My first Red Tail Boa's

My first Red Tail Boa's

Postby greggo13 » Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:03 am

Hi everyone.

I have just purchased my first snakes. I have a pair of hatchling red tail boa's which are about 2 months old.

I currently have them in a 2 foot fish tank with a heating pad which cover about 40% of the floor space, I have placed this under the polystyrine part of the tank is this correct because I have had to put a basking light in the tank to get the temps up to 30 degrees on the basking side, the cooler side is about 28 degrees.

I have also got a water bowl in which the one boa wont leave, it is in there day and night. Is this ok? because they have both just eaten and I believe tempreture influences the digestion of their food? (I have checked for mites and there is nothing)

I have fed them on the first day that I got them 2 mouse pinkies each and had no problems and then fed them each a fuzzy the following day. Is that ok? and although I have read that you should only feed them every 4-5 days can I feed them more if they will take it? I have read that power feeding is not healthy but if they will eat daily is that just as bad?

I would really appreciate any help!

Greg

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Re: My first Red Tail Boa's

Postby Hustler » Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:16 am

I'd say feed them only every week to give their digestive systems a break. You're going to have to get them a bigger cage pretty soon especially since ther's 2 of them sharing a cage. Remember they are not lizzards and their feeding routine is much different. Also maybe feed them a small mouse then a mouse and as you go on start giving them 2 mice each but I prefer feeding mine rat pups. Try getting them to eat dead food also because it'll only be in their best interests because when they start taking rats the rats will fight back and they can give them pretty bad bites. Hope this helped in any way. Enjoy your new babies :D now how about posting some pics? :)
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Re: My first Red Tail Boa's

Postby greggo13 » Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:24 am

Thank you! I will take your advise. when you say feeding them dead mice. what is the best way of killing the mice?

Greg
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Re: My first Red Tail Boa's

Postby Hustler » Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:43 am

http://www.sareptiles.co.za/forum/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=10889&st=0&sk=t&sd=a There's a lot of different ways here. Just take your pic.
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Re: My first Red Tail Boa's

Postby greggo13 » Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:53 am

thanks again! will post some pic's soon dam camera batteries are dead!
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Re: My first Red Tail Boa's

Postby Whitelipp » Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:43 pm

Congrats mate.Red tails are awesome snakes.They dont grow to quick but I did notice as soon as you start them on rats they grow very quickly because of higher nutritional value. But get some pics up.
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Re: My first Red Tail Boa's

Postby marc bt » Sun Mar 15, 2009 1:14 pm

hi greg,
about your heat pad, cut out the poly from where you are placing the heat pad as poly is an insulator and will not give off that much heat , so cut the poly out and place the heat pad in that area. check the temps after you have done this and if it goes above 36 degrees then take the light out as this will make it too hot for them and they might climb on the light and burn themselves.
make sure there is enough humidty for them, around 60-70% as this helps with shedding. if the humdity is too low then place a larger water bowl in the tank.what substrate are they on?

when feeding rather take them out and place them in another contain so that they don't think every time the cage is opened they going to get fed and they might have a nip at you. i say feed them 1 rat pup each per a week. don't handle them for about day after they have eaten as they might throw up there food. you will definitly need a bigger cage.

they are really nice snakes and have a great nature and i'm sure they will be happy with you, good luck.
a wiseman once said:"you can give a man a fish and feed him for a day, but teach him how to fish and feed him for the rest of his life.."
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Re: My first Red Tail Boa's

Postby greggo13 » Sun Mar 15, 2009 7:16 pm

Hi Marc

Thanks very much for the response, I am going to cut the polystyrine out right now and will take the basking light out. What you said about feeding makes a lot of sense.

I am currently using newspaper for substrate, and have a large water bowl in the tank. Should this be kept on the heating pad or should it be kept on the cooler side?

I have a 1.2 meter tank which I kept beardies in, but I am in the process of converting it for the boa's.

Do you know of a good supplier on the westrand where I can get rat pups? everywhere I have gone they dont have stock

Thanks again for the advice!!!

Greg.
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Re: My first Red Tail Boa's

Postby marc bt » Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:53 pm

hi greg,
well i know some guys put a water bowl on the cool side and one near the heat pad but not directly on it so that they can choose to have a nice cool soak as well as a drink from cold water or soak in luke warm water to help with shedding etc.

i would say the tank will last you for about 8-9 months as these guys can grow to just under 3m or even reaching 3m if they are looked after correctly.

i live in durban so i would not know about food suppliers, maybe try phone around or ask some of the guys on the site that live in westrand.

if you need any more help just ask, and how about some pics.

cheers mate
a wiseman once said:"you can give a man a fish and feed him for a day, but teach him how to fish and feed him for the rest of his life.."
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Re: My first Red Tail Boa's

Postby Bushviper » Mon Mar 16, 2009 4:27 pm

Marc said "and if it goes above 36 degrees then take the light out as this will make it too hot for them ". If it gets that hot in a 60cm aquarium the snakes will be dead! Dont let it go over 27 degrees and the snakes will be fine.
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Re: My first Red Tail Boa's

Postby marc bt » Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:21 pm

well he has the snakes in a 1,2m tank and it is quite ventilated so, ok maybe above 33 degrees . but rather take the light out so they don't climb on the light and burn themselves!
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Re: My first Red Tail Boa's

Postby Bushviper » Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:31 pm

Marc a two foot fishtank is 60cm. That is a bit small for those temps.

I was not thinking when I said 27 degrees, what I did mean was keep it around 30 degrees during the day. In summer you can let them go up to 32 during the day and then in winter they need to stay at 30 at least. The nights can drop by about 5 degrees so over a 24 hour period the average will be 27 degrees.
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Re: My first Red Tail Boa's

Postby marc bt » Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:15 pm

ok sorry BV, i mis read, he said he has a 1,2m tank that he is going to convert for his boas.

Get those pics up!
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Re: My first Red Tail Boa's

Postby greggo13 » Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:38 pm

Hi Everyone.

I have eventually been able to attach some pics.

I have also bought a new tank for the Boa's, its a wooden tank 900X450X400 because when I removed the polystyrine from the glass tank the glass shattered.

I have now place a small black heating pad in the tank between to slate tiles.
Day temps are about 30 and night temp are about 24. is that ok? and also what will can I do in winter to ensure the correct temps?

I have also bought rat pups today but am a bit concerned that they might be to big?????

Thanks for all the responses I really appreciate it. :o :D

Greg
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Re: My first Red Tail Boa's

Postby snakemanjayd » Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:14 pm

Cool snakes.
When you say 30.. do you mean overall, or on the hot spot ?

Heating pads are usually ok, and don't normally get too hot, but some do.
I think a good way to check is just to put your hand in the tank and feel the ambient temp. If it's really noticeably very warm, then maybe move the heating pad under tank. And put your hand on the hot spot in the tank, above the heating pad, if it's uncomfortably hot, then put the heating pad underneath, if it's just warm, then you should be fine.

It's good to see that you are looking for help and want to get the best for your pets. There is tons of other info on the web on caresheets, etc. Sometimes its good to see what other guys use, or say you should use to get a general idea of how to keep them. Some guys are nuts though, so take it all with a pinch of salt.
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