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Series Of Questions From A New Python Owner

Discussion in 'Ball Pythons' started by Kia, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Kia

    Kia Member

    I have experience in snakes, just new to ball pythons. I have 2 now and have basic husbandry down just need some help with little things. I should mention they're doing great, I just want to make sure I'm doing the best I can.

    1) I have been using eco earth hearing from a few people it works well, but its a mess and I hate it. I want something visually appealing so no newspaper or paper towel. What other safe substrates are there? Obviously looking for something to hold humidity well.

    2) Is there any specific rule for tub size? I've heard you don't want it too big as they'll be stressed but I want them to have enough room to thrive.

    3) For my corn snakes I use shoe boxes for hides and replace often, but with the humidity and visual appeal this wont work. All the pet store hides seem to have rough edges and weird crevices and I'm worried they would hurt themselves. Are these safe? Other options? How tight should they be?

    Any advice is appreciated. :)
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Many use cypress mulch as a substrate. It holds moisture well and looks natural.

    The whole "cage too big will stress them" bit is nonsense. These animals did not evolve in a box! As long as there is plenty of cover they will be fine. The problem comes from people who just toss them in a large bare tank.
    As long as the edges aren't sharp there should not be a problem. If you are concerned you can sand the edges. If there are small spaces the snake could get trapped in, that would be a concern. I used hollow logs for mine.
  3. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    Can you post some pictures of your pythons and their enclosures?
  4. Kia

    Kia Member

    Thank you, I will upgrade tubs and switch to mulch. Is "repti-bark" cypress mulch? I see it everywhere. I can take pictures of their enclosures soon but they just ate so I do not want to disturb them. However I do have pictures of the snakes themselves :) Theyre both adults. One male (albino) and female (normal).
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Cypress mulch is something you get in a garden center. Be sure it's plain undyed cypress.
    Considerably cheaper.
  6. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    1. Usually people having issues with eco-earth are letting to dry out to the point the dust becomes an issue. If that's the case adding more water cures that. I use a 50/50 combo of that and cypress mulch, and whenever it starts getting dry I just dump in more water. Sometimes I literally use a hose, and may add a gallon or 2.
    2. What Merlin said. Just provide extra cover, the snake should be able to move around the enclosure mostly unseen. Realistic fake plants from a dollar store or something are nice for this.
    3. Again, what Merlin said. Though most of the time it's not really a matter of the snake getting trapped so much as us not being able to get it out when we want. Ball pythons want the tightest hide they can get, and are really good at packing themselves into spots we didn't think they could possibly fit, but they can usually get out again when they want. Just maybe not when we want, lol.

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