Viv set up - normal royal python - humidity, CHE, heat mat, stressed, not eating - Reptile Forums

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Old 10-01-2018, 09:57 AM
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Default Viv set up - normal royal python - humidity, CHE, heat mat, stressed, not eating

Hi all,

So I have Normal Royal Python female that is now 1 year and 1 month old, 1.02 cm long and weights 1.13 kg. Looks very healthy and been eating very well.

Recently I upgraded a viv to 150 x 60 x 60 cm with CHE and she seems to be fine for the first month but now she stopped eating and acts like she wants to be out of the viv all the time. At day she sleeps in one of the hides but in the evening she just wants to be out. She knows where the door opens and pushes it hard to open, she is not even scared of us. Once out she is active and slides everywhere.

We feed her once per week with small weaner rats but last week was going to give her small rat 112 gr (which is perfect for her size in my opinion). She was interested at first but didn't take it then she got more scared of it. The rat is defrosted and warmed up. I thought maybe rat was too big for her so next day I tried small weaner 26gr, same problem. I waited another few days and defrosted 76gr weaner rat that she used to have all the time, same problem, she is not interested. Even pricked the brain... I know some Pythons go off food in winter months so I would be ok with it, but she is acting like hungry, going all over the viv, non stop at night... She pooed well too.

So now I start to think that she is not happy with a viv set up and need your advise please.

I have read Malc's guide on Royal Pythons probably 10 times and many other sites so well aware of what is required but your input would be great.

Here is a picture of my set up. http://www.reptileforums.co.uk/forum...240250-viv.jpg


CHE is right in the corner next to the vent, the probe is at the bottom next to the house. The temperature is set at 32C in a day time and night time it goes 3 degrees down.
Cold side ranges from 23 to 27C.
The humidity has been a problem at a start when I used aspen. Now aspen is only in hides and outside is Habistat Rainforest Substrate, Coarse which seems to keep the humidity ok but I spray it twice a day (she don't like it though, maybe sprayed too much). In the picture humidity shows high only cause I just sprayed. Temperature and humidity gauge 1 shows 50% so seems ok.

Now I start to think that she needs heat mat as CHE don't heat up her belly and maybe she is too cold. When I look at Malc's set up pictures the snake is sleeping on top of the CHE, that's where he gets its belly heat! Mine one must be too cold...

Let me know what you think and what improvements I should add to my viv.

Many thanks.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 10-01-2018, 11:06 AM
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What you describe is perfectly normal. My large female spends all day coiled up under the heater, or in the hide for the daytime, then becomes active, pushing against the glass, up branches etc from the evening onwards.

The CHE is fine, you wouldn't need additional heating. In the wild the heat comes from above. It will warm the snake through (though not as efficiently as the sun). The fact she's mobile at night (Royals are nocturnal, so that's to be expected) suggest that she's getting enough energy and warmth from the heater to go exploring. If she was still feeling cold she would stay under the heat source.

Those humidity / temperature dials are useless. For temperature get an IR temperature gun (less than £10 off e-bay) and use that to set the hot spot. Humidity isn't that much of a problem, and I only spray when in shed to increase humidity then.

The image you refer to with my royal sitting on top of the shelf was taken whilst she was going through a breeding program, and was really to show that at times they will seek out heat that is above the normal 32C (the shelf reaches 38C) when they need it. It wasn't because she was feeling cold.

Just let her settle in more. Offer her a weaner rat at 10-14 day frequency and see how she progresses. Above all don't worry, it sounds like normal royal behaviour to me
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Old 10-01-2018, 09:37 PM
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Thanks, I will definitely keep an eye on her and get IR temperature gun, just wasn’t sure she was happy with a set up, she never used to be like that before. All she does is try to get out, and once viv is open she’s out.

Here I filmed it as well. Let me know if your snakes does the same.

https://youtu.be/LYrt27pMRoY

Thanks
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Old 11-01-2018, 12:43 AM
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That video seem corrupted to me, as if there are two snakes and some sort of disco with red lights...

All snakes will push against the glass doors. They are not bright enough to workout what is there. To them they can see movement etc beyond but there's this invisible barrier stopping them.. so the push against it. My four snakes are all doing this as I type. The glass in my boa's viv has a slight gap of 2mm at the top as the converted cabinet is slightly out of square, he knows there's a gap and spends most of his evenings pushing his nose up and down that gap. My large female royal mentioned above will push the substrate into mounds at the back of the viv as she pushes against the glass..... it's all normal behaviour.
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Old 11-01-2018, 04:54 AM
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Very strange, my video is showing fine but YouTube don’t like it and distort it. I deleted it now, will try to upload again.

Thanks for putting my mind at ease.
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Old 11-01-2018, 05:00 AM
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This video seems to be ok

https://youtu.be/Co8TZN9b0hw

After 1 min 20sec I open the viv and she is out, not even a bit scarred of me. She used to be so shy before...
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Old 11-01-2018, 08:27 AM
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It looks like you have a good set up. As Malc says, i dont think there is anything to worry about. It may take a couple of months before your royal is fully comfortable in their new home. I'd just offer food every 7-10 days and I'm expect she will settle and get back into food mode.
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Old 21-01-2018, 09:19 AM
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Quick update...

She still hasn’t eaten. Her last meal was 29th of December. She is drinking lots of water and peeing, very active at night, seems all healthy, skin is shiny.

Hope she snaps out of this soon.
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Old 21-01-2018, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renata View Post
Quick update...

She still hasn’t eaten. Her last meal was 29th of December. She is drinking lots of water and peeing, very active at night, seems all healthy, skin is shiny.

Hope she snaps out of this soon.
You can't do more than offer food at weekly intervals. She'll eat when she's good and ready too
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Old 21-01-2018, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renata View Post
Quick update...

She still hasn***8217;t eaten. Her last meal was 29th of December. She is drinking lots of water and peeing, very active at night, seems all healthy, skin is shiny.

Hope she snaps out of this soon.

She is going threw the 800-1kg wall, mine is doing the same this year. Just offer her food every 2 weeks now, she will probably start eating in spring again. (If you keep other snakes then try their prey item instead of wasting rodents, so basically when feed day for other snake try offering to the Ball python first and if she refuses it give to the snake you intended to feed, till she shows interest in food again).

Does she spend most of her time now in the cold end too ? I'm sure she is just fasting they all do that at that weight at some point.


Just relax and don't change anything that was working before, like temps and humidity etc etc etc. All is fine, just monitor her weight now and you will see they hardly loose weight, make sure she has completely had a clean out (pooped and peed), then use that as the starting weight.

Mine stopped eating mid October to near the end and refuses all food but is looking healthy and doing all her normal stuff apart from spending more time in the cold end. mine has lost about 20-25grams in that time and she was 1050ish at start of it. Nothing to worry about and part of their natural life cycle.


Also are you 100% sure of her age ? As I would guess at she's probably more close to 2 years than a year as you stated (if she is maybe she's starting to go threw snake puberty), if she's a year she really is eating well and growing fast then, so that would also cause a fast as their bodies do need a rest from time to time they can fast at any time not just winter if they are fed very well and growing fast. Really don't panic that's just how Ball/Royal Pythons are and why I honestly think sometimes they don't make good first snakes for people that have not kept snakes, because they do things like that that worry their inexperienced owners. You state she's wondering and being active and has a nice shine and that's all good signs, just keep doing the usual with her and she will start to eat again in her own time. If you don't keep records start keeping records of her weight, sheds , feeds , poops and pee, when she refused food and what it was offered ,etc that you notice. That way you can track things and changes and also helps you to help others in the future as you will see the same issues crop up all the time with these pesky snakes .
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Last edited by Purgatory; 21-01-2018 at 12:46 PM..
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