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-   -   First time corn snake set up (http://www.faunaclassifieds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=680414)

KellC 01-19-2019 03:20 PM

First time corn snake set up
Hi my daughter finally convinced me to get her a corn snake. Today she set up her enclosure. Corn snake has not arrived yet. We want to get the enclosure right first.

The tank is a Zilla critter cage 20 Long. She has a UTH on the right side. There are 3 “hides” one stoneware hide on the warm side. A paper bowl hide in the middle and a simulated rock hide on the cool side. Also some suction cup plants and a toilet paper tube for exploring.

We aren’t sure what type of thermostat to use. Is a jumpstart ok or do we need something else?

Also with the tank the corner do we still need to cover one side of the tank?

Anything else we are missing?


bcr229 01-19-2019 04:37 PM

A Jumpstart thermostat is ok, Herpstats are better. I think they make an "Intro" or "Hobby" model that's around $50.

When your corn snake outgrows that, get a proper reptile enclosure rather than a screen-top tank. Snakes are strong enough to push through the soft screen mesh once they get bigger.

KellC 01-19-2019 05:01 PM

Darn, I thought I made a good choice with the type of cage. This one was reccomended in a sticky on Cornsnake.com’s forum. Will the snake be safe? I would really hate for my mistake to end up with a lost or hurt snake.

I will look into the Herpstat versions. Thank you.

Socratic Monologue 01-19-2019 05:42 PM

I agree with Melinda regarding the thermostat. Cheap ones work OK, until they don't, and then you'll wish you bought one that is known to be more reliable. Herpstats are very reliable; I use many of them.

I don't keep corns, and I respect Melinda's knowledge, so I'm not trying to disagree with anything she says. A 20 long seems to be the (bare) minimum recommended caging for a corn, and lots of folks here don't think that aiming for the minimum is ideal.

If your snake grows to a larger than minimum size, and if it wants to test its caging, a 'proper reptile enclosure' is going to be best, and perhaps even necessary. Screens and snakes don't always get along -- a snake that rubs to test its enclosure is going to have a health issue (rostral abrasions) in a screen top cage.

A 'proper reptile enclosure' is one like this:


I think Melinda's point was that if/when you find that a critter cage isn't quite ideal, this is the sort of enclosure you might consider. I hope that if I'm reading her wrong she puts me in my place.:)

KellC 01-19-2019 06:01 PM

Ok so the Herpstat is a definite. I’ll order tonight.

I am a total novice, I have only ever owned mammals, and clearly I have a lot to learn. As the supervising adult for this snake’s care, I want to do the best job for both my daughter and the snake. I definitely don’t want to put an animal in a “bare minimum” situation. I hope I can get a year out of the tank I purchased.

Thank you for the link. To be honest though, the choices on the linked Animal Plastics page seems extremely intimidating. There are are many ways to customize, which is probably great for someone who knows exactly what they want or need. I guess I need to read more to figure this out.Thank you both for advising me.

Socratic Monologue 01-19-2019 06:33 PM

I only use Animal Plastics cages and high-end tubs for most of my reptiles -- I have about sixty breeding animals -- but I think you'll get more than a year out of that cage. I stuck my nose into this because it seemed like you reacted in a discouraged way, and I don't think that's the right response.

I think the cage you've set up looks like it will be fine for the time being -- there aren't any huge red flags that I can see -- but I'm glad that it was made clear that you may be looking at something more, sometime in the snake's future.

As you and your daughter own and care for your snake, you'll learn much more about what you need and want to change. This is a learning sort of hobby, no matter how you start out in it. It sounds as if you are off to a good start, so enjoy yourselves, and ask more questions as they arise.

bcr229 01-19-2019 06:58 PM

Your current setup will last a few years but an adult really needs more space. Snakes in general and colubrids in particular are escape artists, which is why I suggested a reptile enclosure as it's adult home. Otherwise you may wind up repeating a conversation I had with my daughter when one of my king snakes took an unauthorized slither-about:

DD: Hey Mom, I think Shadow escaped.

Me: Why do you say that?

DD: She's hanging from the light switch in the bathroom.

KellC 01-19-2019 08:45 PM

Yes I admit I was/am a bit discouraged. I really want to be a good owner/ teach my daughter to be a good owner and I was sad that I made a bad choice even before the snake is in our home.

I really appreciate the help and encouragement. Thank you.

KellC 01-19-2019 08:50 PM

Oh my! I would definitely like to avoid any unauthorized leaves.
Are they less likely to try to wander in a large enclosure like the ones Socratic Monologue mentioned? Or do they all get wanderlust and a cage like those is just better at keeping them safely contained?

bcr229 01-20-2019 06:53 AM

They'll wander any chance they get. The enclosures designed for reptiles are just better at containing them.

Since you have time I would keep an eye on Craigslist and your local Facebook reptile sale groups for used reptile enclosures. If you have cash and can pick up quickly you can score some sweet deals. Just make sure you thoroughly clean and disinfect it before using it.

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