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Posted by chris_harper2 on May 08, 2003 at 10:01:57:
In Reply to: Getting a Gonyosoma. Need some advice. posted by Dmitri1979 on May 07, 2003 at 17:00:56:
:I'm buying a Asian red-tail green ratsnake (Gonyosoma Oxycephalum) this weekend.
Congratulations, very cool snakes. I've got elleven of them right now with some of them having survived since October so I hope I'm on the right track.
:I want to get his tank setup and the husbandry right.
Assuming it's an import...
I would quarantine this species in a pretty basic set-up. I use long plastic boxes with some height. Most of my quarantine boxes are 31" x 16" x 13". They seem pretty shy at first and initially spend a lot of time hiding on the floor of their cages in hide areas. It's only my longer term specimens that seem to start spending more time on their perches.
I use PVC perches, newspaper substrate, and plastic flower-pot bases as hides. The idea is to make everything as basic as possible to allow for simple clean-up. This is important during the parasite treatment phase.
I weigh all specimens IN THE BAG they arrived in and then later subtract the weight of the empty bag from the total weight. This is preferable to later putting them through the stress of weighing once you have them un-bagged.
When I first un-bag them I put them in a plastic bucket with warm water to allow them to drink and re-hydrate and look to see if any mites float off. A white bucket makes it easier to see mites. If I see mites I'll add a little bit of cooking oil and a tiny drop of dishsoap once they stop drinking. This helps get the mites down to a managable load before using permethrin based treatments.
I also have a garbage can converted into a rain-chamber (hooks up to my shower). The more dehydrated/lethargic specimens are placed in their for several hours where I rain on them with large droplets of water. This seems to perk them up and get them drinking.
All newspaper is treated with permethrin spray while it's outside the cage. This is to prevent permethrin from becoming imbedded in the matrices of the plastic cage walls. This is potentially toxic if the permethrin leaches out when the cage is misted. Still an issue when treating the paper only, but presumably not as much if you sprayed the cage walls.
When the animals are done with their re-hydration phase I restrain them and treat with 75 mg/kg Panacur, check for oral flukes and oral stomatitis. Both are treated orally with Droncit and Baytril respectively (only if observed). I re-treat with Panacur two weeks later.
I keep the specimens in the basic setups at least through the Panacur treatments and then may add some cypress mulch substrate and a sphagnum moss filled hide box.
I'll mist VERY lightly during the initial phases but find they spend enough time soaking that I don't worry excessively about cage humidity. My boxes have 20 to 40 1/4" holes drilled near the top for ventilation and this seems to keep humidity up slightly. I do like to increase ventilation quite a bit with fully acclimated specimens.
I'm able to get my specimens to feed on defrosted adult mice offered on tongs. For more stubborn specimens I use rat pups of the appropriate size. Nice thing about those is that you can safely leave them in the cage overnight with no fear of the prey item hurting the snake.
Hope this helps. In a nutshell, I've had good luck with setting imports up in cages that are pretty simple. Acclimated specimens seem to thrive in a variety of setups.
Let me know if you have any further question.