Yo! I'm an owner of 2 corn's and a sand boa.
I'd say for price...anywhere from $15-30 is a good price. I don't recommend buying from a store, as these aren't handled as much and tend to have big attitudes.
There really is no difference in size of male or female, though females tend to be a bit larger- but you don't need any special tank sizes for them. A 20L would work (it's what I have), but they get up to 4' in length but stay about the size of a half-dollar around.
Temps need to be at 75-80*F constantly with the heated side at about 90-95 and hiding spots in the cool side and in the middle. They also need a large, shallow water dish so they can cool in.
Hard to say, a lot depends on your home and temperatures. You can get the enclosure set up prior and test temps(use digital thermometers, analogue ones fail more than they work)
If it stays warm and humid enough with just a heat matt, great! If not, try a ceramic heat emitter above the water bowl--the CHE can be left on day and night as it doesn't add light to the tank. Putting it over the water bowl will help with humidity, as it helps the water evaporate.
Make sure the enclosure is set up before you get the snake, that's a big deal with snakes. The temps need to be right... :) That's the most important thing! If the temps are right, you can adjust humidity (bigger water bowl, different substrate, covered lid), if the temps are right the snake will most likely eat and not struggle with it(low temps can kill a snake with food in it's belly..they need the heat to help them digest the food..or it will rot!)
Just make sure temps are right. Then work on humidity. Make sure there are hides. Double check care.... Then... Get your snake! :D
Yeah, I certainly plan on getting everything set up before I get the snake, as the snake has to come by air from a breeder anyhow (goodbye min. 70 bucks for airfare >_>). So I hope to get everything I need besides the tank online, get the tank from the city if we can at the end of the month when the weather is stable, and after everything is set up, order the snake. :) All of this will be done slowly.
Also, um, when I looked up heat lamps, I got all confused because there is different types of bulbs and different types of lamps to put the bulb in @.@ Maybe it was confusing because my website doesnt have the right matches? I'm getting everything besides the tank and critter from http://www.bigalspets.ca/ref=sample_one.
EDIT: Also, the humidity in my house is around 40, as we have a humidifier down here with me, about 20 feet from my room where the tank will be. Does that help any?
It's honestly a matter of you kind of testing around with it as far as humidity goes. Heat lamps WILL suck out humidity, unless you put them over a large water bowl. Humidifier near cage might not do anything, as the heat from the lamp will zap it dry before it gets to the tank! MIGHT help, but might not. I am not in your house! :) As for a water bowl, I like to use a ceramic dog bowl as a waterbowl. Easy to clean, snake can't knock it over cause it's heavy, and it's nice and big.
I don't use bulbs over my snakes, so I don't know the finer details of what bulb goes with what lamp. I DO know ceramic heat emitters need to go in a ceramic one made for it, or else the bulb can burn out. The heat emitter is what I suggest, since you can leave it on day and night with no worries. As for lighting to look good, even some fun cheap led lights that don't add heat will be nice! But if you want to use a heat lamp--Remember the bulb doesn't need to be 'reptile' heat bulb. It's the same as the bulb you get at lowes, only with expensive packaging.
Unless it's UVB(which corn snakes don't need) a lightbulb is a lightbulb! You can find a 60 watt 'reptile' bulb or a 60 watt bulb at the store and they will put off the same amount of heat. So don't worry about all that.
Lots of good suggestion in this thread. I will say don't buy any reptile bulbs for a snake. They are way over priced. A normal incadescent bulb will be fine. When I had a Kingsnake in my sons room I used a heating pad on the bottom of the tank and a heat emitter at the top and one side of the tank was at 95 degrees and cool side was about 80.
Im a big time Herper! You got a lot of questions I will try to reply in detail later once I am at work where I have more time to comment. Corns are a great first snake for the Herper to cut their teeth on and make for great pets.
What are the differences in care between males and females?
There is very little difference in the care of females vs males until you reach a point where you intend to breed them or not. Up to that point care is essentially the smae for both sexes.
Do males get larger, and as such need bigger enclosures?
Length wise there is little if any difference in size. The Females will have a tendency as they mature to be slightly thicker and heavier bodied. Females may attain a slightly longer length by a few inches at max size but this hardly rates a differnece in the size of the enclosure needed to house them.
What do you think is a reasonable price?
Thats like asking someone how long is a piece of string without letting them see it. The "typical" commonly available color morphs should retail for 29.99 to 39.99 more times than not. Going through a breeder the prices can vary much more so depending on the color morphs availablity and the number of snakes available from the breeder. Some of the more striking color morphs can command a considerably higher price on the market.
It seems to me they can live in a 20gL for life. Is this true?
I beg to differ but many others will disagree. A Neonate will be quiet content for some time in a 10 gallon tank or a 20L. As your snake gets longer it should be housed in a enclosure thats at long as the snake minimum. Even my larger Boas, as sedate as they were, were kept in enclosures that were 8ft (L) x 3ft(W) x 5ft(H). Your snake will need some room to move around, flex its muscles and exercise a bit from time to time. I think for an adult Corn a 55 gallon or 75 gallon enclosure would be reasonable for 95% of the cases.
As far as other question you have, those could probably be best answered by doing a internet search on care and care sheets. Realize that some of these will vary from author to author, so look at several sources and come to a consensus. Do use a length of enclosure that will allow you to have a area thats considerably warmer and a end thats cooler with room in between so your snake can find a happy medium that suits them the best. DO NOT use heat rocks that are commonly sold in the reptile section of the pet store. If your snake is always on the hot end and rarely moving or the cold end then you need to play around with the temerature of the enclosure. A snake thats always on the hot end is a sign of a snake thats in a enclosure thats too cold and vise versa.
Have a way to increase the humidity in the enclosure especially when your snake glasses over as it prepares to shed. This will help your snake have a clean and complete shed of its skin. There are a number of ways to do this, so shop around and consider this carefully. You also need to have a water dish thats large enough for your snake to soak in during this time as well if it needs to.
Feed your snake in a different contianer than you house it in. This will prevent your snake from becoming accustom to the learned behavior of "everytime the cage is opened it must be dinner time". This will help you keep your snake docile instead of being a "belt fed staple gun". This will make cleaning the cage and doing day to day maintenance a lot more pleasant for you and your snake. It will also make handling your snake a easier thing to do, which is a good thing since there is a good chance you will need to take it to the Vet sooner or later. Finding a good Vet that speacializes in snakes is tough enough as it is, they often have two sets of care prices when you do find them...one price for "nice" snakes and one price for "Not so nice" snakes, some will flat out refuse to treat a snake that cant be controlled or restrained. This shouldnt be too much of an issue with a 4-5ft Corn as opposed to a large heavy bodied 12ft Guyana Redtail Boa! Something such as a 12 gallon plastic tote should suffice for a Corn at feeding time.
For feeding, get your snake trained over to freshly killed or thawed previously frozen prey items. A live prey in your snakes feeding cage can cause your snake serious injury potentially if not closely monitored. Even when they do strike and wrap up a prey, it can take a few minutes before the prey expires and in that time they can out of defense injure your snake. Feeding rats as soon as they are large enough to do so is better than feeding them a mouse of equal size as the Rat will have more available protien. Consider too dusting them with a vitamin supplement prior to feeding them to your snake. Feedings should be done every 7-10 days and the prey item should be just large enough to leave a noticable lump in the mid section...it should not look like a golf ball stuck in the middle of a 50ft garden hose! Keep in mind too that its not unusual for a snake to go off feed for a few weeks, but after about 4 weeks I would seek the advice of a vet unless your snake is a gravid female.
Hope you found some gold nuggets of information here although there is a ton more to know.