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  1. #1
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    Hopefully soon to be first time owner (research)

    Hi! So hopefully in the near future I will be welcoming our very first ball python (or royal python as we call them here in the uk) to our family, however I want to do as much research as possible before purchasing as I donít want to ďlearn on the jobĒ however Iím finding a lot of conflicting information (I also have level 3 in animal management and worked with reptiles during my course which is why I decided a royal python would be the best choice of first snake as the two at college were so lovely). So I have been browsing vivariums the wooden ones with the sliding glass doors, and at college (which is where Iím finding confusing) they had the heat matts that sit inside the viv under the substrate, but Iíve seen a lot on how these can be harmful and the vivarium should be heated underneath keeping the matt and the snake separate. I vaguely remember at college being told that sometimes when the snake slid across the heat matt they could sometimes get lacerations as the plastic can be sharp.

    also, with the sizing, I know realistically I would need a 5ft long viv or bigger, but I also remember that giving a baby snake that much room can actually cause stress and harm to the snake. Am I better buying a small viv and replacing it with a larger one as the snake grows or buying a 5ft/6ft ish long viv and then putting some form of divider to make the viv smaller and then moving it untill the snake is full size?

    also any helpful information anyone can think of would be super helpful or any brands (uk preferably) that people recommend for heaters and thermostats, lights substrate etc that would be fantastic

    thanks in advance 😁

  2. #2
    BPnet Lifer Zincubus's Avatar
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    Hopefully soon to be first time owner (research)

    Quote Originally Posted by Horsfzo View Post
    Hi! So hopefully in the near future I will be welcoming our very first ball python (or royal python as we call them here in the uk) to our family, however I want to do as much research as possible before purchasing as I donít want to ďlearn on the jobĒ however Iím finding a lot of conflicting information (I also have level 3 in animal management and worked with reptiles during my course which is why I decided a royal python would be the best choice of first snake as the two at college were so lovely). So I have been browsing vivariums the wooden ones with the sliding glass doors, and at college (which is where Iím finding confusing) they had the heat matts that sit inside the viv under the substrate, but Iíve seen a lot on how these can be harmful and the vivarium should be heated underneath keeping the matt and the snake separate. I vaguely remember at college being told that sometimes when the snake slid across the heat matt they could sometimes get lacerations as the plastic can be sharp.

    also, with the sizing, I know realistically I would need a 5ft long viv or bigger, but I also remember that giving a baby snake that much room can actually cause stress and harm to the snake. Am I better buying a small viv and replacing it with a larger one as the snake grows or buying a 5ft/6ft ish long viv and then putting some form of divider to make the viv smaller and then moving it untill the snake is full size?

    also any helpful information anyone can think of would be super helpful or any brands (uk preferably) that people recommend for heaters and thermostats, lights substrate etc that would be fantastic

    thanks in advance
    Welcome !!

    So pleasing to see you researching first and settling on a wooden viv !!

    Iíll let the others advise on set up as we have some proper experts in that regard .

    If youíre getting a small/ young Roysl would suggest a smallish viv maybe 24Ē to 30Ē ( front elevation-left to right ) and cram it with two or three hides , branches and fake foliage !

    The best tip aside from buying a digital temp gun ( £10 or less off eBay ) is to buy a good feeding Royal ... that means buying off a reptile store you trust or off someone on here who has good feedback rating and can promise a good eater .


    Good luck !!

    PS

    Like most things in life there are many ways to achieve success .. you may have to try things for yourself along the way .



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    Last edited by Zincubus; 11-22-2020 at 09:35 AM.




  3. #3
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    Re: Hopefully soon to be first time owner (research)

    Thank you I will definitely bear that in mind when shopping around 😁

  4. #4
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    Lots will chime in. Here's my bits:
    • The heat mat must be outside the enclosure. Must have thermostat. The rest of the notes below all have some room for interpretation and personal application. This one is non-negotiable.
    • The five or six feet number seems absolutely huge. I subscribe to the smaller/snug fit/security blanket enclosures. My snakes eat well, shed cleanly, and are not aggressive. My largest 2200g female lives in a 16"x24" tub.
    • As @zincubus noted, there are MANY ways to be successful. You'll ultimately have to find what works for you and your snake. My strong *suggestion* is to ensure the snake comes first in the relationship. To your specific question, I would find a way to minimize the size of the enclosure and expand it as the animal grows if you are dead set on this enclosure.
    • I also caution about over decorating. You'll have to be committed to thorough cleaning of all of those decorations. The more that is crammed in there, the more you have to clean. Otherwise your snake sits in filth and waste. Don't mistake your decor preferences for their 'enrichment'. To really dig in here, it's not only dirty, but harbors dangerous and unhealthy bacteria that will hurt your snake. Keep it clean.
      • Sorry to get overly descriptive here, but their waste comes in two primary forms, and neither are particularly tidy or convenient to cleanly remove. The stuff gets everywhere. Both kinds.

    Nice work on asking questions and researching. You'll make it work. Just taking the steps to learn will put you so far ahead of most owners. If I or we can help, keep the questions coming.

    Best of luck!

  5. #5
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    Re: Hopefully soon to be first time owner (research)

    Thank you! Very informative, I find sometimes information on different websites to be conflicting which is why I thought Iíd post here as you guys successfully keep pythons so any advice is appreciated ☺️

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    Another thing is the humidity, Iíve seen on a lot of online care sheets that it should be between 50%-60% and then On forums People saying between 60-80% do you know what humidity percentage would be better? ☺️

  7. #7
    BPnet Lifer Zincubus's Avatar
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    Hopefully soon to be first time owner (research)

    Quote Originally Posted by Horsfzo View Post
    Another thing is the humidity, Iíve seen on a lot of online care sheets that it should be between 50%-60% and then On forums People saying between 60-80% do you know what humidity percentage would be better?
    One of the key things is substrate as regards the humidity issues .

    Iíve always used orchid bark / reptile bark/ Reptibark (from Pets at Home for convenience or eBay is cheaper) .
    I prefer the smaller FINE grade rather than the larger COURSE grade option




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    Last edited by Zincubus; 11-22-2020 at 12:26 PM.




  8. #8
    BPnet Senior Member EL-Ziggy's Avatar
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    Re: Hopefully soon to be first time owner (research)

    Just my 2 cents...

    In retrospect I’d start all my snakes in tubs or avdivided adult sized enclosure. I’m upgrading some enclosures now and it’s a pain. A 4x2 is plenty of room for most BPs but bigger is cool too. I’m not a fan of wooden enclosures and would suggest pvc enclosures instead. You eliminate those pesky heating and humidity issues. When it comes to humidity, which isn’t as important as we sometimes think, the right substrate can make a big difference. I’ve been using Reptichip for the past few months and I really like it. As long as your snake has fresh water, and is properly hydrated, then they’ll be fine with ambient humidity.

    Best wishes with your new critter. As a former BP keeper I would pass on the Royal and get a boa.
    Last edited by EL-Ziggy; 11-22-2020 at 03:48 PM.
    3.2 Carpet Pythons, 1.1 Bullsnakes
    1.0 Olive Python 1.0 Scrub Python,
    1.0 BI, 0.1 BO,

  9. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to EL-Ziggy For This Useful Post:

    Horsfzo (11-23-2020),jmcrook (11-22-2020)

  10. #9
    BPnet Lifer Zincubus's Avatar
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    Re: Hopefully soon to be first time owner (research)

    Royals are perfect IF you ensure tug buy yourself a good feeder !!!




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    Horsfzo (11-23-2020)

  12. #10
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    Thank you guys will definitely keep all this in mind and refer back here as I start out building up my supplies, Iíve seen that coconut husk fibre is really good for BPs as itís not as dusty reducing the risk of respiratory problems is this correct? Also I will do research into reputable sellers in my area although for the right snake and breeder I will be quite happy to travel ☺️ Does anyone know if morphs come with added health risks? I really like the look of pieds that are 50% colour and 50% white and wondered if there are any health issues that can arise with the different morphs (as in dogs rarer colours can come with health conditions) just wondering if this is anything to think about ☺️

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