Ball Python Help

  1. Bry

    Bry Valued Member Member

    I'm getting my first ball python on Thursday and just have some questions on the terrarium.
    How much substrate should there be? I'm using eco earth (compressed) and I made a whole block, which is about two inches! Is that too much? Will he move it around if he wants to?
    How long should I give him to adjust before handling him? I get super excited and would want to hold him all day, but I know that will stress him. I've read anywhere from a day to a whole month!!
    How much weight should I put on the screen? I ordered the clips, which WOULD have been here a few days ago, but the order was "unable to be fulfilled". So I had to reorder and they won't be here until Saturday. So it would only be for two days.
    Oh! He's a three year old male Pastel Super Stripe. Though he seems like a runt as he's about two foot, MAX two and a half. I'm starting with a 20 long. Two appropriate hides, big water bowl and of course a heat pad. I have it blacked out on three sides to help him feel safer.
    I just want to make sure I'm doing the best I can. I plan on moving him to a ReptiTerra 24 18 12 in a month or so if need be.
     
  2. Rtessy

    Rtessy Fishlore VIP Member

    Hi there! I'm not familiar with that substrate, but two inches is fine. You can use books on top of the lid, you'd be surprised what they can push off. As for holding, I was only able to wait a single day, lol, not sure if that was the best. It sounds like you have a great set up though. What do you plan to feed?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Bry

    Bry Valued Member Member

    Frozen thawed rats. That's what the breeder is feeding him. When I get him I'll ask what size. (I forgot)
     




  4. JLeeM

    JLeeM Well Known Member Member

    So, are you planning on putting the snake into the terrarium without the lock clips on the lid yet? If so, I definitely agree with the suggestion from @Rtessy. Put something on top. Snakes like to poke around at cage lids, and a ball python that size has a lot of muscle.
     
  5. wodesorel

    wodesorel Well Known Member Member

    I have two 11-year-old males that I adopted a couple years ago from someone who could no longer care for them. They do get pretty thick, and they are a very active snake at night. I would urge you to consider a larger tank, at least a 40 breeder. I have mine in separate 75 gallons and wish I had space for bigger as they use every inch once it gets dark and quiet at night. Ideally you want them to be able to at least entirely stretch out along a side, and males tend to max out at around 4 feet.

    The coco fiber should be fine and give them the humidity boost they need, but watch that it isn't kept too moist. Mine came with belly rot from being on too-moist coco fiber bedding and not having any way off it to dry out. I went with a chip bedding for most of the cage that does well in high humidity, and then a moist hide with cheap moss for when they need a boost or want to shed. Keep in mind they are tropical and like a lot of heat and humidity!

    They are also super strong. I had one get out even with the lid clips on, they were too far from the edge and he managed to pry the lid open just enough to get out, but ended up with his tail stuck because he lost leverage once he got so much free. You'll need a LOT of weight until the clips arrive!

    Balls are a really nice snake species to keep though. Easy to handle, not likely to bite, and they only poop a couple times a month (if that) and it's big and solid and easy to clean. I wish all my idiots were that easy!
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Bry

    Bry Valued Member Member

    How much weight? I'm an avid reader so I have no shortage of books to weigh it down. Would hardbacks of all the Harry Potter books work? More?
    @wodesorel I already put in the start that I already have plans to upgrade him. This is just all I have right now. He is not four foot. He is a max of two and a half. He's already bred so I know they slow down when they reach sexual maturity.
    The humidity of my house is naturally about 45-50. After some playing and testing with the water bowl full it'll be about 60% in his tank.
    I have ordered two sets of clips, so that there is a clip on each side of the tank.
     
  7. wodesorel

    wodesorel Well Known Member Member

    The upgrade size you gave is shorter than a 20 long and only 6 inches wider, which is the only reason I mentioned a larger tank than that.

    If he is at least 2 feet long, a 20 long is only a foot high, so he can get some good leverage against the lid if he wants to attempt an escape. At least the whole Harry Potter series, possibly more. I was not able to pry the lid open where mine got out, they are solid muscle. Make sure to balance the weight on the edge of the tank, screen lids are not made to support anything in the middle and can bow in or tear around the edges. Velco strips would work the same as clips and can be found at any hardware store or Walmart.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Bry

    Bry Valued Member Member

    Well thank you for the info. I'll watch how active he is and if he's as active as yours I'll get him a 40 breeder instead.
    I'll make sure to put a couple more books on there, as I have many. I'll mess with that tonight so I can figure out how much. I've been testing and fiddling with pretty much everything along the way.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Bry

    Bry Valued Member Member

    I thought I'd share some pictures :) This is Loki
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Kysarkel000

    Kysarkel000 Well Known Member Member

    Beautiful
     
  11. wodesorel

    wodesorel Well Known Member Member

    He's gorgeous!
     
  12. JLeeM

    JLeeM Well Known Member Member

    Very pretty. Definitely needs an upgrade though.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Bry

    Bry Valued Member Member

    I was talking to the breeder about what size tank I should upgrade him to and he said he would keep Loki in the 20 long. I do still plan to upgrade him, but it'll depend on how active he is to what size. The breeder had him in a tank a bit smaller than this and he said that he would rarely explore.
     
  14. JLeeM

    JLeeM Well Known Member Member

    Probably because there's no room to explore. Not trying to be rude, but that's nowhere near big enough.
     
  15. FishL:))

    FishL:)) Well Known Member Member

    I HIGHLY suggest you get a THERMOSTAT (not thermometer ) and an inferred temperature gun. They are very useful so that you don't literally cook your ball python. An unrelated heat meat without a thermostat can reach 120 degrees F very quickly!
    Also, I would join the reptile community at Ballpythons.net
     
  16. OP
    OP
    Bry

    Bry Valued Member Member

    Can you explain to me about the thermostat? I looked into getting one and just got confused on what it does.
    I almost cooked him myself:( the warm side is right at 90. So when I got him, he coiled into a ball on the warm side. I went and got a second hide. Since then he hasn't gone on the warm side. I wonder why! I just tested it and it was 110 under the hide!! So I took it out for the time being.
    I did sign up for that site and I'm currently waiting for someone to approve it or something.
     
  17. FishL:))

    FishL:)) Well Known Member Member

    Great-you will find that site very helpful!

    A thermostat keeps the temperature the same 24/7 to whatever temperature you set it at, so in your case, you would set it at around 90 degrees and it won't go above or below the set temperature at any time. It is the exact same idea as your house thermostat.

    I have the Herpstat thermostat and would highly recommend it to you!!
     
  18. FishL:))

    FishL:)) Well Known Member Member

    My name on the other site is AnnieHeart.
     
  19. DeeW

    DeeW New Member Member

    Hi I have 6 ball pythons and those clips don't hold my adults in at all. I use two bricks on both ends they r solid muscle and can push clips up. Also I waited about a week before handling them and I like aspine for their cages as it's soft on them . and three of mine like to climd and lay on limbs . I also use uv lights and heat lights on top of cage and i mist mine weekly to add humity to aid in shedding . I have had the oldest for 12 years and she is nearly 4 ft. I also never feed them in their tank . but that's strictly up to the person I heat I just don't want them to think when the lid comes off food comes in they know they must come out and get fed. I handle mine all daily and let them each out and let them explore my bed for awhile this gives them exercise I think lol. I also allow them to swim in the bathtub about every cpl weeks for 10-20 minutes and they like the warm water and freedom to move around. This moisture also aids in their sheding . mine have old display cases as cages for my 4 larger ones . I just got the two smaller ones about 3 years ago . they r very good snakes and i have never been bitten by any of the 6 .
     
  20. OP
    OP
    Bry

    Bry Valued Member Member

    I have two sets of clips on his tank and even I can't lift anywhere on his tank up enough to make even his head fit. Loki has shown no interest in climbing. I've laid things on top of my bed or holding my arm up, and he always wants down. He's defiantly a ground boy. (even trying to get down off my bed onto the ground) I seldomly have to mist his house, between the FL humidity and the eco earth is stays a steady 55%. Loki eats in his tank because that's what he's used to and I've seen zero signs of aggression. Though he does hiss, he hides his face and once grabbed he chills out. But even the breeder had this, Loki hissed when the breeder handed him to me. First time I've ever heard a ball python hiss. I handle him every few days and I lightly pet his side to see if he is okay to be held, only once has he seemed grumpy. I've never had him soak, and since his humidity is steady, I don't think he'll need the help shedding. Though I haven't had him shed just yet.
    What size tanks do you have your males in? If you don't mind my asking?