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  • help getting started with a BP

    I have recently become very interested in getting a ball python. I have been doing a lot of background work in the last few weeks as I want to have a very strong sense of what I'm doing when I start. I have a few questions that you experienced folks might help me with.
    I have decided from my background reading that a homemade enclosure would help me regulate heat and humidity better than a glass aquarium, but I need to balance a size that's fair for the snake and that he'll be comfortable in while not taking up a whole room. Any ideas on dimensions? Also, how does one establish what feeding pattern these snakes follow? I have read that most eat often and well, but how much to feed at one time, and just because he will eat another, should he? Answers if you can, I'll come up with some other basic q's probably as well. Thanks!
    Brad

  • #2
    Re: help getting started with a BP

    Yes, wood enclosures do hold heat and humidity better than glass enclosures. Something around a 3 x 2 x 2 enclosure would be perfect for a ball python. Depending on how much money you are willing to spend, you might also be interested in some of the plastic cages that are offered online. They can go from $75 and ujp depending on size and who you order from. A good feeding pattern is one prey item equal to the snake's girth every 7-10 days. Once they are adults, you can move up to every 10-14 days. Keep in mind, that while snakes will eat more than one prey item if offered, by no means should they be fed more. I think I cleared most of what you asked up. If you have anymore questions, then feel free to ask.

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    • #3
      Re: help getting started with a BP

      i have had my ball python for 10 years and i keep her in a 4x2x2 enclosure. when she was young i used to feed her one prey item every 7 days. now she is eating one frozen thawed rat every two weeks.

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      • #4
        Re: help getting started with a BP

        Thanks for all your help guys. I did come up with one more question though. In an enclosure 3-4ftx2x2 what is the best way to keep the temp. gradient from the hot to the cold end right? I have never had a snake that required a tank that big. Will I need lamps at both ends, one with a lower wattage bulb, or what? Thanks again!l
        Brad

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        • #5
          Re: help getting started with a BP

          my set up has undertank reptile heat pad,
          1 heat lamp emiting heat but no light,
          1 basking light,
          and 3 hides, 1 on top of the second level (under the bask light), 1 below the second level,
          and 1 on the cooler side of the tank, with water on both sides. the water on the warm side is under the heat lamp which creates more humidity (I have a difficult time in this area maintaining adequate humid.)
          O.k. I may be a little obsessive, My babies didn't need tanks, they needed condo's!

          Lisa aka snakewife b29.gif
          P.S. it's wonderful to hear when someone does their research BEFORE getting the snake.

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          • #6
            Re: help getting started with a BP

            bll, are you getting a baby ball python? If so, you don't need an enclosure this big until it's an adult. A 4' wide enclosure is fine for an adult, but a 3' wide is all they really need. If you want, you can use this size for a baby, just be sure to provide some sort of loose substrate, like cypress mulch for burrowing, for the snake's peace of mind. What I use for a baby is a 10 gal. or a 20 long. As long as the room temperature is stable, I don't really find it too difficult to maintain environmental conditions. If humidity is a problem, that's easily fixed by covering half of the tank top with plastic wrap. Good luck, and enjoy your new snake.

            Bry

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            • #7
              Re: help getting started with a BP

              Well, if you decide to go with wood, you might want to consider a heat panel or CHE on a thermostat. Like Bry said, you really don't need an enclosure that big. A 20 gallon long would eventually house a ball python it's entire life.

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              • #8
                Re: help getting started with a BP

                HI,
                I would like to suggest you get one of those sub adult returns at the pet store, the sub adults are much easier to keep than the babies. Many babies can go off feeding real easy just from being handled to much.  Most sub adults have been converted to frozen thawed and converting a baby can be a real painful experience. I like adults they are more predectable to keep they take years to reach three feet hehe.
                 And someone spent a lot of money getting them there.
                Most babies are extremly colorful but fade to dark brown as they age. Ive found a few beautiful adults , that way you know what its going to look like.
                    Good luck
                   doug
                 ps the females are usally a little larger and thicker than the males..  :  sounds like most snakes..
                Doug

                psps never keep boa's and pythons in the same room pythons can harbor many disease and can carry IBD... Quarenteen all pythons for four months and treat cages for mites at least four months.  I ve heard of complete reptile collections being wiped out by one snake being sick and infecting the entire collection.
                :P

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                • #9
                  Re:help getting started with a Bp

                  i have two ball pythons they are about a year old now and 21/2 3 ft in length now. we keep them both in a 4x2x2 enclosure we built out of kinda like a countertop wood u know the smooth and glossy looking wood. we took a 4ft piece of plexiglass and made the front out of plexi glass and the top out of osb and it holds heat and humidity great!!!! cool side stays about 75 and the hot side stays 85 humidity stays around high 70's to low 80's. o yea if u have problems getting he or she to eat just make sure u soak them twice a day to make sure they get water and eventually they will take a meal. i cannot to this day get my two balls to eat frozen they will only take live for some reason. o well i supervise every feeding and make sure the snake is in no harm in any way with his meals. well i guess i wrote enough on this subject hope i was able to help.

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                  • #10
                    Re:help getting started with a Bp

                    I keep my Balls in 4x2x2 and they love it.....i also have a huge 7.5 ft ball in a 6x3x2.....this guy was power fed by his previous owner.....

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                    • #11
                      Re:help getting started with a Bp

                      Check out this Website. Click on the link for a pluthra of information.
                      http://www.kingsnake.com/ballpythonguide/

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                      • #12
                        Re: help getting started with a BP

                        [quote author=XzyluM link=board=12;threadid=1473;start=msg9429#msg9429 date=1050356473]
                         Keep in mind, that while snakes will eat more than one prey item if offered, by no means should they be fed more. [/quote]

                        why not?

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                        • #13
                          Re:help getting started with a BP

                          Its very hard on the snakes digestive track. One proper sized rodent is all that is needed.

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                          • #14
                            Re:help getting started with a BP

                            In response to your question about the lamps, my ball python has a cool end to retreat to. My 4 ft 50 gallon tank has a 75 watt bulb above one end and an under the tank heater under the same end. That keeps the temp between 85 and 90 degrees on that end during the day (get a timer for the light, 12 hours during on during the day and 12 hours off at night is great). If the other end is not heated at all, the ambiant temperature will still be very comfortable for the snake if it wants to cool down a bit. A large water dish above the UTH should help with humidity. Hope you get one, BPs are fun.

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                            • #15
                              Re:help getting started with a BP

                              well we keep our 4-balls in this enclosure,you could go by this one if your building one..the cage its self is 42L*24D*20H..and they are very confortable in it i might add.

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