Hi I’m getting a female KSB today. I’m not quite sure if I need to leave the water dish in the enclosure the entire time or just put it in during certain times or days in the week. If ya’ll could help me out that would be great!
Some KSB keepers do not provide a water bowl but I have heard more keepers recommend having it in the enclosure than not, they also say to keep the water bowl shallow because they aren’t good swimmers, and I have heard people specify to put the water bowl on the cold side (I don’t have a clue as to why other than the humidity rising if placed under a lamp). I would say to search around for the information, asking here is a good start!
I keep a full, clean bowl of water in my KSB’s enclosure at all times. I’ve never had any issues with it, and I’ve never really understood why some people say not to do that. Maybe because they can burrow under it and knock it over? But I’ve never had issues with that, I just use a nice heavy bowl and she’s never tipped it over. I do see her drinking from time to time, and while I’m sure she could survive without water for a few days, I don’t see any reason to not make water available to her whenever she wants it.
People say that because of the dessert terrain they come from being bare and not really having water, but that doesn’t make sense because that doesn’t mean lack of water is healthy
KSBs do live in desert areas…but they also live in wetter forests and grasslands. They have a huge range in the wild and live in many different environments. That’s a big part of why they’re so hardy and easy to care for in captivity: they can tolerate a pretty wide range of environmental parameters. So yeah, to my mind, “they live in deserts” is not a good reason to restrict their access to water. They still need water, and I think it’s better for the snake (not to mention easier for the keeper) to just give them access to water all the time. Keeping track of when to put in and take out a water bowl just makes things more complicated for the keeper, and as far as I can tell, it offers no benefit to the snake.
The only snake I have ever seen it recommended not to keep a water bowl in the enclosure 24/7 is the rosy boa due to the fact that some Rosys will gorge on water therefore causing full bellies that kill the appetite right before a meal or cause regurgitation after a gorge right after a meal.
I have never heard of anyone saying NOT to keep a bowl of water in a KSB enclosure nor have I ever heard of anyone saying to keep a water bowl on the warm/hot side unless it was for a brief period to raise the humidity in the enclosure.
I have never heard that KSBs are not good swimmers (reason for shallow water bowl?) and yes as @jawramik Jennifer stated, KSBs come from a variety of different environments, not just “desert terrain”, which is where the misconception comes from and KSBs should be housed only in sand……Plus the name Kenyan SAND Boa doesn’t help either……
True true! I haven’t done as much research as someone who was about to get one would, so the things I did read mentioned things about keeping it shallow and/or that they can’t swim well.
I have a rosy boa now and I have kept sand boas in past. Mine have tipped their water bowls a bit but none of them ever gotten into a bowl and couldn’t get out. If they can burrow it only makes sense that they can swim, at least to get out of a water bowl anyway……
I have a couple of friends that breed them in decent quantities. They both keep water bowls in at all times.
I think the danger can arise depending on the size/weight/type of the water bowl . If you had say 2 inches of substrate and a heavy water bowl on top. Since they like to burrow i think they have either been crushed or pinned down by the water dish when they remove the substrate accidentally by tunneling. That is only reason i can think of. But a very lightweight dish filled shallow wouldn’t cause an issue. Just some people get a huge plastic or ceramic dish then fill it up. Could weigh a few lbs
I use a pretty heavy water bowl with my KSB and it’s never been a problem. I sort of nestle it down in the substrate, so it’s not just sitting on top of the substrate. It’s partially embedded in the substrate and the bottom is in contact with the floor of the enclosure. She doesn’t really try to get under it, I’ve never had issues with her tipping it over or getting stuck under it.
Yep it’s the same with my rosy and my hoggie. There has never been a problem with their water bowls. I fail to see why there would even be an issue at all…….
Regarding the potential for them drowning…I don’t feel like they’d be likely to drown in the size of water bowl that most people would use in a KSB-sized enclosure. I guess they might be able to drown if you tossed them into a full bathtub and left them there, but I don’t think it’s something you need to be worried about with a normal-sized water dish. I use one of those corner-shaped faux rock dishes from ExoTerra, just because I like the way it looks, but prior to getting that, I just used a ceramic cat bowl. Both have been just fine and I never had any problems with either style.
I do prefer heavier water bowls for both my snakes, just because it makes it a lot less likely they’ll get tipped over. And so long as you sort of nestle the heavy dish into the substrate, I don’t think there’s any serious risk of the sand boa getting underneath it and being crushed by it. Only con with that is that sometimes she ends up pushing substrate into the water bowl as she burrows around the enclosure, but I change out her water daily anyway, so it’s really not a big deal. Though it’s worth mentioning that my KSB is a large adult female. For a tiny baby, it might be better to use a lighter dish, just to be safe. It seems like they might be more at risk of injuring themselves by wriggling under a heavier dish when they’re small.