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Callum B
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PostSubject: Callums Reptiles.   6/18/2012, 2:37 pm

****Edit: renamed thread title. May as well keep all my reptile pics in one place***

Elo,

I got me a new snakey at the weekend Very Happy

Here in the UK we've been having a lot of trouble with extremist animal rights groups, with one group in particular, the APA, using particularly nasty tactics to try to reach their eventual aim of banning exotics keeping. The IHS Breeders meeting that was held on sunday was targeted by the APA in a number of ways, including bomb threats to the owners of the venue!!! The show was initially cancelled by Doncaster Council because of the 'pressure' from the APA, but due to amazing work by the FBH and IHS, and a great decision by a judge (yep, it had to go to court) the show was back on.

Anyway enough rambling, I wasn't going to go to the show but because of all the events that have happened leading up to it I decided last minute to go to show my support and give the finger to the APA. It turns out that I found love at the show haha, in the form of a small, very cute, little red spotted garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis concinnus). I've always loved garters, in fact my first ever snake was a red sided garter (Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis), and when I saw this little guy I couldn't resist.

Here's some piccies of the garter, waaaaaay better than any nasty boa, ball or corn morphs lol (no offence intended to any lovers of morphs, I'm just not a fan) and its colours and markings will just keep getting better with age........





Better pics, with some decent light will be put up later when the garters settled in. I just snapped these quickly when I was moving the snake to its new home.



Last edited by Callum B on 10/19/2012, 8:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jay
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PostSubject: Re: Callums Reptiles.   6/18/2012, 3:41 pm

Nice new addition there Callum, my very first reptile/snake was a red headed garter snake when I was in primary school.

Viscous little thing it was!

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Callum B
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PostSubject: Re: Callums Reptiles.   6/18/2012, 3:53 pm

Cheers Jamie (your name looks so much better in red GAG lol, congrats on being modded.)

It's just had its first meal with me, some lovely earthworms. So cute watching it hunt them down.

This one has so far been very well behaved. It hasn't even felt the need to squirt me with stinky gunk yet which is good lol.
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PostSubject: Re: Callums Reptiles.   6/19/2012, 1:23 pm

Wow.. is the word Smile
My apologies for my ignorance.. it feeds on earthworms? snake

So cute.. lolz
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PostSubject: Re: Callums Reptiles.   6/20/2012, 8:30 am

Yep at the moment it's taking earthworms. I'll start to offer it small pieces of trout and salmon soon. When it's a lot bigger it will also get the occasional pinky.
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PostSubject: Re: Callums Reptiles.   10/19/2012, 9:27 am

Natrix maura, the viperine snake.

A rather good Birthday present from the gf. The male is hiding awaying because he's about to slough but the very curious female has been out and about alot. They're called viperine snakes because they are adder mimics. Their patterning from a distance is very similar and they also make a huffing, hissing noise just like a grumpy adder does. Unlike the adder though, they are not venemous and instead take great pleasure in squirting stinking musk all over you when first picked up. They're very placid once they've calmed down though.







And a female adder I photographed in Spring for comparison.



They'll be cooled down to brumate soon and over the winter I'll be creating a large, naturalistic vivarium for them. In the wild this species is always found next to water, so I'm hoping to incorporate a large water area in the enclosure.
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PostSubject: Re: Callums Reptiles.   10/19/2012, 9:35 am

I'm not sure if I've shown off Boris the Russian/Horsefields tortoise (Testudo horsefieldii) yet but here he is in his outdoor enclosure enjoying one of the rare days of sunshine we've had this summer.





I'm not actually sure of his sex yet, or his age. He was given to us by someone who bought him on a whim and got bored after a few months. He's a little character though. He'll also be cooled and brumated soon.
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PostSubject: Re: Callums Reptiles.   11/27/2012, 4:17 pm

The enclosure for the N. maura is coming along well.

I've finished building the fake rock background and the plants have now been in for around 2 weeks. I cannot wait for them to mature over the next few months. The ivy will look awesome covering the back wall and wood, and the thyme should trail over the rock ledge like a green waterfall lol. I've also had a go at making my own waterdish to fit in with the surrounding decor.

The enclosure is snake free at the moment as they are being cooled for winter, but the female will be added to it in spring. It will give the plants a head start anyway.











I also ended up with an unexpected new pet recently. A 3 year old spur thighed tortoise, Testudo graeca graeca. The poor thing had been kept pretty badly and had developed runny nose syndrome. A trip to the vets and a more suitable enclosure and she seems to be coming round.

What the poor girl was in before Sad



And now, a homemade tortoise table. I used a shelving unit, removed the shelves, attached some 12mm chipboard to the back, sealed and varnished and then tipped it over. I had some insulation, grout and paint left from the N. maura enclosure and so put in some fake rocks and a hide. The final touch was a couple of Carex sp. 'gold'.






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PostSubject: Re: Callums Reptiles.   11/27/2012, 5:46 pm

Callum, respect dude. That Natrix enclosure is just amazing. You gave me a few ideas for my new Copperhead enclosure.
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PostSubject: Re: Callums Reptiles.   11/27/2012, 7:02 pm

Cheers man. It was my first go at a homemade background and I'm pretty pleased with it.

You should definately have a go at it. It doesn't cost a huge amount and it's fairly straightforward to do. I got my inspiration from this thread http://www.captivebredreptileforums.co.uk/snakes-general/58525-naturalistic-vivaria-snakes-fake-rock-walls-how-why-guide.html It will also give you an idea of how to go about doing it.
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PostSubject: Re: Callums Reptiles.   11/28/2012, 1:11 am

Nice critters and way cool cages!
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PostSubject: Re: Callums Reptiles.   11/28/2012, 6:40 am

I was googling foam backgrounds for hours last night. Found some good examples but yours stays the best looking. Did you use any special methods that weren't mentioned? Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Callums Reptiles.   11/28/2012, 6:50 am

Damn, that is one sick set-up there Callum, nice work!

Much better than my first attempt at fake rocks. Really fun to make, the only thing I found with mine is they didn't hold up for very long. They're hard to clean and start looking dirty. What coating have you used on the outside? I just used PVA glue but I'm sure there's something better for the job out there. I'm due to remake mine soon.

Also I found this site a good source of inspiration.

Lizard Landscapes.com

Those Viperine snake are interesting too, pretty good imitator of the Adder, not seen those before. I don't like the sound of that musk though! haha.

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PostSubject: Re: Callums Reptiles.   11/28/2012, 8:43 am

shadowfoot wrote:
I was googling foam backgrounds for hours last night. Found some good examples but yours stays the best looking. Did you use any special methods that weren't mentioned? Wink

Haha cheers. No special methods as far as I know. I used celotex insulation board. Carved it up into the shapes I wanted. Used an all purpose glue and bits of wooden skewers to hold it all together. I then filled in any huge gaps with an extra thick mix of tile grout.

Once that was all dry I began to cover the lot in grout. I bought powdered grout mix so that I could get the consistency I wanted i.e. I could use a paintbrush to apply it. The first layer I applied was pretty thick. I allowed that to dry and then started mixing in paint with the grout for the next 3 layers, allowing each new layer to dry. Each mix was a slightly different colour to give it some definition. The 3rd layer didn't fully cover the grout already on the background and so gave a more realistic effect. The lighting is to bright in the pictures to show it, but in 'real life' the rocks are mottled a few different shades of grey, muddy white and the odd spot of light brown.

For species that require damp setups it's recommended you use yacht varnish to seal the grout but for dry species you can just leave the grout as it is.

For the water bowl, I used the method above and then applied three coats of clear G4 pond sealer to waterproof it. The G4 changed the colour of the grout a bit but it's not to bad and kind of looks like wet rocks, which is appropriate for a water bowl lol.

Thrasops goes in to way more detail on the link I posted above.

Jay wrote:
Damn, that is one sick set-up there Callum, nice work!

Much better than my first attempt at fake rocks. Really fun to make, the only thing I found with mine is they didn't hold up for very long. They're hard to clean and start looking dirty. What coating have you used on the outside? I just used PVA glue but I'm sure there's something better for the job out there. I'm due to remake mine soon.

Also I found this site a good source of inspiration.

Lizard Landscapes.com

Those Viperine snake are interesting too, pretty good imitator of the Adder, not seen those before. I don't like the sound of that musk though! haha.

Danke schon Very Happy

Yer, it was great fun to make. Although, I created an unbeleivable mess when cutting up the insulation. The dust went everywhere.

As above, no coating as these guys like it dry.

Cleaning up has got me a bit worried as scrubbing out the enclosure is pretty much impossible. I've decided to have a go at using a clean up crew of inverts. I've added a load of woodlice and bits of bark and soil from the garden to kickstart a bioactive substrate. Hopefully spot cleaning and a quick brush with water will get most of it up, and the mini beasts can do the rest.

That site is great, although I'm not to keen on the 'fake' fake stuff like castles, but the natural stuff looks good.

The viperines are amazing. The female is so active and inquisitive. I'm going to try my hand at breeding next year so there may be some babies available at some point.

I've still got bits of material left over so I may do a mini version for one of my scorpion enclosures and take some step by step pictures for the How To section on here. I'm picturing an old dry stone wall theme for a pair of Euscorpius spp. Cool
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PostSubject: Re: Callums Reptiles.   11/28/2012, 9:17 am

I had to google that lol no worries.

Ah right, sorry I should have read more closely. Mine was for the beardies so they like it dry too but I can't imagine trying to pick up/clean feces from the uncoated grout. I made mine pretty smooth and wipeable and they still ended up pretty bad looking after 6 months, maybe it was just the PVA. I have found snakes to be even messier, well my python is anyway not sure about those guys.

I hear you on the mess the insulation makes, what a nightmare. Not to mention painting on runny grout, I brought the pre mixed stuff but just watered that down.

I'd definitely consider a baby from you in the future, let us know if it happens mate, very interesting species. Space shouldn't be an issue for me for much longer.

Euscorpius set-up is a great idea although I'd be tempted to just use broken real house bricks. Probably easier and more authentic. Also I'd worry about them succsesfully burrowing into the fake rock lol not going to happen with Euscorpius but my Haddy managed to burrow through 100% ex clay with mycosis front legs so I wouldn't put it past them! Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Callums Reptiles.   1/1/2013, 1:37 am

@ Callum B,
Dude! you have a great creativity. cheers you give us some inspirations and ideas to do DIYs. thanks for sharing. awesome enclosures.. headbang
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