking something brand new and cutting holes in it. :) I'm going to then roof-mount a 25W ceramic heater in an enclosure that I'll likely make from that plastic coated wire mesh you can get at hardware stores, else I'll just buy a commercial one if I can find some well made units.

That will give me a 2 storey vivarium for the 2 * yearling Jungles with one side of the top heated and no heating down the bottom. This should allow for an adequate temperature gradient, with a water bowl and hide on the other side down the bottom and likely also another hide on the other side up the top. This will easily allow these guys another 6-9 months before I need to get a bigger enclosure, maybe even a few months longer.

We're both also looking into the synthetic turf companies for a reasonably priced synthetic turf. It looks like I've found one company that offers this at an acceptable cost/m and I'm getting some samples sent up tonight. Once I know how this pans out, I'll drop their name. :) This is purely aesthetic - the snake won't really care if it has fake grass or not, but it *does* make this vivarium, as it is more a furniture item than if it were stuck in my garage for breeding purposes, look a lot nicer.

I've also ordered some LED ribbon in both blue and red from a LED supplies place. Again, once I know all is good with them, I'll let you know who they are. I've ordered a lot more ribbon length than I think I'll need, but I'll be able to experiment with this in both colors and see how it looks in the vivarium and make sure that it doesn't adversely affect its inhabitants.

The other vivarium is a larger 1250 mm wide * 1050 mm high * 620 mm deep reddish stained pine enclosure. I've not picked this up yet, but the pic seems to show that the staining is quite thorough, ensuring the typical pine issues of released aromatic hydrocarbons shouldn't be an issue. If I'm not 100% certain, then I'll spray a clear lacquer/coating throughout the entire enclosure, as long as that, too, is non-toxic.

The red stain should sit well with the Bredli as it is a reddish python. I'll "grass" the bottom of this vivarium also, and see how the LEDs also go in here. I have another 25W ceramic heater ready to go in this vivarium and think I'll need to make another basking shelf as the single hide box it already has may not be enough for what I want. We'll see.

Later on when I've had time to further consider vivarium designs, I'll make or have made some new ones, probably about 1200 mm * 1200 mm * 600 mm deep overall size with a roughly 150mm false roof to hide the heater and maybe a 100 mm false floor to help with cooling and also storage of equipment. As of now, though, these othe 2 vivariums will easily allow me to have time to think and will achieve the goals of appropriately sized vivariums for the snakes they will house.

Now all I need is my License and to get up to Simon's place and collect my snakes. Then learn how to care for them!


The Outspoken Wookie

1 comment:

Marty said...

You'll have to post some photos of your new pets, once they settle in!