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 Great items that you may not have thought of ...

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Focal
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PostSubject: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:46 pm

I figured I would create a thread where everyone can list and explain the use of a nifty item that has been a great help to them. Maybe someone else can go, "hey that's a good idear!"


I know most of us work with nocturnal species and in doing so, cleaning leave has left us in the dark. I've always found myself fumbling for a flash light when looking in tubs or scraping poop out of a deep enclosure. PIA! Well, I had one of these when I was a kid but it was huge and had a lamp. It is definitely in my top 10 of best investments.



It even has a red LED's that can be used at night, otherwise they are bright! Combo'd with some good batteries, and sometimes I can usually see the bottom when I go fishing Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:37 pm

A spoon is one of the best tools to have in your reptile room. It can be used to scrape out urates and feces from the bottom of tubs.

Also, if you have an incubator it is a good idea to keep a spray water bottle in the incubator so it maintains a nice temperature for when you spray around your snakes (going in shed, etc.)
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:00 pm

I use small tap light attached to the top of my vision cages, more for bring light to the cage for cleaning then see the animals.
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:42 am

Don wrote:
A spoon is one of the best tools to have in your reptile room. It can be used to scrape out urates and feces from the bottom of tubs.

Also, if you have an incubator it is a good idea to keep a spray water bottle in the incubator so it maintains a nice temperature for when you spray around your snakes (going in shed, etc.)

smd58 wrote:
I use small tap light attached to the top of my vision cages, more for bring light to the cage for cleaning then see the animals.

Ahhh, the tap light makes great sense! I also like the idea of the incubator heating the water bottle. Less stress and I have a reason to keep the incubator running to keep the back up battery charged. Thanks.
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:19 pm

The little magnetic aquarium glass cleaner thing. My bosses 80+ yr old grandfather was in here the other day when I was using it on my little gallon betta tank the other day and he was like "wow, what is that?" so I had to explain it and show him how it worked and he was like "oh yeah, thats genius, i remember having to stick my hand in the tank" blah blah lol. so i decided that if Milton thought it was a good idea it had to be genius Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:58 pm

After seeing another post, I thought I would point out what I think are some essentials for a reptile room. First, I think every reptile room should have a good temperature gun. I use mine almost daily to check temps of racks, temps of f/t before feeding, temps of the snakes themselves. It takes a good accurate temperature in a matter of seconds.

Second, a good digital scale is very useful in a reptile room. This will allow you to monitor closely a snake's weight which is very helpful if they are refusing food. It is also helpful if you want to sell snakes because the most frequent question is how much does it weigh?

Third, a pair of feeding tongs with rubber tips. Not only good for f/t, but can be used to reach into an enclosure and pull out dead but not eaten food. Sometimes a snake will strike and kill a rodent but not eat it. The tongs can keep you from getting bit. I can't count the times I reach for those tongs. They are very useful.

Fourth, a good disinfectant. I use S10 and Chlorhexidine. Hopefully, I shouldn't have to explain why this is needed.

Fifth, don't wait until you have mites to get medication. I use Reptile Relief as a preventative around my racks (on the floor, etc.). I also have a couple cans of Provent-a-Mite just in case I need to use it.

Sixth, an antibiotic ointment for small scrapes and cuts. Be sure to get one without pain relief additives. This is great if you snake gets a rat bite or other scrape. Keep it on hand because you don't want to have to run out to get some when it is inconvenient.

Seventh, probes. Popping is good, but it is nice to confirm with a set of probes.

Eighth, a big bottle of hand sanitizer. Good for when you have guest come into your room. Mine is right by the door as you walk into the room.

I also keep spray bottles, paper towels, a knife, spoons (for cleaning tubs), scrub brushes, bottle washers and various other items in my reptile room. The best thing about my room is a deep sink. If you ever design or look to make a reptile room, be sure to think about a sink. I know of one breeder who has a dishwasher in his reptile room for cleaning water bowls. It is very convenient to be able to wash things in the reptile room rather than carting tubs and dishes to the kitchen.

I think items one through six are very useful to have whether you have one snake or a dozen or more.

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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:41 pm

That was a very informative post, Don! I sure have a lot of items that I need to save up for, not least among all is a rack. I'd love to find a DIY rack to build and a DIY small cooler incubator.
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:55 pm

Pretty exhaustive list... great items everyone!

I have two more items to add that may be of more use to lizard owners though:

1) A shop vac for quickly and easily removing substrate from enclosures. I have a small handheld shop vac for spot cleaning and a large shop vac for full sand removal. This reduced my cleaning time by probably 90% for the complete jobs.

2) Instead of a spray bottle, I got a water mister in the garden section at Home Depot for $5. It's the kind that has a easy manual pump and then you just hold down the handle to spray. It of course has an adjustable nozzle to adjust the spray like the spray bottles do. This is a life saver when spraying clutches of baby bearded dragons daily. I shudder to think about when I was trying to do them all with a regular spray bottle... my hand still cramps thinking about it. Just make sure you twist the lid to let out the pressure after you're done or it may leak.
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MADexotics
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:10 pm

Amen to the shop vac. I have a little one in the house for my "pet" reptiles and a huge one out in the reptile garage and rodent shed. Makes my job so much easier.

My everyday tools are my tongs, hooks, temp gun, and water mister.

I have several LED headlamps (all with red covers) I might be convinced to part with one or two to the right person (FYI) but I love mine. Keeps both of my hands free while I'm working.

Odd I know, but I'm paranoid. Both of my incubators are on a battery backup designed for computers, but in the couple times that my power has gone out the backup has kept my incubators running without interruption. (Some day I want a generator...but that's down the road)
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Mike.OutbackReptiles
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:50 am

Don wrote:

Third, a pair of feeding tongs with rubber tips. Not only good for f/t, but can be used to reach into an enclosure and pull out dead but not eaten food. Sometimes a snake will strike and kill a rodent but not eat it. The tongs can keep you from getting bit. I can't count the times I reach for those tongs. They are very useful.


I wouldn't recommend rubber tipped tongs for feeding. They are great for invertebrates but what happens when a snake latches onto the rubber when it grabs its prey?

I've been lazy and grabbed bug tongs when I couldn't find my normal stainless steel ones... And lo and behold I spent about 20 minutes tryin to get a scaleless ratsnake to spit out the 3+ inches of tong it had managed to scarf down. It's very hard to get a snake's teeth out of a rubber tong tip without hurting the poor thing!

That said, my recommendation:

Keep a pet nile monitor. Nothing gets rid of extra rats like a hungry varanid Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:53 pm

I have a temp gun but you should open the enclouser for a good temp check. But in doing this you lose some temp. So another tool I use is a inside and out side thermometer with a wireless remote sensor. Get one that keep the high and low temp. Over time. I use the sensor to check temps in cages or the incubator. Over a 24 hour perod. It works great.
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:21 am

My 2 suggestions are not for everyday use but for emergency situations.

1. A Fire Extinguisher. All those power cords for heating and lighting add up. You never know when a few moments might make all the difference.

2. Carrying Tubs. We live in Hampton Roads so every hurricane season we go through and make sure we have enough tubs that every animal could live out of our home for at least week if necessary. If you had to evacuate would you be able to take your collection with you? Pillowcases might be great for a day, but what if you could not get back home right away? Even if you don't live near the coast other emergencies make keep you from your home.

Lara
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:12 am

Lara.Brown wrote:
My 2 suggestions are not for everyday use but for emergency situations.

1. A Fire Extinguisher. All those power cords for heating and lighting add up. You never know when a few moments might make all the difference.

2. Carrying Tubs. We live in Hampton Roads so every hurricane season we go through and make sure we have enough tubs that every animal could live out of our home for at least week if necessary. If you had to evacuate would you be able to take your collection with you? Pillowcases might be great for a day, but what if you could not get back home right away? Even if you don't live near the coast other emergencies make keep you from your home.

Lara

Check and check Very Happy i have both..... my other spare bedroom (supposed to be the wifes room, lol) has my carrying tubs and all the bulky extras that i dont want cluttering MY room, lol. its also my ISO room, hehe.
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:22 am

To Lara's list I would add empty gallon milk jugs. The water in typical hot water heaters remains warm for several hours after losing power. The milk jugs can be filled with warm water and then placed in an enclosure to provide heat.
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:01 pm

I love my temperature gun! I only have the one snake, but I use that sucker every day. Checking temps in the cage, checking to make sure the oven is the right temperature, checking if my tea is the right temperature, you name it, I do it.
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:27 am

Has anyone tried the temp gun from Harbor Frieght? I think it's 1:8? Good/bad?
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:52 am

Bottle of hand sanitizer by the door.

I'm working on getting my hands on some disposable chemical hand warmers. The kind you use up north in the wintertime. During Irene we lost power and things got pretty cool. The sock full of rice kept everything nice and warm but we have more snakes now.
Not sure how I will snake proof them...perhaps taping them to the underside of the tank, or putting them into a jug of water, or burying them inside of a sock full of rice. Any ideas?

Also, the ice packs they give you for injuries.

I second the fire extinguisher suggestion.

We have white boards in our room and that are wonderful for record keeping.


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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:42 am

2 things ive found.

those yellow stanley storage trays u see at home depot that mount to a track and hold nuts and bolts. well they double as great hides for juvies and sub adults of many species. best part is they're around 6.50 for 6 of em

another thing i always have around are various sized pieces of NON PRESSURE TREATED 2X4s. in racks most things are plastic, smooth and have rounded edges so when it's shedding time i usually just throw a piece in the tub and it works like a charm. be sure that the splinters from the cuts have been rubbed off and that they don't sit there forever or they'll mold.
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:56 am

We use medium sized pieces of rock that we got from Shanendoah and put it in the tub when someone is in shed, It never gets really really warm, and we wash them thoroughly... we try to think of something they may encounter in the wild it and has worked for us. We like to watch them rub up against. When they are done shedding we take the rock out and wash it really well and let it air dry and then put it in a spare empty tub until someone else needs it.
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Thu May 31, 2012 9:14 pm

Soldering iron for poking breathing holes in tubs. I also solder my heat tape. They are great to have and they are cheap.
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:20 pm

Does anyone know of a website that sells fairly priced temp guns? I really need to purchase one.
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:24 pm

I got mine from home depot and its was like 40 bucks and works great
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:24 pm

reptilebasics.com
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:10 pm

I don't know how serious you want to get with your reptiles, but I use this temp gun that is small and cheap and it works very well. It also has received very high ratings from other users and a lot of the reptile community. I would highly recommend it... Its the PE-1 version, the PE-2 is just as good just has a laser and maybe a few other specs to make it nicer than the PE-1

Check them out, also search around the web to see if you can get any better deal than what they have it for here!
https://www.proexotics.com/store/home.php?cat=248
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:17 pm

I got this for $29 but saw they had a coupon this month for $24.99

http://www.vaherps.com/t2277-cen-tech-infrared-thermometer
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:37 pm

Yeah I looked at some online and I see there are a variety of kinds and prices. I'm definetly not looking to spend a ton of money because I have a pretty good idea of the temp.
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:28 pm

Sort of old post I know but I thought if anyone is reading they might like to know. I picked this Temp gun up about a year ago and it has been flawless. It has 4/5 stars, cost about $17 and is eligible for free shipping. Im pretty sure it even came with the battery. Best tool I have by far.

Etekcity Temperature Gun
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:58 pm

Honestly? dry-erase markers. Along with the plastic containers we use we write relevant info down on the front to record later.

Makes life a ton easier.
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:28 pm

I love the dry erase markers. They're very easy to clean off of smooth surfaces and makes it very easy to keep track of who has food in with them.
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:00 pm

Just thought i'd add this as it's working great for me so far....1' hole in empty tub-just a few vent holes. Reptifogger!!! Shed problems and any stuck shed is off or wipes right off after 10 minutes and i'd swear my snakes seem to love going in there!
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:48 am

Baby wipes, they have a very mild detergent that's great for cleaning feces and urates out of tubs, or even off the snake itself if one decided to paint the walls.
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PostSubject: Re: Great items that you may not have thought of ...   Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:01 am

An extra tub per rack, makes cleaning go so much quicker!
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