"Cow manure compost" in Top soil for potted plants- BP Tanks

I have some plants finally rooted to pot and add to my ball python tanks. But I cant seem to find any top soil locally, without “cow manure compost” in it as an additive. Would it be a problem to use it for potted plants in the tank? I keep hearing how “manure’s” can cause fungal issues, but the compost is 1/200th what the actual manure is(compost is allegedly mixed with grains and hay and what not). I also plan on covering the top few inches in their coco chunk substrate to lessen frequent contact to the soil.
From a growers standpoint, i dont think the compost would be any worse than using a tea to feed the plants(which would likely be much stronger and would still leave traces of whatever you used to make it). Just looking to pick some brains on it I guess.

Also gonna add in that they do get to soak in a tote once a week to ensure hydration and cleanliness.


Can’t particularly comment on the cow manure compost part of this. But I’d like to chime in and say that weekly soaks really shouldn’t be done. Soaking a snake regularly without need is probably more stressful than it’s worth. Just my 0.02


The soaks are done when hides/bowls are pulled and sanitized, and the tanks get spot cleaned. Pulling poop and what not(which they seem to love to roll in) They arent frantically trying to escape, nor burying their heads in water, so Im not too concerned with them being stressed because they’re soaking. And if for whatever reason one of the two happens, they’d get wiped with a wet paper towel, and put in the “quarantine tank”
Looking for advice purely on the top soil. Much appreciated tho!


Welcome to the forum @natecleaver! I too can’t contribute to your original question unfortunately. Hopefully there will be someone who is experienced with cow manure in potted plants inside of a ball python tank that will be able to help you!

However I do feel the need to agree with the comment/advice given by @nswilkerson1 regarding the weekly soaking that you brought up. I am in no way trying to be disrespectful but given the fact that ball pythons are very easily stressed and can and will go off feed for a miriad of reasons, I think it was worth mentioning the soaking. But given the fact that you said your snakes seem to love to “roll in poop” I can understand why you feel the need to “clean” them off. That would make sense I suppose. My guys seem to “avoid” theirs. Lol! But the poop doesn’t stay in there for long anyway.

Hopefully someone will come along with the advice you are looking for @natecleaver! Best wishes to you!


The soaks only last roughly 3 minutes. Mine seem to always pick a hide to poop in :laughing: In turn rolling through it and smearing it EVERYWHERE
I know how finicky they can be. The transition from mice to rats when I got them was the only issue I’ve had as far as feeding(It was long overdue, they were rescues and super underweight) They’re on steady feeding schedules now, with no hiccups(knock on wood)
Not trying to sound defensive, and Im not saying either of you are wrong about it possibly stressing them out by any means. But they’re healthy, feeding, and seem content, so I just keep on keeping on. Read and respect their body language, ya know.

I’m just trying to figure out the soil situation because I dont have the funds to go full bio on all 3 tanks right now. But I’d like to atleast give them safe, living enrichment to trample :rofl:


Well I say if it ain’t broke don’t fix it! So I am glad you rescued them of course!

So here is an uneducated inexperienced guess on my part but if the manure is inside the pot and the pot is not knocked over I don’t really see the threat of the snake getting to the manure? Or have I totally missed the mark?

I know how expensive bio active is to get started up so I understand about that! I know you don’t want to take any chances but I myself don’t see the harm. Especially since you essentially bathe them weekly……


That was my thought process as well(putting the coco chunks on top the soil)
But I’ve heard arguments on fungus gnats, and possible scale issues due to prolonged contact (It being “unsanitary”)
Like I said, I was just looking to get other thought before I commit. Hoping someone had some first hand experience. Can’t find a thread regarding it anywhere online, so I figured where better to start one.
Looking forward to hearing the varying opinions! Thanks again!


Cow manure in compost is great stuff for the plants. Like anything else you put in an animal cage, if you are worried about bugs or fungus, just bake the soil for a couple hours at 170F or so. The soil will become sterile, so no more compostING, but the good stuff will still be there.


@dlhirst Holy cow manure! Of course that’s it! When in doubt! Bake! @natecleaver Here you go! See I told you someone would come up with an answer! :upside_down_face::+1: