Will he be alright? + Probe placement

Hey everyone,

Thanks so much for all of the clear answers on my previous posts. I’m back with two questions.

So I’m leaving for about two weeks in December out of the country, and I’m wondering if my ball python will be alright alone for two weeks? I plan on adding two big water bowls that shouldn’t run out in two weeks so he will have water, and his overhead heating should keep him plenty warm. I didn’t expect this situation to happen so fast (usually I’d have my sister to look out for him, but she’s coming too) and I’m just wondering if the snake will be okay without two weeks of interaction, a spray down and food. He’s hungry like every 4 days so I’ll feel awful but I know they can go ages without.

Secondly, before I leave, I currently have my DHP hooked up to a dimmer. I adjust this regularly but since I’ll be gone for two weeks, I’d like to hook up an actual thermostat (I have plenty) so that as the room changes in temp, the DHP doesn’t rise or fall in temperature. The CHE will stay on a dimmer as it typically doesn’t drop too far below or too high for the snake, as it is on the cold side. The only reason I’ve put it off for so long is because I overthink where to put the probe. I’m terrified his fat body will somehow move it and thereby cook him. His warm hide is on a slate. Should I just hot glue the probe to the slate? The probe I have doesn’t have a suction cup on it unfortunately, and I know tape is a bad idea. Any advice would be appreciated! Thank you.

Can you have someone stop by to check on him during that time? That’s a fairly long time to go without fresh water or get veterinary care if something goes wrong. What if you lose power?

All heat sources - DHP and CHE should both be on a thermostat, not just when you’re traveling, but all the time. Unregulated heat sources not only risk overheating your snake, but also starting fires.

How you secure the probes is up to you, I usually hot glue them to the top of their hide on the “hot side” or a branch/climbing rod on that side and that’s worked really well. It’s sturdy enough to withstand a juvenile climbing on it, but if we’re talking about an adult I’d probably also use a zip tie to secure it to something.

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Thanks for your answer!

I know someone I can ask that likes reptiles that would probably do it. I just don’t think they’re all that knowledgeable, which is also a concern. But to top off water and at least check in, that should be fine.

They are regulated, just with a dimmer. It’s worked perfectly so far, and I figure since a thermostat can also malfunction it isn’t that different. I think I’ll just hot glue it to the slate then, since his hides are very light and he moves them around a lot.

If it’s going to be more than a week I’d arrange for someone to stop in a couple times to check and replace the water.

As for a T-stat probe, just don’t affix with anything sticky inside the enclosure. But also, I think any controlling probe should ideally be outside of the enclosure if possible anyways for reasons you point out.

Also just thinking about your setup, you could still have the best of both worlds by having the power go from wall → T-stat → dimmer → heat. That way the stat can regulate it down if it gets hotter than you expect, but you know that if the probe reads low by error that there’s a limit to how much power it can output. Basically they can failsafe each other. (Some more advanced thermostats let you limit max output power right in the device as well)

Personally, I would board him! It’s not worth the risk of leaving him for two weeks :frowning:

I’m going to hire someone to come over and look after him if anything. :slight_smile:

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