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Any Reason For A Father To Fret?

Discussion in 'Ball Pythons' started by scoot, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. scoot

    scoot Active Member

    I've had my little ghost-head ball python, Buddy, since April 15th and he's in perfect condition, as confirmed by the vet I visited maybe a month and a half ago. Eats every week, growing bigger (even if a tad slowly), but I always have a few questions, no matter how many articles and threads I read.

    1. When is it time to upgrade their enclosure? He's still in his first tank that he came with from the store as a package (30 x 12) and I think he's yet to grow out of it.

    2. Is light really that important? I've read about experienced breeders and traders raising their ball pythons in complete darkness. I give Buddy as much light as I can without running up the electricity bill in my apartment (heat lamp is on sometimes, mostly for the lizards I also have).

    3. Only my concern as of today (8.6.15), I gave Buddy a bath and when I took him out, he was whistling a little. At first, I was concerned and perhaps I still am, but it stopped after a minute of observing him and it's now gone. He's in his tank, under his log, and there's no further noises. Still, being as paranoid as I am, I still scheduled a vet appointment for Tuesday.

    4. Are there any tips or tricks to raising a ball python with a small budget?
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Specific lighting is not required with BPs only that they have a light/dark cycle. I don't know of anyone who keeps their snakes in complete darkness 24/7. I just use the ambient light in the room. The whistling was likely just water in the nose.
  3. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I keep my ball pythons on racks. They have no lights attached to the racks, their enclosures are made of clear plastic, and they get ambient light from the room (which is lit with a south-facing window and other terrariums) to provide them, and all my herps, with a natural photoperiod.

    As merlin stated, the whistling is most likely from water in the nose after a bath. You will sometimes also hear it prior to a shed, when the skin is loosening in the nostrils, causing breathing to make a whistling sound.

    How long is he? 12x30 sounds like it is a 20 long tank (much more floor space as opposed to a 20 tall). It should last him almost until adulthood. You are certain he is male? (Males don't get quite as large as females)

    The best advice for raising reptiles on a shoestring budget is to learn how to make everything yourself. Pet stores charge an arm and a leg for their stuff. If you want a new branch for his enclosure, go cut one, or scavenge one. you can buy water dishes from garage sales and dollar stores. Make a cave by cutting or breaking a piece off the edge of a flower pot or plastic Tupperware style bin, and turning it upside down. Buy lamps and sprayers from the hardware instead of the pet store.

    Make sure the cage is über efficient, so you aren't wasting excess power to make up for heat loss. (The biggest problem with most tanks, as most come with screen lids.) heat rises. If the lid is screen, it's all leaving your tank. Look for old furniture that can be converted into a decent enclosure with a little work. Dressers, TV cabinets, shelves, etc, can be converted, by adding a set of sliding glass doors to the front of them, and making the inside watertight. Front opening enclosures lose much less heat and humidity than top opening ones, in general.

    Invest in efficient heating and thermostats and timers. A single bulb might be cheaper than a radiant heat panel, but the power it uses, and the frequent replacements will add up to more in the long run. Having things run on thermostats and timers means you aren't using more power than necessary, as it's getting shut off when it isn't needed.

    Convert him to eating frozen rodents, if he isn't already. A bag of frozen rats is much cheaper than an equivalent number of live ones from the local pet shop. And they store much longer in the freezer, since they don't require food and water if not eaten. You can usually find a vendors selling them at the local reptile shows.
    scoot and Darkbird like this.
  4. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Deaconess pretty much covered it, just wanted to add that if your keep the humidity in the proper range, there is no need for the snake to have a bath. The most mine ever get is during cleaning if they have smeared themselves I will rinse them off.
  5. scoot

    scoot Active Member

    He sure does like to make eating an already dead mouse a mess, so he managed to get squished-out blood all over him. Definitely deserved a little rinse in the shower.
  6. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Lol, that was supposed to be Dragoness, not deaconess. Autocorrect strikes again.
    And yes they can find ways to get themselves pretty messy, but I was mostly referring to people giving them, or any reptile, baths to aid shedding. Better to keep the humidity where it should be.
  7. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Yeah, humidity trumps bathing when it Comes to shedding.

    Though you would be surprised how dirty these snakes can get. Their normal colors mask most messes, but my albino and pied show it all.

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