Table of Contents
The ball python (Python regius), also known as the royal python, is the world’s most well-known pet python.
It is native to the sub-Saharan part of Africa and is surprisingly widespread through Uganda, Senegal, and Benin.
Its natural habitat spends most of its life in the security of a natural disused rodent burrow or crevice.
The best type of cage for a 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.
Suppose you are taking care of or wish to own a ball python. Aside from 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 ball python enclosure.
If you need it urgently and build an enclosure for later, there are some enclosures available in the market that can accommodate a ball python. Here are the top 10 best ball python enclosure:
Deep Blue Professional Glass Standard Frag Aquarium Tank
The tank is produced from thick distortion-free glass material for visibility and durability.
It also comes with diamond-polished edges, a black seal with industrial strength and universally sized injection moulded 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
Boasting a 36 x 15 x 16 inches 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 types of a cage for a ball python constructed from Acrylic that is at least 17 times stronger than glass and 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 fluorescent fixture installed for lighting.
Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium
They have models with hinged floors as well as waterproof base and sliding doors. In addition, every terrarium comes completely equipped with key-lock security 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
Its dimension is just right – not too big or too small, but it is enough to provide your ball python with many slithering and crawling spaces.
Additionally, this ball python enclosure comes with two doors for 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 it is enough to provide your ball python with a lot of space.
Exo Terra Short All Glass Terrarium
Its front doors can be opened separately for easy feeding and access. Moreover, it has a lock uniquely designed to prevent your ball python from running out of its cage.
It comes with full-screen top ventilation, which gives room to UV and infrared penetration and is removable for easy cleaning.
There are five closable tube wires or inlets on each side to install sensors or heatwave rocks inside.
Its bottom plate is raised to mount a substrate heater. It has a natural background and offers enough space for your ball python to slitter through.
Exo Terra High Glass Terrarium
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 that offers you 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)
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, allowing enough breeze to enter the enclosure and making 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, it also features a distended ground surface which is extremely significant because a ball python will need enough room to slither around.
Exo Terra Rainforest Habitat Kit
Aside from that, this ball python enclosure comes with two doors for escape-free access. It also features 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
It is produced with the same tough, clear glass and 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 wider space than the other, this ball python enclosure will surely make your ball python happier with so much ground to cover.
Exo Terra Allglass Terrarium (for Baby Ball Python)
This enclosure features an 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 a long-lasting and tough metal screen that gives you the perfect view and 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 have witnessed a lot of ball python keepers experimenting with different enclosures. Here are the most suitable options being used at present in the pet trade:
- Glass Tanks
Glassfish 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 in creating the ideal ball python habitat.
For beginners, ball pythons are popular as escape artists, so any fish tank you consider using must have a closely fitting (escape-proof) lid.
The good news is that many cage toppers are now available on the market and generally consist of a black mesh lid, often with a glass panel that slides out and in for easy access to the cage.
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 plan to use such a device, 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 the required temperature for your pet.
Because of this, there might be an 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 have their benefits, they represent some 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 use 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 means 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, the wooden vivarium for ball pythons has solid walls, and the 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 RUBs
Plastic containers have become popular as ball python cages over the past couple of years, thanks to exhaustive experimentation by experienced breeders.
Ball pythons are not the most active snakes on the planet; they will spend most of the day hiding 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 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 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 the 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, 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.
- Homemade Cages
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 humidity and heat while offering an excellent view of your pet.
They’re also available in various colors, shapes, and sizes to blend into your home and create a fantastic focal point for any room.
As a secondary option, those who plan on keeping several ball pythons are the plastic tubs.
What Size Cage Does My Ball Python Need?
Picking a suitably sized ball python enclosure is a critical part of the complete process.
To 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 your ball python cage should 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 of 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 than 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 a 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 eat 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 to you, but it is vital to note that a really large one allows your ball python 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.
Some ball pythons will try to hide when handled, and some 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 customize and decorate the inside of the enclosure to accommodate the needs of your ball python.
You need to keep in mind many factors 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 moulting.
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 never to use any substrate with cedar since it contains deadly oils 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,
The bad news is that the particles are so soft and light, leading to feeding problems. 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 means that they can get hooked in your snake’s mouth, causing stress and discomfort.
At the 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 move your ball python to an entirely different cage for feeding purposes.
- Beech Chippings
My favourite 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 fewer feeding problems in my experience.
Just be aware of how much you’ll need. With a good-sized vivarium, you’ll find that you are 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 your pet feeds, to ensure that no mould is growing. Then, 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.
I’m not a fan of newspaper for several reasons. Firstly, of course, it looks terrible. Second, I want my snake tank to look fantastic.
Secondly, the 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 to select whichever ones they like.
There are many possible options for ball python hides:
- Cork Bark
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. Several things make 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 various 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.
- 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 a 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
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 an 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 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 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.
Because ball pythons are tropical snakes, they may not need VB light, but they do require a good heat source in their enclosure.
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.
- 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
- Coconut Husks
- Reptile Prime Coconut Fiber Bedding
- Orchid Bark.
- Artificial Turf
- Aspen Shavings
- Peat Moss
- Cypress Mulch
It normally take about two days between eating and pooping.
Sand should never be used as a substrate for ball pythons as sand can get underneath snakes scales and cause skin problems and irritations; when you get your snake, first use newspaper as a substrate to see any mites on the substrate snake.
Knowing now that 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 to have a healthy snake pet and a safe home.