Do you struggle to keep the humidity where it needs to be for ball pythons?
Are you looking for ways to keep your ball python safe from shedding issues related to humidity?
Humidity and skin-related health problems are among the most common issues you’ll have to deal with when it comes to keeping ball pythons.
Fortunately, this is easy to avoid if the humidity stays in the range it’s supposed to.
It’s important to know this and how to keep the humidity up in a ball python tank.
The ball python’s tank should have a relative humidity of 50-60%. Since most rooms are 20-30%, you need to do some work by including a water dish, spraying down if needed, storing the tank in the proper place, and buying humidity-raising devices.
Look ahead for more tips and related information.
What Should The Humidity Be For A Ball Python?
For the short answer, the humidity needs to be 50-60% relative humidity.
This aligns with the naturally humid environment of the ball python.
For some reptiles, humidity isn’t a hard and fast rule.
They can handle small fluctuations in humidity difference.
With ball pythons, this isn’t the case.
Ball pythons are naturally tough and healthy pets, making them one of the best reptiles for beginners.
See our comparison of the ball python Vs the corn snake.
However, their biggest health issue comes concerning skin conditions.
Specifically, ball pythons are prone to injuries resulting from improper shedding.
This occurs when the skin doesn’t disconnect from the snake’s body completely or too early.
When the dead skin breaks off too early, the sensitive skin is exposed to germs and blood, and injury may sometimes occur.
If the skin doesn’t break off properly, the dead skin may inhibit the growth of new skin and this part of the snake’s body, which causes other damage.
In both cases, the risk of injury is high, but more importantly, the risk of infection rises.
Once infected, it’s essential to take your ball python to the vet as soon as possible for treatment.
If the humidity is kept too high, the ball python is more likely to develop respiratory issues.
Most rooms are around 20-30% relative humidity, so going too high isn’t likely to be an issue.
However, these problems are often easily avoidable by keeping the relative humidity consistent 50-60%.
How is this done?
The following section deals with the information you may need.
6 Ways To Keep Humidity Up In Ball Python Tank
This section talks about the different ways to maintain your ball python tank’s relative humidity.
Remember to keep track of the tank’s relative humidity with a good hygrometer.
- Day/Night Temperatures
- Humidity & Timing Control
- Alarm When Temps Reach Unsafe Levels
Set The Temp Right
Higher temperatures are important for keeping humidity right.
The correct temp will help evaporate the water in the water dish into the air and increase the humidity.
Overall, temps should be like this:
- Basking temperature = 88° – 96° degrees Fahrenheit (31° – 35° C)
- Overall temperature = 78° – 80° degrees Fahrenheit (25° – 27° C)
- Hide/cool spot = 75° degrees Fahrenheit (24° C)
- Nighttime temperature > 65° degrees Fahrenheit (18° C)
Keep A Water Dish In There At All Times
A shallow water dish should be kept in the tank at all times.
The water should be deep enough for the snake to bathe in, but not so deep the snake goes under all the time.
The sides of the water dish should be low enough; the python can get over easily.
Between this and the temperature, your humidity should be close or perfect.
Store Tank Away From Heaters, Windows, And Vents
If you notice the humidity is still low, you may need to check out where you’ve placed the tank.
Items such as heaters, windows, vents, and exterior doors tend to dry out the air quickly.
Where possible, keep the tank away from these places, and you may notice the relative humidity goes up.
Reference our post on how to set up a ball python tank for help getting this correct.
Pick A Good Substrate
Never underestimate a suitable substrate and its impact on humidity.
Reptile carpets and other liners work just fine for protecting the snake’s skin and helping with cleanup, but they don’t trap and increase humidity.
Look for actual substrates made using wood and other fibrous materials.
Aspen and coconut are two of the most common materials, and they also increase humidity.
Learn more about the best substrate for ball pythons.
Take care to spot-check the substrate daily for droppings and gathering mold.
The substrate should also be changed every 1-2 months.
Mist If Needed
Some owners like to mist down the ball python’s tank once per day.
This shouldn’t be needed if you follow the other steps, but there’s nothing wrong with doing this to help raise humidity and keep the snake hydrated.
If you go this route, don’t spray more than once per day.
Too much, and your snake may end up with a respiratory infection.
Get A Humidifier For The Tank Or Room
If you live in an arid climate, these steps still may not be enough.
At this point, consider getting a humidifier for the tank or the room at large.
A room humidifier should get the room up to 35-40%, and then let the rest of the steps take care of the rest.
Consider yourself an expert on how to keep the humidity up in ball python tanks now.
When friends ask you what to do, tell them to keep the temp up, use a water dish, use suitable substrate, spray if needed, and buy a humidifier.
It’s essential to get this setting right for a healthy life and skin on your ball python.