Getting a ball python is exciting, but it requires you to create a comfortable living space for it. My roommate is getting one soon and recently asked me to help her out in picking good hiding boxes for her new snake. So I decided to help her out with some research.
So what exactly are the best hiding houses for ball pythons, and is there just one? There is not one sole hiding home most suitable for your ball python. Their hiding home can be a wide variety of things from a hollow log, to a wide terra cotta flower pot turned upside down, to a cardboard box or anything else that provides darkness.
Their hiding home is where they reside during the night since they are nocturnal. It should fit your snake, but not be much bigger than it.
Choosing Items for Your Pet Ball Python
Here are several links to ideal hiding houses for your ball python:
Besides the simple answer to choosing the best hiding home for your ball python, there are many other needs a ball python has in order to live a life of quality. There is the importance of choosing a terrarium and making sure its size fits the size of your python.
Besides this, there is creating the best habitat within the terrarium which discusses the humidity level it should be at, the best bedding, lighting, and decoration for it.
Lastly, there is making sure your python gets all the nutrients it needs in order to survive. By having all these aspects in your python’s enclosure, it will bring you comfort to know you are doing everything you can to improve its quality of life.
The Terrarium for your Snake and Hiding Houses
The size of the terrarium you choose for your python varies greatly on how old it is and its size. Younger ball pythons will most likely need a 10- to 20-gallon terrarium. Unfortunately, it will not stay that size forever. Your python will grow a significant amount and a larger sized terrarium is mandatory.
Young adult ball pythons will need a 20-gallon tank, and a full grown ball python will need a 30-gallon tank. Be sure to also get a tight lid for
Some things you can use to clean up any messes within your python’s home can be paper towels, terrarium carpet liners, and newspaper. Do not, and I repeat, do not use shreddings or shavings of anything for cleaning up your python’s home because it will not be easy.
We also wrote an article to help snake owners know what size of aquarium is best for their snake. To read that article, click here.
Creating the Best Habitat for Your Ball Python
To be more specific, the most important way to maintain a habitat that is enjoyable for your ball python is to make sure the heating and humidity are in check. Your python will need the heat to survive and feel its best.
You will need to create a basking spot within your python’s tank or cage. It will also need to be at least a temperature of 88 to 96 degrees Fahrenheit. And a cooler temperature on the other side of the enclosure, at least 78 to 80 degrees. It should never fall under 75 degrees. Also, you cannot simply guess the temperature of your python’s enclosure. Here, you can find an article we wrote that talks about what the best temperatures are for ball pythons. Find it here.
You can purchase a thermometer on the inside of the cage, on the cooler side and hotter side, to make sure you have the exact numbers. You can purchase several heat lamps that will help keep the enclosure of your python warm. As for humidity, your ball python will prefer about 50 to 60 percent, which will help it shed its skin much easier. Here, you can find an article we wrote that includes a complete guide on the humidity for ball pythons, and what is best for them.
You do not need specific lighting for you python because it runs on a 12/12 cycle (12 hours on, 12 hours off). By having light continuously on your python will cause it to become stressed, especially since ball pythons are a nocturnal creature.
Supplying the Best Diet for Your Ball Python
Feeding your ball python may seem fairly simple to complete, but according to their size and age how much you feed them and how often changes. But for starters, the prey you decided to feed your python should be no bigger than its width. If it is, it will be significantly harder for your python to swallow.
Start off with smaller rats or mice to feed it. You can feed your python pre-killed rodents or mice (which can be frozen but will need to be thawed completely before feeding), and live mice. It is ideal to feed your python pre-killed mice or rodents.
Live ones can be a bit of a danger to your python, they will try to fight back by biting or scratching, which can lead to a nasty infection.
It is up to you to decide whether to feed it live or not. If you do, make sure to watch the feeding process to make sure your python does not get injured.
Another important thing to note is to handle your python as little as possible during feeding. If you handle it after it’s eaten it can be uncomfortable and it will regurgitate. We recently wrote an article all about how to feed your ball python properly, including the schedule you should follow. Find the article here.
Ball Python Feeding Amounts:
|Quantity, Type, and Size||Ball Python Weight||
|Ball Python Weight | Female||When to Offer Food ||
|When to Offer Food |Pets only|
|1 hopper mouse (8 to 11 grams)||First 3 – 5 meals||First 3 – 5 meals||Every 3-4 days||Every 7 days|
|1 Rat fuzzy (10 to 19 grams) or |
1 Adult mouse (18 to 32 grams)
|Up to 200 grams||Up to 200 grams||Every 3-4 days||Every 7 days|
|1 Rat pup (20 to 29 grams)|
1 Adult mouse (18 to 32 grams)
|200 to 350 grams||200 to 350 grams||Every 5 – 7 days||Every 7 days|
|1 Weaned rat (30 to 49 grams) |
1 Jumbo mouse (33 to 50 grams)
|350 to 500 grams||350 to 500 grams||Every 5 – 7 days||Every 7 days|
|1 Small rat (50 to 89 grams) |
2-3 Mice (depends on size)
|Over 500 grams||500 to 1000 grams||Every 7 days||Every 7 days|
|1 Medium rat (90 to 179 grams) |
3-5 Mice (depends on size)
|Not necessary for adult Males||over 1000 grams||Every 7 days||Every 7 days|
|Large rat (180+ grams)||Not necessary for adult Males||Not necessary for adult Females||Not Available||Not Available|
If you are experiencing trouble feeding your ball python, there are many reasons as to why they may not be eating the food you give them. They can either be feeling ill, or their cage is not comfortable enough for them, and they may be shedding.
If none of these reasons are why your python isn’t eating don’t worry. I’ve listed a few tricks to help get that python of yours to eat:
- Try switching their prey between mice and rats
- You can try feeding it during the night
- GIve it a live rodent instead of a pre-killed one
- Make the prey smaller if it is too big in the snake’s stomach
- Add a new hiding box
- Warm up the cage, maybe it feels a bit cold
- You can put rodent shavings within the bedding of your snake’s cage
- Cover the cage with a towel as it eats, maybe it feels distracted by something that may be going on
Temperament of Your Ball Python
It is very likely that your ball python will be shy while in his time inside his terrarium. They are creatures who will need to learn to trust you because at the moment you get it, they will see you as a threat.
And because it is an easily frightened creature be sure to place it in an area where they won’t be people constantly walking by or other animals that may frighten it.
In order for your ball python to trust you, you will need to handle it carefully and calmly. You cannot make any sudden movements when holding it and you will need to be relaxed as you are holding it. A
As a fair warning, some pythons may feel more fear, when being handled, than others. They may bite you because of their fear but their bite is not dangerous. These pythons that feel more fear will need much more time to feel comfortable and settled in.
Your python may also not eat within the first several hours of being moved into its new home, and if you have held your python it may also not eat after being handled. So may sure to plan accordingly if you want to feed your python, do not handle it. Even a
What lighting to ball pythons need? Ball pythons, depending on the temperature of your home, may or may not need heating lights.
What is the best humidity for a ball python? The ideal amount of humidity needed for your ball python should be 55 to 60 percent. And the humidity within your home needs to be at least 35 to 45 percent. While the tank of
Can ball pythons be dangerous? Ball pythons can bite, but they don’t necessarily become dangerous because they never grow to a size large enough to harm a human being.