Juvenile Antaresia Python Enclosure Help!

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LucyE

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We have a juvenile Stimsons (or should that be Childrens?) python - he's 6 months old & we've had him for a couple of months (he's called Aspheera - named by my 8 year old son). Bought from a reputable breeder.

I'm finding it tricky to keep the ambient temperature in his enclosure high enough without putting the heating on in the bedroom he's in. Currently he's in a plastic box, suitable density breathing holes for cool/warm ends, paper for substrate, water in the cool end (as recommended by the breeder). We've used a LOT of insulation - he's in a wooden box, fleece around (but not touching) the box, and foil around the bit of the warm section that doesn't have holes in. He has a cardboard toilet roll for a hide under the paper His temps are between 28-30 ambient warm end temps and around 33-35 at the base of the box (we're using a heat mat), then between 22-24 at the cool end. At night and sometimes on a cold day, his ambient warm temps can drop a couple of degrees to 26-27, which I think might be too low? He didn't eat for 2 weeks because of shedding, then he ate 3 pinkies, but on his last feeding day (and the day after), looked interested in the mice, but then decided that exploring was far more interesting! So now he's not eaten for another couple of weeks (feeding day will be Wednesday, as I don't want to stress him out too much by trying to feed him too often). I'm a bit concerned that that's too long of a gap for a python of his age?

I'm thinking of creating a larger box (or getting a larger enclosure - one that he'll grow in to), putting his existing box in it and getting the ambient temperature of that box higher using a ceramic "globe" over the warm end, so that his ambient warm end temps are always over 28. Does this sound like a good idea? We have some reflective insulation we could put around a standard glass enclosure, or I guess we could try and make a wooden enclosure, but I'm not sure how to make it hygienic? Is it a good idea to have LED lights on during daylight hours (and maybe some UV - I've read that it isn't necessary, but a good idea), and then make sure he's quite dark at night? Ideally, we want to move him into our son's room, but he has lights on at night, so we would need to make sure we can cover him and still maintain his temps.

Re: substrate, we were advised to use paper, even for an adult. Is this a generally good idea? What does everyone else use? To me, Aspheera looks like he wants to have a bit of space where he can explore a bit, or find different hides. I wonder if I'm reading human desires into his actions though. I believe they like small enclosures, but how do you know when they can go up a bit in size, or when they should have a few more hides/branches/different substrate?

I've been reading the forums & the information is really helpful - thanks! I hope I'm not duplicating too many questions (or asking too many - just want to do the right thing for our little guy!)... Thanks for reading, and hope you can help!

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Herpetology

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I'm thinking of creating a larger box (or getting a larger enclosure - one that he'll grow in to), putting his existing box in it and getting the ambient temperature of that box higher using a ceramic "globe" over the warm end, so that his ambient warm end temps are always over 28. Does this sound like a good idea?
Nope, it doesnt, you will just have more issues trying to create a suitable gradient

the temps you have given are perfectly fine (if not a little high)

you want the temps of where the snake sits ontop of the heat mat around 32-33, using a heat mat will not heat the air much, only the surface that it’s sitting under

and other end can be around 25-28 or room temps

don’t overthink this, it is to create a space that the animal can thermoregulate (control it’s temperatures) by moving from the hot end to cold end to maintain its desired temps
 

Pythonguy1

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Is it a good idea to have LED lights on during daylight hours (and maybe some UV - I've read that it isn't necessary, but a good idea), and then make sure he's quite dark at night? Ideally, we want to move him into our son's room, but he has lights on at night, so we would need to make sure we can cover him and still maintain his temps.
As long as his tub is dark at night and light during day then that is enough to stimulate a day and night cycle which is what you want. UV light is completely unnecessary for stimson pythons so it won't make much of a difference apart from providing additional lighting during the day. All the vitamins snakes need are in their food which contains the perfect ratio of phosphorus and calcium. This is why we don't give them the supplements or UV light that we give to species that don't eat rats or mice.

Re: substrate, we were advised to use paper, even for an adult. Is this a generally good idea? What does everyone else use? To me, Aspheera looks like he wants to have a bit of space where he can explore a bit, or find different hides. I wonder if I'm reading human desires into his actions though. I believe they like small enclosures, but how do you know when they can go up a bit in size, or when they should have a few more hides/branches/different substrate?
Paper is a great idea for substrate. It's easy to clean and if your using news paper you can read the news and clean your snakes enclosure at the same time! As for going up in enclosure size; I like to move them into a bigger enclosure once they get longer than half the enclosures length.

I'm a bit concerned that that's too long of a gap for a python of his age?
They can go for months without food so there's no need to be concerned.
 

LucyE

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They can go for months without food so there's no need to be concerned.
Just checking: it's OK to let a 6 month old python to go for months without food? This seems contradictory to some other info that I've seen/read... We tried to feed him again tonight (it's 2 weeks now since his last food) and he wasn't interested. I've left the small fuzzies in his enclosure, but at least one of them is still there... How long is too long? I'm getting pretty worried. He seems fine. Very inquisitive. I know it's cold, but he's only little still!
He's definitely longer than 1/2 the enclosure length...
 

Pythonguy1

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I would never intentionally leave it for months without food however, they can go for that that long, just try not to let them. 3 months+ is what I would consider a bit too long for a six-month-old. I’m sure they could go longer without food but I would probably start to be getting concerned at that point but two weeks without a feed is hardly a reason to stress. Also, I wouldn’t let the enclosure temps drop too much over winter for a young snake. Only adults should go into brumation and not six month old snakes.
 
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LucyE

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I would never intentionally leave it for months without food however, they can go for that that long, just try not to let them. 3 months+ is what I would consider a bit too long for a six-month-old. I’m sure they could go longer without food but I would probably start to be getting concerned at that point but two weeks without a feed is hardly a reason to stress. Also, I wouldn’t let the enclosure temps drop too much over winter for a young snake. Only adults should go into brumation and not six month old snakes.
Cheers.
His temps are good, and we're trying to keep them consistent over the winter.
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He ate his 2 mice in his enclosure, so all good :) Maybe it was too cold in his feeding box yesterday (even though I did warm it up for him).
 
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CarlosTheSnake

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Just checking: it's OK to let a 6 month old python to go for months without food? This seems contradictory to some other info that I've seen/read... We tried to feed him again tonight (it's 2 weeks now since his last food) and he wasn't interested. I've left the small fuzzies in his enclosure, but at least one of them is still there... How long is too long? I'm getting pretty worried. He seems fine. Very inquisitive. I know it's cold, but he's only little still!
He's definitely longer than 1/2 the enclosure length...
mine went off food for about 2 months and he was fine. 6 month old stimsons.
 

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