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Russian rat snake-(Elaphe schrencki ) Russian rat snake-(Elaphe schrencki )

Equipment for a Russian Rat Snake.


Viv-Exotic VX48 available in Beeck, Oak, Walnut and Black when available as a special offer. 


Arcadia light Controller/Ballast ACR30 24” 25/30watt. For viewing only and to give the snake. A proper photo period. Lights need to be on for approximately 8 hrs.

PT2151 Exo Terra Repti Glo 2.0(242)20W


Royce Heat Mat 22 x 12 inches. To be placed on the rear wall or floor inside the vivarium.

Habistat mat stat Thermostat. To insure that the heat mat does not overheat.

Should be set at 75°F for night time running. When the lights are on the temp., should be 75Deg.F – 85Deg. F at the hot end and roughly 75deg.F at the cool end. At night when the lights are off 70-75°F

Alternately The Microclimate AHS250 which does away with the heat mat and thermostat.


For baby snakes we recommend kitchen paper, wallpaper backing paper or newspaper for the first six months. As they can get compaction of the gut by ingesting substrates, like Aspen, corn cob, beach chips etc.

After six months old the best substrates are Aspen or beach chips.    


These are of personal taste and there are many different water bowls caves and hides available under vivarium hide outs.

PT-2803 Exo Terra Water Dish Large for adults and PT-2801 Exo Terra Water Dish small for hatchlings. The water bowl should be kept at the cool end to avoid excessive humidity and the water changed daily as they often defecate in the water.

Hides/Caves PT-2845 small for hatchlings up to PT-2847 for adults. Branches (Bog wood etc.)Branches need to be strong and sturdy. Fruit tree branches are good but not cherry as it is poisonous as are conifer branches. Scrub them clean with hot soapy water, rinse and allow to dry. Bog wood and drift wood are good additions Along with PT-3080-3082 vines.

Two thermometers PT-2465 one at each end to show the cool temperature and one at the hot end to show that there is a heat gradient.

Artificial plants. PT-300-3052 these are just for decoration and make the vivarium look more natural so two or three plants will look nice

Elaphe schrencki is a large and fairly powerful constrictor with an adult colouration of black with cream or yellow markings and underside. In the wild Elaphe schrencki can be found in Russia and much of Korea and China.

Longevity: 20 years +
Adult size: 180 cms (72inches) +

Housing: adults do best in a well ventilated vivarium measuring around 120cm (48 inches) in length, 60cm (24 inches) deep and 60cm (24 inches) high. These snakes are very active and will use all the room you can afford them. Hatchlings and younger snakes may be kept in a smaller vivarium.

Substrate: Kitchen paper towel, reptile carpet and even newspaper can all make suitable substrates along with a host of purpose made substrates currently available. Always check when buying substrate that it is suitable for use with snakes. When using any substrate, care should be taken to ensure there is no risk of substrate being ingested as this can lead to gut impaction. Remove all droppings and clean the vivarium on a regular basis to prevent disease.

Hides & shelters are essential. They prevent stress and allow your pet a safe haven from the outside world. There should be at least 2, one at the warm and one at the cool end of the vivarium. These snakes are semi arboreal and as long as they are fixed securely, sterilised logs, rocks and fake plants increase the surface area and make interesting climbing and resting places.

Heating: A temperature gradient from the warm end at 24°C (75°F) to cool areas at 21°C (70°F) is suitable. Night time temperatures should be around 21°C (70°F). A basking spot of 26-28°C (80-82°F) is often taken advantage of when the animal is approaching it shedding cycle. The heat source can be a ceramic heater or heat mat. Wire mesh guards should be fitted over any ceramic heat sources used in order to prevent thermal burns. A thermostat is essential, to control the heat source within the vivarium and prevent you’re pet from becoming too hot or too cold.

Lighting: No additional lighting is required for this snake if the snake is housed in a room with natural lighting. Do not place the vivarium in direct sun light.

Water: Clean water must always be provided for the snake to drink from and bathe in. No specific humidity requirements but an occasional spray will be appreciated. These snakes adore water but do not require a humid vivarium.

Diet and Feeding: Adults will take mice, small rats, Chicks and Eggs once a week. Younger snakes will eat appropriately sized mice or baby rats. A food item should be no bigger than 1.5 times the width of the widest part of the snake’s body and after a meal a small bulge should be noticeable in the stomach of the snake.

Temperament: Generally extremely calm and placid snakes. Rarely show aggression and when they do it is accompanied by a very distinctive tail rattle warning.

Suitability as pet: These snakes make excellent pets but can get very large and have a surprising amount of strength. They are one of the most intelligent of the rat snakes showing surprising amounts of ingenuity in getting what they want.


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