My dad and I just purchased our first pair of hatchling ball pythons at an expo this last weekend. We had intended on putting them in 10 gal terrariums when we got home but after talking to a handful of breeders about some humidity maintenance concerns we decided that keeping them in tubs would be better for the snakes in the long run or at least until they were a little older and our local bone dry winter had run its course. However now we’re in the process of outfitting a pair of sterilite tubs and I find myself with a couple questions:
What is the best way to heat a tub? We picked up two roughly 12x15x6 sterilite tubs and I’ve got two UTHs that, thankfully, I hadn’t yet attached to the original terrariums. However, the directions explicitly say not to stick the UTHs to plastic yet most of the videos I’ve watched about outfitting tubs have done this anyway. I’ve got a thermostat so I assume it’s fine to attach an 80-85° heater to a plastic tub as it won’t melt… But maybe there are other concerns that I’m not considering? Should something go between the UTH and plastic tub bottom?
What is the best substrate to use in a tub? I had planned on using reptichip or eco earth until my fiance reminded me that we have a little one running around with a coconut allergy so maybe that would be ill advised. I want to use something that will help me regulate the humidity of the tank as my house is notoriously dry.
Thank you in advanced for the help. I am so excited to care for these little critters, I just want to make sure I’m doing it right!!