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Looking for a Reputable Ball Python Breeder in MD

Discussion in 'Ball Pythons' started by angrykitten, Feb 18, 2009.

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  1. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I'm glad to know it isn't just mine! My females both eat fine, but this male... ugh!
  2. angrykitten

    angrykitten Elite Member

    Very very interesting... I have to say my preference would be a female. I don't know why, maybe because the python that years ago made me fell in love with snakes was a female called Sophie! But I will stay open minded about the sex.

    Another question I have is about the morph... I am really looking for a normal, but, out of curiosity (I recently contacted a breeder on line and he had "het albino" males for $60), if you get a "het albino" let's say (or some other morphs), as he/she will look like a normal, how do you know he/she has the genes to breed albinos? I mean, do you just trust the breeder on that?

    About the tank: definitely everything will have to be ready (including temperature and humidity right) for me to bring home a snake. I read some places that too much of a big tank could make the snake feel threatened in his/her environment. I have a ten gallon tank and I was wondering if it would be a better size for a baby, who could be transfered in the 50 gallon when he/she reaches a certain size. Or should I just set up the 50 gallon once per all?

    The fact is that they are some many contradictory statements out there in the net about the proper care for pythons...

    I also ordered "Ball Python Manual" by Philippe De Vosjoli. Has anyone read it?

    Sorry to ask so many questions, but I will hate to get an animal without being able to offer the best possible life to him/her...

    Where to put the tank? Initially my suggestion was the dining room, in a corner between two windows, but where there isn't any direct light coming through.
    My husband doesn't want the snake in the dining area, so he suggested to put the tank in the living room. There is an area between our computer desk and our treadmill. I know snakes cannot hear but feels vibrations...the treadmill would be about 3-4 feet away from the tank stand: would that bother the python? I mean, I don't use the treadmill more than three times per week (and probably much less has soon it will get warmer), still.

    I hope I am not asking trivial questions! :confused:

    Good day to all of you!
  3. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    No such thing as a trivial question.

    Essentially, you have no choice but to trust the breeder. A het albino snake will look normal, but carry one copy of the recessive gene for albinism. If you were to breed that snake to another that is het albino, in theory 25% of the offspring should be albinos.
    Your snake will be fine in a 50 gallon. You can provide adequate hides and cover to make them feel perfectly secure. If you already have both size tanks, then feel free to do what you like, but there really is no valid reason to go out and buy more tanks based on that idea. After all, the great outdoors where they came from is much much larger than a 10 gallon tank, and many snakes do fine in it!

    The net is full of misinformation. The Vosjoli book is a good one.

    You don't want the tank too close to windows, it will wreak havoc on your temps. Snakes cannot hear, but they can feel vibrations. It should be fine near the treadmill. Remember, no matter where you put it in your house, it will feel some vibrations. People walking through the room, doors slamming, etc. As long as you don't put the snake's tank on top of a stereo, it should be fine.
  4. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I just thought I would bring this to your attention:

    I haven't formally announced its existance yet, but we have a nice literature review section. I believe that is the book you have grabbed. The more reviews we get for books listed, the easier it will be for others in your position to choose which they should buy. Merlin and I have both reviewed that book already.
  5. angrykitten

    angrykitten Elite Member

    Good morning everyone!

    Rich, I am still awaiting for "The Ball Python Manual". I read good reviews on Amazon and this was the reason I chose it over other books. I will write a review here as soon as I finish to read it.

    Also, good news for me: a couple of friends from Philadelphia are coming to visit us for my birthday. My husband was updating them about our news and he told them about me getting a ball python...well, they have a 55 gallon aquarium plus stand that they don't use anymore and they said they will be bringing it for my birthday!

    So, free tank and stand when I was getting ready to buy one second hand!! That's a great news!

    Problem being that they will be coming exactly one week after the Reptile Expo (where I hope I will find our baby ball python)...?!

    I have, right now, a 10 gallon tank. Just the tank: no hood, no lights, no nothing else.

    What's your suggestion? I want to have everything set before getting the baby.

    No problem with water bowl, hiding spots, etc. I could easily move them to the new tank.

    What about the heating pads? Don't you need to stick them on the bottom of the tank? Also, I would probably buy a larger pad for the 55 gallon tank anyway.

    And the lights? My husband doesn't want to get a hood for the 10 gallon tank...he said that he can cut a piece of plywood with small holes and secure it on the top of the tank as a temporary solution. But what about the lights? Where would I put them?

    Obviously I don't want to go out and spend $$ for a tank that we will be using max for a week. Still, I want our baby ball to be totally comfortable, warm and happy and not at all stressed for those 7 days.

    What's your advice?

    Once again, I am not sure I will come home from the Expo with the ball python, but I need to have a tank set up (right temperature and humidity) before even going there.

    Sorry to be a pain!
  6. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    No problem. No pain involved!;)
    As long as it is warm enough AND the top is secure, the baby will be fine in a ten. You can used a human type heating pad under the tank for the interim.
    Just make sure it isn't one of them with the auto shut off feature.
    An UTH will probably not warm the 55 enough. They will create a warm area over the heater itself but really will do nothing for heating the air in the enclosure. I use ceramic heat emitters.
  7. angrykitten

    angrykitten Elite Member

    Do you mean ceramic heat lamps to put on the top of the screen? I guess I will need at least 2-3 of those for a 55 gallon. Plus the undertank pads for belly heat. I'll probably get more than one thermometer for the 55gallon tank as I understood you need a basking area and a cooler one.
    I want to set this right as I read everywhere that wrong temperature and humidity could cause respiratory problems...I definitely don't want to start with the wrong foot!
    I may ask the woman I volunteer for (Wildlife Rescue Center) to give me some suggestions for heating pads...I know for sure she uses them for small mammals and birds (well, we really use incubators for baby birds). So, you don't think I need to get a hood for the 10 gallon tank? A plywood sheet would do for a week?
    If I am already panicking at this stage I can't even think when I will have the snake...oh well, if I managed to be a mother of a 3 year old boy without losing my sanity, I guess I would be fine with this!
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

  9. angrykitten

    angrykitten Elite Member

    Thank you Merlin.

    So you are saying that a undertank heating pad for the 10 gallon would do. Once I will move the snake to the 55 gallon tank, which will have a proper hood, then an additional ceramic heat lamp will be necessary. Did I get this right?

    Of course making sure the snake doesn't escape will be one of the priorities: I have three cats and have no doubt they could kill a baby python if they find he/she wondering around the house. My husband worries about the opposite (snake killing the cats), but after all I read I think the cats would be a much bigger threat for the snake.

    Thank you again.
  10. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    When I got mine they were hatchlings and a 10 with a human heating pad was what I used.
    For my 55 gallon I have a regular metalic screen top with a piece of plywood laying on it with a hole cut out to accommodate the heat emitter. And I have clips on each end to hold the top down firmly.
    The cats would kill the snake. After a few years it will be another matter.;)
  11. musicman

    musicman Member

    Hi Kitten. I think it is a good idea to go to go to a show also.
    I got 2 of my balls from a pet shop but the person who owned it was a personal friend and a rep. breeder also. I got my other through a breeder that I met through him. Sorry to say that I lost all three due to Katrina. My son just purchased a ball through a local very reputable pet shop and he is doing excellent. BTW I kept each in a 35 gallon tank and all did well,
    2 were full grown at the time of the storm.
  12. musicman

    musicman Member

    One thing to watch out for is make sure there is no opening by your hood. My first ball would get into the hood under the light and could be difficult to remove. Just a thought. The opening was tiny but big enough for her to get through. As far as the heating pad I used an under tank heater aslthough not very much, living where I do in New Orleans itusually didn't get too cold that I had to really worry about. At the time I didn't think about using a heat lamp above the screen which would have worked just fine.
  13. MoogleBass

    MoogleBass Kittes are so nice! Premium Member

    If you do get a UTH that has the sticky back, DO NOT stick it to the 10 gallon. Tape it with duct tape or something to the glass so you can move it to the 55 gallon.

    As Merlin said, you can get a human heating pad. Just get one that doesn't have an auto shut off.

    If you really do not want to do anything with the 10 gallon tank you can always go get a tote. It would also serve a dual purpose, as a temp tank, a feeding tub, and a place to hold him if your cleaning. Just drill some holes in the lid, and use a bungee strap around it to hold the lid on.
  14. angrykitten

    angrykitten Elite Member

    Well, I already ordered a Under Tank Heater (for a 50-60 gallon tank) and a Heat Emitter 150 W. Yes, I read that once you stick the under tank heater to the tank, it cannot be removed. So I'll wait for the 55 gallon tank and I will use it temporarily for the 10 gallon. I also bought two termometers (one for the basking side of the tank, one for cooler) and a humidity gauge. Plus, of course two hides and the water dish.
    I am planning to use newspaper for substrate until someone will reassure me that a snake cannot get mites from aspen. At the pet store they told me that yes, the substrate they sell for snakes can have mites!!!!
    I think I covered the basics...of course I am still missing the ball python and the food!
    Did I forget anything else?
  15. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    It can be removed, but its not going to stick very well in the future!

    You can pop the substrate into the oven at 300 degress for 30 minutes. It will get a little smelly, but it WILL kill off any possible mites. Newspaper won't keep in the humidity that a ball python will need.
  16. angrykitten

    angrykitten Elite Member

    Good advice! Thank you!

    I also read you can put driftwood in the microwave, as long as it is wet...:confused:
  17. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    The microwave doesn't really do much. You can put drift wood in the oven, following the same directions. I do it all the time. I don't think wood combusts till 450 degrees, so its safe. I just find that you have to be sure the wood isn't touching the walls of the oven.
  18. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Make sure the thermometers are digital. The stick on tapes are useless and the circular dials are very inaccurate.
    The only way that aspen can bring in mites is on the outside of the bag from the store! Aspen shavings are dried in a kiln so anything that may have been alive is now a crispy critter!
    I have been using aspen shavings for 10 years and never had a mite one...
    Knock on wood!;)
  19. Maya

    Maya Elite Member

    For the big tank, you may want half astroturf and half aspen, just to scape it. Tiberius seems to like the different feels. He explores/naps on either.
  20. angrykitten

    angrykitten Elite Member

    Thank you Maya!

    Actually I wanted to ask you a question, as I know you got Tiberius at a Reptile Expo and he is your first snake/ball python. I am going to the Expo this Saturday (in fact I can't sleep for the excitement!) and I just can't stop worrying about not choosing the right breeder/snake. I mean, I read so much about the obvious signs of illness/diseases, but I am also somebody with zero hand-on experience.
    Do you have any suggestions? Did you speak to many breeders while at the Expo. How did you pick Tiberius out of other baby balls?
    Did you say to the breeder that you were not an experienced herp lover?
    Did the breeder give you some kind of written guarantee?

    I know, lots of questions! :confused:

    I am having second thoughts about the Expo...I am almost thinking to buy from a reputable breeder over the net.

    Also, if I buy a morph or a het rather than a normal...would I have a better chance to have a healthy snake (I mean if the breeder is investing time in breeding morphs, shouldn't he/she take good care of them?)?

    I would like to ask just intelligent questions to all of you...but I tend to worry over things and I read too much about getting a ball from the wrong source and now I am just completely paranoid!:(
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