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  1. #1
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    Introducing Dexter

    For those not following my other thread, my kids picked out their first BP this past Sunday at a local show. We met the owners of Bourbon Ball Pythons from Louisville at the last show and they were great with the kids, so we decided to use them. The kids saved their own money from August to now and had to pay for everything themselves. That also gave us a couple months to research and learn what we were getting into. They picked a male Pastel HET Clown 66% HET Pied. I kind of know what all that means (LOL). The one they picked was hatched this past July and weighed in at 214 grams, I was fine with getting one that has been eating for a while and they have been handling so he has a good temperament. They told us he was eating live rat pups and last ate a week ago today. I was able to pick up a live rat pup today and he took it in less then a minute. After striking he held on to it for about 25 minutes which surprised me but we left him alone and he was swallowing it last I peeked in. I plan to switch to FT once he gets settled in to his new environment. He was named after everyone's favorite killer, Dexter....

    Last edited by Midwest; 11-12-2019 at 05:50 PM.

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  3. #2
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    What a great choice for a new pet...one that's well-established, & making sure that your kids had some "skin in the game" too.

    Dexter's a good looking snake, & I'm not surprised that he held fast to his dinner rat for 25 minutes...many rosy boas will constrict a long time just to "make sure" also.
    Many friends in low places...

  4. #3
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    Just the little bit of research I've done in the past few months I was expecting him tonight to be moved over to the hot side of his tank. He seems to really like being tucked in behind his enclosure partially covered by the fake plants. Do they always use the hot side for digestion or is it hit or miss? I assume since he has only been in this tank for a couple days he might not know all the ins and outs. The first day he was in the cool side hide all day tucked back into the shallow spot so he had some back pressure.

  5. #4
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    In my experience with various kinds of snakes, they don't always choose the warm hide to digest; whether it's because they're new occupants & don't know where
    things are yet, I can't say, because I've seen this with long-time residents too. Are the 2 hides of equal size?
    Many friends in low places...

  6. #5
    BPnet Senior Member tttaylorrr's Avatar
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    Re: Introducing Dexter

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest View Post
    Just the little bit of research I've done in the past few months I was expecting him tonight to be moved over to the hot side of his tank.
    ill save you a few steps: not many snakes have read what they're supposed to do, like we have.

    if your temps and husbandry are fine, where the snake chooses to be at any time is a non-issue.
    4.4 ball python
    1.0 Albino 0.1 Coral Glow 0.1 Super Cinnamon paradox 1.0 Piebald 0.1 Pastel Enchi Leopard het Piebald 1.0 Coral Glow het Piebald

    1.0 corn snake
    1.0 Hypo

    1.0 crested gecko
    0.1 ????

    0.1 cat
    0.1 Maine Coon mix

    0.1 human ✌︎

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  8. #6
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    Re: Introducing Dexter

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest View Post
    Just the little bit of research I've done in the past few months I was expecting him tonight to be moved over to the hot side of his tank. He seems to really like being tucked in behind his enclosure partially covered by the fake plants. Do they always use the hot side for digestion or is it hit or miss? I assume since he has only been in this tank for a couple days he might not know all the ins and outs. The first day he was in the cool side hide all day tucked back into the shallow spot so he had some back pressure.

    With those heat pits they know where the heat is or isn't.
    To be honest I have always questioned whether a BP needs belly heat as much for digestion as say a corn snake, or rat snake does. I had a corn snake and it would always go straight to the uth after eating and stay there a day or 2. But I don't think it is as vital for a BP. That is why I don't even use a uth for my BP as I have a glass tank. BUT I do keep a total ambient of 80 and above by using 2 over head heat bulbs (black light by Zilla or Moon light by Zoo Med) one on each end (each on thermostat's). My snake can use the top of the black plastic hides for a hot spot if it wanted to get belly heat because they are always the warmest spot in the enclosure. My snake likes to rest it's neck and head up on the hide tops sometimes.

    Not saying belly heat is a bad thing. It's the opposite. It is very good. But I don't think it is as vital for a BP's as it is for colubrids. In my observations any way.

    But in racks and plastic tubs I'd say it is VITAL to have at least one uth or heat tape. (But some may use 85 F. room heat if I'm not mistaken)

  9. #7
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    Thanks for all the input. It's nice to be reassured as a new owner. As far as my husbandry, like I said before the UTH's I have cover 90% of the bottom of the tank, one side is at 88 degrees (glass temp) and the other side is 78. They don't quite meet in the middle so it's a little cooler there, either way there is a range. My hides are both identical. The reason I picked these two is because the opening is on the side but the "top" tapers down to one side so even the smallest snake could tuck in there and have back pressure and the top near the opening is taller. He spent one full day inside the cool side hide and the rest of the time he is hanging out behind the hide. How long should I let him go not really using the hides before I try a different style in case he doesn't like them for some reason? You can see the hides below. The room the snake is in stay just over 70 degrees. My breeder and several others on here had told me that since the entire "floor" surface of the tank is 78 degrees or higher and my room temps are at least 70 I shouldn't need an additional heat source. I assume since he is hanging out on the cools side he is not to cold.

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  11. #8
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    About your hides: the doorway is quite wide open...not recommended for snakes seeking "security", even with some "back pressure" at one side. It's preferred that
    the doorway be just big enough for the snake (after eating) can fit thru. The two things you could do right now (short of changing them for more appropriate ones)
    is to wad up paper & block part of the opening (or attach something w/ hot glue, maybe), AND turn them so they face the back (& blacked out sides).

    Many pet stores know people want to see their pets...but this fails to consider what the pet's needs are, & it's the pet's needs that are actually important. Just because
    they sell it, doesn't mean it's what you need. And you can even modify some cardboard boxes as hides for the time being & toss them when they get dirty. I know
    that's not attractive to look at, but your snake won't care at all.

    With your UTHs covering 90% of the floor, I do hope they're well-regulated with quality thermostats, since heating more than 2/3 of the floor is risky if they ever fail
    & stay full-on. (Actually most don't use UTH on anything even close to 2/3 of the floor either, but every situation is different.)

    Set-up is attractive, & I'd agree that you shouldn't need any over-head additional heat with those floor temps.
    Many friends in low places...

  12. #9
    Registered User LeeAnnT99's Avatar
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    Re: Introducing Dexter

    Wow! That is one beautiful snake.

  13. #10
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    Thanks, when I bought the UTH's I didn't realize they were that size but applied them anyway, the thinking was it would be easier to regulate temps and humidity this way then with a CHE. They are on thermostats. The plan is to run the current setup for a while and either build or purchase a PVC type set up, similar to at T8 or T10. I plan to go with heat panel and the higher end thermostats. I wasn't exactly sure what size snake we would be getting etc. so I figured I could make this 20 gallon tank work temporarily. If he doesn't start using the hides soon I will grab some others. I am knew to this and kind of figured if it was a security thing then being in the hide with an opening a little too big would still feel more secure then sitting behind the hide.

    I peaked in tonight when I got home from work and he is out checking things out, he was sitting on top of the warm side hide and then climbing the branches. I'm trying to keep the activity to a minimum and leave him be to get settled in.
    Last edited by Midwest; 11-13-2019 at 09:10 PM.

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