A reader asks – What is a good reptile/amphibian pet to have?
“I’m looking for a new pet, I have a 20 gallon and a 10 gallon tank to play around with. Preferably fairly low maintenance, but mainly I am looking for a great pet.
I have a hermit crab, kittens, a puppy, and some fish already, but I am ready for a new animal. I love to take care of things…can you tell lol.”
Here is a list of some great species of snakes and lizards that would do just fine for their entire lives in a 10 or a 20 gallon (depending on the species and gender), plus, a bit on information on each species, and a care sheet. 🙂
You could also add Ball pythons, King snakes, Corn snakes, Milk snakes, and Children’s pythons to this list; but unfortunately a 10 or a 20 gallon is a tad too small for all of those species except possibly a relatively small Corn or California King snake.
Rosy boa. They are small, very docile, calm, are great eaters, and are slow moving (and thus easier to handle than a lot of colubrids like King snakes and Corn snakes). They are also very hardy, low maintenance, come in lots of different colors and localities, and aren’t prone to shedding problems.
Care sheet: http://www.rosyboa.com/desertboas/caresheet.html
Kenyan sand boa. They have all of the good qualities of the Rosy like the gentle disposition, ease of care, small size, great feeders, etc, but the only problem that some keepers may have with them is that they spend most of their time under their substrate. For those who like to randomly walk by their snake’s cage to check to see what the snake is up to and how it is doing, that could be frustrating for them.
Care sheet: http://www.wnyherp.org/care-sheets/snakes/kenyan-sand-boa.php
Rough-scaled sand boa. These guys are a very small, generally docile, low maintenance species of sand boa. They are hardy and easy to care for, are great feeders, and are excellent for beginners. The only problems with these guys is that they are a bit harder to find than most of the others on this list, and like the Kenyans, they spend most of their time buried under their substrate.
Care Sheet: http://www.reptilia.org/Snakes2.aspx?page_id=233
Western Hognose Snakes. They are a usually good-tempered, low maintenance, small, amusing species that could be mistaken for a Rattlesnake if someone wasn’t well versed in reptiles. They are generally very sweet, tame down quickly, are great feeders, and are great shedders. They are mildly venomous, though not enough so that it could pose of any danger to humans. Not only are they reluctant to bite; their fangs are also located in the back of their mouth thus making it very hard for them to bite you unless you literally stick your finger in there. Even if they did manage to bite you; you’d have to let them ‘chew’ on you to get any sort of reaction at all. Generally the reaction from their venom in humans is mild irritation and swelling.
Care sheet: http://www.reptileallsorts.com/westhognose-cs.htm
As far as lizards go; I would highly recommend a Leopard Gecko, a Viper Gecko, Crested Gecko, or an African Fat-tailed Gecko. All are nocturnal so they don’t need UV lighting, low maintenance, docile, interesting looking, hardy, do wonderfully with being handled, and I am not sure how much experience you have with reptiles; but they all make great starter lizards. 🙂
Here are care sheets for all of the Gecko species I just named:
BTW see the comments below for more suggestions.