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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02-20-2007, 05:17 AM
 
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Default Half done (50gal) and looking for suggestions!

Id love to hear any suggestions you might have on the planting and arrangement of this viv, it houses a Ball Python right now.
I have some tropical moss, java moss and three assorted epiphites on the way.
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Old 02-20-2007, 08:39 AM
 
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Wouldn't put a ball python in there, scale rot is a big problem
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:20 PM
 
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im not too worried, his warmed cave is kept dry and the humidity is allowed to get as low as 45% when i have the fans on. Its the kind of habitat they live amongst in the wild, so if he gets scale rot ill kick myself, send you a messege to acknowledge your advise, and get him to a vet right away. thanks for the reply though, your the second person that has said that and it is starting to make me think. i just feel i left out some info that would have led you to think its ok for him to be in there.
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Old 02-20-2007, 09:07 PM
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45 is pretty high....ish. If it has a screen top I wouldn't worry. That should negate most humidity issues.
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Old 02-20-2007, 09:14 PM
 
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This thread needs a picture of the snake!
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Old 02-20-2007, 09:31 PM
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^ agreed! I love balls. haha.....that sounds funny....So many funny t-shirt ideas...it hurts..... :lol:
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Old 02-20-2007, 10:30 PM
 
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I will definetly get a picture of him the next time i feed him, so in a few days. your going to laugh at me for this, but the way i constructed his "cave" makes it impossible for me to get him out. He comes out on his terms, lol. Since this is a new set-up (and he is skiddish as hell) he wont come out even for a stretch and a stroll like he used to in his old set-up. ill get a nice picture of him eating soon, and take some pictures of the cave set up. Its basically a water tight tuperwear container with a tube leading into it from the surface of the soil, the container itself rests on the bottom of the tank below water line ontop of two undertank heaters. the temp in there stays a nice toasty 80F and high humidity but never too wet because i have creeping fig growing out of it, which has been good at soaking up all excess wetness... i also have an airline tube running down there hooked up to a air/water pump which is turned on sporatically to circulate air down there and lower the humidity giving the snake drying out periods. i talk to much
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Old 02-21-2007, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
I noticed that with the drip system and waterfall on, the humidity remains around 90%, with drip system off 82-85%, with both drip and waterfall off 70-75%. I feel that 70% humitidy once in a while should suffice for a short dry out period. I dont think that the humidity ever needs to fall much below that.
I'm confused... Does the humidity get as low as 70% or 45%? And where are you reading that they live in such a high humidity area? Last I checked they lived in temperate and arid zones.
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Old 02-21-2007, 07:28 AM
 
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The humidity in his cave falls lower than than the humidity in the rest of the tank because i have an air pump sucking the dry air outside the vivarium, which is usually around 30%, and pushing it into his cave. i forgot what else i already mentioned but that same pump can also be used to fill the cave with water and then suck it out to help with cleaning it (its an aqua lift pump i used to use for an overflow system on a fish tank) what else... oh right, ghana, or however you spell it is part of their natural range. its a western african country mostly comprised of rain forest. they do also live in temperate areas i know. i feel that if i keep his cave dry and dry out the tank every day with ventilation fans that he (the python) will be fine. if you think otherwise let me know. im starting to question whether or not a ball python can be exposed to water, lol. almost everyone has told me he shouldnt be in there.
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Old 02-21-2007, 08:04 AM
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I shower at least once daily and it doesn't hurt me a bit... But are you familiar with 'trench foot?' It's what happens when your poor feet are constantly wet and not permitted to dry out. I can be exposed to water, just the same as your ball python can. But if we don't dry out we develop infections and our skin rots.

And as far as native terrain is concerned; a quick google search returned what I was looking for. I am quoting the Barkers at Vida Preciosa, because not too many folks are going to disagree with them on snake stuff.

Quote:
This species occurs in sub-Saharan west and central Africa; ball pythons can be found from Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia on the west coast, east to southwestern Sudan and northwestern Uganda in the center of the continent. Tens of thousands of ball pythons are annually imported into the U.S., mostly originating from Togo, Benin, and Ghana.
The full care sheet can be found here: http://www.vpi.com/publications/the_...hon_care_sheet

Information on Ghana I grabbed from the CIA's world factbook here: https://cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/gh.html

Climate tropical; warm and comparatively dry along southeast coast; hot and humid in southwest; hot and dry in north

Terrain mostly low plains with dissected plateau in south-central area

I used Ghana as my example because it's the popular country but with the exception of the Southwest portion of country and neighboring Togo, the majority of the ball pythons range is dry and grassy with low hills and mountains. While the World Factbook unfortunately does not reference average humidity or a percentage of any kind, hot and dry is in fact pretty descriptive and I am comfortable suggesting that meets my description of arid as warm and comparably dry matches temperate respectively.

Please don't take my post as hostile in any way; I know I have a bad habit of coming off as stand-off'ish. But you've asked for more information if we felt we had it, and I am providing just that.

To be completely honest, I am genuinely concerned for your animal and rather than just tell you that your husbandry practices are wrong and 'because I said so,' I'm making an effort to show you why. I've made similar mistakes with other animals not because I didn't care enough to do things the right way, but because I was misinformed. You obviously care enough about your pet to put a lot of work into a nice enclosure for him so it's a possibility that yours is a similar situation.
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Old 02-21-2007, 05:15 PM
 
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Yes, i take back all i have said about their natural habitat. I assumed upon learning their home range included a country that is MOSTLY rain forest that they inhabited this ecosystem. I was short sighted, as you have said, they live in PART of Ghana. I went as far as to ask a herpetologist I know, but he didn't have anymore information that i did, however he let me in on the fact that not all of Ghana is rainforest. So yeah, you were very forward, but tough love is a hell of alot better than complacency. Now i need help working this problem out. The snake is in another temporary tank, 10 gallon he cant nearly stretch out in, for the time being. I have a blow-dryer blasting his cave as i am typing this. i cleaned it out completely of everything i had put in there to hold moisture. I set up permanent air circulation for his cave, which brings low humidity (30%) air from outside the tank directly into the cave. the humidity in the rest of the tank will now range from 50% to 80%, controlled by 2 ventilation fans on a timer. also note that the temp in the cave, measured 3 times by a digital thermometer, was between 78 and 80 F, while the rest of the tank is 70 at night and 75-78 during the day. (I havent checked night temp of cave but i assume its pretty constant). The soil, where it isnt covered by creeping fig, will soon be covered by tropical moss that i ordered from black jungle. also, do you think growing creeping fig out of cave will help suck up any excess moisture? do you think this will suffice? any other suggestions? I really really want to find a happy medium and keep my boy in this tank.
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Old 02-22-2007, 01:09 AM
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Unless you have plants in that tank that don't tolerate lower levels of humidity, I don't see why you can't use it. If you keep the fans running to circulate air and humidity drops down to the 50's you shouldn't have any real problem in that department.

The first issue that I see is the hide that you can't get into. If there is one place in your tank that SHOULD be moist at least some of the time it's the hide. Especially during your snake's shed cycle. Some of my snakes that are slightly less tolerant of the dry Southern California air here get damp sphagnum moss added to their hides when they are in shed so as to avoid stuck/dry shed issues. Also, suppose your snake were to defecate in its hide. (not common, but a possibility) Not being able to get to a nice turd sitting in a snakes hide could lead to the snake getting sick, or just a foul smell in the enclosure that you cannot get rid of.

The other issue is the bedding in general, if you're using a soil type substrate (safe assumption with plants in there) you run the risk of the snake getting soil and dirt in its nostrils which can lead to upper respiratory infection. Certainly not the most common cause of URI, but something to keep in mind.

Lastly are temps. The averages look pretty good, but a warm spot of 95F or so would be good so your python has a wider temperature range to help with thermoregulation.

I apologize for derailing your thread here; all-in-all you've got a great looking setup there. It would be a crying shame to let it go to waste. I personally feel that managing a nice enclosure is half the fun of keeping herps in general, so I can definitely appreciate the work you've already put in. Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions or if you'd like any other suggestions, I promise to make a better effort not to come off like such as hardass.
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Old 02-22-2007, 03:47 AM
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I didn't read through the other replies, but on first glance here are my suggestions:

More large foliage plants! These plants don't need to be huge, but some gesneriads or some smaller philodendrons can provide nice, space-filling foliage. Maybe even a fern or two.

A nice, thick, vining piece of wood would also complement the ravine wonderfully.
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Old 02-22-2007, 06:03 AM
 
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ok... i can picture that, thank you!
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