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Hope Springs Eternal...

Discussion in 'Ball Pythons' started by Frognut, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    Many of you know how badly I want a snake - and how opposed my hubby is to the idea. The doc I work for is dead set on getting hubby over this and is planning on getting me a small ringneck. Which would be fine!

    However my real desire would be for a ball python... today hubby called me and said one of his co-workers ball python just laid 3 eggs. He wouldn't have said anything if he wasn't trying to come to grips with the idea.... I am soooo hopeful.

    Anyway - questions....
    Is a baby ball python a good idea for a beginner snake person?

    Reading the care sheet, I gather the temps are the same as my leopard geckos but with more humidity -- so I need to figure out how to increase humidity in a glass tank with a screen lid.

    Tank size -- what size would be ok to start with, how fast do they grow. I have an empty 20 gallon - would that be ok for a baby, and for how long. What would be the ideal size for the final tank?

    I'm also confused on the substrate. I thought they liked to burrow but most suggestions remain non particulate? A bark-type substrate would help my humidity issue, but what about cleaning? How often would that need to happen? I would expect that I would feed out of the tank no matter what the substrate.

    Sorry about all the questions on a slim hope -- but I can't help it.....:rolleyes:;)
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Steph you would do fine. You already are aware of the feeding issues and fasting. A 20 will do the snake just fine for quite a while with a 40 gallon being good for them as an adult. The screen lid is not a good choice because of humidity control but can be worked with.
    Wood substrates are fine if you take the snake out for feeding. I use aspen.
    They will only make a mess once every week or so.
  3. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    Cool, thanks Merlin! Now I'll just sit back and keep my fingers crossed! The final tank would be just what it would need - but I have two transplants (My Skink and Cresties) to get done before the snake I don't even have permission to get yet... :rolleyes:

    There really must be something wrong with me! :D
  4. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I think its just the kind of people you associate with!
  5. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    *snort* you ain't kidding -- LOL!!! :D
  6. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    wood lid my dear. wood lid. have I not taught you anything? ;)
  7. Orca

    Orca Elite Member

    Beginner snake? Not at all. But like Merlin nicely put, you are intelligent and have reptile experience so you'll be fine. And you do have us to fall back on ;)
  8. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    I know, I know - I have a wood lid for my leopards that I never got around to finishing..... :rolleyes:

    Thanks for the confidence -- and I have a feeling that this wonderful group of people is EXACTLY who Merlin was referring to... LOL ;)
  9. Uamenti09

    Uamenti09 Elite Member

    I'd say ball python is a beginner all the python like pastel and all morphs fit into 40 gal as an adult?
  10. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    BP's are not really the best for beginners. The picky eating and the winter fasting drives newbies crazy with worry.

    Morphs are just colors. They are all the same snake.
  11. hennisntacanibal

    hennisntacanibal Elite Member

    I'm planning on retro fitting my screen top to have cardboard fastened to the inside. Hopefully that will help with humidity. Right now I'm misting all the time, and I keep a sheet over the top that seems to work pretty well. Maybe you could do that, Stephanie, instead of getting a whole new cover.
  12. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Don't use cardboard. The humidity will make the paper mold. A thin sheet of acrylic or sealed wood would be better.
  13. hennisntacanibal

    hennisntacanibal Elite Member

    Okay. That's a better idea. :)
  14. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    Stephanie, I have my fingers crossed for you!!!!! I really hope your husband lets you get the baby snake. If there is anything I can help you with, you only have to ask. As Merlin and Orca stated, we are all here for you. I personally use newspaper for substrate and I feed inside their enclosure. As yet I have never had one mistake me for food whenever I open their cages. I may be a lucky one, but I feed all my snakes that way- except for 2 of the corns which are housed together and I separate them feeding one in the cage and one in a travel container.
  15. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    Thanks David, I'm going to need all the help I can get....

    Although, some bad news - the eggs were not fertile!:( However, this has started us down the path of major family discussion on the topic - so it's not a closed thing. (And the Herp show here is next weekend!)

    I like the idea of non-particulate, as it keeps coming up for suggestion. I'm looking into the reptile carpet.

    Question on tank size. Is length and width the primary factors with Ball Pythons? Would a 55gal that has 1ft more length but 6" narrower be better or worse then the 40 gal breeder? I seem to prefer larger more space on the floor, so I can add hides and stuff to my tanks.

    Is height something they would utilize, if I provided sturdy branches to climb on?

    I know I'm asking a ton of questions with the strong possibility of still getting a NO from hubby -- but if I catch him at a weak moment - I want to be prepared to jump on it!! ;)
  16. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Though largely terrestrial, they will climb a bit.
    I have my adult pair in a 55 gallon tank.
  17. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    The local Herp Show is this Saturday, and my hubby rearranged his schedule to make sure he could go with me. (We are also meeting his coworker who had the eggs, so I'm hoping this means he is not going to make sure I don't get anything!)

    IF I end up getting a snake, I want to make sure I have what I need. I have a 20gal temporary tank, with a couple of leads on 55gal and/or 40 gal breeder).

    I'm making a hide out of flat fieldstones so I have a large flat rock on the top for basking and supported with other rocks angled down to touch the ground, with an opening for the snake to climb inside. (all siliconed for stability). How big around should I make the hide part - so the snake can climb in even when he is full grown? Should that hide be the humid one since it will be over/under the heat source - or should I make a separate one for his humid hide?

    I'm going to go with repti - carpet (2 pieces) and a large water dish. I also plan on adding large sturdy branches for climbing.

    For lighting, I use and UTH and a heat lamp in my 55gal Gecko tank to maintain a 90f basking temp - would you recommend a UTH and/or above lighting for a ball python? Also a florescent light for a daytime cycle.

    Do I care if I get a male or female?

    Going to a show allows me access to possible morphs and I get to meet and talk to the breeders. What should I be concerned about? Some of my immediate questions are: Feeding habits: (F/T or live) and last time they ate, problems feeding and frequency.

    What else should I ask?

    Any ideas about the price range I should expect? I know they vary all over the country and morphs only add to that - but a general guess? I held a juvi ball python (normal) at PetSmart the other day that was listed for $80

    Any morphs that have potential problems? (besides the obvious cost).

    Ok, I've gotten too far ahead of myself already. But I guess if it's not this weekend - it will be soon... (the power of positive thinkin).

  18. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    BPs like their hides tight. Such that they can coil up and touch the sides on at least 3 sides so making a hatchling an adult sized hide is not preferable.
    And they won't be prone to basking in the open.
    For the humid hide I would just make one out of a plastic box. That will hold the moisture in better.
    For the first fgew months I would just use plain paper. That will allow you to monitor for any sign of parasites
    In the smaller tank a heat pad would probably be enough. You may need both when you go to the large tank.
    You really don't need a light for the day and night cycle if the room has ambient light.
    Not really. The temperments are about the same but males seem more prone to fasting than females.
    Thats about the size of it.
    Check for good muscle tone. The body should have no kinks or bumps.

    Check for signs of feces around the vent(diarreah).
    Prices will generally run about half of what you see in the petshops. Captive breds will run you more than the imports. If the vendor has a load of normal hatchlings they are likely imports.
    Which by the way flood into the country about now.
  19. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    Thanks Merlin!

    So if they don't bask in the open, I should plan on using an UTH that has cover over it? Like maybe plants or even where the branches bundle together? Or do they like total cover?

    And as far as female vs. male -- do female ball pythons have issues with producing eggs even if they are never around males (like my geckos?) I had a spaz attack when the gecko was possibly ovulating/gravid; I'd rather deal with fasting then that!

    I appreciate you humoring me... hopefully all this information will make hubby think I can handle this and he'll give in...;)
  20. LovetheBaruu

    LovetheBaruu Subscribed User Premium Member

    Yeah, but you were so cool headed about the fasting right? Harumph! Anyhoo, I am using a piece of styro-board (in that lovely Pepto Bismal pink) to keep humidity and heat up in the Golden Gecko's cage.

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