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  1. #1
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    Humidity and bad shedding process

    Hi there,

    I need some advice.

    I have been in the possession of a ball python for 1,5 months now, and things are not going as smoothly as planned.
    my bp is currently just out of the shedding process, but has still retained shed on its head and neck. Also he showed signs of dehydration.
    My humidity has always been around 65%, and I sprayed extra water into the substrate (exo terra coco husk) to bump it up to 85% when the bp showed signs of going into shed.
    I am not sure what to change in the husbandry, but i am still facing some problems that might have something to do with the bad shedding process;

    For my heat supply I am using a UTH connected to a on-off thermostat. I routed the probe of the thermostat together with a probe of a thermometer via the back of the enclosure (50 gallon/glass) to the bottom of the hide.
    This goes in order of; UTH, glass, thermostat/meter probes, paper towel, substrate. The problem that i am facing is that I cant supply sufficient heat, even with the thermostat on max (35 C/95 F).
    The temperature gun still measures around 27 C/80 F on the hot spot. To battle this, I decreased the substrate where the hide placed on, so the paper towel is mostly visible, and heat should be able to reach the surface more.
    With the decreased substrate, almost no coco husk is left inside the hide. Therefore, humidity is not retained and the humidity in the hide is way lower than the rest of the enclosure. Since the snake is mostly laying here, this is not good.
    The other half of the enclosure is room temperature. I am still looking for a solution to this, because my room does not reach 25 degrees. I dont think this has a connection to the shedding problem though.

    I cant seem to find a good balance between heat and humidity. To retain humidity in the enclosure overall, I placed a towel over 75% of the tank cover.
    I supplied him with a humidity box filled with the same substrate but way more saturated.
    This morning I also bathed him in luke warm water, sadly without result.
    I bought a plastic tub (15L) in case things stay bad and a new enclosure is nesessary.

    I want the best for this animal, and right now things are not going great.

    Please let me know if you have any advice!

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Hello! I may have a few tips!
    Though I too struggle with heat and humidity, maybe something here could help!

    I have both a UTH and a CHE, the under the tank heater thermostat probe goes in his warm hide, and the CHE is over top of it! (With the CHE thermostat probe laying on top of the substrate, outside of his hide) This way his hide is a bit warmer than the outside of his hide, and then he also has the cold side. He seems to really enjoy this, moving in/out of his warm hide and laying behind it under the CHE.
    I really do not think that a UTH can keep the warm side of the cage warm enough alone, however this is just my opinion, and from my experience.

    How big is your water dish? Where is it placed?
    I recommend having a big one in the middle of the cage, and then a smaller one (of you can fit it, I use a old ceramic hamster food bowl) on the warm side, under the heat lamp. This increases evaporation!
    I also give the cage a misting morning and night, and then whenever I notice humidity dropping again. Also, when I change his water I take everything out of the cage, give the substrate a good misting and mix it all up so its damp but not wet.

    You could also try to get some insulating foil tape, and cover the top of the cage with it (leaving a ventilation hole or a hole for the CHE)


    Other things you could try, and what I am going to try, is getting some moss and wetting that to increase humidity, making a homemade (or store bought) dripper, or buying a humidifier for the cage.

  3. #3
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    Re: Humidity and bad shedding process

    Quote Originally Posted by MowgliPups View Post
    Hello! I may have a few tips!
    Though I too struggle with heat and humidity, maybe something here could help!

    I have both a UTH and a CHE, the under the tank heater thermostat probe goes in his warm hide, and the CHE is over top of it! (With the CHE thermostat probe laying on top of the substrate, outside of his hide) This way his hide is a bit warmer than the outside of his hide, and then he also has the cold side. He seems to really enjoy this, moving in/out of his warm hide and laying behind it under the CHE.
    I really do not think that a UTH can keep the warm side of the cage warm enough alone, however this is just my opinion, and from my experience.
    You're right, UTHs are designed to create a hot spot and not for ambient temps.

    However, the UTH should be OUTSIDE the enclosure, hence being called an UNDER Tank Heater. The tstat probe also goes OUTSIDE the enclosure, sandwiched between the UTH and bottom of the enclosure.

    If the UTH and/or the tstat probe are inside the enclosure they can be moved, laid on, peed on, etc... All of which can cause inaccurate readings and potentially dangerous heat spikes.


    The rest of the advice was all good though.

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