Ball Python 101: A Beginners Guide To BP Care


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G’day Everyone! This was totally unscripted and there’s many more details you should know about Ball Python care so PLEASE READ BELOW.

Tank/Tub size – a lot of breeders have differing opinions on the best size for a BP enclosure. I personally have large tanks (I think they’re 40gal but I really can’t remember for sure) and I find my snakes can be very active and really utilize the full tank size. With a large tank it’s VERY important to have lots of things the snake can hide beneath while it travels from the hot side to the cool side. One negative of having a large tank is it’s harder to regulate the temp in comparison to if it was smaller.

Temperature – Ball Pythons need belly heat in order to help digest their food, this among other reasons is why I strongly suggest a heat PAD. A heat LAMP is great for helping to raise the ambient temp if you have a very large tank like I do but it should NOT be the soul source of heat in your terrarium.

Hottest spot – 96F
Ambient temp on hot side – 80F
Ambient temp on cool side – 77F (you could see the cool side ambient temp being measured by the thermometer attached to my thermostat at 76.2 at the time of recording)
Below 75F is not recommended.

Substrate – I use paper towel covered with coconut bedding. This is very easy to clean, looks nice and is healthy but there are many different options so look into what will work for you. Do NOT use Cedar or Pine!

Hides – your snake should feel snug and safe inside it’s hide, if your hide is a bit on the large side (like Ben’s is on his cool side) fill it with paper towel and bedding so they’ll feel more secure.

Humidity – should be kept around 50-70%. Mist more often when your snake is going into shed, if it is too dry shedding will be uncomfortable and can lead to injuries.

Water – should always be clean and readily available! You may of noticed a few little pieces of coconut substrate in Ben’s water bowls, he knocks them in when he slides past or is drinking, this is fine but make sure the water itself is cleaned either daily or every second day. Would you like to drink dirty water?

Feeding – Food should be the same size as the thickest part of your snakes body and eating weekly is ideal however BP’s often go on strike and so long as they’re not loosing weight it’s common for them to not eat for months at a time! The longest Ben has refused food for was 5 weeks and it made me super worried but he was totally healthy and not loosing any weight, he just wanted the booty!

If I still haven’t answered your question feel free to ask!

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ZEDION – Radiance [Creative Commons]

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