Opinions on my setup for a juvenile ball python

so I am just curious how my setup looks being a new owner. My ambient temp is at 74 and I have a heating mat on he warm side set to 90. My humidity is at 60%. Anything I should change or make better?


Looks good! If you do have any issues getting him feeding temporarily blacking out the sides with dark paper or something might be necessary but it looks good!

That’s a very solid satisfactory starter setup for sure. Of everyone did something exactly like that we would have so many less issues with first time owners and getting hatchlings started.


If you really want a detailed critique to fine tune stuff, I can think of 2 questions. How is the heater/control setup including how/where are you attaching the temp sensor? And How is that gage on the tub wall attached?

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I’m familiar with those gauges and they attach with velcro.

Are you getting a hot spot through that cypress mulch? Or is it underneath? If it’s cranked up to make 90 up top then underneath is burning hot

To answer your questions crypticoils if you mean the probe for the thermostat I have it directly in the heating pad between it and the tub. The heating pad is place on the far left under the single hide more center but all the way to the left in the divet. The heating pad is plugged into the thermostat. I have an infared tempaturw gun to test the tempatures also. As for the gauges on the wall they are attached with velcro which attachs to the wall with adhesive. I’m working on getting rid of that and replacing it with a digital humidity/tempature gauge that sits in the tub. I hope I provided enough information.

Thank you. I did research for about 3 months prior to purchasing her. I talked to different breeders, watched videos on YouTube and have been a member of a ball python group on Facebook for the last 3 months.

I have been trying to figure that out to be honest. Its at 75 on the surface but I have the heat pad set to 90. I’m worried about creating a hot spot under the mulch. Should I remove some?

I leave the hot spot bare. When they get larger they’ll move it themselves anyway. Any part they can contact shouldn’t be hotter than 90,. @ashleyraeanne will be the first to say that prolonged exposures to 90+ can cause neurological effects. I shoot for 87-89,. If this is your first, remember that when seasons change you may have to tweak everything.

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Dial it in so the tub is around 90. If it’s cooler on top of the mulch that’s fine they can and will brush the substrate aside to get down to the heat. Don’t worry about surface temp on top of the substrate

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Thak you thats what I was really worrying about so I’m happy you said that. I’ll dial the thermostat back to 88. It doesn’t go over 1° over the set temp. I’ll move some of the substrate to in the hot spot.

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Yep when I check tub temps I brush the hot spot bare and shoot my temp gun right on the bottom of the tub. Especially as they get bigger they’re gonna always move the substrate around to feel comfortable so really just make sure you’re not too hot and you’ll be fine.

Ok so I checked it when I got home from work and her hot side on top if the substrate is 87 and 89 at the bottom. Cool side is sitting at 77 on top. This ok?

Yep that’s alright. Check 4-6 times the next day always the same way just quickly brush the substrate off the hot spot and get a temp reading of the tub. If you need to make a little adjustment here or there it should be fine.
You’re off to a good start. You’d like to see a couple degrees warmer on the ambient/cool side but that’s not going to be dangerous or anything.

You could move the heat pad to the side of the enclosure if you wanted to. But yeah like what @duckdangerfield said I’d recommend moving some substrate wherever the heat source is. Other than that the setup seems solid to me!


I have my house temp set at 79 hopefully it will eventually bring up her temp. I just got her last night so I’m waiting until tomorrow night to try and take her out at all. I wana make sure she transitions really good and has the best home I can give her. :upside_down_face:

I know it’s super tempting to take them out when you first get them, but I would hold off for a week or two if you can to let her settle in. Once you get her eating consistently then I would start to handle her, but I definitely think it’s better to wait until she’s less stressed out from the trip and on a good schedule. Personally I wait for 5 consistent meals for a hatchling and 3 for a juvenile-adult. I know it’s tough because they’re new, and cute and you just want to admire them, but the wait is worth it.


Looks like you’ve got a pretty solid first setup, and it sounds like you have an ok plan for the things that could be improved.

If you want to go overkill like I do, you can hot glue (or aquarium silicone) a digital aquarium thermometer probe to the hot spot inside the tub. One of the ones with a max/min record. Then you can fine tune your heater thermostat to the inside the tub temperature.

Thank you for that. I’ll try my best haha. Shes my first snake ever and I’ve wanted one since I was a kid. I’m gunna keep her feeding schedule Friday so I’m feeding her soon. I know the general rule is 48 hours but ill probably give her a little longer in the future after each feeding to take her out and hold her. I like your suggestion of waiting a few weeks to make sure get adjusted properly before I try to handle her at all. I did a little the night I got her but it was only to move her one time. I had to put the heating pad on her tub. When I put her in at first though I just opened the container and placed her in the tub and closed the lid on the tub to let her go out and explore on her own free will. I didn’t want to force her in the tub.

I recommend waiting a 7-10 before feeding a new snake. If you feed too soon, there is a risk of regurgitation.

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