Considering getting back in the hobby....

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Considering getting back in the hobby....

Postby Reynard » Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:25 pm

Sup guys! Some of you might remember me. Been out of the herp thing a few years now. Considering getting back in. So I need to ask your advice on what to keep.

Looking for something venomous (have handled, never kept though). But if there's something else I won't turn any opinions away. What I've kept: red tails (quite a few), a burm, green anaconda and some corns. I'd love to get back into the red tails but I simply don't have the space. A must for me is something colourful.

So here's where my dilemma comes in. Limited space (arboreal?) And I'm staying in the Hoedspruit area. So its permanently hot. In the past I was heavy on keeping my temps and humidity on the dot. Which won't be easy here seeing as it's rarely under 35 degrees. How do I get past this? Which snake will be cool with this minimum summer temp?

If I could currently chose I'd go for a Sri Lankan palm viper. But I just haven't had the time to thoroughly check their temps and housing requirements. I of someone could help me with that it would be great.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Considering getting back in the hobby....

Postby Westley Price » Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:38 pm

Hi Reynard

Although you have handled venomous snakes in the past, keeping them is a whole other kettle of fish.

I would say still go for a "starter" venomous. People have this impression that starter venomous are boring or that the more venomous a snake, the "cooler" they are, which is obviously rubbish.

If you are not opposed to keeping indigenous snakes I would suggest any of the Aspidelaps sp. They are bulletproof and come from parts of the country (and surrounding countries) which are extremely hot. One subspecies is even considered exotic so you could keep them without permits.

They have beautiful colours and have bucket loads of attitude so you wont get bored of them any time quick.

Good luck and hope you find something you like.
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Re: Considering getting back in the hobby....

Postby Reynard » Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:48 pm

Awesome, thanks Westley.

Had a look at the Aspidelaps sp. and I found them quite interesting. I just have some questions. The exotic species you referred to must then be from the northern localities, correct? And I see these northern localities are less colorful than the ones we get here. Another concern that I have is that human fatalities have occurred from the bite of these Corals (not that I plan on getting bit xD , they just don't seem to match your "starter" venomous.) or is that not to be of concern? What would the price of these be if I were to be able to find some babies? And how could I go around getting a permit to keep indigenous species?

Sticking to the indigenous scheme of things... What do you think of the Horned Adders (Bitis caudalis) as an alternative to the corals? Their venom seems to be less potent and i seriously dig the look. I've always had a thing for the bitis xD . The other day I had quite the argument with a gentleman at a reptile park which told me that a Gaboon Adder and a Gaboon Viper are two different things, even though in my books Viper and Adder are exactly the same thing? Do you possibly know anything about this? I've done some reading of my own and the most that I was able to find is that the Southern African Bitis gabonica are a whole lot smaller than those from Central and East Africa.

I'm really looking for hopefully something hardy and arboreal. Venomous or not.
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Re: Considering getting back in the hobby....

Postby Westley Price » Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:03 pm

Hi Reynard

The fatalities from Aspidelaps were from a now defunct subspecies which used to be called infuscatus, but are now grouped with cowlesi, which is the exotic species. I stand to be corrected, but I think the fatalities were all children and although they are highly venomous, they are on the milder side.

Yeah, they're a bit duller in colour than the lubricus, but they make up for that in attitude.

And don't forget about A. scutatus; the one subspesies are quite colourful. They also come in an Anery morph which is quite pretty.

They are all bred quite regularly by guys from KZN who would be easily able to get you permits when exporting from the province at very little cost so no big deal there. I am not sure about pricing though. I think Shield noses are around 600-900 which the Corals are a tad more expensive.

Horned Adders are okay I guess, but keep in mind the difference between Cytotoxic vs neurotoxic venom. They are also bred less regularly and more expensive than Aspidelaps. Also, for a starter venomous they are finicky and could be difficult to get feeding as babies.

Gaboon Adder and Viper is same thing, although there are two different species of Gaboon.

Hardy and arboreal....I would suggest look at Rhino Ratsnakes. They're semi-arboreal and tough as nails once feeding. Not to mention that they're stunning. Prices have gone down significantly the past year or two and they're bred often.
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Re: Considering getting back in the hobby....

Postby Reynard » Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:39 pm

I dislike Rhino Rats. The A. lubricus are also far prettier than the scutatus. They make me think of my mother when I didn't eat my veggies.

Thanks a lot for your help. I think I'll just have to wait and see what opportunities present themselves when the time arrives and I have funds ready.
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Re: Considering getting back in the hobby....

Postby mania » Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:07 pm

Another non venomous arboreal snake I could recommend is an Amazon Tree Boa. There are quite a few colour ranges in SA and in all the years I have kept mine, I found that a big water bowl and maybe spray once a month works like a charm. They also quite nippy so it is a bit of a good snake to start with before keeping arboreal vipers as it shows just how difficult it can be at times to get them off branches while being struck at.
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Re: Considering getting back in the hobby....

Postby Reynard » Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:44 pm

Mania, I was always under the impression that they are extremely fussy? Almost like a GTP?
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Re: Considering getting back in the hobby....

Postby mania » Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:07 am

No i honestly have not found them fussy. I have got 4 at the moment, a breeding pair of adults, a sub adult male and a juvenile female and all are in the same tank, with a heating pad, large water bowl branches and plastic plants and they doing really well. My males did go off food for a while over winter but other than that I honestly spray about once a month. Sometimes if i see they go into the blue then ill spray the tank a few days after the eyes have cleared.

Green tree pythons are a bit more fussy in that i have two water bowls in the tank, one over the heat and the other on the cold side and spray them once to twice a week. But also think people tend to think they alot more difficult than what they really are.
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Re: Considering getting back in the hobby....

Postby Reynard » Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:40 pm

What temp do you keep your tank at? What do the neonates go for approximately?
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Re: Considering getting back in the hobby....

Postby Ruan Stander » Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:54 pm

You won't have any luck getting a keeping permit for an indigenous reptile in Limpopo. I would suggest one of the Asian pit-vipers or ratsnakes. They are colourful and will tolerate the heat down in Hoedspruit.
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Re: Considering getting back in the hobby....

Postby Reynard » Sat Feb 27, 2016 10:16 am

Asian pit viper. Sri Lanka palm viper? :D
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Re: Considering getting back in the hobby....

Postby Ruan Stander » Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:24 am

Yup, I would say that's a good choice if you will treat it with the respect it deserves.
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Re: Considering getting back in the hobby....

Postby Reynard » Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:01 pm

Any idea of cage requirements? Looking at the exo terrace 45cm x 45cm x 45cm. I need to read up on them but I am suffering from lazyweakendness
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Re: Considering getting back in the hobby....

Postby mania » Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:22 pm

My amazon tree boas tank ranges between 28 and 30 degrees in summer, winter I can't recall each tank but snake room temp was around 26 degrees. Neonates range from about R700 up to about R2000 depends on the colour you get.
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Re: Considering getting back in the hobby....

Postby Westley Price » Mon Feb 29, 2016 7:52 am

Reynard wrote:I need to read up on them but I am suffering from lazyweakendness


Dude, if you are too lazy to Google then you have a serious problem :lol:
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