Didn't receive what was described/ weird python behavior

Question One:
Recently I bought a snake from a seller that had multiple genes, one of which spider. We went back and forth talking about the snake and he was super helpful and nice. One of the things I asked about was if there’s any sign of head wobble that the snake presented. He assured me the snake didn’t show any and that it’s totally fine. Yesterday when I received it it was pretty obvious that there was head wobble. Has anyone dealt with this or have any advice? I’m not set up to ship snakes so I don’t know how I could even return it if it came to that.

Question two:
I have one snake I got 19 days ago and he still has not eaten. He was in a tank that was a bit too big so I did switch him to a tub incase the tank size stressed him out. I checked on him a few hours after putting him in the tub and noticed he was sitting with his head straight up. I looked it up and only saw things saying they do that when they have a RI. I will add the best picture I was able to get. What do you guys think? I didn’t notice any bubbles are liquid by his mouth.

Snakes with a wobble gene will always have some form of wobble, even if it is hard to see. Wobble will be worse when stressed and in a new environment most of the time. Leave them alone for 1-2 weeks and only bother them to give water. Make sure you lower your temps to around 86-88°F on the hot side. Lower temperatures can keep wobble from being as bad. Don’t be surprised when you go to handle them and they wobble because they are freaking out over new things and getting stressed.

Is that aspen bedding in there with your snake? I would recommend removing that and replacing it with either paper towels or newspaper if you want to monitor for RI a lot easier. Even if you don’t want to monitor for RI, get a bedding that holds more moisture so it doesn’t dry up in there. Aspen also does have a tad bit of dust, even though it isn’t much, so you may wanna try something with zero dust since some snakes are more sensitive than others to things like that. But I wouldn’t ever recommend aspen for a species of snake that needs it to be humid. Also, how long did you leave the snake alone after you got them? And how often did you try feeding?


The male who is acting weird I made a rookie mistake and was handling him when I got him, I have left him alone for the past week or so to let him chill. And I offered food to him a week after I got him then tried about every other day, but am now going to give him probably 4 or 5 days in between. Is reptichip okay? Its fir bark, if not ill use news paper and keep the humidity up. Their current tubs are around 70-75%.

Every feeding is to be done with 1 week between them. Offering food too often will stress the snake. Coconut bedding works, but I personally use newspaper for ease of cleaning and lack of any chance of something irritating the snake. Try keeping the humidity a bit lower as well. I keep mine in the 60-70% range. I only increase it when they are shedding via misting.


Edit: had 2 people combined in my mind my bad! This is a new question.

Until you get him settled in it’s hard to say if you got a bad deal or not.

haven’t seen a picture of the whole setup but if you don’t have a hide where he can be completely hidden that’s a big need. Also if the tub is just out in the open like that I would definitely tape cardboard or construction paper or something on 3 sides to make it dark. Might help him feel safer.


I think you might be confusing the product names between Reptichip (coconut husk) and Reptibark (fir bark). I personally use a coconut husk substrate and like it. It does a better job holding humidity than paper, which is important to me in a relatively dry environment.

I do use paper for new hatchlings less than a month old and when recommended for medical reasons. It’s a lot easier to monitor what’s going on with your snake, and to keep completely sanitized by swapping the whole thing out when it’s dirty.

To add to the other good feeding advice above: Have you asked the breeder what they were feeding (live/frozen/rat/mouse/etc) and on what substrate?


Not sure if you read this but it maybe of some help to you. Lots of good info in here
New owner with non feeding hatchling, troubleshooting 101

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I have a sheet over three sides at the moment to make it darker and more safe feeling. I also moved them from the ground up on a shelf where it will be hotter I hope. What are some good ways to increase the temp of tubs without cranking up the heat pad to dangerous levels? I don’t want to go above 90. Also what thermostat do you recommend? preferably one with two inputs. thanks. And sorry for all the questions or if they seem repetitive, I just trust people on this forum over random things I read on google.


Hi buddy

RI is something you can diagnose in it early stages if you see your python continuously keep their head in that position, also if you hold your snake and hear or feel a rasp or clicking sound. Next stage comes the pneumonia presenting itself with bubbles or visible mucus, usually around the mouth, louder laboured breathing and visible signs of the mucus residue around the habitat ie on the sides of its hide or on the sides of the tub/viv. Unfortunately the last stage is death via asphyxiation.

If you see any of these signs get your bp to an exotic vet asap.

Ball pythons do best on coconut husk, so much easier to stabilise the humidity, non toxic and very absorbent.

Hope some of this helps.

Good luck


I’m going to watch him close for a day or two. I’m hoping his head was only like that because I had just put him in a new tub and he was curious. But that on top of not eating is making me a little more nervous.

Hopefully all is well in a day or two but please take him to an exotic vet if you see or hear any of the aforementioned symptoms. Take care buddy.


I don’t have a high end thermostat, I’m still using my $30 off amazon special. I just ordered a sub adult rack from Cserp to tide me over for the next year or so and will be getting either a herpstat or vivarium but I have no experience with either so no opinion there. With a tub that size I would not worry the slightest about “ambient temp,” as long as you don’t keep your house at a frigid 55* or something it should be absolutely fine. Set the hot spot at 89-90 and let er ride. (The ambient temp thing is another discussion for another day But it’s not something I would ever tell anyone to be stressed about.)

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okay that’s great news, the farthest side of the tank is around 73 which I was worried was way too cold. The heat pads are all set at 90. Humidity is high 70s low 80s. Probably could be a little lower.

I use JumpStart thermostats personally and they work great. It is best to keep morphs with a wobble about 2°F cooler than usual. That is what I do with my champagne boy.

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Try to provide 76/78 on the cool side 73 is too cold and within unhealthy range, anything below 75 is for a BP,

Than have your temps at 86/88 on the warm side

That means having your temps measured with a DIGITAL thermometer such as a temp gun.

Lower that humidity, you should aim for 50% and 60% to 70% if in shed, too high of constant humidity will lead to issues.

Between husbandry and stress you are heading for problem which is why you should always have the enclosure dialed perfectly before bringing in a new animal.


How would you recommend raising a tubs temp? Bigger heating pad? and lowering humidity would be more holes in the tub?

Ambient temp is dependant of your home temperature so since you have a hand full of animals vs a room full the best option will be a secondary heating device (another heat pad and t-stat) if you room temp does not get within a healthy range of 75 degress which is the minimum for a BP

Now if you have a dedicated snake room than raise the temp to 75.

Humidity and decreasing it can be done different ways.

Smaller water dish contrary to a popular belief they do not need a large dish to soak in.

Ventilation: more hole

Substrate that does not hold humidity as well for example Aspen.

Over the years living in the south and having the humidity we have I have learn to adjust substrate with the time of the year (dry winter I use Coco chips, humid summer I use aspen)


Just wanted to chime in about the thermostats. I’ve used one of the $30 Amazon ones and I’ve used Herpstat. I’ve been really happy with my Herpstats, but the other one I do have to set it a bit higher to get the temps I want.

Of course, that is also very likely due to the fact that that particular rack is fitted with back heat rather than belly heat and that drastically affects the efficiency, at least in my house.


if i’m using substrate and my probe is directly on the tubs, under the bedding, can I turn it up to like 95? Some of that heat will be lost from the bedding.

that’s true, definitely not worth the risk!