How Do I Build a Ball Python Enclosure?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
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  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2019
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You can build a ball python enclosure by using items you already have, or by using wood and glass. It is common for owners to recycle old aquariums for use as an enclosure, which is generally acceptable since ball pythons do not grow very large in size. Most enclosures you would find in stores are constructed of both glass and wood, although some are made from acrylic materials.

If you are using an aquarium for your ball python enclosure, make sure you are careful to regulate the temperature closely since glass does not provide very good insulation. Line the bottom of the tank with shredded paper or a commercial product made specifically for reptile cages. You will also need to make sure you include additional props and decorations, including a cave or something else your snake can hide in.

Once you have this done, you will also need thermometers on each end of the tank as well as a heat lamp to keep the temperature in your ball python enclosure steadily warm. You might also choose to go with a heat mat, or you can use stones that are designed to absorb heat. Each thermometer will help you to make sure your ball python enclosure remains at a constant temperature.


You should also have a wide base water dish in the enclosure. If you choose something that can be easily tipped, the snake may accidentally knock it over as it moves about the enclosure. You can also choose a watering dish large enough for your snake to bathe in, since many snakes enjoy this.

The most important thing to consider when building a ball python enclosure is to make sure it's big enough for your snake. Exact sizing will vary depending on the size of your snake. Use your snake's length as a guide and choose a tank that is about the same in length since snakes usually do not like wide open spaces but still require adequate space for shedding.

Most wooden cages are designed around a glass structure, much like an aquarium. You can do this by using a wood frame and attaching plexiglass to each side, or you can build a structure surrounding an aquarium. All other steps remain the same.

It is a good idea to find a lid for your ball python enclosure. This prevents young kids from accidentally tampering with the snake and getting injured. You should also make sure that a glass enclosure is sitting on a firm and tip resistant base.


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