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Old 12-23-17, 07:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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First Ball Python, Newbie Questions

Hi yalls, I'm new around here and today I got my first ball python. He's 3 months old and his name is Osiris

Here are a few of the questions I have:
- Currently he's pretty small and in a 10 gal tank, how large do you think he should be before I move up his tank size?

- I'm using Aspen substraite right now, which I've heard both good and bad about. I live in florida and generally its quite humid all year, so I'm not too worried about humidity getting too low. ( Tho I will be getting something to measure the humidity level tomorrow ) Do you think that this substrate will cause too much of an issue?

- When we picked him up from the store they stated that we should feed him twice a week. I've heard once a week is more appropriate but I wouldn't know.

- How soon/how much can we begin handling him? He's extremely docile and that I've seen doesn't get stressed or object to being handled, but nevertheless I've seen a lot about not handling them too much after buying them. How much would you recommend handling a new snake if he doesn't seem particularly bothered by it?

Thank you all! I'm sorta paranoid about everything n I don't wanna mess the lil guy up, so any advice is rlly appreciated!
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Old 12-23-17, 09:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: First Ball Python, Newbie Questions

Hello Synapse,

A 10 gallon enclosure will be good for maybe about another two to three months. You can then move him up to a 15 to 20 gallon enclosure. Once he is about a year old, he can be moved into a permanent enclosure which should measure at least 48"x20"x12" (LxWxH). Depending on the size of your adult snake, you could go with something smaller. I highly recommend you choose at least a 60"x20"x24" size enclosure because none of this space will go unused. Don't feed twice a week, as this will lead to an unhealthy overweight animal. He can eat once a week, until he is about a year old, from there once every two weeks is good. Don't use aspen, it doesn't work with ball pythons because it molds quite easily when wet. Humidity levels for ball pythons should be around 50-60%, and around 80% during the shedding process. Use cypress mulch, or coconut fiber, this will not mold when you spray it. As for handling, avoid the temptation for a minimum of one to two weeks, this will give him time to acclimate to his environment. After this time you can handle your snake about once a day, just make sure to avoid handling both the day of and after when feeding. Don't hesitate to ask any more questions, I am only here to help!
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Last edited by DJC Reptiles; 12-23-17 at 09:33 PM..
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Old 12-27-17, 03:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: First Ball Python, Newbie Questions

10 gallon is fine until closer to the 1 year mark.

Food wise once a week a single prey item would be better than feeding twice a week.

Aspen is fine just spot clean when you see a mess. I used aspen for awhile with no mould issues as well as something called "beta chip". It's aspen but in a real small chip form, it's also a good choice. Sometimes it's called Sani chip.

Handling, I'd wait for 2 consecutive meals and then begin handling more consistently after that. (I tell people this but I've never known someone to do it)
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Old 12-27-17, 03:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: First Ball Python, Newbie Questions

I agree that a 10 gallon tank is more than adequate for a 3 month old ball python however smaller is usually better at that age. Typically, a six quart tub is the ideal enclosure for a 3 month old since at that age they have issues with security and often go off food if the setup is incorrect. Larger enclosure should have quite a bit of clutter and multiple hides throughout. Tight fitting hides are your best bet. Paper towel roll ends are great. Just stuff one end with paper towel so there is only one way in and out. Most importantly, will be the regulated heat that you provide. Since this animal is essentially a hatchling, your warm side should hover around 87F with the hot spot lower than 90F and a cool side of about 78F - 82F or thereabouts. Handling, I would consider going up until the python has had 5 or six meals in the enclosure. Remember, they only tolerate handling and are stressed by it no matter what we think.
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