Recommended Terrarium Size for a Ball Python?

When shopping for a new terrarium for your ball python you want to make sure that it is the right size, so your snake will be able to fit comfortably. Just like you would go out shopping for a new house you always want to find the perfect fit for you and your family. So, as I was researching the right size for my new pet python, I thought I would write up my results and share them all with you.

So, what is the recommended terrarium size for a ball python? For an adult ball python the terrarium should be at least 30-40 gallons, if not larger, and for a baby, it should be no smaller than 5 gallons.

Now that you know what size of a terrarium to buy for your ball python, you probably need to know the best way to create a habitat that is similar to its natural one, and maybe even how to keep up the care for your ball python. But first things first, where can you even get the right sized terrarium?

Where to Purchase a Terrarium for a Ball Python?

Purchasing a terrarium for your ball python can be confusing and stressful, so I have come up with some good places and products that might make the process easier.

One of the best places to purchase things is on Amazon, that is where I went to find a terrarium that would work for a ball python. If you go to Amazon there is a terrarium called the Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium, I have provided the link here. This terrarium features a mesh top, glass sides, and even locks so those sneaky ball pythons can’t find their way out.

They come in different sizes so you have to find the right size for you snake and order. If you scroll towards the bottom of the page you can purchase, at the same time, a substrate liner and a basking light. This can be very important for your ball python.

It is important to make sure that you are creating a habitat for your ball python that is going to be similar or imitates the habitat that it would normally have in the wild. Here, you can find a buyer’s guide that we recently wrote about how to find the best enclosures for your ball python.

How do I Create the Best Possible Habitat for a Ball Python? 

There are lots of ways to mimic the ball pythons natural habitat inside your home. The first thing you need is the right size aquarium. Like we learned, adult ball pythons need bigger terrariums and an easy way to tell if your terrarium is long enough is to make sure that the perimeter is double the length of your snake.

After you have the right sized terrarium, it is smart to start filling it in with some of the essentials. At the bottom of your terrarium, you will need to lay down some sort of substrate whether that be a terrarium carpet liner, cypress mulch, or paper towels just make sure you never use shavings.

The next thing you need is a hide box. We wrote another buyer’s guide all about bedding and how to find the right one for your snake. Read the article here.

Ball pythons are nocturnal and so they need a place to sleep during the day. You can get a hollow log or use a cardboard box, whatever you use just make sure your whole snake can fit in it, but that it is not too much bigger than your snake.

The next thing that a ball python will need to be happy and comfortable would be a climbing tree. This allows the ball python to be able to climb higher towards the heat source when they find they need to raise their body temperature.

Another essential for a ball python is a pool of water. Ball pythons need access to water every day so that they can drink and submerge themselves when necessary. This water gets dirty quickly and will need to be changed daily. The container that is chosen for this water pool should be sturdy and not easily knocked over.

The temperature inside the habitat should be maintained at 80-85 degrees and there should be a basking area that is around 90-95 degrees. To keep the terrarium warm, you can use over the head ceramic heaters and under the cage heating mats.

Lastly, to make sure your ball python has the best life possible and to make sure they have the best habitat ever is to make sure that the terrarium is cleaned every one to two weeks.

We wrote an article on our website all about the best accessories for a snake terrarium. This article includes a list of the essential accessories, as well as the non-essential ones. Find the article here.

What is a Ball Python’s Habitat in the Wild?

When living in the wild, ball pythons can be found in open, arid places like the Savannahs, grasslands, overgrown fields, and sparse woodlands. They like to build their homes in old logs, animal burrows and will climb trees to live inside if it is hollow.

Ball pythons don’t live in very humid climates and sleep during the day. If they are left undisturbed, the ball python will inhabit places like barns and the outskirts of villages or towns, being drawn by high rodent populations. They like dry hot climates and that is where they make their homes.

What Do You Feed a Ball Python?

Once you have the perfect habitat and your ball python is nice and comfy you probably want to keep it that way by feeding it. Ball pythons can eat rats from the time they are young starting with rat pups call crawlers and then moving up.

When feeding your ball python, you want to make sure that the rodent you are giving them is an appropriate size. You can tell it is the appropriate size by making sure that the rodent is not bigger than the circumference of your snake.

Ball pythons can eat pre-killed rodents and rodents that were frozen but were thawed before feeding. Be careful to never leave a live rodent alone with your snake as they could possibly harm your snake.

Adult pythons only need to be fed every 1-2 weeks while young growing ball pythons need to be fed weekly. Is it okay to feed wild mice to your pet snake? Here, you can find an article we recently wrote that answers that commonly asked question.

Always be sure to give your snake a day in-between its feeding and handling it, as to make sure it doesn’t regurgitate its food. Ball pythons are known for eating less at certain times of the year, so don’t be alarmed if its appetite changes during the cooler and drier times of the year.

Related Questions

How long does it take for a ball python to grow to full size? They can grow to be about 4-5 feet for males and 5-6 feet for females and while in the wild it can take up to 4 or 5 years to reach their full length, it usually takes about 3 years when the snake is kept in captivity. This is usually because of consistent feeding patterns and a controlled climate.

How long can a ball python go without eating? Ball pythons can generally go without eating for about 6 months. It is not recommended to withhold food from your python for this long, but occasionally in the wild a ball python may go 6 months without eating.

Do ball pythons need a light at night? It really depends on the temperature of your house to see if you need heat lamps at night for your enclosure. You always want to have the proper temperature, so make sure they are on all day and if you need them on at night you can change them to the nocturnal glow setting.