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Old 09-18-2012, 01:27 PM   #1 
Koda
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Second thoughts about beardies

So I was planning on getting a beardie, but every time I look at my 55 gallon tank it makes me think maybe that's not the best idea. It's bigger than their recommended minimum, but it's also only 12" deep which would make it kind of uncomfortable for an adult to turn around. I wouldn't want any of my pets to feel uncomfortable, and I really don't want to go through the trouble of trying to sell/trade the tank (especially after getting such a good deal on this one).

So I was thinking of maybe a snake instead? I had always wanted one, but I was living with my mother who hated snakes. Since that's no longer an issue, I'm wondering what snake would best fit this tank. I really like corn snakes, but is 55 gallons a bit much for them? Would 2 of the same gender be fine together? I'm considering others, but defiantly don't want anything that could get big enough to see my chihuahuas as a nice snack if they happened to escape (although a 55 gallon would most likely be too small for those anyways).

Also recommendations for other animals for the tank would be appreciated. Just no fish because I don't have furniture that could hold a 55 gallon full of water.
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:01 PM   #2 
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55 gallon tank may be 'larger' but it's actually quite a bit smaller than a 40 long.

Snakes can't be kept in groups in most cases. And they are from the wild, nothing is 'too much' for one.

I suggest a corn snake. They get to a nice size without being too large and are diurnal(active during the day time) and tend to use their entire enclosure. Some have even given a single corn snake an 80 gallon enclosure, even though they don't need anything bigger than a 20 long--they just use it well.

The only thing that could get big enough to look at your chihuahua would be like a burmese python, reticulated python, or a really really big boa. But like you said, a 55 gallon would be far too small.

My suggestions:
-Corn snake (day time active, no need for uvb, great at eating frozen thawed rats without being picky, docile, easy care)
-musk turtle (more difficult care, needs UVB and some shallow water. Turtle that stays only 4-6 inches. Real cute. Needs double filtration)
-Live terrarium with living plants and a bunch of anoles (needs uvb, less handleable, but cool to look at)
-Ball python (CAPTIVE BRED, get one already eating frozen thawed, they are picky eaters and wild caught ones are nearly impossible to get to stop eating live)
-red eye croc skink pair(needs humidity, would be a bit trickier)
-Other small snakes (kingsnake, milksnake, sand boa, rosy boa, rat snake)

Biggest recommendation is corn snake. They are a perfect size snake, great colors, cheap, docile, and easy feeders. Active and brave--no where near as easily frightened as a ball python. They will use whatever space you give them. Get one from a breeder instead of a store.
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:21 PM   #3 
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I recently discovered that there is going to be a reptile expo in town next month, so I'm hoping to have my tank ready by then and pick something up there, or at the very least use it to find a variety of local breeders to pick up something later on. A store is always my last resort for any animals so I wasn't even considering that.

I thought that it might be a bad idea to house more than one, but wanted to be sure.
Thanks :)
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:39 PM   #4 
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I would not recommend a very small snake like a sand boa because they freak out if there is too much open space. You would have to put a lot of cover but then it would be hard to see your snake. I recommend a ball pyhon because they are bigger and are very docile snakes.
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:48 PM   #5 
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you could have a decent group of fire bellied newts in there, if your furniture can handle it being 1/3-1/2 full of water.
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:38 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finnfinnfriend View Post
I would not recommend a very small snake like a sand boa because they freak out if there is too much open space. You would have to put a lot of cover but then it would be hard to see your snake. I recommend a ball pyhon because they are bigger and are very docile snakes.
I wouldn't recommend a ball python most of the time in a large tank as many of them are VERY stress prone compared to other snakes. If all three back sides were covered and the enclosure was filled with hides, maybe. But they are not active snakes and would likely be just as frightened as the sand boa if not more so. There are some exceptions, but they are a very easily frightened animal--and already being picky eaters, this doesn't help matters much.
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:55 PM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purplemuffin View Post
I wouldn't recommend a ball python most of the time in a large tank as many of them are VERY stress prone compared to other snakes. If all three back sides were covered and the enclosure was filled with hides, maybe. But they are not active snakes and would likely be just as frightened as the sand boa if not more so. There are some exceptions, but they are a very easily frightened animal--and already being picky eaters, this doesn't help matters much.
Oh okay I thought the OP said their tank was 12" wide so i didnt think it was too big... I guess i misread the OP...they could put a boa constrictor in there but they are not very good for beginner snake owners

Last edited by finnfinnfriend; 09-19-2012 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:18 PM   #8 
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Boas are actually pretty fine beginner snakes seeing as they are docile and slow to grow, but a 55 gallon would be too small to be a permanent home.

I still vote corn snake if you want a snake, but there ate plenty of lizard, frog, and salamander options available.
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:25 PM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purplemuffin View Post
Boas are actually pretty fine beginner snakes seeing as they are docile and slow to grow, but a 55 gallon would be too small to be a permanent home.

I still vote corn snake if you want a snake, but there ate plenty of lizard, frog, and salamander options available.
I meant boa constrictors in particular. They are not good for beginners because they can get quite large and if you are still timid around snakes it might be hard to handle. Not saying it can't be a first snake though, if you are comfortable enough with that sort of thing...

I'm just saying if you want a snake, don't get a sand boa for a 55 gal because that is too big. There are lots of other lizards you could get though too...
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:51 PM   #10 
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Thanks, as far as snakes go, I'm leaning towards the corn snake anyways. I've always loved the more colorful snakes.
I'm not yet ruling out lizards though, and I wouldn't mind trying out a semi-aquatic tank (I'm sure my table can hold a partially full 55g). The red eyed croc skinks are adorable, and the fire bellied newts are pretty cute too. Still a month before the expo, so I have time to do my research and get everything ready before actually choosing what animal I want....and I just found out that my local Petco's dollar per gallon sale ends on the 28th so I might not even rule out the beardie if I can manage to get rid of the 55 before then.
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