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  1. #1
    Registered User BallPythonBabe's Avatar
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    New Ball Python Owner!!!! Need Help and Advice Pleaseee!!!!

    Hello there, I am a new Ball Python owner and I need a tonnnn of advice. Obviously I did my own research before I got him but Ive noticed that Ball Python care can be quite controversial. So I guess here's a little back story. About 2 weeks ago I purchased my first Ball Python from a breeder online and he was shipped to me via overnight shipping. He is around 6 months old so he is quite young. I have him in a 40 gallon tank. Yes, I know that is big for a baby but I have made sure to clutter the tank quite a bit so he feels secure. As of right now I have cypress mulch as my substrate and plan on switching to coconut husk as soon as I run out of the cypress mulch because they did not have coco husk at my local pet store. He has one hide on the warm side of the tank and one hide on the cool side of the tank with his water dish on the cool side along with a branch and some faux vines to add clutter. For heating I have a UTH with a thermostat. The thermostat probe is placed between the UTH and the glass. The thermostat is set to 95 F so the hottest the glass gets on the inside of the tank is 94 F. (I mainly use a temp gun to check temps) I tried doing half an inch of substrate under the warm side hide but even with only half an inch the substrate was only about 78 F so because he doesnt appear to be a burrower instead of half an inch he has a very thin layer under the hide which he can move very easily just by slithering into it. I think this should be okay considering the glass doesnt get hotter then 94 F. But for the substrate outside the hide is about half an inch on the warm side and an inch on the cool side. I also have a 60 watt CHE on a clamp lamp placed on the back of the tank in the middle facing down. I do not want to place it directly on the screen because I dont have a dimmer and I have no way to get a dimmer and Im worried that if I place it on the screen without one my snake will burn himself if he gets too close so Im regulating the temperature by using a clamp lamp which seems to be working well. The CHE is being used for cool side temps and ambient air temps. My warm side UTH is around 94 F, my cool side temp is around 80 F and my ambient air temp through out the whole tank is 80 F. At night my cool side temp and ambient air temp do not drop below 77- 76 F. In order to maintain this I have to keep my house at around 75F. I do have a 100 watt CHE as well but because I dont have a dimmer on my one lamp (the one without the clamp that would have to go directly on the screen) and my clamp lamp recommends only using up to 70 watt bulbs, so I figure it would be quite dangerous to use. I also have 2 layers of tinfoil placed over the screen (to help keep in heat and humidity) except for a square where the heat lamp faces in which also doubles as ventilation. I have a temp gun I use to check temps as well as an analog thermometer/hydrometer inside the tank. I do have a digital thermometer/hydrometer with probes as well but I dont have it set up because I dont want to deal with the wires but I have dangled the probes in there once or twice just to double check temps and humidity lol. Which speaking of humidity mine is usually always between 50 and 60 and within the past 2 weeks Ive only had to mist once. For feeding I feed my guy f/t medium mice (they are as thick as the thickest part of my snake) and he hes been fed twice. So far, technically speaking, he hasnt refused a meal. Although the first time I attempted to feed him he struck at the mouse and constricted, but I walked by his tank and he got scared and dropped it (no not regurgitated, he barely had it in his mouth) so that was completely my bad. I pulled the mouse out with tongs after my snake went back in his hide and tried again but he had lost interest and I was not aware I could leave the mouse in there with him overnight (again its f/t not live) so I threw it way. 4 days later, I tried again and made sure to leave him alone and he ate just fine. He also ate fine again 6 days later. (I plan on feeding him every 6 days) Now let me just say he is extremelyyyy skittish and shy. Which is understandable because hes so young and has never really been handled. But Im still kind of worried. He neverrrrr comes out of his hides during the day ever. I know he comes out at night sometimes tho. And when being handled he'll curl up in a ball at first then try to get away as fast as he can. I waited about a week until I handled him. I got him on a tuesday and tried to feed him on a thursday and he dropped it so I tried again on a monday which he took then waited til Wednesday to handle him. Ive been trying to handle every other day except feeding day and 2 days after to try to get him used to me but Im not sure if much is changing so I think I may just leave him alone for 2 more weeks and just feed him and do maintenance and then try handling again. Also another weird thing, I think he may like his cool side more (the hides are not identical) He usually stays on the cool side but after handling Ill place him closer to the warm side and he'll go in the warm side but then at night or the next day at night he'll go back to the cool side and has only gone to the warm side on his own once and then went right back to the cool side the next night (again he doesnt come out during the day) I dont like repeatedly try and move him to the warm side or anything but when I handle him Ill set him a but closer to the warm side when I put him back and thats where he goes and then at night he'll move. He also does this thing where when it starts to get even the littlest bit dark he'll poke his head out. Im not quite sure if he moves out of the cool hide at night but I know he moves from the warm side to the cool side at night. So I honestly not sure if hes active the way he should be or not. I also dont think its because the temp is too hot on the warm side because again it only gets up to 94 F on top of the glass. Maybe he just prefers the cool side? I did get him from a breeder and ik breeders usually only provide one hide in a tub. I usually go to sleep before hes active but I have woken up super late and seen him out (again usually after he was in the warm hide and moving to the cool side not quite sure if he comes out of the cool hide. Ive only caught him exploring out of the cool side once but again he could be doing it while I sleep. I know I didnt really ask any specific questions but I just need some advice on my husbandry, (I can't really buy anything new right now so some advice without making any purchases pleaseee) feeding schedule, my snakes shyness fiasco, handling recommendations, and anything else will help soooo much.
    Last edited by BallPythonBabe; 06-03-2020 at 09:35 AM.

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    Re: New Ball Python Owner!!!! Need Help and Advice Pleaseee!!!!

    He is probably on the cool side because your warm side is too warm. It should only be 88-89.
    You should not handle your snake until he has fed at least 3 times. Eating is their number 1 job, and handling can stress him and cause refusals.
    Do you have a scale to weigh him? That would be handy to keep track of his weight and make sure youre giving appropriate sized prey. Theres a great feeding chart on this forum.

    Sent from my LM-X220 using Tapatalk

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    New Ball Python Owner!!!! Need Help and Advice Pleaseee!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by BallPythonBabe View Post
    Hello there, I am a new Ball Python owner and I need a tonnnn of advice. Obviously I did my own research before I got him but Ive noticed that Ball Python care can be quite controversial. So I guess here's a little back story. About 2 weeks ago I purchased my first Ball Python from a breeder online and he was shipped to me via overnight shipping. He is around 6 months old so he is quite young. I have him in a 40 gallon tank. Yes, I know that is big for a baby but I have made sure to clutter the tank quite a bit so he feels secure. As of right now I have cypress mulch as my substrate and plan on switching to coconut husk as soon as I run out of the cypress mulch because they did not have coco husk at my local pet store. He has one hide on the warm side of the tank and one hide on the cool side of the tank with his water dish on the cool side along with a branch and some faux vines to add clutter. For heating I have a UTH with a thermostat. The thermostat probe is placed between the UTH and the glass. The thermostat is set to 95 F so the hottest the glass gets on the inside of the tank is 94 F. (I mainly use a temp gun to check temps) I tried doing half an inch of substrate under the warm side hide but even with only half an inch the substrate was only about 78 F so because he doesnt appear to be a burrower instead of half an inch he has a very thin layer under the hide which he can move very easily just by slithering into it. I think this should be okay considering the glass doesnt get hotter then 94 F. But for the substrate outside the hide is about half an inch on the warm side and an inch on the cool side. I also have a 60 watt CHE on a clamp lamp placed on the back of the tank in the middle facing down. I do not want to place it directly on the screen because I dont have a dimmer and I have no way to get a dimmer and Im worried that if I place it on the screen without one my snake will burn himself if he gets too close so Im regulating the temperature by using a clamp lamp which seems to be working well. The CHE is being used for cool side temps and ambient air temps. My warm side UTH is around 94 F, my cool side temp is around 80 F and my ambient air temp through out the whole tank is 80 F. At night my cool side temp and ambient air temp do not drop below 77- 76 F. In order to maintain this I have to keep my house at around 75F. I do have a 100 watt CHE as well but because I dont have a dimmer on my one lamp (the one without the clamp that would have to go directly on the screen) and my clamp lamp recommends only using up to 70 watt bulbs, so I figure it would be quite dangerous to use. I also have 2 layers of tinfoil placed over the screen (to help keep in heat and humidity) except for a square where the heat lamp faces in which also doubles as ventilation. I have a temp gun I use to check temps as well as an analog thermometer/hydrometer inside the tank. I do have a digital thermometer/hydrometer with probes as well but I dont have it set up because I dont want to deal with the wires but I have dangled the probes in there once or twice just to double check temps and humidity lol. Which speaking of humidity mine is usually always between 50 and 60 and within the past 2 weeks Ive only had to mist once. For feeding I feed my guy f/t medium mice (they are as thick as the thickest part of my snake) and he hes been fed twice. So far, technically speaking, he hasnt refused a meal. Although the first time I attempted to feed him he struck at the mouse and constricted, but I walked by his tank and he got scared and dropped it (no not regurgitated, he barely had it in his mouth) so that was completely my bad. I pulled the mouse out with tongs after my snake went back in his hide and tried again but he had lost interest and I was not aware I could leave the mouse in there with him overnight (again its f/t not live) so I threw it way. 4 days later, I tried again and made sure to leave him alone and he ate just fine. He also ate fine again 6 days later. (I plan on feeding him every 6 days) Now let me just say he is extremelyyyy skittish and shy. Which is understandable because hes so young and has never really been handled. But Im still kind of worried. He neverrrrr comes out of his hides during the day ever. I know he comes out at night sometimes tho. And when being handled he'll curl up in a ball at first then try to get away as fast as he can. I waited about a week until I handled him. I got him on a tuesday and tried to feed him on a thursday and he dropped it so I tried again on a monday which he took then waited til Wednesday to handle him. Ive been trying to handle every other day except feeding day and 2 days after to try to get him used to me but Im not sure if much is changing so I think I may just leave him alone for 2 more weeks and just feed him and do maintenance and then try handling again. Also another weird thing, I think he may like his cool side more (the hides are not identical) He usually stays on the cool side but after handling Ill place him closer to the warm side and he'll go in the warm side but then at night or the next day at night he'll go back to the cool side and has only gone to the warm side on his own once and then went right back to the cool side the next night (again he doesnt come out during the day) I dont like repeatedly try and move him to the warm side or anything but when I handle him Ill set him a but closer to the warm side when I put him back and thats where he goes and then at night he'll move. He also does this thing where when it starts to get even the littlest bit dark he'll poke his head out. Im not quite sure if he moves out of the cool hide at night but I know he moves from the warm side to the cool side at night. So I honestly not sure if hes active the way he should be or not. I also dont think its because the temp is too hot on the warm side because again it only gets up to 94 F on top of the glass. Maybe he just prefers the cool side? I did get him from a breeder and ik breeders usually only provide one hide in a tub. I usually go to sleep before hes active but I have woken up super late and seen him out (again usually after he was in the warm hide and moving to the cool side not quite sure if he comes out of the cool hide. Ive only caught him exploring out of the cool side once but again he could be doing it while I sleep. I know I didnt really ask any specific questions but I just need some advice on my husbandry, (I can't really buy anything new right now so some advice without making any purchases pleaseee) feeding schedule, my snakes shyness fiasco, handling recommendations, and anything else will help soooo much.
    How much clutter do you have in the enclosure and what kind of hides do you have? It didnt sound like a lot when you spoke of it. And he might be darting from hide to hide because he doesnt feel safe enough outside of those hides. He might also favour your cool side hide because it is more secure. The hides should not feel very large to him, if so youll have to stuff the hides to make them feel smaller. You can add extra substrate, moss or news paper inside. Making the hides identical also reduces the chance of favouritism. Have you blacked out 1-3 sides of the enclosure? Doing so makes the entire enclosure feel more safe as well. Lastly 94 for your UTH and CHE combined might be too hot for your snake. Some snakes will actually like it warmer than others, but yours may not like so hot of temperatures. You also should note that having both air and underbelly heat that hot, combined, can cause your snake to overheat. Set your hot side so that its about 90-91 inside on the glass, and air temps between 87-90. Try making these changes and see if your snake behaviour changes.

    A lot of people worry when they arent inside their warm hides, but there is nothing to worry about. They are smart enough to thermoregulate, and wont be too cold nor die being on the cold side as long as you have proper temps. Your snakes behaviour sounds normal. Please remember that they are nocturnal. They will try their very best to only come out when you are asleep(it seems). So if your snake sleeps throughout the whole day, I would be happy knowing my snake is happy. And having a bp thats active at night as well, is even better.

    Your snake will poke its head out of the hide because he could: a) be afraid and making sure the coast is clear, or b) waiting for prey to stumble across. Its is normal behaviour so do not worry.

    Please wait for your snake to accept consecutive meals before starting your handling sessions. You need to give your snake some time to adjust and acclimate.

    For handling please reduce it to once or twice a week, with maximum of 20 minute sessions after your snake has relaxed(my suggestion). And as time goes on, I would slowly increase the time, and eventually increase the amount of sessions per week. Each bp will be different and some will be less prone to stress than others. Its best to watch for signs to know your snakes limit. And its easiest to do that by starting off with less, and slowly working your way towards more. You can slowly increase the time as you learn that your bp starts to trust you.

    Yes your snake will ball, because that is what they do when they are scared. You can place your one hand overtop of them and hold your hand their for a few minutes. Your hands act as a cover/hide and can help them feel more secure/safe. You can slowly remove your hand and then let them in all themselves. If your snake does try to dart away, use the hand-in-hand method to calm them down and keep up with them. Offer enough support for their body as well. Another method is to place them inside a dark pillow case, and tie the end so they cant escape, and you handle them inside the pillowcase. This helps to keep both you and your snake calm and secure. All you do is simply handle/pet them as they are inside. Overtime they wont be as scared, and youll be able to tell. As they do you can take them out of the pillowcase, and start handling with your hands.

    Remember that bp are not considered tame the way dogs are. They have instincts and they take more time to learn. Your snake will not trust you or change within a week or a few days. Its takes months before your ball python feels that they can actually trust you, or learn that you are not a threat. For each handling session that you have, do not put the snake back when they are scared or defensive. This can build the habit of cage aggression, and you also want to have positive handling experiences with your snake, every time.
    Last edited by Faith.luu; 06-03-2020 at 10:47 AM.

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    Re: New Ball Python Owner!!!! Need Help and Advice Pleaseee!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by BallPythonBabe View Post
    Hello there, I am a new Ball Python owner and I need a tonnnn of advice. Obviously I did my own research before I got him but Ive noticed that Ball Python care can be quite controversial. So I guess here's a little back story. About 2 weeks ago I purchased my first Ball Python from a breeder online and he was shipped to me via overnight shipping. He is around 6 months old so he is quite young. I have him in a 40 gallon tank. Yes, I know that is big for a baby but I have made sure to clutter the tank quite a bit so he feels secure. As of right now I have cypress mulch as my substrate and plan on switching to coconut husk as soon as I run out of the cypress mulch because they did not have coco husk at my local pet store. He has one hide on the warm side of the tank and one hide on the cool side of the tank with his water dish on the cool side along with a branch and some faux vines to add clutter. For heating I have a UTH with a thermostat. The thermostat probe is placed between the UTH and the glass. The thermostat is set to 95 F so the hottest the glass gets on the inside of the tank is 94 F. (I mainly use a temp gun to check temps) I tried doing half an inch of substrate under the warm side hide but even with only half an inch the substrate was only about 78 F so because he doesnt appear to be a burrower instead of half an inch he has a very thin layer under the hide which he can move very easily just by slithering into it. I think this should be okay considering the glass doesnt get hotter then 94 F. But for the substrate outside the hide is about half an inch on the warm side and an inch on the cool side. I also have a 60 watt CHE on a clamp lamp placed on the back of the tank in the middle facing down. I do not want to place it directly on the screen because I dont have a dimmer and I have no way to get a dimmer and Im worried that if I place it on the screen without one my snake will burn himself if he gets too close so Im regulating the temperature by using a clamp lamp which seems to be working well. The CHE is being used for cool side temps and ambient air temps. My warm side UTH is around 94 F, my cool side temp is around 80 F and my ambient air temp through out the whole tank is 80 F. At night my cool side temp and ambient air temp do not drop below 77- 76 F. In order to maintain this I have to keep my house at around 75F. I do have a 100 watt CHE as well but because I dont have a dimmer on my one lamp (the one without the clamp that would have to go directly on the screen) and my clamp lamp recommends only using up to 70 watt bulbs, so I figure it would be quite dangerous to use. I also have 2 layers of tinfoil placed over the screen (to help keep in heat and humidity) except for a square where the heat lamp faces in which also doubles as ventilation. I have a temp gun I use to check temps as well as an analog thermometer/hydrometer inside the tank. I do have a digital thermometer/hydrometer with probes as well but I dont have it set up because I dont want to deal with the wires but I have dangled the probes in there once or twice just to double check temps and humidity lol. Which speaking of humidity mine is usually always between 50 and 60 and within the past 2 weeks Ive only had to mist once. For feeding I feed my guy f/t medium mice (they are as thick as the thickest part of my snake) and he hes been fed twice. So far, technically speaking, he hasnt refused a meal. Although the first time I attempted to feed him he struck at the mouse and constricted, but I walked by his tank and he got scared and dropped it (no not regurgitated, he barely had it in his mouth) so that was completely my bad. I pulled the mouse out with tongs after my snake went back in his hide and tried again but he had lost interest and I was not aware I could leave the mouse in there with him overnight (again its f/t not live) so I threw it way. 4 days later, I tried again and made sure to leave him alone and he ate just fine. He also ate fine again 6 days later. (I plan on feeding him every 6 days) Now let me just say he is extremelyyyy skittish and shy. Which is understandable because hes so young and has never really been handled. But Im still kind of worried. He neverrrrr comes out of his hides during the day ever. I know he comes out at night sometimes tho. And when being handled he'll curl up in a ball at first then try to get away as fast as he can. I waited about a week until I handled him. I got him on a tuesday and tried to feed him on a thursday and he dropped it so I tried again on a monday which he took then waited til Wednesday to handle him. Ive been trying to handle every other day except feeding day and 2 days after to try to get him used to me but Im not sure if much is changing so I think I may just leave him alone for 2 more weeks and just feed him and do maintenance and then try handling again. Also another weird thing, I think he may like his cool side more (the hides are not identical) He usually stays on the cool side but after handling Ill place him closer to the warm side and he'll go in the warm side but then at night or the next day at night he'll go back to the cool side and has only gone to the warm side on his own once and then went right back to the cool side the next night (again he doesnt come out during the day) I dont like repeatedly try and move him to the warm side or anything but when I handle him Ill set him a but closer to the warm side when I put him back and thats where he goes and then at night he'll move. He also does this thing where when it starts to get even the littlest bit dark he'll poke his head out. Im not quite sure if he moves out of the cool hide at night but I know he moves from the warm side to the cool side at night. So I honestly not sure if hes active the way he should be or not. I also dont think its because the temp is too hot on the warm side because again it only gets up to 94 F on top of the glass. Maybe he just prefers the cool side? I did get him from a breeder and ik breeders usually only provide one hide in a tub. I usually go to sleep before hes active but I have woken up super late and seen him out (again usually after he was in the warm hide and moving to the cool side not quite sure if he comes out of the cool hide. Ive only caught him exploring out of the cool side once but again he could be doing it while I sleep. I know I didnt really ask any specific questions but I just need some advice on my husbandry, (I can't really buy anything new right now so some advice without making any purchases pleaseee) feeding schedule, my snakes shyness fiasco, handling recommendations, and anything else will help soooo much.
    I'd love to see a picture of your setup -- I'm curious how exactly you cluttered a 40 gal enclosure because you're right, it's way too big for a 6 month old bp. A branch and some vines do not sound like enough. As TurningStar said, 94 is TOO hot for the hot side. You should be reading 88-90 with the IR gun on the glass on the hot side. I'd also suggest moving the CHE over the hot side, which should still keep the ambient temperature up but allow him to escape to the cool side in order to thermoregulate. Him liking his cool side is not weird -- it's just what he likes.

    Ditch the analog thermometer/hygrometer and use the digital probes. If you have a glass 40 gal, there's usually a divot on the back right side to allow for the wires. It's also not uncommon for him to be in his hide all day. He's nocturnal, so it'd be like saying getting up multiple times throughout the night to randomly explore your house is normal.

    It's also not unusual for him to seem like he's "trying to get away" once he starts to trust you...he could just be exploring but we can't really say without seeing it ourselves. Fix the temps on your hot side, use the digital probes for measuring temperature/humidity, and please do attach a picture of your setup.
    /chris

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    Re: New Ball Python Owner!!!! Need Help and Advice Pleaseee!!!!

    Congrats on the new BP. I hope you really enjoy your snake keeping experience. It sounds like you've got a pretty good grip on things so far. I agree on dropping your hot spot to a max of 88-90 and holding off on handling until he's eaten a couple more meals. You may not even need both the UTH and CHE during the warmer months. One heat source should be plenty. My snakes do just fine with the rooms ambient temps of 78-82, but I do close the A/C vent in that room to keep it a bit warmer. Even ambient temps of 75 with access to a 88-90 hotspot is sufficient. I don't believe enclosures are ever too large as long as the animal has plenty of hides and floor covering. I've started baby snakes in small tubs and adult sized enclosures. They adapt to their environment and most will thrive if your husbandry is on point. Most snakes are really very easy to care for once your setup is dialed in. Please share pics when you can.
    Last edited by EL-Ziggy; 06-03-2020 at 11:06 AM.
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    Re: New Ball Python Owner!!!! Need Help and Advice Pleaseee!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by christineho View Post
    I'd love to see a picture of your setup -- I'm curious how exactly you cluttered a 40 gal enclosure because you're right, it's way too big for a 6 month old bp. A branch and some vines do not sound like enough. As TurningStar said, 94 is TOO hot for the hot side. You should be reading 88-90 with the IR gun on the glass on the hot side. I'd also suggest moving the CHE over the hot side, which should still keep the ambient temperature up but allow him to escape to the cool side in order to thermoregulate. Him liking his cool side is not weird -- it's just what he likes.

    Ditch the analog thermometer/hygrometer and use the digital probes. If you have a glass 40 gal, there's usually a divot on the back right side to allow for the wires. It's also not uncommon for him to be in his hide all day. He's nocturnal, so it'd be like saying getting up multiple times throughout the night to randomly explore your house is normal.

    It's also not unusual for him to seem like he's "trying to get away" once he starts to trust you...he could just be exploring but we can't really say without seeing it ourselves. Fix the temps on your hot side, use the digital probes for measuring temperature/humidity, and please do attach a picture of your setup.
    You may be right about it not being cluttered enough, to me it seems cluttered but to him it may not. I have some vines hanging along the back wall that I could move to the floor of the tank to make it more cluttered if I have to. I will be sure to lower the UTH temp on the warm side and move the CHE to the warm side as well. My only worry with moving the CHE to the warm side is the cool side becoming too cool.

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    Re: New Ball Python Owner!!!! Need Help and Advice Pleaseee!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by EL-Ziggy View Post
    Congrats on the new BP. I hope you really enjoy your snake keeping experience. It sounds like you've got a pretty good grip on things so far. I agree on dropping your hot spot to a max of 88-90 and holding off on handling until he's eaten a couple more meals. You may not even need both the UTH and CHE during the warmer months. One heat source should be plenty. My snakes do just fine with the rooms ambient temps of 78-82, but I do close the A/C vent in that room to keep it a bit warmer. Even ambient temps of 75 with access to a 88-90 hotspot is sufficient.
    Thank you! I'll be sure to give him a couple more meals before handling him again and to drop the UTH temp. Also, my tank is in my room so keeping its that hot is not ideal which is why I chose to use a CHE.

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    Re: New Ball Python Owner!!!! Need Help and Advice Pleaseee!!!!

    Looks good to me! Some folks block 3 sides of their glass enclosures but if your snake is eating, pooping, and shedding I wouldn't change much.
    Last edited by EL-Ziggy; 06-03-2020 at 11:12 AM.
    2.2 Carpet Pythons, 1.1 Bullsnakes
    1.0 Bredl's Python, 1.0 Olive Python 1.0 Scrub Python,
    1.0 BI, 0.1 BO,

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  15. #9
    Registered User BallPythonBabe's Avatar
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    Re: New Ball Python Owner!!!! Need Help and Advice Pleaseee!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Faith.luu View Post
    How much clutter do you have in the enclosure and what kind of hides do you have? It didnt sound like a lot when you spoke of it. And he might be darting from hide to hide because he doesnt feel safe enough outside of those hides. He might also favour your cool side hide because it is more secure. The hides should not feel very large to him, if so youll have to stuff the hides to make them feel smaller. You can add extra substrate, moss or news paper inside. Making the hides identical also reduces the chance of favouritism. Have you blacked out 1-3 sides of the enclosure? Doing so makes the entire enclosure feel more safe as well. Lastly 94 for your UTH and CHE combined might be too hot for your snake. Some snakes will actually like it warmer than others, but yours may not like so hot of temperatures. You also should note that having both air and underbelly heat that hot, combined, can cause your snake to overheat. Set your hot side so that its about 90-91 inside on the glass, and air temps between 87-90. Try making these changes and see if your snake behaviour changes.

    A lot of people worry when they arent inside their warm hides, but there is nothing to worry about. They are smart enough to thermoregulate, and wont be too cold nor die being on the cold side as long as you have proper temps. Your snakes behaviour sounds normal. Please remember that they are nocturnal. They will try their very best to only come out when you are asleep(it seems). So if your snake sleeps throughout the whole day, I would be happy knowing my snake is happy. And having a bp thats active at night as well, is even better.

    Your snake will poke its head out of the hide because he could: a) be afraid and making sure the coast is clear, or b) waiting for prey to stumble across. Its is normal behaviour so do not worry.

    Please wait for your snake to accept consecutive meals before starting your handling sessions. You need to give your snake some time to adjust and acclimate.

    For handling please reduce it to once or twice a week, with maximum of 20 minute sessions after your snake has relaxed(my suggestion). And as time goes on, I would slowly increase the time, and eventually increase the amount of sessions per week. Each bp will be different and some will be less prone to stress than others. Its best to watch for signs to know your snakes limit. And its easiest to do that by starting off with less, and slowly working your way towards more. You can slowly increase the time as you learn that your bp starts to trust you.

    Yes your snake will ball, because that is what they do when they are scared. You can place your one hand overtop of them and hold your hand their for a few minutes. Your hands act as a cover/hide and can help them feel more secure/safe. You can slowly remove your hand and then let them in all themselves. If your snake does try to dart away, use the hand-in-hand method to calm them down and keep up with them. Offer enough support for their body as well. Another method is to place them inside a dark pillow case, and tie the end so they cant escape, and you handle them inside the pillowcase. This helps to keep both you and your snake calm and secure. All you do is simply handle/pet them as they are inside. Overtime they wont be as scared, and youll be able to tell. As they do you can take them out of the pillowcase, and start handling with your hands.

    Remember that bp are not considered tame the way dogs are. They have instincts and they take more time to learn. Your snake will not trust you or change within a week or a few days. Its takes months before your ball python feels that they can actually trust you, or learn that you are not a threat. For each handling session that you have, do not put the snake back when they are scared or defensive. This can build the habit of cage aggression, and you also want to have positive handling experiences with your snake, every time.
    Theres really no way for me to get the air temp on the hot side up to 90. Im thinking about moving my CHE to the hot side instead of having it placed in the middle so the air will at least be a bit warmer there but I doubt it will reach 90. Im also worried if I move my CHE from the middle it will get too cold on the cool side. I have 1 side of the tank covered on the back but Im going to try and cover the 2 side walls as well. I may also move my tank because theres a window on the other side of the room that faces the front of the tank but moving it may not be an option. So possibly a blackout curtain on that window will suffice?

    Sent from my LM-Q720 using Tapatalk

  16. #10
    Registered User BallPythonBabe's Avatar
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    Re: New Ball Python Owner!!!! Need Help and Advice Pleaseee!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Turningstar View Post
    He is probably on the cool side because your warm side is too warm. It should only be 88-89.
    You should not handle your snake until he has fed at least 3 times. Eating is their number 1 job, and handling can stress him and cause refusals.
    Do you have a scale to weigh him? That would be handy to keep track of his weight and make sure youre giving appropriate sized prey. Theres a great feeding chart on this forum.

    Sent from my LM-X220 using Tapatalk
    I will be sure to drop my UTH temp then. And no I do not have a scale, and the breeder did not tell me his weight. But he seems to be a healthy weight for his size. I will also be sure to wait a couple more meals before handling him again.

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