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Brumation Time

Posted by TribalCorns at 10/10/2019 1:29:10 PM

The snakes have had their two weeks off feed to clean out their digestive systems. Now we've taken away the heat pads, and the temperatures are slowly on their way down to the 55-60 degree range. I lower the room a degree or two every night until they hit that range then keep them there for winter only ever checking their health and changing water.

Only four snakes, Ares the oldest and the three youngest are being kept out of brumation. Casper has not had any trouble yet during winter brumation periods so despite her age she'll go in as well. Though I keep a closer eye on her breathing and health during that time.

I attempted housing the two adult female geckos and we've had no trouble yet. I expected Narillo to be more energetic after FLint, the male who always bothered her for breeding, was taken out. She was, but she hasn't been bothered by the other female like Flint bothered her, so I suspect as long as she's left alone and not being bred placid Narillo was going to be fine with another female in the enclosure.

Rosari the newbie out of quarantine was the one I was worried about agression coming from. However my worries seem to be unfounded. She has caused no trouble, and the girls when I see them near eachother will walk over and touch with no adverse reactions. They stay in a 29 gallon on its side (so it's really tall) that is well planted (with fake plants) and this thing is in my room where I am most of the time. So I get to observe and keep an eye on them. I don't think they will cause harm though. It's nice having two in that tank as I usually get to see one not hiding or moving around throughout the night, morning, and evening.

All of the male geckos though stay in their individual containers. I actually wanted to ask people who do bioactives for their geckos, what is the minimum tank sizes that they are using for a single gecko. I'm seeing Moonvalley saying 12 X 12 X 18 for a single gecko, but is that really enough in a bioactive setup that should have at least an inch of drainage layer, then an inch or so of soil for plants? Cause minus that lost space you would really only have 15 to 16 inches of height in that enclosure.

I'm in the process of making one of my two 29 gallons into a kind of hybrid bioactive tank. It's taking a while, and I have to get the lid from I <3 Geckos still, but I'm hoping it will look really nice. Doing research on native trees, bushes, and vines to New Calendonia because I want to carve the trunks that will be in the enclosure to replicate their native tree trunks. A few native hoya will be added but I'm on the hunt for a native woody bush of some kind to add to the setup. There are not too many New Caledonian plants in the gardening market I'm finding out. Hoya lemoniaca (might be spelling that wrong) is the common one of two Hoya that are available from their islands.

By the way, the geckos are cooled slightly but not nearly as much as the snakes are. It goes from summer where the room sways between mid 70's to mid 60's thanks to moms sporadic use of the air conditioner downstairs while her upstairs one is on constantly (that's where the incubator was.) Though I keep my door closed in summer to warm my room up from the roof more. So my room sat more in the mid to high 70's all of summer and that is where the majority of the animals are. Now my room will be chilled for brumation, geckos and tarantula moved out to wamer rooms, and heat mats given to the insect colonies to keep them going.

The geckos will be around mid to low 70's for winter.Narillo looks to be done laying now, but she may surprise me with one last clutch soon. Other than the infertile eggs and the one baby that got stuck in the shell of its egg while hatching (and perished soon after) The rest hatched well and are healthy. We had no major problems this year thankfully. I look forward to seeing them grow and comparing their crests and colors with those who were incubated at much higher temperatures. I'll be moving the hisser colony into a tub soon I think as I want that big glass tank for other female geckos in the future (when they've grown out). So they will be evicted soon. They just scare people when they visit anyway so moving them to a non displaying tub will be better in the long run for my friendships anyway.

I just realized while writing this that Ares is 17 years old, and Casper is at least 17. I've looked around various sites at the life expectancy of corns. About 75% of these sites say that corns can get up to 20 years, but the average dies sometime after 15 years of age. The other 25% of the sites have "the latter teens" to 20 as their minimum with some corns going past that. I recall reading something a while back about a 30 year old corn, but I'm not sure where and I can't seem to find that again. Just mentions of that corn in some of these sites.

Casper is really healthy and always has been. She's energetic and has no trouble moving around. Her temperament hasn't changed and she's eating well. I could see her living well past 20. Ares on the other hand.. I'm not sure. He had some time loaned out (about 5 years of his life) to a college where he was a breeding snake. However he got dangerously obese there. When I got him back he was constantly wheezing as he was moving which I assumed was due to the extra weight he was carrying. We slowly dieted him and got him back down to a good weight, and since being housed in a bioactive tank his wheezing has mostly stopped. However now he needs to eat two mice a week to keep up weight (as a nice loaf shape) or if we feed him a single mouse a week he'll slowly get leaner and leaner. When you hold him you can feel parts of his body crack or creak which I wonder if its arthritis again from being overweight for a quarter of his later life. As long as he keeps eating though and keeps on trucking as he is I think he could make it over 20. He's my first snake I ever got, and I'm going to be sad to see him go. So these days I'm keeping an extra close eye on him for any slight changes. Any serious change and it will probably be another vet checkup for him.

I also just realized, that minus the babies I've produced, all of the foundation animals are either under 4 foot in length, or only just over. I really thought Apollo was longer than that, but apparently after he was being good and still I string measured him and he's just 3' 8" as of 6/16/2019. Apollo is 6 years old and has been well fed all his life. Casper was last measured as 3' 10.5" as of 6/16/2019 and she's definitely not getting any bigger than that at her advanced age.  Ares was last measured as 4' 3" as of 6/17/2019 and was the second longest snake we've had so far. He's also been well fed ever since he was young. These three are the progenators of my current keepers that all just seem small to me. Maybe my babies are smaller just because of genetics and not for other reasons that have already been hashed many times in other blogs. I still want them to get at least 4 foot, but now I can understand why the kids are measuring a little over 3 foot at their age.

Hope every has good holidays coming up!

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