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  1. #1
    Registered User SGB_74's Avatar
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    My Plastic Tub Setup for my Ball Python


    Plastic Tub Setup for Ball Pythons

    Requirements are as follows:

    *Proper sized plastic tub not to big, not to small (i.e. Rubbermaid, Sterilite etc)
    *Digital Thermostat (i.e. Ranco ETC, Herpstat, Johnson Controls just to name a few)
    *Substrate/Bedding
    *Digital Thermo-Hygrometer (acu-rite models seem to be the best in this department)
    *Two Equal sized hides for each end of the setup
    *Appropriate sized water dish
    *Appropriate sized U.T.H (depending on the size of your enclosure most likely you'll be using a 11"x11")
    *Soldering gun
    *Foil tape
    *Rubberfeet/bottle tops (4)
    *Painters tape

    and that about sums up the requirements for a proper snake enclosure.



    ok let me first start out by saying i've had some usage out of glass tank setups but in no way shape or form can they compare to a plastic enclosure. For one plastic is easier to disinfect, its light weight, easier to heat and holds humidity. Overall its a fun thing creating your own enclosure..;D.

    ok i started out with purchasing a 41qt. Sterilite tub which is 34 3/4" x 16 1/2" x 6" then i used a soldering gun/iron to burn holes in each side of the tub for ventilation (pic below of my soldering gun/iron for those of you that aren't familiar with what it is)



    after doing so i then rinsed the inside of the tub out with tepid water..and to not over do it you should start out with a small number of holes. What i did was run a tape measure along all four sides of the tub and marked a dot every 1.5" if your humidity is above 60% then you'll need to add more holes to drop it..proper humidity for a ball python is between 50-60%. Here's a diagram of my setup not to mention i have added a few more holes after this pic was taken and i relocated the thermo-hygrometer (to the cool side which is the right side of my tub).



    ok once you have made a sufficient number of holes in your tub for ventilation check to see if your humidity stays at a steady 50-60% if not then you'll need to make a few more holes. ok once you have achieved that, you can then flip the tub over bottom side up and this is where the rubber feet/bottle caps, foil tape,U.T.H, and thermostat probe come into play. ok what you want to do now is place the rubberfeet/bottle caps on each corner of the tub to give it a 1/2" - 1" clearance as to not build up heat from the U.T.H. and the surface it's stationed on. now you can place the Undertank Heater on the outside bottom of the tub, once you have done that you can then tape it down with foil tape on all four sides. then to properly regulate your temps assuming you have purchased a thermostat..you then place the thermostat probe 1/2" off of the U.T.H and tape it to the heatmat with foil tape. ok now that you're down with the bottom. it should look like this.



    once you have your thermostat probe taped down to the heat mat you can set it to a basking temp between 90-94 degrees to achieve optimum basking temps. as in the photo below.



    once you're done with the bottom you can now start with furnishing the inside of the enclosure. ok first you need to set the Thermo-Hygrometer up. a Thermo-Hygrometer basically gives you a reading of ambient environment temps, ambient humidity levels and temps that can be monitored through a probe some units can measure two temps at once, one through a probe and the other with the base unit itself. ok first you set the base unit itself on the "cool side" of the tub a.k.a the side that doesn't have the UTH under it..this will measure the ambient temps and humidity levels from here in the corner..now you'll want to feed the probe from the Thermo-Hygrometer on the tubs floor bottom and have it come out right above the side that the heatmat is placed on so you can get a readout of the basking area (warm side). if need be you can tape ( i use painters tape, that's the blue tape) the probe wire down to the bottom of the tub and cover it with your substrate of choice.



    i personally use newspaper being as though its inexpensive and can be replaced easy as it was soiled..out with the old and in with the new..some people use aspen, bark etc..if you're all about aesthetics and want to use something that has a natural look then use aspen, but i personally suggest that you lay out a sheet of black&white print newspaper (no color ink) then lay the aspen on top of the newspaper, being as though some snakes tend to burrow themselves deep into the bedding this can cause some snakes to get burns from the heatmat but if there's something under the aspen thats breaking that contact with the enclosures floor then you should have no worries.

    ok now that you have your enclosures substrate laid out you'll want to place "hides" or "hide boxes" on each side of the enclosure..one over the "warm side" and the other over the "cool side" the more the better but i'm just covering the necessities. now for the water bowl you can put it in the middle of the enclosure or on the "cool side" of the enclosure as seen in the pic below...



    but if you see that your humidity is dropping and you need to bring it up a bit you can place your water dish on the "warm side" and the heat from the UTH will raise you humidity levels.

    remember a BP's (ball python) humidity levels are 50-60% and their basking temps are 90-94 and cool temps are 80-85 as in the photo below.



    now you have the bare necessities of a ball python tub setup..to top things off you can add a small rock in the enclosure to assist with shedding as it can have something to rub against so it can break the old skin and ...shed..or you can add fake plants to the setup as well...damn i feel like a nerd..lmao


    Old Glass Tank Shots

    here's a few pics of my old glass tank setups. they are of a 20gal and 20 gal long tank.




    *full view of my 20gal tank..as you can see its a much taller tank that has a lot of head room that really isn't required with BP's since they're a terrestrial species.








    *in this pic i chose to use aspen as a substrate but keep in mind i laid a sheet of black&white newspaper down before i did so.




    *here's my 20gal long, as you can see i had to modify the screen lid to trap humidity and heat inside the tank. i used 3 sheets of foil paper and placed them shiny side down which is facing into the enclosure, and i used 2 layers of duct tape on the top of the lid also taping the foil paper down.





    *here you can see a 5"x5" cutout for the heat lamp to sit in.




    *this is the inside or the "roof" of the enclosure that has the 3 sheets of foil paper and duct tape keeping it in place. the side with foil paper faces down into the enclosure.




    *this is an aerial view of my 20gal long with the proper husbandry requirements as you can see.





    *this is my 20gal long just purchased and setup the same day..i took that rock out though..lol





    *this is an aerial view of my 20gal long which i switched my water dish and hides to plastic tortilla containers..and used a soldering gun to cut out an entrance in both hides then i cut out an entrance on the top of the water dish which created a water hide where she can soak peacefully and not be disturbed as seen in the above picture.




    *my 20gal long tank with tortilla hide and water dish. as you can see she has the optimum temps in a glass tank as well..only thing is glass requires more attention as oppose to using plastic..when using glass tanks people tend to use heat lamps and heat lamps dry out your humidity and glass takes longer to heat up...when using plastic tubs you don't have to worry about that. yet they still both function properly it's just a personal preference.




  2. The Following 14 Users Say Thank You to SGB_74 For This Useful Post:

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  3. #2
    BPnet Veteran Elise.m's Avatar
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    Re: My Plastic Tub Setup for my Ball Python

    Very nice tutorial!
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  4. #3
    BPnet Lifer Kaorte's Avatar
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    Re: My Plastic Tub Setup for my Ball Python

    I personally don't agree with your thermometer probe placement in the tub setup. I place mine right on the plastic where the UTH is to measure the hottest point my snake can get to. Granted there isn't much of a difference between the top of newspaper and the bottom, but I would rather know that hottest point.

    Other then that, great tutorial.
    ~Steffe

  5. #4
    BPnet Veteran blackcrystal22's Avatar
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    Re: My Plastic Tub Setup for my Ball Python

    Please note it is not a requirement to have two hides in a tub unless the animal is having trouble eating.
    Many people often don't even have hides in tubs for adults.

  6. #5
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    Re: My Plastic Tub Setup for my Ball Python

    very nice, thanks for posting.

  7. #6
    Registered User SGB_74's Avatar
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    Re: My Plastic Tub Setup for my Ball Python

    Quote Originally Posted by blackcrystal22 View Post
    Please note it is not a requirement to have two hides in a tub unless the animal is having trouble eating.
    Many people often don't even have hides in tubs for adults.
    well i was under the impression is was a requirement to have two hides, that is unless you housed your snakes in an enclosed rack which has the back and both sides enclosed therefore providing the extra security then you wouldn't need two hides.

    but if you're not housing your snakes in a rack and using a plastic tub you're telling me its still not a requirement to use two hides? if this is so then why do users stress the fact so much to use a hide on the warm and cool sides?




  8. #7
    Registered User SGB_74's Avatar
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    Re: My Plastic Tub Setup for my Ball Python

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaorte View Post
    I personally don't agree with your thermometer probe placement in the tub setup. I place mine right on the plastic where the UTH is to measure the hottest point my snake can get to. Granted there isn't much of a difference between the top of newspaper and the bottom, but I would rather know that hottest point.

    Other then that, great tutorial.
    i guess different things work for different people. i've used that method for five years and haven't had anything go wrong. i mean is it a bad thing to have the probe inside the tank? if thats so then where are all the other users placing the probe from their acurite thermometers at? as stated i run mine underneath the substrate (newspaper) and have it come up underneath on the warm sides hide and i get a read out of that area that way.




  9. #8
    Registered User MustBeSatan's Avatar
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    Re: My Plastic Tub Setup for my Ball Python

    Quote Originally Posted by SGB_74 View Post
    well i was under the impression is was a requirement to have two hides, that is unless you housed your snakes in an enclosed rack which has the back and both sides enclosed therefore providing the extra security then you wouldn't need two hides.

    but if you're not housing your snakes in a rack and using a plastic tub you're telling me its still not a requirement to use two hides? if this is so then why do users stress the fact so much to use a hide on the warm and cool sides?
    I would agree with your understanding... I don't use hides in my tubs because my snakes are in an enclosed rack; the back of their tubs are basically enclosed on all sides anyways. If you had a tub in an exposed rack or on a shelf, at LEAST one hide is necessary. This may be what blackcrystal22 meant but did not specify.
    0.4 Normal BP
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  10. #9
    BPnet Veteran Lorgakor's Avatar
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    Re: My Plastic Tub Setup for my Ball Python

    I didn't know you were supposed to put the probe from the thermostat underneath the heat mat? I put mine inside the cage in the same spot you have your thermometer proble.

  11. #10
    Registered User SGB_74's Avatar
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    Re: My Plastic Tub Setup for my Ball Python

    Quote Originally Posted by Lorgakor View Post
    I didn't know you were supposed to put the probe from the thermostat underneath the heat mat? I put mine inside the cage in the same spot you have your thermometer proble.
    my thermostat probe is on the heatmat, my thermometer probe is wired under the substrate and coming out above the substrate inside the warm sides hide.




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