Ball Python Humidity Made Easy
If you are new to ball pythons or if you are just worrying that you ball python tank setup might have some flaws you probably are wondering how to get the right ball python humidity.
Somehow this seems to be a feared topic because most ball python owners just don´t know how to get and hold the humidity how it should be. That might be because you are worried that it could be too high in your plastic enclosure. Or you maybe have a glass tank and you are worried that you can´t hold the humidity correctly.
No matter what it is, this article will show you how you easily create - and hold - the right humidity in your snake enclosure.
What Humidity Do Ball Pythons Need?
First of all you need to know what humidity ball pythons need. Ball pythons do not come from a tropical area. If you thought this until now, don´t worry. We just associates snakes that look like ball pythons with the jungle because of several movies. So you do not need very high humidity for ball pythons. Actually it is absolutely okay if your humidity is around 50% to 65%.
You simply do not need higher humidity than that. I recommend to have a little bit higher humidity during the shedding phase though. So having a humidity of 60% to 65% while your ball python is shedding is absolutely fine.
How To Get The Right Humidity In A Ball Python Tank
So no matter if you have a glass tank or a plastic cage, the methods you are about to read will definitely help you as there are so many different ways to increase or decrease the humidity in the tank. Let´s start with a very easy one.
Use The Right Substrate
I see many ball python owners use newspaper as substrate. Some do not even use any substrate. If you are not a breeder who sells their snakes I simply don´t think that this is appropriate for a ball python.
Get some cypress mulch as substrate. The great thing about cypress much is that you can mist it and that increases the average humidity in the tank without getting moldy. A pretty easy way to increase the humidity, huh? Get cypress mulch here!
Okay, up to the next option.
Use The Water Bowl
This is a great method if you are using a heat mat. Get a big water bowl like this and place it above the area where the heat mat is. This way the water bowl become a humidifier. As you have to have a water bowl anyway, this is an exceptionally easy method if you use a heat mat.
Create A Moist Hide
If you are using a heat lamp in your cage, it could be a little bit harder to get the right humidity in the tank. However there is one easy way to get rid of this problem. Ball pythons should have several hides in their enclosure. Simply create a moist hide! Get a hide like this and put a little bit of moist sphagnum moss like this inside it. The humidity inside the hide will definitely be above 50%.
Just make sure that you do not place the hide directly under the basking spot. This way the moist hide will dry out quickly and the effect is gone. By the way, you can use a moist hide if using a heat mat, too.
Create A Moist Hide
This hide is perfect for ball pythons. It is available in several sizes at an affordable price.
Do This If You Use A Tank With A Screencover
If you use a glass tank with a screencover you probably have a very hard time to maintain the right humidity. While using a moist hide would help you, you could try another method as well. Simply cover half of the screencover. Most ball python keepers use tin foil to maintain humidity, but you could also use a towel to do that.
Need To Lower Humidity? This Will Help!
If your humidity is too high I do not recommend to remove substrate or even the water bowl. Seriously, don´t remove the water bowl. However what I recommend you to do is this:
If you use a plastic tank, drill small holes into the sides of your plastic tank. Only start with a few and see how humidity changes. If it is still too high drill another one in and continue with this process until you reach the right humidity.
If you have a glass tank and the humidity is too high, you must be doing something wrong. Check the substrate, did you mist it too much? If yes, replace it with a new one and do not mist it too much. If you have a huge water bowl, replace it with a slightly smaller one. However always make sure that your snake has enough to drink, that´s vital.
Here Is How You Know If Your Humidity Is Okay
The number one way to tell if your humidity is high enough is how your ball python sheds. If it sheds in one go, without any dead skin left on the snake after shedding, your humidity is high enough. If there are dry skin parts that do not fall off, you might want to higher the humidity a little bit and check the next shedding.
There are actually ball python keepers who do not worry about humidity at all and do not even check the tank to know how high it is. They just make sure that their snakes are well hydrated, since this is really important. If your ball pythons is about to shed it will have a higher need for water to stay well hydrated. So the snake makes sure itself that it is ready to shed regardless of the humidity.
However, that´s what experts do. I recommend to make sure that you at least have a humidity of 50%.
Ball Python - Humidity Too High? What Happens Then?
You definitely do not want that. While too low humidity most of the times "only" results in shedding problems, too high humidity can cause serious problems. Often ball pythons get respiratory infections when the humidity is too high. So you definitely want to avoid that.
As you see, this is not a really complicated topic. There are so many ways you can adjust the humidity in the ball python enclosure. As I said, don´t worry too much about it. If your snake is shedding fine, there does not seem to be a problem. Just always make sure the humidity is not too high.
If you have any questions, leave a message in the comment section below and I will be more than happy to help you out.
About the Author
Hey! I am Pierre. I own bearded dragons and many other reptiles for a very long time. I know from experience that it can be very hard to find the right information about a specific reptile, since there is so much misinformation out there.That´s why I created this website. To help other people to have the best time with their reptiles.