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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 14-01-2018, 11:50 PM
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The problem you are going to get with a 2' viv is the lack of a really decent thermal gradient. There used to be an old "unwritten rule" where the mat or heat source covered 1/3rd the viv's length. This would give you approx 5c difference between the hot end and cool end in an average centrally heated home where a room temperature ranges from 19c in the small hours to 23C- 25C in the afternoon. With a 2' viv the range will be quite tight. It is doable, but you could find that the difference between the centre of the hotspot and the cool side may (and I say may as your home may be different to ours, and in practicality it may be enough) be close.

Personally, have a look at getting a 45" x 19" x 22" for around £100 mark (Viv Exotic was the example I found via google). This will be ample for your snake all the way to adult hood. You can then fit the ceramic and guard inside the enclosure without the need to cut holes in it. Also having the heater inside the viv makes it more efficient as any warmth from the reflector will stay within the viv rather than escape into the room. I would do away with the heat mat. The ceramic will heat the substrate and the air. (but what about the belly heat a mat provides I hear people shout) - in nature the ground is warmed by the sun overhead (ruling out volcanic areas ). When a snake sits on that patch of ground to bask it will initially absorb the warmth from the ground, but after a short time it will no longer be warmed by the sun as the snake is blocking it out, and will get all its needs from the heat source above. A ceramic heater mimics this. But the choice is yours, and Ed does know his stuff. But as I mentioned, we've all have our own opinions - it's up to you to do what you feel is right and often trial and error is the best way, as often you have to find out what works best for you.

I also agree with Ed, bin the astroturf, and use bark chippings, eco earth, or similar substrates that hold moisture better and are far easier to clean. With a lose substrate the snake can make dips and push it around to make itself feel more comfy and secure. It also makes for easy spot cleaning (the astro turf would need to be completely removed and washed in F10 disinfectant every time the snake pooed or dropped urates) - and with royals you want to keep disruption down to a minimum to ensure it settles well and doesn't stress out.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 15-01-2018, 12:20 AM
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everything malc says is true, in a 600mm long length ur packing in a lot of heat, probe position is key, the 15" height is a further complication.

for the mat, the stat probe is in with the mat if it will fit, otherwise fixed to top glass, no tape, hot glue for example or something other method.

the ceramics probe is fixed to the hot end wall (no tape, fixed securely, a rogue probe will kill a snake), approx 8" down, mid position front to back if that makes sense (normally u would go lower in a larger viv, but in ur size it would result in negating any cool end, instead it will buffer the air from the room, ie prevent cold air, which is sufficient in this scenario.) the hole for the ceramic should be cut as close to the left hand/hot end wall as possible (a square hole is fine, a bit of open mesh around the shade is not a bad thing)

check everything with a digital thermometer. once set, check the cool end temp about half way down ie a mirror of the ceramic probes position, it should be @78of max, if its more turn the ceramic stat down till its 78of, u have now done the difficult, calibrated a small volume for a tropical species.

as malcs getting at, u have hobbled urself with such a small viv especially as it will be outgrown surprisingly quickly.

rgds
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 15-01-2018, 12:55 AM
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u have one other option that malc describes above but i share his doubts it will work especially as u say the room is always warm.

ceramic only in the fitting position i described, but the stat probe would have to be positioned lower (or set higher on the dial) so that the floor under it reaches 90of, BUT in a 600mm length this would leave a very suppressed cool end because the energy required to do this "pollutes" a certain distance from the basking area, and in 600mm, this means any meaningful cool end would be difficult to achieve. BUT u absolutely can test this method as part of ur setup tinkering.

the dual method iv advised above is a hybrid of sorts to make the best of a short situation. the high ceramic probe position and its setting does not provide a basking area but what it does do is ensure the air in the cage is not cold. the mat takes up the basking slack by providing a 90of source the animal can use.

heating for snakes can be complicated in its simplicity

rgds
ed
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I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 15-01-2018, 02:29 AM
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God, this is is getting really confusing and annoying now lol.
First, thanks for the info re astroturf – I’ll ditch that idea and using one of the recommended substrates. That’s the easy part done!
So it appears that I’ve shot myself in the foot buying a 2ft x 15” x 15” vivarium for a 4 month BP. Does this mean that these size tanks are basically no good for BPs at all?
I have realised that with a squeeze I can fit a 30” x 18” x 18” vivarium into the space I was intending to use. It would be a really tight fit but would work……
So, normal substrate – no astroturf and a 30” x 18” x 18” vivarium. I would much rather keep the ceramic heater on top, but will do whatever would be necessary to remedy the heat situation. Same goes for the heatmat, I don’t mind using it or not, as the situation dictates.
Does the potential new vivarium dimensions make things any easier guys?
I’m literally tearing my hair out here, and there’s not much to work with anyway hehe.
As always, many thanks in advance.
Cheers,
Ben.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 15-01-2018, 05:42 AM
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Or my other option (just seriously considered for the first time) is far simpler and cheaper.

I originally wanted a bigger and more attractive (natural looking) enclosure than the 38cm L x 30cm W x 18cm H RUB she is in at the moment.

I could simply upgrade this to the next largest RUB - 52cm L x 44cm W x 31cm H.

I assume I would be able to use the current 28cm x 27cm heatmat underneath it and add a deeper organic substrate to allow for burrowing as well as looking easy on the eye.

I would also be able to furnish it with more decor (such as another hide or two, larger water bowl, a couple of branches and some fake plants) to make it look less 'artificial' and not to have the possible initial "OMG, it's a huge open space, I'm scared)" reaction from the snake. I could even cover the exterior of the LHS, RHS and rear walls with some green/brown painted plywood or something similar to make it look a bit better and less intrusive for the snake.

Lighting would come from LED striplights (already purchased), and I'm not even sure if it would need additional heating if the ambient room temperature stays normal, which it usually does. Some friendly advice here would be key…

I would be using an IR Laser temperature gun to check temperatures everywhere needed.

Any ideas on this plan chaps, seems a lot more plausible to me a newbie. Hopefully you will all clasp your hands, look to the sky and thank God that this would solve all the issues raised!

Peace out - Ben & Honey.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 15-01-2018, 11:58 AM
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Ben,

There are those who advocate keeping snakes in rubs, and there are those who (like me) like to see snakes in as large an enclosure that is practical for the species kept. The only issue with keeping boa's and pythons in rubs or in rack systems is that they are normally kept in rooms where the ambient air temperature is maintained at a suitable temperature 24/7.

To be honest, a lot of what we're discussing here should have been part of the research process before you got the snake. You have a snake that has the potential to reach over 4' and weigh around 2.5kg, but from your posts it would seem you don't have a space suitable to accept a vivarium of suitable size to house it. I have a 30 month old female in a 32" long x 28" high viv, and she will need moving into a 48" long x 21" high within the next six to nine months as she is already around the 3' mark in length. So even if you did get the 30" viv you're going to be looking at upgrading again within the next 18 months. But if you don't have the space for a suitable 4' viv then what can you upgrade to.

But bottom line is that this is just my opinion. How you keep your snake(s) is entirely down to you. If you want to use a RUB and your house is warm enough then that is fine. You've come to a public forum and asked for opinions and you've got some. But you don't have to take the advice, as I've mentioned, we all have our own opinions and often there is no real "right" way to do things.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 15-01-2018, 12:24 PM
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Thanks for your reply Malc.

We'll be moving to a bigger house in about a year so at that point getting a decent sized vivarium shouldn't be a problem. I'll make it one of the priorities.

I went into the reptile shop to enquire about keeping corn snakes and ended up walking out with a ball python - the owner certainly did a good job there!
I fully appreciate what you are saying though, and I'm trying hard to play catch-up now via the internet, Youtube, care sheets and of course this forum for real life experience.

I'm going to go with the larger RUB as described above, unless the reptile shop owner says it's a bad idea.

I have also been looking into substrate and Pets At Home are offering 'buy one get one free' on big bags of Exo-Terra Forest Bark, Rain Forest Bark and Jungle Earth at the moment. I'm going to pick the guy at the shops’ brains about which one to go for and then make a visit to to grab myself a bargain.

Sorry if my questions have sounded banal or show a current lack of knowledge but I admit I sort of got talked into buying the snake there and then.

She's such a beauty I went with my heart and not my head....

Thanks for all your input though - I appreciate it so much.

Cheers,

Ben.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 15-01-2018, 04:23 PM
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ur are not, by far, the first keeper to walk into a petshop aiming for a corn or garter and walking out with a python, at least it wasn't a burmese

many (many) reptile keeping careers start off like urs, u make do, u learn, you improve.

the important part is the learning

my own start was a jumbled mess of fish tanks light bulbs and more than a little freaking out.

my last piece of advice is to research as much as you can (on ball python specific forums ideally, just for their archive of relevant knowledge), on shedding problems, on feeding problems, on housing, on husbandry etc etc.

with snake keeping knowledge is everything, so take advantage of other peoples experience, other peoples knowledge and make it yours.

rgds and good luck with ur ball python
ed


Quote:
Originally Posted by benjeeman View Post
Thanks for your reply Malc.

We'll be moving to a bigger house in about a year so at that point getting a decent sized vivarium shouldn't be a problem. I'll make it one of the priorities.

I went into the reptile shop to enquire about keeping corn snakes and ended up walking out with a ball python - the owner certainly did a good job there!
I fully appreciate what you are saying though, and I'm trying hard to play catch-up now via the internet, Youtube, care sheets and of course this forum for real life experience.

I'm going to go with the larger RUB as described above, unless the reptile shop owner says it's a bad idea.

I have also been looking into substrate and Pets At Home are offering 'buy one get one free' on big bags of Exo-Terra Forest Bark, Rain Forest Bark and Jungle Earth at the moment. I'm going to pick the guy at the shops’ brains about which one to go for and then make a visit to to grab myself a bargain.

Sorry if my questions have sounded banal or show a current lack of knowledge but I admit I sort of got talked into buying the snake there and then.

She's such a beauty I went with my heart and not my head....

Thanks for all your input though - I appreciate it so much.

Cheers,

Ben.
Malc and benjeeman like this.
__________________
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
Reply With Quote
  #29 (permalink)  
Old 17-01-2018, 03:42 AM
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Smile A big thanks to all of you for your help

Thanks for your reply Ed,

As I said, I'm learning more and more every day. For example, she's just started shedding now so today I've read and watched lots of info about that. Will be doing the same tomorrow!

Have sent the vivarium back for a full refund so now that entire headache is gone. Thank God for that! Her next home is simply going to me a 50L RUB.

Basically, yesterday I went to the reptile shop where I bought Honey from a week ago and spent ages picking the owner's brains about everything that has been discussed this thread, my own amateur research (for what it's worth atm) and he matched it with his expertise, experience and of course knowledge of the exact snake he sold me.

So I will be moving her into a bigger and more decorated 50L RUB in about 6 months time. For now she stays in her simple little RUB to get used to things! However, she gets to explore the new one a little bit every day, as explained below.

I'm getting the bigger RUB now and kitting it out with lots of rocks, hides, logs and so on, so it doesn't look intimidating with big open spaces, and there is a lot for her to do. I'm even thinking about using some wood effect sticky vinyl to line the side and rear panels to give her a bit more privacy and to enhance the look - think vivarium walls! He jokingly said to look at it as her 'playground' and to put her in the same corner of it for 1 hour, building up to 2 hours everyday. After the initial stress of being in a new location (and no doubt going to the nearest hide) she will begin to explore it little by little, day by day, so when she moves in for proper it won't be a massive shock to her system - she'll already be fairly familiar with the place.

But at the moment I'm keeping it simple with the original small and very basic RUB, hide, water bowl and a branch to climb on, and fall off! Looks naff but she'll only be in there for another 6 months.

Will just be using simple kitchen roll for substrate - okay, it looks rubbish but is the easiest way to keep the place clean in between proper clean-outs and disinfecting etc. Looks unnatural but seems to make the most sense.

Food situation also sorted - 1 medium sized mouse every 7 days, based on her current size.

So it looks like we're all sorted. I'm happy with the info he gave me and he even said there were products in the shop such as substrate that he wouldn't sell to me even if I asked for them!

I'm feeling a lot happier now, have gained a lot of knowledge and opinion from all of your much valued inputs and know what to do going forward. One of those things is to of course keep reading and researching!

Thanks to all of you for your time and help, it has really been appreciated and I've gained a lot out of it.

THANKS GUYS!

Peace out - Ben & Honey
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