Frequently Asked Questions about Housing…

On this page I’ll try to collect most questions that reached me by e-mail about Housing…

If you can not find a direct answer of your question, then try to find under your Species or Publications on this site…

Thamnophis scaliger

Question 

On a different subject you told me that you found heating lamps better than heating carpets. Is it linked with the digestion of snakes and the fact that they are diurnal animals? I know some lizzards prefer a heater carpet to immitate the hot ground during nights in the deserts and that it is crucial for their ability to digest well. Is it the same matter for garter snakes? 

Answer

Heat lamps to immitate the sun is for most species more natural to simulate the basking. Heat maths (as long as they are not too hot ) can work of course. But for breeding it can be bad.

Question

My final question would be about when snakes are shedding their skin. I didn’t find so much informations about that on your website. My question would be mostly about moisture in the terrarium. Because those snakes need a dry environment, how do you proceed when you observe a snake starting a shedding period? Do you moist the terrarium. Put it into an other one?

Answer

No, i just leave it in the cage. There is a waterbowl present to submerse in. I would say when your snake does not shed well then you could think of sprinkling the terrarium around the time you expect the shedding. But I never do that and I never have problems. But spraying water to simulate rain is of course never a problem.


Question

I already bought two books about thamnophis but after reading them I still need some more informations. First about the importance of water in the terrarium. I’ve read that thamnophis need a dry environment but also a water “pool” to hunt fish and drink. Do you have advices about that?

Answer

Technically a water bowl is fine. 
Depending on the species they do not need a lot of water. But if you will feed live fish then obviously they need to hunt in the water.  For concinnus a dry set up and a waterbowl are fine.

Question

What size should be used for the pool?  Does not need to be big.

Answer

30 cm diameter would be more then enough.

Question

I’ve also read that my heater carpet should be situated under the pool. Is it a good idea?

Answer

Would not do it. I even would prefer not to iuse a heater carpet and use overheat lighting and heating.

Question

What about the substrate?! I want to use some coco (after making sure that it would be dry of course).

Answer

Coco is fine. Or partly coco partly big woodchips.