Ball pythons require special care, which is why you want to ensure you clean their enclosures properly. Routine enclosure maintenance is essential to keeping your pet happy and healthy, while you enjoy an odor-free and attractive enclosure. Ball pythons are susceptible to bacterial and skin infections, which can be caused by an unclean habitat. The fecal matter carries bacteria, which can be harmful to you, cleaning and disinfecting the enclosure on a regular basis can reduce disease both for you and your pet.
Why Should I Clean My Ball Python Tank?
Owning any animal, you know how important it is to keep them healthy and provide a safe and clean living environment. Ball pythons are covered in bacteria, they also urinate and defecate in the enclosure, which spreads bacteria and germs. The humidity requirements needed by a ball python to remain healthy, help is microorganisms grow, due to the warmth and moisture in the enclosure.
Ignoring the enclosure and not keeping it clean can result in it smelling and looking dirty. Even worse, it can cause illness for your pet, including scale rot and respiratory infection. In addition to this, most ball pythons will start to stress once their enclosure because dirty, this is due to the strong smell, which would normally be an attraction for predators in the wild.
How Often Should I Clean My Ball Python Enclosure?
In order to keep your tank clean and keep your pet healthy, you will want to do daily spot cleaning and monthly deep cleaning. Spot cleaning takes only minutes and includes adding fresh clean water for your pet while removing any urates and feces you find. Monthly cleaning is the removal of everything from the enclosure, a good deep clean and disinfectant before you return your pet to its home.
There are many great cleaning solutions on the market, ensure any disinfectants or cleaners you purchase are safe for your pet. Some of the cleaning solutions you can use includes:
Natural Chemistry Healthy Habitat Cleaner and Deodorizer
This is a natural and hypoallergenic cleaner and deodorizer which can safely be used in your ball python enclosure. It can be used for all odors and strains. Very easy to use and powerful without the dangerous chemicals, this is formulated to be used safely for your pet.
Can be used when your pet is in its habitat. It can be used to clean the enclosure and accessories safely. The patented technology relies on natural enzymes and co-enzymes designed to break down organic material effectively, providing a healthier environment for your pet.
Fluker's Super Scrub Organic Reptile Habitat Cleaner
Fluker's habitat cleaner is an organic cleaner that cleans and sanitizes, making cleaning easy and hassle-free. Made from all-natural enzymes. Complete with a brush to make scrubbing quick and easy. Can be used on branches, enclosures, rocks, vines, and water bowls safely.
Zoo Med Wipe Out 1 Terrarium Cleaner
The Zoo Med terrarium disinfectant cleans and deodorizes. Can clean, disinfect and deodorize the enclosure, reducing the spread of bacterial and reducing the risk of scale rot. Effective at killing salmonella choleraesuis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
How To Clean a Ball Python Tank
It's important to spot clean the enclosure on a daily basis with a thorough clean once monthly.
You are going to want to do a spot cleaning daily, removing any urates and feces from the enclosure. Urates are easy to identify, they are white and chalky, while feces are brown and easy to identify. This should be scooped out of the enclosure as and when you see them, along with some substrate surrounding them. Dispose and replace with fresh substrate.
Unfortunately getting rid of the smell of urine can be difficult. It's not easy to identify where your python has urinated if you are using a loose substrate, such as coconut husk. Due to the substrate already being damp from misting, it isn't easy to see where the urine is. In most cases your pet will urinate when it releases the urates, so you can clean around the urates thoroughly to try and reduce the odor.
It's not uncommon for condensation to start occurring where your pet may have urinated. What does work well is a black light, which can be purchased online. These lights are able to quickly and easily detect urine, due to it containing phosphorous. This is not a failsafe solution, but it can help you eliminate urine in the enclosure easily. The UV Flashlight Pet Urine Detector helps find invisible stains, including urine. It identifies urine that is invisible to the naked eye. This is a durable and high-quality LED UV light with a long lifespan, ultra-compact design, and easy to use.
You must replace your ball python’s water daily, scrubbing the water before filling. Water builds a slimy coating on some materials, cleaning the water dish when replacing with fresh water is the best way to eliminate this.
Once a month you are going to want to do a thorough clean of your ball pythons enclosure, which involves removing your pet and everything from the enclosure. Here are some easy steps you can follow to ensure that you get the enclosure clean and disinfected in the easiest way possible.
- Get your cleaning materials together (reptile disinfectant, paper towels, etc.)
- Place your python in a temporary holding container. Remember to ensure the lid locks in place and there are air holes.
- Empty the enclosure of everything, including accessories. Place accessories in a bucket or sink to clean a little later.
- Unplug all the electrical devices, such as heating and lighting.
- Remove the old substrate. If you using loose substrate, you will want to prepare new. If using newspaper or paper towel, it is quicker and easier.
- Using reptile disinfectant, clean the entire cage thoroughly.
- Remember to allow the glass to cool before you start cleaning, to reduce the risk of the enclosure cracking
- Remember to pay close attention to the water bowl.
- Do not use scouring pads on plastic items, this causes scratches and abrasions, which are not only harder to clean in the future, but are also great hiding places for bacteria.
- Once the enclosure is dry, add new substrate
- Replace accessories
- Add fresh water to the water bowl
- Turn on electrical devices
- Replace your ball python.
- Ensure all locks are secure