Eco earth / repti soil with scaleless BPs

So i know these substrates are controversial due to the risk of them getting stuck in ball pythons heat pits if kept too dry / powdery. However, i have a question about this. Is that the only reason it causes a problem?

I ask this because i have recently gotten 3 scaleless ball pythons, and while they still have the sensory organs, they do not have “pits” as the scales that make up the “pits” simply arent there. Since scaleless need softwr substrate and higher humidity, i was wondering if a mixture of reptichip, cyprus mulch, eco earth, and reptisoil could provide a much softer bedding while being far better able to maintain higher humidty, and without the pits, there would be no risk of the looser substrates getting stuck in them.

Any thoughts?

Picks just because. I just received them, so 2 are in shed not looking their pretiest haha


It might work for them (I’m not sure) but if you do use it make sure that there aren’t any sharp pieces or sticks in there.

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I have some cyprus mulch in there, it has not bothered them yet, though so far i have noticed if the earth/soil is too moist, it will stick to their skin a bit. I just hydrated it, so will see what happens over the next week to see what happens as the upper layer dries a bit, i also think im going to ad a layer of spag moss as the surface layer so its a nice soft moist environment, instead if sittting directly on the sticky soil / cypress.

Scaleless BPs is kind of an unknown when it comes to husbandry vs normal BPs, so im trying different methods to try and maintain humidity and softness to help them shed, but also keep their skin safe. I think the soil for humidity and the moss for softness will work well, will update further once the moss comes in.

The totes i have them in are temp quarantine totes, so not the most spacious to set up the way i think they need it long term, should be getting some 3x2x2s for them soon, getting a bunch of them to replace all my tanks, itll take up more space, but since they are stackable, will end up being less space in the grand scheme of things haha.

The “sticks” from the cypress are bendable and soft as long as kept from drying out, and the earth/soil has definitely worked to keep them from drying up.

I’ve heard that paper is best for scaleless snakes but you’ve researched it more than I have.

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I have seen that too, but at the same time i see nothing of adult scaleless, and im thinking its husbandry related. Paper is good for protecting their skin, and easy cleanup, but humidity could quickly become an issue when scaled up. Going to keep notes of any issues and what works and doesnt and see if i cant get them to adulthood and find out solid husbandry for them.

Ive been looking into it nonstop for a bit and just cant find anything past around 1kg, hoping i can figure out some better techniques and share my experiences openly good and bad, rather than just good and then silence.

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Keep in mind that scaleless head is a recent new gene and scaleless has only been recently produced. Some of the first ones could have succumbed to husbandry but they likely weren’t elaborate combos so a lot of updates might not have been posted. There were some adult scaleless on the market so I think their care has been figured out. To raise humidity you could use moss in an onion bag, large water dish, misted often, and/or lower ventilation (still good ventilation just less).

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Great ideas! I have order a large amount of sphagnium moss to assist with this. Usually i mix it into the substrate for moisture retention, but for these guys i think im going to try using it as bedding to hold the mosting better and to be gentler on their skin.

As for scaleless adults on the market place, ill have to double check. Even bry bartcheck aluded a month ago that they were not viable and a failed morph (he is the one that found the morph in 2013) but he never mentioned why it wasnt viable .

There are plenty of adult scaleless head adults, but i havent found anything about adults, only whispers and rumors of others not being able to find them. Both original scaleless snakes did not make it a full life, and breeding wise, most breed scaleless heads together to get scaleless, instead of scaleless to scaleless. If you find something i havent, id be more than interested to give it anread though! Im not above getting more information from people who have coke before me, it id just few and far between, far more speculation than actual first hand experience is being shared.


It’s rumored that female scaleless snakes are sterile but I didn’t know about their viability. Hopefully you can get good information to share.

I found a 1100 gram female for sale, so i wish i could pick that persons brain to see what they used haha. I feel it would be rude to send them an inquiry to ask about husbandry. Let me see if theres private messaging

I was able to find an individual with a 1300 gram female and pick their brain for a few minutes (closer to an hour), here is what i found out:

Best humidity they found was 60% humidity, best achieved by using a humidifier in the room the snake is kept.

Waterbowls the snake can fit in are OK, but should not be filled above 1/3rd, as you dont want it to overflow if the snake soaks.

Snake should not be allowed to soak for an extended period of time, nor should it be in contact with moist substrate. Over moisturizing the skin with too much direct moisture contact can cause overshedding (shedding more than one layer of skin at a time) leading to possible open wounds where too much skin sloughed off.

They CAN be fed live if absolutely necessary, but CANNOT be done so without direct supervision every single time to ensure a clean strike. If the strike isnt clean, you need to control the rats head so it cannot bite the snake and hope it is not able to scratch the snake if it isnt fully coiled correctly. It is best as an absolute last resort if the snake simply refuses to eat.

Because of the overshedding issues if there is too much moisture, they recommended using “reptizorb” liners. The enclosure must be checked daily to ensure no moisture has permeated the liners. If it has become wet from water, replace it and allow the wet liner to air dry. If it is wet from waste, replace it with a sanitary one and toss the bad one.

Controlled soaks can help if you need to help them shed, and there will be many times it is needed since there are no scales to help hold the shed together. It isnt needed every shed, but be sure to check and ensure the snake does not need help. Bag balm can be used to help assist shed as well, but isnt necessary for constant care, or at least they noticed no difference using it past just when shedding is needed.

With this new information, i have added a 1 inch thick layer of dried sphagnium moss on top of the moist soil to keep my snakes from being in contact with the moist soil. The moss is pourus enough to let the humidity rise up from the soil, but thick enough to keep my snakes dry until i can get the recommended bedding.

Once i get my snakes into proper PVC enclosures, i want to try having a partion where i can keep a bioactive soil mix seperate from the snake, but in such a manner it keeps the tanks humidity elevated. But for now i am going to take the advice i received and play it safe until they are out of the quarantine tubs and into their permanent enclosures. I hope this updated info helps others out :slight_smile:

Will add more updates as i find out more, i wish i had a spot with all related info in one place when i was looking haha.