BP not using hot hide and no pooping

Hello! I have a female BP. She is about 300g and she is in a 10 gal enclosure. I have a UTH with a thermostat and a CHE for ambient because it’s get alittle cold in the room. Her hot side substrate temp is 90 F and the ambient is 84F. Her cool side is 81F. Both hides are the same except one is just slightly larger. I thought she was favoring the smaller hide which was in the cool side, so I switched them and she still is only using the cool side. I dropped the temps on the hot side so the substrate was 88F. And after a week, she still is only using the cool side. She’s eating fine, and shedding in one piece. Her last poop was a bit watery which makes me think at she’s having trouble digesting because she refuses to use the hot hide. I just don’t know what else to do. I’m really concerned. Also, every forum and posted this on, I’ve received basically 0 help. And it’s really discouraging.

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Hello! When you say substrate temp, do you mean right at the surface of the enclosure or the top of the substrate? You should only have the temp around 88-90 at the surface of the enclosure where the UTH is at, the BP will push the substrate around to reach the heat so they can regulate it. Only other thing I can think of is either the CHE is drying out the air to much and she dislikes it, or she maybe the type of BP that prefers the cooler side. I would think as long as she is eating, the poop looks healthy, and she isn’t being stressed out that she should be good to go.

What I’m getting here is; You’re offering the snake a range of temperatures and it’s choosing the cool side? That’s not necessarily abnormal behavior. It’s completely possible that there is nothing at all wrong here. A slightly wet stool could just mean she’s drinking a lot of water.

If the temps you’re listing are accurate I wouldn’t be concerned as long as the animal isn’t lethargic or pressing itself up against the cool side of the tub because it’s too hot on the hot side.

As a hobby we can sometimes get too wrapped in following care sheets. A ball python is capable of normal digestion at any temp you’ve mentioned in your enclosure. Many keepers in Europe use only ambient heat and keep their rooms 82-84*F.

I’m not saying definitely there isn’t an issue, just that from what you’ve said so far, I don’t really see one.


Agree w what’s been said above. They will often move on and off heat when needed and since they’re nocturnal she may be seeking heat overnight while you’re sleeping and not noticing. Double check humidity as also mentioned but otherwise seems ok if your temp controls are accurate.

When you say not pooping, how long has it been and why are you concerned? They don’t have an exact timeframe to defecate after feeding, they’re all different and the time will vary within same animal. Some could be days while others are weeks. As long as everything else seems normal and she doesn’t have any type of swelling towards her bottom 3rd(impacted) you should be fine.

All that being said we are advising on your description and our shared experiences, any real concerns should be seen by a Vet familiar with reptiles.