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Thread: Need help!

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Need help!

    I'm completely new to the reptile world. I bought a 6 month old ball python and brought him home this week on Tuesday. I set him up in a plastic tub enclosure with a heat mat covering 1/3 of his enclosure, 2 hides, a water bowl, greenery and a climbing log. We are using newspaper for substrate for now. I would say he's a confident ball python. He seems happy and is roaming about during the night and hiding away during the day. He's never curled up into a ball every time we've handled him so far. My problem that I'm having trouble with is obtaining an ambient temperature of 80 degrees which was suggested. I can only get it up to 75. Should I get another plastic tub and drill holes differently to retain heat? My humidity level is around 60 degrees which is good I think. Should I invest in a ceramic heat transmitter ? How would I set that up?

    Please note that I live in New England, so our winters are cold and dry but our summers are hot and humid.

    Any words of wisdom and advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    BPnet Senior Member EL-Ziggy's Avatar
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    Re: Need help!

    Is your UTH connected to a thermostat? How are you measuring your temps? If you're going with a plastic tub it'll be tough to raise the ambient temps inside the tub. Some keepers will hang a CHE above their tubs. I use a small electric heater to raise the ambient temp in my snake room.
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    nikkubus (02-19-2021)

  4. #3
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    How cold is the room this snake is kept in? That's going to make a huge difference as to how warm his enclosure will stay. We actually recommend that you set up & test out your enclosures for at least a week before you bring home a snake to live in it...because every time you have to mess with it, it's going to add stress for your snake, no matter how "confident" he may appear to be.

    It's a "little late" but we recommend that you do not handle a new snake (of any age) at all until after they've had time to "settle in" because a new home is frightening to them and "eating" is the most important thing. You want to wait until after they've eaten at least 3 times (at normal intervals & with no refusals other than if they're in shed) before any handling. Your post says "...every time we've handled him so far" & while I understand how hard it is to not hold a new pet snake- hey, we all want to!- but we don't because the stress of a new home and the stress of handling can easily put them off eating, and that in turn can affect their health- negatively, that is. Think of it this way: snakes are wild animals (not domesticated) even if captive bred, so they rely on their instincts- and the only thing that picks them up in the wild is a predator that's about to eat them. You can see how that might make them too nervous to eat, right?

    Temperatures that are too cool will also affect whether or not your snake will eat, & be able to digest. Your "ambient" temperature of 75* is okay if that's the coolest part of his home- what is the warmest? You want a warm end of about 88* (not over 90* but not too much under) to be successful. The "middle" or average temperature in his home would be good @ 78*-82*.

    You mention living in New England, but that doesn't change what you need to provide for your pet, okay? It might change how much heat you need to add though, and for safety, all heating devices should be controlled by a thermostat. While too cool can be harmful, too hot can kill your snake, or cause permanent nerve damage, & many if not most heating devices get much hotter than is okay for your BP to be exposed to.

    And by the way.

    Also, I'll let some other members address your question of using a CHE with a plastic tub, as I'm one of those "old fashioned types" that prefers glass tanks- I'm not a fan of tubs. Not saying it's wrong or won't work- just that it's just not how I do things, so those who do will be able to give you better answers on what is safe & how to modify it.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 02-19-2021 at 12:23 AM.
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    ballpythonluvr (02-19-2021),GoingPostal (02-19-2021),Hugsplox (02-19-2021),nikkubus (02-19-2021)

  6. #4
    BPnet Veteran nikkubus's Avatar
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    Unless you really overdid it, the holes shouldn't be the issue in a tub so long as they are on the sides. If you drilled them in the lid that might be partially the culprit. I typically have 8 on each of the long sides, the size of the holes depends on the tub size, but I do have tubs with a lot more than that and don't run into heat issues, more so humidity ones so I use those for snakes that like lower humidity than BPs.

    I tend to avoid CHE in tubs for a number of reasons but if you do decide to get one, a quality pulse proportional thermostat is a must, and they are pricy. My #1 choice would be space heater in the room set to 75F, which makes it so there is a lot less the tub has to heat up from the starting point. 2nd choice would be to build or buy a rack with fully enclosed back and sides to help with insulation, and it has the added bonus of making it easier to get into the tub (no lid to deal with, just slide it out like a dresser drawer) and provide more dark for your snake to feel more secure. Animal Plastics 3 level rack is about the cost you would pay for a pulse proportional thermostat, and the one I'm linking happens to work with 2 different tub sizes, which is great since you have a growing little guy. If he is super confident and not giving you any trouble eating, you could probably get away with the 570 tub right away rather than starting with the smaller one though. Eventually you would probably want to move him to a slightly larger tub, but as long as you feed him appropriately, he would be good in the 570 for several years.

    Hope that helps! Congrats on your new little buddy.
    7.22 BP 1.4 corn 1.1 SD retic 0.1 hognose

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    Bogertophis (02-19-2021),Hugsplox (02-19-2021)

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