When it comes to getting a pet snake, one of the primary considerations is its habitat and environment. Getting the right enclosure is pivotal to their health and well-being, but it also makes a big difference for us as the owner. Luckily, there are a number of suitable enclosures designed to support your snake and yourself alike.
So, what is the best enclosure for Ball Pythons? The best enclosures for a Ball Python must be sufficiently large, primarily in length; 40 Gallons and above is considered ideal for fully grown adults. The dimensions of the tank you are looking for should be around 48″ x 12″ x 16″.
So now you know what to expect, let’s get into the top 5 list of enclosures that you can get from Amazon for a great price.
The Top Enclosures For Ball Pythons
Here are the top 3 enclosures for ball pythons across various stages of their life, from baby to adult. I’ll be covering each in this article underneath.
Best Enclosures For Ball Pythons By Size
Now it’s time to get into the top enclosures that you came here for.
Below, I have noted the recommendations against each stage of your snake’s life (accommodating their size and requirements).
I’ve also included bullets on the pros, cons, and benefits of each too:
Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium (Best For Adult Ball Pythons)
The Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium enclosure is my recommended and top pick, with a great reputation among many adult Ball Python Owners.
It is very well designed, sturdy, and also very functional.
This is a premium glass tank with high-quality components that were built to last; you should expect as much as many other owners report.
In fact, even the way it is shipped ensures it arrives in optimal condition.
The 36-inch length provides a great amount of space for your Ball Python, ensuring they can move freely and remain active.
All the while this enclosure will not take over your room.
Not only does it look great visually, providing you with maximum visibility into your snake home, but it also is very secure, enables you to add all of the required components (substrate, hides, thermometers, etc), and can be set up quickly without any expensive tools.
If you’re looking for a long-term home for your snake, and an investment that will last the course of your snake’s life – this is the enclosure for you.
- Very easy to assemble; no complicated tools required.
- Deep waterproof base.
- Very well protected during transportation, ensuring safe arrival.
- Measurements precise
- Great visibility inside
- Easy to clean and maintain
- No required components for your snake, like thermometers, are included.
Hagen Exo Terra 20 Gallon (Best For Young Adult Ball Pythons)
If your Ball Python is in adolescence, has grown somewhat but is yet to reach its full size, the Hagen Exo Terra 20 Gallon Tank is an excellent choice.
This comes as a complete starter kit, so you’ll also get most of the additional components and accessories that you will need.
This includes: snake bedding, a substrate heater, a thermometer, LED fixture, a water bowl, hide cave, and of course, the 20-gallon glass tank.
The only things left to buy include a hygrometer, perhaps some additional hides, and other snake care items.
Another excellent feature of this tank is its dimensions. Again it is long as opposed to tall. It gives plenty of space for your Ball Python to maneuver.
This is a very well-designed tank, that is made of only the highest quality materials.
- Optimal dimensions and size (long opposed to tall).
- Easy to clean and maintain.
- Comes with a range of items required for your Ball Python’s enclosure and environment.
- Great visibility
- Secure and safe.
- Not all required items are included
- Your Ball Python will grow out of this tank at full adult size.
Hagen Exo Terra Short All Glass Terrarium (Best For Baby Ball Pythons)
If you’re looking to home a new young baby Ball Python then you are going to need to purchase their first enclosure.
The Exo Terra Short All Glass Terrarium from Amazon ticks all the boxes. Its ideal in many ways.
It provides great visibility, security, and is very easy to clean and get your snake out due to the door opening feature.
At 18x12x12 inches, it has been designed with small and young snakes in mind. You’re snake will ultimately grow out of it and it is not suitable for adult Ball Pythons.
Nonetheless, it is ideal for young Ball Pythons, who actually require a smaller space to begin with.
Providing too large a tank in the early stages of life is not ideal; it stresses your snake as there is too much open space around them.
While a solution is to add more spaces within the tank for your snake to hide in, this is not advisable.
Instead, it is recommended by many snake experts to get an appropriately sized tank for the various stages of their lives.
You start small and scale up accordingly. In many ways you could therefore make your way through the 3 tanks provided in this list today. In fact, this would be a great, well-considered approach.
- Ideal dimensions for baby snakes.
- Great visibility; easy to clean.
- Front doors can open separately
- Closable inlets for wires and/or tubing
- Waterproof bottom
- Competitively priced against other options, styles and from local pet stores
- Your baby Ball Python will ultimately outgrow it and you will need to purchase another tank.
- No accessories provided, a number of additional items will need to be purchased separately.
Considerations Before Buying An Enclosure
The overall temperature, safety, and ability keep your enclosure locked are very important things to consider when buying a new home for your snake.
Yet choosing the right enclosure for a snake isn’t all that easy.
Firstly because you’ll find a bunch that is designed for reptiles, and secondly because they are designed for different sizes, species, and ages of snakes.
Here are a couple of the things that you should be taking into consideration, and that have all gone into the reasons behind the top 3 choices.
The Significance Of An Enclosure
One of your main decisions when adopting a snake is where you will be housing them for the majority of their time/life.
Snakes require a little bit more thinking and consideration compared to most other household pets.
Ball Pythons are a common species to adopt; they have a wonderful temperament being having a gentle disposition, docile, easy to handle and are generally reluctant to bite.
Nevertheless, their home/environment and habitat is critical to ensure they live a long, healthy and happy life.
The tank that you choose will be where your snake spends the majority of their life.
So, you need to ensure that it is not only suitable, but has all of the features required for your snake to support their life.
Unlike other pets, whereby a cage or tank is there to stop them from escaping, an enclosure for a snake needs to be able to help them regulate their temperate and maintain an optimal humidity.
Ultimately, the objective for any ball python owner is to provide an environment that resembles their natural habitat most closely. Whether this be with artificial tress, dirt, or other features.
Again, providing heat and water is essential for them to be able to self-regulate when and where required.
For a snake enclosure to be optimal, is to ensure it has everything your snake simply needs.
Options For Snake Enclosures
When it comes to looking at potential enclosures, you will soon find there are a variety of different styles and varieties. Here are the most common:
- Wooden Vivarium (enclosure made from safe wood).
- Exo Terras
- Plastic RUBs
Of course, each option is going to be slightly different in terms of design and how it looks. Wooden Vivariums for example are not as open and it is more difficult to watch your snake when inside.
However, being wood, they do naturally retain humidity and warmth.
However, for a Wooden Vivarium to be safe for your snake, it should be constructed from a safe wood; pine and cedar are known to be very toxic for snakes in particular.
Glass tanks are common due to the views you get, their ability to retain heat and some of the design elements that make getting access to your snake much easier.
Plastic tanks are generally cheaper, very light and are known to last. This has made them rise in popularity in recent years, however do not visually look as nice within your home.
Exo Terras tanks are designed, created and built exclusively for reptiles and specific amphibians.
They are available in a range of of sizes and typically include a variety of functionality that are required for these types of pets.
Most Exo Terras will have designated areas for you to place heaters, hygrometers, thermometers, and also locks. Double door entrances are often included which make access and cleaning very easy.
There are a also a number of different size enclosures that you can purchase. This is because different size tanks are designed with different size snakes in mind (both species and age).
For snake owners, it is common to purchase numerous enclosures over the course of their snakes life and growth cycles.
With this method, a larger enclosure is purchased when the time comes and your snake grows.
When looking at sizes, you’ll often notice that they are marketed with their ‘Gallon Sizes’. Each is most suitable for Ball Pythons at different life stages:
- Young baby Ball Pythons; 10 gallon tanks are recommended by snake experts and enthusiasts.
- When your snake develops and reaches the ‘Young Adulthood‘ stage of life, a 20 gallon+ tank is advised .
- Lastly, a 30-40 gallon tank +, is advised for an adult and full grown Ball Python.
Ultimately, you want your snake to have plenty of room to move around freely without constriction. They need to stay active and not feel confined.
Heat and Humidity
Heat and humidity are two of the most critical components when looking after a snake. This is because all snakes are unable to regulate their own body temperatures.
They cannot generate their own heat; meaning they are dependent on the sun to obtain it, or the ground on which has been warmed.
Heat, and the provision of it, is important to ensure their normal biological functions can occur.
Alternative, humidity is another factor you need to take into consideration- for it is also essential for snakes. Humidity simply means the level of water and moisture in the air.
While this may sound complicated, maintaining optimal heat and humidity within your snakes enclosure possible and far easier to manage if you prepare in advance.
One recommended solution is to place a couple of thermometers and a hygrometer in the tank. This will provide you with accurate readings and measurements which you can use to determine the temperature and humidity of inside the enclosure at all times.
You’ll be able to clearly see when the climate is too hot/cold or if there is too much/too little humidity at any one time.
Of course there are optimal ranges of each, and these two pieces of equipment help you to acquire this.
Climates outside of optimal, can lead to adverse health effects in your snake:
- Too much humidity – can lead to dry scales, which may result in infection and rotting.
- Too little humidity – may lead to issues with your Ball Python from being able to shed their skin.
Maintaining the optimal environment will go a long way to meeting the basic needs of your snake.
One other big factor to consider is the general security if the enclosure. Snakes are notorious for escaping if and when presented with an opportunity.
If you were to opt for an enclosure with either an insecure mesh lid, various holes or even a sliding door, snakes will be able to get out.
Having your snake escape is worrying for a multitude of reasons, but all can be prevented with the right security features on a tank.
Snakes are intelligent and intuitive when it comes to escaping. Many snake owners have reported at how amazed they were to find out how their snakes managed to open sliding doors through specific movement patterns.
For the most part, getting a secure and well designed tank; perhaps with some safety locks, is essential to prevent any chance of escape.
Can You Put A Ball Python In A Fish Tank?
Fish tanks are not optimal nor ideal for Ball Pythons or any other pet snake for that matter. They are not secure nor are they able to retain the heat required for your Python to thrive.
If you have seen in a pet store, or even on the internet, snakes being housed in fish tanks – that’s because it is possible.
Whilst it is not ideal, there are some things you must do to make it more suitable.
Firstly, size is paramount. You need to ensure that it is sufficiently large enough to accommodate your snake and give them the space they need for free and unrestricted movement. Length over height is a must.
Security is the second major one; to prevent your snake escaping. Locks are paramount here but not all fish tanks will enable you to apply them.
Optimising the environment is another; you need to provide a sufficient number of hides and substrate to provide your snake with the humidity it needs.
So while you technically can use a fish tank, and maybe even save some money, it will require strategic planning, the know how, work and particular materials to male a fish tank viable
Instead, it is far easier to purchase an enclosure designed and intended for snakes, and/or Ball Pythons in particular.
They have the features your snake needs from the outset, and they make adding extra components like heat pads, thermometers, and hygrometers easy, effortless and possible.
You’ll also find it easier to lay substrate too. All of which are required for snakes.
Can You Put Two Ball Pythons In One Enclosure?
While it is possible, you need to ensure you have a sufficiently large tank.
Moreover, you’ll need to ensure that both of the snakes are in good health; free of any health complications, illnesses or diseases before they are housed together.
It is not unknown for snakes to not get along either, so you must be vigilant early on and aware of how each snake is responding to one another.
You must be willing and able to separate them if the signs indicate any issues.
Should I Get A Heat Lamp For My Ball Python?
Heat lamps are not required for Ball Pythons. However, you do need to ensure their enclosure has sufficient heat and that the substrate is warm enough.
Your snake will get the heat and humidity they need from their environment, so you need to ensure this is optimal from the beginning.
Substrate will naturally retain heat, and your snake will be able to obtain it simply by being on top of it.
Instead, heat lamps are most suited to other reptiles and amphibians that bask in the sun. This is not a trait of Ball Pythons.
How Big Do Ball Pythons Get?
Our guide explains this topic in a lot more depth if you were interested in learning more, but here are some general estimations:
- Baby Ball Pythons: <1 foot in length.
- Male Ball Pythons: 2-3 feet at full adult size
- Female Ball Pythons: 3-5 feet when fully grown.
It doesn’t matter whether you have a baby Ball Python or a full-grown adult, getting the highest quality enclosure for your snake will go a long way to ensuring optimal health for your snake.
Many of the best enclosures were designed with reptiles and snakes exclusively in mind; knowing the needs and requirements of owners.
There are several things to remember when shopping around, but a few features are more important than others.
For instance, Carolina Custom Cages is easily one of the best manufacturers of enclosures due to their designs and features.
This includes optimal dimensions (length), ease of assembly and maximum visibility. If you’re looking for the best enclosure for your Adult Ball Python then you should look no further than it.
Other than that, depending on the age and size of your snake, the other two Exo Terra tanks featured here are fantastic solutions for that specific period in time and phase of life.
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.