Hello everyone! I ordered my blood python’s adult enclosure from Animal Plastics several months ago…and it will probably be several more months before I receive it, but I’m starting to shop and plan for some of the other things I’ll need for her enclosure, and I have a few questions I’d love some feedback on.
I’ve ordered her thermostat (Herpstat) and heating (DHP and lamp housing), but I’m undecided about what sort of lighting to use. I know bloods don’t need UVB (she doesn’t have it currently), but do they benefit from having it? I’ve read conflicting information. Some people recommend it, others claim that short tails don’t like it and will actively avoid it. I do want to have some sort of lighting during the day, both for her day/night cycle, and just because I think terrariums look a lot nicer when they’re lit. But I’m trying to decide if I should use UVB or regular LED lights.
And somewhat related to the lighting…what about bioactive? I know some people have said that short tails aren’t great for bioactive setups, because they tend to crush live plants and destroy their roots, and the large volume of liquid urine they produce is hard on cleanup crews, but I’m just curious if anyone has tried bioactive with a short tail, and what their experience was. I like the idea of doing bioactive with live plants. Would something like pothos be hardy and resilient enough to work? Or what if I had plants in pots rather than having them planted directly in the substrate?
Lastly…any tips about making backgrounds? I’d like to try to line the walls of the enclosure with a nice, natural-looking background that isn’t too bulky (meaning it won’t infringe on the usable space inside the enclosure too much). I’ve been watching some videos on making backgrounds with that expanding spray foam stuff. I was thinking of trying to do a few practice runs just to get an idea of how the process works. Do you think the spray foam is the best/easiest method for someone with very little building experience, or are there some other methods I should be looking at? Keep in mind that any background will have to withstand the 60-70% humidity Mina needs.
Basically I just want her to have an enclosure that looks nice and fairly naturalistic, and I’m trying to decide on the best and most practical ways to go about achieving that goal. I don’t have much experience with more complex and involved enclosure builds (especially for tropical species, most of the other reptiles I’ve had were more arid species), so a lot of this is new to me. I want to try my hand at something new, but I also don’t want to bite off more than I can chew and end up ruining the enclosure.
Thanks in advance for any and all advice! You guys are the best.
Good news! I just got the shipping info for my AP enclosure, it’s being shipped today, and should arrive on Saturday. Which is awesome, since Mina is rapidly outgrowing the tub she’s in currently.
Very excited to put together something nice for her.
I don’t know anything about bioactive, but I wish you luck and cannot wait to see what you come up with!
I’d for sure like to see what your solution is for having a natural looking enclosure vs a blood python’s bladder.
Well yeah, the pee issue is the main reason why I’m iffy about bioactive.
But I have her on coco husk substrate right now, and I don’t find it to be especially difficult to clean. Just scoop out the soiled substrate, wipe down the bottom/sides where the pee was, and replace the substrate. Total substrate change every month or so. So at a bare minimum, I’ll do something similar (but nicer) to what I have now, with coco husk substrate and fake plants.
The enclosure was just delivered! Now the work begins.
Yes!!! I can’t wait to see you start working on it!
I’m taking most of next week off work (partly because I’ve been finding work more exhausting than usual lately and was feeling the need for a mental reset before the holidays, and partly to just use up vacation days that I rarely take advantage of), so I’ll actually have some free time to get some good work done on it. There are still some materials that I’ll need, but I figure once I get it put together and can visualize things a little better (can also take some measurements), I’ll have a better idea of exactly what I need to buy, and what I already have that could work.
In all honesty, it’s probably not going to be overly elaborate, but I do want it to look nice and fairly natural. I’m leaning away from bioactive, but I might try adding some real plants in pots (to protect the roots and make them less easy for Mina to bulldoze). I know they make pots that look like rocks, logs, and other natural elements, so I may try to find something like that for the plants. Or maybe I could even make my own natural-looking pots. Something like pothos would grow outwards from the pot(s) and provide some nice cover for her while looking very pretty and helping maintain humidity. And I know pothos is very hardy, so I’m hoping it would be able to withstand her crushing portions of it here and there.
Also still trying to work out what to do for a background. I think nice backgrounds really do make enclosures look so much nicer, I just don’t want it to be overly bulky (it seems like most of the really beautiful, realistic-looking backgrounds I’ve seen seriously decrease the amount of usable space in the enclosure). I may end up just gluing some cork bark and moss to the inner walls, we’ll see.
I’m just spitballing! I’m excited, but also nervous about messing everything up and destroying the enclosure.