Soaking for the sake of Soaking

I occasionally do education shows, for which I really DO want them to sparkle. But I achieve that with a damp soapy towel. I only soak them if they are having a bad shed.


I’m with my friend Wes :wink: on this one.
If you are doing a show or expo I’d say there is no harm in the occasional scrub with a warm wet towel to get any dust or whatever away. Pretty much every animal with arms uses them to clean themselves, I’m pretty sure snakes would do the same if they could.

Soaking in a bath should only really be used to treat problems though, here is a nice video by Emily at Snake Discovery about bathing snakes.


The reason I asked is because my black kingsnake has a bunch of weird… Wearing??? On his facial scales and some around his neck area. The bark pieces he was on made it much more pronounced and just plain bad looking. I don’t think it’s anything more than him being close to shed but am worried that a respiratory thing could develop. We did a bedding change and do an entire tank clean tonight but still worried.

I love her… she’s the best!!


If you believe you have a problem health wise I’d recommend taking all substrate out of your enclosure and replacing it with paper or tissue. Preferably white so you can see any mucus or excrements that may be produced clearly and cleanly. Keep a eye on new behaviour and log everything down in a nootbook, if it turns out you do have a issue then it will come in handy when it comes too diagnosis.

what kind of “bark bedding” are you referring to exactly?

Why I put down the stuff I use for my corns in there. Gives my scared/fractious dude the ability to burrow but I will be able to see him easily. Last night while cleaning I listened to his breathing and checked him over. He seems 100% health wise (ate enthusiastically two days ago) and no raspy bubbly sounds. Just his face has dust it would seem and/or damaged scales because of the rough bedding

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It’s the Fir Bark Repti Bark stuff I’ve used for my ball python.

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@meerkatlyndz I can see how that would make your black snake appear dirty… I have my Ivory in basically dirt (biodude’s terrafirma mix) but he never looks “dirty” due to the lack of dust… Im just curious how the bark might be causing damaged scales to your little guy? Like as if he’s burrowing super hard through it?

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He’s very very anxious and constantly hoping for a way out of the tank we have him in. I’ve seen him pushing and digging everywhere. Even though the tank is 90% covered with various hides and plants and such he is still overly flighty. Was the same way in tub we had him in with the constant rubbing, pushing, ect. So just worried the burrowing through the rougher pieces of bark had damaged him or deeply pushed in bits of it between his scales. It just seems more than surface dust.

hmmm… well, other than a few minutes of “stress” to him… i would say do a soak for him and see if there are any fibers/splinters that come out from the wash. ya might have to go with a softer bedding if he’s just a derpy dude. :grimacing: just my 2 cents


He’s The Void, eater of the world! Lol but I’m gonna watch him on this new softer bedding and larger water bowl and see what comes of it during his next escape attempt. Who knows he might clean himself up. If I can get away with handling him I will. Thanks for the advice/support :slight_smile:


Good luck! What’s his name?

His nickname is The Void but GF named him Hades. All of our snakes are named after Greek gods and goddesses. I’ll try and get a Pic of him at some point. Here is an older one.


He’s so pretty.

If I get any “void” snakes I will name the boys Malzahar, Kha Zix, or Kassadin.

Kai Sa or Rek Sai for a girl.

If no one gets the reference I’ll see myself out…lol. I’m done :joy::joy:

Get ready for HUGE feeding responses. Hades has to be handled with gloves because he will go after fingers no questions asked. Not mean. Just extreme constant food response. Let him get a whiff of food, see the tongs, and he’s surging towards the front of the tank open mouthed. Dude is my disposal when my baby corns refuse a feed. He can pack it away.

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That’s pretty cool. I suspect it will be years and years before I get anything other than a BP but one of those would be pretty sick!

If he calms as he gets older (dude is about a year old now) he will make an amazing display snake. Not so much a pet in the standard sense. At least not this black king.

Is he a Mexican King? He’s stunning :heart_eyes:

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Yes he is a black king. Though he has tiny little spots and blemishes of white on his chin and mouth. He’s a little shit and HATES to be handled. Out of all my snakes he’s the only one that’s ever tagged me. So he’s just a display snake not an actual get him out and hold him. I get him out for tank cleans and a single check after he sheds. Should try and get updated pics of him… He’s twice the size he is in those pics. Big enough he’s soon to be eating rat pinks and moved into a 40 gallon so he can really stretch out.