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Kelfezond
The bearded one

United Kingdom
4803 Posts

Posted - 25/02/2015 :  16:20:10  Show Profile  Visit Kelfezond's Homepage  Click to see Kelfezond's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
(Kind reminder: Before I start, this is not a thread to argue pros or cons of keeping snakes in RUBs, this is simply my experience of using RUBs and what it does to the person, not the snake)

Good afternoon ladies and gents, writing today about our good friend Mr. R.U.B or Really Useful Box and my experience with them as enclosures over the last five years or so.

Let's start at the beginning, I (probably like most of you) started with getting my first Royal Python from a pet shop, a normal with a vivarium, heat lamp, substrate etc. (And like most shops a bunch of equipment I didn't actually need). However before I went to the shop and bought little Valhalla I had done my research at home and saw all the wonderful morphs available, I went into the shop with my 200 and told them I wanted to buy a Piebald royal with vivarium, I'm sure they all went back and laughed their heads off at me when I left, so yeah I left with a normal which I did love and a set-up.

I kept on researching morphs and dreamed of owning some of the amazing coloured ones that I kept seeing on facebook groups and forums, always out of my price range though. A few months later the PRAS show was up and running in my town so I went down to have a look at the different reptiles, that was an amazing experience as it was my first breeders show. I saw a little het piebald male for about 50 and suddenly I was planning on breeding. This is where I hit the slippery slope of using RUBs.

I'd seen people use them before so I knew how to set one up, it wasn't that difficult I just didn't think it was a very good way to keep an animal when you could have a nice glass vivarium to look into and watch - however I couldn't afford another massive investment on a vivarium and I had that "Oh my god I need it now!" feeling. On the way hope I bought a plastic tub and stopped by the reptile store to pick up a thermostat and heatmat.

A few months later I managed to get another het piebald (this time a female). I now had a little table sat next to my vivarium with two plastic boxes on it and the start of my little breeding project.

Fast forward a year and my dream of actually owning a morph was realised, I had bought a viv-stack and sold my first snake Valhalla for an Axanthic named Scar - I moved all my snakes out of RUBs and into this 5 story viv-stack, I thought that would do me and I was now settled on my breeding plans, two het-piebalds, an axanthic, a pinstripe and a mojave. But when you're chasing morphs you're never happy with what you've got it's always an ongoing game of buying, selling, breeding and expanding - afterall who doesn't want to quit their job and just live off their hobby?

So after that I claimed a spare room as my reptile room and started doing the math, if I could completely convert one room to racks I could fit at least 50 snakes in the room, we could breed all the latest morphs, get a few different species of snake too and call ourselves proper breeders.

This is where it started to get dark, I had dreamed of it being my job but the problem was that it became a job years before I estimated that I'd be making any "real" money, occasionally I'd make a sale that would give me enough for another investment, or make a big enough sale to have a night out paid for. But it would be years (or realistically, never) before I could think about it being a real job.

The first thing I thought was maybe I've just lost my passion for reptiles, going up into the room to clean them out was a massive chore and I dreaded it every day. But thinking about it, I still enjoyed everything I had to do with Pandora, I still enjoyed the spiders, the crested geckos, the tortoise... And then it clicked, everything I could look at and watch I was still enjoying, anything in an enclosure I could change and update I was enjoying - the animals in RUBs were, quite frankly, boring - it was just a wall of plastic tubs. Cleaning day felt like working in a factory, take one plastic tub out, clean it, replace it, do it again. There wasn't really much creativity I could put into it, maybe place the water bowl somewhere else or the hide in another corner, it was hard work and it was boring.

I am against keeping snakes in RUB's now but not because I think its cruel (Another kind reminder - this is NOT a thread for a RUB vs Vivarium debate on suitability or care for the snake). I think the enclosures are perfectly fine on the snakes - if anything I think it's cruel on the owner. A friend once said to me that keeping snakes in RUBs is soul destroying and it really has become that way for me.

You get into RUBs because you do love the snakes and you want more of them, whenever you get a new animal it's a new breeding project it's exciting. More = Better when you first start, there is also a little competitivity within the hobby the people with more snakes are more highly regarded by the masses, the people with the best morphs are "better" and I think new keepers do fall into the trap of thinking they need more to be anyone of worth within the hobby. But that all does fade over time and believe me if you're using a rack system because it's easier to clean or because you can fit or afford more snakes than if you used vivariums you'll hit the wall too, it won't be easier to clean because you won't want to clean it, it'll be a big chore.

I'll end this by saying that I know everyone is different, and just because this was my experience with RUBs doesn't mean it will be everyones, I also know some people modify their rubs with windows I'm sure that's an improvement. But I'd put money on most up-and-coming breeders using racks eventually losing their passion for keeping reptiles, and if you do want to keep and breed snakes in RUBs please consider a compromise for your own sake and have a few display vivariums as well, they really do keep the passion alive.

So where am I on all of this now? Well we've been doing educational entertainment shows at local venues for a while now and I absolutely love showing people the nice side of snakes - while I still love breeding and I'm sure I'll occasionally still do a bit of it, I'm a big softie and I can't take the strain of losing a baby snake anymore, I've lost three since I started breeding and it breaks my heart to the point of wanting to give up on the hobby every time - so transitioning from breeder to keeper was an easy choice for me. I've started selling a large portion of my royal collection because quite frankly they were brought to breed and I don't need to bring 30 different morph of royal python to an education show when I could bring a few different species and because I want to switch to keeping all my animals in display vivariums purely because I do love watching them do their own thing.

Lastely I don't want anyone to feel this is an attack on them for keeping RUBs, if you can still keep your passion alive keeping them in plastic rubs you're a more diligent person than I.

\v/ Click me for Kelfezond Reptiles Facebook Page! \v/

Edited by - Kelfezond on 25/02/2015 16:20:56

Lotabob
Royal Python Moderator

United Kingdom
5008 Posts

Posted - 25/02/2015 :  16:40:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good of you to share your experiences. I keep my snakes in a vivarium stack as I'm sure you're aware but I did keep 2 snakes in RUBs for around six months and like you say it becomes a box to clean out. These two snakes are now in a vivarium and they're the two that give me the most pleasure watching them do their daily mooching and climbing and I'd hate to think of me (and house guests) missing out on this and in a way the snakes missing out on that extra space and more 'natural' looking environment as much as living in a glass fronted cupboard can be. RUB's do the job providing for the snake. vivariums are for the snake and the owner.


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Se7enS1ns
Yearling

United Kingdom
354 Posts

Posted - 26/02/2015 :  02:08:49  Show Profile  Visit Se7enS1ns's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Very, very similar story here too. I'll keep this short and sweet as I'm pushed for time, it's 2am and I have to be up for work in 5 hours. But this rings alarms bells with me, as for all intents and purposes, it IS me. I too started off with one Royal, and several more soon followed in quite quick succession. Soon enough I started to run out of room - so while the original occupants remained in vivs, each new arrival went into a RUB. I never had any intention of "making it big" breeding snakes - I very quickly realised the falling potential in the value of morphs, and I think the lessons learned from the Corn snake market of the 90's taught some firm lessons. I was quite content in buying the morphs I liked, for me, and breeding for myself too - and if this in part subsidised my hobby, then great. However, I also branched out into keeping various other species (now up to around 40 species of snakes, lizards, phibs and inverts) and whilst a few Royals remained in RUBs, everything else went into proudly decorated vivariums or Exo terras. I because to view my humble RUB rack as 90% chore / 10% joy - as the only real time I saw the snakes in these RUBs, was when cleaning out. Where's the joy in that?! So I made the decision from that point on that whilst these males remained in RUBs (70ltr tubs with full decor and proper substrate, however), everything else I acquired over the years went into "proper enclosure". I love few things like I love coming up to my reptile room, sitting at the laptp with some music on, and just watching the various animals go about their business - I do not get this same sense of joy from the RUB rack - so I opted to keep less animals in favour of keeping the animals I do have, properly (or what I view as properly).

Fast forward several years. I am now the store manager for Reptilia, a reptile specialists in Yorkshire, running the shop as my own reporting directly to the owners of the business. I come to work early each morning purely to wander round the shop checking in on the residents and having a cheeky handle or just to say good morning to them on my rounds. The RUB rack however... is symbolic of nothing more than a chore to be carried out that day.

Over the years I have witnessed many Royal keepers and aspiring big time breeders hit the hobby hard and fast, picking up everything in their passing and showing off in full glory their impressive selection of morphs, complete with multi-tier RUB racks. As time goes on, their posting becomes less and less, directly proportional to their dwindling enthusiam, and low and behold, after a period of silence, their whole collection is up for sale due to "a change in circumstances". I think there are lessons to be learnt there.

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Alves76
Yearling

United Kingdom
333 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2015 :  10:08:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Really interesting thread. I had a similar experience with photography. I went from being an enthusiast to semi professional. At that point the hobby became a chore and I lost all interest.

I hope that you start to regain some of the excitement you had at the start when you swap to vivs.

0.1.0 Normal Royal
1.0.0 Common BCI

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chrisc
Old Royal - I Post too much!

United Kingdom
3326 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2015 :  17:51:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
im not anti RUB but the big issue i have with people who use RUB racks is the size a 70ltr rub is NOT suitable for an adult royal an 145ltr would be more suitable.
i had a search the other day and the internal dimensions of a 70ltr are 2.3ft long x 1.7ft wide and only 7.4" high now if you had to prove to the RSPCA that the snakes were getting the 5 welfare needs you would fail at the being able to exibit natural behaviours(climbing) with just that amount of height.
i have used rubs as temporary housing for hatching/juvenile snakes as would do again but for adult housing its vivariums all the way for me as theres so much more you can do with them and you can fit much better heat sources and uv lights.
the ones that really anger me are the racks aimed at boas/burms/retics now while some of these have a 6 or 8 x 4 floor space they are only 10" high which is absolutely nowhere near tall enough for these types of snake.

as others have said i would rather keep less in nicely setup bio active viv than look at a stack of plastic boxes as theres no enjoyment in that for me at all

also think about how these piles of rubs look to non reptile keepers and the anti's, doesnt exactly show us in good light when people are just trying to fit as many snakes into the space they have at the expense of the animals

1.0.0 burmese python,giblet. 1.0.0 BCI, william. 0.1.0 blue tongue skink, 0.1.0 green iguana, jasmin, 1.0.0 cape house snake, 0.1.0 checkered garter snake

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incubate 2 campaign
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Baobab
Fully Grown Royal

United Kingdom
1393 Posts

Posted - 03/03/2015 :  12:10:44  Show Profile  Send Baobab an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Definitely a fan of viv's. We have snakes because we like to look at them. Also, every one of our guys goes for a mooch and a climb which rubs minimises. Even our gtp goes for a wander of an evening to Stretch his legs.


Royal 8.0 - Piebald (Dipstick), Calico (Flake), Pinstripe (Copper), Kingpin het Hypo (Gabriel), Soulsucker (Morgoth), Clown (Ziggy), Phantom (Spook), Enchi( Stenchi) .................Royal 0.12 - Pastel (Elanor), Spider (Willow), Normal het pied (Loki),, Pastel Sterling Orange Hypo (Misty), Normal (WC parents) (Cinders), Pewter (Tinuviel), Yellowbelly (Kaiko), Mojave (Milly), Champagne (Bubbles), Fire (Flame), Karma paradox (Smudge), Amoretti (Rita).Boa's 2.2.1- Eowyn (common), Snuggles (BCC), Bonnie (BCC), Bear (BCL) & Baileys (Kahl strain)..........Western Hognose 0.0.2 - Timmy & Henry.
Coastal*diamond carpet python 0.0.1- Pippin.........Brazilian Rainbow Boa 0.0.1 - Badger..........Granite Burmese 0.1 - Sally
Reticulated python 2.2 - Saru (purple albino), Cheesy (Sunfire albino white), Titan (Platinum Titanium) & Gala (Sunfiretiger het albino)......Rat snake 1.0 Remmy.
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rockroyal
Yearling

United Kingdom
470 Posts

Posted - 25/06/2015 :  11:46:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I to have lost interest in keeping royals in RUBS and I'm currently switching over to viv's. I want to SEE my snake's not just a boring plastic box

3.1.0 royal python
2.0.0 corn snake
0.1.0 western hognose
0.1.0 bci
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deadmansfinger
Hatchling

81 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2015 :  20:29:51  Show Profile  Click to see deadmansfinger's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
I am also in the process of moving my two royals from 70L RUBs to vivs. I don't have a problem with RUBs but I feel my big female just dwarfs a 70L RUB.
What size vivs do you think would be best? Initially I was thinking 4x2x2's but I wasn't sure if the 2' height would be wasted on them so was thinking maybe 4x2x1.5 might be better?

1.1 Royal Python
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Kelfezond
The bearded one

United Kingdom
4803 Posts

Posted - 03/07/2015 :  22:16:45  Show Profile  Visit Kelfezond's Homepage  Click to see Kelfezond's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
If you're using a bulb to heat the viv then you'll want that 2ft height for the bulb and guard. :)

\v/ Click me for Kelfezond Reptiles Facebook Page! \v/
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deadmansfinger
Hatchling

81 Posts

Posted - 04/07/2015 :  13:37:01  Show Profile  Click to see deadmansfinger's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kelfezond

If you're using a bulb to heat the viv then you'll want that 2ft height for the bulb and guard. :)


1.1 Royal Python
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deadmansfinger
Hatchling

81 Posts

Posted - 04/07/2015 :  13:38:13  Show Profile  Click to see deadmansfinger's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kelfezond

If you're using a bulb to heat the viv then you'll want that 2ft height for the bulb and guard. :)


1.1 Royal Python
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deadmansfinger
Hatchling

81 Posts

Posted - 04/07/2015 :  13:39:49  Show Profile  Click to see deadmansfinger's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kelfezond

If you're using a bulb to heat the viv then you'll want that 2ft height for the bulb and guard. :)



I was thinking of using a reptile radiator.

1.1 Royal Python
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Kelfezond
The bearded one

United Kingdom
4803 Posts

Posted - 04/07/2015 :  13:51:40  Show Profile  Visit Kelfezond's Homepage  Click to see Kelfezond's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
I'd still go for the 2ft height one to be honest unless there is a reason you don't want to, 1.5ft is suprisingly small.

\v/ Click me for Kelfezond Reptiles Facebook Page! \v/
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