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Inherited A Snake, Want To Make Sure I'm Doing This Right!!

Discussion in 'Ball Pythons' started by mc-escher, Jul 11, 2017.

  1. mc-escher

    mc-escher New Member


    Long story short, I inherited an albino ball python from my old roommate. He hasn't eaten since March [just a thawed out pinkie, nothing since January before that when he was previously eating large mice] and has gone from 850 to 795 grams over the past two months.

    I don't have a stool sample to bring to the vet to tell if he has a parasite or not but we did take him a in March when she took him to the vet. She gave him some kind of medication and hydrating stuff [he was still hers then, and I didn't get the details].

    He's in a 20x12x10 terrarium right now with a hide that seems kind of small. From what I've read it sounds like I should either get a plastic tub or larger tank [at least 30 gallons]. He has one hide sitting over a heat pad sitting under the tank that I haven't been running because it's naturally 80 degrees in the tank right now without it on.

    I've read I should try giving him another hide on the cooler side of the tank but that makes me concerned about where the water will fit and if all of these things really, would fit in the tank.

    He's about 3 feet long.

    I appreciate any advice and will gladly give more details if you need any info. Thanks!!

    Attached Files:

  2. Leia

    Leia New Member

    I think that's too small, a hot and cool side are pretty important. And the hide is way too small.
    Also your housing and substrate appear to be very dry.
    Mine is the same size, 4yr old Bally, he's in a 20 gallon now and is ready to upgrade to a 40. We keep his hot side at 85-90 degrees and his cool side is 75-80 degrees. The hot side is where he digests his meals. His humidity we keep at 55-65 unless he's showing signs of a shed, then we bump it up to 75-80, we use a brand of substrate called Forest Floor. Mine doesn't eat for a few months through the winter usually around October will be his last meal until February or March. I've heard that's due to mating season even if they're the only snake. Also mine is very particular about his meals, he has a routine and if we make too many changes in that he will skip a meal. He eats live small rats, once a week. But we tried frozen thawed and he wasn't having that at all.
    This is what works for us, good luck:)
    mc-escher likes this.
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Your main issue. Is the temperature. You need a basking area of 90 degrees. Without proper warmth they cannot digest the food.
    And a pinkie is too small to be worth the trouble. That snake should be feeding on large mice or small rats.
    And your thermometer needs to be replaced with a good digital. The analogs are garbage.
    mc-escher likes this.
  4. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

  5. mc-escher

    mc-escher New Member

    Thanks so much for your replies! So first step is a bigger hide and enclosure-

    I just ordered a jumpstart thermostat from amazon along with a bigger hide and two electronic thermometer/hygrometers.

    Today I plan on going to Target or something for a shallow tub with a good floor area so there's room for a warm hide and a cooler end with another hide. From what I've read so far I will be drilling airholes into the lid and attaching my heating pad to the bottom. My roommate has a cheap thermostat she used for brewing beer and I'll use that in the meantime.

    As far as the pinkies go- the reasoning for getting them was that he wasn't going for even small mice when we put him in a box with one. I also tried giving him a small mouse in his enclosure but he didn't go for it then either. We thought maybe he just wouldn't go for live prey and presented him with something frozen. So maybe I should order something bigger and frozen to see how that goes?

    I think the environment is the biggest factor in all of this right now. Hopefully the new bin system will help him feel a little more comfortable.
    Leia likes this.
  6. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Well judging by the pictures the snake is not underfed! Don't even try to feed until you get the temps right. And I would recommend trying a thoroughly warmed frozen rat.
    You want to feed an item about as big around as the size of the snake's body at its widest part. Don't let that little head and neck fool you.
    mc-escher likes this.

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