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Preparing The Lay Box


Alien Lover
Just a thread to show what I do to prepare lay boxes for the females. The scent of moss will attract the female to the box. I like this brand, available at Home Depot and Lowes. Make sure whatever brand you use doesn't contain chemicals or fertilizer.


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Wring out as much water as possible. Place the moss in the laying container. I like to use clear 9" delis so I can see what is going on, and so later, I can lift the container out of the bin and look in through the bottom without disturbing the female.


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Cut a hole in the lid large enough for the female to get in and out easily, but small enough to keep humidity in the lay box. Write the female's name on the box. Never share boxes between females. If you reuse the box next year, soak in a bleach solution, rinse, soak in an ammonia solution (never mix the two!!) and then rinse very thoroughly. If the female poops in the box, remove the poo immediately. It is very important to not contaminate the eggs. In fact, I wash my hands thoroughly before doing any handling of the lay boxes or egg containers.


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I place the lay box in with the female at about the time she goes blue for the pre-lay shed. Don't forget to remove her big water bowl and replace it with a bowl so small she cannot get into it to lay eggs. Eggs laid in water rarely survive.


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The female may or may not explore the lay box before she is really ready to lay. If she gets into and out of it a lot, don't worry, she just isn't ready to lay yet. When the time comes she will settle down in the lay box. This snake is _not_ serious about laying yet!


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End product! This is what we are all hoping for! After the female has finished laying, I remove the eggs and put her and the lay box back in her bin. The female may stay in the lay box for a few more days, or may abandon it right away. I think it gives her a comforting place to stay for her post-lay shed, if she feels like it. After that, the lay box is removed and sterilized and the female gets her big water bowl back.


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I liked this thread, and beautiful snakes as well!! I'm glad you showed the orchid moss for others as well because I know quite a few of the brick moss' you can buy at the pet store can contain chemicals that you obviously want to avoid.
I used something similar to AquaSafe (used for fish tanks) last year. Would you consider this safe? I had no problems with my eggs last year, but may have been beginner's luck.

For non-fish people: AquaSafe is a declorinator for fish tanks. You just throw in the prescribed amount per certain amount of gallons, such as 10mL per 10 gallons and it removes the chlorine.