The Veiled Chameleon Humidity Guide

Veiled Chameleon Humidity

Depending on what kind of enclosure you bought for your veiled chameleon, it can be pretty hard to reach the right humidity. Especially because veiled chameleons need a relatively high temperature when it comes to the hot spot which lowers the humidity quickly. Further they need a lot of fresh air.

Because of that, most people get a screen cage for them, which is absolutely fine. The only bad thing about it is, that such an enclosure makes it hard to maintain the right humidity for your veiled chameleon.

In this article I am going to show you different ways on how to reach the right humidity and some other things you might not know about your veiled chameleon when it comes to humidity.

What Humidity You Really Need To Get

A lot of people think that they have to get a humidity of 60% to 80% or even 90% in their veiled chameleon tank, because this is what pet shops often recommend when they sell veiled chameleons.

First of all, this isn´t even possible if you have a screen cage or sufficient ventilation in your tank. I mean, think about it, if you would try to get and maintain that, you would have mold on the wall in no time.

In fact, an average humidity of 45% is absolutely fine for veiled chameleons. If you mist, the humidity will rise to probably 65% for a short time which is absolutely okay. You don´t have to have high humidity all the time, so don´t worry about it.

The only thing you have to make sure is that your chameleon drinks enough and that it sheds easily. If it has some problems with shedding, which means parts of the old skin do not fall off, you need to get higher humidity.

veiled chameleon mist

How To Get The Right Humidity In Your Veiled Chameleon Cage

No matter what kind of tank you have, you will find something for you here. So without further ado, let´s get started.

Get A Rain System!

I know, I know, rain systems can be expensive as hell and that´s why most people do not get them. However in my opinion it is the easiest and most comfortable way of creating the right environment for your veiled chameleon. Why? 

The rain system will do everything for you on autopilot. You don´t have to worry about misting and making sure that your veiled chameleon gets something to drink anymore. Simply program the system and it will turn on automatically whenever you want. You can simulate rainy seasons or create dew in the morning for your chameleon to drink. Further such a system is absolutely awesome if you have to leave for a couple of days. Simply fill the water tank and the rain system will do it´s job.

The nozzles (the thingys where the water comes out) can be placed wherever you want in order to make sure that it only rains where you want it to.

I always ended up installing a rain system in my tank. I just didn´t want to worry about humidity all the time. Misting got on my nerves and it will probably get on your nerves as well eventually. So I highly recommend to save some money and get a rain system.

Get a rain system here!

Misting

I said it above, you can also mist your tank with a mister. There isn´t really much to say about this method except that I would get a mister that you can pump and water comes out when pulling a trigger. Don´t get one of those spray bottles where you have to pull the trigger over and over again. Your finger will be thankful. Get a great mister here!

Get The Right Substrate!

Most people do not use a substrate in their veiled chameleon tank. However this makes it very easy to maintain humidity. The substrate will stay moist and the lower section of your veiled chameleon tank will always have higher humidity then, which is awesome as you don´t have to mist that often anymore.

I recommend to get soil without any fertilizers. You can also mix it with a little bit of cypress mulch to make it look better. Cypress mulch is know for staying moist but not get moldy, so it is a great option.

veiled chameleon humid

Get Some Moss!

You might be confused now because you know moss from rainforest tanks for frogs and similar animals. However moss is awesome in a veiled chameleon tank as well. If you have a couple of logs in your tank for your veiled chameleon to climb on, you can place the moss on a horizontal spot on the log.

The moss will stay moist longer and keep the humidity higher this way. Get some great moss for that here.

Create A Microclimate With Plants

If you have plants with a lot of leaves in your tank and you mist it, there will be a microclimate between the leaves. Your overall humidity might be low, but between the leaves it will still be higher. This is a great way to offer multiple humidity levels to your veiled chameleon.

You might not know it, but by creating microclimates people in some countries are even able to keep their veiled chameleons without a tank. Some reptile keepers in Germany do that for example. They just get a tree, hang the right bulbs above the tree and mist the tree from time to time. It´s awesome, but you can´t do that in every country because of different humidity and temperature.

So if you get a tree for your tank, just make sure that there are enough leaves where the humidity can be maintained (and that the tree isn´t poisonous to veiled chameleons). However your veiled chameleon should still be able to climb without any problems of getting through.

Conclusion

As you see, getting the right humidity does not have to be hard or expensive. They don´t need very high humidity all the time, all you have to worry about is that the chameleon drinks and sheds well.

If you have any questions, simply leave a message in the comment section below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Veiled Chameleon Lighting Made Easy!

Veiled Chameleon Lighting

If you just got a veiled chameleon or if you want to get one, lighting can be a very confusing topic. There are tube bulbs, coiled bulbs, spots and tons of other bulbs. So you might have even looked for how to set up veiled chameleon lighting in forums and after that you are probably even more confused, because everybody has a unique opinion on this topic.

Don´t worry! In this article you will learn how to set up the lighting correctly, which bulbs you need and which parts you don´t need. Further I will explain to you what else you should keep in mind when it comes to lighting for your chameleon.

I promise, after reading this article you will be confusion free 🙂

Let´s Break It Down!

Lighting for most reptiles can be broken down into three different sections: Light, heat and UVB. Below you will learn what this means and what you need to create a proper lighting for your veiled chameleon.

Veiled Chameleon Heat Lamp

As all reptiles, veiled chameleons are cold blooded. That means that they need their environment to control their body temperature. In the wild, veiled chameleons use the warmth of the sun to get their body on temperature. As soon as their bodies are warm enough, they start to hunt food, look for a partner or defend their territory from other chameleons.

If veiled chameleons have no possibility to get their body on temperature, their bodies won´t function properly. They can´t move properly and they are unable to hunt food.

That´s why you have to create a sun in your chameleon inclosure. When it comes to heating, you simply need to get heat lamp like this. I recommend to use this fixture for the heat lamp so you can place the heat bulb with the fixture on top of your tank´s screencover.

veiled chameleon uvb

Veiled Chameleon Temperature

Of course, the heat bulb needs to reach a certain temperature. This is actually pretty easy, as veiled chameleons are very hardy and happy with most temperatures.

You should have a tall enclosure. At the bottom, make sure that the temperature is at least 68 °F (20 °C). In the upper section there should be a temperature of up to 86 °F (30 °C). The hot spot, which is the area right below the heat lamp, should be between 95 °F (35 °C) and 104 °F (40 °C). Yepp, this is hot.

It is okay if the temperature varies from time to time. If it is too hot, your veiled chameleon will hang out in the lower section of the enclosure. If it is too cold, you will see your chameleon near the heat lamp all the time. As I said, it is okay if the temperature varies from time to time, just make sure that it isn´t too hot or too cold all the time.

Veiled Chameleon UVB

UVB is needed to produce vitamin D3. If veiled chameleons do not produce vitamin D3, they are not able to process calcium. Calcium is needed for growth and for solid and healthy bones. If your veiled chameleon doesn´t get that, the bones will get soft, eventually your veiled chameleon won´t be able to eat anymore and it will die.

Not to mention how horribly deformed they get when their bones get soft. I know this sounds like a horror movie, but it is true. That´s why you need to make sure that you have a great UVB bulb.

ReptiSun – The Best UVB Bulb

The ReptiSun is one of the greatest UVB bulbs you can get on the market.

Zoo Med T5 HO Reptisun Terrarium Hood

The best UVB bulb is this one. If you want to get a good UVB bulb, there is no way around it. The lights should be placed on top of the enclosure as well. The bulb should be as wide as your tank, so simply choose your needed size and you are fine. It even comes with a fixture.

Get The UVB Bulb + Fixture here!

What About Light?

Many people think that veiled chameleons don´t need too much light. They think it is okay if it is rather dark in the tank. However that is not true. You should make sure that the tank is very bright. Most chameleon species love that.

Further you should make sure that you create a day and a night cycle. 12 hours of light is okay for a chameleon. Please do not leave the lights on during the night. I get so many emails from reptile keepers who tell me that they leave the lights on 24/7, because they don´t know if their chameleon dies if they turn off the lights.

Chameleons need sleep, so turn the lights of manually or use a time switch like this. Both bulbs, the heat bulb and the UVB bulb.

What Else Should You Know?

You should know that the UVB bulbs have to be replaced every six to eight months. The UVB output wears off after some time.

Further you should make sure that your veiled chameleon is able to get out of the sun. So put a lot of plants inside the chameleon enclosure. In my opinion a ficus is good for a veiled chameleon cage. There are a lot of leaves and branches your chameleon can use for climbing and it offers a lot of protection from the “sun” if the chameleon feels it has enough.

If you need help with setting up a complete veiled chameleon tank, read my veiled chameleon tank setup guide.

Conclusion

As you see, veiled chameleon lighting is not really hard. The only hard thing about it is the research. So make sure you create an awesome lighting for your veiled chameleon. If you have any questions, leave a message below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

Veiled Chameleon Lifespan – How Long Do Veiled Chameleons Live?

Veiled Chameleon Lifespan

You probably just got a veiled chameleon or you are planning to get one and now you are asking yourself how much time you will have with this wonderful creature. I have some good news and some bad news for you.

The bad news is that veiled chameleons do not live that long. The good news is that there are ways to make sure that your veiled chameleon has a relatively long life (for a veiled chameleon). So here is how to increase the lifespan of your veiled chameleon and how old they really get.

How Old Do Veiled Chameleons Get?

Okay, so here are the bad news in detail. The oldest male veiled chameleon I know of became 9 years old. I mean, 9 years isn´t that long, but it does not sound to bad, right? The problem is that most veiled chameleons do not even get 9 years old.

Most people say that the average veiled chameleon does not get older than 5 years old. However the truth is that a lot of veiled chameleons do not even get 2 years old. Why is that so? Well, the reason for that is bad husbandry. And this is the point were the good news start.

How To Increase Your Veiled Chameleon´s Lifespan

So you are in control here. Of course it might happen that you just have a very weak chameleon that is very prone to diseases, but 95% of the time you can make sure that your veiled chameleon has a long life. So here are a couple of reasons a lot of veiled chameleons do not even become 2 years old.

Metabolic Bone Disease

You might already know of this terrible disease. Let me explain it to you. Veiled chameleons need vitamin D3 to process calcium in their bodies. Calcium makes sure that their bones stay solid and that your chameleon stays healthy. The problem is that a lot of reptile keepers do not have the optimal vitamin D3 source for their chameleons.

In most cases this isn´t done on purpose, of course. Often people who bought a chameleon in pet shops are misinformed because pet shop sellers do not really know how to keep chameleon properly and just want to make sales. So the unaware new reptile keeper sets up an enclosure for their veiled chameleon which isn´t appropriate and that´s where problems begin.

In order to prevent metabolic bone disease, you need two things. First you need a very good UVB light besides your heat lamp.
I recommend this UVB light, since it is simply the best of all. You could also take this UVB light which is two in one. It is a heat lamp and a UVB lamp at the same time. The choice is yours, they are both good.

Second, you need a good calcium supplement. The best UVB light is worth nothing if your veiled chameleon doesn´t get enough calcium. Get a calcium supplement here!

Okay, you just learned how to prevent one of the biggest veiled chameleon killers there are.

how old do veiled chameleons get

Stress

Chameleons in general are known for being easily stressed. In my opinion it is not as bad as most people think, but you should not stress your chameleon too much. Make sure that the enclosure is placed in relatively quiet place in your house. While most veiled chameleons get used to a busy place, some chameleons might not and this could reduce the life expectancy.

It is easy to tell if your veiled chameleon is stress as they show it in color, they puff up and hiss a lot if they feel threatened or stressed, so it is just common sense. If your chameleon is showing this signs all the time and it doesn´t get better, find what stresses your chameleon and remove it or change it.

Here is a tip, get a lot of plants for your veiled chameleon enclosure. Always make sure that your chameleon is able to hide if it want´s to. Your chameleon will feel much better with a lot of plants.

Don´t Feed Too Much!

Veiled chameleons eat a lot when they are babys and grow like hell in that time. However as adults, veiled chameleons should not eat that much anymore. There should be fast days and you shouldn´t feed 5 huge locusts every time. It is absolutely okay if you feed less than that. Your chameleon even will survive if you don´t feed for a couple of days.

Unfortunately, most people feed too much with good intentions. The problem is that chameleons get fat from the inside. Their organs get fat. The result is fatty liver disease for example.

Further don´t feed feeder insects that get too big. Rather get medium sized feeder insects like these. If you feed insects which are too big, your chameleon could get hurt while trying to swallow the insect. Every wound could end up as infection.

Besides that, your veiled chameleon can´t digest too big feeder insects properly. I have seen feeder insects that came out of the chameleon as they came in – so not digested at all. This is a sign for a irritated digestion.

veiled chameleon age

Gut Load …Always!

Gut loading means loading the feeder insects you are about to feed your chameleon with vitamins and making sure that the feeder insects are as healthy as possible. Here is how you should do that:

First, get a cricket keeper box like this. Maybe put some small, thin branches in it so that the feeder insects can climb on them. This box offers enough space for a lot of feeder insects. The insects won´t start to attack each other and therefore stay healthy and alive for a long time (which will save you money).

Feed the feeder insects with fresh vegetables and fruits and make sure that the food doesn´t get moldy. I recommend to take the food out after one day. The insects are now loaded with vitamins which will be absorbed by your chameleon when you feed them.

Further the cricket pen makes it easy to get those insects out without any escapes. 

Exo Terra Cricket Pen

Excellent for housing feeder insects and keep them alive and healthy.

Exo Terra Cricket Pen

Create The Right Environment

Besides lighting there are a lot of things to know when setting up a veiled chameleon. They need a lot of fresh air, the right humidity and so on and so forth. That´s where most mistakes happen, but don´t worry. I wrote a comprehensive guide on this topic. If you need help, read my veiled chameleon habitat setup guide here.

Parasites And Other Horrible Stuff

There are a lot of things your veiled chameleon should get, but if you keep the things I mentioned above in mind and take action accordingly, you shouldn´t have a lot of problems. You should still get a fecal test at your reptile vet from time to time to make sure that your chameleon is healthy and doesn´t have any parasites or something like that. Once a year is absolutely okay and doesn´t cost that much.

What Else Could You Do?

I know it sounds a little bit harsh, but if you do not have already got a veiled chameleon you could take a male one if you want to make sure that it lives a little bit longer. Female veiled chameleons do not live as long as male veiled chameleons in general. Most probably because they lay eggs multiple times a year which costs a lot of energy.

However there are female veiled chameleons that got 8 years old, so no need to be sad if you already got a female one.

Conclusion

As you see, you can do a lot of things to make sure that your veiled chameleon has a long and happy life. If you need any help, leave a message in the comment section below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

How Big Do Veiled Chameleons Get? Be Prepared!

How Big Do Veiled Chameleons Get

“They grow up so fast!” Ever heard that from your parents? Be prepared to say that as well if you are a veiled chameleon papa or mama. Chameleons eat a lot when they are babys and therefore grow very quickly. If you got a very small veiled chameleon baby and ask yourself right now, how big do veiled chameleons get? – you definitely came to the right place.

Chameleons in general are great. Probably my favorite type of reptile, even though I love all reptiles. Of course, you got to be prepared for your chameleon. You need to know how big it gets in order to create the right environment for it. In this article you are going to learn both, how big veiled chameleons can get and which enclosure you should get for it.

A Full Grown Veiled Chameleon

A lot of breeders and pet shops sell veiled chameleon right after they hatched. Those little babys are most probably the cutest thing you have ever seen. They aren´t bigger than a fingernail and it seems like their eyes are the biggest parts of their entire body.

However, they will grow up fast. Trust me, I know from experience. They are so small and cute now, but in two to three weeks they are probably as long as your finger … but still cute as hell, of course.

Male veiled chameleons get bigger than female veiled chameleons. Males get around 20 inches in length and females get around 18 inches in length. While that does not sound like a big difference, male veiled chameleon appear much bigger than females. Their “helmet” gets way bigger than the helmets of the females. Further males appear more bulky.

So if you want to get a really big chameleon, go for a male veiled chameleon.

Veiled Chameleon Growth – How Long Does That Take?

As you already know, veiled chameleons grow really quickly at the beginning. Although they slow down a little bit after a couple of months. Your veiled chameleon will reach the full size within 12 months. However, as you might know, reptiles grow their entire life. That´s why they shed over and over again – but after 12 months, you are probably not be able to tell a difference in size anymore.

veiled chameleon size

What Tank Size Do You Need?

First of all, it does not have to be a glass tank. If you reach the right temperature and the right humidity you can also use a ReptiBreeze like this. Chameleons in general need a lot of fresh air, that´s why that enclosure or another tank with a good ventilation system are crucial.

Chameleons do not run around on the ground a lot. They climb in trees all day, that´s why you have to get an enclosure that is very tall, which is great, because it doesn´t take much space.

The enclosure should be around 40 inches in height. It would be great if the length would be 40 inches as well, but you can go a little bit smaller than that. This enclosure is definitely big enough for your full grown veiled chameleon and it is pretty cheap, too.

ReptiBreeze For Adult Veiled Chameleons

The ReptiBreeze is a perfect enclosure for veiled chameleons!

Zoo Med Reptibreeze Open Air Screen Cage

If you want to get a smaller enclosure first for your baby veiled chameleon, I recommend this enclosure. It´s not expensive at all it will probably last for the next 6 months or more, depending on how fast your chameleon grows.

If you need help with seeting up a veiled chameleon enclosure, read this!

Should You Fear This Big Chameleon?

Since veiled chameleons get pretty big, you might be worried that this big chameleon might be able to hurt you seriously if it bites you. At least, that´s what I was worried about when I started with reptiles, lol.

Veiled chameleons can become a little bit grumpy as adults. However, they are pretty slow and they show you exactly when they want to be left alone. They will hiss at you, change their color, open their mouths and show their full body from the side to appear bigger. Even when showing this behavior, it still doesn´t mean that it will bite you. Most veiled chameleon just “punch” you with their nose without biting.

So you shouldn´t worry about it 🙂

Conclusion

Veiled chameleons get pretty big, but because of the fact that they climb in trees all day, you don´t need a very big tank and therefore it won´t take much space in your room.

Females become smaller than males. So choose the gender depending on your preferences.

To end this article appropriately, veiled chameleons are awesome. If you don´t have one and thinking about getting one right now, go and get one. I love them and I am sure you will too.

If you have any questions, just leave a message in the comment section below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

How To Create The Perfect Ball Python Enclosure

Ball Python Enclosure

Let´s say you buy a new carpet. Why do you buy a new carpet? Most probably because it looks better than the old one and you feel way better in your house with that new carpet.

When it comes to ball pythons, buying stuff for their enclosure is not about feeling better because of the looks. If done right, 90% of the things inside a ball python enclosure have an important purpose – to make sure that your ball python stays alive.

Of course, I am being a little bit dramatic here, but if you don´t set up your ball python tank correctly, your ball python will get sick and it will most probably die if you don´t correct the setup. Even though it shouldn´t be your goal to make sure that your ball python “only” survives. It should be happy in the tank and not stressed at all.

This article will show you how to set up a ball python habitat the right way, which products you should use and how to make sure that your ball python has a stress-free home.

Let´s Start With The Enclosure

Okay, so there are different enclosures you can use for your ball python. Most people get a plastic box for their ball python. Personally, I like glass tanks more, but that´s totally up to you. As long as you make sure that the housing conditions are okay, everything is fine.

Most people think that it is easier to get the right humidity in a plastic box. In my opinion it is very easy to get the right humidity no matter what kind of enclosure you choose. In a glass tank it is easier for you to observe your ball python, on the other hand a plastic box is way cheaper in most cases. So if you are on a budget, you might start with a plastic box first and get a glass tank later if you want.

You need to make sure that the enclosure has the right length. Most ball pythons do not climb at all, that´s why the enclosure does not have to be very tall. The enclosure should be as long as your ball python. This way the snake is able to stretch, which prevents physical diseases.

I recommend to get this plastic box for an adult ball python. If your ball python is a baby you can go smaller, of course. If you want to get a glass tank, this glass tank is very wide and will be long enough for a long time.

If you decide to get a plastic box, I recommend to drill a couple of small holes into the box as ventilation.

Clear Box Iris Cb – 70

This is a great, inexpensive box and perfect for ball pythons.

Clear Box Under Bed Storage IRIS CB-70

What Kind Of Substrate Do You Need?

There are a lot of opinions when it comes to substrate. A lot of people just take newspaper or kitchen roll as substrate. It is very easy to clean and costs almost nothing. Further most people say that it is cleaner than other substrates. Well, all I can say is that if you don´t clean the tank properly and frequently, you will always have problems with bacteria no matter if you use newspaper or cypress mulch.

In my opinion, newspaper or kitchen roll is not an appropriate substrate for such an animal. You can use it if for a quarantine tank or if you are a breeder. You can also use it for a baby ball python for a short time, but other than that, I recommend to create a natural enclosure for your snake. They do not live on newspaper in the wild.

I recommend to get this substrate for your ball python. It looks awesome, is easy to clean and it is not expensive at all. If you need more info on this, read my substrate guide.

How To Heat Properly?

I am a fan of heat bulbs, because I think it is very easy to get the right temperature with them. However most people use heat mats for their enclosures. That´s absolutely fine. Most probably it will be easier for you to get the temperature right if you get a heat mat with a thermostat than with a heat bulb.

The thermostat makes it very easy to get the temperature right in the glass tank or in the plastic box. So if you want to get a heat mat, make sure that it only covers one third of the bottom of the enclosure. You have to create different temperature zones in your tank, otherwise your cold-blooded ball python won´t be able to cool down or to warm it´s body up. I recommend to get this heat mat. Don´t get a heat mat without a thermostat, you need it. The heat mat will get very hot if you don´t use a thermostat. I recommend to get this thermostat.

If you want to know what temperatures you need to get, or if you want to create a different heat source, read my temperature guide.

Repti Therm Under Tank Heater

One of the best heat mats you can get for your ball python tank.

Zoo Med Repti Therm Under Tank Heater

Hides In All Forms And Shapes

Ball pythons are known for being a little bit shy at times, even though they are very calm and friendly and you can handle them easily. For example, if you use a glass tank, you should cover the sides and the back of the terrarium. This way your ball python doesn´t get stressed because it can see potential threats from all sides. Get a cork background and cut it as you need it, it will do the job.

If you have a plastic box, you don´t need backgrounds as you can´t see through the box. Your snake won´t be stressed in it.

Further you should place some hides in the enclosure. Ball pythons love to hide and they love to squeeze their bodies in small rooms. To reach the right humidity, you can also create a humid hide for your snake. Get this hide and put a little bit of moist sphagnum moss in it. 

This will create a micro-climate inside the hide. It will make it easier for your snake to shed properly. If you don´t know what humidity ball pythons need or if you need help with getting the right humidity, read my humidity guide here.

ball python tank

You Need A Water Bowl

You must get a water bowl for your ball python. If your ball python is not well hydrated it will have problems with shedding. This can be pretty annoying as you have to help your ball python with shedding then. Especially getting rid of the old skin on the ball python´s eyes can be a pain.

Don´t mind if you do not see your snake drinking. Most of the times ball pythons drink at night when they feel untroubled. Sometimes you might even see your ball python bath in the water bowl if the bowl is big enough. If it baths all the time it could be a sign that your housing conditions (most probably humidity) are not okay. That could also be a sign for parasites.

Get A Water Bowl Here!

What Else Do You Need?

You do not need more than the things above, but if you want to make your enclosure looks nicer I recommend to get a couple of plastic plants. Some plastic plants look very nice and if the plants are large enough, they even make good hides for your ball python.

Conclusion

Setting up a ball python enclosure is not hard at all. It can be very confusing as so many people have different opinions on this topic. 

Makse sure that the housing conditions are okay. I gave you a couple of links to the right articles if you have any problems with humidity or heating. Those articles will help you to get everything on point.

If you have any questions, leave a comment in the comment section below and I will get back to you as soon as possible!

What Is The Best Substrate For A Ball Python?

Ball Python Substrate

You are probably just setting up a nice tank for your ball python or you already have a complete tank set up but you are looking for a new substrate for your ball python.

When it comes to substrates you will find thousands of opinions on different substrates. There are people who do not use any substrate at all. Other people only use newspaper and would not use any other substrate. There are also people who like a more natural setup and go with a substrate that looks very natural.

However you might ask yourself now, what is the best ball python substrate of all of them? What can I use without any dangers? In this article you are going to learn which substrate you can and should use.

Forrest Floor

Forrest Floor is a very natural looking substrate. I actually like this substrate very much since I never had any problems with it. You can use it to increase humidity in your tank and it won´t get moldy. You can see your ball python´s feces perfectly on this substrate, since it has a light color, and clean the tank quickly. 

Your snake will definitely not get impacted if it eats a little bit of this substrate with a mouse or a rat. I never had any problems with impaction when using this substrate and you won´t either.

Further a lot of snake keepers are afraid of mites when using a natural substrate. You don´t have to worry about that when buying Forrest Floor. I use this substrate for quite some time now and I never had mites. Get Forrest Floor Here!

Forrest Floor – One Of The Best Substrates

This substrate is definitely one of the best substrates for a lot of snakes. It looks amazing and it is low priced.

Zoo Med Forest Floor Bedding

Aspen Snake Bedding

This substrate is as good as Forrest Floor, but it is a more shredded product. Most snakes like to hide in this substrate. The only thing you should keep an eye on is that it should not get too wet. It can really cause a mess. Other than that, this ball python bedding is as awesome as Forrest Floor. I definitely recommend it. Get Aspen Snake Bedding Here!

Newspaper As Substrate For Ball Pythons?

No matter where you look for information on ball pythons, you will see a lot of people using no substrate at all or newspaper. Newspaper does not seem like it is part of a ball python´s natural environment, right? So why do those people use it?

Some people are worried that their snake gets impacted if it eats a little bit of the substrate when they snap a mouse or a rat in their enclosure. Further they think that newspaper is cleaner and can´t cause any disease like other natural and moist substrates could do.

In my opinion the substrate you use is not the problem. Your snake will not become sick, just because you use a natural substrate. The snake will become sick if you don´t clean the tank frequently. 

So newspaper is easier to clean and it is definitely the cheapest solution. However it is definitely not part of the natural environment of a ball python. I think that we should do our best to create the enclosure as natural as possible for our reptiles in order to make make them feel good and to make sure that they have a long and healthy life.

Just a quick example, I know a woman that owns two 38 year old leopard geckos (I wrote an article on her here). Most leopard geckos only get 8 to 10 years in captivity. What is she doing differently? She has a very natural enclosure, with lots of hides and natural substrate, while most other leopard geckos are kept with repti carpet and two coconut halfes as hides. Do I need to say more?

That´s why I do not recommend to use newspaper as substrate.

What Is the best ball python bedding

Sphagnum Moss For Ball Pythons

Sphagnum moss is a great addition to your ball python bedding. It should not be used as main bedding. Use sphagnum moss if your ball python has problems to shed. Sphagnum moss will increase the humidity in your ball python enclosure and your snake will have an easier time to shed.

Most people use sphagnum moss to create moist hides. You can do that as well of course. Simply get a hide like this and put some sphagnum moss in it. There will be higher humidity inside the hide, which will also make it easier for your snake to shed properly. Get sphagnum moss here!

What About Other Substrates?

What if you don´t want to use any of the substrates I recommended? I mean, sure there are a lot of substrates you can get for your ball python. You should always make sure that the substrate you get is not too moist for your ball python. While most people think that ball pythons come from a tropical area, they actually come from a pretty dry area. So use a substrate that doesn´t get your humidity to go over 65%. You should aim for 50% to 65%. I recommend to stay in the middle of that.

Further you should make sure that the substrate you use has no essential oils in it (or just a little bit). Essential oils can be bad for your snake and it can even be deadly for a lot of reptiles, so just don´t risk it.

Conclusion

As you see you have some great options when it comes to substrate for a ball python. I really hope that this article made it easier for you to set up your ball python enclosure the right way.

If you have any questions, simply leave a message in the comment section below and I will get back to you as soon as I can!

The Ultimate Ball Python Temperature Guide

Ball Python Temperature

Can you imagine how it would be to live at the North Pole without any warm clothes, without a warm home? Or how it would be to live in Dubai, but wearing a warm winter jacket all the time? You wouldn´t last long there, that´s for sure.

If you get a ball python (python regius) and don´t get the temperature in your enclosure right, it is pretty much the same. Like you would get sick at the North Pole without warm clothes, your ball python will get sick if you don´t reach the right temperature in the enclosure. Ball pythons are cold blooded, which means that they need their environment to control their body temperature.

So to make sure that your ball python lives happy and healthy in the enclosure you set up for it, you must know what temperature ball pythons need and how you can achieve those temperatures easily. This article will show you exactly that.

The Temperature You Need

You do not only need one certain temperature in the enclosure, you actually need several temperature zones. Don´t worry though, while it sounds a little bit complicated at first, it is pretty easy to achieve that.

The Ball Python Hot Spot

First of all, you need a hot spot. That´s the place where your snake gets on temperature. The hot spot should have around 90 °F to 95°F.  The hot spot can be created with a heat lamp like this, or with a heat mat like this. If you get a heat mat, you also need to get a thermostat. You have to create the hot spot the on left side or on the right side of your tank, not in the middle.

If you would create a hot spot in the middle, you would not be able to create different temperature zones in your tank.

Thermostat For Your Heat Mat

If you use a heat mat/ heat tape, a high quality thermostat is the most important piece of equipment to get.

iPower Small Seedling Heat Mat

The Cool Side

If your snake feels that it needs to cool down a little bit, it will change the location. In this case it would be from the hot spot to the cooler side of the tank. The cool side should have around 80 °F, but it can also be a little bit lower as the temperature from the hot spot to the cool side will vary anyway. It shouldn´t go below 74 °F though. The temperature in the cool zone will be achieved automatically if you have the right tank size and if your hot spot is on point.

If the temperature in your hot zone is still too low, adjust the temperature of your hot spot without going higher than the recommended hot spot temperature.

If you have a heat mat, you can regulate the temperature with the thermostat. If you use a heat lamp, you could use a bulb with higher wattage, or you could even combine a heat lamp with a heat mat in the cooler zone.

Ball Python Night Temperature

If you use a heat lamp you should switch it off during the night. It is okay if the temperature drops during the night, it even should drop a little bit. However make sure that it doesn´t drop below 68 °F. If your ball python enclosure is not located in your basement, achieving this temperature during the night should not be a problem without the help of a heat mat.

If the room´s temperature drops below that, use the heat mat during the night to get a temperature slightly above 68 °F.

what temperature do ball pythons need

Back Heat vs. Belly Heat

I often hear people saying that ball pythons need belly heat in order to digest their food successfully. That´s because ball pythons in the wild often lie on warmed up stones to get on temperature. However they do not need especially belly heat to be able to digest their food. They actually just need to be able to get their whole body on temperature to digest their food. If the heat source comes from above or from below does not really matter.

However the problem with heat from above is that you might not be able to get all the temperature zones right in your ball python cage as easy as you would with a heat mat. Don´t get me wrong, it is possible to make it work with heat lamps and I actually prefer it as I like my enclosure to be as natural as possible, but it is definitely easier for you to get a heat mat with a thermostat.

Heat Mat For The Ball Python Tank

Excellent for housing feeder insects and keep them alive and healthy.

zoo-med-repti-therm-under-tank-heater

Why You Should Not Get A Thermometer And What To Get Instead

If you use a heat mat with a thermostat, you should not have any problems with temperature. However I still recommend to measure the temperature from time to time, especially if you are beginner. Back in the day, people always bought these little plastic thermometers that you can stick anywhere inside the tank.

Those thermometers were not accurate at all and they still aren´t. So I highly recommend to get a temperature gun like this one. You can measure the temperature anywhere in your enclosure within seconds, it is highly accurate and you can easily make sure that you have the right temperature zones in your tank, which would not be possible with one of those old thermometers.

Conclusion

Achieving the right temperature in your ball python tank is not hard at all. What makes it hard is the number of opinions you can find all over the internet. People use even use infrared lights 24/7 and other fancy stuff.

Get a heat mat with a thermostat or a normal incandescent bulb and adjust the wattage if you don´t achieve the right temperature. What you get depends on your liking. I like heat lamps, but as you have seen, just using a heat mat might be the easiest way to go. And if you only have a heat lamp, don´t use it 24/7. Create normal day and night cycles.

Hope this article helped you! Have fun with your ball python and if you have any questions, simply leave a comment in the comment section below.

Ball Python Humidity Made Easy

Ball Python Humidity

If you are new to ball pythons or if you are just worrying that you ball python tank setup might have some flaws you probably are wondering how to get the right ball python humidity.

Somehow this seems to be a feared topic because most ball python owners just don´t know how to get and hold the humidity how it should be. That might be because you are worried that it could be too high in your plastic enclosure. Or you maybe have a glass tank and you are worried that you can´t hold the humidity correctly.

No matter what it is, this article will show you how you easily create – and hold – the right humidity in your snake enclosure.

Quick Navigation

What Humidity Do Ball Pythons Need?

First of all you need to know what humidity ball pythons need. Ball pythons do not come from a tropical area. If you thought this until now, don´t worry. We just associates snakes that look like ball pythons with the jungle because of several movies. So you do not need very high humidity for ball pythons. Actually it is absolutely okay if your humidity is around 50% to 65%.

You simply do not need higher humidity than that. I recommend to have a little bit higher humidity during the shedding phase though. So having a humidity of 60% to 65% while your ball python is shedding is absolutely fine.

How To Get The Right Humidity In A Ball Python Tank

So no matter if you have a glass tank or a plastic cage, the methods you are about to read will definitely help you as there are so many different ways to increase or decrease the humidity in the tank. Let´s start with a very easy one.

Use The Right Substrate

I see many ball python owners use newspaper as substrate. Some do not even use any substrate. If you are not a breeder who sells their snakes I simply don´t think that this is appropriate for a ball python.

Get some cypress mulch as substrate. The great thing about cypress much is that you can mist it and that increases the average humidity in the tank without getting moldy. A pretty easy way to increase the humidity, huh? Get cypress mulch here!

Okay, up to the next option.

What Humidity Do Ball Pythons Need

A python with natural substrate and a huge water bowl!

Use The Water Bowl

This is a great method if you are using a heat mat. Get a big water bowl like this and place it above the area where the heat mat is. This way the water bowl become a humidifier. As you have to have a water bowl anyway, this is an exceptionally easy method if you use a heat mat.

Create A Moist Hide

If you are using a heat lamp in your cage, it could be a little bit harder to get the right humidity in the tank. However there is one easy way to get rid of this problem. Ball pythons should have several hides in their enclosure. Simply create a moist hide! Get a hide like this and put a little bit of moist sphagnum moss like this inside it. The humidity inside the hide will definitely be above 50%.

Just make sure that you do not place the hide directly under the basking spot. This way the moist hide will dry out quickly and the effect is gone. By the way, you can use a moist hide if using a heat mat, too.

Create A Moist Hide

This hide is perfect for ball pythons. It is available in several sizes at an affordable price.

Reptile Hide Box

Do This If You Use A Tank With A Screencover

If you use a glass tank with a screencover you probably have a very hard time to maintain the right humidity. While using a moist hide would help you, you could try another method as well. Simply cover half of the screencover. Most ball python keepers use tin foil to maintain humidity, but you could also use a towel to do that.

Need To Lower Humidity? This Will Help!

If your humidity is too high I do not recommend to remove substrate or even the water bowl. Seriously, don´t remove the water bowl. However what I recommend you to do is this:

If you use a plastic tank, drill small holes into the sides of your plastic tank. Only start with a few and see how humidity changes. If it is still too high drill another one in and continue with this process until you reach the right humidity.

If you have a glass tank and the humidity is too high, you must be doing something wrong. Check the substrate, did you mist it too much? If yes, replace it with a new one and do not mist it too much. If you have a huge water bowl, replace it with a slightly smaller one. However always make sure that your snake has enough to drink, that´s vital.

Here Is How You Know If Your Humidity Is Okay

The number one way to tell if your humidity is high enough is how your ball python sheds. If it sheds in one go, without any dead skin left on the snake after shedding, your humidity is high enough. If there are dry skin parts that do not fall off, you might want to higher the humidity a little bit and check the next shedding.

ball python low humidity

There are actually ball python keepers who do not worry about humidity at all and do not even check the tank to know how high it is. They just make sure that their snakes are well hydrated, since this is really important. If your ball pythons is about to shed it will have a higher need for water to stay well hydrated. So the snake makes sure itself that it is ready to shed regardless of the humidity.

However, that´s what experts do. I recommend to make sure that you at least have a humidity of 50%.

Ball Python – Humidity Too High? What Happens Then?

You definitely do not want that. While too low humidity most of the times “only” results in shedding problems, too high humidity can cause serious problems. Often ball pythons get respiratory infections when the humidity is too high. So you definitely want to avoid that.

Conclusion

As you see, this is not a really complicated topic. There are so many ways you can adjust the humidity in the ball python enclosure. As I said, don´t worry too much about it. If your snake is shedding fine, there does not seem to be a problem. Just always make sure the humidity is not too high.

If you have any questions, leave a message in the comment section below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

How Often Do Ball Pythons Shed? Why It Doesn´t Matter

Ball Python Shedding

If you own a ball python, or if you plan to get one, you probably already know that those amazing snakes do shed from time to time. However how often do ball pythons shed? And are there any things you should keep an eye on when it comes to shedding? The answer is, yes, there are definitely some things you should be aware of.

Don´t worry though, in this article you are going to learn everything you must know when it comes to ball python shedding.

Why Do Ball Pythons Shed?

Like all reptiles, ball pythons shed periodically. When you were a kid, your mom probably had to buy new clothes for you from time to time, because you had outgrown the previous clothes. Especially babys grow very fast, that´s why you have to buy them new clothes maybe every six months. (Or maybe even more often, I don´t have kids yet, but two little brothers, haha)

It is absolutely the same with ball pythons. Especially when they are babys they shed a lot. That is because they have outgrown the old skin. Another fact you should know is that ball pythons grow their whole life, which means that they shed from time to time their whole life as well. That doesn´t mean that they get absolutely huge. They will stay the same size more or less at a certain point.

Further you can see ball python shedding the same as human shedding. We also lose dead skin the whole day, our dead skin is also part of house dust (but you probably know that). The only difference between us and ball pythons in this point is that ball pythons shed in one go and we shed all the time a little bit. Hope this simplified explanation makes sense. 🙂

Do ball pythons shed

How Often Do Ball Pythons Shed?

You are probably already planning to wear the dead skin as necklace, right? Don´t worry, I understand. However the truth is that there are no real numbers I can give you here. It depends on how fast your snake grows, how much you feed and so on and so forth. A very young ball python might shed every 4 weeks, whereas an adult ball python only sheds once in 1-3 months.

Honestly, it should not bother you how often your ball python sheds. If your snake wants to shed, it will. If it is not ready to shed, it won´t. There are no dangers here. It could only be dangerous if your ball python is not able to shed correctly, but I´ll come to that later in this article.

How To Tell If Your Ball Python Is Going To Shed

Actually you can separate your ball python´s shedding into three steps.

Phase One

If your ball python is in step one, you might see that the skin colors might have got a little bit dull. It could be that your python´s eyes get a little bit milky, but that does not have to be the case yet. Most experienced reptile keepers can see this step, if you are a beginner you might not see it already, since there is not much of a difference in colors yet.

Phase Two

The eyes are completely milky. The ball python´s belly gets a little bit brown, sometimes even redish. The colors are very dull. The milky eyes come from a liquid that is between the new and the old skin.

How often do ball pythons shed

You can see the milky eyes of this snake perfectly

Phase Three

This is actually pretty tricky. You might have a look at your ball python and think to yourself, okay it must have shed, but where is the skin (I know…the necklace)? However, if you don´t see the skin, it means that your ball python is still in shed. That´s the third shedding phase. It almost looks normal again, but if you rub your thumb against your ball pythons skin, you can even peel the dead skin of your snake. (Don´t do it though, your ball python can do that alone)

Shedding Completed

Your ball python´s colors look absolutely stunning again. It almost looks freshly hatched and you have a new necklace. Absolutely awesome! But wait, you should also know that ball pythons tend to defecate while getting rid of the dead skin, so you might have a look at the dead skin before you wear it.

Should You Feed During Shedding?

There were some rumors that ball pythons should not be fed during the shedding because the gullet is shedding as well. However that´s just a myth. If your ball python is currently shedding and you are not sure if you should feed, just try it. If your snake doesn´t want to eat, simply remove the food and everything is fine. You can feed your snake after the shedding then.

What To Do For A Successful Shedding

First of all, especially when your ball python is in phase 2, you should leave it alone. Just let it do it´s thing and don´t handle it too much. Your ball python can´t see properly in this phase because of the milky eyes, and you might even get bitten because of that.

Second, you need high humidity in your ball python enclosure. Between 50% and 60% would be okay. I know that some people have problems with keeping high humidity, so if you have problems with that, I recommend you to create a moist hide. Get a hide like this for your moist hide and fill it partially with moist sphagnum moss like this one. Don´t place the hide directly under the heating lamp if you use one, otherwise the moist hide will dry out quickly.

Creating a moist hide is very cheap and will help your ball python immensely to shed successfully. Keeping your ball python well hydrated at all times helps as well.

Of course you need the correct temperature as well, but I am sure that you already know that.

Ball Python Hide

This hide is absolutely perfect for creating a moist hide at an affordable price. You can even choose the size you need.

Lees Kricket Keeper, Large

What To Do If Your Ball Python Didn´t Shed Completely

If some of the old, dry skin still sticks to your ball python, you have to peel it off. What is very important here is that you peel the skin off from the snout to the tail. Don´t peel from the back to the front.

Make sure that you peel off the dead skin on the eyes. If you don´t do that, your ball pythons eyes could get infected and this results in your ball python being sick and a vet bill that nobody wants. If you are absolutely not able to peel the skin off, you have to go to the reptile vet.

To make peeling the old skin off easier, you should give your ball python a bath or put wet kitchen roll on the affected spot. After the skin got wet for a while, you can start to peel off the skin.

Please make sure that it is not too cold in the room where you give your ball python a bath. Too low temperature can result in a lung inflammation.

Conclusion

As you see, the question “How often do ball pythons shed” isn´t that important. It is more important to make sure that your ball python is able to shed completely in one go. I really hope that this article has helped you. If you have any questions, just leave a comment in the comment section below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.