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Posted by Bluerosy on December 28, 2002 at 10:42:55:
In Reply to: Re: First gray-band... posted by vadoni on December 27, 2002 at 21:01:36:
One more thing...if he goes off feed during winter you should probably unplug the heat pad!
: I use about an inch of aspen. L. alterna are usually relatively good for handling. Just remember that a bite is nothing serious and if it happens shrug it off. Brumation/Hibernation is not essential. But if your alterna goes off feed don't freek out.....he might just go through a brumation on his own.
::Thanks for your reply Vadoni. I just have a few more questions. How many inches deep should the aspen bedding be? Are alterna fairly easily handled and do you have any tips on handling them? I also saw you mentioned hibernation(brumation?), is it essential that they do this?
::: In my humble opinion you should just buy a sweater box. Use aspen shavings, a water bowl, and a snug hiding place. Put a heating pad beneath to give a hot spot of 80-85F. Simple is usually better, easier to clean.
::: If you are trying to exhibit this animal for people to admire, it is tough. This species is fossorial(almost always underground or deep in rocks) and nocturnal.
::: The moist hiding place for shedding is unnecesary. They are essentially a desert animal and a misting when you notice he is blue is more than enough.
::: I would recommend keeping him a little on the thin side. If you have ever caught one or seen one someone has just collected. That is what you are going for! I feed every 2 weeks a mouse. Keep an eye on his body weight and if needed you can always feed every week or give him a month or two off. Besides this gives you more time to handle the snake as it only takes 3-5 days for them to digest a meal:)
::: I think a GB will do well in your set up...although i would keep the hot spot at 85F and the low around 75F(other than hibernation)
:::Good Luck These are GREAT SNAKES
::::I am probably going to get a male 16 inch blairs gray-banded kingsnake within the month. This will be technically be my first snake, although I work with snakes alot at the pet store and help my brother with his maritime garter. Anyway, can you tell me if there is anything wrong with how I am going to set-up the tank:
::::-35 gallon tank with secure top
::::-some rocks and branches
::::-a large water dish
::::-2 hiding places, with one moist when he's shedding
::::-a temperature of around 80 on the warm side and around 70 on the cool side (heating pad)
::::I will feed him a hopper mouse every week and handle him whenever he isn't digesting his last meal. Does this sound good? All help will be appreciated, thanks!