Corn Snake natural viv

Corn Snake natural viv

Postby Francois » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:55 pm

I have recently found my Corn snake after being lost for a month and I have decided to do what I've always wanted with his cage. I have put in BSS (Bioactive Substrate System) and for those who don't know what it is, it is basically a small ecosystem in the cage. The substrate will break down any feces which means it will "never" have to be replaced and you can plant plants in it.

For those who saw my best display snake thread, I have decided to wait a little with the project, until their are rhino rat snakes for sale or I am done with this project.

I started by lining the wooden cage with 2 layers of plastic so that the moisture will not make it swell.

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Then I mixed the BSS. I used a mixture of peat, bark, river sand and fired clay.

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I put the mixture in the cage along with the decorations and my anery corn.

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I added a few plants. First a small palm type and then a bromeliad, some peace in the home (ground cover) and plant with pink leaves :D I don't know if any will survive because of the low amount of light.

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Then yesterday my dad brought me a LED strip with 12 lights on. He got it from a friend at work that imported a box with about 30 strips with 3 LEDs on each for about R180, where a LED strip with 10 on at Builders Warehouse will cost you about R200! This is how it looks with the lights.

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My corn has been digging up all my plants for the last few days so it looks like he likes it. He also lies in the open more often. Before I did this I never really showed my cage to a lot of people and when I opened it their was a bad smell to it. Now I show my artwork to everyone and it has that earthy smell. I would recommend this substrate to anyone!

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Re: Corn Snake natural viv

Postby dobby7 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:12 pm

Wow man that looks really good :D Did you leave the plastic in sheets or melt it with a hairdryer or something??
If you cant beat them, join them. If you cant join them, shoot them.
1.1.0 Red tail boas
1.4.2 Corn Snakes
0.0.2 Heralds
1.1.0 Brown House snakes
1.1.0 Copperheads
0.0.2 Leopard geckos
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Re: Corn Snake natural viv

Postby dobby7 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:14 pm

Okay I was being a little lazy and didnt look close enough at all. It lookes really good man, I hope that it continues to work like this in future.
If you cant beat them, join them. If you cant join them, shoot them.
1.1.0 Red tail boas
1.4.2 Corn Snakes
0.0.2 Heralds
1.1.0 Brown House snakes
1.1.0 Copperheads
0.0.2 Leopard geckos
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Re: Corn Snake natural viv

Postby Francois » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:22 pm

Thanks! I left it there as you saw, but melting it might be a good idea. I just don't think a hairdryer will work. Very few people have noticed the plastic and only see it after I tell them.
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Re: Corn Snake natural viv

Postby dobby7 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:27 pm

I hardly noticed it :smt017 Im keen to try the same thing once I decide which snake to display. I might PM you for the finer details regarding that substrate if thats okay.
If you cant beat them, join them. If you cant join them, shoot them.
1.1.0 Red tail boas
1.4.2 Corn Snakes
0.0.2 Heralds
1.1.0 Brown House snakes
1.1.0 Copperheads
0.0.2 Leopard geckos
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Re: Corn Snake natural viv

Postby Ryuu » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:21 pm

Could you Please Tell me What exactly did you put in that Substrate?

"BSS. I used a mixture of peat, bark, river sand and fired clay."

Whats the Active Ingredient?
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Re: Corn Snake natural viv

Postby Francois » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:02 pm

There is a good book on BSS called the art of snake keeping by Philippe De Vosjoli. There are also some articles in this months (Nov-Dec) Ultimate Exotics and other in earlier magazines.

I actually only followed instructions and advice from the books and people so I am not that clued up, but I believe the active ingredient would be beneficial bacteria in the peat moss/ peat moss based potting soil. I also forgot to mention that some people (including me) ad earthworms and pill bugs to further break down big waste and aerate the soil.
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Re: Corn Snake natural viv

Postby Ryuu » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:16 pm

Thank you.

I am Keen on making one for My White Lip.
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Re: Corn Snake natural viv

Postby Athlordian » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:44 pm

That looks really nice, man. Here's some more info on natural vivarium substrates, if anybody would like to read up on it a bit more.

Natural Vivarium Substrate Recipes
13.33.0 Python Regius
0.2.0 Boa Constrictor Imperator
1.0.0 Epicrates Cenchria Maurus

http://www.am-ballpythons.co.za
https://www.facebook.com/am.ballpythons
http://twitter.com/am_ballpythons
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Re: Corn Snake natural viv

Postby Francois » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:53 am

Thanks to everyone that replied!
I have a question that I don't want to open a second thread for. Does anyone know of a vet or someone that can sex my snake or teach me how to sex it ,around the Somerset West or Cape town area?
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Re: Corn Snake natural viv

Postby Westley Price » Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:04 am

When I stayed in Cape Town, I only used Dr Steven Smith at Tygerberg Animal Hospital, close to Tygervalley Mall.

He might charge you though for time, but maybe go there anyway just to meet him. He's a great guy and you can call him for advice etc.
"I am dying by inches from not having anybody to talk to about insects." - Charles Darwin
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Re: Corn Snake natural viv

Postby Unforgiven » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:49 pm

Just a question, but with all the plastic covering, how is the tank ventilated? I cannot see whether the vents have also been covered in plastic, I know that it is a sliding glass door, but I thought that was not enough?

Oh and it looks really nice!
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Re: Corn Snake natural viv

Postby Francois » Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:36 am

I just covered the parts where the substrate will get in contact with the wood. The vents are on the sides close to the top of the cage where it is not covered. I am thinking of adding more vents because the ventilation is not that good and the temperatures can get very high on hot days.
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