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  1. #1
    Registered User Damselle's Avatar
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    Couple of questions about tank size and feeding

    Hi Ya'll,

    Hope your holidays were rich and satisfying

    Some background. sorry if it's too long. So, Louie, the BRB, went on this hunger strike of sorts. he went five weeks without eating until I finally pulled him out of his cage, but him in a spare terrarium, after two weeks of soaking twice a week cause he had gotten completely dehydrated, like skin loose, and offering food, which he would refuse, where before he had been feeding once a week.

    temps and humidity are fine in the tank, but he was hiding behind the background, where he thought i wouldn't get to him, instead of the substrate, where it is damp.

    so, i pulled the background out of there, but he still wouldn't eat in his cage, he would just run and hide. if i left the mouse in there he wouldn't touch it, cause he was mostly hiding.

    Now, he seems to not eat unless i take him out of the cage, put him in a spare tank i have, and put the mouse, after much temptation, right in front of his nose.... I'm beginning to think he is blind! he ate today, by just this method. i watch off and on and he really was interested in his food.

    So, is this normal?? he seems fine in every other way, and in fact, is about to shed again... he has eating before a shed in the past.

    Also, i noticed, he is getting big! he's about 40 inches long and in a 18"x18"x12" tank... but he rarely moves in there. So, i wonder if its worth the expense to upgrade at this point. I've seen him come out, drink some water, take a dip in his moss pool, then go back into hiding... but this was after he ate. that's about the extent of his activity.

    Should I start thinking about a bigger tank for him?

    thanks for any wisdom!

  2. #2
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    Yes. The tank is to small in my opinion.

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  4. #3
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    Re: Couple of questions about tank size and feeding

    Quote Originally Posted by bagnew View Post
    Yes. The tank is to small in my opinion.
    Mine too. A 40 gal. tank (36" long x 18" wide) would be a much better size, IMO. It will be harder to heat though, keep that in mind. If you get another tank,
    set it up & test run for the correct temps. & humidity BEFORE you move your snake into it.

    What kind of heat are you using? How are you measuring temps? Ditto for humidity? What substrate are you using? If he was totally dehydrated before
    he finally shed, it sounds like he needs some adjustments to his apartment.

    And fyi, BPs prefer to be hiding (IN their hide & just peeking out) to grab prey that happens to go past...they are ambush predators, not active hunters.
    When you removed his hiding place, you massively stressed him out. (not that I think backgrounds IN the cages are a good idea...I don't) But all snakes
    need hides of the proper sizes, one on cool side of cage & one on the warm side. Does he have those?

    You also want to feed in the evening/night hours...& not when your BP is out cruising the cage, only when he's in his hide peeking out.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 01-01-2019 at 07:12 PM.

  5. #4
    Registered User RickyNY's Avatar
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    Re: Couple of questions about tank size and feeding

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Mine too. A 40 gal. tank (36" long x 18" wide) would be a much better size, IMO. It will be harder to heat though, keep that in mind. If you get another tank,
    set it up & test run for the correct temps. & humidity BEFORE you move your snake into it.

    What kind of heat are you using? How are you measuring temps? Ditto for humidity? What substrate are you using? If he was totally dehydrated before
    he finally shed, it sounds like he needs some adjustments to his apartment.

    And fyi, BPs prefer to be hiding (IN their hide & just peeking out) to grab prey that happens to go past...they are ambush predators, not active hunters.
    When you removed his hiding place, you massively stressed him out. (not that I think backgrounds IN the cages are a good idea...I don't) But all snakes
    need hides of the proper sizes, one on cool side of cage & one on the warm side. Does he have those?

    You also want to feed in the evening/night hours...& not when your BP is out cruising the cage, only when he's in his hide peeking out.
    He doesn't have a BP.
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  7. #5
    Registered User Damselle's Avatar
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    Re: Couple of questions about tank size and feeding

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Mine too. A 40 gal. tank (36" long x 18" wide) would be a much better size, IMO. It will be harder to heat though, keep that in mind. If you get another tank,
    set it up & test run for the correct temps. & humidity BEFORE you move your snake into it.

    What kind of heat are you using? How are you measuring temps? Ditto for humidity? What substrate are you using? If he was totally dehydrated before
    he finally shed, it sounds like he needs some adjustments to his apartment.

    And fyi, BPs prefer to be hiding (IN their hide & just peeking out) to grab prey that happens to go past...they are ambush predators, not active hunters.
    When you removed his hiding place, you massively stressed him out. (not that I think backgrounds IN the cages are a good idea...I don't) But all snakes
    need hides of the proper sizes, one on cool side of cage & one on the warm side. Does he have those?

    You also want to feed in the evening/night hours...& not when your BP is out cruising the cage, only when he's in his hide peeking out.
    so, he went in his hunger strike after his last shed... Which was about 7 weeks ago...

    he he has two hides, one on the cool side, one on the warm side.

    warm side has an UTH and a che bulb on top that I had to add when the temps dropped. Cool side has a 5watt nano black light bulb so I can see what he is up to. There's a bowl of water under the Che bulb and a bowl of water filled with moss under the black light. Warm side is set at 85 degrees, cool side at 72 degrees, with a thermostat. Che bulb is on a dimmer switch.

    I got got a temp gun and have checked that settings are correct.

    Three sides the of the tank and underneath the tank are wrapped with insulation. The top screen is covered with a peice of plexiglass in the front and foil on the back around the bulbs.

    i use cypress mulch with moss. Both hides have moss underneath them. I mist daily and when I clean the tank I pour water in to soak the substrate the first time so it's moist. He's a BRB.

    he only got dehydrated when he started refusing food and hiding behind the stupid background. He's looking good now... Phew!
    Last edited by Damselle; 01-01-2019 at 09:45 PM.

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  9. #6
    Registered User Damselle's Avatar
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    Re: Couple of questions about tank size and feeding

    Quote Originally Posted by bagnew View Post
    Yes. The tank is to small in my opinion.
    ok, thank you, so, should I work in getting the next size up, or just spring for an adult sized tank. My next tank will be a special order animal plastics or the like rather than glass...so I was thinking of just getting him his adult sized tank...

  10. #7
    Registered User Damselle's Avatar
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    Oh, and has anyone else ever had a snake refuse food unless it is put right in front of their nose? Like, is there something wrong with him?

  11. #8
    BPnet Lifer Zincubus's Avatar
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    Couple of questions about tank size and feeding

    Quote Originally Posted by Damselle View Post
    Oh, and has anyone else ever had a snake refuse food unless it is put right in front of their nose? Like, is there something wrong with him?

    On the contrary, perfectly normal I'd suggest .
    All my Royals will only eat a warm rat dangled in front of their hide entrance , they strike and pull it back into the safety of the hide and in the evenings

    If I try to feed them when they're out of their hides they run for cover !!


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    Last edited by Zincubus; 01-02-2019 at 04:17 AM.




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  13. #9
    Registered User Avsha531's Avatar
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    Re: Couple of questions about tank size and feeding

    I believe Damsellle is talking about their BRB Louie here, not a ball python. Rainbow boas are typically far less shy about eating than ball pythons. However as you did mention Louie was dehydrated, that could very well explain why he isn't eating properly.

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  15. #10
    BPnet Veteran cletus's Avatar
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    Re: Couple of questions about tank size and feeding

    Quote Originally Posted by Damselle View Post
    Oh, and has anyone else ever had a snake refuse food unless it is put right in front of their nose? Like, is there something wrong with him?
    None of my boas. Ever. They know the second I bring rodents into the room and go into feeding mode. The BPs are a different story. Some have insane feeding response and it's like pulling teeth getting some of them to eat. I'm about done with BPs. Kind of at the end of my rope with one of them.

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