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  1. #1
    i have a ball python and a corn snake, and i really like pythons.

    and i have a couple questions about blood pythons, and i know SOMEBODY can answer them:

    1) i read on another thread that there are a lot of diff types, which one is most common?

    2) i have also read that the humidity needs to be 70-80%, are there any that dont need such high humidity, more like around 50%?

    3) Size tank for an adult?

    4) How big to they get, i heard about 5 feet? (realisticly)

    5) Ive seen some with short and fatter tails, and some with longer slender tails, which type is more normal?

    thank you, thats all for now

  2. #2
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    This is the "bloodrant" - hopefully it will answer a few questions for you.

    The following is a compilation of answers to various blood & short-tail python questions I’ve been asked over time, along with a short section on caging & care info.

    Hey KLG is it possible to cross a yellow with a red and what is the outcome of this??

    Sure...although I haven't actually done it, so I'm not quite sure what to tell you. I'd assume you'd end up with babies somewhere between the two color variations. Remember, red and yellow Sumatrans are still both Python brongersmai.

    Also how big do these Bloods actually get on average

    Blood pythons ( Python brongersmai ): 4.5' - 6'
    Borneo short-tails ( Python breitensteini ): 4' - 5.5'
    Sumatran short-tails ( Python curtus ): 3.5' - 5'
    Sarawak short-tails ( Python breitensteini ): 3.5' -5'

    Again, these are just average sizes for the various species/localities.

    and hows there temperment

    Varies from individual to individual. Most of the blood & short-tailed pythons I work with are extremely calm, placid captives with the exception of a few wild caught animals. Babies are notoriously pissy, snappy little youngsters, but this behavior is typical for many juvenile pythons. Time, patience, and consistent, gentle handling are usually all it takes for the antics of a fiery juvie to subside.

    and the care they need?

    While I'm not going to delve into the details of care requirements for these species (as there is plenty of info available on the web!) there are a few points I'll touch on.

    First off, if you're capable of caring for a larger boa, or a Burm or retic, bloods & stp's should be relatively easy in terms of husbandry. Caging, heating and feeding should be a common-sense no-brainer if you're familiar with snakes and have done your homework. These animals are NOT for the uninitiated or first-time keeper.

    Second. Babies/juveniles do better in SMALL enclosures! Even the confines of a 10 gallon tank can be stressful to these secretive youngsters. In my experience, they do better set up in small plastic shoeboxes with a simple hide & water dish, and left at an ambient temp around 82 degrees with NO BASKING SPOT. Put a juvie blood/stp in too big of an enclosure and you will definitely have one freaked out snake on your hands that does not want to feed, and does want to defensively nip everything that comes near it. This is good for neither keeper nor kept.

    Third. HUMIDITY!!!! This is one of the BIGGEST problems I see with blood keepers, husbandry wise. Keeping a blood TOO WET is worse than too dry in my opinion. If your blood/stp is too wet, the skin will typically start to wrinkle. Many inexperienced keepers will look at this and think "oh, he's too dry" and up the humidity in the blood's enclosure. Expect your blood to develop serious skin problems and probably quite literally melt if you continue along this route. Understand the difference between humidity and a wet cage. Humidity is the amount of moisture in the air. A wet cage is exactly that: a prime environment for bacteria & fungi to grow and negatively affect your snake. Keeping your bloood/stp on a simple substrate of newspaper and providing a humidity chamber (i.e. plastic tub full of damp sphagnum moss) will typically do the trick.

    Fourth. Expect killer feeding responses, just as you would with any larger constrictor...then again, when making a conversion to f/t rodents, ENSURE that the prey item is VERY warm. Bloods/stp's rely heavily on their thermoreceptive labial pits to sense a heat signature for a prey item. If you're dangling a room-temperature rat in front of a hungry blood, chances are it's going to zero in on you instead of the rodent. Get that prey item hot enough for your blood/stp to pick up on!
    ***Side note...don't make your blood/stp too fat! Just like with people, obesity is an unhealthy condition for pythons! While these animals are robust, heavy-bodied, stout creatures, they are not meant to look like flat tires!!!!!!

    Fifth. Know how to read your snakes prior to getting a blood. Be capable of free, intelligent thought processes and don't freak out just because something isn't happening "by the book." Be a problem solver. Learn to understand ophidian behavior. Know how to recognize when a snake is hungry, scared/defensive, wanting to breed, etc. etc. etc. USE YOUR NOGGIN! These snakes are very intelligent compared to many species, and really a joy to interact with if you're willing to meet them on their terms and understand what makes them tick.

    ***Handling: SUPPORT THE ANIMAL'S WEIGHT!!! These are heavy bodied snakes that do not enjoy being slung around or dangled. These are not "throw around your shoulders" snakes - cradle them securely in your arms or rest them on your lap. Make the animal feel secure, not threatened. Your blood will thank you for it...well, at least by not railing you because it associates handling with a negative experience.

    If you can, visit the facility/collection of an experienced blood/stp keeper. Observe their collection and become familiar with what a healthy, happy blood python looks like, and make those conditions your goal.

    Let me know if I can clarify anything.

    Next Section: Caging info

    First off, let me state that I pretty much subscribe to the “K.I.S.S.” school of thought in terms of snake housing. In other words, Keep It Simple, Stupid! Less is often more when it comes to setting snakes up, with regards to both ease of maintenance for the keeper and a comfortable, low-stress environment for the snake. Understand that this information is not offered under the pretense of “you have to go set up your snakes exactly like this or you’re going to fail!” Quite the contrary – in fact, what works well for one keeper in one situation may not work at all for another keeper in a completely different setting. What I am trying to offer, however, is some experience gained from several years of herpkeeping and some ideas that can be easily modified to suit just about any snake or keeper.

    Practical Considerations
    Many novice keepers set out with the idea of purchasing a cage that their snake can eventually “grow into.” Seems like a good idea at first, after all, why spend money on multiple enclosures as an animal grows when you can just get it a big one and use it for a long time? Besides, the snake will appreciate all of that spacious extra room and feel more at home, like it’s in the wild, if it can go anywhere it wants (well, within the confines of a big cage, anyway). Right?

    Well, not exactly…this is one of those ideas that is great in theory, but when it comes down to application. Big cage + little snake, often = nervous, stressed out snake that doesn’t want to feed & eventually declines in health if the situation is not rectified. Why? Because little snakes want to HIDE. Large, cavernous enclosures don’t allow them to totally feel secure the same way a smaller cage would. Take Burmese pythons as an example. A 15’ Burmese has no real problem hanging out in the open because there aren’t many things that threaten a big Burm from a predatory perspective. On the other hand, take a hatchling Burmese and put it in a 40-gallon tank and you suddenly have an extremely insecure, freaked out, biting, spraying, upset snake on your hands. There’s nothing more that little snake wants to do then jam itself into the smallest crevice it can find and feel completely protected from possible predators. Snakes don’t lose that instinct simply because they’re in captivity – they just don’t work that way.

    When housing a snake, the top priorities should be security (as in escape-proof), environmental control, and low-stress situation for the snake. These factors are equally important, in my opinion. Fortunately, there are extremely cost-effective “raise-up” cages that won’t break the bank, but will allow you to keep your snake in an appropriately sized enclosure as it grows.

    Understanding Temperature
    It’s probably a no-brainer to you that snakes are ectothermic, meaning they are incapable of internally regulating body temperature in the same manner that mammals do. You probably also know that you need to provide your snake with an external heat source to provide a basking spot within the enclosure (we’ll touch on HOW to do that a little later). What a lot of people don’t know is that the temperature outside a cage has a big effect on the temperature(s) inside a cage. Giving your snake a basking spot of 90 degrees doesn’t do a lot of good if the ambient, or background, temperature in the cage is 68 degrees. When deciding what kind of enclosure you’re going to use for your snake, please take into consideration the room in which you’re going to be keeping the cage (and the snake!). If the room temperature is consistently in the 72 – 75+ degree range, then there’s not a lot to worry about…on the other hand, if you keep your house cool, or have no control over the ambient temperature, then it’s time to either relocate the snake cage, or make modifications/buy a cage that is not as easily affected by room temperatures. This is where glass, screen-topped tanks pose some real issues – heat and humidity go right out that screen top, allowing the snake’s environment to fluctuate according to any changes in the room.

    It is essential to your snake’s well-being that you provide correct ambient and basking temperatures at all times. Thoroughly research the husbandry requirements of the species you intend to acquire, and set up the enclosure prior to actually obtaining the animal. Part of this setup process includes regulating the temperatures within the cage. Creating a basking spot can be done several ways: undertank heating pads (choose non-adhesive if available), radiant heat panels, ceramic heat emitters and basking bulbs are all popular choices, but it is important to understand how each element affects your snake’s environment. Ceramic heat emitters & basking bulbs tend to dry out the air in a cage, and leaving a basking bulb on 24/7 can be stressful to an animal if the bulb emits bright light. Under-tank heat pads controlled by a thermostat or rheostat work extremely well for providing consistent, non-stressful heat to a snake. Radiant heat panels also work very well, but are more expensive than other heating elements.

    Both ambient and basking temperatures within your snake’s cage should be measured on a regular basis with accurate thermometers. Digital indoor/outdoor thermometers, temperature guns, and simple, traditional “analog” thermometers all work very well for this purpose. Avoid small, adhesive temperature strips commonly sold for fish tanks, as they may not provide the accurate readings needed for a reptile enclosure.

    Cage Components
    Substrate can be as simple as newspaper or paper towels, or something as elaborate as cypress mulch or similar type bedding. Never use cedar, which is toxic to reptiles. Also, consider the entire enclosure, as well as the species being kept when choosing an appropriate substrate. For example, if you’re putting a tropical-habitat snake into a cage with a lot of ventilation, you may want to use a substrate that helps to retain humidity. On the other hand, if you intend to use a shoebox or sweaterbox type enclosure with less ventilation, newspaper may be a more appropriate choice to help avoid a too-damp cage, as a consistently moist environment provides a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus.

    Water dishes are very straightforward – provide your snake with a bowl or dish that allows access to fresh, clean water at all times. For smaller or younger animals, ensure that the dish is shallow enough to easily exit once entered otherwise the animal may become trapped, tire from constant swimming, and drown. For larger animals, consider using a heavier dish that cannot be easily overturned.

    Hide boxes don’t need to be elaborate to be effective. Your snake just wants something he or she can wedge into and feel completely secure. Plastic flowerpot saucers work well for this, as do opaque Rubbermaid containers and any of the commercially available hide boxes that are more practical than decorative.

    Keep in mind that all cage components should be easy to clean & disinfect with a simple bleach/water solution. Try to avoid porous materials unless you are willing to take extra measures to consistently disinfect such items. Cage furniture can be as simple or as elaborate as you care to make it; remember that the more things you put into an enclosure = the more things you have to take back out and disinfect on a regular basis. It also helps to keep duplicates of “the basics” – i.e. water dishes & hide boxes available, so that you can replace soiled items with clean ones immediately.

    Blood & Short-tailed python caging

    Newly hatched blood & short-tailed pythons are extremely shy, sometimes defensive, secretive snakes. They enter this world approximately 10-16” in length, with the perspective that anything bigger is probably trying to eat them; that “perspective” is important to keep in mind when deciding upon appropriate caging for these animals. These snakes DO NOT appreciate setups that force them to be out in the open for extended periods of time.

    I find that setting up blood & ST pythons in small plastic shoebox-style enclosures works extremely well. I use boxes that measure roughly 15” x 8” x 5”, but any box close to these dimensions would probably work well. A soldering iron (Radio Shack) is used to melt 15 – 20 holes on each of the “short” ends of the box for ventilation. Newspaper/paper towel substrate, ceramic crock water dish that prevents tipping, and a 4” opaque plastic flowerpot saucer with a hole cut in one side for a hide box.

    I do not give hatchling blood & & ST pythons a basking spot, as this typically overwhelms the snake & discourages feeding behavior. I keep hatchlings at a constant ambient temp of 82-84 degrees.

    See hatchling setup above. When a juvenile blood python outgrows its baby box, I typically move it into a Rubbermaid 2220 box, which is a very standard size used in snakekeeping. Dimensions are roughly 16” x 11” x 6”. Water dish & hide box size are increased appropriately. At this time, a 90-degree basking spot in the form of 3” heat tape controlled by a thermostat may be provided. Ambient temp fluctuates from 75 – 82 degrees.

    I house subadult blood pythons in the equivalent of Rubbermaid 2221 boxes – dimensions approx. 23” x 17” x 6”, or a similar sized enclosure. Vision cages and Freedom Breeder racks also work extremely well. Hide box & water dish sizes are increase accordingly. Basking spot of 90-92 degrees is always available, and ambient temperature ranges from 75 –82 degrees.

    My adult blood pythons are housed in 4’ Freedom Breeder drawers for females, and 2’ or 2.5’ drawers for smaller males. 4’ cages are a great size for bigger bloods & give these animals room to stretch out and move around. Basking spot 90-92 degrees provided by 4” or 11” heat tape, controlled by a thermostat. Ambient temperature 75-85 degrees. Appropriately-sized hide box & water dish also provided.
    Response to a juvenile blood python question. Snake was being kept in a 40-gallon enclosure, but had quit feeding.

    Baby blood + 40 gallon tank = recipe for unhappy snake. Baby bloods are extremely shy and putting them in a giant enclosure is often the cause of going off feed. She wants to be in a tight little cage where she can feel secure. Since she's in a clear, big, spacious cage with an "open top (which is what the screen top on a 40gal equates to) she basically feels open to attack from all angles from a "predator" of any sort. Remember that young snakes pretty much operate under the mindset that anything bigger is a threat.

    Time to make some modifications, which fortunately is easy to do. Get a rubbermaid shoebox w/lid, a smaller version (like the 4636 model) if she's a small baby, or a bigger box (i.e. 2220/3 gallon size) if your snake is bigger. Put 10-15 holes on each "short side" of the box for ventilation, using a soldering iron ($20 @ Radio Shack & a no-brainer to operate) to melt the holes. Keep the setup with in the shoebox VERY simple - just substrate & small water bowl. Try to make sure the water bowl isn't something she can easily flip - those small, heavier ceramic crocks often sold in pet stores work GREAT. Your substrate should be something simple, too - i.e. paper towels or newspaper. Boxes this size are too small to use mulch in since it jacks up the humidity too much, and excessive humidity is a bad thing. Humidity isn't the main thing you need to be worrying about right now. Crumple up a little extra paper for her to hide under, or give her a small hide box at one end of the shoebox. I find that those little opaque plastic plant saucers that you can get at Home Depot make great hides for baby bloods. Get one 4" in diameter & cut a little hole in one side.

    Get a little digital indoor/outdoor thermometer from Walmart...I picked up a great one the other day for $10, so they're not expensive. Put the temperature probe inside the shoebox so you can keep an eye on the temps. You do not need to give the animal a basking spot right now - there's cause #2 for baby bloods going off feed - get them too hot & they don't want to eat. But it IS important to keep an eye on temperatures. You want her entire enclosure to run around 82 degrees or so...but don't get too much higher than that!

    Set your snake up like this and leave her alone - let her settle in for a good week - 10 days. Give her time to get comfy in her new home & get hungry. At that point offer her a pre-killed mouse, or if you need to leave something in overnight with her, get a crawler rat - the size where the rat's eyes are just open, but it's big enough for the snake to notice and also tend to move and crawl around alot, which will also help attract the snake's attention. If you can't find the right size rat, I don't really recommend leaving a live prey item overnight with your snake, since older rodents have a bigger tendency to start chewing on snakes, or even attack them outright.

  3. #3
    alright, wow

    i guess when it said not for beginers, it meant it

    maybe ill just stick to ball pythons, i wouldnt be able to have a good home for a blood

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