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  1. #11
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    Re: 1yr old ball python tricky transition to f/t food. Need advice/information

    Tank Update:

    Here is a picture of the current setup: https://imgur.com/a/X6HJSPF

    I have added a 60W CHE on a hanger controlled by a thermostat. Thermal probe is mounted in the middle, but slightly off to the warm side (along with the CHE). My old thermometer is mounted closer to the cool side. Ambient temps set to 82 degrees F to achieve a range between 80 and 84. Metal screen doesn't get hot at all, but ambient temperatures are within check now.

    New water dish holds a little more (less refilling) but has similar water surface area. Old water dish holds some moss to increase ambient humidity. Place-mat above areas not occupied by CHE to keep humidity in until I can get out for some foil. Still waiting for these to have an affect on humidity as I just put these in a few minutes before writing this.

    I will continue to watch my numbers closely and wait a week before trying the defrosting and feeding strategies dakski recommended. I think I am going to opt for the hairdryer method so I can scent the room a little more and hopefully pique his interest.

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  3. #12
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: 1yr old ball python tricky transition to f/t food. Need advice/information

    Quote Originally Posted by DJKFOUR View Post
    Tank Update:

    Here is a picture of the current setup: https://imgur.com/a/X6HJSPF

    I have added a 60W CHE on a hanger controlled by a thermostat. Thermal probe is mounted in the middle, but slightly off to the warm side (along with the CHE). My old thermometer is mounted closer to the cool side. Ambient temps set to 82 degrees F to achieve a range between 80 and 84. Metal screen doesn't get hot at all, but ambient temperatures are within check now.

    New water dish holds a little more (less refilling) but has similar water surface area. Old water dish holds some moss to increase ambient humidity. Place-mat above areas not occupied by CHE to keep humidity in until I can get out for some foil. Still waiting for these to have an affect on humidity as I just put these in a few minutes before writing this.

    I will continue to watch my numbers closely and wait a week before trying the defrosting and feeding strategies dakski recommended. I think I am going to opt for the hairdryer method so I can scent the room a little more and hopefully pique his interest.

    Looking much better and glad the temps are getting dialed in.

    To be clear on the on the tin foil. You would cut out a hole for the CHE and have the rest of the screen covered with it.

    Also, to be clear, you have a 88F +/- hot spot for digestion, correct?

  4. #13
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    Re: 1yr old ball python tricky transition to f/t food. Need advice/information

    Quote Originally Posted by dakski View Post
    Also, to be clear, you have a 88F +/- hot spot for digestion, correct?
    The UTH that I have to control his hot side is set to 93F currently. I just checked the surface temps inside his warm hide as well as under the UTH and the hot spots are reaching that level (93F) now (they weren't before).
    So I set the UTH to 88F hoping that the hottest parts can drop down to a more appropriate level.

    I'm still trying to figure out how to best optimize the heating to allow enough of a gradient while also hitting the desired temps. I no longer have to turn the UTH up as high to achieve the desired surface temps after installing the CHE. So now it's trying to find the right temp to set the UTH to.

    That 88F is surface temp, correct?

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  6. #14
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: 1yr old ball python tricky transition to f/t food. Need advice/information

    Yes. Surface temp. Taken with a temp gun.

  7. #15
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    Re: 1yr old ball python tricky transition to f/t food. Need advice/information

    Looking good ... set up wise ALTHOUGH if I were you Id certainly add loads more clutter in there .. they really dont appreciate wide open spaces like some others maybe do ..

    Id add three or four branches in there plus some more fake foliage wrapped around ..

    Just an opinion


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  8. #16
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    Re: 1yr old ball python tricky transition to f/t food. Need advice/information

    Quote Originally Posted by dakski View Post
    Yes. Surface temp. Taken with a temp gun.
    Okay, great! Thanks!

    I'v set the therm for the UTH to 88, though my readings from the temp gun are misleading because it is grabbing excess reflected radiation from the CHE bulb. As a result, there is some room for error.

  9. #17
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    Re: 1yr old ball python tricky transition to f/t food. Need advice/information

    Quote Originally Posted by Zincubus View Post
    Id add three or four branches in there plus some more fake foliage wrapped around ..
    Thank you for your feedback! I'm trying to source some safe branches of appropriate size for the enclosure, but I am having a hard time finding some in my area. I have one more shop to try before I attempt finding and sterilizing my own (following a list of safe woods of course).

    Do you suggest foliage that suctions to the walls?

  10. #18
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    Re: 1yr old ball python tricky transition to f/t food. Need advice/information

    Quote Originally Posted by DJKFOUR View Post
    Thank you for your feedback! I'm trying to source some safe branches of appropriate size for the enclosure, but I am having a hard time finding some in my area. I have one more shop to try before I attempt finding and sterilizing my own (following a list of safe woods of course).

    Do you suggest foliage that suctions to the walls?
    I do use the suction ones plus any others I hot glue to the branches


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  11. #19
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    Re: 1yr old ball python tricky transition to f/t food. Need advice/information

    Quote Originally Posted by DJKFOUR View Post
    Thank you for your feedback! I'm trying to source some safe branches of appropriate size for the enclosure, but I am having a hard time finding some in my area. I have one more shop to try before I attempt finding and sterilizing my own (following a list of safe woods of course).

    Do you suggest foliage that suctions to the walls?
    If you do go with wild branches, here's some advice as I just went through the process myself recently.

    Get dead, but not rotting, branches as they're best to use. Use a small saw to cut off excessive branches and any pointy parts, strip off any bark, then smooth out the whole thing with sandpaper to remove any roughness and sharp points too small for the saw. Once that's done put the branches in an oven set to 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours to ensure anything alive in them gets fried (keep an eye to make sure nothing catches aflame, it generally shouldn't at that temperature but better safe than sorry). After they cool wash them thoroughly and they're ready for use.

    One other thing is be prepared to shorten a given branch so they fit in the oven. Found that out the hard way.

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  13. #20
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    UPDATE: No Luck

    I just tried feeding him again, using the techniques Dakski so kindly shared. I thawed the rat in 90 degree water for two hours and it had thawed to room temperature fully after that. I then used a hair dryer to heat the rat and blast some of its scent towards the enclosure. Originally, he seemed to be interested in wither the smell of the food or the motion of the room. Upon moving the rat into the enclosure and moving it around with my tongs, he seemed to take no notice or care. By this point he was active and moving about his enclosure. Whenever he is awake, he seems super interested in "up." That is to say he explores the lid, stares up into the sky, and otherwise support his body in a vertical fashion. This fasciation kept his mind off the prey as the lid was open and that meant more to explore. (This behavior has persisted since I got him and has not changed with the addition of the CHE or any changes I have made so far.) I quickly hit the rat with a tiny little bit of heat again and left him alone with it for a bit. Again, no interest. At this point I tried dangling and moving the rat about again, but his attention was again elsewhere.

    I wonder if humidity has had some effect. I struggle to keep the humidity above 50% after the CHE has been installed. I've been misting twice daily, but it always seems to drop back down to around 50% within a few hours. Foil has not helped much, so I am going to try coconut fiber. Aware that this means another full week of waiting at the least, I plan on making this change sooner than later. At that point I will wash his enclosure as he is due for a sterilization.

    I also wonder if scenting the rat with used gerbil bedding might work? I hear they have an attraction to that scent. Additionally, do you think maybe a step down in size is necessary/worth a shot?

    It's now been 5 weeks since he has eaten last in the breeder's care. Apollo is not showing extreme weight loss from what I can tell visually. Here is a picture for reference taken after my attempt tonight (the light was turned on after): https://imgur.com/a/e7Tb9NI

    Any help or suggestions is once again appreciated.

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