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Ball Python Tank Humidity

Discussion in 'Humidity' started by Frognut, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    I've been having problems keeping the humidity above 30% in my BP tank - despite regular misting. Today is total change out day - so I thought I'd ask for additional suggestions...

    Cicero is in a 40 gal breeder. The back and two sides are covered in 3/4" styrofoam insulation and the top is wood. There are a few 1/2" holed drilled for ventilation and I added a 4"x12" heat vent when it got so hot this summer. It has a sliding cover on it, which is usually closed so there is very little - if any air flow from there. The light sits on a mesh covered hole in the wood top.

    He has a container of water. And he usually sheds in his one hide and the shed is intact (one piece), but twisted in on itself so it looks like a ball of mess. Not like Athena's (my corn) shed that she artistically drapes across her entire tank.

    The current bedding is a mix of Rept-bark and Aspen shavings (the smaller sized for hamsters). There might even be some coco-fiber stuff in there as well.

    Anyway -- even when I soak the bedding, I rarely get it above 40% and that doesn't stay long.

    I could probably add a larger water dish, but it is sitting in the middle of the tank, and the light for the basking spot is to one side. There is a piece of slate under the light.

    Any suggestions for a change in bedding or something that would help??

  2. Varanid

    Varanid Active Member

    Try using the coir (coconut fiber) bedding. It holds more humidity. Just pour water on it till it is a nice chocolate brown.
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    You might double check your humidity guage with one fro the other tanks. I would not think that you would be having that low of humidity with the bedding soaked. And the fact that the snake is shedding all in one peice makes me question the accuracy.
    The rolled up skin is normal. My BPs are the same way. The reason a corn gets theirs all stretched out is that they are long and slender and they just draw it off. The BP starting small at the head and then increasing in size down the body end up with the skin rolled like you would take off a stocking.
    You might try regular cypress mulch from the garden center for bedding. It soaks up water like a sponge and will help with humidity. Aspen really doesn't soak up that much water so it eveaporates more quickly.
  4. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    I was wondering about using a bottom layer of sphagnum moss under the bark and aspen (or cypress) bedding. I feed in a tub, and I know the sphagnum holds water nicely and has natural properties to minimize mold.

    What do you think? I got to head to the store today anyway.

    I'm going to change out the temp/hydrometer now and see what I get.

    The temps are 92º on the basking spot and 83º ambient temp on the cool side -- is the ambient temp okay?

  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Your temps are fine.
    The only issue I see with sphagnum is the long fibers and it would be possible for the snake to get tangled in it.
  6. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    I know I'm being stubborn -- but what if I cut them? I've shredded them before for plants because the long strings were a pain...

    Or should I just listen to the experts and try cypress mulch? :-"
  7. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    If you cut them up I don't see an issue. Though the mulch would have more water retention.
  8. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    Okay, no sense in taking all that time to shred enough sphagnum moss to fill a 40 gal tank, if the Cypress Mulch would be better anyway.

    I'm calling around to see who has some. THANKS!!!!
  9. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Any garden center should. Just make sure it isn't the red dyed stuff!
  10. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    Okay -- opening this one back up!! It's got to be my house! (We use oil heat, and it does get dry in here... I have an appointment to have to oil company come out and price a whole house humidifier, just don't tell hubby :">)

    Anyway, the cypress mulch is DEFINITELY much better at keeping up the humidity in Cicero's tank, but just a bit and for longer periods of time. I did switch around my thermometers (boy was that a pain, I didn't realize how well I had them secured in the tanks :rolleyes:) - so I know the reading are correct.

    I want to get a humidifier for the room and had a few questions. Should I get a big one that ups the humidity in the entire room or get a smaller one and try to direct the 'mist' into the tank? They have the cool mist humidifiers - I guess that would work (??)

    Any ideas???
  11. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I would set up a smaller one that vents directly into the tank. By humidifying the room it may help,...some. But since the air in the tank is warmer than the air in the room you will still have the warm air rising up out of the tank, reducing how much humidity actually goes into the tank itself.
    And raising the house humidity to tropical levels may make you quite unpopular with your housemates.
  12. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    Thanks, Merlin! I didn't expect using a room humidifier would exactly do the trick, just help -- but I didn't think about the heat in the tank keeping that humidity out of the tank.

    ...although, the living room is MY room - so if I want a tropical atmosphere I should be able to have it! :p (boy I can't wait until we can afford to close in our porch for my reptile room!)

    Off to look for humidifiers --- gotta love online shopping and FREE SHIPPING (muhahahahahahaha)
  13. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    Welllll.... now I have another question. Or two..

    Since I'm looking at directing the humidifier into the tank - should I be looking at the cool mist or warm mist humidifiers? I was reading some reviews on a couple of cool mist's and they mentioned that the mist is cool/cold. I'm not sure I want to direct cool/cold mist into the tank.

    I plan on using the tubing from my old CPAP mask to connect from the humidifier to the tank (it is designed to carry warm air anyway, and is flexible). The tubing can be as long as I want, and I would imagine cool off as it flows along the tubing before it gets to the tank.

    I'm going to go continue reading more reviews -- too bad they are all people reviews :rolleyes:

    Thanks!! :D
  14. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

  15. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    One of the problems with cool mist units is that, unless you are using distilled water, the vapor leaves a white powder all over everything! It,s the dissolved minerals in the water vapor settling.
    I have even found it on a CD that was inside the player!
    And since you are using a tube to connect it the warm mist shouldn't be hot enough to cause a problem.
  16. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    Update and MORE questions...

    I have the humidifier hooked up and has been running for over 2 hours. I have it set on the warm mist, which took a little while to warm up.

    The tank humidity is increasing, it is now 63%, but the temps are going down -- does this make sense?

    I have one ventilation hole cut for the Heat Emitter, one house duct vent that can open and close and about 4 -5 holes cut out for ventilation.

    The house duct vent is open, that is where I'm venting the humidity - but I have the rest of the vent covered with thin insulation. I also added some of the insulation around the heat emitter to limit the size of the mesh opening.

    Basking is down to 80ºf it was only 85º earlier -which is a separate problem, but now it's lower. The cool side has come back to 76ºf (is that temp okay?)

    The humidity is still climbing, I want to get it up as I noticed yesterday he is starting to shed. But how often do I keep it on? Should I set a timer for just night time - or let it run a few hours in the morning and a few hours in the night? I know the amount of time depends on what the humidity level is that I want.

    But now I've got to figure out why the heat has dropped so much....ugh!

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