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My Coastal Carpet Python is Trying to Escape and Not Eating

Discussion in 'Carpet/Diamond Pythons' started by bckspc, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. bckspc

    bckspc Member

    Hi all,

    I've had my first and only (so far) snake. He's a coastal carpet python. He's 2 years old and about 1.5 meters (5 feet). He never gave any kind of problems: he eats well, he's never snappy. He's a little shy but friendly.
    In the last weeks he started to ignore food. I gave the same rats I usually give him but the simply ignores the rat or starts to eat him very slowly (not attacking and grabbing the rat but simply slowly opening the mouth and grabbing it).
    He shedded two weeks from now and I gave him food afterwards and everything went well. This week it was time to give him food again, I've removed him from the enclousure to clean it during the day as I always do and left him in my bed exploring. Afterwards he went to the his hide and stayed there. At night when he was awake I gave him the food and he actively refused the rat and the only thing he wanted was to get out. I left him out and tried to feed him outside but he seem the be afraid of the dead rat... I eventually quit.
    He spent that night bang on the glass trying to escape. I've read it's normal for them but I have him for 2 years now and he never, ever did anything like this. I tried to feed him the next day but the same behavior. I even tried to dip it in chicken soup and to leave the rat on the enclousure but it was there the next day. He still keeps trying to escape every night.
    I've checked the temps of the enclousure and they are the same as before: Ambient Temp of 23º C (73º F), Cold: 27º C (80º F), Hot: 33º C (91º F). I've used a temp gun to measure the temperatures.

    I don't know what to do. The feeding part I know that I can wait a little longer because he's last feed was 2 weeks ago but the escape part got me worried since he never did that before.

    Any comments?

    One more thing... I think he's enclousure is not big enought for him anymore, I don't have the measures here with me but what's the correct measures for a snake his size and age?

    Thank you all
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Can you put up a picture of the tank? Without knowing the size of the tank everything is a guess.
  3. bckspc

    bckspc Member

    Yes, I can but only tomorrow, I'm not at home right now.

    Roughly I think the tank has: 60cm x 40cm and a height of 40cm or more. I wasn't worried about the size because the guys at the pet store told this would be the correct size for an adult carpet but after reading a lot of forums I've realized that they were thinking of another snake or didn't botter much at the time. :/

  4. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I suspect that is your problem. That cage is too small for a 5 ft snake!
    I would recommend no smaller than a 40 gal breeder tank 36in x 18in x 16in (92½cm x 46cm x 41cm)
    But to my mind bigger would be better. Carpet pythons are more active than most pythons. A semi arboreal set up would be good.
  5. bckspc

    bckspc Member

    Ok, thank you for the reply :)

    What size would you suggest instead of the minimum?

  6. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I would go 2ftx4ft footprint and at least 2-3ft tall.
  7. bckspc

    bckspc Member

    Thank you very much :)

  8. bckspc

    bckspc Member

    Sorry, one more question: for a enclousure that size what would you recomend for heating? Now I only have a heat cable zigzagging on the bottom of half of the enclousure.

    Thank you

  9. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    In my boa cage I use a che enclosed in a wire cage.

    Attached Files:

  10. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The cage is 2'x4'x18"
  11. bckspc

    bckspc Member

    Nice cage :)

    Is that ceramic heat emitter the only heat source? Howm any watts? Is it connected all day or 12h on /12h off? Sorry for the many questions but I'm kinda new and I really want to provide the best care for my snake :)

    BTW my local retailer told me we can get a all glass enclousure of about the size you the one you showed me (give or take a few inches on the height) :)

  12. CryHavoc17

    CryHavoc17 Elite Member

    As long as your not seeing any physical signs of illness or problems I wouldn't worry too much about the lack of feeding just yet. Continue to offer food on his normal feeding shedule until he either comes around or starts loosing significant weight.

    The small tank may or may not be the problem, but I would strongly recommend upgrading him. Bigger is always better, and if you really do have a full blood coastal you could be looking at quite a large snake. Personally I prefer either building my own cages or buying commercially available reptile enclosures over any all glass aquarium type setup.

    To heat a relatively large set up your best bet is to use a combination of belly heat and overhead basking heat. I like to provide my snakes with an appropriate sized hide area that is heated from underneath with a UTH, flexwatt, or you could use your heat cable. Then i also provide an elevated perching area on the same side of the tank heated from above. You can use a basking bulb or red heat bulb, but I prefer ceramic heat emmiters. If your willing to spend a little extra radient heat panels are awesome, in my opinion the best overhead heating option available.
  13. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    When I originally built the enclosure, I tried flexwatt as the only heat source and it was woefully inadequate.

    The CHE is 100watt, and is on a thermostat holding the area directly under the CHE at 90-95F degrees 24/7.
    That is the only heat source. And the room gets down into the mid 60's in winter.
    A wooden cage, as shown is going to be better for holding heat and humidity. It will also be less expensive to just build one as opposed to buying a glass tank.
  14. bckspc

    bckspc Member

    Thank you all for the replies so far :)

    I've only tried glass because is what my retailer builds. I've thought about building one of wood but then I started reading that you need to make the wood water proof and you need special sealing that is not poisonous to the snake and I was affraid that it was all more expensive or that I wouldn't find some of the necessary material.

    Anyway I think I get the general idea: a heat source above (ceramic heater) and below (flexwatt or something like it) or just above (ceramic heater), a thermostat to regulate the ceramic heater. :)

    Thank you very much for all this information... When I finally manage to set-up everything I'll try to post a pic :)
  15. CryHavoc17

    CryHavoc17 Elite Member


    As far aa building your own cage being too complicated or whatnot its really pretty easy, and this is coming fron someone with pretty minimal carpentry skills. I built a 4x4x2 in a couple of weekends for under 500 bucks, and that was including a ton of fairly expensive heating, lighting and humidity equipment. As far as materials for the cage itself it was under 300 bucks and I found everything I needed at my local lowes. I didn't even bother to price commercially available cages at that size cuz there was no way I'd have been able to afford it.

    If your dead set against building your own there are a lot of quality companies that make awesome cages. I've got a boaphile plastics cage that I am absolutely in love with. It would probably be worth shopping around a bit
  16. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The boa cage cost me less than 100 dollars to build, not counting lights, heating, etc.
    About 50 dollars for the one sheet of 3/4 plywood and 25 dollars for the 1/4 inch plate glass.
  17. bckspc

    bckspc Member

    Nice to hear that it can be that cheap. I haven't received any information from the retailer but a glass enclosure that size would cost me around 200 usd plus heating.

    One question though, don't you have to isolate the plywood from water and if so what kind of materials do you used?

  18. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    My enclosure is 3/4 inch cabinet grade plywood. It is a bit pricier than regular plywood but it looks better and is finished so it saves you hours of sanding it!
    The wood is sealed with MinWax Polycrylic Brand water based polyurethane. About 4-5 coats if I recall correctly. You can use regular oil based polyurethane but that will take weeks to cure and be safe to use.
    The water based cures in a few days.
  19. bckspc

    bckspc Member

    I'll check the prices over here in Portugal and I'll see what's my best option :)

    Thank you all for the support :)
  20. bckspc

    bckspc Member

    Hi all...

    Yesterday when I got one, the snake was sitting still on top of one of his hidding place... I read that he might be in brumation and that I should reduce cage temp, keep the water but don't feed him at all.

    He on the same place (on top of his hidding spot on the cold side) for more than 24 hours moving just slightly.

    I only have a flexwatt to heat the cage. I read that I should turn it off 8hr to 12hr a day, besides this is there something more that I have to do?

    Thank you once more :)


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