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hewo (children's python advice needed please and thank you)

hello, imma just write down all my questions on this one thread to get it all out of the way and stop pestering everybody. lol
okay so im getting a juvenile children's python and have been told it would do better in a tub system with a 7-14w heat mat underneath one third of it. I intend to keep it in this setup until it reaches maturity (although I may move it sooner) as I would prefer a more "aesthetically pleasing" setup. would this cause too much stress on the animal to just change its home all of sudden to something completely different? should I just stuck with one its whole life? the dream vivarium would be a reptile one 120x60x60 cm (100-150w bulb) with mixed substrate. the hot side would have pieces of reptile tile with sand in between, is sand okay for snakes and will the tile get too hot and burn them? The cold side will have a mix of Cocohusk and (treated) leaf litter with a climbing branch (how should is secure the branch?), will coco husk get into the heat pits and is this mixture good at retaining humidity or should I have a humidity hide? if so how often should I have a humidity hide iso that I can avoid scale rot? is it okay to mix substrates like this?
also the temperature of the room can get pretty hot in the summer (there is no other room and I don't know how hot it can get, ill be running tests) if the room gets over the recommend hot side temp (around 30ish c) what should I do?

sorry that there is so many question ty for any replies :)
 

Wolfgang5

Not so new Member
Please take this as personal experience and not as gospel as I'm no expert.

My first python was kept in a small tub for the first 2 or so days but as a new owner, I didn't really understand the temperature gradients or what I was doing and it drove me insane.
I couldn't sleep and spent 90% of my time checking on my snake and worrying.

So I decided after reading multiple varying advice that I would move him into a more long term semi permanent enclosure and bought him a 900x600x600.

I filled it with a coco substrate and as many hides and fake plants as I could find as I thought this would help him feel more enclosed and safe.

Long story short, until he was no longer small enough to hide, I never saw him.
He kept hiding and if he did need to move around for heat etc, he would utilise all the greenery to ensure we never saw him at all.

He is now a few years on and is, to the best of my knowledge, happy, confident, and healthy.

On the flip side of that, recently, I acquired a very young hatching, tiny, like the size of a pen.
She was kept in an appropriate sized tub with a heat mat, a hide, and a couple of sticks to climb on.
After a few months she outgrew the tiny tub and we moved her into a more "mature enclosure", to this day she happily basks in the open and explores in pure safety and comfort.

Maybe its just an individual thing but she only uses her hide when its time to sleep.

I currently have 4 separate pythons who were raised differently but the one thing they all have in common is their love of small tight places.

I think as new owners we misinterpret their needs for our own and whilst we believe more space and "affectionate" time is better for them, that's for us and it is in spite of their wants and needs.

Anyone, please correct me if I am wrong, but you will have plenty of time to enjoy a large open display enclosure but for the time being, seriously consider the pythons wants and needs and stick to the small tub until he or she grows out of it.
This way your snake will feel more secure and it will give you time to learn about your snakes need and allow more time to set up the perfect permanent home.
Two things really surprised me, how big a meal these animals will eat, and how little space they actually want and need.

But if you choose to go the bigger enclosure route, which is what would happen in nature, just fill it with as many hides and crevices as you can possible fit in, both hot and cold so the little one can always find somewhere to feel secure, I don't know how true this is but I have heard many people say that a snake will choose security over thermo regulation so it is possible that that could be an issue if the hides are not accessible in the right temp range.

Don't worry about securing sticks etc, just prop them up against the side of the enclosure and you should be fine, I've yet to see any of my animals fall off a branch.

And lastly, again I could be wrong, but do you absolutely need to use sand? I prefer to use coco husks as a substrate which works great and as a natural fibre there is little chance of anything going wrong if its swallowed, but in my youngings tubs, I just use paper or paper based litter as its easy to replace and clean.

Other people may have more input here but this is just my own limited opinion, just if you do go with the tub and heat mat, or any enclosure, make sure your heat source is connected to a thermostat and do not let the snake come in direct contact with the heat source, don't be too concerned about the once off hot or cold day, if the little one gets too warm, they can always take a dip in the water bowl.
In nature we get hot and cold, just don't keep regular temps out of range long term.

If anyone has any other opinions, I would love to hear them too as I believe we are always learning and knowledge is the key to a long and happy life for both us and our animals.
 
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Please take this as personal experience and not as gospel as I'm no expert.

My first python was kept in a small tub for the first 2 or so days but as a new owner, I didn't really understand the temperature gradients or what I was doing and it drove me insane.
I couldn't sleep and spent 90% of my time checking on my snake and worrying.

So I decided after reading multiple varying advice that I would move him into a more long term semi permanent enclosure and bought him a 900x600x600.

I filled it with a coco substrate and as many hides and fake plants as I could find as I thought this would help him feel more enclosed and safe.

Long story short, until he was no longer small enough to hide, I never saw him.
He kept hiding and if he did need to move around for heat etc, he would utilise all the greenery to ensure we never saw him at all.

He is now a few years on and is, to the best of my knowledge, happy, confident, and healthy.

On the flip side of that, recently, I acquired a very young hatching, tiny, like the size of a pen.
She was kept in an appropriate sized tub with a heat mat, a hide, and a couple of sticks to climb on.
After a few months she outgrew the tiny tub and we moved her into a more "mature enclosure", to this day she happily basks in the open and explores in pure safety and comfort.

Maybe its just an individual thing but she only uses her hide when its time to sleep.

I currently have 4 separate pythons who were raised differently but the one thing they all have in common is their love of small tight places.

I think as new owners we misinterpret their needs for our own and whilst we believe more space and "affectionate" time is better for them, that's for us and it is in spite of their wants and needs.

Anyone, please correct me if I am wrong, but you will have plenty of time to enjoy a large open display enclosure but for the time being, seriously consider the pythons wants and needs and stick to the small tub until he or she grows out of it.
This way your snake will feel more secure and it will give you time to learn about your snakes need and allow more time to set up the perfect permanent home.
Two things really surprised me, how big a meal these animals will eat, and how little space they actually want and need.

But if you choose to go the bigger enclosure route, which is what would happen in nature, just fill it with as many hides and crevices as you can possible fit in, both hot and cold so the little one can always find somewhere to feel secure, I don't know how true this is but I have heard many people say that a snake will choose security over thermo regulation so it is possible that that could be an issue if the hides are not accessible in the right temp range.

Don't worry about securing sticks etc, just prop them up against the side of the enclosure and you should be fine, I've yet to see any of my animals fall off a branch.

And lastly, again I could be wrong, but do you absolutely need to use sand? I prefer to use coco husks as a substrate which works great and as a natural fibre there is little chance of anything going wrong if its swallowed, but in my youngings tubs, I just use paper or paper based litter as its easy to replace and clean.

Other people may have more input here but this is just my own limited opinion, just if you do go with the tub and heat mat, or any enclosure, make sure your heat source is connected to a thermostat and do not let the snake come in direct contact with the heat source, don't be too concerned about the once off hot or cold day, if the little one gets too warm, they can always take a dip in the water bowl.
In nature we get hot and cold, just don't keep regular temps out of range long term.

If anyone has any other opinions, I would love to hear them too as I believe we are always learning and knowledge is the key to a long and happy life for both us and our animals
Post automatically merged:

I 100% agree with what you are saying, the animals health and happiness should be above anything else. thanks for the feedback. ive heard its beneficial to have a day and night cycle this isn't achievable in a tub setup is it? (lol that probably a dumb question)
 

Wolfgang5

Not so new Member
Nothing is a dumb question, we all need to learn, I'm still learning and I believe even the most experienced keepers still learn every day.

If you are concerned about a day/night cycle, you could always use a timer, although its not really necessary for the first year.
After this there are all sorts of things we can do to replicate nature, such as limiting the time of heat depending on seasons, setting timers for lights, switching off all heating at night etc, but this is something you will learn over time.

I know it all seems overwhelming and complicated however once you have the enclosure or tub set up, its pretty much a set and forget, obviously we monitor for any changes and make adjustments if required but overall once its set, its set.

Keep asking questions and researching for yourself, everyone has a different opinion and technique, so its great to get lots of information so you can make informed decisions.
 
Nothing is a dumb question, we all need to learn, I'm still learning and I believe even the most experienced keepers still learn every day.

If you are concerned about a day/night cycle, you could always use a timer, although its not really necessary for the first year.
After this there are all sorts of things we can do to replicate nature, such as limiting the time of heat depending on seasons, setting timers for lights, switching off all heating at night etc, but this is something you will learn over time.

I know it all seems overwhelming and complicated however once you have the enclosure or tub set up, its pretty much a set and forget, obviously we monitor for any changes and make adjustments if required but overall once its set, its set.

Keep asking questions and researching for yourself, everyone has a different opinion and technique, so its great to get lots of information so you can make informed decisions.
ty also last thing sorry to pester you, what are some other good sand substitutes (preferably yellow or orange in colour)
 

Wolfgang5

Not so new Member
You're not pestering me, i struggled at the start too because I kept finding so many conflicting opinions and felt so confused, its one thing to read online and then another to get several "expert" opinions which don't match.

I'm not an expert and I'm always happy to be corrected if someone has better advice but I'm always happy to try.

From what I've read most untreated organic material is fine, I say untreated because we don't want to poison our animals with chemicals from treated substrate.
Obviously there are exceptions so I suggest once you choose one, do a quick search to find any issues.

I found a substrate list on an old thread that may be of help to you but if you wanted a quick immediate fix, you can buy a product called Aspen bedding which is a commercial product specifically for reptiles.

I'm sure with a little investigation you will be able to find your own cheaper alternative such as I do by buying dehydrated coco husks from bunnings instead of pet stores.

Its just a matter of researching the colours / texture you want in commercial products and seeking out an alternative of your own.

I found YouTube videos on boiling leaves for leaf litter which saves on buying commercial products which are exactly the same thing.

Have a quick read through this thread and do some investigation, I'm sure you will find the perfect solution.
 

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You're not pestering me, i struggled at the start too because I kept finding so many conflicting opinions and felt so confused, its one thing to read online and then another to get several "expert" opinions which don't match.

I'm not an expert and I'm always happy to be corrected if someone has better advice but I'm always happy to try.

From what I've read most untreated organic material is fine, I say untreated because we don't want to poison our animals with chemicals from treated substrate.
Obviously there are exceptions so I suggest once you choose one, do a quick search to find any issues.

I found a substrate list on an old thread that may be of help to you but if you wanted a quick immediate fix, you can buy a product called Aspen bedding which is a commercial product specifically for reptiles.

I'm sure with a little investigation you will be able to find your own cheaper alternative such as I do by buying dehydrated coco husks from bunnings instead of pet stores.

Its just a matter of researching the colours / texture you want in commercial products and seeking out an alternative of your own.

I found YouTube videos on boiling leaves for leaf litter which saves on buying commercial products which are exactly the same thing.

Have a quick read through this thread and do some investigation, I'm sure you will find the perfect solution.
tysm you're an absolute legend :))
 
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