Discussion in 'Ball Pythons' started by Beto, Sep 11, 2017.
How is everything going here now?
And by the way, what is that substrate?
Hello, so far so good! I waited 2 weeks after the vomiting and just fed her this past Friday. I fed her a small F/T mouse and she ate it without a problem. I picked up some digital thermometers, covered most of the screen on top, and also covered some of the tank. Temps have been good and she seems to be pretty happy with the tank being more covered, shes been hanging out outside of the hides more often.
As for the substrate, I'm not exactly sure what it is... I bought it from a pet store where I bought the snake. It was what they gave me when I bought everything to set up the tank. I did plan on changing to something different once I finished the bag. Is there something you would recommend?
The substrate could be toxic - poisonous - to your snake. I know that wood chips, especially cedar, and pine, to perhaps a lesser extent, are toxic to reptiles. So if I don't know what it is I would take it out of there and clean up the enclosure, and replace the substrate with newspaper which at least is not toxic.
Glad to hear things seem to be improving!
Very happy to hear you were able to switch to f/t. That's going to be way easier on you and better for the snake.
As far as substrate goes, with ball pythons you have alot of options, personally I love coconut fiber (eco earth or plantation soil in stores) but many keepers use aspen, cypress mulch, or orchid bark. You can keep them on newspaper too, but I like the coco fiber because it helps with the humidity requirements.
Personally I use a 50/50 mix of cypress mulch and eco-earth. Works great at holding humidity and is easy to keep clean. Otherwise I just use paper towels. Aspen works but sucks for holding humidity in my experience. And actually you can use pine shavings as long as they have been kiln dried, but not many I know use pine.
Pine, kiln dried or not, is something I advise against. It just isn't worth the risk. Open a bag of pine shavings and hold it to your nose and inhale. Now imagine breathing nothing but that for the rest of your life.
With other proven safe alternatives, it just doesn't make sense
Any particulate substrate might have a little risk attached to it if the snake is fed inside its permanent enclosure, as he may swallow a piece or two of whatever it is along with his food...just thinking it may cause a problem?
I'm not very keen on wood substrates for this reason. Anything with large pieces that can be swallowed I try to avoid. Plus I imagine it's comfier for the snake .
I wasn't recommending the use of pine, just pointing out that it can be used. It actually is likely worse than aspen when it comes to humidity though, which is a big issue with balls. And for those worried about substrate getting swallowed, consider for a moment that wild snakes don't exactly wipe their food off before eating it. A little substrate going down with the prey won't hurt a thing.
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