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Old 10-23-17, 09:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Viper Boa Soaking?

Hello!

I may be worry warting, but I got in a captive born Viper Boa last week and she's been adjusting... but when I went to give fresh water last night I noticed she'd defecated in her bowl and was just sitting in it. Didn't bother to go hide when I opened the tub, either. I moved her and she sat on top of her leaves, still didn't bother to move until I poked her a few times out of concern.

I checked on her again this morning to find her sitting in her water once again(no poop), and she still didn't really care that I was looking at her, but was more reactive when I picked her up and slithered off to hide.

Am I just worrying too much? Given she's a hatchling and a species that isn't too well known, what strikes me as odd behavior just makes me worry. I have her on papertowels with the hot side reading 88F and 80F on the cool side. Her water is on the cool side if that makes any difference. She has dried sanitized leaves as a hide that covers all the floor space.
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Old 10-24-17, 10:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Viper Boa Soaking?

How are you keeping that lovely snake? That's a bibroni?

Soaking consistently can mean a number of things, most commonly in no particular order;
1) Too hot temperature
2) Too low humidity
3) External parasites
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Old 10-24-17, 11:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Viper Boa Soaking?

Candoia sp. are also known for their propensity to soak also - some more than others but as TRD mentions it could also be down to husbandry issues.

Some details about your set up may help guide us to more specific suggestions.
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Old 10-24-17, 01:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Viper Boa Soaking?

I stated how she's being kept if you'd read the bottom paragraph. "I have her on papertowels with the hot side reading 88F and 80F on the cool side. Her water is on the cool side if that makes any difference. She has dried sanitized leaves as a hide that covers all the floor space."
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Old 10-24-17, 10:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Viper Boa Soaking?

Do you ever mist the enclosure? Also 88f is very warm for a neonate Candoia. I'd n be dropping that right down to 75-80 - high temps will upset it and could well be the reason for the soaking.

Get rid of the paper towels also and replace with a nice eco earth / soil mix. They're boarding on a more specialist snake and particularly as a neonate they are on the delicate side and the more naturally they are kept the better they do.
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Old 10-25-17, 12:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Viper Boa Soaking?

Aren't they particularly prone to respiratory infection, so small dust particles commonly found in substrate such as eco earth pose a respiratory threat?

I mist daily and occasionally let the humidity drop between 40 - 60%. I'll just leave her at room temp then since it usually stays around 77F.
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Old 10-25-17, 12:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Viper Boa Soaking?

Hm, just found an article I didn't notice. According to this keeper of the species, it's very normal for them to soak all day, as shallow pools of muddy water is one habitat they naturally prefer, along with leaf litter(which is why I gave her that). According to this her behavior, even the multiple attempted strikes on me last night, is perfectly normal.

kingsnake com/candoia/book.html

I'll monitor how she does at room temps, as nothing I've read by far indicated there was any form of difference in care between hatchlings and adults, but after being affirmed that water soaking is natural, and also finding other owners also attesting to this, I'm not so weary of this behavior. I guess that's just her being a viper boa and she's understandably upset I keep bugging her about it, as she displayed last night.
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Old 10-25-17, 12:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Viper Boa Soaking?

As I said earlier yes soaking is completely normal but other factors cannot be ruled out. I'd certainly provide a warmer spot in the viv than just ambient temperature - just not as high as 88, not for a neonate.

And no, substrate etc won't cause respiratory issues and the like. Neonate ground dwelling Candoia spend much on the time buried and are quite fossorial.
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Old 10-26-17, 01:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Viper Boa Soaking?

I would change substrate to something more moist. Danny made a good suggestion. My friend who has 1.3 of these doing very well uses a moss substrate. This is what I kept them in many years ago. Species loves to burrow and is rather swampy for lack of a better term.
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