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  1. #1
    Registered User Pine's Avatar
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    Thought I should share this.

    I have had snakes sense the mid 1960s.
    The simple ones like Eastern Hognose, Milkshakes, Garters and Cornsnakes.
    But I never had any that required higher temperatures and humidity.
    Last August I got my first Ball and she was rescue. Assist fed for almost 3 months and she had to be helped to shed the first few times.
    Then I got two more Balls and set one up with a misting system and the first one got a mister too.
    I then thought about a fogger, tried one on the third Ball and after a couple days, I got it dialed in.
    Now for my amazing me discovery, the Viv with the fogger after 3 months is still clean looking and the humidity is more stable than the other two.
    Both of the other Vivs have white fungus in patches and constantly have a couple wet spots with the rest of the substrate dry as a bone.
    The humidity just doesn't stabilize.
    But I don't have any other issues with the snakes.
    So just today I got two more Herptile Humidifiers and I'm switching them out with the misters.
    Love these snakes but they are a lot more work than my corns and Hoggies.
    I'm not a biologist but I think the fogger works better because it doesn't get the substrate soaked and thus promoting fungus growth.
    Some days its just not worth chewing through the restraints

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  3. #2
    Registered User Vegan.Hiker's Avatar
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    I have a humidifier (fogger) hooked up to an inkbird humidistat and it keeps the RH right at 60% while keeping the substrate nice and dry. I wouldn’t use a mister for the reason you mention.. uneven moisture, which could lead to mold and scale rot.

    One thing that bothers me about the reptile industry is that it’s not common practice to advise new or potential owners that a humidifier and humidistat is requisite. Sure, the humidity being off, might not kill a bp, but you are subjecting it to a life of discomfort (how would you feel living in a room with the wrong humidity and itchy dry skin). I also find it alarming to see bp owners advising methods to beginners like misting with a spray bottle and putting foil on top of the screen as a way for controlling humidity. These are animals that can live 30+ years so I don’t see checking the humidity, spraying it down with a bottle, and tinkering with foil, every few hours as a sustainable solution that someone will keep up daily for 30 years. The responsible thing to me would be if the bp community ripped up the care sheets out there, starting listing bp’s as intermediate and not for beginners, and start insisting that new bp owners have their setup up and running with heating and humidity dialed in before they bring their new pet home.

    Sorry for the rant, and I’m sure many of you will just think I’m crazy, but it’s just my opinion. Yes, I’m a just a guy with 1 bp that is treated as part of the family, not a basement breeder or guy with a “collection”.

    And OP, none of this is directed at you.
    Last edited by Vegan.Hiker; 08-02-2020 at 02:17 PM.

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  5. #3
    Registered User Pine's Avatar
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    Re: Thought I should share this.

    I get where you're coming from and I'm very surprised at the nonsense recommendations out there.
    I was talked into the misting system by three diffrent pet shops that specializes in reptiles.
    I only tried the fogger because I found an article online about them.
    And I don't take any stock on what I see online.
    Mostly garbage people makeup off the top of their heads.
    And what really gets me is seeing a video on how you can setup a BP Viv with a 10 gallon tank for under $100.
    That kind of garbage is not fair to the animal or the new owner.
    I will say with the misters the snake can stay dry under the hides or up on there climbing sticks.
    And thankfully the only problem I have had is the fungus and that doesn't seem to affect the snakes.
    But it looks grubby.
    Last edited by Pine; 08-02-2020 at 02:40 PM.
    Some days its just not worth chewing through the restraints

  6. #4
    bcr229's Avatar
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    I can not use a fogger because my water has so much lime/calcium in it that even with a softener the buildup in faucets and appliances is insane. I've tried two foggers and they both lasted less than three months.

    What kind of substrate are you using that molds? I use cypress mulch with my BRB's and it's not a problem, and they have 80% humidity or higher.
    Last edited by bcr229; 08-02-2020 at 02:50 PM.

  7. #5
    Registered User Igotsmallballs's Avatar
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    Re: Thought I should share this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pine View Post
    I have had snakes sense the mid 1960s.
    The simple ones like Eastern Hognose, Milkshakes, Garters and Cornsnakes.
    But I never had any that required higher temperatures and humidity.
    Last August I got my first Ball and she was rescue. Assist fed for almost 3 months and she had to be helped to shed the first few times.
    Then I got two more Balls and set one up with a misting system and the first one got a mister too.
    I then thought about a fogger, tried one on the third Ball and after a couple days, I got it dialed in.
    Now for my amazing me discovery, the Viv with the fogger after 3 months is still clean looking and the humidity is more stable than the other two.
    Both of the other Vivs have white fungus in patches and constantly have a couple wet spots with the rest of the substrate dry as a bone.
    The humidity just doesn't stabilize.
    But I don't have any other issues with the snakes.
    So just today I got two more Herptile Humidifiers and I'm switching them out with the misters.
    Love these snakes but they are a lot more work than my corns and Hoggies.
    I'm not a biologist but I think the fogger works better because it doesn't get the substrate soaked and thus promoting fungus growth.
    This is very interesting to me because, this summer my pythons are thriving in the environment I live in. I have one hognose that we had to bring up a dehumidifier and put both in our room. Just to keep his humidity under 50%!

    I might have to spray and mix one or two substrates every few weeks

  8. #6
    Registered User Pine's Avatar
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    Re: Thought I should share this.

    Quote Originally Posted by bcr229 View Post
    I can not use a fogger because my water has so much lime/calcium in it that even with a softener the buildup in faucets and appliances is insane. I've tried two foggers and they both lasted less than three months.

    What kind of substrate are you using that molds? I use cypress mulch with my BRB's and it's not a problem, and they have 80% humidity or higher.
    I use distilled in the foggers and the misters for that reason.
    My substrate I use for the Balls is Plantation soil, Coconut Fiber and Sphagnum Moss, one part each. Works good for me and I'm suspicious the fungus got introduced with a chunk of "TREATED WOOD" I usually bake them at 250į for 3 hours to be safe. I'm going to take everything out and scrub with vinegar and water. Then bake the wood again.
    But parts of those Vivs are a swamp.
    Some days its just not worth chewing through the restraints

  9. #7
    Registered User Trinityblood's Avatar
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    Maybe mist the lower layers of substrate and cover the slightly damp layer with dry substrate? That might lock in humidity so you don't have to mist the surface or mist as frequently. You would still have to be diligent and rotate substrate out to prevent mold. I'm not sure how fast coconut husk molds or some of the more popular substrates.
    Last edited by Trinityblood; 08-02-2020 at 06:57 PM.

  10. #8
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Re: Thought I should share this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vegan.Hiker View Post
    I have a humidifier (fogger) hooked up to an inkbird humidistat and it keeps the RH right at 60% while keeping the substrate nice and dry. I wouldnít use a mister for the reason you mention.. uneven moisture, which could lead to mold and scale rot.

    One thing that bothers me about the reptile industry is that itís not common practice to advise new or potential owners that a humidifier and humidistat is requisite. Sure, the humidity being off, might not kill a bp, but you are subjecting it to a life of discomfort (how would you feel living in a room with the wrong humidity and itchy dry skin). I also find it alarming to see bp owners advising methods to beginners like misting with a spray bottle and putting foil on top of the screen as a way for controlling humidity. These are animals that can live 30+ years so I donít see checking the humidity, spraying it down with a bottle, and tinkering with foil, every few hours as a sustainable solution that someone will keep up daily for 30 years. The responsible thing to me would be if the bp community ripped up the care sheets out there, starting listing bpís as intermediate and not for beginners, and start insisting that new bp owners have their setup up and running with heating and humidity dialed in before they bring their new pet home.

    Sorry for the rant, and Iím sure many of you will just think Iím crazy, but itís just my opinion. Yes, Iím a just a guy with 1 bp that is treated as part of the family, not a basement breeder or guy with a ďcollectionĒ.

    And OP, none of this is directed at you.
    Experienced keepers are already advising new keepers to have their equipment up and running. I don't chime in for newbies as often as I used to, but I swear I used to say that 5x a week or more.

    I've also got about 15 actual hands on years keeping BPs. It's really NOT difficult. The care sheets are often outdated and obsolete, I'll give you that. But it's important to do independent research. I remember going to the library and reading books for hours. But in today's society where everything is just a Google search away people seem to be expecting to be spoon fed info. That's not how research and due diligence work. And it's the keeper's responsibility to be prepared if they're bringing a living creature home. Just breezing through care sheets and watching a few YouTube videos simply isn't enough because of all the false info out there.

    To this point in my snake keeping years I've kept 8 different species including Kings, corns, Hognose, KSB and several species of python. BPs are among the easiest I've kept.... And guess what??? In all my years I've really never used a mister or a fogger. I never do anymore. I use substrate that holds humidity well, add a second water dish when needed, add sphagnum miss when needed and make enclosure modifications if need be. I have ZERO issues keeping my humidity in the 50-60% range and boosting for sheds. I never have to help any of my snakes shed, they eat year round (including both BPs) and never have health issues.

    I believe BPs are considered by many to be "beginner" snakes primarily due to their size and docile temperament. Yes, their husbandry requirements are a "hair" trickier than most of the common colubrids in the hobby, but only a hair.
    To me "intermediate" level snakes require much more specific husbandry OR handling skills and techniques that are generally acquired through experience with other species.
    There's more to the "beginner/intermediate" labels than just husbandry.

    Bottom line...it's up to each individual to do their own independent research, put in the time to do proper due diligence and learn about the animals BEFORE bringing them home. And then determine for yourself if you're willing and able to properly care for the animal.
    ...life is beautiful...

    1.0 Jungle Carpet Python - Cornell
    0.1 Bredli Python - Fernie
    1.0 Vanilla het Pied BP - Tyson
    1.0 Pastel Fader BP - Dembe
    1.0 Western Hognose - Cosmo
    1.0 Borneo Short Tail Python - Juice
    1.0 Anery Kenyan Sando Boa - Willow
    2.2 Ferrets - Baloo, Johnny & June and Chloe
    0.2 Cats - Simba & Nala

    1.0 California Kingsnake - Django (R.I.P. sweet boy)

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  12. #9
    Registered User Vegan.Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Thought I should share this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Craiga 01453 View Post
    Experienced keepers are already advising new keepers to have their equipment up and running. I don't chime in for newbies as often as I used to, but I swear I used to say that 5x a week or more.

    I've also got about 15 actual hands on years keeping BPs. It's really NOT difficult. The care sheets are often outdated and obsolete, I'll give you that. But it's important to do independent research. I remember going to the library and reading books for hours. But in today's society where everything is just a Google search away people seem to be expecting to be spoon fed info. That's not how research and due diligence work. And it's the keeper's responsibility to be prepared if they're bringing a living creature home. Just breezing through care sheets and watching a few YouTube videos simply isn't enough because of all the false info out there.

    To this point in my snake keeping years I've kept 8 different species including Kings, corns, Hognose, KSB and several species of python. BPs are among the easiest I've kept.... And guess what??? In all my years I've really never used a mister or a fogger. I never do anymore. I use substrate that holds humidity well, add a second water dish when needed, add sphagnum miss when needed and make enclosure modifications if need be. I have ZERO issues keeping my humidity in the 50-60% range and boosting for sheds. I never have to help any of my snakes shed, they eat year round (including both BPs) and never have health issues.

    I believe BPs are considered by many to be "beginner" snakes primarily due to their size and docile temperament. Yes, their husbandry requirements are a "hair" trickier than most of the common colubrids in the hobby, but only a hair.
    To me "intermediate" level snakes require much more specific husbandry OR handling skills and techniques that are generally acquired through experience with other species.
    There's more to the "beginner/intermediate" labels than just husbandry.

    Bottom line...it's up to each individual to do their own independent research, put in the time to do proper due diligence and learn about the animals BEFORE bringing them home. And then determine for yourself if you're willing and able to properly care for the animal.
    I agree with everything you said. And I’m sure there are forgiving regions, like perhaps where you live where RH is not as difficult. Where I live in the northeast, the air gets so dry in the winter it’s very difficult to keep RH under total control without a well thought out system. I guess I was talking more about the care sheets that look like they are written for a 10 year old. With so many people breeding, I guess I’m just paranoid about the idea of breeders keeping demand up by painting them out as “just throw them in a plastic tote, stick a heat pad on, and you’re good to go. I’ve never even seen a care sheet that says, “if you aren’t willing and able to spend the money on proper veterinary care if a health issue or injury arises, then you shouldn’t get a ball python”.
    Last edited by Vegan.Hiker; 08-02-2020 at 10:46 PM.

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  14. #10
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Re: Thought I should share this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vegan.Hiker View Post
    I agree with everything you said. And Iím sure there are forgiving regions, like perhaps where you live where RH is not as difficult. Where I live in the northeast, the air gets so dry in the winter itís very difficult to keep RH under total control without a well thought out system. I guess I was talking more about the care sheets that look like they are written for a 10 year old. With so many people breeding, I guess Iím just paranoid about the idea of breeders keeping demand up by painting them out as ďjust throw them in a plastic tote, stick a heat pad on, and youíre good to go. Iíve never even seen a care sheet that says, ďif you arenít willing and able to spend the money on proper veterinary care if a health issue or injury arises, then you shouldnít get a ball pythonĒ.
    I'm in MA, so Northeast as well.
    I think you may be focusing on "perfection" a bit. You don't need "total control" of the RH. There can be fluctuations without any harm at all, just like there are in every natural ecosystem. Nobody was monitoring their humidity at all for thousands of years, yet they outlived countless species. They don't require perfection. It's great that you're shooting for perfection, but they're resilient animals and can tolerate some fluctuations in temp and humidity.

    Of course, since we can control their environment we want the very best for them, so I see where you're coming from. But there's no such thing as a constant 60% humidity in nature.
    Here's a quote from your earlier reply...

    "One thing that bothers me about the reptile industry is that itís not common practice to advise new or potential owners that a humidifier and humidistat is requisite. Sure, the humidity being off, might not kill a bp, but you are subjecting it to a life of discomfort (how would you feel living in a room with the wrong humidity and itchy dry skin)"

    A humidifier and humidistat are NOT requisite. I've never used either. Not once in 15+ years. I'm willing to bet the vast majority of experienced keepers do not.

    You mentioned above that having a vet fund should be on a care sheet. I couldn't agree more. It's so important and I try to remind people of that all the time. But that's also a great example of why a few care sheets and YouTube videos aren't sufficient research. Actually talking to experienced keepers and asking questions is so important. Relying on multiple sources and cross referencing info is so important.

    Humidity being "off" is also a relative term... Off by 5-10% isn't going to cause "a life of discomfort" for the animal. Not to mention you talk about aiming for a constant 60. I aim for 50%-60%. I have fluctuations every day. Just like in nature. I've spent countless hours watching and observing snakes, I've never seen one that appeared "itchy". They may not have arms, but if they had itches they'd find ways to scratch, just like any other animal. I've never seen any behavior indicative of an itchy snake. Sure, dehydrated snakes may look dried out, but now you're talking about dehydration as opposed to fluctuations in husbandry. Horse of another color.

    When I started out in this hobby over 20 years ago (I took a few years off) we didn't have these forums, people hadn't studied these animals to the point they have today. The information about these animals has grown exponentially in twenty years. And it's great for the animals.
    But back then we didn't know any better. We were keeping unregulated heat lamps going, had those horrible heat rocks in our enclosures, didn't even monitor humidity... But my snakes fortunately never got burned or sick. Now that I know better, now that I've learned with time and experience as well as shared experience of others, I know that things can be fine tuned so that the animals thrive.

    I always aim for my animals to thrive, not just survive. But I also understand that perfection is dang near impossible and not required.
    Like I said, I admire that you're aiming for perfection. But I promise your snake doesn't require perfection. Though I'm sure appreciates your effort

    Sorry I just realized I rambled. Can't sleep...
    ...life is beautiful...

    1.0 Jungle Carpet Python - Cornell
    0.1 Bredli Python - Fernie
    1.0 Vanilla het Pied BP - Tyson
    1.0 Pastel Fader BP - Dembe
    1.0 Western Hognose - Cosmo
    1.0 Borneo Short Tail Python - Juice
    1.0 Anery Kenyan Sando Boa - Willow
    2.2 Ferrets - Baloo, Johnny & June and Chloe
    0.2 Cats - Simba & Nala

    1.0 California Kingsnake - Django (R.I.P. sweet boy)

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