Hello! Just looking for a general consensus on this subject as different information is being spread around the internet. On reddit forums, admins are stating that a basking surface temp of up to 105f is safe and should be the standard. Only source i can find on this is reptifiles.com. All other sources state 88-96 basking surface temp. Now they state when using over head heating that those high temps are safe. But if that is the case, wouldn’t it be safe to have the same temps when using under heating as well? Since I started taking care of BPs, I have only heard the majority state 88-92 with 90f being the gold standard for surface temp. I keep my surface temp at 89-90f and not had issues.
I would never suggest temps that high, basking or surface temp, for ball pythons. That’s warm enough to cause neuro damage as far as I’m aware.
I think anything over 90 is risky, with 88-90 being the most optimal range for a hotspot.
I agree. Like I stated. Reddit forum admins are telling people to use up to 105f basking surface temp as a standard and stating it is safe. I wouldnt risk it with my collection.
The ball python subreddit is pretty fanatical over reptifiles. Anything in reptifiles is treated as gospel by the mods in that subreddit. I don’t keep balls, so I can’t say what temps are best for them, but that’s why they insist that.
Another voice to say that’s not a good idea.
A lot of the issues with the reddit is with a new wave of keepers that originally meant well…but have blown the fanaticism way out of proportion. It’s the same people that insist you need at least a 20 gallon size, if not larger, housing for a HATCHLING ball python, if not you’re a bad keeper…and then people come here to ask why they won’t eat or why the baby is constantly striking.
I think it’s based on the “Well in the wild” situations…but a crepuscular or nocturnal animal would not necessarily be seeing those 105 degree daytime temps… they’d be seeing the cooler sundown ones.
I have always kept mine with an 88-90 degree basking zone when they appear healthy. The reason is two-fold, it’s a great temp and there’s a bit of wiggle room incase the thermostat or heat source has an issue and spikes a bit. That way I don’t risk injury if something happened immediately. Occasionally in summer, my very top rack shelf will read a bit higher at 91 or 92…but that’s the issue with heat rising…and I’ll typically put one of my growing girls there since they’ve voracious and the temps keep the tummy digesting.
Coming from someone who’s researched, and never kept BP’s, I agree that this is a terrible idea for all of the reasons mentioned above. But, it seems that, for some reason, keepers always like to keep temperatures hotter than colder. If you tell someone that the temperature should be 85-90, they will set the temperature around 90. I personally think (from keepers on here) that a good temp is 86-87, and that’s what I plan on using when I get these. It seems that people are always looking for reasons why to set the temperatures higher than what is ideal. You rarely see sources saying to keep a ball python at 85, but you see many of them saying to keep them at 95-100.
One thing i notice is that when new keepers ask about enclosure size, the hardcore ones always state a minimum of 4x2x2 no matter what. Some BPs can deal with an enclosure that size as long as it is cluttered appropriately. Some BPs won’t and need to be housed like the breeder had them. But they do not listen to reason from what i have seen. Main reason i go there is to get enclosure design ideas. I try to help new keepers out with good information.
I have BP’s and granted, all of them are young but even as they grow to adulthood I think that a 4x 2x 2 is a little large even for an adult BP….
But that’s just me. I don’t mean to get off the thread here so I am done! Lol!
Almost everything I keep, I keep a few degrees cooler than care sheets suggest. My ball pythons I never get pver 86*
I know @osbornereptiles has said it, and I completely agree, you start damaging fertility when you get temps too high.
I don’t have a Basking Spot- my BP is secretive. So he has a Hot Hide. Inside there it’s 85-89 and when he wants heat he can hide there.
THe ambient air temp in there is 70- 78, varying, and several other hides in the enclosure range from moderate to cool and humid.
I know it sounds too cool, but he seems to thrive, has a boa-like feeding response, and will refuse to leave his coldest hide if I make it hotter.
I do worry about his digestion but he seems to know when he wants to seek out his warm hide. And so far he’s been awfully healthy and hungry.
From my understanding when Reptifiles say a basking spot of 105, it’s not actually a spot where the snake is supposed to lay for a prolonged time, but just the surface temperature of the top of the warm hide. When using overhead heating and placing a hide underneath, the surface is obviously gonna get hot, and it’s ok for it to get up to 105. If the snake then decides to lay on it, the surface gonna cool down since it isn’t being directly hit by the light anymore, so it’s not actually gonna experience the 105 for long enough to cause an issue. The inside of the hide is only supposed to be 86-90. It also says in the guide that a air temperature of above 95 is dangerous, and that the average temperature that a BP is gonna experience in the wild is between 68-86 - So you can’t really compare it to using a heat pad in say a rack-system (:
But when the snake lays on that spot, it is increasing its core temp to that temp, which could be dangerous. Snakes feel pain differently and will wrap themselves around an expose CHE or other heating element and burn themselves. Why provide such high temps when they do not need it.
I would guess their “105 basking” temperature recommendation is based upon counter balancing an improper setup. I’m picturing a glass tank with too low ambient temperatures. Every novice keeper I’ve run across locally keeping ball pythons has had this type of setup.
None of my guys really “bask”. They are secretive and just move from one hide to another, warm, cool, then back to warm and so on. Except for Wardley. If he happens to see me he will pop his head out and ask for food! Lol!
Yep. Very few of the common species we keep in the hobby require upper limit temps. This was always a very common misconception in the Gtp community back in the day when many keepers were seeing lots of infertility. Same with Bloods and short tails.
Over my last 30 years of keeping I temp gunned all species I’ve worked with and my conclusion was an average of 84™
I’ve been keeping my building at an ambient 84° for about 5 years and produce a variety of different species with normal fluctuation of 80-86 depending on natural seasonal cycles.
This worked for me 30 years ago and has been the most beneficial for my personal collection but I also understand not ever keeper has the same options. Always take to time to observe your animals closely, keep detailed records, and they will let you know when something isn’t quite right.