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Thinking About Getting A Snake

Discussion in 'Ball Pythons' started by AdamMan, Mar 13, 2016.

  1. AdamMan

    AdamMan New Member

    Hey guys, new to the forum and I'm hoping someone could answer a few questions for me. I currently have a painted turtle and a leopard gecko so I'd like to feel like i have some idea as to what I'm doing but, I'm completely new to snakes. A friend of mine wants to give his 2 year old ball python a new home and I'm happy to oblige but I just was wondering if there's any temperament issues or anything along those lines getting an older snake. He says he has it in a 20 gallon tank which I'm going to fix right away because that sounds way too small for the snake to be happy. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    First off, welcome to the forum. Now, without seeing the animal, I can't even make a guess as to how it may be temperament wise. However, generally ball pythons are very calm and relaxed snakes. If the previous owner has been handling it regularly, I doubt you'll have any issues at all.
    There is a caresheet here, give it a read as it will answer a lot of your questions. And yes, a 20gal is a bit small for an adult, but these are not normally a very active snake at all, so they don't need a huge cage. For example, the tubs I use for most of my adults are about 36"x18" (well, a bit less due to the taper at the bottom) 41qt size, which is fine for even a large female. If you don't want to go the plastic tote route, a 40 breeder tank makes a good sized enclosure.
    Now the only downside to balls as a first snake is that they can have some feeding issues, and it can be stressful for a newer keeper. Even when everything is right with the setup, they may just decide not to eat for a while, whether it be due to mating season, a change in their environment, you looking at them funny, or whatever. Most of the time though, they will just skip a few feedings and then get hungry again, leaving you wondering why. A good tool with ball pythons is a digital scale to track their weight. I had a male that would typically go off feed for about 4 months a year when breeding season came around, and he'd typically lose around 150g or so. Which was nothing on a nearly 1700g snake.
     
  3. Karma Momma

    Karma Momma Active Member

    Welcome to the forum!

    Ball pythons are a fun species to keep. I have one and I adore her. I also had one years ago and the only time he offered to strike was when I scared him, but he had escaped so he was already on edge.

    In regards to temperament, would your friend allow you to come over and handle the snake? You could see how it interacts with him and then how it interacts with you.

    Darkbird is right on in regards to feeding issues. I've had mine since November. She was a month old hatchling and never refuses a meal. However the one I had years ago (back when they were mostly wild caught) had to be fed at the vet every two weeks (we didn't have as much info 20 years ago as we do now). Your friend should be able to tell you how well this individual snake eats, when it goes off food, etc.
     
  4. Ball pythons are one of the best well natured snakes, if not THE best. However as Darkbird and Karma Mama said they can be hard to feed. Make sure you know what the snake is used to eating (live or f/t) as transitioning can make feeding even more difficult. That's pretty much the only downside to ball pythons.
     

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