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Old 02-17-18, 07:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Keeping Many Ball Pythons

Hello! I really love ball pythons, and am interested in getting more, but it would be cumbersome (and very expensive) to buy so many large, glass tanks. I also hear that it keeps better humidity to use plastic. I know that professional breeders and seasoned hobbyists use smaller plastic containers in shelves, and I was wondering about some of the ramifications of how those might work. Specifically, I'm confused about the heating aspect of keeping a shelf of snakes. I know people usually use heating pads, but my house is typically cold and a heating pad wouldn't be hot enough on its own for the daytime. I've had trouble finding very thin heating lamps to put under the top shelf and above the plastic container. If they even make those, does anyone have any experience or thoughts on them?
I also know that large-scale breeders typically keep their entire room(s) at appropriate general heats. I can't do this, especially since I'm not planning on large-scale breeding or having a single reptile room (at least, not for a while).
If anyone has had experience keeping reptiles in these kinds of shelves, I'd really appreciate your thoughts on how to heat them.
Thank you!
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Old 02-17-18, 11:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping Many Ball Pythons

What temperature is your house in winter/summer? The closed sided racks will be better in a cooler home than the economy/open sided models. I don't know anything about ball pythons but a lot of colubrids I keep in AP cages (fairly cheap, solid, and light weight) with a radiant heat panel and the panel tends to increase the cage temperature a bit more than heat tape would. With any of these systems you need a thermostat and you have to be absolutely sure that the probe won't come loose, get stepped on, kicked, pulled on by a dog/cat,etc. I actually run two thermostats in tandem because I had a tstat stick in the open position once and nearly cook my collection. Another time the sun shining in through a window sent my boa's cage into very high temperatures. I was in the middle of moving and fortunately I saw it and got the sun blocked out just in time. Have to watch both the highs and lows and think of any and everything that could go wrong, otherwise it just may happen.
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Old 02-18-18, 06:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping Many Ball Pythons

Look into Radiant Heat Panels, or RHPs
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Old 02-18-18, 07:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping Many Ball Pythons

Perhaps better to keep the snakes that you can keep properly then switching to tubs for the sake of keeping more...? Just a thought.
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Old 02-18-18, 12:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping Many Ball Pythons

Just being honest. If your house is as cold as you describe, I would get the houses heating isses addressed before getting anymore snakes. If you are keeping it cold to save money, you may have your priorities backwards.
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Old 02-18-18, 05:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping Many Ball Pythons

The other thing to consider is the many species that do well at cooler temperatures. Most salamanders do best if they never get much over 70F and many snakes from temperate regions will brumate during the coldest portion of winter. Temperatures must always be controlled for pets though so they are not too warm or cold.
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Old 02-24-18, 08:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping Many Ball Pythons

I do PVC caging with RHPs and can maintain cool side cage temps of mid 70s with room temps of 69-70, cages up to 4x2x15 in my experience.
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