East Bay Vivarium
1827-C 5th Street
Berkeley, Ca 94710
Temperature: Snakes should be kept in cages that provide both cool and warm options. North American and other temperate climate snakes should have a cool end of 75ŻF and a hot end of 85ŻF. Tropical and desert snakes should have a cool end of 80ŻF and a hot end of 90ŻF. All temperature readings should be taken on the floor of the cage.
Water: fresh water should be available at all times. The water bowl should be placed on the cool side of the cage and be large enough for the snake to fully immerse itself in.
Substrate: Screened pine or aspen is appropriate for the bottom of the tank. Avoid cedar and other aromatic woods. Coconut husk or other moisture holding substrate can work well with some tropical snakes.
Hide box: Provide a warm dark place for your snake to hide in. Cork bark, domed logs and other reptile products work well. For tropical snakes or snakes with shedding problems provide a “moss box” consisting of a piece of Tupperware with moist moss in it.
Tank size: 10-15 gallon for most baby snakes and appropriate sized tanks for larger snakes.
Feeding: A snake’s diet consists primarily of rodents. Most baby snakes eat “pink mice” (1-10 days old). As the snake grows larger the size of their food will also increase. A snake’s food item should be 80-100% the diameter of your snake in the widest part of their body. Many of the baby snakes we sell will never eat anything larger than an adult mouse or rat. Rodents are a complete source of nutrition. No vitamin supplements are required.
Baby snakes are sometimes fussy eaters. If your snake has problems taking its food off the bottom of the tank, first try dangling the food in front of the snake with forceps or tongs. If this doesn’t work put the snake and its food in a small paper bag, seal the bag and leave them overnight on the cool side of the cage (no weaned prey). This arrangement provides a secure eating environment without distractions.
As soon as your snake is eating food with open eyes and teeth, we strongly recommend that you feed frozen/thawed food. This avoids the real risk of injury to the snake.
Spot clean your tank once a week and clean out the entire cage about once a month or as needed.
Your baby snakes should shed about once every month. Older snakes will shed less often. Make sure your snake is well hydrated when it is in shed. A soak will be beneficial.
Do NOT handle your snake for the first few days that you have it. Make sure it eats for you first. Always give your snake 24 hours of no handling after it eats. After that more frequent handling is fine
The first sign of a problem is a lack of appetite. If your snake won’t eat stop handling it, check your temperatures and give us a call.