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  1. #11
    Registered User RedRabbit's Avatar
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    Re: Seeking advice for new BP owner.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boba View Post
    He wasnít unattended... his tank is in my room so I was keeping an eye on him. But I took it out, snapped itís neck and tossed it in the freezer for later.

    2. Feed in tank... as in his regular tank?

    3. Iíve had him maybe 2-3 weeks now? I waited just over a week before trying to feed for the first time, and then have tried every 4-5 days since.

    4. I take the rat out of the freezer and transfer to plastic bag which I then submerge in lukewarm water for about 30 minutes until itís fully thawed, then transfer to hot water for 20 minutes or so until the rat is a little warmer than room temp... then Iíve been using a separate feeder tank which I warm up with a heat lamp while the rat is thawing, put my snake in and then hold the rat by the tail, twitching him for about 15-20 minutes before giving up.

    5. I have a 20-gallon glass aquarium with a screen lid. Iíve covered about 2/3 of the lid with plastic (itís actually a picture frame I just set on top) to try and prevent too much evaporation. I have a heating pad on one side as well as a heat lamp set up to a regulator that keeps the temp on that side between 85 and 95 (it can sometimes get up to 104 during the day though, my thermometer has a memory so I can check it if Iíve been gone). This generally keeps the other side of the tank around 70-80, though it can get a bit warmer during the day. But my BP usually hangs out on the warm side anyway. I have two small water dishes on either side of the tank, a plastic hollowed-out tree thing that is his favorite hide on the warm side, and a cardboard box as hide #2 on the cool side. He rarely prefers that hide. I use Repti Bark substrate, but added a coconut husk mat under part of it near the heating pad because I was hoping that would help retain water and increase the humidity. I also have some vines and such scattered around for him to climb/explore as he goes around his tank.

    6. Yes, I agree. What else can I do?




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    1. Good to know that you were supervising! I think we just got particularly worried when we read that the rat had crawled in the hide with your snake, since it'd be hard to see what's going on in there.

    2. Yes, actually! There is no need to move your snake to a separate location for feeding time; that idea was based on the myth of "cage aggression," and in reality there is no evidence of this being a thing, but unfortunately the faulty practice is still out there, so I'm sorry that you were misinformed, and be assured that it's happened with many other new owners as well.

    3. Waiting 1 full week before your first feeding attempt was good, and spacing out the next feeding attempts was correct on your part too. Good job. However, as others have mentioned, another important part is resisting the temptation to handle your snake until however long it takes for him to establish his feeding routine - i.e., has fed without issue for 3-4 feedings in a row. It means basically a whole first month in which you can't play with your new pet, which is painful I know, but it works out better for your snake, and you'll have plenty of opportunities to play with him afterward.

    4. See #2 regarding the separate feeder tank. Also, warming up the rat with a blowdryer for 10-15 seconds (with a focus on the head of the rat) right before offering can do wonders!

    5. I don't use a glass tank so I'll let others chime in on that front, but in general, that heat lamp is both zapping your humidity away, and making things too hot if it's reaching 95, let alone 104. You also don't want quite such a large range of variation for the cool side either; you'll probably want to aim for 75-80, or even 78-80 if you can narrow it down more exactly. I like that you have some decor in there with him for enrichment and to clutter up the tank a little; just make sure the materials are non-toxic and pet-safe. I'm not so sure on that cardboard box for hide #2 though; the shape of a box won't make your snake feel very snug or secure, which is probably why he doesn't want to use it much, plus if he pees or poops on/near it, then that cardboard is going to get soggy and gross pretty quickly.
    1.0 - 2018 Cinnamon Enchi Ghost - Ignis ("Iggy")
    1.0 - 2018 Butter Mojave BEL - Ravus ("Rae")

    Iggy&Rae on Instagram:
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  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to RedRabbit For This Useful Post:

    dakski (06-05-2019),TechnoCheese (06-05-2019)

  3. #12
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    Re: Seeking advice for new BP owner.

    I have a thermostat on the heating lamp. I originally just wanted to use the UTH alone, but found that it was only keeping the tank at around 80-84 on the warm side. So I bought the heating lamp and thermostat to just supply enough heat to raise that side of the tank the extra 5-10 degrees. I think my issue is that the tank was near a window, so when it was warmer outside it was getting too warm in the tank. I have moved my tank away from windows and turned the thermostat on the heating lamp down a bit, so I will continue to monitor and see how those changes help. Thanks so much!! Still up for more advice on increasing the humidity. Different substrates? Things I can add to the tank?
    Last edited by Boba; 06-05-2019 at 11:27 PM.

  4. #13
    Registered User RedRabbit's Avatar
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    Re: Seeking advice for new BP owner.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boba View Post
    I am using a dual thermometer/hygrometer. I donít remember the brand but I bought them from a local pet supply store that specialized in exotic pets. They have a little probe that I drop down into either corner of the tank (one on warm side and one on cool side)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Would it happen to be something like this? https://zoomed.com/digital-combo-the...umidity-gauge/

    If so, then that's what my sibling and I used to start out with (for their gecko and my snake respectively), but we both ended up switching to other devices. Mine overestimated the humidity level, so it was reading humidity in the 70% range while my snake was still having bad sheds. The one in the gecko tank, on the other hand, was reading way too low, reporting humidity around maybe 30% when the tank was practically dripping with moisture, and eventually it just got permanently stuck on 10%. We both now use the Acurite digital thermometer/hygrometer, which is pretty reliable while also being quite budget-friendly.

    For temperature, you also may want another way to monitor it in addition to your current thermometer. An infrared temperature gun is going to be your new favorite toy, if you want to be able to just point and click to check the temperature at any specific spot in your snake's enclosure ... or the rat you just thawed and warmed up ... or your coffee mug, if you're bored ...
    1.0 - 2018 Cinnamon Enchi Ghost - Ignis ("Iggy")
    1.0 - 2018 Butter Mojave BEL - Ravus ("Rae")

    Iggy&Rae on Instagram:
    https://www.instagram.com/iggy_and_rae/

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to RedRabbit For This Useful Post:

    Boba (06-05-2019)

  6. #14
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    Re: Seeking advice for new BP owner.

    This one? AcuRite 02067M Digital Thermometer with Humidity and Wired Temperature Sensor https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M0AGWAC..._4Pi-CbKMSGST1

  7. #15
    Registered User RedRabbit's Avatar
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    Re: Seeking advice for new BP owner.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boba View Post
    I have a thermostat on the heating lamp. I originally just wanted to use the UTH alone, but found that it was only keeping the tank at around 80-84 on the warm side. So I bought the heating lamp and thermostat to just supply enough heat to raise that side of the tank the extra 5-10 degrees. I think my issue is that the tank was near a window, so when it was warmer outside it was getting too warm in the tank. I have moved my tank away from windows and turned the thermostat on the heating lamp down a bit, so I will continue to monitor and see how those changes help. Thanks so much!! Still up for more advice on increasing the humidity. Different substrates? Things I can add to the tank?
    Thanks for the additional details. Er, apologies if I just missed this info elsewhere in the thread, but is your heat lamp the only thing that is regulated by the thermostat? The UTH needs to be regulated by a thermostat as well; any heating appliance has the potential to overheat, and that's the main thing you'll want to prevent, for your snake's safety.

    I am glad that you moved the tank away from the windows, both to remove the contributor to a temperature inconsistency, and because it may also have been too bright for your ball python.

    Humidity, hmmm! Misting more frequently may help. I've heard that coconut fiber substrates such as Reptile Prime are effective at holding humidity. Some people add little clumps of dampened sphagnum moss or terrarium moss throughout the tank.
    I like a splash of color in my enclosures (though I use Sterilite tubs), so here's something I've found to be a good little "humidifier." I have some little dense-leaved plastic plants as decor that were originally intended to be aquarium accessories. When I want to bump up the humidity a notch, I run the plants under the faucet until evenly wetted, gently shake off the large excess droplets, and put them back in the enclosure. Because those leafy plants have a lot of surface area and nooks and crannies, they seem to hold a good amount of water in them that then gradually dissipates into the enclosure.

    Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/ByTheBay-Plas...gateway&sr=8-2
    1.0 - 2018 Cinnamon Enchi Ghost - Ignis ("Iggy")
    1.0 - 2018 Butter Mojave BEL - Ravus ("Rae")

    Iggy&Rae on Instagram:
    https://www.instagram.com/iggy_and_rae/

  8. #16
    Registered User RedRabbit's Avatar
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    Re: Seeking advice for new BP owner.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boba View Post
    This one? AcuRite 02067M Digital Thermometer with Humidity and Wired Temperature Sensor https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M0AGWAC..._4Pi-CbKMSGST1
    I use these: https://www.amazon.com/AcuRite-00325...-garden&sr=1-8

    And I've seen several forum members who use these: https://www.amazon.com/AcuRite-Humid...-garden&sr=1-4

    These don't have attached cords/probes; they're free-standing and you just plop them in your enclosure.
    1.0 - 2018 Cinnamon Enchi Ghost - Ignis ("Iggy")
    1.0 - 2018 Butter Mojave BEL - Ravus ("Rae")

    Iggy&Rae on Instagram:
    https://www.instagram.com/iggy_and_rae/

  9. #17
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    Re: Seeking advice for new BP owner.



    Update! Changed his setup a bit, from this angle you can actually see him hanging out in one of his hides... itís a little big for him but he loves it. I just bought the other hide on the left (warm) side of the tank. Itís got a reservoir for water on top of the rock and a place to hide under. (The wet spot in the middle is where I spilled a little bit refilling it). This works really well to increase the humidity overall and works as a humidity box. Two-for-one.

    Temps on both sides are much more stabile since moving locations. Trying to feed again today, so no verdict yet if heís eating better....

    Love all of your advice!! Any other thoughts looking at my setup that I might need to adjust?


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  10. The Following User Says Thank You to Boba For This Useful Post:

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  11. #18
    Registered User RedRabbit's Avatar
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    Re: Seeking advice for new BP owner.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boba View Post


    Update! Changed his setup a bit, from this angle you can actually see him hanging out in one of his hides... itís a little big for him but he loves it. I just bought the other hide on the left (warm) side of the tank. Itís got a reservoir for water on top of the rock and a place to hide under. (The wet spot in the middle is where I spilled a little bit refilling it). This works really well to increase the humidity overall and works as a humidity box. Two-for-one.

    Temps on both sides are much more stabile since moving locations. Trying to feed again today, so no verdict yet if heís eating better....

    Love all of your advice!! Any other thoughts looking at my setup that I might need to adjust?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Thanks for posting a picture, looks pretty good! Normally I'd say if a hide seems too big, then to fill up some of the space with substrate or moss to make it more snug, but honestly if he seems happy with it, it's probably fine to just leave it as it is. The combination hide and water reservoir is pretty nifty, nice find! I'm glad you've been getting better results with your temperatures and humidity. The only stuff I can't comment on, since it's not visible in the photo, is the setup for the heating elements (heat pad, lamp, thermostat) and the measurement devices (thermometer, hygrometer), so if you've made changes to any of those and want to touch base for more feedback, feel free to fill us in on those updates!
    1.0 - 2018 Cinnamon Enchi Ghost - Ignis ("Iggy")
    1.0 - 2018 Butter Mojave BEL - Ravus ("Rae")

    Iggy&Rae on Instagram:
    https://www.instagram.com/iggy_and_rae/

  12. #19
    Registered User Moose84's Avatar
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    Re: Seeking advice for new BP owner.

    How old is this snake and how big? From the looks Iím guessing itís around 150-200 grams? Canít really tell for sure though.

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