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Old 08-08-17, 08:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Smile New BP owner

My boyfriend and I just recently got a Ball Python. I thought it would be beneficial to be a part of a forum while we learn how to care for our baby properly. We currently have 2 bearded dragons as well so are not complete novices to the reptile world.

I do have a couple questions though if anyone has time to help out!

To start I will give a little info about his enclosure. Our BP is still a baby and currently only about 12 inches long. We are housing him in a 20 gallon tank to start but understand that he will need a bigger habitat in the near future. In his tank he has a large plastic vine like plant, a water bowl, and a half log to hide in. His basking side stays at about 90 and the cool side at about 75-80. We mist the cage multiple times a day as well as wet the bedding thoroughly to keep the humidity up.

We have only had this fella less than a week. In the time we've had him he seems to only be interested in one spot in the enclosure. We stays on the cool side wrapped up in his vines just chilling there all day. he never seems to move from that spot. except to lower himself down to his water bowl occasionally for a drink. We have taken him out to handle him a few times and try to put him in different parts of the enclosure so that he can see there is a place for him to hide if he wants it and a warmer spot to bask. but every time he goes back to his spot in the vines. I have read that BPs usually spend most of their time hiding... are we not providing a good enough hiding spot or is he just content where he is? Should we be concerned that he has no interest in hiding?

We are going to do his first feeding tomorrow as they had him on a schedule already of wednesday feedings. Is it best for us to feed him inside the enclosure or to take him out and feed him in a box? I have read that both methods are used but would like to know which everyone seems to prefer.

Thanks for taking some time to help out a new python parent!
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Old 08-08-17, 08:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: New BP owner

Welcome to sSNAKESs!!

Sounds like you have a good set up to begin with...the cage is the right size! The humidity should be around 55-60%, but can go up from time to time (I send mine up to 75% on days that I mist...normally pre-shed). If your snake doesn't go to the hot side, try decreasing the temperature 1degF/day until you finally see him in there. I had to do this with my BP as well.

I'm guessing that you're using a basking light for heat, or perhaps a ceramic heating element (CHE) and not a under tank heater (UTH)? If you don't have a laser thermometer, get one and lase the top of the substrate to see what the temperature is. I do just that, and I also use a ZooMed digital thermometer ($9.99 @ Petco, $12.99 @ PetSmart) that I place the probe end at the top of the substrate in the hides--I use two thermometers--to double check the readings...they're cheap and they can be read at a glance. I bury the excess wire beneath the substrate to keep it out of the way.

Leave the snake in the hide to feed...most will agree with that, but there are a few that remove to feed. It decreases stress, especially for BPs, if you leave them in the cage (it's what I do).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thystle View Post
My boyfriend and I just recently got a Ball Python. I thought it would be beneficial to be a part of a forum while we learn how to care for our baby properly. We currently have 2 bearded dragons as well so are not complete novices to the reptile world.

I do have a couple questions though if anyone has time to help out!

To start I will give a little info about his enclosure. Our BP is still a baby and currently only about 12 inches long. We are housing him in a 20 gallon tank to start but understand that he will need a bigger habitat in the near future. In his tank he has a large plastic vine like plant, a water bowl, and a half log to hide in. His basking side stays at about 90 and the cool side at about 75-80. We mist the cage multiple times a day as well as wet the bedding thoroughly to keep the humidity up.

We have only had this fella less than a week. In the time we've had him he seems to only be interested in one spot in the enclosure. We stays on the cool side wrapped up in his vines just chilling there all day. he never seems to move from that spot. except to lower himself down to his water bowl occasionally for a drink. We have taken him out to handle him a few times and try to put him in different parts of the enclosure so that he can see there is a place for him to hide if he wants it and a warmer spot to bask. but every time he goes back to his spot in the vines. I have read that BPs usually spend most of their time hiding... are we not providing a good enough hiding spot or is he just content where he is? Should we be concerned that he has no interest in hiding?

We are going to do his first feeding tomorrow as they had him on a schedule already of wednesday feedings. Is it best for us to feed him inside the enclosure or to take him out and feed him in a box? I have read that both methods are used but would like to know which everyone seems to prefer.

Thanks for taking some time to help out a new python parent!
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Last edited by Scubadiver59; 08-08-17 at 08:47 AM..
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Old 08-08-17, 08:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: New BP owner

Welcome!

Simply put, you should be leaving your new snake 100% alone so that it can settle in...this means absolutely no handling and very little observing. You should only be going into the cage to spot clean any waste as well as to change water as necessary, otherwise it should be left alone. Although well intended, you are not helping him by doing the things you mentioned. Get your snake feeding a few times before bothering it with any kind of handling. As far as his behaviour, he may be comfortable where he is, or the hides you have may not feel tight enough for him. it's hard to know with him having had no alone time to settle in. I hope that he eats for you, but under the circumstances with all the interruptions please understand that it would be normal for him to refuse. When you do decide to feed, I suggest feeding in his own cage, and if he doesn't feed, wait another week before trying and continue to leave him be during that time. I'm sure others may chime in with things I didn't mention.
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Old 08-08-17, 08:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: New BP owner

Thank you! This is helpful. We left him alone the first two days but were unaware that we weren't giving him enough time to settle in. We will hold off on handling for a while. His hide seemed to be an appropriate size for him but if he shows no interest in the next month or so we will try going a bit smaller to see if he wants something more snug.

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Originally Posted by Andy_G View Post
Welcome!

Simply put, you should be leaving your new snake 100% alone so that it can settle in...this means absolutely no handling and very little observing. You should only be going into the cage to spot clean any waste as well as to change water as necessary, otherwise it should be left alone. Although well intended, you are not helping him by doing the things you mentioned. Get your snake feeding a few times before bothering it with any kind of handling. As far as his behaviour, he may be comfortable where he is, or the hides you have may not feel tight enough for him. it's hard to know with him having had no alone time to settle in. I hope that he eats for you, but under the circumstances with all the interruptions please understand that it would be normal for him to refuse. When you do decide to feed, I suggest feeding in his own cage, and if he doesn't feed, wait another week before trying and continue to leave him be during that time. I'm sure others may chime in with things I didn't mention.
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Old 08-08-17, 09:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: New BP owner

Plenty of plants to hide behind, hides (one on each end--cold and hot), and water dish big enough that it can curl up in (thought I've never seen my BP in the water) and you should be good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thystle View Post
Thank you! This is helpful. We left him alone the first two days but were unaware that we weren't giving him enough time to settle in. We will hold off on handling for a while. His hide seemed to be an appropriate size for him but if he shows no interest in the next month or so we will try going a bit smaller to see if he wants something more snug.
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Old 08-08-17, 09:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: New BP owner

We may need to add another hide on the cool side but otherwise he has all of these things! Thanks for the help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scubadiver59 View Post
Plenty of plants to hide behind, hides (one on each end--cold and hot), and water dish big enough that it can curl up in (thought I've never seen my BP in the water) and you should be good.
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