Custom Snake Cage, couple of questions!

Helping Pet Lovers Since 1999 Forums Snake Forums Custom Snake Cage, couple of questions!

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    Hello all! I am nurse arsinal, and I’m new here, so I wanted to start by introducing myself before I share my issues, lol. I’m 24 from north western Ohio, married to a future herpetologist, and owned by two beautiful black cats and one very gentle ball python. Nice to make your acquaintance!

    Anywho, this is what’s on my mind:

    We have our beautiful 2 1/2 year old 3 1/2 foot male ball, Naga in a customized cage. It’s an old floor model Zenith tele (approx 18″ deep x 18″ wide x 30″ long)heated with a 75 watt fluorescent bulb/”nite glo” black bulb in a reflective dome lamp, and it’s one of the greatest ideas since sliced bread. Unfortunately, however, we have hit a rough patch in his behavior. He seems very sluggish, and is having a hard time comming out of his hibernation state, shedding, and eating. We have only had him for about a year and a half, so this is only our second end of winter session, and I’m still familiarizing myself with his behaviors!
    I’m positive it’s all to do with this cage:
    – It’s wood, so moisture is very hard to come by.
    – It also has a pegboard back for ventilation.
    – We can barely keep his temperatures above 75 degrees

    He hasn’t eaten since November, nor has he shed since mid September.
    He does eat live small rats once a week normally, and was shedding almost regularly about once every few months.
    We ran into a rough spot ourselves, and have been forced to relocate twice this past winter.

    I’m wondering first off if this sudden change in atmosphere could have an affect on his behaviors and routines?
    Should I be worried or seeking medical opinions yet? If not, what are some common medical concerns?
    I am also thinking about ways to make his cage a bit more hospitable, so I am thinking about trying to insulate the pegboard wall. I read here somewhere the Styrofoam type material may be suitable?
    I was thinking about upholstering the interior, but I wanted to ask some opinions before hand to see what ideas or problems could arise. I can foresee issues with cloth absorbing moisture, therefore potentially causing mold, not to mention the idea of re-upholstering if the fabric gets dirty.
    I do have a piece of felt material as his bedding as well. It looks nice, but I don’t know that it is appropriate. I haven’t read anywhere that it was inappropriate, but then again I am a bit new at this.

    Any ideas, suggestions or recommendations? I would love to attempt to keep him in this cage if it’s possible, but I can definitely see the issues I may face, and have considered looking into building a new, possibly larger housing.

    Here are some pictures that may help!




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