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Old 02-18-18, 11:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Is this a sign for concern?

I'll try to be brief.

Purchased Ball, Exo-Terra, two hides, bowl, UTH, lamps, etc etc. Beautiful, young, and understandably stressed. Current temps are 74/86, humidity is 55. Initial purchase showed the darling thing to be curious, inquisitive, borderline fearless, and of very healthy attitude. Didn't ball up or tense on initial handling (at purchase) which is what made me make the purchase. Bought supplies, set up tank, picked up snake. Operation kill-my-tax-return was a success. Aspen bedding over reptile carpet, water bowl, etc.

Night one, Ball is left alone entirely. Using UV light in the day, but otherwise leaving it unlit. Ball explores for several hours, then takes to curling around a small decorative vine set suction-cupped to the side of the tank, near the top. I took this to be a quirk, as that's the darkest point (excluding hides), and a sign of initial stress.

Day two. Ball is still wrapped around those vines, hanging balled about them as if it's attempting to be one with the foliage and activate it's super-serpent shape-shifting powers.

Night two. Ball is still there. Responsive if motion occurs outside the exo-terra, but won't come down from the vines.

This may be very silly of me as this is only night two, but I'm quickly growing concerned that she's avoiding something in the exo-terra, or that I've done something terribly wrong. Is this a stress response? Should I be concerned, or wait this out until first-feeding?

A thousand apologies if I am being neurotic, I just cannot seem to get this out of my head and finding it hard to sleep without an answer. Thank you!
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Old 02-19-18, 07:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Is this a sign for concern?

You mention the temps. Where are the probes for your thermometer(s)?
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Old 02-19-18, 09:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Is this a sign for concern?

How loud is the area where your ball is and try to get a basking spot for it.
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Old 02-19-18, 11:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Is this a sign for concern?

A) congrats on your first snake!
B) your temps are a bit low. You don't want to fall below 75 and should be aiming for a 90 hotspot.
C) are your heat sources regulated by a thermostat?
D) Try using cardboard, dark paper or something similar to block out light. Tape to the OUTSIDE of the enclosure to provide security for your snake. NEVER put tape or anything sticky inside the enclosure.
E) snakes don't need UV
F) suction cups can be dangerous to snakes because they can actually get stuck to the snake.
G) How are you measuring temps? And where are you measuring?
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Old 02-19-18, 11:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Is this a sign for concern?

Python regius males, and juveniles, can be considered semi-arboreal... so I would say, what you see is perfectly normal and should be expected.

As for some of the other myths,

P. regius has UV sensitive pigments in their eyes, so they see this spectrum, it's great you supply this. They will seek out UV and actively bask during the day (hence it's important both UV and heat are provided on the same side of the terrarium). Don't let anyone tell you differently. Besides this, UVa/b has also positive influence on the immune system and it does help with vitamin and hormone production. That snakes don't need UV is an old school of thought that has recently seen some major changes in husbandry practices. Even Brian Barczyk has recently released a letter to his community that he has been wrong all these years in regards to the snake's requirements in terms of lighting and heating and promised to change his way of keeping over the next few months. Few members of the group I'm with are actually advising him on the changes.

Last edited by TRD; 02-19-18 at 12:14 PM..
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Old 02-20-18, 01:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Is this a sign for concern?

Thank you for the quick responses.

Update: After applying some of your suggestions and recycling the water in her dish she has come down from the vine, so I owe you all a debt of gratitude. She is now avoiding the actual hides and opting instead to curl along the inside of a driftwood log that is serving as a pseudo-hide. While this is concerning, I still consider it a vast improvement. Going to keep checking this thread just in case anyone has any suggestions or corrections that can help me educate myself and keep her as happy as possible.

I was told she was fed regularly on mondays, but to skip this feed and switch it to a new day to help her adjust to the changing conditions. Plan to adventure the feed-route come saturday and see if I can tempt her to eat in an isolated unit (for feeding specifically) before transferring her back to her tank. Was told this will help eliminate the instinct that 'hand in cage = food.'

@Kudzu, Both probes are located just above the substrate, half an inch to an inch away at most. One on each side of the exo-terra.

@Craig,
A) Thank you!
B) Understood. Still attempting to achieve optimal numbers, so this shouldn't be hard to account for. Cleveland. Was 32f outside last week, 77 today. Going to have to try isolating the system a bit more to eliminate variance.
C) They are now. Previous thermo-regulator was replaced as I feared malfunctions in my panic and concern for her, same locations as before. I dislike adjusting her exo-terra during this first week due to her stress levels, but I'm currently prioritizing optimizing her exo-terra over the stress. Still avoiding engaging her wherever possible.
D) I blocked off the top using dulled aluminum foil and tape with brown paper underneath this layer to block out light refraction, and if this continues will do so on the left and right sides of the enclosure as well. Is this tenable?
E) N/A
F) Understood. Moved said cup behind the styrofoam backing and fed the foliage out from above it. Want to allow her the shade in the cool region in case the lights ever become too much for her and the hide proves insufficient.
G) Currently the JUMPSTART MTPRPC digital temperature controller is hooked up, but since this began I have been relying more on a pair of Zoo-med digital thermometers, probes located roughly an inch at most from substrate layer. I dislike the placement, but she ignores them and I want to get as accurate a temperature for her layer of motion as possible.

@TRD, Female, sadly. But from what I studied I have seen the UV light arguments and have been attempting to keep up with them. At this point I've considered there is unlikely any net loss for providing the UV, and will keep doing so while I continue my studies. Thank you for this data, as it will help me keep informed.

Thank you all again for the help, previous and continued.
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Old 02-21-18, 08:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Is this a sign for concern?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeverSolus View Post
unlikely any net loss for providing the UV, and will keep doing so while I continue my studies.
This is what I was thinking too. I have heard people argue if it helps or not but nobody has said it has a negative impact....so I see no reason to NOT provide it.
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Old 02-21-18, 10:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Is this a sign for concern?

Nobody has ever come forward with negative effects of natural intensity UV.. besides that one study of broken CFLs and cheap products that also emit UVc. Any quality brand will only contribute to the snake's behavior and physiology. All my snakes that didn't show themselves until lights off (mainly Lampropeltis sp) are now also active during the day basking. That only happened after adding UV a little over a year back.
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Old 02-22-18, 11:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Is this a sign for concern?

Ensure the hides are snug fitting for the snakes size. Many ball pythons won't use hides that are too big.
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Old 02-22-18, 01:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Is this a sign for concern?

As you mentioned the uth, its imperative to plug it into a thermostat and then set your desired temperature. If it's not on the thermostat, then unplug it until you can get one bc uth can easily heat up to over 120F and injure the snake. Consider buying a ir (infra red) temp gun so you can measure the surface temp on the glass above the uth and for general accuracy.
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Old 02-24-18, 10:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Is this a sign for concern?

Apologies for the late reply, but I have been keeping up with the posts offered here and applying them as suggested. Namely I snugged the hides, and replaced one with a more properly sized one. I do now have a properly working Thermostat control device for the UTH, and have switched out her basking light for a night-time basker of lower wattage.

The temperatures have steadied out since, while I continue to struggle with humidity (@(#$ Ohio!)

However, since these fixes among those listed before, she has calmed somewhat dramatically. She pursued her first feed very aggressively, despite it being a thaw after she was fed live previously by her breeder. She is current extremely aggressive (She was fed just 26 hours ago as of writing and is thus not being handled) and that leads me to believe I should up her dietary supply to two fuzzies a week rather than one.

Beyond this, she is no longer curling up about the vines, nor exhibiting any abnormal signs beyond her post-feed aggression, which is understandable. She is a happy little girl from what I can tell, spends most of her times in her hides as she ought, and seems to appreciate her UV(day)/Black bask(Night) light cycle.

Thanks to all of you I have become much more comfortable and much less neurotic about her behaviors, despite having had to alter her habitat in the first week.

Tomorrow at the 48 hour mark I intend to attempt some gentle handling, provided she is not still basking in the hot-side hide, which I take to be a digestive sign. Beyond that, thank you all again. You have been a huge help.
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Old 02-24-18, 10:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Is this a sign for concern?

It occurred to me I have not given a picture, so I do so now. This is her post-feed, when I had to remove the hide she dragged it into to ensure she swallowed it. She took a swipe, but that is expected given the situation. She has since gotten her hide back and is happily curled up inside.

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