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  1. #1
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    My snakes seem to prefer hiding under newspaper rather than at the hot end with hide.

    Hello,

    I haven't always had this problem, but in the last few months I'll often see my snakes (Ball Python usually, but also the BCI) hiding under the newspaper and at the far end of the enclosure, away from the heated end that also has their hides. The temperature is, as far as I can tell, not unusually high or low. (It's about 86 Fahrenheit most of the time.)

    I use newspaper flooring across the tank to help with cleaning waste, and the snakes apparently find a way to lift up an end and get under it.

    I don't really understand why they think the hide is inadequate. I've got hides for each of them that "hug" them, although I suppose those hides therefore are more prone to be moved around as the snake moves around inside them. (For this reason I've considered the idea of epoxying something fairly heavy to the top of the hide, but it has always sounded too dangerous to implement.)

    Is anyone able to tell me anything about this behavior? I'd like them to get adequate heat and feel safe at the same time, but I'm not sure what's going on.

  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Time to play "detective": are the temps. not to their liking? or is it a lack of adequate "security"? And it might even be both?

    If it's the latter, I agree about the questionable safety of gluing a weight onto their existing hides. Instead, try crumpling some clean paper & stuffing into their hides to
    make them cozier.

    How old are these snakes? Young snakes have much more to fear from predators...one of the things I've done for "baby" snakes is to stack up several paper towels, then
    shred them into strips & toss them together like a salad to make a loosely-woven, soft & safe substrate they can hide in easily. It also gives them traction...newspaper is
    very slippery, another reason it's not so ideal for snakes. And you can fill their hides with this too...hint!

    Sometimes snakes really want to be cooler too...esp. when going into a shed. I know you said you've double checked the temps but what is the range? How are you
    taking the temps?

    BTW, you need hides on BOTH the warm AND cool end...that really sounds like it's the issue...you said their hides are only on the warm end.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  3. #3
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    Yes, I will go ahead and get the other hides in. I'm not sure why I had taken them out in the first place.

    I have thermostats that the heat tape I use is plugged into. Their range is roughly 80-92F. I have a heat reader, too, although as the battery dies often for some reason, I don't measure with it often.

    The snakes are still pretty young, I think. The BP is just over three years old, and the BCI is a little less than 2.5 years old.

    About snake substrate, I could do paper towels, but if it doesn't offer any harm, I'd kind of like to just let the snakes have a free and open floor; they tend to defecate against the walls, anyway, so that the newspaper seldom does much good. But I really don't know whether or not that's safe. It has been a while since I set up these enclosures.

    I used to have shredded cypress mulch, and that was super easy to clean feces from, but the urine soaked in and it began to smell bad... I'm still not sure how cypress mulch-users are supposed to deal with that.

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