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Thread: Ball Python Cage.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Default Ball Python Cage.

    I have some questions.

    I have a Ball Python in a 10 gallon right now. I have a 40 gallon exoterra cage that I want to move him too, give him more room and more places to hide.

    He was only about 10in when I got him, and he has shedded twice since I had him. I would say he is about 13in now.

    My only concern is the substrate I have in my exoterra cage. Right now I have a three layer substrate in the cage with no animal in. I had two crested gecko's in the cage, but after talking to an expert on the gecko's I decided they would be better suited for someone that has more knowledge with them. I am happy to report both are doing very well now and have grown far beyond what I thought was possible for them. I traded for the hatchling python, and he has doing well in the 10 gallon starting out. I feed frozen fuzzies right now.

    So anyway, the three layers are. Aquarium rock on the bottom, about an inch of rock. Around two inches of carbon above the aquarium rock with a thin black Substrate Barrier on top. On top of the carbon I have ABG Mix soil with New Zealand Long Fiber Sphagnum Moss on top. I also have leaf litter on top of all that.

    I was wondering, would that substrate be acceptable for my python? The cage is cleaned and there is no left over poop or anything that could cross contaminate with my python. I was just wondering do you think he would like that mix? I also have a heat lamp that is both UVB and heat in one. I have many heat lamps, so I have no issue getting one spot up to 85 to 90 degrees for him.

    Last question. What bug would go good for a clean up crew for him? A bug that will eat his poop, but not hurt him. Making my mix bio-active so to speak! Would he like any live plants?

    Thanks for the help!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Thanked 268 Times in 261 Posts


    I personally wouldn't use this substrate. Another thing is, was the substrate itself cleaned thoroughly or just spot-cleaned? I highly advise against it. I recommend newspaper/paper towels with shavings. Online it might say no shavings, but Ive always used them for all of my snakes. Live plants would probably be okay, but you would need some safe for BP and sturdy enough too hold him hanging on them. P.s- you should def post pictures of your little guy! p.p.s- the ten gallon will be okay for a little longer.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Thanked 20 Times in 20 Posts


    Your substrate is not great for a ball. Also, unless you sterilized all the media, there is no way to know if it's actually free of parasites that could make your snake sick. Also, their poop is way too big to rely on micro cleaning bugs. An adult ball's poop is about the same size as a cat's. I have used cage carpet (it's a pain to clean, and you'll need two of them to rotate when you have to clean one), aspen shavings (NEVER use cedar--it's carcinogenic), and blank news print (aka packing paper). I finally went with the packing paper after I inquired with 20+ breeders/dealers at a major show, and that was what the majority used (the rest used aspen, or cypress shavings, or paper towel). Your 10 gallon will be fine for awhile. Moving him into the 40 is going to give him too much space to be in and he'll just panic and hide and be stressed. Oh, balls don't need UVB, just heat. I use UTH (Under tank heat pad) on a thermostat controller, for each cage, and my largest cage also has a ceramic heat emitter on the opposite end. I use an under cabinet light with a bulb that's close to full spectrum (nothing fancy, I just like the way that type of bulb looks), to provide light so I can see and enjoy them. If you want to use real plants, they need to be sturdy, and you need to keep the drain water from getting loose in the cage. Honestly, there are plenty of very nice fake plants out there that would be a better choice. Not only will they hold up, they won't die, and you can sterilize them/clean them if there is a problem. You may want to consider getting a cage that is intermediate in size, to move to as your baby gets bigger, before moving into the 40. You can find lots of used cages on craigslist. Just make sure to sterilize it before you move your snake into it. Oh, wood is fun, but it is extremely hard to sterilize. You can find ceramic or plastic pieces that look just like wood. Oh, you should always use a thermostat controller for your heating. You do NOT want to accidentally burn your animal.


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