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  1. #1
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    Question Just got my ball python today and her behavior is bizarre. Is this normal?

    She is a 6 month old GHI Spotnose HRA about 75g. I have researched and decided to keep her in one cage size for life. I read if I keep it cluttered and secluded with lots of hides that shouldn’t be a problem. Currently the ambient temp is 76 and the humidity is 50-60. She’s slithering around her cage scaling the walls while flicking her tongue (18” high) she gets to the top and usually turns around, but I couple times she’s fallen and landed in her back. She gets back upright and sits there for a minute then continues slithering. The weird thing is her head is wobbling a little when she’s scaling the sides.

    I am going tomorrow to get a ceramic bulb, I am using infrared right now but I feel like the temps aren’t great. Also I ordered an under tank heater with a thermostat. I am going to also get more foliage and hides to cover up the free areas on the ground.

    Im just worried she hasn’t used any of her 3 hides, I just want her to adjust well. I thought I had a good setup but this behavior seems weird to me.

  2. #2
    Registered User JustinGatCat's Avatar
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    Just got my ball python today and her behavior is bizarre. Is this normal?

    What are her hot spot temps? They should be 85-90f degrees. Ambients could be a tad bit higher at about 80, but I’ve had ambients around the high 70’s and have had no problems. Ceramic heat emitters are usually to bring ambients up, or to add more heat to the hot side of the enclosure. She also could be exploring her new home.


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    Last edited by JustinGatCat; 01-11-2019 at 02:57 AM.

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    Her behavior is normal considering she was just kidnapped by a giant alien being & she can't find the only home she knew. Everything is different & it's
    frightening for a snake that depends upon learning their way around & hiding for safety from predators.

    76* is a bit too cool, also. A slight head wobble when climbing* suggests that she isn't that strong when struggling to climb; other head wobbles are related to
    some genetics...is this a "normal" BP or a fancy morph of some kind? (*make sure she cannot push the lid off, or you'll soon discover snakes are really good at
    "hide & seek")

    Last edited by Bogertophis; 01-11-2019 at 03:03 AM.

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    Re: Just got my ball python today and her behavior is bizarre. Is this normal?

    When I brought my little one home he explored for almost 3 days before deciding to find his hide and stay there. They're just curious. If u bought a new house wouldn't u walk around it exploring every nook and cranny??!!!?

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    Re: Just got my ball python today and her behavior is bizarre. Is this normal?

    Since the tank is so big I’m having a hard time getting the hot spot up. I’m hoping the ceramic heater and under tank mat will help when I get them. Currently the hot spot is at 80 but once I switch to the basking bulb during the day it’s in the normal 88-92. I did read on one site night temps can be a bit lower but I’m not sure how true that is, especially with how she’s acting. She’s lightly bonked her head on the side a couple times and I feel terrible. The head wobble is what’s bizarre to me mostly. I’m hoping once she acclimated and I get proper heat she will settle down.

    edit: She’s a het red axanthic spotnose, I read spiders can wobble but she doesn’t have any spider genes according to the breeder I got her from.
    Last edited by Shadowy; 01-11-2019 at 03:10 AM.

  6. #6
    Registered User JustinGatCat's Avatar
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    Re: Just got my ball python today and her behavior is bizarre. Is this normal?

    Don’t use a basking bulb. It’ll dry out the enclosure and you need proper humidity for your tank. Ball pythons rarely bask, due to them being crepuscular. An under tank heater and a CHE will be more than enough to keep your snake warm. Remember hot spot needs to be 85-90 degrees. Your hot spot is too cold for your ball python currently.


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    Re: Just got my ball python today and her behavior is bizarre. Is this normal?

    I’ll get the CHE first thing tomorrow. Since I live in the northwest and hardly get any sunlight I thought the basking bulb would help regulate the natural day/night cycle, but yes I’ve had issues with it drying out.

    Hopefully I can find the perfect balance for her, seeing her stressed is stressing me lol

  8. #8
    Registered User JustinGatCat's Avatar
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    Just got my ball python today and her behavior is bizarre. Is this normal?

    You can achieve a “day/night” cycle with non heat emitting led lighting. It provides light during the day without sapping the humidity levels or making your enclosure too hot. I have led in my T8 from Animal Plastics and they work great.


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    Last edited by JustinGatCat; 01-11-2019 at 03:27 AM.

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  10. #9
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    I just got my ball python a few days ago and he did the exact same thing on the second or third day. He suddenly became really active in the evening and started climbing the walls of his tub, also falling down a few times. I found it stressful to see as well, but he did eventually calm down and stop. The head wobble thing is new to me though, maybe that's something to keep any eye on with your girl.

    In the case of my BP I believe his behaviour may have been caused by UTH temperatures that had gotten a little too high, and or his dislike for the substrate I was temporarily using (paper towel) while trying to dry out some cypress mulch a bit. Once I fixed the temps and put the cypress in he was fine and went into hiding. Your BP should be fine once her temps and housing situation are stabilized. I've read that quite a few people find that their BPs don't start using their hides right away so that's probably normal--it makes sense given that they need some time to make sense of their new surroundings.

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    Last night before going to bed I had put a small space heater facing the hot side, which brought the temp up a few degrees. I woke up to check on her and found her resting near the glass where the space heater was.

    Update this morning: I couldn’t find her at first but I saw her tail sticking out of the hide on the cool side! The temp on that side was about 70 when I woke up so I put my infrared on that side to warm it up a bit and will get my CHE now to put on the hot side. Doesn’t help it’s so cold in my house at night but hey, at least she’s settled in a hide now!

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