The ball python (Python regius) also known as royal python and is the most well-known pet python in the world.
It is native to the sub-Saharan part of Africa and is surprisingly wide-spread through Uganda, Senegal, and Benin.
On its natural habitat, it spends most of its life in the security of a natural disused rodent burrow or crevice.
The best type of cage for ball python is Deep Blue Professional Glass Standard Frag Aquarium Tank
The ball python is one of the simplest snakes to own and are generally readily available in pet shops, breeders, and reptile expos.
They make good pets since they are commonly small in size, easy to care of, shy, friendly and comes with a remarkable array of colors and patterns.
If you are taking care of or wish to own a ball python. Aside caring for food, health, you’ll need to have the best ball python enclosure.
Top 10 Best Ball Python Enclosure
Because ball python size cannot be predicted, most owners choose to create their own ball python enclosure.
In case, you need it urgently and build an enclosure for later, there are some enclosures available in the market which can accommodate a ball python. Here are the top 10 best ball python enclosure:
Deep Blue Professional Glass Standard Frag Aquarium Tank
This is first on our ratings of the best type of cage for ball python. It is uniquely crafted for sea creatures but that does not mean that it can’t handle reptiles like ball pythons.
The tank is produced from thick distortion-free glass material for visibility and durability.
It also comes with diamond-polished edges, black seal with industrial strength and universally-sized injection molded frames for added sturdiness.
The tank size is 18 x 12 inches, giving your reptilian buddy a lot of space to slither around.
SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Junior Executive Kit
Another great best ball python enclosure is the SeaClear Aquarium is specifically made for the budding aquarist, bu, you’ll be glad to know that it also makes a suitable enclosure for reptiles.
Boasting a 36 x 15 x 16 inches, it gives your ball python enough space to crawl and slither as well as adding branches to crawl on.
This enclosure is one of the best type of cage for ball python constructed from Acrylic that is at least 17 times stronger than glass an only weighs half its weight of the same size.
The terrarium comes with a complete hood to stop any escapes and includes a 24 inches flurorescent fixture installed for lighting.
Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium
The all-new Carolina Custom Cages Terrariums are really easy to assemble and comes in different sizes and models so you can choose the perfect one for your slithering buddy.
They have models with hinged floors as well as waterproof base and sliding doors. Every terrarium comes completely equipped with key-lock security in order to stop any accidental escapes.
Carolina custom Cages also ensures that the terrarium arrived at your home dent and scratch-free with an extra Styrofoam and tougher cardboard for a “box inside a box” packaging.
Exo Terra Glass Terrarium Mayan
This reptile enclosure from Exo Terra measures 18x18x24 inches, making it much preferable for ball pythons to live in.
Its dimension is just right – not too big or too small, but is enough to provide your ball python a lot of slithering and crawling spaces.
Additionally, this ball python enclosure comes with 2 doors for an escape-free access. It also features a water-resistant base and front window ventilation.
It features a stainless steel mesh cover which makes sure that your ball python will never find a way to escape.
Its dimension is just right – not too big or too small, but is enough to provide your ball python a lot of space.
Exo Terra Short All Glass Terrarium
This all-glass terrarium is one ball python enclosure idea that measures 18x18x12 inches, this enclosure from Exo Terra is ideal for baby reptiles and amphibian like baby ball python to live in.
Its front doors can be opened separately for easy feeding and access. Moreover, it has a lock uniquely designed in order to prevent your ball python from running out of its cage.
It comes with a full-screen top ventilation which gives room to UV and infrared penetration and is totally removable for easy cleaning.
There are 5 closable tube wires or inlets on each side to install sensors or heat wave rocks inside.
Its bottom plate is raised in order to mount a substrate heater. It has some natural background and offers enough space for your ball python to slitter through.
Exo Terra High Glass Terrarium
This is yet another great ball python enclosure that is very different from the other Exo Terra Terrarium in this list.
This type of bally python cage is much higher and less wide than the rest, making it suitable for baby to young ball pythons to climb and lither around.
Exo terra high has two doors for ease of convenience and feeding, and a specialized lock that prevents unwanted opening from kids and your python slithering out into the world.
It’s an all-glass terrarium which offers you a good viewing of your pet.
It has a raised bottom frame and waterproof base to accommodate substrate and heaters. With its natural-looking background, your ball python will surely feel like home in the wild.
Exo Terra Short All glass Terrarium (24 by 18 by 12-Inch)
The Allglass Terrarium from Exo Terra is made of tough glass and is maybe one of the most popular, trendiest ball python enclosures available today.
Designed and made for amphibians and reptiles, it comes in different sizes so that you have a lot of option on the correct size of the ball python that you are planning to take home as a pet.
The Exo Terra Allglass Terrarium features patented front window ventilation which allows enough breeze to enter the enclosure and make sure that your ball python can breathe on some fresh air.
Additionally, it comes with an elevated bottom frame for substrates and heaters. Its base is waterproof and keeps water from entering the cage
This ball python enclosure also comes with two click doors that are escape-proof securing your python.
Plus, it has closable inlets for tubes and wiring management. What’s more is that it also features a distended ground surface which is extremely significant because ball python will need enough room to slither around.
Exo Terra Rainforest Habitat Kit
This reptile enclosure from Exo Terra has good size, making it much suitable for ball pythons to live in. Its dimension is just right – not too big or small, but is enough to give your ball python a lot of slithering and crawling spaces.
Aside that, this ball python enclosure comes with 2 doors for an escape-free access. It also features a water-resistant front and base window ventilation.
It has a stainless steel mesh cover which makes sure that your ball python will never find a way to escape.
Exo Terra Allglass Large and Wide Terrarium
This is the 9th ball python enclosure. It is pretty much the same as the previous one, although this one is much wider and larger, that is ideal to hold a completely grown ball python.
It is produced with the same tough, clear glass and a front window ventilation to allow your ball python a good amount of fresh air.
It comes with an escape-proof door and waterproof base door so you won’t have to worry about your ball python escaping and scaring people.
With closable inlets for wiring and tubes and a really wider space than the other, this ball python enclosure will surely make you ball python happier with so much ground to cover.
Exo Terra Allglass Terrarium (for Baby Ball Python)
It boasts of a unique design and is really a head-turning ball python terrarium. It is a 8-gallon enclosure which is also great for amphibians, hermits, and lizards.
This enclosure features a 8-gallon enclosure which is also perfect for hermit, lizards, and amphibians.
This enclosure features a flat-backed style so you can set it up on a wall while giving you a nice view of your pet.
This ball python enclosure from Exo Terra is made of long-lasting and tough metal screen which does not only give you the perfect view but also ensures that your ball python will never get to escape. Its tough glass has been constructed with a seamless acrylic structure that provides perfect viewing every time.
Types of Ball Python Cages
The past years has witnessed a lot of ball python keepers experimenting with various different enclosures. Here are the most suitable options being used at present in the pet trade:
Glass fish tanks have been used by different keepers in the past, as they offer great visibility for the owner. They do, but, represent a good number of difficulties when it comes to creating the ideal ball python habitat.
For beginners, ball pythons are popular as escape artists so it’s important that any fish tank you consider using has closely-fitting (escape proof) lid.
The good news is that a number of cage toppers are now available on the market, and generally consist of a black mesh lid, often with a glass panel which slides out and in for easy access to the cage.
To be honest, even these tank toppers aren’t perfect. Ball pythons are good climbers and are shockingly strong for their size, so it’s not uncommon for them to manage to push such lids off the top of their cage before making a break for freedom.
If you are plan to use such a device, therefore, be certain that you weigh it down with some books or make sure it is very tight-fitting.
Another thing to consider when picking the best ball python cage is how you’re going to heat it- and keep the warmth inside.
These mesh lids can cause problems with warm air rising up and out of the cage, making it hard to maintain in the required temperature for your pet.
Because of this, there might be urgency to use an aquarium to cover up some of the mesh or install stronger heating than in other types of cages.
As you can see, while glass tanks really have their benefits, they also represent a number of potential pitfalls too.
Personally speaking, I have used them as short-term homes for young snakes when the weather is.warm, but as the mercury starts to drop (or the snake starts to grow) I prefer to make use of other cage types.
Wooden Vivarium for Ball Python
Wooden vivariums for ball python are designed mainly for snake owners. This makes it a better and cool ball python enclosure.
The wooden surrounding of the cage mean that keeping in humidity and warmth is far simpler. This keeps your electricity bill down and helps your ball python to feel more comfortable.
Additionally, wooden vivarium for ball pythons has solid walls and back of the cage provides extra privacy for your pet.
Ball pythons tend to be quite shy and sensitive animals, and benefit from areas where they can escape your gaze and feel safe.
Plastic containers have now become really popular as ball python cages over the past couple of years, all thanks to exhaustive experimentation by experienced breeders.
Ball pythons are not the most active snakes in the planet, they will spend most of the day hiding out in a burrow in the wild and can be nervous in captivity when exposed for too long.
All this means that Ball pythons don’t really need the biggest cages in the world; indeed a big cage with nowhere to hide is arguably the worst thing possible for ball pythons.
Compact plastic containers therefore have certain strengths. Although they’re not the best-looking caging option they do make it very easy to keep humidity and warmth in the cage.
Their plastic nature also makes them cheap to buy, lightweight and easy to clean. Just as importantly (for breeders) these plastic cages take up little space, meaning that those with a large collection can accommodate them in a relatively small place.
If you live in UK, you can try a brand known as “Really Useful Boxes” (or simply RUBs for short) which are slight, strong, and have useful locking handles that keep the lid on no matter what.
To get started, just drill some ventilation holes (simplicity itself with an electric drill) and you’ve got a perfectly serviceable ball python cage. These can also be bought in the USA from sites like Amazon (direct link).
Wooden vivariums are such a practical option that some keepers look to make on their own. Doing so can cut down the cost and allow you to build a cage of the perfect dimensions for your home and your snake.
Of course you’ll need some DIY skills, and the ability to source the needed parts. Remember that it’s not just the wood you’ll want to purchase and cut to size, but you’ll also need the runners, ventilation panels, and glass doors.
Alternatively, buying a premade wooden vivarium homebuilt cages can ne hugely effective cages if you’ve got the patience and skills to build one in the first place.
So what’s The Best Ball Python Cage?
We’ve covered quite a good number of pros and cons of each cage. The obvious question is really what’s “best”?
Based on experience, I recommend wooden vivariums. I feel there are ideal for retaining humidty and heat while offering an excellent view of your pet.
They’re also available in a range of colors, shapes, and sizes to blend into your home and really create a fantastic focal point for any room.
As a secondary option, for those who plan on keeping a number of ball pythons, are the plastic tubs.
What Size Cage Does My Ball Python Need?
Picking a suitable sized ball python enclosure is a critical part of the complete process.
Too a large and some snakes will feel insecure, refusing food and losing condition.
Too small and your snake won’t have ample space to move around.
I believe it is best for your ball python cage to be at least as long as your pet is, and a minimum of half this width.
Height is not a big deal here for ball pythons who may try to climb, and risk potentially harming themselves in the process.
To be honest, I would recommend the following measurements:
Hatchling Ball Python Cages
The minimum of 24″ long, with the knowledge that you will have to keep an eye on your python’s growth and buy your crawler a larger vivarium and he or she grows.
Adult Ball Python Cages
They should measure a minimum of 36″ long and ideally more. Personally I typically house my ball pythons in 48″ long vivs.
Here are what some other authorities recommend in terms of cage sizes:
The Ball Python Care Sheet
Ball Python Size
Ball pythons hatchlings are around 10 inches in length. Adult male ball pythons have an average of 2-3 feet in size while female ball pythons can grow an average 3-5 feet long.
When considering the best ball python enclosure plans, you should think of the size too. The females are usually longer than males.
A 5-foot ball python is already considered big, however, there are reports of much longer ones.
Ball Python Lifespan
With proper care, a ball python can live for 30 years or more. The recorded oldest age of a ball python is more than 40 years.
Ball Python Feeding
You can feed a ball python with an approximately sized rodent once per week. The term “appropriately sized” means that the prey is no bigger o circumference that the ball python at its biggest circumference.
Young ball pythons eat rats and moving up in size as they grow bigger. They can also feed on frozen/thawed or pre-killed rodents.
Never handle a ball python for at least a day after it fed. This is because ball python might regurgitate. It is also important to know that some ball pythons will not eat for a few hours after being handled, so try to avoid handling if you plan to feed it.
Additionally, never leave a live rodent inside the enclosure, since they can injure your ball python.
BP are known to not et at certain times of the year, especially during winter months. Also, snakes often do not eat while they are in their shed cycle.
Ball Python Water
Always provide fresh and clean water for your ball python. The size of the water is fully up tp you, but, it is vital to note that a really large one gives your ball python an opportunity to crawl in and soak (ball pythons seems to love soaking from time to time).
Always check its water bowls from time to time since ball pythons are known to defecate in their water bowls.
Ball Python Handling and Temperament
Naturally, ball pythons are shy and prefer to do much in hiding. And just like any other snakes, without trust your ball python might see you as a threat.
Always strive to support the body of your ball python and try to avoid any fast movements. Once a ball python realizes that you are not a threat, it will often enjoy being handled.
There are some ball pythons that will try to hide when handled and there are some that might even bite because of too much fear.
Ball pythons such as these will need more time to settle and establish trust.
Creating Your Ball Pythons’ Habitat
After you have picked the best ball python enclosure, the next thing you will do is to customize and decorate the inside of the enclosure to accommodate the needs of your ball python.
There are a number of factors that you need to keep in mind when creating the best habitat for your ball pythons. Here are some:
A dry substrate is needed, but with the option for a higher amount of humidity, particularly during molting.
The most well-known substrate used for ball python enclosure are newspapers and paper towels in terms of disinfecting and cleaning the enclosure.
Cypress mulch and Orchid bark are excellent substrates in controlling the humidity inside the enclosure. Plus, take note to never use any substrate with cedar since it contains oils which are deadly for reptiles. Also, you might want to avoid using peat bedding, shavings, and sand as a substrate.
This fluffy and light is excellent at absorbing any excess moisture content In the ball house. Plus it looks great within the confines of a cage,
Bad news is that the particles are so soft and light which can lead to problems with feeding. On more than one occasion I have observed ball pythons grabbing mice to eat, while taking a large mouthful of aspen shavings at the same time.
The consistency of these shavings mean that they can get hooked in your snake’s mouth, causing stress and discomfort.
At time the python will be able to get the sticky chippings out of its mouth at other times you might need to intervene.
While aspen shavings are far better from a bad substrate in captivity, great care should therefore be taken when feeding your pet.
You may opt to either select a different substrate or to move your ball python to an entirely different cage for feeding purposes.
My favorite choice for ball pythons is beech chippings. While these don’t absorb as much as aspen, they look pretty and – being chunkier and heavier – tend to cause far few feeding problems in my experience.
Just be aware how much you’ll need, with a good-sized vivarium you’ll find that you always rather more than you expected. If you doubt, purchase a bigger bag of chippings, just in case.
Corn Cob Granules
Less commonly used than either of the two past substrate options, corn cob granules are another possible option for your snake.
This substrate is made from ground-up middles of corn cobs, which dry into a tough and gritty consistency.
Various “grades” are available though! I would advise that you use the largest particles possible to reduce the chances of accidental ingestion when feeding.
Note: Although they look great, they have a nasty habit of going mouldy quite easily. Therefore you should keep a close eye on this substrate, especially around the water bowl or where you pet feeds, to make sure that no mould is growing. Spot-clean as necessary and replace with fresh bedding.
Many ball python keepers- especially breeders with large collections – encourage the use of newspaper as a potential substrate.
After all it’s free, and makes cleaning simplicity itself.
Personally, I’m really not a fan of newspaper for a number of reasons. Firstly, of course, it looks terrible. I want my snake tank to look fantastic.
Secondly newspaper has very low absorbency meaning that it needs to be replaced far more regularly than the other substrates listed above which can be “spot cleaned” when required.
As earlier stated, it is important to own at least one secure place to hide when choosing the best ball python enclosure ideas.
If space allows I always like to offer two hides; so they can select whichever ones they like.
There are a number of possible options for ball python hides:
Cork bark is the bark of tropical oak trees. It is harvested from the tree, which then carries on to grow more.
This means it is a renewable and natural resource. There are a number of things that makes cork bark great for a ball python hide.
First, they look cool in any cage. Second, they are very lightweight, which means there is little chance of damage to your snake if he or she tries to burrow underneath.
The most awesome thing to be aware of is that cork bark is a “natural” product so you’ll find a range of sizes and shapes. For best results try to find a piece of bark with a decent “curve” to it, creating a dark “burrow” beneath for your snake to recline to.
Custom-Designed Bark Hides
While I’m a big fan of cork bark, my major preference for ball python hides are uniquely-made hides.
The model I use is made from wood, giving it an attractive rustic and “natural” feel.
They’re also available in wide variety of sizes, meaning that no matter what the size of your snake you’ll be able to find an appropriately-sized hide.
To sum it all up, I’ve discovered these custom hides to be much easier to clean than cork bark – and hence rather more hygienic.
Cereal boxes are another simple idea as a hide for your ball python. These are of course easily replaced and are free, though they quickly become soiled in the cage.
Ball Python Temperature
To make your ball python enclosure comfortable, artificial heating is needed. Keep in mind that enclosures need adequate thermal gradient which your ball python can use, with a cool slot on one end of the enclosure and a hotspot on the other.
Provide your ball python with an ambient temperature of 78 – 80 degrees and a basking spot temperature of 88 – 96 degrees.
There are many ways of adding heat to your ball python home. Heating tapes or pads, ceramic heat emitters, and basking bulbs (both regular daytime bulbs and red light bulbs) are great choices.
With heat emitters and basking bulb, it is important to keep an eye on the humidity within the enclosure, mainly if combined with screen tops, since both can dry the air quickly.
Plus, try to use thermostats, rheostats, and/or timers in order to control your heat source. Never use hot rocks with ball pythons since they can heat unevenly over too small surface areas and can cause deadly burns to your pets.
Lighting is not actually needed for ball pythons, but, you can use some when you use it through a 12/12 cycle (12 hours off and 12 hours on). A constant bright, overhead light is stressful to snakes, particularly the nocturnal species like the ball python.
Ball pythons prefer a humidity level between 50-60 percent. It is important to maintain the proper humidity since it will allow your ball python to shed properly.
What Kind Of Lighting Do Ball Pythons Need?
Because ball pythons are tropical snakes, they may not need VB light but they do require a good heat source in their enclosure.
What Size Tank Does A Ball Python Need?
The enclosure ought to be a solid glass sided tank long enough to create the two separate temperature gradients (cool and warm); a ball python tank should be at least 30-40 gallons or larger for an adult ball python and at least 20L for a baby.
How Do I Keep The Humidity In My Ball Python Tank?
- Use Glass: Glass enclosures help to keep the humidity in the terrarium higher
- Choose Porous Substrate. Substrate choice makes a big difference in keeping humidity higher
- Mist Often
- Choose a Large Water Dish
- Select a Special Terrarium
- Think Deep
- Mix the Soil
- Add Moss
What is The Best Substrate For Ball Pythons?
- Coconut Husks
- Reptile Prime Coconut Fiber Bedding
- Orchid Bark.
- Artificial Turf
- Aspen Shavings
- Peat Moss
- Cypress Mulch
How Long Does It Take For A Ball Python To Poop?
It normally take about two days between eating and pooping.
Can You Put Sand In A Ball Python Tank?
Sand should never be used as substrate for ball pythons as sand can get underneath a snakes scales and cause skin problems and irritations, when you get your snake first use newspaper as substrate so you can see if there are any mites on the snake.
Knowing now that a owning a ball python as a pet requires special care and attention and an extraordinary habitat or enclosure.
This is why you should take your time in choosing the best ball python enclosure plans in order to have a healthy snake pet and a safe home.
10 Best Ball Python Enclosure Ideas/Plans
If you are taking care of or wish to own a ball python. Aside caring for food, health, you’ll need to have the best ball python enclosure.