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  1. #1
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    Ball python stress and tank size?

    I recently got a young female ball python who is about 1.5 feet long. They told me I could house her in a ten gallon tank for about a year but I donít think sheís that happy in it. She has a larger hide and eats each week but she is also awake and moving around a decent amount. I have read that isnít a good sign. Iím curious what tank size she should be in and anything I can do to make sure sheís happy.

  2. #2
    Telling it like it is! Stewart_Reptiles's Avatar
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    You were told right for the tank size sometimes when having issues even smaller maybe recommended, this is not about what you think snake happiness (that's called anthropomorphism and is often a common mistake with new owners)

    Will BP making sure the animal is feeling secure is the most important part of proper husbandry, if the animal moves around a lot during the day there might be an issue.

    Also the hide should not be larger, the hide should be tight like a shell on a turtle's back.

    What is the size in grams or oz or your BP?

    What are your temps?

    How often do you handle your BP?

    What prey size do you offer?
    Deborah Stewart

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  4. #3
    Registered User Valyndris's Avatar
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    This is contrary to what most people say/believe but I had my ball python in a 40 gallon tank when he was 1 month old and he did perfectly fine in there. His humidity was at 55%, a hide on the warm side at 90 degree and a hide on the cool side at 80 degrees, hides were nice and small, perfect for his size. He had branches to climb and everything. He started off as a clumsy climber but got better when he got longer, his falls were never more than 1 foot so he never got hurt. The questions Stewart_Reptiles asked will help a lot in knowing what the issue may be. I do believe some ball pythons need to start in a smaller enclosure especially if they've lived in a tub-like enclosure for a while before adopting as they are used to a small space.

  5. #4
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Re: Ball python stress and tank size?

    Quote Originally Posted by Valyndris View Post
    This is contrary to what most people say/believe but I had my ball python in a 40 gallon tank when he was 1 month old and he did perfectly fine in there. His humidity was at 55%, a hide on the warm side at 90 degree and a hide on the cool side at 80 degrees, hides were nice and small, perfect for his size. He had branches to climb and everything. He started off as a clumsy climber but got better when he got longer, his falls were never more than 1 foot so he never got hurt. The questions Stewart_Reptiles asked will help a lot in knowing what the issue may be. I do believe some ball pythons need to start in a smaller enclosure especially if they've lived in a tub-like enclosure for a while before adopting as they are used to a small space.

    I appreciate you sharing your experience.
    However, your experience with one animal is the exception to the rule. When it comes to helping newcomers it's best to stick to basics and what works most frequently.

    Please don't get me wrong, you've clearly done a great job with your snake.

    I just feel it can be counter productive to offer advice based on one animal when your experience is limited to that one individual animal. I'm not saying it's wrong, just that going against conventional wisdom and what works for experienced keepers and breeders may not be what's best for new keepers. .

    No disrespect meant, I respect you and how well you care for your snake. Im simply trying to help others along the way.
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  6. #5
    Registered User Valyndris's Avatar
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    Re: Ball python stress and tank size?

    Quote Originally Posted by Craiga 01453 View Post
    I appreciate you sharing your experience.
    However, your experience with one animal is the exception to the rule. When it comes to helping newcomers it's best to stick to basics and what works most frequently.

    Please don't get me wrong, you've clearly done a great job with your snake.

    I just feel it can be counter productive to offer advice based on one animal when your experience is limited to that one individual animal. I'm not saying it's wrong, just that going against conventional wisdom and what works for experienced keepers and breeders may not be what's best for new keepers. .

    No disrespect meant, I respect you and how well you care for your snake. Im simply trying to help others along the way.
    You are absolutely right, my snake may be a special exception too as he doesn't seem as shy as regular ball pythons. Thank you for clearing that up as I don't want to give bad advice. That was not my intention at all but I could see how my statement could be an issue while looking back at it.

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    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Re: Ball python stress and tank size?

    Quote Originally Posted by Valyndris View Post
    You are absolutely right, my snake may be a special exception too as he doesn't seem as shy as regular ball pythons. Thank you for clearing that up as I don't want to give bad advice. That was not my intention at all but I could see how my statement could be an issue while looking back at it.
    Thank you for understanding and replying respectfully rather than getting defensive. That happens far too often.

    And like I said, it's not that your way is "wrong" by any means. Some animals do fine in larger enclosures right off the bat. But when it comes to troubleshooting downsizing enclosure is usually the first step.

    We're all here to learn and help others. Even us "old guys" who've been in the hobby for years and years. I learn new stuff on this forum all the time. That's what makes it such a great community as well as an invaluable resource.

    Thanks again for understanding.
    Your passion is undeniable and you're quickly becoming a fantastic asset to the forum.
    ...life is beautiful...

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  9. #7
    BPnet Lifer Zincubus's Avatar
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    Re: Ball python stress and tank size?

    As all the advice shown above PLUS Iíd stick some branches and fake foliage in there ASAP

    It makes your set up look fabulous and the snakes feel more secure PLUS Royals/Balls absolutely love climbing in the evening !!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro




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    Re: Ball python stress and tank size?

    I appreciate all the advice, I also apologize about my late reply as my family has been in the process of moving house. I got a thermostat to regular her heat mat and the tank was way too hot, I lowered the temperate to 90 and plan on getting a smaller hide for her. It is just slightly difficult for me currently as money is a bit tight and I’m trying to hide her from my younger brother who would get quite upset at me getting another pet. But her health and happiness takes priority so I’ll be trying to implement all the advice given to me. I’m also currently unable to weigh her so I’m unsure on gram size, she eats small frozen mice and seems to love them. I handle her about twice I week, once on Friday, then on Sunday as I’m trying to make sure she has a schedule.
    Last edited by EldritchPreacher; 08-31-2019 at 11:24 AM.

  11. #9
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    Whatís a good way to make a hide or the dimensions for a buyable hide for a snake her size?

  12. #10
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: Ball python stress and tank size?

    Quote Originally Posted by EldritchPreacher View Post
    I appreciate all the advice, I also apologize about my late reply as my family has been in the process of moving house. I got a thermostat to regular her heat mat and the tank was way too hot, I lowered the temperate to 90 and plan on getting a smaller hide for her. It is just slightly difficult for me currently as money is a bit tight and I’m trying to hide her from my younger brother who would get quite upset at me getting another pet. But her health and happiness takes priority so I’ll be trying to implement all the advice given to me. I’m also currently unable to weigh her so I’m unsure on gram size, she eats small frozen mice and seems to love them. I handle her about twice I week, once on Friday, then on Sunday as I’m trying to make sure she has a schedule.
    Hot spot 88-90F and you mentioned 90F on the heat mat. What are the other temps like? There should be a gradient. From 78-80F cool side to 88-90F hot spot.

    Humidity is also important. What is humidity in the tank? Aim for 55-65%.

    If you have to use the 40 gallon, put many hides and branches in there. Clutter it up.

    I too am an exception to the rule as I have moved smaller snakes into bigger enclosures earlier than most, even my BP. However, I cluttered the tanks up a lot and they did well. Having said that, I've been keeping reptiles for a long time and there were other benefits to moving them early. I was often moving them from quarantine tanks to life homes that were better temp controlled, better insulated, better temp gradients, and better humidity. However, they were already established, eating, and I have the experience to know if they are stressed and should move back.

    BP's are burrowing snakes in the wild. The more clutter and hides the better.

    Regarding hide size, I'd buy plastic reptile hides from someone like reptile basics or similar (or an expo). Easy to clean, offset opening, and cheap.

    Finally, here is the chart on feeding BP's. This helpful to new(er) owners. You should weigh her, but if you can't, you want something about the width of the snake for prey. You do not want to make a noticeable lump.

    Last edited by dakski; 09-01-2019 at 04:35 AM.

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