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RE: ball python water bowl, draining questio

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Posted by: Bighurt at Mon Jan 3 12:43:45 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Bighurt ]  

>>the reason im asking this question is because the cage is sorta deep and hard to get to the bowl its built into the floor so it only sticks out of the floor like 2 inches the rest is under the cage.

If this was for a large Iguana or Monitor, or even a very large Boid. I would say a water dish drain was a necessary evil. However by creating a drain for such a small dish your doing two things.

One your goal is to make it easier which usually leads to laziness. By this I mean it will lead to frequent draining a filling a less cleaning. After all it doesn't look dirty and its so hard to reach in there

Two to properly plumb a drain you will either need fancy plumbing or a separate container below the cage in which to drain things into. This in the case of fancy plumbing make the dish harder to remove from the cage for cleaning. Or in the case of a simple center drain into a dish below, create two dishes in which you need to clean.

In both cases by removing the burdon of having to remove the dish to drain and clean your increasing your work without removing the original task.

Remember in the cases for which I mentioned it being a necessary evil. It wasn't making the task easier it was making the task possible. Having kept large lizards I know what its like to carry a water dish with over 3 gallons of soiled water to a waste receptacle.

I'm sure you have reasons for having the dish recessed into the floor, but perhaps you should look at a pair of tongs to reach in and remove the dish.

There are reasons why people use sparse cages ceramic crock bowls and paper substrate. They all make it simpler to keep clean and by keeping the cage cleaner the animal is healthier.

To give you a personal example I once used cat litter boxes as water dishes for all my large boids. I thought the pros out weighed the cons. Those being in my eyes, more water to lessen the amount of water fills due to evaporation, and to give the animal a soak option. The cons at the time where of course it takes quite a bit of water to fill a cat box, which is heavy and taxing to the already high water bill.

Of course I was in correct. I only created more problems. By lessening the amount of fills I had to do I was less active in the Herp room and therefore less observant of my animals. In turn the larger bowl became a ready toilet for many of the animals I kept, increasing the cleaning/water replacement cycle. Furthermore when the water level become low enough the cat box being lighter than a ceramic crock was easily overturned. Creating a whole new set of flooded cage problems.

The solutions was I know use crock although not ceramic as I can't find a local cheap source. I use the van ness bowls found at Walmart and various other pet stores. While not as heavy as ceramic they had enough weight and were small enough to not allow the large females soak time. This means no more flooded cage. The reduced amount of water meant even when I was lazy the animals got fresh water more frequently as evaporation can empty small bowls very quickly. I have noticed over the years that many of my animals won't drink from water bowls with water reaching a week old. Yet as soon as I replace it with fresh water many a times they take a drink.

Many people think snakes drinking water demonstrates husbandry issues. IMO soaking is more indicative of husbandry issues.

Not to make this a ramble or a lecture but I think in the end the KISS concept rules out, Keep It Simple Stupid. It's best for both you and the collection. And if you do need something always work towards making it easier, not necessarily faster. After all you know what they say about Idle hands....
Jeremy Payne
JB Reptile

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