Clint Responds: Top 5 Reptiles For Beginners
Posted on June 25, 2017
In response to our last video about the 5 best pet reptiles, we wanted to address a lot of great comments, ideas, questions and potential criticisms we received from Reddit, Facebook and YouTube. We have loved receiving all of these comments. It gives us a lot of encouragement. And gives us motivation to keep making these videos.
0:53 Reddit user: hoorayexplosions
“I’m a new reptile / corn snake owner… Mine is a juvenile so I also have a lot of questions about how often you can handle them.”
2:15 Reddit user: ChompsonGeckos
“… with the corn snakes & ball pythons, do they bite at all? I’ve heard they don’t too much, but I didn’t hear you say anything about that in the video.”
3:11 SPECTACULAR reptiles that didn’t make the list and why
3:28 Common Boas
4:20 Blue Tongue Skink suggested by Reddit user: ImaLumpyPotato
“From what I’ve seen blue tongue skinks are quickly becoming more and more popular, a video on them would be cool!”
6:02 Kingsnake suggested by Reddit user: Cowql8er
“The only change I would make is to put Kingsnake instead of Ball Python”
7:05 Russian Tortoise suggested by Reddit user: LightSlayerPantyOn
“Russian tortoise would have been good. Small. Slow. Easy to feed. Doesn’t need hugs.”
7:49 Future video suggestions
7:57 Reddit user: jjhill001
“The main problem I see with some videos [is]… They never give the WHY part of the equation. WHY does my Beardie need these lights, WHY does my snake need these hide spots…”
8:10 Reddit user: jjhill001
“Getting a tiny little baby at the pet store might not be the best idea… they are in general hardier the bigger they are and can be held more.”
9:16 Reddit user: wallyTHEgecko
“Another good video might be 5 common, but bad … starter reptiles … focusing on the easily available and cheap ones .. price does not equal ease of care.”
9:47 Reddit user: Azraelrs
“You should show more variety.. a person might see the ‘normal’ corn in your video and not catch their interest.. if you had some examples of other morphs and variations you might truly pull someone’s interest to the animal.”
10:23 Reddit user: plu7o89
“Also maybe highlight what kind of products in the pet industry people should be using or should be avoiding (heat rocks).”
10:50 Reddit users hoorayexplosions, jjhill001, plu7o89, wallyTHEgecko, syberphunk, ZMan941, and MCwaffle89 as well as YouTube user Isa7ada123 all suggested we go deeper into each of the reptiles we chose.
11:06 Thanks to everyone who was so nice to us!
Reddit users Hackenfied, ImaLumpyPotato, MCwaffle89, jjhill001, Panties85, wallyTHEgecko, ZMan941, Azraelrs, and ChompsonGeckos as well as YouTube users Amjad Gujjar, Mung0, AsianBatman, and DerpyQuagsire.
11:27 Reddit user: _ataraxia
“… corn snakes shouldn’t be eating rats, certainly not on a regular basis.”
12:11 Reddit user: _ataraxia
“I don’t know why you would include ball pythons on a list of animals that don’t get stressed easily.”
12:40 Reddit users: WorstWarriorNA, ZMan941, and plu7o89
concerned that you should never feed live rodents to snakes.
13:44 Reddit users _ataraxia andWorstWarriorNA
concerned that interacting with reptiles is not playing with reptiles.
14:40 Reddit users: paintedpythons, SmolderingDesigns, and ZMan941 hated the fact that we mentioned pet stores rather than breeders, online breeders and reptile expos.
15:54 We love you guys!
16:15 Everyone who has given us such great encouraging words!
Reddit users Hackenfied, ImaLumpyPotato, MCwaffle89, jjhill001, Panties85, wallyTHEgecko, ZMan941, Azraelrs, and ChompsonGeckos as well as YouTube users Amjad Gujjar, Mung0, AsianBatman, and DerpyQuagsire.
In response to our last video about the five best pet reptiles, if you haven’t seen it before it’s right there right right here now click there watch it first then come back then watch this video. All right ok now you’re back?
Welcome back, did you enjoy it? A lot of people did we’ve had a lot of really great comments from Reddit, YouTube, Facebook all over the place. Lots of people have come out lots of people have voiced their support and a lot of people have had some really great ideas as well as potential criticisms but also things that they loved about the videos and they’ve given us a lot of encouragement. Which has us really excited about making more of these videos in the future. We wanted to take some time to just respond to a few of these these comments that we’ve had. Let’s talk about a few of the questions.
We got one from reddit user: hoorayexplosions asking how often you should handle the corn snake. Fantastic question. Snakes are fun to handle that’s one of the best things about keeping snakes it is possible to over handle them. If you find that your snake is not eating you’re probably handling it too much. Keep in mind there really is no amount of handling that a snake requires. Snakes don’t really need social interaction with people in the wild they would never have that they’re usually not social with one another and everything in the wild can kill a snake so they’re easily frightened. That’s why snakes feel so comfortable down in holes and they need little hides and stuff because snakes spend most of their life trying to avoid getting killed by everything else in the world. When you’re a noodle with a head the world’s a dangerous place. So they don’t need to be handled. If you are going to handle them which is one of the fun things about owning a snake you can handle them pretty much daily. Like I said if you find that they’re not eating cut back on the handling and maybe stop handling them completely until they are eating and then leave them alone for a couple of days after they’ve eaten so that they can digest that meal. Sometimes snakes can regurgitate if they’re being stressed too much handled too much shortly after eating. So you want to make sure that they’re getting enough to eat they’re not losing weight but if they’re still eating and they’re never regurgitating or anything when you’re handling them, you’re probably good to go.
Alright, we got a question from reddit user: Chompsongeckos asking if corn snakes and ball pythons bite at all. Yes they do anything with a mouth can bite you and corn snakes and ball pythons can definitely bite you. I’m pretty good at not getting bit by snakes you can tell a defensive snake very easily or a snake that’s confusing you for a meal which is the main way that you’re going to get bit by a corn snake or a ball python usually they’re going to be very alert and focused on you. I see when a snake is poised like this and looking at you and you move it follows you. Don’t reach at it. That’s been my my winning strategy for not getting bit most of my life. I don’t tend to get bit by defensive snakes or snakes confusing me with a feeding opportunity because I just don’t reach for snakes that are doing that. And you can see this snake here not interested at all in what I’m doing. But ball pythons corn snakes absolutely can bite especially as babies. Usually and it’s going to vary a lot based on the individual.
We got a lot of suggestions regarding which reptiles we picked for the five best and I will tell you spectacular. They were spectacular choices but they didn’t make our list. And I want to talk about each one why it’s great and why it didn’t make our list. King snakes Blue Tongue skinks Russian tortoises and common Boas BCI’s as they’re often known I’ve got one of those with me right now.
This is actually a Central American Boa which is the same species as the common boa. This is a population that is generally a little bit smaller though this one is about seven feet long that’s actually why the common boa didn’t make our list, they’re big. Like I said seven feet that’s a pretty serious snake even though they’re far more closely related to ball pythons than they are the corn snakes, behaviorally they’re a lot like having a giant corn snake. Personally they’re one of my favorite snakes in the world to interact with. This is my BCI boa my Central American boa. Love her. Never interacted with a snake that I enjoy like I enjoy interacting with her. But she’s big and she’s a handful compared to a ball python or corn snake. While I think this is a great spectacular second or third reptile for somebody. If you’re just getting your feet wet this might be a little bit serious. Love her though.
Another reptile suggested for the top five and this is one that we had a very difficult time not putting in the top five. Was the Blue Tongue skink. I think you could make a very good case for this being the single best pet reptile. Period. They’re spectacular. Love them. They’re intelligent good to interact with they’ve kind of got a lot of the best features of snakes and lizards well other lizards. All in one little package. They’re easy to feed they’re easy the house they don’t need too much heat they’re just spectacular. I’ll tell you why they didn’t make it on the list. Two things one of them and this is not a huge deal Blue Tongue skink actually are a large complex of different species of skinks all from Australia and neighbouring islands. A lot of times the care advice that you get even though they’re all fairly similar to each other the species are different from one another and for a brand new reptile keeper it might be difficult for them to know which species they have and what advice pertains to that species. The bigger deal with these guys is they’re expensive and kind of difficult to find. If they were as common and easy to find as a bearded dragons they would of bumped bearded dragons off of the list in a heartbeat. Blue Tongue skink are incredible pet reptiles. But we’re talking something that’s going to cost you $200 at least that’s if you can find one. A lot of the reason they’re so difficult to find is because they’re very difficult to breed and they tend to beat each other up they can tear each other’s legs off tails off so people who keep them because they want a great pet reptile are kind not the same people that are going to breed them and they give live birth to a relatively small number each year. Frankly if you’re going to invest in one reptile and you know you want to have a reptile for the rest of your life, get a Blue Tongue skink.
Another one of the animals that we’ve suggested was king snakes potentially to replace you the ball python or the corn snake. Mind you you know we were kind of going for some diversity in the animals that we picked in a lot of ways a king snake is going to be very similar to a corn snake you know fairly similar size similar diet similar housing requirements this particular individual is a pueblan milk snake which is a type of king snake other popular ones are California king snakes desert kings other types of milk snakes. Truth is, they are spectacular pets. There is a reason that we didn’t include them this snake is it a lot more likely to bite you than than any of the others I am pretty good at identifying a snake that’s defensive and I’ve been bit by the snake. I’ve only been bit by two different snakes in my entire life and this is one of those two but this is my king snake. And I think they’re great so a good choice a very good choice but for a first time reptile keeper if you don’t like getting bit by snakes I would recommend a corn snake or a ball python potentially over a king snake even though it’s spectacular.
Another reptile suggested for the best or one of the best five pet reptiles is the russian tortoise. This is a russian tortoise. Honestly for the first time reptile keeper this is probably the best turtle you could get. I’ll you why they didn’t make the list tortoises live a very very very long time and in a lot of ways that’s a great thing but if you’re somebody who’s thinking, “Hmm.. maybe I’d like to try out keeping a reptile.” And you get something that’s going to live for like 75 years you played a lifetime commitment. This guy will get bigger than this but not very much. Russian tortoise probably the best tortoise you can get. Strongly recommend them, excellent like I said the only reason I didn’t make it into the top five it’s just a lifetime commitment.
We also got a lot of suggestions about potential topics for future videos spectacular suggestions and ones that we’re probably going to take. For example reddit user: JJ Hill001: mentioned that in a lot of care videos they talk about what you need to do but they don’t give you a lot of the why I love that you brought that up that’s something that we are definitely going to try to focus on mostly as a result of that comment. So I love it.
Also from JJHill001 they talked about the fact that a lot of places suggest buying a baby reptile when a baby reptile might not be ideal that’s a very good point there are a lot of reptiles that frankly are easier pets for a brand new keeper when they’re older babies are probably the most fragile that they’re ever going to be during their lives the truth is animals are diverse and sometimes you get babies that aren’t going to make it or are going to be very difficult to get started. Starting with an adult’s can be a lot easier the main drawbacks a lot of people tend to connect with a baby reptile and enjoy getting to watch it grow up. Finding adults can be more difficult because breeders don’t tend to grow them up and so when you do find them you’re probably buying them from somebody who for one reason or another is getting rid of their pet reptile you have no idea how that reptile was cared for up until the point you got it and there are a lot of diseases and stuff it could be virtually irreversible by the time it falls into your care. You might have that reptile for six months or a year and it could just spontaneously die on you and it might be because the people that had it before didn’t treat it the way it should have been treated. So it has pros and cons.
Reddit user: wallyTHEgecko suggested that we do a worst beginner reptiles video. That’s a spectacular idea we will have to do that because there are a lot of reptiles out there like ones that you suggested that often times can be obtained inexpensively and you think hey I’ve got this little lizard it’s going to be okay and a 10 gallon aquarium and it’s just not and a lot of times they’re full of weapons they’re generally fairly aggressive and they’re a terrible terrible choice for a brand new reptile keeper and you didn’t even know it and no one will tell you so we will definitely do that in the future.
Reddit user: Azraelrs suggested that we should show more morphs for the various reptiles that we’re going to talk about. And as we get into more details about individual types of reptiles you better believe we’re going to talk to you about morphs. Because morphs are a huge part of the pet industry when it comes to these reptiles. The ease of breeding was a lot of the reason that we picked them and it’s fun for breeders to breed morphs, it’s fun to buy morphs because these are common reptiles and you kind of want yours to stand out from the crowd and morphs often do stand out from the crowd. So, we’ll be talking all about morphs, we’ll talk about inheritance we’ll talk about really cool things that maybe you never thought about before.
Reddit user: Plu7o89 with the T represented by a 7 suggested pointing out the good and bad reptile products that are commonly sold. Spectacular. We will definitely talk about things that you should buy and things that you shouldn’t buy like heat rocks terrible idea but frequently sold and we’ll talk about all kinds of things that you should avoid and things that you should do when building a proper enclosure for these reptiles. So spectacular spectacular idea.
A suggestion was that we go deeper into each of the five reptiles that we were talking about. You discuss a little bit more about what it’s like to keep them what it’s like to interact with them we’re going to do that. Promise you were going to do that we’re going to do that with every single one of these five and then we’re going to move on to a whole lot of other reptiles and also spectacular pets.
We’d also like to give just a thank you to all of you on reddit Facebook YouTube you guys have been spectacular you’ve given us such a warm welcome to to the YouTube world.
Along with a little bit of praise we also got a fair number of criticisms about our video and so we want to talk about some of those things they were reasonable concerns. One of them from reddit user: _ataraxia mentioned that you shouldn’t regularly feed rats to corn snakes. That’s a fair comment. It’s going to pretty much come down to how big your corn snake is. Corn snakes actually fall into the group of snakes called rat snakes. As adults corn snakes do get fairly large. A corn snake can eat probably a small rat now you don’t want to feed them an extra large rat. Just like any rodent eating snake you’re going to need to investigate study out we’ll be talking about this more in future videos exactly what size feeder rodents are ideal to feed your snake but if you have a big enough corn snakes you’re probably going to be feeding it rats on a regular basis. Not all that so the same size but you’re absolutely right you don’t want to feed too large of a prey item to a snake that can actually lead to the premature death of your snake so I’m glad you brought that up.
Reddit user: _ataraxia also felt that ball python shouldn’t be on the list because of their stress levels. Fair enough they probably do stress more easily than some snakes if you are handling your snakes so much that it’s not eating you probably should cut back some in general though they’re pretty great about handling there they’re just more low-key than a lot of snakes are but you’ve always got to be careful you don’t want to overdo it and you can overdo it with a ball python or any snake. Fair comment. I still think they belong on the list.
We had a few Reddit users WorstWarriorNA Zman941 and Plu7o89 with the 7 representing the T they didn’t like that we talked about feeding live rodents to snakes. Probably a good thing to mention especially since we’re talking about people who’s never kept snakes before. Truth of the matter is sometimes you’re going to get snakes that don’t feed on frozen thawed. T hat is a rodent that you buy that has been pre killed it’s been frozen you thaw it out you feed to the snak. If your snakes will take those that’s spectacular some snakes won’t and so the only alternative to letting your snake starve to death is to feed it live rodents there are some obvious problems of this one thing is a live rodent can carry diseases that usually would be taken care of by the freezing process if you’re buying from a reputable breeder that’s probably not a major concern other things rodents can kill snakes if you leave a rodent unattended with a snake and the snake doesn’t eat it the rodent will eat the snake so you never ever want to leave a snake with in unattended rodent and so that’s a very reasonable concern and I’m glad that you brought it up like I said sometimes it’s a necessary thing but it’s not ideal.
Ah! Reddit users: _ataraxia and WorstWarriorNA both didn’t like the fact that I referred to interacting with reptiles as playing with a reptile. I don’t really have a better word for it though. A Blue Tongue skink requires no human interaction a ball python a boa no matter what you get is they’re not social creatures they don’t need you to get them out if you’re getting them out and interacting with them you’re playing with that animal. Now I think I think your concern is that it’s going to send the message to people that you know you can like take a snake out and play fetch and you can’t. Can’t do that with a reptile. Good point. What I’m doing right now with this Blue Tongue skink I would classify as I’m playing with the skink I’m having fun I am enjoying my interaction with this reptile in the way that you interact with the reptile not in the way that you interact with puppies of course also not the way that you interact with a football don’t toss them around I don’t know what else to call it frankly I’m playing I’m a primate. Primates play. He’s not playing he’s just hanging out.
Okay, Reddit users: paintedpythons, SmolderingDesigns ZMan941 all hated the fact that I mentioned pet stores instead of breeders online breeders and reptile Expos. Fair enough. I definitely think that going directly to a breeder probably the best possible place that you could get a pet reptile. I will mention though that when you get to a pet store you’re still buying from a breeder generally unless you’re buying a wild caught reptile but generally speaking they are selling animals from breeders sometimes though they’re kept in questionable conditions for however long they’re in a pet store. Truth of the matter is we need pet stores. There are a lot of things that you can get online, but as a brand-new reptile keeper if you’ve just got one reptile for example you might need crickets a few times a week or during six crickets at a time online is just not doable so you’re going to need a local pet shop and there are good pet shops and there are bad pet shops. Support the good ones these are people who love this hobby they love the animals they keep they love supporting the reptile community in their area support these people if they’re obviously keeping the reptiles in terrible conditions if the animals there are suffering do not support this sort of business so I’m glad that you mentioned that.
Overall we just love that you love the video we love that you’re learning from the video we love that you’re choosing an excellent pet reptile based on the things that you’re learning here we love the things that we learn from you we love the criticisms we love the suggestions we love it all because everything that you guys told us is going to make every video we make in the future better than the last.
And so keep the suggestions coming we’re also super grateful for the encouraging words that we’ve gotten from so many people look at them all they’re everywhere all these people we are so thankful for the things that we’ve heard from you please keep telling us the things that you want to see things you want to hear the animals you want to hear about and we will keep these videos coming remember like subscribe check out our other videos leave us comments and if you want have a comment specifically for Houdini just make it out to Houdini dear Houdini I don’t like that they called you a turtle because I know you’re a tortoise Houdini will write you back and say thank you for your comment tortoises are a type of turtle. And we’ll talk to you soon. Be free Houdini.