Snakes/MY PET BP
QUESTION: I recently put some cypress mulch in his tank, which already had the saw dust looking stuff, sorry don't remember the name. I was holding when I put the mulch in, then put him in and let him slide off my wrist. I looked about 10 min. or so later and he was on one of the fake vine/plant as high as he could get. The tank is 17" tall / 24" in length.That was the 1st time he has ever climbed. Does he not like the mulch? Also he seems to hang in a cooler corner. Is that normal? I have only had him for 3 wks. I got him from Petco, they told me he was approx. 2 months old. He is 16". I could really use some answers in helping me to understand the feelings,thoughts, and any other behaviors that ZEUS may expieriencing.
ANSWER: I am sorry to hear that you are having issues with your new guy, to start off, Petco is not known for knowing a whole lot about their animals or for caring for them well. A 16 inch bp baby (fed well) will be about 4+ months old. He is most likely anywhere from 6 months to a year old and is just smaller. They feed them as little as possible so they stay small and they make a bigger profit off of them.
With that being said, watch him for any signs of illness here in the next few weeks, mites, respiratory infection, scale rot.. I only recommend mulch for boa's and other wet climate animals. Bp's are found in very dry and humid climates so if your mulch stays to wet then you could cause scale rot. Also if you are talking about coconut husk when you refer to the sawdust stuff, then that will really keep the tank wet.
Personally I would remove it and use aspen shavings, NO pine or cedar at all. They will kill your snake. These are also easier to clean and wont mold up or smell like mildew like the mulch would. Also a lot of places will use manure, pesticides and weed killer in their products so be careful. It may be that he does not like the texture of it.
Also I would stick with paper towels for a while, baby snakes are prone to infection and illness and are not the best eaters and if they get a piece of bedding in their mouth, they can get mouth rot. I always use paper towels until they are eating well.
If he is staying on the cool side, then check your temps and humidity. It may be to hot for him on the warm side.
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QUESTION: First of all Thank you so very much for the quick response and knowledge. I have a small heat rock in Zeus' tank. Should I put a humidifier in there as well? I live in Alaska, which we are starting our cold temps. I ran a small amount of warm water in the bathtub lastnight, he didn't seem to mind. What are your thoughts on all of that?
Heat rocks are bad, bad, bad. You don't know how many reptiles have had major burns from them because they fault and you wont know it until the animal is burnt. I would throw that out and get a heat lamp or a under the tank heat pad, I would recommend both since you live where it gets so cold.
But heat rocks are so bad, I would not get a humidifier. Just a light mist of him and the tank daily with warm water will do. When you bathe him, make sure the water is not "feel good warm" to you. As that is to hot for the snake, you want luke warm, if not a little bit cool but not cold. I have to many snakes to bathe frequently, but if one has a bad shed I will run the tub and soak them in it. It is good for them, just make sure it is rinsed well, some soap scum residue can cause skin, eye or health issues on them. I actually had one snake die a few years back.
I was sick and had bought a tea tree oil infused bath soap and didn't even think about it, I filled up the tub and soaked the snake and the next day she was dead. Apparently she drank the water and the residue that was in it from my soap killed her. So just give it a good rinse and wipe down with your hand to get any soap slime out of it.