Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Am I Having Problems or am I paranoid??

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Am I Having Problems or am I paranoid??

    my name is Jason and I was hoping some of you can help me out. I have a Columbian boa, A.K.A Red tail, about a year and a half and hes about 5 feet long and here's my situation.
    I have her in a 180 gallon tank, 6 ft. long x 2 ft. wide x 2 ft. high. I have a the biggest cobra mat i can buy under one side of the tank and the mat stays at a constant 100 deg. and i have a heating pad under the other side that gets about that hot if not a little cooler. I had to make a custom top because no one carries top's that big so I made it with aluminum angle and polyurethane screen. I had a light for him that was in the tank that had a EXO Terra Day Glo 100 watt bulb hanging from the pane of glass above the middle of the tank. Also I use Care Fresh recycled newspaper substrate as his bedding throughout the tank. Well, Yesterday he tried to climb up the side of the tank, crawled across the top of the clamp that holds the light and knocked it down on top of the substrate which in turn almost caught the substrate on fire but the smoke was so great it wouldn't't let it catch. :-[ He crawled to the other side of the tank probably sensing danger. I got home and caught it and cleaned out the tank. After I bathed him in his bathing container letting him sit in there for about 15 min. but I do that anyways about once a week so he can get his moisture. Now I'm just realizing when I pick him up the he dosen't hang on like he should but is still active. Also I notice when he breathes it sounds like he has a stuffy nose but I only hear that maybe about once every 30 sec or more. Plus, to me, his skin looks a little tanish yellow but I know that red tails don't have a yellowish tint to there skin unless I'm wrong. I want to build him a permanent enclosure so could you also give me advice on how big I should build it and what to build it with. I love my boa sooooooo much and I want it to have the best life but right now I don't think he's as happy as I think he should be. Please help me with the first problem then I would like advice on the enclosure. He eats good but I really don't see him drink and I used to see that a few times a month about 4-5 months ago. I'm always paranoid when it comes to my baby and I always think that something is wrong with her and she might die or something but maybe its just me cause like I said, I take care of her, I hold her all the time, she gets fed one med. rat weekly to bi-weekly, she has a good weight and she eats and I try to keep this big tank at about 80-90 deg and normally it's average is about 78-86 but sometimes it can get as low as 70 deg. cause I live in michigan and the weather sucks. Please help me, am I paranoid? I would also love some good advice on the perfect set up for my enclosure but I am on a budget. also, If the stuffy nose is RI I would like to rehab it myself. Theres no mucus but her nostrels look like theres a little dried up booger but when i put my face to them i feel her breathing but still to me one looks stuffed up. Thank you soo much from one snake lover to the next. 8)
    8)

  • #2
    Re:Am I Having Problems or am I paranoid??

    Hi Jason,

    Welcome to the forums..

    That is a shame about the smoke. Unless this happened in the past 24 hours, not much you can do for the boa with the smoke that was inhaled except make sure he has total fresh air in your house while keeping the temps and humidity correct. The boa could have smoke damage to its lungs. If thats the case the boa could just recoup on its own or it may end up with serious problems in the near future. No way to really tell. Just keep a close eye on him and if he starts acting weird, get him to the vet ASAP. May not be a bad idea to get him checked out anyway. Another good idea is to bath him for about an hour. Make sure he is very hydrated.

    My guess he is on the cool side is because your temps are a bit high. What are you using to check the temps in the cage? Last thing you would want to deal with is a bad burn on your boa.. No fun at all.. The cobra mats are fine as long as they are on a rheostat to control how hot they get.

    As for your feeding schedule. Unless your boa is real thin I would move him to bigger prey. Make sure that when the rat is streched out that is atleast as thick as your boa or maybe abit bigger.

    The tank temps you mentioned 78-86 is not the best temp for her. The 76 being the cool side, 86 being the warm side. I prefer to keep mine at 82 is the cool side and 90 is the hot side. I would try to work that heating problem out to insure your boa has the best possible for its health.

    OK on to your snake enclosure. If you are going to build your own, and you have the room, a 6 foot long is great. She would be fine in a 4 foot long by 2 foot deep by 2 foor high, but bigger is great if you can afford it and you have the room. I would stick with a UTH and a RHP on the ceiling of the enclosure with a good rheostat to control the heat. Get good digital temp and humidity guages and try to stick with a wood enclosure that is moisture sealed correctly


    I wish I had more time to spend on this post, but I am on my way out..

    Hope this helped..
    Steve

    Comment


    • #3
      Re:Am I Having Problems or am I paranoid??

      Thanks for the post. Well, the temp of 78-84 is for throughout the tank. The cobramat is under the tank and it stays at 100 deg. constant but I cant find a thermostat for it. I also have a heating pad under the other side of the tank too to make up for how big the tank is to keep the temp up. I'm using a stick on strip thermostat on one side and a stick on plastic gause type on the other. On one side I have the temp gauge high to test the air temp while the other is low to check the temp near the floor of the tank. I really don't think I wanna use this tank for her home cause I'm getting sick of it. I was looking at the 72"T x 96"L x 48"D, Package R1 Reptile cage made by Cages By Design, if anyone would like to check this out for me its at http://www.cagesbydesign.com/cages/specials_reptile.asp and let me know what you think. This is what I want to put her in cause it gives her room to stretch, climb, and really let her do what she wants. Like I said, I love my girl so only the best will do but I'm on a budget, but only for the moment. I noticed later today the one nostrel cleared up so thats good. At the moment I had tape posterboard on the bottom of the cage because I spidered the glass on the bottom so I didn't want her on that and it is protecting her for the moment till I can get this cage. :-\ I also put a old comforter on the bottom so it can hold heat. I am keeping an eye on her and the cage so I can keep it clean when necessary. What happend was bad timing for me but I have to do what I can to keep her happy till I decide to get that cage. Everyons opinion on that cage will be very helpful to me and very appreciative. Thanks everybody, I love talking with suck a careing community of people. you all are the best.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re:Am I Having Problems or am I paranoid??

        Hey Jason,

        Having a steady temp in the cage is not a good idea. Problem is the boas need to thermoregulate there temp. Kind of like if you or I were standing in the middle of a field and we got way too hot in the sun. We would go stand under a tree for some shade.. Same idea.. As for a way to control the heat., First make a run to walmart get a 12 dollar digital Thermometer. Get the one that shows inside and outseid on the same display without having to hit a button. Hang this unit up on the cool side, about an inch from the top of the bedding. Take the outside temp probe that is on the wire connected and hang that an inch above the hotside. Now you can keep an eye on the temps in the tank. I would also suggest you run to RadioShack and get a lazer temp reader. They were on sale here last week for 24.99. That way you can spot check the floor and any other area you want. You will need to be able to control the heatmats you are using. The cheapest was I know of it to get a 5 dollar dimmer switch at the hardware store and splice it into the heater cord.. If you do not know electrical, just take the heat pad to a local hardware store and ask the pro to show you... Another less invasive way is to run to PetCo and get Rept-Temp Rheostat made by Zoo-Med. If you ask for a petco card it is only 4 bucks and change. Just need to plug upto two heaters in the rheostat and turn the dial every 30 mins until you get the temps you want. All these suggestions are assuming you are on a very tight budget and need to go the cheapest way. There are better ways or easier ways, but the cost goes up..

        As for the cagesbydesign. Never owned one. I build all my own.. Someelse may want to step up and answer this for you.. truth is I prefer wood wood. I find wood holds heat much better then plastic.. JMO..

        I would replace that tank you have ASAP.. Any cracks or splits can cause the boa some real harm.. The poster board will get real weak after being exposed to the proper humidity the boa needs. Not to mention, the can get under just about anything..

        Good luck with her.. Hope all works out..

        Hope this helped..

        Steve

        Comment


        • #5
          Re:Am I Having Problems or am I paranoid??

          The poster board is taped so she can't get under it. As far as the cage, will a 6 ft. long x 4 ft. deep x 2 ft. high suffice for the rest of her life? ??? If so I can build her one, and if I do, what would be the proper lumber to use for framing? I know I'de use laminate panel for the back and side panels, acrylic panel for front see-through, and stainless steel wire mesh for top. I'de also put a couple ventilation holes on either side covered with stainless steel mesh. If this will suffice then I can start buying the supplys right now and start building. I figure she'll get to be about 8-9 ft. but some reptile shop owners, (and by the way my friend owns one at our local head shop and he's an avid reptile collector and speciallizes in rare reptiles and has been dealing with reptiles most of his life), told me she can get in excess of 10-12 ft. long. Either way, I need to start this project as soon as possable. I'm taking her to the vet on wed. so she can get checked out because of what happend the other day so al least I'll feel a little better. :-\ Thanks once again for taking time out to talk and help.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re:Am I Having Problems or am I paranoid??

            6x4x2 would more then work for a BCI boa. That size would held a 12 foor Surinam with no problems. The size your boa will get will depend on what type of boa you have. Col RTB only get to an average of 7-8 foot long with 10 foot being very, very uncommon. If you have a BCC like a Surinam boa you may be looking at 12 foot long and that would only be if she is a female. Something you should consider changing on that plan. Don't use and wire, mesh etc on the top. Just wood. It is easier to maintain temp and humidity if you have basically a wood box with a glass or acrilc front. Wire on top is also know to cause Mouth rot because when the explore they will rub the mouth on the sides and top. That will irritae the mouth and gums and could cause a good case of mouth rot. For extra ventelation just get those round 2" vents and use a hole cutter to put them in.

            I would suggest you make a 3 foot piece of flexwatt heat tape for the bottom and the largest radiant heat panel for the top. As long as its in a roon that has normal household temps, this would work great, just make sure you control how warm you want it to get with a good rheostat.

            Very cool that you are gonna take her to the vet to be fully checked out.. Better off doing that..

            Hope this helped a little.. And if you ever get any pics of her, post them. Would love to see her..

            Steve

            Comment


            • #7
              Re:Am I Having Problems or am I paranoid??

              Well, to let you know about her, she is an awsome looking girl. The most docile snake I've ever seen, shes like my kid!!! I'll try to get pic's up for all to see. And yes, she is a columbian red tail boa. Everyone is in love with her here and says shes is the mose beautiful snake they"ve seen. I also had a jungle carpet python but unfortunatly she died because the person I baught it from didn't pay to much attention to her but I really didn't understand why she died. ??? All I know is she had a mouse in her and she was gasping or had her mouth open for a reason. I didn't have her but for a few days. :'( I buried her in my flower garden with a head stone about 2 years ago and It's still there and it will be there till I move or die, whichever comes first.

              Now to the caging. So what your telling me is basically a solid box with a see-through front with a couple ventallation holes in the sides? What should I put over the holes? And what kind of wood should I use for the framing? Is the laminate panel good for the back and sides and what should I use for the bottom, top, and front. I plan to frame the acrylic with the wood for the front door.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re:Am I Having Problems or am I paranoid??

                If you do take any pics, post them on the boards. Would be great to see her.

                Very sorry about your JCP. I am guessing you didn't have an autopsy done. Just would be worried about IBD. So many possiblitys to why he died on you. I have even seen freak things that a mouse that wasn't 100% dead when it was swallowed and it got one last bite in on the way down. Did irrivesible damage to the snake. Very cool that you buried it on your property with a headstone. Every time I lose a snake I bury it in my woods in its hide box with any of the branches it used.. Some people find it silly, but who cares..

                OK with the cage. I suggest that you use plywood. Get the best you can afford. I prefer Red oak or if I need to save a few buck I go with Birch finished on both sides, also known as AA. Pine will also work fine. I have help a few folks make it out of 3/4 pine and no problems to date. No framing is needed since it only requires minimum weight bearing. I join the ply wood to the plywood. I do prefer atleast 13 ply, but 15 is what I really like if its available. As for the vent hols. They make 2" round vents that you just tap in. The vents have a version on louvers on them with screen back. I prefer to put them in backwards so the snake doesn't have a hole to rub in.. To be honest I prefer 3/4 wood all the way arond the cage, top and bottom included. I just make sure I seam the wood on the inside with atleast 4 layers or Polyacrilic, normally I will do upto 10 layers. then I seal all corners inside with 100% silicone. Make sure you air the cage out al long as possible to allow curn time and no fumes. The plan you said for the front door is fine. Just make sure you use 1/4 acrilic or glass..

                Hope that helps
                Steve

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re:Am I Having Problems or am I paranoid??

                  Steve you have done a great job on this one..

                  I would like to reiterate what Steve said about thermoregulation.

                  Your boa NEEDS thermal variance in order to acheive the best possible health environment.

                  Make sure you allow a cool end of the cage (ambient 82) where the boa can go to cool off some. They will use the warm side to aide in digestion and other things.

                  But boas do spend a lot of time in the cooler end of enclosures.

                  Let's hope that the smoke did not damage the lungs of your boa..
                  To gain knowledge is good, but to share knowledge is wise

                  -Best Regards
                  -Clay English
                  Founder Redtailboas.com 1998-2013

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re:Am I Having Problems or am I paranoid??

                    Once again I would like to thank everyone for there input. Your help was very appreciated and if I ever need advice I know that your the one to come to!! Thnks for careing!! 8) 8)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re:Am I Having Problems or am I paranoid??

                      [quote author=BadBoyJay link=board=1;threadid=2487;start=msg16001#msg16001 date=1055780545]
                      Once again I would like to thank everyone for there input. Your help was very appreciated and if I ever need advice I know that your the one to come to!! Thnks for careing!! 8) 8)
                      [/quote] keep us updated on how your boa is doing..

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re:Am I Having Problems or am I paranoid??

                        from gunlover. keep us updated on how your boa is doing..
                        I will definately do that. I went to Home Depot yesterday an unbelieveably making a melamine enclosure for her is really inexpensive!!! For the 2 sheets of 8' x 4' x 3/4" is only 52 dollars. Then I'm using acrylic plexiglass framed with oak for the doors with hinges so the doors can swing open left to right. The 2 3' x 2' 1/4" thick acrylic plexiglass was 40 bucks, the hinges are about 3-4 bucks a piece and I'm recessing those into the sides of the cage to look better with a router and silicone to seal the plexiglass. I'm going to use elmers carpenters wood glue to seal the box which is non-toxic. I didn't really check on the plastic 2" ventillation vents but I assume there not that expensive, the sorta costly part is the sheets of melamine and acrylic plexiglass, but my I have another question. I have the biggest cobra mat you can buy which i think is 24" x 12". Can I use this as a RHP on the top of my enclosure untill I can buy those cool heat panels everyone talks about here? I know that the cobra mat states that it keeps a constant 100 deg. If I have to get a thermostat I will cuz I'll need one anyways. If so that would make me so excited cuz I just have enough money to build the enclosure right now untill i'm back to work steady. :-\ I also have a human heat pad I can put under the tank, matter of fact I have 2. If you can help me out with this I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks everyone!!!!

                        http://www.timberlinefisheries.com/trexheat.htm

                        Here is a brief description of the T-rex cobra heat mats for those of you not familliar with them. Also, how do you copy qoutes from other members like gunlover did on this last post and put it up before I comment on that quote? Thanks

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re:Am I Having Problems or am I paranoid??

                          Jason,
                          I was reading your post anad your tank description is for a 125 gallom tank This is exactly what I have my boa in. I have to cobra mats one on the far right side one in the middle and no heat mat on the left half of the tank. This seems to work great. I have a steamy 90* on the right side and a cool 80-82 on the left side. I reccomend if you use heat pads to use a rehostat or thermostat to regulate how hot it gets. Just incase your snake goes under the substrate. Allot of those heat pads get up to 100-105 degrees all the time. To solve your Problem about the screen Top I bought to 50 gallon screen tops And flattened out the ends and over laped them . This seems to work great I've had my boa in there for a bout two years with no problem. You have to have screen top clamps though to hold the screen down. My boa is about the same size as yours and I think that cage is a good size for a snake that big. After you get th screen tops you can Set your Light directly on top of the screen. I use two CHE (ceramic Heat Emitor) I think I spelled that wrong but, ohh well...and a 75w-100w bulb in the cool spot with a 3 foot Aquarium light for natural light. This seems to work well the only problem I have ever had with aquarium style enclosures is the humidity. You can Place a Wet towel over a potion of the screen top and this will usually do the trick..Or you can buy a fogger or mister. Well good luck. I.M. me if you want I will send you some pics and show you How I did my tops and stuff..

                          Later,
                          jAySoN

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re:Am I Having Problems or am I paranoid??

                            ohh and you can order a rehostat or thermostat online..I know petsmart and petco carry a rehostat that you can plug two devices into and control the temps for both I believe it costs about $25..

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X