Hi all,
I have an aquarium with the following dimensions 48x16x24 (77 gal.) which use to house some small fish. I enjoyed the fish (which now live in a smaller tank) but to fill the tank with a larger more exciting fish would cost me a small fortune. I have decided to convert the tank so that it can house snake(s).
I have done some research on what I will need for the conversion, but have some questions about the snakes themselves.
1) based on the tank size what are my options for common snakes?
2) I would rather not use additional UV lights and was told that it isnot required for some breeds. Is this true? Should I really consider having additional lighting (besides the heat lamps)?
3) What breeds would you recommend for this tank. I do not want tospend a fortune (100-300 price range) but would like a semi-active, "cool" looking snake. I would like to be able to handle it from time to time.
4) I am fairly new at this, so would like a snake that generally do nothave feeding problems and would like to have the option of feeding both dead/live food.
I caught a local snake over the summer and had no real problems feeding and keeping it healthy (after I found what it liked to eat, let it go) and sure enjoyed watching it. I live in Canada so would like to purchase a breed of snake not seen here.
Thanks for the Info.
Regarding the snake that you caught and let go; what did it like to eat that bothered you?
I have an aquarium with the following dimensions 48x16x24 (77 gal.) which use to house some small fish. I enjoyed ... fish would cost me a small fortune. I have decided to convert the tank so that it can house snake(s).

This is a nice, big terrarium.
I have done some research on what I will need for the conversion, but have some questions about the snakes themselves. 1) based on the tank size what are my options for common snakes?

Pretty much anything that comes in under 6 feet long. While it's possible to keep snakes together, I would strongly suggest that you start with one, of a species that is known to be able to cohabit, and work your way up from there. Keep in mind that cannibalism can happen with pretty much any species, (particularly with large size differences), and that's probably not something you want to experience when you're getting into things.
2) I would rather not use additional UV lights and was told that it is not required for some breeds. Is this true? Should I really consider having additional lighting (besides the heat lamps)?

UV isn't generally required for snakes, yes. I would suggest you go with undertank heaters and just have a strip light on the top of the terrarium so you can see your animal easily, I get them impression that you'd like a display, and that's easier to do when the heaters are underneath and not a consideration with respect to lighting and decoration.
As an aside, many of the guidelines that you've no doubt run across with respect to aquaria apply to terraria as well. In particular, get things set up, temperatures regulated, etc before you bring your animals home. The first terrarium I set up I had everything purchased but I didn't actually test out the system until I was sitting there with a little snake. That's when I found out that the heat lamp was too hot when used for an enclosure with bedding, etc in it that held heat as compared to an empty cage. We also figured out that the heat lamp was really annoying in the room we'd chosen, another reason we ended up with undertank heating.
3) What breeds would you recommend for this tank. I do not want to spend a fortune (100-300 price range) but would like a semi-active, "cool" looking snake. I would like to be able to handle it from time to time.

Colubrids tend to be more active (and interactive) than pythons or boids, and there are a number of species that are good natured enough to handle. I expect you'd like something colourful as well. I love the boids, but unless you really enjoy watching them sit, you're better off with a colubrid.
If you have any ambition to keep more than one snake, then kingsnakes are out, and I suspect that pine/bull/gopher snakes might be a little too aggressive for you unless you came across a nice quiet mature one.

I would suggest a boring old corn snake, for these reasons.

They are easy to acquire, keep and handle.
They are active. In particular, in such a large enclosure you can put in climbing branches and watch snake acrobatics.
They can share a terrarium, though I wouldn't put differently sized ones in together.
They grow ~4 feet long, so they would have lots of room in this enclosure, so one or two mature corns would be pretty happy in there.

You can get them in an almost unlimited number of funky colours. Considering your preferences, I'd recommend spending your money on one (and potentially) two really cool colour variations and slightly older (thus larger) snakes. This would have them suitable for the enclosure quickly and give you maximal display value.
Check out Kathy Love's cornsnake pages for an idea of what's available.
4) I am fairly new at this, so would like a snake that generally do not have feeding problems and would like to have the option of feeding both dead/live food.

Please feed prekilled, there are numerous good reasons to do so.
I caught a local snake over the summer and had no real problems feeding and keeping it healthy (after I ... sure enjoyed watching it. I live in Canada so would like to purchase a breed of snake not seen here.

Where are you located, and what did you keep?
nj"good luck"m

"You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end"
Whoops, disregard my first post, I didn't read it correctly.

Corns are good, but I wouldn't disregard Ball Pythons. I think they're pretty entertaining, definatly sociable and easy to handle. Corns like to be the most entertaining in the middle of the night, burrow or hide during the day, tend to be a little high strung for handling, and great escape artists! I have both, so either is a good choice.
Corns are good, but I wouldn't disregard Ball Pythons. I think they're pretty entertaining, definatly sociable and easy to handle. ... be a little high strung for handling, and great escape artists! I have both, so either is a good choice.

Yes, I think Ball Pythons are incredibly beautiful animals, and they tend to be really nicely natured. I also know someone who keeps two BPs in a terrarium about that size, and they seem to do all right (i.e., pretty much ignore each other, and don't crowd).

But they often seem like really lovely pieces of sculpture, and the anorexia can be intimidating for a beginner, if one gets an average one.
But they are gorgeous.
nj"next snake"m

"You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end"
Corns are good, but I wouldn't disregard Ball Pythons. I ... artists! I have both, so either is a good choice.

Yes, I think Ball Pythons are incredibly beautiful animals, and they tend to be really nicely natured. I also know ... they are gorgeous. nj"next snake"m "You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end"

OP reply:
I was thinking about going with a Ball Python, I was just worried that my 77g tank would be to small. So my final question is, is a 77g tank big enough for a Ball Python?
I was thinking about going with a Ball Python, I was just worried that my 77g tank would be to small. So my final question is, is a 77g tank big enough for a Ball Python?

I would think so, give him stuff to climb on. Best of luck with your set up.
nj"insert balls joke here"m

"You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end"