Ball Python Care
Baby ball pythons will do well in a ten gallon aquarium however they will quickly outgrow this and need to be moved up to a 20 or even 30 gallon for a larger female. For an adult you want a floor space of about 12" by 30". However many owners use varying sizes of cages so try to get something around that size.
Provide a place for your snake to hide, in the wild they like to burrow into abandoned termite mounds and rat dens to hide. They like to be well hidden so if you have your snake in an all glass aquarium you want to be sure that it has plenty of places to hide and block the view of the outside. You can even put up an opaque barrier like cloth or paper around most of the glass enclosure to help your snake feel more secure.
For bedding you can use paper, aspen bedding, and shredded newspaper. There are a few other options as well, however avoid wood chips like cedar and pine which are toxic to your snake.
Ball pythons should have a hot spot of 90 to 95 degrees and the cool side 80 degrees, this allows your ball python to move between the two sides to thermo-regulate its body temperature. This can be achieved with an under tank heater or an overhead ceramic bulb. UVB is optional, most owners do not use one however it can increase their color and make it look nicer. But they are nocturnal so it is not necessary.
Humidity is important,you want some parts of the cage to be higher humidity. One thing you can do is spray inside the hides to create a higher humidity hiding spot for them, this helps them shed as well. Just remember not to soak the bedding because this can cause mold growth and health issues like scale rot. If you notice your animal having trouble shedding, meaning it is not coming off in one piece then the humidity is too low. You want to keep the humidity around 60%. Always provide a fresh water dish in the cage at all times so your snake can drink when thirsty. Be sure to clean the water bowl often to prevent bacteria growth
You can feed your snake mice or rats exclusively since they are strictly carnivores. Feed your snake a prey size as wide as the widest part of the snake. Feeding every 7-10 days is recommended, however sometimes your snake may not eat during certain times of the year and depending on its age it may take breaks from eating as well. Do not worry if your snake misses a few meals as this is common. Ball pythons can actually go several months without food!
Handling your snake is perfectly fine and they do not mind it usually. Most ball pythons are naturally docile. However they can bite so be sure to know the snake on an individual level and always use caution when handling to avoid any unnecessary bites.
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