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Old 08-21-18, 12:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New Ball Python owner in Missouri

Let's try this again, i just made this post and for some reason it didn't go through.

Hi everyone!

I just got a ball python at a reptile show on Sunday. It's a male blue eyed leucistic... there were several morphs in the exact name that I can't remember, but I know there's several paths a breeder can take to get a blue eyed lucy. Mine is pure white with silver eyes and red vertical pupils. Anyway, he's a male, still very small, and I named him Charles after Charles Xavier from the X-Men. He's super curious and seems to genuinely enjoy people and handling. I know you're supposed to wait a few days before handling a new ball python, but yesterday (the day after I got him) he was happy to wrap himself around my hand and just hang out for a half hour until I put him back, and he was more hesitant to go back in his enclosure than he was to be handled.

For his enclosure, I didn't do what a lot of new reptile keepers do... I did not opt for a glass aquarium. I want him to feel secure, not like he's on display. He is in a plastic tote with holes drilled in the sides for air. I actually think the tote might be a little too tall. Is that a thing? He has the floor space he needs, but the vertical space is a bit open. Anyway, he has a heat mat, a thermostat, a half-log hide, a water bowl, and paper towel substrate for now. Eventually I might go with actual substrate and maybe a bioactive set up, but for now, since I just dropped 3 hundy on the snake, I'm using a "no frills" enclosure.

I haven't fed him yet, but according to the breeder, tomorrow is his routine feeding day. He's only been fed a couple of times, so far, though. The breeder said Charles was eating live rat pups, and showed me one. I want to try feeding frozen, though, but unfortunately the pet stores don't carry frozen rat pups... the smallest rat is a "small rat" and I think that might be too big. Should I just feed mice for now? I hear that switching over from live to frozen can be a hassle with ball pythons, sometimes, but for some reason, I don't know why, I get this feeling that Charles is going to be a great eater.

I also have a blazing blizzard leopard gecko named Ghost. I've had Ghost for about a month, and he was just a hatchling when I got him. He loves crickets and horned worms, and turns his nose up at mealworms. He also loves his 20 gallon long enclosure, and enjoys exploring it, but when I enter the room freezes in place, and then slowly hides. He's a little (okay, a lot) skiddish with being picked up, and when I'm holding him he's always looking for an escape route.

I also have some amphibians, particularly african dwarf frogs, and an axolotl.

I also have a bunch of fish.

I have a dog too.

I have a small YouTube channel as well, but I didn't sign up on this forum to promote that. I'm more interested in learning more about how to care for my bleach noodle. I don't know what the rules are regarding promoting a YouTube channel on this forum, so if someone is interested in checking it out, I guess send me a private message?

I'm a very active member on some fish keeping forums, and I do know a lot about fish keeping, and axolotls. If anyone wants to pick my brain on those topics, I'm more than happy to offer my experience and advice. But regarding snakes, and reptiles in general, I'm a total noob.

Here's a picture of Charles, just because.
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Old 08-30-18, 09:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: New Ball Python owner in Missouri

Totally different snake but I just got a boa(red tail) but I switched over to frozen and I suggest defrost thoroughly in a water bath then take a hair dryer and warm it up a bit more so it's pretty warm to the touch. Never use a microwave to defrost as it can cook the meat and snakes eat raw flesh
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Old 08-30-18, 09:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: New Ball Python owner in Missouri

Good rules of thumb:

- Don't handle until your snake has eaten twice, and waiting a week before offering is good practice. Snakes that are stressed from handling don't always act that way but may express it by fasting. It's whole world has changed, and no snake truly enjoys handling, only tolerates it. Usually a snake resisting being placed back in it's enclosure is because it is anchored around you and feels somewhat secure (similar to what they do when perching in trees) so, or since it isn't crawling back in by it's own free will and doesn't know what is happening, it resists it. Think of it as forcing a perched snake off of it's perch. They're not a fan of that.

- Aquariums are for fish and in comparison to other types of housing they usually require a bit more modification to work properly for species such as ball pythons, but this is totally just my preference and opinion. The tub may or may not be too tall. If something is off or the snake doesn't feel secure, your new snake won't eat too readily, so if it doesn't eat after a month or so, consider making changes to husbandry.

- Offer exactly the same food that was being offered at the breeders for the first meal. This will give you the highest chance of success, and once it has eaten a few of those familiar meals with you and is totally settled in, then you can try to switch over to frozen. There's no harm in offering frozen the first time, but it may be refused. Keep in mind that ball pythons have a tendency to imprint on certain types of prey which can cause them turn down all others. If yours has eaten rats, there's no reason to offer a mouse. You don't want to have to feed it 3 food items as an adult. The term for this would be a "mouser" and they can be exponentially more expensive and less convenient to feed.

As an aside, I see some little black dots on the substrate near the wooden log. I am hoping that it may just be dirt. Make sure, because the size and shape does resemble snake mites. You're doing well to keep your snake in a simple manner for the first little while because it will help identify any issues.
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