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  1. #1
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    Question Getting a baby bp, few questions

    Hello everyone, I'll be getting a baby ball python soon and I have a few questions. First one is about enclosures. I know a lot of people use tubs but since I'll be getting only one snake (for now), I want to use a glass tank. Would a 24x18x12 exo terra be too big for a baby? I was thinking of starting it in a 10 gallon or 20 gallon but I'm wondering if having to get the snake out from the top of the enclosure instead of from the front would be an issue.

  2. #2
    BPnet Senior Member EL-Ziggy's Avatar
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    Re: Getting a baby bp, few questions

    I prefer front opening enclosures over top opening tanks but they can both work. The exo-terra should be good for at least a year I think.
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  3. #3
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    My first advice would be to make SURE that the snake is well-started...it should have a feeding record (having eaten at least 3 times for the breeder) for best results,
    before you bring it home. Then, don't handle it until it is feeding regularly for you...at least 3 times at normal (weekly) intervals. Feeding is "job 1" for baby snakes.

    Many who breed BPs recommend smaller "tubs" for hatchlings. It's up to you whether or not you follow their recommendations...you can check out Deborah's guide
    ("Stewart Reptiles") on this site, & I'm pretty sure she'll tell you that Exo Terra is too big. I've kept BPs before but didn't breed them...I have lots of snake experience
    but BPs aren't my specialty. Glass tanks have pros & cons, & while I personally prefer them, most here (that keep BPs) do not, but you CAN make them work.

    If you use a glass tank of any sort, keep in mind that hatchling snakes rely on instincts & have many predators in the wild, so they rely on hiding to survive. Big open
    spaces are threatening to them, so if you use a larger size tank, it needs plenty of cover (some say "clutter") & not less than 2 hides of proper proportions for your BP.
    Hides must NOT be open at both ends (those half-round tree-bark tunnels are decor, NOT suitable hides), & the only doorway should be small enough that you cannot
    see into the hide.

    It may help to cover the back, sides & bottom with paper so the snake feels more "privacy". Fear is not an appetite stimulant & baby snakes need to eat well to grow.

    It's critical that you set up the tank (with proper heat & humidity for a BP) for at least a week before you bring the snake home, for best results; that way, if it's not
    right you won't be disturbing (scaring!) your snake while you try to make adjustments. And in case you have to buy something additional, your snake won't be living
    with conditions that are sub-standard while you fix things.

    You'll NEED heat source(s) (maybe more than one, depending on the temperatures in your room or home, & depending on whether or not you insulate the tank).
    You'll need an accurate way to measure both the temps. (a "heat gun") and the humidity (the little stick-on gauges they sell in pet-stores are NOT accurate).

    I've raised LOTs of snakes...in glass tanks that open on top...it's not an issue. There are ways to signal recognition no matter how you approach a snake, & most BPs
    are very reluctant to bite anyway.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  5. #4
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I referred to this so here's a link:
    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...-hatchling-101

    And there are other how-to "sticky" (ie. permanent for reference) threads under "ball python husbandry" that might help you as well.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 05-19-2020 at 12:51 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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  7. #5
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    Re: Getting a baby bp, few questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    My first advice would be to make SURE that the snake is well-started...it should have a feeding record (having eaten at least 3 times for the breeder) for best results,
    before you bring it home. Then, don't handle it until it is feeding regularly for you...at least 3 times at normal (weekly) intervals. Feeding is "job 1" for baby snakes.

    Many who breed BPs recommend smaller "tubs" for hatchlings. It's up to you whether or not you follow their recommendations...you can check out Deborah's guide
    ("Stewart Reptiles") on this site, & I'm pretty sure she'll tell you that Exo Terra is too big. I've kept BPs before but didn't breed them...I have lots of snake experience
    but BPs aren't my specialty. Glass tanks have pros & cons, & while I personally prefer them, most here (that keep BPs) do not, but you CAN make them work.

    If you use a glass tank of any sort, keep in mind that hatchling snakes rely on instincts & have many predators in the wild, so they rely on hiding to survive. Big open
    spaces are threatening to them, so if you use a larger size tank, it needs plenty of cover (some say "clutter") & not less than 2 hides of proper proportions for your BP.
    Hides must NOT be open at both ends (those half-round tree-bark tunnels are decor, NOT suitable hides), & the only doorway should be small enough that you cannot
    see into the hide.

    It may help to cover the back, sides & bottom with paper so the snake feels more "privacy". Fear is not an appetite stimulant & baby snakes need to eat well to grow.

    It's critical that you set up the tank (with proper heat & humidity for a BP) for at least a week before you bring the snake home, for best results; that way, if it's not
    right you won't be disturbing (scaring!) your snake while you try to make adjustments. And in case you have to buy something additional, your snake won't be living
    with conditions that are sub-standard while you fix things.

    You'll NEED heat source(s) (maybe more than one, depending on the temperatures in your room or home, & depending on whether or not you insulate the tank).
    You'll need an accurate way to measure both the temps. (a "heat gun") and the humidity (the little stick-on gauges they sell in pet-stores are NOT accurate).

    I've raised LOTs of snakes...in glass tanks that open on top...it's not an issue. There are ways to signal recognition no matter how you approach a snake, & most BPs
    are very reluctant to bite anyway.
    Thank you for your input. I'm already aware of all the supplies I need and what to look for in a baby snake. I have a herpstat 2 sitting in my closet. I didn't plan on bringing the snake home until I had everything else I needed.

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  9. #6
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Getting a baby bp, few questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Polamalu View Post
    Thank you for your input. I'm already aware of all the supplies I need and what to look for in a baby snake. I have a herpstat 2 sitting in my closet. I didn't plan on bringing the snake home until I had everything else I needed.
    News flash...you have no idea how many times new 'baby' snake-keepers do NOT have everything set up & tested. Just trying to save you some grief by answering your question while touching all the bases. It also helps others who come here to learn from reading these threads. You're welcome.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 05-19-2020 at 02:07 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Re: Getting a baby bp, few questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    News flash...you have no idea how many times new 'baby' snake-keepers do NOT have everything set up & tested. Just trying to save you some grief by answering your question while touching all the bases. It also helps others who come here to learn from reading these threads. You're welcome.
    Have a blessed day

  12. #8
    Registered User littlemaxbigworld's Avatar
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    Re: Getting a baby bp, few questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Polamalu View Post
    Have a blessed day
    Having joined these forums when I first got my baby snake and throughout the past two years or so I have learned that you’ll get a lot more help and respect when you’re open to being told things you might ‘already know’. There is always more to learn, and sometimes the things we think we know very well are actually incorrect, or not the full story. Or sometimes there’s just a more effective way of doing something.

    People here may be blunt sometimes and you just have to be okay with it and recognize it’s with the best intentions. And if you do something like not explain what you know, the set up you have, equipment you have, steps you have taken and instead just say ‘I know what to do’ or ‘It’s under control’ without actually communicating what those things are - ESPECIALLY when you’re bringing home a baby and/or first snake - you’ll either get backlash or just get ignored. Be humble. There’s always more to learn and if you’re not open to that you are not going to get very far. I recommend rethinking how you want to approach asking for help / advice and try again. Approaching things in this manner will not only not get you very far, but also will result in worse care for your snake because you weren’t willing to learn and hear new things that will teach you how to better care for him/her. Your attitude not only affects you but it affects your pet’s wellbeing as well.

    There is likely a more effective way to post a sticky link here so if anyone knows please feel free to let me know!

    But next time you want to ask for advice P L E A S E follow this sticky note:
    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...t-Questionaire

    And make sure you browse the sticky notes in general. Browse through them. It’s somehow amazing that there’s things that we didn’t know we didn’t know.
    Last edited by littlemaxbigworld; 05-19-2020 at 02:54 PM.

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  14. #9
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    Start with a 5 or 5.5 gallon glass tank if you can. Zilla has Critter Cages at 5.5 gallon, and Pet Supplies Plus carries them and they are usually on sale for like $10-15. Sliding lockable doors, light weight and easy to clean. 10 gallon can work, but for some baby bp that may be too big for them. Concern with glass tanks is keeping humidity up. You can look that up about how to maintain humidity in glass tanks.

    Personally, 6 qt tubs for baby snakes are awesome. They are too scared and don't want to be seen (yet) anyway. At the start, it is more about what works for the snake and then later you can make comprises and make it what works both you and the snake.

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  16. #10
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    It seems like you're off to a good start. Having your enclosure and equipment up, running and dialed in is definitely a huge plus in your favor. You're saving yourself and your new pet from unnecessary stress and headaches. So good job there! .

    I've used and still use both front opening top opening enclosures. I prefer front opening, but that's more personal preference. I've never noticed a difference in ease of getting the snake in and out either way.

    A 10 gallon will work perfectly for a starter enclosure. Just make sure you've got at least two hides and a decent amount of clutter (fake plants, etc...) for security. It also helps to "black out" the sides and back of the enclosure with cardboard, construction paper, foam board insulation or something. Just make sure it's on the outside of the enclosure.

    Lastly, when it comes time to actually choose your snake do yourself a favor and buy from a reputable breeder. Avoid pet stores and "flippers" who just buy and sell the animals.

    Good luck. Don't be shy if you have further questions.
    ...life is beautiful...

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