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Basic ball python setup

Discussion in 'General Reptile Discussion Forum' started by roastedspleen, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. roastedspleen

    roastedspleen Member

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    289
    I decided i want to get a pair of ball pythons. I have a 65 gal tank is it big enough for 2 ball pyrhons? And what other things do i need for a ball python? I have a UTH and the tank but thats all
  2. jdpFL

    jdpFL New Member

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    212
    Ball pythons are super easy to keep....we use cypress mulch substrate, and sometimes just paper lining the tanks with an old t shirt tossed in, they love to curl up under something. Heat is of course important. And a water dish large enough for them to get in. We keep them in a warmer part of the house, and they are on a shelf under our Savannah monitor, so they benefit from the heat of his basking lamp without it being too hot. Ours are kept in separate enclosures, I'm afraid I don't know what size you'd need for a pair. Good luck to you...we adore our ball pythons. Easy, low maintenance, and a lot if fun to watch and handle, even for the kids!
  3. Strange_Evil

    Strange_Evil Member

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    892
    Just ignore the 65gal, that tank is too large for hatchlins and is a big no no with ball pythons. Ball pythons like nice tight enclosure spaces, I am not saying shove them in a shoe box, but too large of an enclosure could be very stressful for a ball python, they spend about 90% of there time hid away.

    You will find it quite hard to keep a ball python in a screen top large tank. I'd go with a bin set up. Males can be kept in a 28qt-32qt tub and femals 32qt-41qt. And a breeding pair can be kept in a 41qt and breed sucessfully.

    I will go into more detail when I get near a pc right now I am on from my phone , I will also post some pics of my set and all.
  4. jdpFL

    jdpFL New Member

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    212
    Mine are happy as clams in ten gallon tanks. :) But they're adults. I do know a lot of people use bins and they work great too. Depends I guess if you want to display them...
  5. Strange_Evil

    Strange_Evil Member

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    892
    You have adult ball pythons in ten gallon tanks? How's your humidity? Your using something too cover your lid?
  6. jdpFL

    jdpFL New Member

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    One is actually sub adult and on the small side...a "not pet grade" reject of sorts from a breeder. The other stresses when put in anything else...just a quirk, comfy where he is. Lids are partial screen, perfect humidity and heat, always have great sheds...eat well, etc. Both my husband and I have a lifetime history with reptiles. We have both worked as vet techs, and actually met while we both worked at the Reptile Institute at Silver Springs. I'm new to forums here...just enjoying learning tips from other experienced keepers, and adding a couple of my own if there is something that works well for us and our herps. :)
  7. roastedspleen

    roastedspleen Member

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    289
    Thanks strange.

    How does heating work with a bin and humidity?
  8. Strange_Evil

    Strange_Evil Member

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    892
    For heating I use a zoo med under tank heater, connected to a ranco thermostat now, I would use flew watt heat tape but its too much work hooking up and all. A lot of people get the idea that the heating pad will melt the bin, but it won't. You need 85-92f the hottest for a ball python, does all the plastic in the world melt when it gets that hot out?

    Bins imo are better than tanks,It makes the care so much more easier, mmy humidity without misting will stay around 50% and I use aspen. With tanks you have to rap it up in tin foil or cover the screen up with something and mist it like twice a day just barley keeping humidity around 50 or 60 percent. And too much misting can be bad, you need to humid not soaked and the constant misting and drying out can literally suck the moisture out of your snake.

    The bins also offer a better sense of security. Being the bins are so low to the ground its like a constant burrow or hide away which is perfect for bps. Glass tanks offer a false sense of security even with hides, they are high up and you can see the snake at every angle, that's really stressful.

    Day and night cylces are not really needed, well day cycles are not too imortant. I know breeders who keep there snakes in mostly dark 24/7.

    So I just got home and was curious, so I put my bp in a spare 10g tank, she is just at 3ft and a year old, and I just don't see how I would be able to offer a proper gradient in a ten gallon with a water dish large enough to soak in and two hides which is best to have with a glass tank.
  9. roastedspleen

    roastedspleen Member

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    289
    So if i use aspen bedding i cover it with tin foil before i mist the substrate????
  10. Bubblz Calhoun

    Bubblz Calhoun Moderator Staff Member

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    2,387
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV.
    I wouldn't go as far as saying one is better than the other. Since most people that keep bps have more than one, so its easier, saves space and they prefer to use bins. But when done properly they can be kept in tanks, melamine cages or what ever.

    Especially with all the different terrariums and set ups they have on the market now days. When you think about it,.. it's not much different from keeping a baby tegu in a tank besides the lights.

    You should be more worried about keeping them together since they are solitary and finicky animals. Its highly not recommended or commonly practiced by people who know better. They stress easily, can go off feed in a heart beat and can be difficult to get them to eat again.

    There's no way I would recommend a Bp as a beginner snake
  11. Strange_Evil

    Strange_Evil Member

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    892
    Aspen is not the type of subsrate I would mist a lot. If you plan to use a screen top glass tank cypress mulch is best, and you'll need to put the foil on the screen top all day to keep humidity from escaping.
  12. roastedspleen

    roastedspleen Member

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    289
    i read in a lot of places that bp's are easy to take care of and are considered beginner
  13. Rhetoric

    Rhetoric Moderator Staff Member

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    2,197
    They're pretty easy to care for but can be picky eaters. There are all sorts of people who enjoy BPs, beginners to advanced keepers.
  14. Strange_Evil

    Strange_Evil Member

    Messages:
    892
    Just because ball pythons are labeled "beginner" or "Starter" does not mean the care should be taking lightly, in all honesty they make better second snakes if anything. You see ball pythons stay fairly small,easy to handle and are really docile. So naturally things like that make them perfect for first time snake owners to own and manage.

    When i look at my burm care and the care i provide for my bp, i have to say it's fairly similar, but the burm seems easier to care for. But yet burmese pythons are not for beginners because of the size and attitude. My burm has a great feeding response and does not hesitate and will eat anywhere, my bp on the other hand is a special case and getting it too feed frozen again was hard.

    Now i am not trying to tell anyone to go out and buy a burm or anything i am just trying to make the point why bps are good starters. Its mostly size related not care, you go ahead and toss a ball python in a fish tank with a water dish one hide and a light bulb and see what happens. No matter what you hear its always best to do your research and know what comes with owning this snake.

    But as promised here are some pics of my set up.

    My set up, nothing to fancy. I had three hides, the hides are nice and tight, you want a hide your snake can just barley fit into. stay away from half log hides, you want a hide with just one entrance. One hide on each side is important for young ball pythons, you don't want them to choose safety over the right temperature. I have a water dish large enough to soak in and some fake plants to hide under and tighten things up, its a 28qt tub. The snake in this tub was just around 17-20" not sure just guessing, but she is 1yr old and now 3ft.Only changes made was removing one hide and i still have enough floor space and will last me for arpund another yr. 28qt offers more floor space than a ten gallon tank.

    [​IMG]



    How i measure my temps, its an acu rite thermometer and i love it! Now those temps and humidity we're still adjusting, i just layed down some fresh aspen. But it pretty much how it always is,

    [​IMG]
  15. roastedspleen

    roastedspleen Member

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    289
    Sorry i cant see pics on my phone
  16. jdpFL

    jdpFL New Member

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    212
    Nice setup strange. I should have mentioned that I live in central FL...our a/c stays set at 80...(used to it and good for electric bill...lol) and the humidity in the house is of course high anyway....with a little extra heat our snakes are in ideal conditions. Let me get my soon to bed and I'll post a pic of our setup! [hr]
    My soon? Er, SON. Stupid autocorrect...ha.[hr]
    My soon? Er, SON. Stupid autocorrect...ha.[hr]
    My soon? Er, SON. Stupid autocorrect...ha.
  17. Toby_H

    Toby_H New Member

    Messages:
    1,055
    I completely disagree that BPs should not be kept in large enclosure. Africa is a pretty large enclosure and it houses more than all of us hobbyists combined... It is very true that they like tight areas, so simply put a lot of stuff in yoru large (65 gal) enclosure and they'll be fine. The problem comes when someone gets a big tank with only a couple small itmes for the snake to hide in... But a large tank with multiple hides and lots of other "clutter" will give them the best of both worlds...

    Tubs are much easier for us, but "easy" isn't always the goal. There are many of us that want our pets on display.

    If you keep a Ball Python (or most reptiles) in a glass aquarium then I do suggest blockign off the back and sides with something. Styrofoam backgrounds coated with Drylok are very easy to make and can look really good, but anything as simple as taping newspaper to the back and sides will work. Blocking off these unused windows will give the Ball Python (or other reptile) less angles of vulnerability.

    I house multiple BPs together and have no problems. I know others that do as well but I don't know of anyone who has done so and had problems... Naturally this will require a few extra steps in their care. You will need to feed them seperately. You should quarentine them seperately. You will need to supply multiple hides within each range you wish to offer (2+ warm hides, 2+ cool hides, 2+ humid hides, etc)... Allowing any two creatures contact with one another comes with a certain amount of risk, but Ball Pythons are not instinctually territorial or aggressive with one another, so with a little simple forethought I feel they can easily be kept together.

    I think too often in life, and even more so on the internet, people get too caught up on "the rule" and loose "the point"...
  18. turtlepunk

    turtlepunk New Member

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    404
    I think the only reason ball pythons are labeled as "beginner" is because of their docile nature. But most first time snake owners fail to realize the humidity needs of these snakes and just throw them in a tank with a heat lamp. sad really...

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