Originally Answered: how can i keep my ball python happy?
First off, what kind of substrate do you use?
I have found that even when misting several times per day, the wrong kind of substrate and having a screen top cage will seriously lower a Ball python's chances of having a good shed and your chances of keeping humidity up. ;)
If you are considering getting a new snake cage, may I suggest getting something front-opening with no screen lid? They tend to be more expensive, but they hold humidity much better than regular glass tanks. If that isn’t practical, you are doing a good job with covering the top, though you may want to cover it a bit more, and switch to a towel or a sheet of non-bag plastic safety reasons. Try to make sure your snake has a very large water bowl on cool side of the tank that is kept filled with fresh, clean water at all times, not just for drinking but to up cage humidity. Heck, you may consider putting another water dish on the warm side for humidity, as well.
I have a 12 year old male Ball python, Apophis; that had shedding issues for years. I had him in a screen top cage with most of the top covered, and tried using dozens of different substrates, anything from cypress, newspaper, aspen, paper towels, regular towels, repti-bark, etc. Nothing was working, and no matter how many times daily I misted his terrarium, he still had bad sheds, I couldn’t get his humidity above 40% for more than a couple of hours at a time, and he seemed dehydrated. I finally switched him to a solid construction, front opening terrarium with small screens on the sides for ventilation, and he seemed less dehydrated and the humidity was higher, but he was still having issues shedding. Finally I was talking to my best friend (a Ball python, Redtail boa, and Leopard Gecko breeder), and she recommended trying Eco-Earth by Zoo-Med, a compressed coconut dirt substrate that she said worked wonderfully for high-humidity species, didn’t need to be misted anywhere near as often as most bedding, and seemed to be mold resistant. I was skeptical, but I wanted to give it a try.
Sure enough, after I started using Eco-Earth, Apophis has been very healthy, completely hydrated, has been eating perfectly, and hasn’t had a bad shed since I started using it more than a year ago. I only want the best for my pets, and so it takes a lot for me to recommend a product, but Eco-Earth is something that I highly recommend to anyone having humidity or shedding issues with their reptiles or anyone who is looking for a new substrate. :)
I hope this helps, and if you have any further questions at all on the subject; please feel free to message me and I will be happy to assist you.
Good luck with your Ball python!