I read the Ball python care sheets....?

sunnymarcie

Celestial Spider
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 13, 2003
Messages
1,294
and a few books:)
Now I have some questions......not too many:D

In reading the materials I have there are differences in temps
night and day...some say 68F at night, others say 10 or 11 degrees more:confused: so which is it?

The room she will be kept in never gets below 68F at night,
and for now, I will have to supplement with a heat lamp, and a
heating mat for good day time temps.

As far as heat what is too hot?

Is $50 ~US too much for a python about a foot long?

And my last question for now.......
Bedding, which is best ? Aspen or cage mats?
 

Wade

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
2,933
With pythons (and most herps) the idea is to fluctuate the temps, but it's not so rigid that you have to have presision heating or anything. For most pythons (including balls), I'd shoot for a daytime ambiant temp in the mid to low 80's, with a warm area that get's around 90, but a little higher is OK. They can probably take really high temps, but personally I'd get uncofortable with anything over 100. I prefer an under the cage heat mat or pad rather than a lamp, as pads burn less electricity than lamps, and are generally safer. I use a brand called Kane heat mats that are manufactured for agriculture use. I control the temp using a rheostat (dimmer), which has a dial that you can turn up or down (as opposed to the much more expensive thermostats that actually regulate the temp automatically). I use a digital indoor/outdoor thermometer with the outdoor probe taped to the bottom of the cage directly over the pad. At night, temp drops to the high-60's, low 70's are accaptable, but are not necessary, espesially if you're not trying to cycle the snake for breeding. Although the ambiant room temps fluctuate from day to night (and winter to summer), I always have the heat pads on 24-7 unless the room temp is in the high 80's or above.

In your situation, I'd recomend turning the lamp off at night, but leaving the pad on. Depending on the type of pad, you may already have a good temp, but a digital thermometer is an invaluable tool. Be careful with that light, snakes have been known to burn themselves basking directly under too-hot lights.

If the snake is truly captive bred from a good dealer, $50 is a fair price. You have a much better chance of aquiring a healthy, disease free pet if this is the case. Many baby balls are harvested from wild collected females and are often sold very cheaply, I've seen them offered for as low as $12 each. These are often not the healthiest snakes and many die prematurely, I certainly wouldn't purchase one.

Wade
 

sunnymarcie

Celestial Spider
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 13, 2003
Messages
1,294
Thanks Wade, I think you covered everything:) except bedding,
Aspen or a cage mat? What do you use?

I have raised other animals, various lizards, just never
had the chance to try snakes.
My daughter has been asking for one because her class at
school had one. I guess she figured I would go for it because
I have had so many unusual pets. (haven't we all?)
We do not plan on doing any breeding, so I just needed a few
of the minor things worked out . The room we are going to keep it in is the coolest room in the house. So I will need the mat 24/7
I could use a timer for the lamp. Should I set it for a certain amount of time? (12 hours or less?)
With summer on it's way, I can stop using the lamp for extra heat.
Thats if mother nature gets it together any time soon.:?
 

Wade

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
2,933
I use newspaper for all my snakes. It's free and easy to change. Aspen would probably be a second choice, the only disadvantage I can see with it is that the snake could ingest some of it while eating, but alot of people use it with no problems. It's also nice because it can be spot cleaned without having to change all of it. I do use it with my blue-tounged skinks and it works great. I'm not sure what a cage mat is, are you talking about those green indoor/outdoor carpet pieces they sometimes use in petstores? If so, I guess they're alright if you don't mind washing them once a week. Seems like a pain to me!

I'd probably go with 12 hours or more with the lamp on, especially if the room is cooler. Just don't over do it with the wattage. High watt lamps can heat small cages quickly, and the nervous systems of snakes just don't seem to be able to recognize extreme temps, espesially from above. In other words, they'll sit right under a hot lamp and burn! For example, with a 10 gallon cage, I wouldn't use higher than 60 watt bulb, if that. The thng to remember is that to hot temps will kill a reptile much quicker than too low temps. You only want the bulb to bring up the ambiant a bit, the mat is what the snake will use to really warm up.

Wade
 

sunnymarcie

Celestial Spider
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 13, 2003
Messages
1,294
Yep, on the carpets:)

I was thinking of using a 25 watt bulb and a small heat mat.
You know , the kind marketed for lizards.

Is it ok to use newspaper? What about the ink, toxic or not?

I'm going to give the carpet a try first.
Well, I think I pretty much got it covered. Now I just have to
pick out the snake in the morning:)
Thanks for all of your help
:D
 

Devildoll

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 19, 2002
Messages
267
be very careful buying any $50 ball python... there are a lot that are imported and you would be asking for trouble.

make sure you get a captive bred python, and you'll be fine.

i use cypress mulch w/ some snakes and aspen with others.

if you use any thing like that make sure you feed the snake in a seperate enclosure to eliminate the chance of him ingesting his bedding.
 

Wade

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
2,933
Originally posted by sunnymarcie


Is it ok to use newspaper? What about the ink, toxic or not?

When I first started keeping snakes 14 years ago, I was told to avoid newspaper with colored ink. Since then, I just try to avoid having colored ink face up where the snake will be laying on it. This is just my habit, I can't say if it makes any difference or not. I am not aware of anyone actually reporting any problems with newspaper, colored or not, but I have heard concerns over the inks. I've used newspaper exclusively for years and years with no apparent problems. One way to be extra safe is to use older newspaper where any chemicals have already evaporated out, and the ink will be fully dry. I've notice that really fresh newspaper will sometimes stain the snakes skin (the same way it can stain your fingers). Harmless, but not attractive! Chances are, somebody you know has stacks of old newspaper in their garage that they would be happy to be rid of that should be nicely aged.

By the way, if you know anyone who subscribes to the Wall Street Journal, get them to save it for you. It's all black and white and the pages are thick and absorbant!

If you go the carpet route, I suggest buying two pieces, so you can switch them during cleaning and wash the dirty one at your leisure.

Wade
 

sunnymarcie

Celestial Spider
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 13, 2003
Messages
1,294
Ended up going with recycled paper as bedding.
It was suggested to me by the dealer I purchased our
snake from:)

Devildoll, thanks for all of your help today at the show.
Danielle is happy as heck with her new little baby:)
I can't wait to see her eat a mouse:eek: :} The snake, not
the kid:D
 

Devildoll

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 19, 2002
Messages
267
Glad u guys got what u wanted :) hope she does real well:) it was very cute!
 

sunnymarcie

Celestial Spider
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 13, 2003
Messages
1,294
I'll feel better when I see her eat:)
Once we get through her first meal with us, I think we will
be fine.
When should her diet change, size and type of food?
Mike you know how big she is now, she's a one mouse a
week baby. :}
 

Valael

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 19, 2002
Messages
756
The thing is, in a 10 gallon, even a 60 watt light bulb gets over 110F..



But my heating pads don't get over 70 it seems.



Ugh, I hate living in a house where the temp changes so much.
 

sunnymarcie

Celestial Spider
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 13, 2003
Messages
1,294
....Ugh, I hate living in a house where the temp changes so much.


Me too! My daughters room was the best choice for the sanke
for that reason. The rest of the house changes by the hour!!
Our house faces east so we get morning sun in the front, and
it changes through the day. The living room gets really hot and
stays that way most of the day. My daughters room is 65F this
time of the year and never gets over 70F unless it's over that
outside. There is a tree over the back of the house and it keeps
her room temp. pretty consistent. My next choice would be a
basement, If we had one!!

I saw a 25watt reptile bulb at the pet store, reducing the amount
of heat that comes from the light may work.

Val, what kind of heating pad do you use?
I have an 8watt reptile mat, the kind that sticks to the tank.
It gets around 90.
Do you have the tank raised up a bit? More air flow under the tank will reduce the heat to.

Our baby sleeps under her log near the end of the mat and she
seems pretty happy and warm there. It is warm to the touch, I'd
be comfortable there:)
 
Top