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Posted by AlliMarie on May 03, 2003 at 09:01:48:
In Reply to: Wanting A Ball Python posted by jtatarin on May 03, 2003 at 01:20:59:
As said below, observing the feeding would be a good idea before purchasing. If he's eating live right now, it may or may not be tough to switch him/her over. Some take to it quite well, while others can be quite stubborn. All depends on the individual snake. Another thing you could do is consider adopting. I know of a few rescue groups at the moment who have BP's available. They do most of the hard work, and will more than likely have a p/k or f/t feeding BP. A lot cheaper too. If you do decide to go ahead and get a Captive Born baby, make sure you make a pit stop at the vet before you bring him home, as he will probably have parasites, and will need to be treated for that. Also, a 10 gal for a hatchling is fine. They actually prefer the security feeling it gives them. A 20 gal for a hatchling is probably too big, as it would probably stress them out a bit. There are many different opinions about substrate, as long as you stay away from small particulate substrates that are easy for the snake to ingest, You should be fine. An UTH is what a lot of people use, but I can't tell you which one, as I personally don't use them. A thermostat is definitely recommended, as sometimes UTH's can become too hot and burn your snake. If you fear this, you may also opt for an overhead heating device, such as a bulb or ceramic heater. I've found that 75 watts works great for a 10 gal, and 100 works well for a 20 gal to maintain proper temps. A 90 degree 'basking spot' is important. What's more important is the heating gradient, to create a cool end and a warm end. Most keep theres at 80-85 cool end, and 90-95 warm end, with temps dropping about 5-7 degrees at night. I actually keep mine at 95-100 warm and 85-90 cool, and my snakes seem to thrive quite well on that. But definitely don't let temps rise above 100. Without these gradients and 'hot' spots, the snake won't be able to thermoregulate, which also includes digesting his food properly. This is all fairly easy to achieve and maintain, startup cost may cost $25-75, depending on which type of heater you use, and prices in your area. Also, don't forget a water dish that is big enough for him to soak in, and at least 2 hides, one for the cool end, and one for the warm end. hehe sorry this is so long. Hope it helps, and good luck!!