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  1. #1
    Registered User Neko_snake's Avatar
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    Wanting to go bioactive

    Hey I've gotten my first baby ball python about 2.5 months ago. He's doing well, eating, shedding, pooping, growing. I'm so happy that I have my little boy.

    When he's an adult size, I'm definitely going to have him in a bioactive enclosure. I love the process of keeping the plants alive and my ball python happy. Even if I know he may trample some of his plants. I'm a little too excited and have already bought some plants for him.

    He's currently in a 29 gallon tub and I'm debating with myself if I want to use this first tub as sort of a test drive on going bioactive. I know it can be hard with how I currently have his enclosure set up though. I have UTH as his heat source which doesn't go well with bioactive as the heat requirements might be hard to maintain.

    So I wanted your opinions on how to make it work/ if it's worth it to start in this small of a tub when I know I'm going to upgrade him at some point.

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  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran nikkubus's Avatar
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    You are going to want to set up a separate enclosure because you need to give the bioactive 6 weeks or more to become established before adding the snake. Plants take time to establish their root system after being replanted and during that time they are especially vulnerable to trampling. Your clean up critters, springtails and dwarf isopods, take time to establish themselves in there too, especially if you are starting from a small culture of them instead of growing the culture large enough before placing it in the enclosure.

    I don't think it's worth going through the trouble in a temporary enclosure unless you are planning on putting some other animal(s) in there when he outgrows it or keep it as a plant-only terrarium after he outgrows it. If you think you might enjoy having a 29g tub for just plants or another animal, it may be worth the trouble to get a second tub and get things all set up and move him over after it's established, but one way or another you will need 2 enclosures.
    7.22 BP 1.4 corn 1.1 SD retic 0.1 hognose

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  4. #3
    Registered User Neko_snake's Avatar
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    Re: Wanting to go bioactive

    Makes sense. For now I just have some plants growing in flower pots outside his tub, I'm debating on putting those in his enclosure. So not like full bioactive but just some plants for him to play in.

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  5. #4
    Registered User Neko_snake's Avatar
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    Re: Wanting to go bioactive

    Those plants have been growing for about 1.5-2 months. I'm more worried about my family/ the cold weather (they're in our sunroom so not very insulated) killing the plants than I am about him killing them. And at least he'll be having fun if he kills them lol

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  6. #5
    BPnet Veteran nikkubus's Avatar
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    Yeah inside the pot and just kind of bury as much of the pot into the substrate as you can to give it some stability. Give it a really good heavy watering/shower to flush out any kind of pesticides and whatnot the best you can before placing it in there. If he tramples it or knocks it over, oh well. Depending what kind of plants, they can be pretty forgiving as long as their root structure is good. Pothos and similar do really well for me in enclosures because when they break they just have 5 more new leaf shoots sprout in a couple days, not to mention being really tolerant of less light since BPs don't like bright lighting.
    7.22 BP 1.4 corn 1.1 SD retic 0.1 hognose

  7. #6
    Registered User Neko_snake's Avatar
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    Re: Wanting to go bioactive

    Quote Originally Posted by nikkubus View Post
    Yeah inside the pot and just kind of bury as much of the pot into the substrate as you can to give it some stability. Give it a really good heavy watering/shower to flush out any kind of pesticides and whatnot the best you can before placing it in there. If he tramples it or knocks it over, oh well. Depending what kind of plants, they can be pretty forgiving as long as their root structure is good. Pothos and similar do really well for me in enclosures because when they break they just have 5 more new leaf shoots sprout in a couple days, not to mention being really tolerant of less light since BPs don't like bright lighting.
    When I first got these plants I gave them like a 5 minute soak in some water as well as a spray of F10 then a gentle wipe down and some more heavy watering. They all survived that a couple weeks/ months ago. One is pothos and two other beginner plants I found tutorials on how to take care of.

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  9. #7
    Registered User mechliam's Avatar
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    Re: Wanting to go bioactive

    As ye were discussing, I wouldn't try go full Bioactive in the tub. 6-8 weeks before you are upgrading the snake into the bioactive enclosure you can start setting it up with plants and critters to allow them to get established. You mentioned you have them in a sunroom so I'm assuming you wont need to experiment with UVB lighting for the plants which will make things easier (...assuming as I know nothing about sunrooms).

    If you want to add the plants to the tub there is no issues there as you mentioned you have them rinsed and stuff. Just keep in mind that you will likely be starting again because the plant might not survive being in there with he snake depending on how sturdy it is and how much light is getting in.

    If you aren't planning on putting the snake into the bioactive enclosure any time soon I'd say its worth doing though as you can see what works and what doesn't. You can always get more plants when the time comes.

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  11. #8
    Registered User Neko_snake's Avatar
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    Re: Wanting to go bioactive

    Quote Originally Posted by mechliam View Post
    As ye were discussing, I wouldn't try go full Bioactive in the tub. 6-8 weeks before you are upgrading the snake into the bioactive enclosure you can start setting it up with plants and critters to allow them to get established. You mentioned you have them in a sunroom so I'm assuming you wont need to experiment with UVB lighting for the plants which will make things easier (...assuming as I know nothing about sunrooms).

    If you want to add the plants to the tub there is no issues there as you mentioned you have them rinsed and stuff. Just keep in mind that you will likely be starting again because the plant might not survive being in there with he snake depending on how sturdy it is and how much light is getting in.

    If you aren't planning on putting the snake into the bioactive enclosure any time soon I'd say its worth doing though as you can see what works and what doesn't. You can always get more plants when the time comes.
    I've already experimented with some UVB so I'm pretty sure I have proper lighting for the plants. My snake isn't in the sunroom. Sunroom is great for sun but not so much for constant temperature so it's not very good at keeping a snake or tropical plant alive in the cooler months. Honestly I kind of figured these are "test drive" plants so if they get trampled or I mess up their care then it's okay. Helps me personally to start with one component and get it right. Then continue to the next. So like when I try to start with isopods I figure I will try to keep them in a separate container first before I add them to his enclosure.

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  12. #9
    Registered User Serpentes75's Avatar
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    Plants don't require UVB light, so you don't need to be concerned about that.

  13. #10
    Registered User Neko_snake's Avatar
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    Re: Wanting to go bioactive

    Quote Originally Posted by Serpentes75 View Post
    Plants don't require UVB light, so you don't need to be concerned about that.
    Don't know why I wrote UVB lol. I meant just regular lights. What durations/which ones work better. I was debating on getting some grow lights specifically made for plants but I'm not sure if I'll have to worry about that

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