Carpet pythons are one of the easiest constrictors to care for. They are great as a
first snake or first python, but knowing their care basics is still important. Different colors and morphs are available, and carpet pythons stay at a manageable
Carpet pythons are about 5-7 feet in length, and stay fairly slender. Generally, they will be black and yellow, but new morphs are always becoming discovered so you can find them in most colors now. Prices for these abnormally colored pythons can run quite high however.
Some people believe that carpet pythons are aggressive, grumpy creatures. They are really mellow and can be tamed easily and some keepers have gone as far as to say they are as calm as ball pythons. Hatchlings and younger pythons may be a little jumpy but if you spend a little time with them everyday, they will quickly adjust.
Like most constrictors, carpet pythons will eat frozen and then thawed rats. Younger snakes can start out on rat pinkies and slowly move up to fuzzies and so on. If you allow them, carpet pythons will eat large meals. Feed them a rat that is 1.5-2 times the girth of your snake.
There is no rule on how often to feed these guys. If you want them to grow big, feed them every5-7 days. If you want them to have a steadier growth rate, every 10 days should be good. If you don't feed a python enough, they will get hungry and eat anything they can. This raises the risk of them attacking you considerably.
Adults require and arboreal cage that is equal to about 40 gallons. Carpet pythons like their room and bigger cages can always be used. When these pythons are a little younger a 20 gallon tank can be used. Carpet pythons 1-3 months can live in a 10 gallon tank.
There are many different options when it comes to substrate. You can use dried newspaper, paper towels, or reptile carpet as simple substrates. There are also things like cypress mulch, bed-a-beast, and sand. Loose substrates generally aren't as efficient and they make your job to take care of your python much more difficult.
Carpet pythons need places to hide both on and off the cage floor. Provide a hide or two on the ground. Hides can be a macaroni and cheese box with an open end or fancy rocks and logs. One hide on each side works well so it can choose where it want to hide.
Give your python a branch or two off the ground with some fake plants and vines. Be sure any branches you use are sturdy and will not injure the snake.
Carpet pythons are cold blooded, meaning they cannot live without and external heat source. There should be a hot spot that is 85-90F on one end of the cage. The other end does not need to be heated. To get that hotspot to 85-90F, you will need a bulb. Pet stores sell bulbs that are red and blue in color specifically for reptiles. You may need to experiment with the number of watts you need because each house's temperature is different.
Carpet pythons do not require much attention when it comes to water and humidity. Give them a water bowl big enough to soak in. Be sure that this water stays clean. The only time you need to spray the cage is when your carpet python is shedding. If you choose to, or if you live in a dry area, you can mist down the enclosure once or twice a week.
Paper substrates need to be replaced about once a week. Loose substrates need to be replaced every 3-4 months. Keep the water bowl clean with fresh water, and mist the cage occasionally. Spot clean as needed.
Before plopping a male and a female together and hoping for eggs, be sure you know what you are doing. Both adults should be at a healthy size and weight. Some breeders claim you need to have them go through brumation (reptile hibernation), but this is unnecessary. A slight drop in temperatures may help create the mood.
Once you are ready for them to breed, place them in a 40 gallon tank with multiple hides. They can live together like that the rest of their lives, and they will mate about every year. If you do not want that many pythons living in your house, separate them once she has laid her first egg. Then you know they have mated.
As soon as you put those two together, prepare a nesting box. This should contain a mixture of sphagnum moss and a little ground coconut husk. The bottom of this nesting box should be slightly moist.
Once her first egg is laid, be prepared for 7-9 more to follow. The female will curl around the eggs and incubate them herself. Artificial incubators are not required for this species.
As she is protecting her eggs, the humidity in the nesting box should be raised. Try to raise the humidity without dampening the moss too much. Keep the temperatures around 87F.
Hatchling Care Once the eggs hatch, they need to be separated from their mother. All the hatchlings can be placed in a 10-20 gallon tank filled with hides. At first, they will look dull and even a little ugly, but with each new shed their color will become brighter. The rest of their care is mixed throughout this care sheet.
Conclusion Carpet pythons are very fun to own and interact with. They are beautiful, mellow animals that are perfect for expert and beginning reptile keepers alike. Be sure to understand their care completely before purchasing one so you and your snake can be happy.
Tiny Musk baby arrived today 7-23-13 took a liking to new home swimming around and eating wax worms and pellets. thanx.
scott goldstein - July 23, 2013
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