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  • o Tank – 40-120 Gallon
    o Substrate – 36-70 qt
    o Heating – overhead or undertank, if using an
    undertank heater a
    thermostat is required
    o Digital Thermo-hygrometer
    o Water Dish – large enough
    for the snake to fit inside
    o Minimum 3 Hides
    o Low output UVB –
    Optional but recommended.

  • Ball Pythons prefer floor space to height. A young snake can be started in a 20-gallon tank, though we recommended starting in a 40. An adult should be housed in a minimum 48x24x12

  • Ball Pythons require a warm area around 90-95 degrees and a cooler area around 80 degrees. A small amount of 5.0/6% uvb is recommended to have as well.

  • Ball Pythons require a warm area around 90-95 degrees and a cooler area around 80 degrees.
    Overhead lighting should be turned off at night to maintain a day/night cycle.

    If the cage drops under 68 at night a supplemental night heat source may be required.

  • 50-70% humidity is ideal. This can be achieved through regular misting of the enclosure as well as proper substrate. The humidity should be increased during the shedding cycle.
    Proper humidity can be obtained by misting the enclosure daily. Keep track of the humidity gauge in the enclosure to determine whether more or less misting is required. If levels keep dropping, part of the screen top can be covered to help keep humidity in.

  • Ball Pythons feed solely on rodents. Prey can be offered alive, freshly killed, or frozen/thawed. Ball Pythons are known to be picky eaters and we do not recommend them to keepers who are opposed to feeding live prey, as no guarantee can be made that they will eat frozen/thawed rodents.
    Ball pythons should eat a prey item slightly larger than the circumference of the largest part of their body. The size of the head and neck can be ignored. A lump in the middle of the body should be apparent after feeding, if a lump is no longer seen it is time to move up the prey size. They generally eat once per week on smaller sized prey. Once eating on medium rats, the rate of feeding can be slowed to once every 14 days. Live prey should never be left unattended with the snake. Frozen food must be completely thawed and warm before offering to the snake.
    All snakes should be kept in their enclosure for feeding. It reduces the stress on the animals and makes them more likely to eat. Removing them from their caging does not make them less “aggressive” but can cause your snake to not want to eat.

  • Ball Pythons should be given a variety of hiding places throughout the terrarium. Bark, driftwood, leaf litter, and plants provide great sources of shelter.

  • Spot clean your ball python’s enclosure daily, removing any feces, urates, or shed skin. Full substrate changes should be done every 6 months unless a bioactive setup is in place.

  • Ball Pythons are generally shy, but docile, slow-moving snakes. They should be supported from underneath, with care taken to avoid having their body dangling freely. They can be easily startled by fast movements in front of their head, especially when younger, and care should be taken to move slowly. They should not be handled for at least 24 hours before or after a meal, as this can stress them to the point of not eating or regurgitation.

    Snake mites are the most common health concern encountered by snake keepers. Mites are transferred from snake to snake mostly through handling by multiple people. They can be prevented by washing hands before and after holding any snake. 
To treat mites, we suggest a combination of a topical treatment on the snake along with a deep clean and treatment of the terrarium. There are several products available for this.
    Respiratory infections are an ailment that can affect captive Ball Pythons. Symptoms can include wheezing, open-mouthed breathing, and bubbles and fluid coming from the nose/mouth. This is generally brought on by improper cage conditions, mostly too cold of an environment coupled with unsanitary living conditions. Correcting the terrarium conditions often helps, but antibiotics are almost always needed to completely take care of the infection.

Ball Python Care Sheet

Ball Pythons hail from sub-saharan West Africa. They inhabit mostly grasslands and savannahs bordering forests and woodlands, spending most of their time in burrows or under fallen logs and debris on the forest floor.
As ambush predators, they sit and wait for food to wander by, rather than actively foraging for prey. Sometimes they can wait for weeks or even months between meals. 
Ball Pythons get their name from their defensive behavior of curling into a ball when threatened, opposed to striking out in self-defense. 
Also called “Royal Pythons” these snakes are often kept as pets and worn as adornments among the leaders of African tribes where these snakes are found.

Size: 36-60 inches
Lifespan: 20-30 years
Diet: Rodents
Care Level: Beginner
Temperament: Docile
Activity: Nocturnal

Dfw Reptarium reserves the right to refuse sale of any animal that we do not believe will receive proper care.

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