Enchi BP hatchling and tank size? Urgent help needed! - Reptile Forums

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Old 13-01-2018, 12:55 PM
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Post Enchi BP hatchling and tank size? Urgent help needed!

Hi peeps,

I’ve heard many contradictory opinions about suitable tank size and am somewhat confused….

I'm a newbie and have just bought a 4 month old female Enchi BP, who is currently 20" and 160g, called Honey.

I’ve bought (but not yet assembled) an MFC (with locking glass doors) vivarium, measuring 24” L x 15” W x 15” H.

It will have a heat mat (10” x 11”) at one end in a heat mat holder, positioned on the bottom LHS, as per the instructions. Substrate will be 17mm astroturf.

I will be using plenty of hides, branches, some artificial leaves hanging from the walls etc, so as to give her a space filled with lots of stuff rather than a fairly bare and ‘open’ looking tank.

The heatmat of course has a temperature probe, which will be attached to the centre of the mat inside the LHS of the tank. There will be an analogue hygrometer in the middle of the rear tank wall and a digital thermometer with the probe also attached to the middle of the back wall. In addition there will be a cheap adhesive aquarium type thermometer stuck on the RHS of the tank on the rear wall.

Lighting is via a 2ft white LED kit for daytime use, and to pimp it out a little a bit I have a set of 3 single blue LEDs to give some illumination in the dark when the white LED strip is switched off. I have a dimmer for both of the lights.

Could this new vivarium be too big and intimidating for her?

My idea was to put her current tub, with the lid off, at the warm end of the new tank and just give her the option of what to do. I don’t want to freak her out by giving her too much space related to her size, but have read things on the web that say that a set-up as I am describing could be absolutely fine for her.

Any advice would be much appreciated - thanks guys!

Peace out from Honey and myself
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Old 13-01-2018, 03:21 PM
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I've linked to a general care sheet in your other post which should answer most of your questions, however placing her in a two foot viv would be fine, and even getting one that is larger and suitable for an adult won's cause her stress provided there are lots of cover and hides for her.

I would ditch the blue LEDs - keep a normal photo period of 8-10 hrs of darkness. Ambient light in the room will still allow you to watch her after the main lights in the viv go out.

Personally I recommend the use of ceramic heaters on pulse or dimming stats for royals, however a 15" tall viv doesn't leave a lot of head room, so I would suggest you get a small panel of 18mm thick conti-board that's the size of the heat mat and mount the heat mat to one side. Then fit this arrangement as a shelf about 8" above the substrate, with the mat on the underside facing the substrate. Place the probe for the thermostat on the substrate under the mat and use a thermometer ( a lot of us recommend using an IR them gun) to set the hot spot to 32C.

Remember these mats are not designed to warm the air, but to provide low range IR that the snakes body can absorb and thus warm up. Placing a mat in confined spaces such as under glass, buried by substrate etc just causes it to be insulated and thus over heats and work inefficiently.
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Old 13-01-2018, 06:36 PM
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Smile Thanks again Malc!

Okay, I understand what you are suggesting and it sounds good to me.
I was a bit concerned about just placing the mat under the substrate as it might not work efficiently, especially as I will be using 17mm astroturf - a choice I made as I think it will look good as well as reading that it makes a good substrate.
I assume that placing astroturf on top of the shelf will not be a problem either.
Thanks once more - I really appreciate your expertise in helping me out with these newbie questions.
I think Honey will feel like a princess in a chateau compared to her current small RUB!
Many thanks - Ben & Honey
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Old 13-01-2018, 08:03 PM
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Default Regarding size of heatmat, shelf and tank size...

I've been thinking and the heatmat I've currently got is 28x28cm, so the shelf/mat combination would take up almost half of the vivarium.
Could I get a good result with a smaller heatmat and shelf, taking into account that there would be no other heat source in the vivarium?
I'm guessing the answer is 'no' but I'd like an experienced opinion!
Thanks in advance
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Old 13-01-2018, 08:08 PM
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I wouldn't recommend going to a smaller mat. Just fix the mat to the top of the viv at one side until you can get a 3' or better still 4' vivarium and kit it out with a ceramic heater and stat
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Old 13-01-2018, 08:27 PM
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I was thinking of perhaps fixing it to the left hand wall or left hand side of the rear wall, with the bottom of the mat about a centimetre above the substrate, or alternatively placing it right at the top?
I can get one of these glass heat mat holders to put the heatmat inside if this is a good idea, in order to lessen the chance of the snake hurting itself if touching it?
They are supposed to sit under the substrate, but as you advised before, this might stifle the heat dispersal?
Sorry to bother you with so many questions today - I promise to leave you alone after this!!
Here is the link to the glass heat mat holder:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vivexotic....c100012.m1985
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Old 13-01-2018, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malc View Post
I wouldn't recommend going to a smaller mat. Just fix the mat to the top of the viv at one side until you can get a 3' or better still 4' vivarium and kit it out with a ceramic heater and stat
Putting a mat at the top is pointless. Mats are contact heaters so doing this deprives the snake of any heat.
OP, your best bet is to get a bigger viv and set it up with a ceramic heater controlled by a stat, as advised by Paul.
I'm a bit concerned though as you say you have the snake, but haven't yet built its viv??
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Old 13-01-2018, 09:31 PM
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ok so my advice is a lot different from malcs which is the norm as theres more than one way to raise a ball python

***first, leave it in the tub u have it in, for a month, its new, let it settle, let it feed regularly.

re the cage, assemble it, ditch the astroturf its beyond useless (except its remote resemblance to grass) place the mat where u were going to, with the stats probe and a digital thermometer probe on it, controlling it and displaying its surface temp.

if the cage is in a warm room, 75+ (ideally 78-80) 24/7 this should be sufficient (but not ideal for a cage setting). if the room is cooler and/or to heat the cage air u have two options (well 3)

1. use a high wattage mat, stuck to ceiling above surface mat position HabiStat High Power Mat UK Adhesive 11"x11" 280mmx280mm 25W it must be on its own stat or channel of a dual channel stat. it cannot run from the surface mats stat

2. use a low profile ceramic like these http://whitepython.com/product/ultra-slim-heat-lamps/ 60w is fine, it will need guarded, bought or made. stat options are as 1.

3. cut a circular hole in cage ceiling cover with mesh sit a classic heat dome + ceramic on top, it uses none of ur cage height when used externally, stat as above, checked with digital thermometer where necessary.

as for substrates use eco earth, aspen, lignocel, organic soil, paper, bark. re the mat and substrates, fill the cage with substrate, sweep away the patch where the mat is, hide on top, simple. i have used habistat mats with several inches of substrate on top with no issues.

i do believe u should do this first *** it gives u time to complete the cage, be aware that cage size is not suitable for an adult royal python and will merely be a stepping stone, but u have it so u may as well use it.

rgds
ed
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Last edited by loxocemus; 13-01-2018 at 09:41 PM..
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Old 13-01-2018, 09:54 PM
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Thanks for the input chaps!
It's all so interesting, especially how people's opinions differ on the same subject.
Ok, so bearing in mind all of the above info and opinion, what do you all think about this idea?
How about using the Vivexotic Heat Mat Holder with heatmat inside (obviously) attached either on the floor under the substrate, or on the wall like I was thinking?
Hopefully this would provide enough heat for the entire vivarium, adding in the factor of the ambient room temperature, which is usually pretty warm. My wife is Venezuelan and we live in the UK so the heating is always on as she feels she is freezing otherwise lol!
If further heat was needed I'd have to put the heatmat and heatmat holder under the substrate, drill the hole in the ceiling and install the heat lamp outside the tank as suggested.
Unfortunately I don't have the option of buying a bigger vivarium. At the moment we live in a tiny place where there is literally a single 2 foot space to use. There is absolutely nowhere else I could place a bigger one at the moment. Plus I have already bought the 2ft vivarium!
I really appreciate all this input guys, it's very much appreciated.
Many thanks - peace out
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Old 13-01-2018, 10:27 PM
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if the room is always warm (like 75+ 24/7) then this "the Vivexotic Heat Mat Holder with heatmat inside (obviously) attached on the floor under the substrate" (<on the side is no good)

otherwise this

"If further heat was needed I'd have to put the heatmat and heatmat holder under the substrate, drill the hole in the ceiling and install the heat lamp outside the tank as suggested."

royal pythons, especially young royals dont like change, they like routine, for them routine is safe, routine is good. if its happy in its tub dont rush the cage, if it was me id purchase the equipment for air heating, high wattage pad or otherwise, while the python is adjusting to ur home in its tub. because theres absolutely no harm in using it anyway, even if u think its not necessary.

the added benefit is that when ur ready for the adult cage (3x2x2 - 4x2x2) u have all the equipment for it already, so its in no way, wasted cash. cheap lighting for cages can be white led strips.

ps seriously dont use that astroturf, other than being bacteria petri dishes it doesn't allow burrowing, and young royals like to burrow from time to time.

rgds
ed

Quote:
Originally Posted by benjeeman View Post
Thanks for the input chaps!
It's all so interesting, especially how people's opinions differ on the same subject.
Ok, so bearing in mind all of the above info and opinion, what do you all think about this idea?
How about using the Vivexotic Heat Mat Holder with heatmat inside (obviously) attached either on the floor under the substrate, or on the wall like I was thinking?
Hopefully this would provide enough heat for the entire vivarium, adding in the factor of the ambient room temperature, which is usually pretty warm. My wife is Venezuelan and we live in the UK so the heating is always on as she feels she is freezing otherwise lol!
If further heat was needed I'd have to put the heatmat and heatmat holder under the substrate, drill the hole in the ceiling and install the heat lamp outside the tank as suggested.
Unfortunately I don't have the option of buying a bigger vivarium. At the moment we live in a tiny place where there is literally a single 2 foot space to use. There is absolutely nowhere else I could place a bigger one at the moment. Plus I have already bought the 2ft vivarium!
I really appreciate all this input guys, it's very much appreciated.
Many thanks - peace out
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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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