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Posted by serpentcity on May 14, 2003 at 19:16:58:
In Reply to: Help Needed Please posted by BenSambrook on May 12, 2003 at 18:28:33:
:I have put a deposit on an 18 month old ball today (my 1st) - I am just waiting until the vivariums come in. The guy in the shop has recommended a vivarium that is about 2.5ft long (0.75metres I think) and is fairly shallow and has said that this will last for the whole of its life. I am new to this but this did seem a bit small for a snake that could grow up to 4-5 foot. He has also recommended just using a lamp instead of heat pads for providing the warmth. I asked if the snake would burn itself but he said that they will not venture that high (bear in mind that he has recommended a fairly shallow cage). I have just read a care sheet off the net and it said that pythons are very susceptible from burns off these types of lamps.
:I have ordered The Ball Python Manual by P. de Vosjoli which I have been told is very good but I just wondered what your opinions would be on this stuff. The guy in the shop seemed pretty knowledgeable but I thought I ought to get more than one opinion as I am just starting out. Finally in the care sheet I read about it mentioned Inclusion Body Diesease which it said is always lethal in pythons. Is there any way of telling if a snake is affected or not (the snake I am buying is captive bred).
:Thanks in advance for any help and thanks for those who helped me out before with my last post.
:A 20g long tank is fine; later on if it exceeds 4 feet you can choose a larger cage. Heat pad underneath pretty important, placed at one end of tank, left on 24h/day. A wide-spectrum basking light is optional, no more than about 60-75 watts, can be placed over the same end of the tank where the heat pad is. This way you're maximizing your thermal gradient. If the snake "hugs" the cool end of the cage, you'll know the warm end is too warm. This may vary depending upon ambient temp of the room the cage is in. Behavior of the snake will dictate your adjustments-use common sense. IBD is rare in captive-born BP's-those that have been exposed to boa constrictors carry a higher risk but I wouldn't worry.