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Concerns About New Snake

Discussion in 'Ball Pythons' started by Carly Marlowe, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. Carly Marlowe

    Carly Marlowe Active Member

    My daughter got a piedball for Christmas. There aren't any herp vets close to us, so I was hoping to find someone knowledgeable to ask some questions to via e-mail. I certainly will make the drive if needed, but if our concerns can be dealt with without stressing our new snake by travelling that would be awesome. We have been running a heat lamp and UV light by day, and then switching those off at night and running a heating pad underneath the tank at night. We have a repti-carpet on the bottom, along with Aspen shavings. She hasn't been moving very much, and last night she didn't go into her hide at all where she would be warm. This morning she was still in the same place and very cold to the touch. We have been feeding her once a week as instructed, but we did move up from a pinky mouse to a Med fuzzy because she is about the width of a quarter. I don't think the pinky was filling her up. So we have fed her now 3 times since we got her, and she still has not passed any waste. I have looked and looked and have not found anything in her tank. These our my main concerns for now, but I hope to find someone to converse with to make sure we are providing our snake with everything she needs to be healthy and happy!
     
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Welcome to HC!
    First off a pinky mouse is not nearly big enough for the snake. Even a new hatchling ball python can take hopper mice and soon graduate to a small mouse or rat pup. Also a UV light is not needed for pythons.
    How big or how old is the snake , what are the temps and humidity levels in the enclosure and what type of device are you using to measure them.
    Can you put up pics of both snake and enclosure
     
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  3. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    First, I'll just second everything Merlin just said. To that I will add that they will poop when they are ready, and with such small meals it could potentially hold it a while. Some of mine seem to just love holding it until they shed, so they can really trash the tub good, lol. A couple easy ways to help choose the right size prey for your snake is to get something just slightly larger or the same size as the widest part of your snake. Or if you have a digital scale handy ( kitchen scale will do nicely ) you can weigh them in grams and use a feeder that's roughly 10-15% of those body weight. Either way, if you don't see a small lump after they eat, you probably need to go up in feeder size.
     
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  4. Carly Marlowe

    Carly Marlowe Active Member

    Thanks so much for the quick reply..I will get some pics of the enclosure and snake and get those posted so you can check it out. So I bought a tank that had a bunch of starter things in it, so I stuck the temp gauge on the inside of the tank. It did not come with anything measuring the humidity. My house stays pretty cool inside so I hope I'm keeping her warm enough. When the heat lamp has been on through the day/evening the temp stays about 85 degrees. Then when I turn it off for her to sleep at night, I plug in that heating pad which is under the tank, underneath her hide log and when I get up in the am the temperature gauge reads about 70-75 degrees. Am I doing this right-turning her lights off at night and relying on that pad as her only heat source?
    As far as her feeding, I thought too that those pinkies were way too small which is why we moved up to a larger size when she ate on Sunday last week. I do not know the age of the snake. She came from a Petsmart, and I typically would not have purchased from a pet store. Let me get some pics on here so ya'll can check things out for me and tell me what size you think is best. If I'm judging by the snake's widest part of her body, it's about the size of a quarter or a tad wider. We went with a medium fuzzy and she scarfed that down with ease!
    Thank you SO SO much for your help and I will post some pics ASAP!
    Carly
     
  5. Carly Marlowe

    Carly Marlowe Active Member

    Here's pics of the enclosure, a pic of the heating pad we use at night, and Emoji,my daughter's snake..If you have any estimate of her age I would be curious to know.. Thanks again!
     

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  6. Kristof

    Kristof Well Established Member

    I've never had a ball and don't know if this is relevant but, I believe they require a fair amount of humidity. Also I think they need a water bowl big enough to soak in. Someone can correct me if i'm wrong. Good luck with your snake :)
     
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  7. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The age of the snake is pretty much a guess as they grow depending on how much and how often they are fed. I would say under a year old.
    I hate the kits as they are packed with unnecessary and ineffective stuff.
    The thermometer you have is known to be incredibly inaccurate. Go to Walmart or Lowes and get a good indoor/out door digital thermometer with a remote probe. Cost you 10-12 dollars. And you can get them that include a humidity guage.
    And you want the sensor down near the bottom as heat rises. Get a piece of plywood and cover the screen top except for a hole for the heat lamp. This will make controlling heat and humidity levels considerably easier.
    Your water bowl should be large enough that the snake can get in and soak itself if it needs to.
    I would also suggest more in the way of hiding places. At the very least you want one on each end so the snake can have its pick of warmer or cooler.
    And it is ready for an adult mouse or rat pup. Rat pups are the same size as an adult mouse but have more meat to them.
    Maybe this will help.
    Ball Python | Reptile Forums - Information
     
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  8. Carly Marlowe

    Carly Marlowe Active Member

    I'm on it..thanks..I figured I would need to purchase some better stuff, but for the size of the tank it was a good deal. We will be making a trip to Lowes to pick up what you suggest. It surprises me to how little they were feeding her at the store! She must've been starving. I still haven't seen any waste, but hopefully after her next good sized meal that will change. Would it help to give her a soak in some warm water?
     
  9. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, I just want to mention that the digital hygrometer with probes is very urgent, at this time you/we have no idea what the temps or humidity are. I suggest you do not offer food until all the conditions are in place. If the temps are relatively low the animal won`t be able to digest the food properly, also the immune system will be compromised (without anything to measure accurately with the temps might even be too high just now). What wattage and type are the heat bulbs, also, what are the usual temps in the room the enclosure`s in (both day and night)?
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
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  10. Carly Marlowe

    Carly Marlowe Active Member

    I will be making a trip to get the items that Merlin mentioned today. Now I am really concerned bc since we had her we have had 3 feedings--2 were the little pinkies and then the one hopper. I still have not seen any waste. So my understanding is that she was not being fed enough to produce a bowel movement, and now also that bc of the humidity she isn't digesting properly. As mentioned, I bought one of those deals where,supposedly, everything you need is included. The heat lamp bulb has the brand listed on it (All Living Things) but I don't see the wattage. As you can see in the pic I posted the thermometer is on the inside top left and reads 80-85. I also have the heat pad under where her hide is. I was running the lamp by day/evening and then switching to the pad from 12pm to 7am. Since my first post on here though I have let the heat lamp stay on bc it had gotten so cold in there, I was really worried. She stayed out apparently all night on her stick instead of going into the hide to sleep where the heat source was. She was really cold to the touch that morning, and very strange acting. I immediately found this site and everyone has been super helpful, and I thank you all for taking the time to educate me! She ate the medium hopper mouse last sunday, so we going to feed today since everyone has been telling me now that I was told wrong when we bought her and she was being underfed. Should I wait?
     
  11. Carly Marlowe

    Carly Marlowe Active Member

    also...what wattage should the heat lamp bulb be? Should I be needing to run the bulb AND heat pad at the same time? You guys probably need me to have better thermometer and humidity gauge before you can tell me, so I am heading to get that this morning and will up-date with the readings as soon as I get back. Thanks again for taking time out of your lives to help me out!
     
  12. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The wattage of the bulb will depend on how cool it is in the room. And don't be concerned about what you have been feeding. Snakes are incredibly efficient at using the calories they consume. In fact my adults will stop eating in November and never touch another meal until March or April.
    Ball pythons are nocturnal so they sleep during the day and prowl at night. And being out in the open is why we suggest multiple hides. The mat under the one hide may have made it too warm for her needs at that point.
     
  13. Qwerty3159

    Qwerty3159 Elite Member

    Anyways possible the snake defecated just under the substrate. So don't fret about the past feedings like Merlin said
     
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  14. Carly Marlowe

    Carly Marlowe Active Member

    So we are back with supplies..We got the digital thermometer/hygrometer. It came with a wireless sensor, so we have that part on one side and the digital reader on the other. We also got a new bulb for the lamp, bc the one that was in the kit was only 65 watts. The new one is 125 watts. I will get some pics again and after I had some time for it to get a reading I will post. Where should I see the humidity levels at?
     
  15. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi again, you haven`t said what the ambient (air) temps in the room are (day and night), that will have an effect on the wattage you need?
    I would suggest a humidity range of between approx 40 to 60%, it can be somewhat higher in places especially when the snake`s shedding its skin.
    Edit: You haven`t said whether the tank has a solid top?
    Sorry, I keep thinking of more things to ask about; what size is the enclosure (length, width and height)?
     
  16. Carly Marlowe

    Carly Marlowe Active Member

    No worries! Ask away! I really want to get this right. So I keep my house pretty cold..Temperature is about 67. Here is a pic of the enclosure now that I got the new gauges in it, and the bigger water bowl, which has a little opening for an additional hide. I believe that was all that I was told to get, but correct me if I missed something. As far as the top, it is mostly closed all the way around the edges, with a screen opening in the center big enough for those two lamps to sit on. I'm hoping since it's partially closed already I wont' need to seal it more in order to regulate humidity. It's been about an hour since we got the new sensors in and it's reading 80 on one side, 72 for the other side of the tank, and 40% humidity. I'm sure it's still regulating I'm assuming. Let me know if I need to get any other pics. Should I leave off the heat pad for now since I have a stronger bulb? I would like a schedule where the lights are off and the pad is on so she can have a day/night schedule and still be comfortable. Thanks!! I've learned a ton since finding this forum on Thursday and I am really grateful to you all who have taken the time to help!
     

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  17. Kristof

    Kristof Well Established Member

    What I would do is the next time your at a home depot or simular store pick up some timers. They make it so much easier for having a schedule. When I get home I can post a picture of what I do for mine.
     
  18. Carly Marlowe

    Carly Marlowe Active Member

    That'd be super helpful so I can see what yours looks like. Other than that, does the enclosure look better than it did in the first pic I posted? She seems to be enjoying the new digs..especially her new little hiding place.
     
  19. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I`m not a fan of screen tops, especially when a certain quite narrow range of temps and humidity are required, you`ll lose a significant amount of both. Personally I would advise you cover the screen as completely as possible (you can use kitchen foil as a quick fix). If you do that it will effect the conditions so obviously you`ll need to check the figures again.
    Edit: The sight of the digital hygrometer/thermometer surely do make the enclosure look better! ;)
     
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  20. Carly Marlowe

    Carly Marlowe Active Member

    Yea, I've been keeping an eye on it and the temp on one side is now 82 and the humidity dropped to 35%..The other side is reading 73 degrees. Thanks for the foil suggestion bc I was sitting here thinking of what I could use! Good timing.
     

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