Sunday, March 30, 2008

Snake Update

Here's a view of the habitat.
I'm using a 20 gallon tall aquarium with one of my homemade oak and screen tops.
A new flourescent fixture with bulb only costs $1 more than the bulb itself so I went that route to add cool light for most of the day, on a timer. A color-balanced standard bulb on a dimmer adds heat when needed.
The substrate is shredded Aspen reptile bedding, and the log is a weather-beaten chunk of stump I found years ago that makes a nice hiding place and really looks good. You'll see more of it I'm sure.
The foliage is plastic and I got it in WalMart's decor section because you'll pay three times as much to get less from the pet stores. (Can you tell I've done this many times before?)
Per recommendations for corn snakes found online I'll be switching to a 20 gallon long aquarium to give the snake more room to explore and thermoregulate (adjust body temp by getting nearer or farther from the heat lamp).
This setup is fine for now and I can work on perfecting the new one at my leisure.
I can't decide if I want a commercial tank background to add interest and pretty-up-the-joint or shoot and print my own.

This will give you an idea of the snake's size, and this photo is the most accurate representation of his colors.
While 3 feet long sounds big, as you can see it is a slender snake that doesn't look very intimidating. Maximum length for this species is 42" so it's obviously an adult that still has some growth potential--a guess would be three to four years old.

Tomorrow is the first feeding. I have never dealt with live mice and snakes before so there will be a learning curve on how to best accomplish this. You don't just chuck a rodent into the tank where it could possibly injure the snake--you have to knock the mouse out somehow...
And it's important to put the snake in a bucket or empty aquarium before feeding otherwise it will quickly learn to strike at your hand every time you reach in thinking it's food, making friendly contact impossible. Also, if the wood shavings stick to the food it will be ingested and cause impaction, which is the fancy term for fatal constipation.

This is an Albino Corn Snake, hence the red/pink eyes. Reptile breeders charge a lot more for interesting color variations and many create their own through selective pairings. While "just" an albino, it's one of the prettiest snakes I have ever seen, let alone owned.
My research and scale counts indicate a male but I'm only 80% sure, not that it matters--we were mostly worried about a fitting name.
Sylvia did a good job I think.

His name is Candy Corn.
Get it?
It's CC to his posse but Dad calls him Candy because we're formal like that.

1 comment:

Bruce said...

A beautiful critter. May you two enjoy a long time together.