Each year, ball python breeders are coming out with a new colour or pattern morph to fulfill the needs of keepers and breeders alike. During the last few decades, there was a surge in producing various pattern or color morphs, which would be the envy of the snake world. These may cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars. There are still lots of normal ball pythons being bred in captivity for the pet but there’s definite change on the market.
A growing number of people today are keeping reptiles; especially snakes generally as bits of living art. Philippe educated us then and a natural environment is the best way to celebrate our reptiles.
Reptile collectors today aren’t satisfied buying a snake, putting it into a fish tank with a screen lid, and a heater. They see their reptiles as an investment and wish to display themas they want a Picasso painting. We still see the typical buyers of reptiles within the pet industry but there’s a definite growing percentage of those that are buying the higher wind or more costly morphs so as to produce their own artistic statement in there home or office.
Solving the mystery
Keepers are way more knowledgeable today as all of us are about the maintenance specifics of reptiles. Over the last three decades, lots of individuals have learned, with much more knowledge about their preferred reptile they could make informed decisions about which product(s) will provide them not only a better environment but also a better means of reptile keeping. Nowadays more keepers are recognizing it is not about just captive care of reptiles generally, but about the natural history of the entire genre, which is currently making a difference in the way they maintain their snakes. Using the ball python for instance, many keepers thought for years that this species was just a fossorial snake. Now we know that ball pythons from some areas climb into small shrubs and spend some time there off the floor. With the tendency of creating a more natural environment for our snakes we’re observing new behaviours; I would be ready to say, if the reptiles were bred under those conditions we would also observe an increasing tendency towards improved breeding success.
Product manufacturers are also more aware of the increasing trend also. They now create a better line of goods to fulfill the requirements of the discerning keeper. Together with the producers understanding just as much if not more about our reptiles, we’re not looking through a bay window on a large environment but a microscope to the world which makes up the microenvironment of the reptiles we maintain. With this understanding, we have the ability to supply a far better captive environment, one highlighting the snake, as opposed to simply keeping it alive.
Many parameters enter this sort of environment. Previously, all we had were fish tanks with screen lids as I’d mentioned earlier. Now we have plexiglass enclosures, which are simpler to maintain. Plexiglass not only is easier to heat but in addition, it retains the humidity necessary for maintaining tropical species like the ball python.
Aside from the introduction of new materials like plexiglass for the enclosure, we now have a firmer grasp on the understanding of plants, substrates, heaters, and several other pieces of equipment which need to keep a wholesome atmosphere for our reptiles. With all this knowledge available to individuals we still observe the most frequent mistake with the new snake keeper.
They buy the snake and what they believe are the perfect stuff for your environment and then place all of this to the old kind of fish tank enclosure. The significant issue with maintaining most tropical creatures in this sort of enclosure is that there’s a enormous quantity of air exchange when display lids are used. If you reside in a dry area like myself this sort of enclosure will need misting numerous times per day. In case you’ve made a greater end investment this is a crucial part of captive care to mist the snake and then track its surroundings. Using the right enclosure such as the ones made by Ricky’ s Reptile Enclosures will save you from having to experience this matter.
Now you know which enclosure to buy, but the fun doesn’t stop there. These are cheap and easy to clean; hence, they make sense for your breeder trying to keep costs to a minimum. Breeders use either pine shavings or paper to maintain their snakes. The showcase snake though won’t be display properly on those substrates.
The Correct Plant
The planted vivarium isn’t as hard as it might appear, it is actually an issue of plant selection, positioning, and using the perfect soils. I use organic potting soil that’s pearlite free and landscape the enclosure so the rear of the enclosure is a little graded or sloped towards the front. The organic potting soil is fine on its own but to actually get a wonderful look to the total vivarium I place a coating of orchid bark or cypress mulch on top.
Not only do plants help create oxygen inside the enclosure, but they also offer a degree of humidity as does the soil/mulch mixture. Delicate ferns and other similar plants won’t stand up to a drifting P. regius.
We must also be cautious of any plants which may be poisonous to a reptile. And of course the fact that several of the plant recommendations you see online sound great. However, what they do not tell you is that their recommendations are actually bushes that can become extremely large. As an example, 1 recommendation I saw was for Callistemon, which they had misspelled as Callistemom popularly called bottlebrush. Why would you advocate that to get a reptile or amphibian enclosure?
Here’s a list of non-toxic plants which you could use without fear of them growing into trees or stabbing a drifting snake. Pothos Epipremnum pothos aureus, Liriope Lily turf, & Aspidistra Cast Iron plant are plants I have used inside the vivarium itself and have not had any issue. Some mosses may be applied as ground cover too but I have not used them before so I am unable to make any recommendations . Aside from the plants, add a sandblasted grapevine bit angled from among the bottom corners of the enclosure into the opposite upper corner diagonally so the snake can decide to be either higher or lower. I have yet to find a branch be provided that wasn’t used at some stage.
You must also offer some kind of hide area inside the enclosure. Personally, I like the half logs which are offered for this purpose. Purchase one which the snake can input and when coiled their body needs to encounter the sides. This is a vital piece as it enables the snake to feel protected.