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  1. #11
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Is my BP starting a shed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nutriaitch View Post
    10/4, I'll get one.
    what temp should his enclosure be to get it right? and any suggestions to raise it?
    Lowest temperature ("cool end" of enclosure) should be 77*- 80* for a BP. Warm end you want @ 88*-90*F.- higher than 90*F risks thermal burns to snakes that cluelessly lay over the UTH too long without realizing they're doing damage until it's too late. Don't ask me how they avoid this in the wild...I just know that some snakes, including BPs, have been known to get thermal burns in captivity from poorly regulated heat sources.

    I suspect the heavier-bodied snakes (like BPs) may have more trouble with this because it takes longer for the heat to penetrate their heavier body, & by the time they really feel it, their outer skin layers are damaged. I'm mostly a colubrid keeper (slimmer snakes) & have never personally had this happen, but I know many keepers have, from my years of being on snake forums. Ask any herp vet too- this is something they regularly see. Burns are painful, slow to heal, & may result in infections & even death. IE. they're no fun for you or your pets, & require veterinary treatment & $ to heal.

    Every situation is different- a cooler room or home will influence how hard or easy it is to keep an enclosure warm, as will the materials the enclosure is made of, the amount of substrate, & any insulating materials used around it. This is why we strongly suggest that everyone set up their enclosure (completely, how it will be when occupied) for at least a week BEFORE it's occupied, so you can adjust the thermostat adequately without risking the health of the occupant. It takes time for everything- the substrate & furnishings & all nearby surfaces outside the enclosure to absorb warmth & get up to speed, & if they need tweaked, it takes more time for the temps. to settle again so you get accurate readings. (I know, that ship has sailed...but maybe next time?)

    What kind of heat are you using? That makes a huge difference too. Understand that if you're using UTH (under tank heat) & your substrate is too deep (over 1/2") it acts as an insulator- that is, it prevents heat from rising into the enclosure- not what you want or what the snake needs. I know deep substrate looks cool & some snakes like to dig in it, but it's not good over UTH.

    How you set up the probe for a t-stat is very important too- it needs to be outside the enclosure (between the UTH & underside of enclosure) & you adjust the t-stat to get the temperature you need INSIDE, on the bottom surface where the snake will touch -assuming he/she shoves any substrate aside. Like I said before, you MUST have an accurate temp. gun, & also a t-stat to keep the heat at a safe level- it's essential so you don't harm your snake. Unregulated heat devices get crazy hot, especially if they're not set up right (deep substrate can make them overheat & fail.) This all gets easier- & believe me, I know that pet stores rarely give you enough information to successfully keep a pet snake. Selling stuff is what they do- the rest is up to you.

    BTW, if one heat source isn't enough, you might need 2. (UTH + over-head heat source of some type) It depends on your room/home temperatures- & that includes A/C in the summer, not just winter temps. Keeping your snake's home far away from A/C vents will help, but if you like your home to be cool in the summer, that's just more heat that your snake's home will need.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 04-10-2024 at 12:46 AM.
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    Homebody (04-10-2024)

  3. #12
    BPnet Veteran Homebody's Avatar
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    Re: Is my BP starting a shed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nutriaitch View Post
    what temp should his enclosure be to get it right? and any suggestions to raise it?
    This forum has an excellent caresheet with basic information on ball python care: https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...ius)-Caresheet.

    Post a pic of your enclosure with a brief description of your heating elements and thermostats, and I'm sure we can give you some suggestions on how you could raise the temp.
    Last edited by Homebody; 04-10-2024 at 08:38 AM.
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  4. #13
    BPnet Veteran Malum Argenteum's Avatar
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    Re: Is my BP starting a shed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Don't ask me how they avoid this in the wild...I just know that some snakes, including BPs, have been known to get thermal burns in captivity from poorly regulated heat sources.

    I suspect the heavier-bodied snakes (like BPs) may have more trouble with this because it takes longer for the heat to penetrate their heavier body, & by the time they really feel it, their outer skin layers are damaged.
    That last part is probably a clue as to why wild conditions don't (or do they? do we have reliable data on wild snakes?) lead to thermal burns. Wild conditions are going to be more uniform over moderate sized areas. If it is 100F in some area that area is probably pretty big and the air there is hot too, so the the snake (a) isn't coming into the area with a cold body, and (b) is going to heat both relatively quickly and (c) do so through radiant, convective and conductive heat. A wild snake is also likely to have a very wide choice of thermal gradient options (all the options in hundreds of square meters, at least).

    Compare this to captive conditions where the cool side is pretty cool, and the snake is often supposed to warm itself mostly only through conductive heat (all the while loosing heat on its back side to the cooler air). This (that is, the relative heat gain/loss, as well as the the time needed to change body temp) is going to be more of a problem with a snake that has a lower surface to mass ratio like a BP. Add to this the fact that a captive snake is usually only given the choice between one cool spot and one warm spot (maybe a couple in the better enclosures, but 1000x less choice than in the wild), and it is no surprise that snakes have issues.
    Last edited by Malum Argenteum; 04-10-2024 at 08:54 AM.

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    Bogertophis (04-10-2024),Homebody (04-10-2024)

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