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Ball Pythons (continued)

(Python Regius)


Ball Python Snake

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Select a suitable substrate

Use paper towels at first. These are easily and quickly removed and replaced when soiled and, with an import, will allow you to better monitor for the presence of mites and the condition of the feces. Once the animal is established, you can use more decorative ground cover such as commercially prepared shredded cypress or fir bark. Pine and aspen shavings should not be used as they can become lodged in the mouth while eating, causing respiratory and other problems. The shavings must be monitored closely and all soiled and wet shavings pulled out immediately to prevent bacteria and fungus growths. The utilitarian approach is to use inexpensive Astroturf. Extra pieces can be kept in reserve and used when the soiled piece is removed for cleaning and drying (soak in one gallon of water to which you have added two tablespoon of household bleach; rinse thoroughly, and dry completely before reuse). Remember: the easier it is to clean, the faster you'll do it!

Provide a hiding place

A half-log is available at pet stores. An empty cardboard box or upside-down opaque plastic container, both with an access doorway cut into one end, can also be used. The plastic is easily cleaned when necessary; the box can be tossed out when soiled and replaced with a new one. The box or log must be big enough for the snake to hide its entire body inside; you will need to eventually replace it as your snake grows. Balls prefer dark places for sleeping and, as they are nocturnal, they like the dark place during our daylight hours; they also like to sleep in something that is close around them, so do not buy or make too big of a cave for its size. Place a nice climbing branch or two in the tank with some fake greenery screening part of it; your Ball will enjoy hanging out in the "tree."

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