I can't take it anymore!! HELP!

osKar

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 9, 2006
Messages
12
Humidity. :wall: I cannot seem to get it right. I have a ball python in a 50 gallon tank. Desert snow as the substrate, a small kitty litter box filled with water, his hide covered with sphagnum moss, and a ceraminc heating element above the cage. He is also misted everyday, and I try to soak him once in a while. His heat temperature is right, but his humidity will be between 40-50%.

What am I doing wrong??? :?

He NEEDS humidty, and I'm racking my brain trying to find the best way!! The boyfriend and I ordered an undertank heater for him last night, so I'm hoping that will end our woes...but does anyone have a method of keeping the humidity up??
 

ChrisNCT

ChrisinTennessee
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Apr 9, 2004
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Easy...take the screen lid that sits on the top of the 50 gallon cage and wrap half of it with clear wrap. That will help reduce cool air flow and will give you elevated temp with greater humidity.
 

Hedorah99

Arachnoprince
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Humidity. :wall: I cannot seem to get it right. I have a ball python in a 50 gallon tank. Desert snow as the substrate, a small kitty litter box filled with water, his hide covered with sphagnum moss, and a ceraminc heating element above the cage. He is also misted everyday, and I try to soak him once in a while. His heat temperature is right, but his humidity will be between 40-50%.

What am I doing wrong??? :?

He NEEDS humidty, and I'm racking my brain trying to find the best way!! The boyfriend and I ordered an undertank heater for him last night, so I'm hoping that will end our woes...but does anyone have a method of keeping the humidity up??
I would try a different substrate. I don't think the stuff you are usuing will hold much moisture.
 

osKar

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 9, 2006
Messages
12
It's one of those sliding tops, though. Does that matter? And how many times would I wrap it? lol

And what substrate is best for holding humidity?? :? We have the scorpions of peat moss, which does an awesome job, but I never heard of anyone putting pythons on peat moss....
 

David_F

Arachnoprince
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Easy...take the screen lid that sits on the top of the 50 gallon cage and wrap half of it with clear wrap. That will help reduce cool air flow and will give you elevated temp with greater humidity.
That's basically what I did but I used foil. Just cover 2/3 or so of the top with clear wrap, foil, or whatever. Secure it with tape.

I use aspen substrate and it seems to hold humidity fine. Peat or coconut coir would work too but keep an eye on the snakes nostrils and heat pits; they can get filled with such small particles. Don't feed on that kind of substrate either.

How big is the water bowl for the snake? Using a larger one will raise the humidity.

What kind of humidity gauge do you have? If it the dial type from pet shops, throw it away. If it's a digital, has it been calibrated? How accurate is it in situations where you know the actual humidity?

Is the snake shedding okay? Has it developed any URIs since you've had it? If it's shedding okay and isn't wheezing or blowing bubbles the humidity is probably fine.
 

osKar

Arachnopeon
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Dec 9, 2006
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12
His last (and only with me as his owner) shed was horrible, came off in pieces. He just got over a URI, and was treated by our vet. for it. :( I'll be throwing out my temperature gauge tonight and replacing it with a digital...lol.

So peat is acceptable? And he doesn't feed in the tank, so that wouldn't be a problem.
 

Mushroom Spore

Arachnoemperor
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Oct 14, 2005
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Desert snow as the substrate
Yeah, something called "desert snow" can't be good for humidity. I just Googled it and it talks about how it "wicks up moisture," get that crap outta there. I wouldn't use peat moss, just because it's got so many tiny particles that I'd worry about it getting up into his nose and heat-pits when burrowing. Aspen shavings, aspen shavings, aspen shavings. NOT pine or cedar. Aspen, and cover part of the tank. :)

Make sure he has the biggest, deepest water dish you can fit into the tank. That did wonders for my boy, because they can get down in it and soak themselves.

Also, yeah, those ceramic heaters are absolute shit for anything that needs humidity. 40-50% my ass, it's probably more like 10% at best. I have one as a backup for mine in case of drafty winters, and it dries up the tank in an hour or two at most.
 

Tim Benzedrine

Prankster Possum
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Apr 4, 2004
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Desert Snow sounds like something you would illegally smuggle into the country.;)

I can raise the humidity in my horned frog cage just by misting it and then putting something like a magazine over part of the screen. Saran wrap is the better solution of course....but it's probably quicker to remove or replace something laid on top of the lid if you need to adjust it frequently.

I am using a piece 'o crap humidity gauge, so I tend to try to err on the high side. I too need to get some digital equipment.
 

GailC

Arachnoprince
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You can also use cypress mulch for substrate. I'm using aspen with my ball right now and will be switching to cypress soon to help with humidity.
The CHE is also drying your cage, the UTH will help alot but make sure to put it on a thermostate so it won't over heat.
 

osKar

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 9, 2006
Messages
12
Make sure he has the biggest, deepest water dish you can fit into the tank. That did wonders for my boy, because they can get down in it and soak themselves.
...I never, EVER see him soaking himself. We have a rather large kitty litter box filled with water in there now, but he's never in it. We find him around it often. Better yet, he likes to stay on top of the rim of the damn thing. Never in...:?

The irony of the substrate is that we originally had him on aspen, lol...
 
Last edited:

markface

Arachnoknight
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Apr 19, 2007
Messages
157
any ball pythons(or other snakes that need high humidity) i keep in tanks, i set up like this .







i leave about 1/4 inch open on each end and use an under tank heater with a thermostat . since my ambient room temp is about 80 degree , i dont need a heat lamp . with a tank set up like this , you can mist once or twice a week and still maintain a proper humidity level .

the dessert snow is not a very good substrate for ball pythons . it's just basically a recycled paper product and is not very good for humidity . it also is pretty dusty and can cause problems with the respitory system . i just use newspaper and with the top covered i have no problems with humidity .
 

xchondrox

Arachnobaron
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Oct 31, 2005
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BP's are nortoriously bad shedders. I agree that the substrate is the key problem here, I'd change that. If you decide to switch over to cypress mulch make sure that you dont use the average lanscaping grade as this can be loaded with mites. Personally if it were my snake I'd switch over to newspaper as the substrate and simply ad a humidity box. Take a rubbermaid container w/secured lid 2-3 times bigger than the volume of snake, pack it 2/3rds full of wet spagnum moss, and ad a hole on the side of the rubbermaid roughly 1.5 times the snakes diameter at it greatest point. Most snakes love a humidity box when it comes time to shed their skin. That should take care of your problem, but like i said dont expect its shed to come off in one whole piece, BP's are patchy shedders especially when they get big.
 

Nich

Curator of glass boxes
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Apr 4, 2004
Messages
824
Humidity. :wall: I cannot seem to get it right. I have a ball python in a 50 gallon tank. Desert snow as the substrate, a small kitty litter box filled with water, his hide covered with sphagnum moss, and a ceraminc heating element above the cage. He is also misted everyday, and I try to soak him once in a while. His heat temperature is right, but his humidity will be between 40-50%.

What am I doing wrong??? :?

He NEEDS humidty, and I'm racking my brain trying to find the best way!! The boyfriend and I ordered an undertank heater for him last night, so I'm hoping that will end our woes...but does anyone have a method of keeping the humidity up??

If you have expensive (or realtive to you budget) herps, you should buy a simple humidifier, and run it in the room. A nice one runs $50 at walmart, and can be set to within afew %. All heat lamps literally "fry" th air like a space heater, the humidity level of the room is much easier and efficeint to maintain than that of the cage. If its not suitable to keep the humidity in the room, then use heat cord on a thermostat under the water tub for genral tank temp rather than a heat lamo for the ambient tank temo and the basking source. The tub will heat up slower, but keep the temp more stable and provide more humidity through evap. I just re read the post, if you using an undertank heater you need a thermostat with an auto cuttoff. uth's are prone to bringing the tank over 110. A $70 investment is worth it, if you cant afford that.....you should find a side hussle.....= P
 

Avic_Addict

Arachnosquire
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Apr 2, 2007
Messages
84
When fitting your under tank heater, make sure that it is just that - under the tank. Some people make the mistake of putting it inside the tank, and this is very dangerous for boids as being heavy-bodied they will sit on them and burn themselves easily.
 

Penna

Arachnopeon
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May 4, 2007
Messages
29
I'd go with aspen bedding, daily misting and a towel/moist towel over the top. If hes usually a bad shedder lining his hide with moist paper towels (Changed daily) when hes going into shed/blue eyed can usually help alot.
 

ErikH

Arachnoangel
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Mar 8, 2006
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What is the ambient room temperature where you keep the tank? If it isn't too cool, using an under tank heater is the way to go. That ceramic heater is sucking the moisture out of the tank, and it wouldn't matter if your room has 100% humitity, you'll never get it above 40-50%. If you need to use the ceramic heater or heat lamp (I do), cover 2/3 of the top with foil or shelf contact paper, and put a second water dish right under the lamp. That should get you up to around 60% or so. Lose the desert sand, use aspen or newspaper for substrate. You can also make a humid hide. Get a ziplock or rubbermaid container big enough so that your snake can use it as a hide. Cut a hole in it for him to get in and out (preferably in the side) and put peat moss on the bottom and keep it moist.
 

osKar

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 9, 2006
Messages
12
I'm definitely going to cover the top of the tank and get an UTH. If I have that, do I still need the CHE? :confused:

Also, I've heard cypress mulch can be used to provide more humidity...true?
 

Mushroom Spore

Arachnoemperor
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I'm definitely going to cover the top of the tank and get an UTH. If I have that, do I still need the CHE? :confused:
Not unless you want twice the heat in your tank. You don't. {D

Besides, that would kind of defeat the purpose of getting a UTH that doesn't dry up the air so much, if you're still running the thing that dries out the tank. :)
 

osKar

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 9, 2006
Messages
12
So he only needs one source of heat on one side of the tank? :?
 
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