General Rules for Apartment Living & Reptile Care

There are many aspects to reptile and insect keeping. Many opinions differ on what is appropriate to some degree. Then, there are generalities which typically everyone understands and holds as a truth. Below are listing of these generalities. I’m doing this so that I won’t have to bore you with re-explaining every time. This would undoubtedly be tedious for you and me both. I want your experience here to be nothing but enjoyable. So the following are general accepted practices that I will explain here and from time to time make reference to within the care articles appearing later. I will have a link to this page when I use terms that are to be found here.
General rule 1) Any water used with any pet should be deionized water. The reason for this is it’s healthier for your pet not to mention that it will not leave deposits on the walls of an enclosure. Later when I talk about water in any article it should be known that I am speaking of deionized water.
General rule 2) All pets should be given fresh water daily. Under no circumstances is this to be ignored especially when speaking of amphibians. Fouled water is toxic to your pet.
General rule 3) All snakes should be fed in a different container from the one that they are housed in. Not doing so could lead to a bite from the snake due to its association with the enclosure opening that it is being fed.
General rule 4) After handling rodents make sure to wash your hands prior to handling any reptile. The reptile may make the mistake of scent and heat of your skin as being a meal.
General rule 5) Before handling any amphibian for any amount of time make sure to moisten hands with deionized water.
General rule 6) Amphibians are NOT a handling pet leave them alone they are hands off unless absolutely necessary.
General rule 7) Any reptile that is a diurnal or out foraging during the day will derive some benefit from UVB exposure from either fluorescent or natural sunlight. This rule generally applies to lizards, turtles, and tortoises.
General rule 8) All insectivores and herbivores must be given a vitamin and calcium supplemented diet.
General rule 9) Wash and sanitize any area where accessories used for reptiles that have come into contact with human shared places.
General Rule 10) Never own anything over 6 feet in length.


6 Responses to “General Rules for Apartment Living & Reptile Care”

  1. Abby T. April 20, 2010 at 4:55 am #

    You did an excellent job on your blog.
    Keep up the good work.

  2. Jerry June 20, 2010 at 6:04 am #

    I like what you have, except I disagree with rule 3. If the only reason you go into the snakes enclosure is to feed it, it may think there is food coming in. But if you go in the enclosure often and handle the snake, there is no reason you can not feed the snake in it’s enclosure. I have over 100 snakes and I feed all of them in their enclosures and do not get bit. I also disagree with never keeping a snake over 6′. There are some nice rat snakes that get over 6′ and make great pets.

  3. John F Taylor June 20, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    Well I would be highly interested in what the breed of snakes you’re dealing with as there are exceptions to every rule and some snakes as we all know have different temperaments. Rosy Boas are lot more docile than say an Amazon Tree Boa. As you will see in my latest post I agree but I what i’m mostly referring to is people trying to keep Anacondas and the like in an apartment. Thanks for the comment and I look forward to discussing this more with you. As is stated in the title these are generalities not concretes.

  4. kristianne July 23, 2010 at 1:54 am #

    Post more reptile rules! I am the keeper of two “Neon Tree Dragons” or Japalura splendida, and also the proud keeper of a lovely beardie. I have stumbled upon your site and enjoy your experienced insight. If there is anything you might advise strongly, share with me! I’d love to hear it.

    Just thought I’d let you know I’ll keep you in mind if I never need any good advice.

  5. Donna August 11, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

    A few disagreements:
    1) Water safe for you to drink is generally safe for a reptile to drink (but not an amphibian).

    3)As a ball python breeder, I have to tell you, many of these shy snakes will not eat if you put them into a separate container. Some of them won’t even eat if they were handled earlier the same day. Cage aggression is rare in ball pythons. It is not recommended to feed ball pythons in a separate container. Snakes eat when they feel secure, as eating makes them vulnerable. Know your species, and maintain it according to its needs.

    10) 8 feet is the safe handling cutoff, not 6 feet. No reason to bar people from keeping jungle carpet pythons.

  6. John F Taylor August 12, 2010 at 10:26 pm #

    Donna, I have searched the site to discover where you came up with number one and I’ll be darned if I could find where I said that water that is safe for humans to drink is safe for amphibians. As for Rule 3) I think you misinterpreted what was being said. I stated snakes should be fed in a container other than their enclosure due to the risk of the snake associating the opening of said enclosure with being fed and possibly biting you by mistake. I never mentioned anything about cage aggression. But I am sure you’d agree as you’re a Royal/Ball Python breeder that feeding two snakes in any enclosure is risky due to one or the other finishing a meal first and then possibly trying to eat the others meal and possibly consuming the other the snake in the process. Many books mention that this practice is a very dangerous one and should not be done.
    I have fed every single snake I have ever owned in a different container other than their normal enclosure and have never had and issue of them feeding properly. I have published articles stating this fact in major reptile publications Reptilia and Reptiles USA magazines (page 54) and the editors of those publications agreed. So I find your dispute with this intriguing and would like to hear your further comments on this particular subject. I have rarely seen a “shy” Royal/Ball Python after they’ve adapted to captivity or that are captive bred.
    Snakes eat when they are hungry and depending on the risk factor involved will take prey when they can find it. As far as “Know your species, and maintain it according to its needs.” Myself and Reptilia Magazine and their subscribers believe that I know the species of Royal/Ball Python Python regius as they were the ones who published my article and to this day I still receive positive feedback on the article. I have maintained healthy Royal/Ball Pythons for over ten years and have learned from some of the most prominent breeders of the species in the herpteocultural industry today.
    As far as rule 10 is concerned. Generally speaking an average person can handle a six foot snake without issue of becoming overcome should something go awry. I owned 5 Jungle Carpet Pythons myself and love them. I give the six foot rule as a guideline. If you had read the other articles on the blog you would have seen i wrote an article about the Taiwan Beauty Snake which is larger than six foot species. All of these GENERAL rules are just that generalities which I thought I had made clear in the original opening. All rules have exceptions and should be viewed as guidelines. In closing I want to thank you for the comment and hope you will return and read more of the blog and enjoy the site as a whole.

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