Humidity, myths and moths :
a true humid story by Gijs van Waversveld
last upload : 06-10-2002
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Yeah, like we can make it rain in there... But actually that would not be bad :-)But since there's NO Mother Nature in our terraria, it's hard to maintain HYGIENE AND HUMIDITY to decent levels... I mean, keep it nice and humid, and some things are bound to rot, but keep it dry, and your pet snakes will shed badly... But as in all things there's a middle way, in getting a stable thing on humidity going in there. Pythons love some wetland..., there expert swimmers, and will often defecate in the water. As with all snakes, the more humid the better the molding process goes. But how to maintain a good level ???
The range of " humidity" is in % and called relative humidity. it ranges from 0 to 100 % where 100 stands for totally wet :-) I keep the hum. in my enclosure at 60 %. That's a starting base... Since they originate from the ( rain ) forests, I think that that is the bottom line... Since the normal humidity in a human living room ranges from 50-60, I seldom spray more then once a week, in the dry season. As one of the snakes shows signs of a coming mold, I spray hand warm water in the tank, and over the wooden and stone surfaces... The wooden gravel I use ( REPTIBARK ) absorbs the water, and releases it gradually, to maintain perfect hum. levels. I can get the hum. up to 90 %, if utterly needed, at the wettest time. And at the stage where a mold is due, I spray smaller amounts, direct on the snake, and surrounding, at 3 to 4 times a day. It seems to improve shedding, whilst it's not increasing the risk of rot, of whatever kind...
Cause those are things not wanted, MOUTH OR SCALE ROT !!! witch go hand in hand with a wet terrarium... There always has to be a good dry place for them to retreat to, and stay dry whatsoever. Cause a wet floor increases the chances of an infection by a factor 50000 !!. As my snake has molded, I stop spraying, and let the warm atmosphere ( the heat emitting bulbs ) in the enclosure do the rest. At the lows, in the dry season, I have 60 % rel. hum. and it does not seem to bother my snake. Since molding is still at 6 / 7 weeks, there are short dries and wets after each other.
Some tips on safety and so on... :
NEVER spray NEAR a hot bulb... it WILL explode...
Be careful with wiring, and wall sockets... THEY HURT when sprayed on !!!
NEVER allow your snake in a place where electrocution CAN pose a risk.
Never use either HOT or COLD water..., for bathing or spraying, it doesn't matter ! I found that 24 °C works fine with my snakes, and I have a theory on pneumonia and water... :
If a snake inhales ( breathes ) either too warm, or too cold moist air, eg the surrounding temperature differs too much ( more than a degree or 5 ) than the inside temp of the snake, you might be in trouble.. Pythons and other snakes ( larger species are prone to get it sooner ) CAN develop a cold... It is obvious that if you are in a room at 30 degrees, bare naked, and you get out in a room that is 10... go figure... So be careful with drafts and spray water...
ALWAYS !!!! use FRESH water... ( ... )
NEVER use a sprayer that has been used for something else ( eg spray the plants or so ) HAVE ONE FOR THE SNAKES ONLY !! And always check if it is CLEAN !!! and again, and again...
If you just bathed your ( giant ) snake, be extra alert, cause the snake will !!!! Remember there cold blooded and are heated by the bath !!! NEVER use plain cold water though!!!
It's not the things you see, that are rotting, usually it's UNDERNEATH those...
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