Help me become a better snake owner! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-13-2013, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: United States
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Lightbulb Help me become a better snake owner!

It's the same story you've probably heard a million times. I had reptiles when I was younger because I liked them, and my parents who did zero research, decided - why not? So needless to say I've committed anole genocide, and had a few other lizards for a handful of years who all met unfortunate ends. I can't blame anyone but myself, but I really didn't know any better.

When I was 12 my father gave me a ball python. Love the little guy, and for a long time just thought he was weird. "why isn't he eating" "why did he only shed half way?" and it amazes me, at the age of 25, he is still alive today. I'm thankful, but now I want to make sure I am the best snake father I can be.

So he's in a fish tank, 55-65 gallon or so. I know this is wrong, but I have a wedding coming up, and I can't afford a proper terrarium. Because of this, all the humidity in the tank vanishes, so it's more arid in there than it needs to be. How can I fix this?

Second - belly heat - I got him an under-tank heater (he has a bulb), but it kept falling off. Now the adhesive side is covered in my yellow lab's hair, so in other words, it's useless. What can I do about this? I don't think buying another one will change anything.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-13-2013, 08:41 PM
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Location: San Ramon, Ca
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To up the humidity if needed, you can place a damp towel over part of the screen top, a few inches from your lights so it doesn't catch on fire. Keep this moist and it will help. OR go down to some place that sells plastic for cheap, where I am we have a store called Tap Plastics, get a thin slab of plastic cut that fits over part of your screen top and set it on top. This will also help keep the humidity up.

It will not be hard to keep up the humidity with these tricks, with them only needing between 50-60% humidity you should be fine.

If wanted you can provide a shed box that has a higher humidity to help with shedding.

"And 5, very important 5... Don't let me eat pears.. I HATE PEARS."
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-14-2013, 10:11 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: United States
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For your under tank heater you can wipe the pet hair off with a damp cloth. Just make sure you unplug it. Add a little dishwashing liquid to the water and get the water as hot as you can handle it. Just keep going over it until the hair comes off. Do not over wet the cloth. Let it dry really well then you can place it back under the tank. You can use a few dabs of 100% silicone to re glue it to the bottom of the tank. Wait till the silicone dries before plugging it in. Use some books or something to hold the heating mat against the bottom of the tank until it dries. In a pinch you can use one of those metal clamp on lights you find in the hardware/tool section of department stores. They are also sold as brooding lights. Cost around $9 each. Get a reptile bulb and put it on one end of the tank.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-05-2013, 12:00 AM
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: CA
Posts: 26
A ball python needs, nor wants in most cases, a elaborate terrarium. A dark tub will work just fine. If you really want to spoil him, get him a rack system all for himself. Nearly everyone in the reptile community keeps them this way.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-09-2013, 04:53 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Lawrence, KS
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For the humidity, grab a tupperware container that he could fit easily in, cut a hole in the side, and fill half of it with cheap terrarium moss from your local pet store. if you cant find it there, then look online, its pretty cheap. get this moss damp before putting it in and then leave it in the cage on the colder side. put some decorations or something on top, and he will go into his little humidity chamber whenever he needs. just pop off the lidd every week or so and dampen the moss again. we recommend this to anyone who comes into our store with shedding questions. As far as the heater goes, you can go to the hardware store, get some thermal silicone sealant and just glue it back on with a thin layer.
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