I'm hoping not to offend by asking for help here. I'm not looking to build a terrarium per-se, but I am looking to build an extremely natural habitat for a snake (a jungle carpet python). Jungle carpets are a semi-aboreal (tree dwelling snake) and I'm fascinated by both reptiles and terrariums and am looking to have the best of both worlds.
Being that carpet pythons are a pretty decently sized snake (5-6') I can't load the enclosure up with plants, but I'd like to have several small plants mixed in with some driftwood, a moss bedding and possibly a small water hole on one end. I'm working with a 70 gal. terrarium.
I was looking to use hydroponic clay pellets as a substrate under the moss for filtering, but have a few questions:
1. Do I need to put soil or anything between the pellets and moss?
2. What type of moss would you recommend? I'd like something hardy and that won't mind light 10-12 hrs a day (reptile lights, not direct sunlight).
3. Can you recommend any plants to use that are sturdy and won't require a lot of maintenance?
4. Any tips on the water feature in general would be much appreciated.
Again, I hope I'm not posting this out of place considering this won't be a true terrarium, but I'm looking to you as experts since most reptile-keepers are satisfied with just bark, a tree branch and a cheesy water bowl. I on the other hand, love the natural look and would like to imitate a bit of nature.
Thanks for your help,
Tropical Fish Enthusiast
Hi Sol, and welcome to the forums! I have no expertise in this area, but just wanted to say hello. i'm sure some of our "snake people", like OZZY or Prizmbatch or Unknownclown will chime in.
its cool your looking to make a natural type set up for your snake but its extreamly difficult with a snake as active as a carpet python. i had a 6 ft coastal for awhile, beautiful snake but she loved to tear apart her cage. my suggestion is to get yourself a couple of pothos plants, they are cheap and grow fairly quickly. keep one in the cage and grow a couple in a window in your house. as your snake tears them apart in its movements around the cage. you can take them out and replace them with a new one and give the mutilated one a break and grow it out in a window so you can use it as a replacement int he future. you would have to grow them in pots but you could cover the pot with moss or something and drape its vines over the branches in the snakes cage. near as i can figure this is about your best solution. natural type setups work better with smaller less active snakes ot extrealmy light and slim snakes like vine snakes.
Thanks for the suggestion rattler_mt. I actually haven't picked up the snake yet, so I'm not locked in. I've kept a number of snakes in the past (ball pythons, cornsnakes and garters) and was just looking for something new. Good point though.
I've also been considering an Everglades Rat Snake which are smaller and thinner than the carpet pythons. That may wind up being a better choice.
cool. dont count out carpets, they are very beautiful snakes. most snakes arent suited for natural type setups, mainly cause you will never see them. most snakes are fairly reclusive. about the only time i see natural type setups for snakes is in zoos and for small aboreal type species that really benifit from it and even with these its generally just a potted pothos or similar vining plant. good luck and keep us updated.
So I'd really like to order the clay pellets today, if you guys think that would be a good idea. Do I need to get anything else to put between the pellets and the soil that the moss will sit on?
Also, does anybody know of a place to get cut pieces of aquarium glass? I'd like to get the pond area built this weekend as well.
Thanks for all your help!!!