Creating the Perfect Enclosure: Everything You Need for Your New Ball Python

Setting up a new home for your ball python can be an exciting process, but it can also be overwhelming trying to figure out everything you need. In this article, we will guide you through everything you need for your new ball python’s enclosure.

Ball pythons are popular pets due to their docile nature and manageable size. They require a comfortable and secure enclosure to thrive in captivity. When setting up your ball python’s enclosure, there are a few critical things to keep in mind. The size of the enclosure, the type of substrate, and the heating and lighting requirements are all crucial factors to consider.

The size of the enclosure is one of the most critical things to keep in mind. Ball pythons require an enclosure that is at least 36 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 12 inches tall. The enclosure should also have a secure lid to prevent escape and keep your pet safe.

Choosing the right substrate is also crucial for your ball python’s health. Coconut fiber, coconut coir, and cypress mulch are all suitable options. It’s important to avoid using substrates like sand or gravel, which don’t hold humidity well and can cause impaction if ingested.

We spent hours researching and testing various products to identify everything you need for your new ball python’s enclosure. By the end of this article, you’ll have a complete understanding of what your ball python needs to thrive in its new home.

Best Products for Your New Ball Python Enclosure

We understand that setting up a new home for your ball python can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best products to ensure your pet’s comfort and safety. From heating and lighting to substrate and hides, we’ve got you covered. Check out our top picks below.

REPTI ZOO Terrarium

REPTI ZOO Terrarium ball python enclosure

We highly recommend the REPTI ZOO Terrarium for anyone looking for a spacious and secure enclosure for their ball python.

Pros

  • The black-tinted glass reduces stress for the animal and provides a clear view of the pet.
  • The ventilation and UVB/heat irradiation system keeps the enclosure comfortable for the animal.
  • The 270° full view glass tank allows for easy interaction with your pet.

Cons

  • The instructions for assembly are not very clear and may require additional research.
  • The humidity may be difficult to maintain for some animals. You can fix this by putting aluminum tape over 90% of the top screen to hold in extra moisture.
  • The tank is heavy and may require additional assistance to move.

The REPTI ZOO Terrarium is a great investment for any pet owner looking for a spacious and secure enclosure for their ball python. The black-tinted glass reduces stress for the animal and provides a clear view of the pet. The ventilation and UVB/heat irradiation system keeps the enclosure comfortable for the animal. The 270° full view glass tank allows for easy interaction with your pet.

However, the instructions for assembly are not very clear and may require additional research. The humidity may be difficult to maintain for some animals. Additionally, the tank is heavy and may require additional assistance to move.

Overall, the REPTI ZOO Terrarium is a great choice for anyone looking for a spacious and secure enclosure for their ball python.

ReptiChip Premium Coconut Substrate

ReptiChip Coconut Substrate ball python substrate

If you’re looking for a high-quality substrate for your ball python enclosure, we highly recommend the ReptiChip Premium Coconut Substrate.

Pros

  • Provides a healthy habitat for your reptile with superb humidity retention.
  • Odor-absorbing properties keep your pet’s environment clean and pleasant-smelling.
  • 100% organic and earth-friendly.

Cons

  • Some users have reported that the substrate can be a bit dusty upon initial use.
  • The compressed brick may be difficult to break apart for some users. Make sure to spray water on it to hydrate it and make this process easier.
  • Some users have reported that the substrate can be a bit too moist, which can lead to mold growth if not monitored carefully. Simply don’t oversaturate it and you’ll be fine!

We’ve used this substrate in our own ball python enclosure and have been impressed with its quality and performance. The superb humidity retention helps to create a tropical paradise for our snake, and the odor-absorbing properties keep the enclosure smelling fresh and clean. We appreciate that the substrate is 100% organic and sustainable, making it an earth-friendly choice for our pet.

One thing to note is that the compressed brick can be a bit difficult to break apart, so make sure you have a sturdy container and plenty of water on hand.

Overall, we highly recommend the ReptiChip Premium Coconut Substrate for anyone looking for a high-quality, sustainable substrate for their ball python enclosure.

Zilla Terrarium Heat Mats Black Large, 50-60 Gallon, 24 Watt

Zilla Terrarium Heat Mats Black Large, 50-60 Gallon, 24 Watt

If you are looking for an easy-to-use and energy-efficient heat source for your ball python’s enclosure, the Zilla Terrarium Heat Mats Black Large, 50-60 Gallon, 24 Watt is a great option.

Pros

  • The carbon fiber technology provides uniform heating without hot spots and is energy-efficient without wires that can pinch or break.
  • The adhesive backing makes it easy to mount either underneath or on the side of the terrarium.
  • It helps reptiles regulate body temperature needed for overall health.

Cons

  • The adhesive backing may not stick well to some surfaces, requiring additional tape or glue to secure it in place.
  • The maximum temperature of 113F may not be sufficient for some reptiles that require higher temperatures.
  • It may not be ideal for larger enclosures or colder environments.

We recently used the Zilla Terrarium Heat Mats Black Large, 50-60 Gallon, 24 Watt for our ball python’s enclosure and were impressed with its performance. The carbon fiber technology provided even heating throughout the enclosure, and we appreciated the energy efficiency of the product. The adhesive backing made it easy to install, but we did need to use additional tape to ensure it stayed in place.

While the maximum temperature of 113F was sufficient for our ball python, it may not be enough for reptiles that require higher temperatures. Additionally, the adhesive backing may not stick well to all surfaces, so it’s important to make sure it’s properly secured in place.

When using a heat mat, make sure it is not inside the enclosure. Instead, it should be stuck to the outside of the bottom glass, with a temperature probe between the mat and the glass (thermostat and temp probe mentioned later in this article!).

Additionally, you should monitor the glass temperature inside the enclosure. The thermostat should be set to keep the inside glass on the heat pad around 90 degrees. You may have to set your thermostat higher to achieve these temperatures, since some heat is lost through the glass.

Overall, we would recommend the Zilla Terrarium Heat Mats Black Large, 50-60 Gallon, 24 Watt for those looking for an easy-to-use and energy-efficient heat source for their ball python’s enclosure.

REPTI ZOO 8.5 inch Reptile Light Fixture

REPTI ZOO 8.5 inch Reptile Light Fixture

If you’re looking for a reliable and safe reptile heat lamp fixture, the REPTI ZOO 8.5 inch Reptile Light Fixture is a great option.

Pros

  • The maximum wattage of this 8.5-inch deep dome reptile light fixture is rated up to 200Watts, E26 ceramic lamp cap, suitable for most reptile heat lamp reptile light bulbs.
  • The reptile heat lamp fixture has two ways to adjust the light direction, 360°adjustable angle, convenient to use and meets different shine needs.
  • The top reserves ventilating holes to guarantee good heat dissipation, moreover, the reptile clamp light fixture will turn red when the temperature is too high, avoiding accidental scalding the loved pets and high-temperature bulb damage.

Cons

  • With different fixed accessories, the deep dome reptile lamp fixture can be installed on the reptile glass terrarium tank or wooden vivarium, or hung on the reptile lamp stand.
  • The inner layer of the reptile dome light fixture is made of aluminum alloy finely polished to enhance and concentrate the output of uva uvb light and heat source; With0.8mm power cable for maximum light and heat output, high-temperature resistance and not easily deformed.
  • Comes with a power cord with an independent switch, easy and safe to operate.ETL approved and 6 months quality guarantee, if you have any questions about our product, please feel free to contact us!

We highly recommend the REPTI ZOO 8.5 inch Reptile Light Fixture for your ball python enclosure. It has a maximum wattage of 200Watts, which is suitable for most reptile heat lamp reptile light bulbs. The fixture is also adjustable, with a 360° adjustable angle that meets different angular needs. Additionally, the top reserves ventilating holes to guarantee good heat dissipation, and the reptile clamp light fixture will turn red when the temperature is too high, avoiding accidental scalding of your pets and high-temperature bulb damage.

When using this with a ceramic heat emitter (next item!) make sure that you are using a thermostat to regulate its output. This dome lamp and ceramic heat emitter combo is used to raise the air temperature in your ball pythons enclosure. The cool side of your ball pythons habitat should be kept around 82 degrees, so you can put hang the temp probe on the opposite end of the heat lamp (so its suspended in the air) and set the thermostat to 82. Always make sure you monitor your temperatures with more than one apparatus to ensure the safety of your snake and the equipment.

Additionally, this dome lamp comes with a power cord with an independent switch that is easy and safe to operate, and is ETL approved with a 6-month quality guarantee.

Simple Deluxe Ceramic Heat Emitter Bulb

Simple Deluxe Ceramic Heat Emitter Bulb

If you’re looking for an affordable and reliable heat source for your reptile or amphibian terrariums, the Simple Deluxe Ceramic Heat Emitter Bulb could be a great option for you.

Pros

  • Long lifespan: rated for up to 10,000 hours, this ceramic heat emitter is a long-lasting solution for your pet’s heating needs.
  • No light emitted: the bulb does not emit any visually detectable light that can disturb the sleep cycle of your pets.
  • Waterproof and crack-resistant: the high-purity ceramic material ensures that the bulb remains crack-resistant and waterproof, making it a safe option for your pets.

Cons

  • High surface temperature: the surface temperature of the ceramic lamp is generally high, so it’s important to keep an appropriate distance from flammable materials and pets to avoid serious consequences.
  • Accidents may happen: improper operation may cause accidents, so it’s crucial to use the bulb in a right way and avoid using it in damp environments.
  • May not be suitable for all setups: some users have reported that the bulb is too large for their setup, so make sure to check the dimensions before purchasing.

We’ve used the Simple Deluxe Ceramic Heat Emitter Bulb for our ball python’s enclosure and found it to be a reliable heat source. The installation was easy, and the bulb emitted a consistent heat that kept our pet warm and comfortable. However, we did notice that the surface temperature was quite high, so we made sure to keep it at a safe distance from our pet and other materials. Overall, we would recommend this product for anyone looking for an affordable and long-lasting heat source for their reptiles or amphibians.

Pymeter Digital Temperature Controller

Pymeter Digital Temperature Controller

We highly recommend the Pymeter Digital Temperature Controller for controlling the temperature of your ball python’s enclosure. It is easy to use and reliable.

Pros

  • With two separate outlets and waterproof sensors, you can set different temperatures for different areas of your enclosure.
  • It has high and low temperature alarms as well as a temperature difference alarm, which ensures the safety of your ball python.
  • It can be used for various purposes such as controlling heat mats, heat lamps, heating pads, and more.

Cons

  • The instructions can be confusing at first, but with some patience and practice, it becomes easier to use.
  • The beeping sound can be annoying at times, especially if you don’t need the alarm function.
  • It is slightly more expensive than other temperature controllers on the market.

We have been using the Pymeter Digital Temperature Controller for a few months now, and it has been working flawlessly. It is very easy to set up and use. The two separate outlets allow us to control the temperature of our ball python’s warm and cool side of the enclosure independently. The temperature sensors are waterproof, so we don’t have to worry about them getting damaged if they come in contact with water.

The high and low temperature alarms, as well as the temperature difference alarm, give us peace of mind knowing that our ball python is safe and secure. We also like that it can be used for various purposes, such as controlling the temperature of our greenhouse and grow tent heater.

The only downside is that the instructions can be a bit confusing at first, but with some practice, it becomes easier to use. Also, the beeping sound can be annoying at times, especially if you don’t need the alarm function. However, these are minor issues that don’t affect the overall performance of the product.

In conclusion, we highly recommend the Pymeter Digital Temperature Controller for your ball python’s enclosure. It is safe, reliable, and easy to use.

REPTIZOO Reptile Hide Cave

REPTIZOO Reptile Hide Cave

We highly recommend the REPTIZOO Reptile Hide Cave for your ball python’s enclosure.

Pros

  • Made of resin to provide a unique, natural hiding, shedding and egg-laying environment for reptiles.
  • The natural appearance is suitable to integrate into any type of reptile terrarium.
  • Strong magnetic structure prevent top and bottom from falling even under huge impact from ball python.

Cons

  • The opening may be too small for larger ball pythons.
  • Some users have reported that the magnets are not as strong as advertised.
  • The size of the hide may not be suitable for larger enclosures.

We recently purchased the REPTIZOO Reptile Hide Cave for our ball python and we are very pleased with it. The natural appearance of the hide is perfect for creating a natural environment in our ball python’s enclosure. The resin material provides a unique texture that our ball python loves to explore. The strong magnetic structure of the hide is also a plus, as it prevents the top and bottom from falling even under huge impact from our ball python.

One downside to the hide is that the opening may be too small for larger ball pythons. Our ball python is still young and small, so it is not an issue for us at the moment. However, it may become an issue as our ball python grows. Additionally, some users have reported that the magnets are not as strong as advertised. While we have not experienced this issue, it is worth noting.

Overall, we highly recommend the REPTIZOO Reptile Hide Cave for your ball python’s enclosure. It provides a great natural environment and the strong magnetic structure makes cleaning a breeze. Just be sure to check the size of the opening before purchasing.

Zilla Pet Reptile Bark Bends Terrarium Decor, Large

Zilla Pet Reptile Bark Bends Terrarium Decor, Large

We highly recommend the Zilla Pet Reptile Bark Bends Terrarium Decor, Large for ball python owners who want to provide their pets with a naturalistic and private den to burrow in.

Pros

  • The naturalistic appearance of the bark blends in with both aquatic and terrestrial environments, providing a seamless addition to your ball python’s enclosure.
  • The Bark Bend satisfies the need for burrowing animals to instinctively dig, find privacy, and overhead coverage.
  • The open ends of the Bark Bend can be set alongside the glass or looked through to get a fascinating glimpse of activity.

Cons

  • The Bark Bend is not suitable for larger ball pythons, as the large size is only 10.75″ long x 5″ wide x 5.5″ high.
  • The synthetic finish may not be as visually appealing as real wood to some owners.
  • The Bark Bend may not be as durable as other hideouts on the market.

We found the Zilla Pet Reptile Bark Bends Terrarium Decor, Large to be a great addition to our ball python’s enclosure. The naturalistic appearance of the bark blends in seamlessly with the rest of the terrarium, providing a sense of privacy and security for our pet. The open ends of the Bark Bend allow us to observe our ball python’s fascinating behavior, such as burrowing and shedding.

However, we do recommend that owners with larger ball pythons consider other hideout options, as the large size of the Bark Bend may not be sufficient. Additionally, the synthetic finish may not be as visually appealing as real wood to some owners, but we found that it was easy to clean with a mild soap solution. Finally, the Bark Bend may not be as durable as other hideouts on the market, but we did not experience any issues during our use. Overall, we highly recommend the Zilla Pet Reptile Bark Bends Terrarium Decor, Large for ball python owners who want to provide their pets with a naturalistic and private den to burrow in.

KATUMO Reptile Plants

KATUMO Reptile Plants

If you are looking for a colorful and vibrant habitat for your pets, then KATUMO Reptile Plants are a great option to consider.

Pros

  • The plants are made with non-toxic polyethylene plastic and soft silk leaves which makes them safe and durable.
  • The plants are easy to install with their strong suction cups that attach to the walls of your fish tank or turtle habitat.
  • With three different plants in the package, you can choose the plant species according to your needs and create a satisfactory environment for your pets.

Cons

  • The green dye from the plants can bleed when wet. Make sure to rinse them before putting them in the reptile cage.
  • The leaves fall off easily which can be a bit frustrating.
  • The package only comes with one suction cup for two of the plants.

We have been using KATUMO Reptile Plants for a few weeks now and we are really happy with our purchase. The plants are extremely realistic and add a decorative and beautifying effect to our pet’s habitat. The suction cups are strong and hold the plants securely to the walls of the tank. We also appreciate that the plants are easy to clean and maintain.

The only downside we have found is that the green dye from the plants can bleed when wet, so make sure to rinse them before putting them in the reptile cage. Additionally, the leaves fall off easily which can be a bit frustrating. Lastly, the package only comes with one suction cup for two of the plants, so you will need to purchase additional suction cups if you want to use all three plants.

Overall, we highly recommend KATUMO Reptile Plants for anyone looking to create a fun and dynamic hiding spot and climbing area for their reptile amphibians.

Exo Terra Water Dish

Exo Terra Water Dish

If you’re looking for a sturdy and natural-looking water dish for your reptile, the Exo Terra Water Dish is a great option.

Pros

  • The natural rock finish of the dish blends in well with any terrarium.
  • The non-porous and smooth surface of the dish makes it easy to clean.
  • The safety steps inside the bowl prevent small reptiles, amphibians, and insects from drowning.

Cons

  • Some users have reported that the dish is heavier than they expected.
  • The color of the dish may not match the picture on the website.
  • The dish may be too large for smaller terrariums.

We recently purchased the Exo Terra Water Dish for our ball python, and we’ve been impressed with its durability and natural look. The rock finish on the outside of the dish blends in well with our terrarium, and the smooth surface on the inside makes it easy to clean. We also appreciate the safety steps inside the bowl, which prevent our snake from accidentally drowning.

One potential downside of the Exo Terra Water Dish is its weight. It’s heavier than some other water dishes we’ve used in the past, which could be an issue if you need to move it frequently. Additionally, the color of the dish may not match the picture on the website – ours was a bit darker than we expected. Finally, if you have a smaller terrarium, the dish may be too large to fit comfortably.

Overall, we’re happy with our purchase of the Exo Terra Water Dish. It’s a sturdy and natural-looking option that should last for years.

Buying Guide

When it comes to buying products for your new ball python’s enclosure, it’s important to choose the best ones to ensure your pet’s health and safety. Here are some features to consider when selecting products:

Enclosure

When choosing an enclosure, consider the size and material. The enclosure should be large enough for your ball python to move around comfortably. The material should be sturdy and easy to clean.

Heating

Ball pythons require a specific temperature range to thrive. A heating source, such as a heat lamp and under-tank heater, should be included in the enclosure. Make sure to choose a heating source that is safe and effective. Note: under tank heaters (UTH) do NOT heat the air. They only heat the the surface they are in contact with, so both a ceramic heat emitter and an UTH are recommended for ambient and surface heat.

Lighting

Ball Pythons do not require light. They are not active during the day, and only come out at night. As such, you do not need to provide light for your ball python. However, some people believe that providing UVB light can be beneficial to your snake’s immune system, so it can’t hurt.

Substrate

The substrate you choose should be safe for your ball python to burrow in and should not cause respiratory issues. Avoid using cedar or pine shavings, as they can be harmful to your pet.

Accessories

Accessories such as hides, water dishes, and climbing branches can provide your ball python with a comfortable and stimulating environment. Make sure to choose accessories that are appropriate for your pet’s size and needs.

By considering these features when selecting products for your ball python’s enclosure, you can ensure that your pet is healthy and happy in their new home.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size tank is appropriate for an adult ball python?

For an adult ball python, we recommend a tank that is at least 36 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 12 inches tall. This will provide enough space for your ball python to move around comfortably.

What type of substrate should I use in my ball python’s enclosure?

We recommend using a substrate that is absorbent and easy to clean, such as aspen shavings, coconut coir, or paper towels. Avoid using substrates that can cause impaction, such as sand or gravel. You can find a list of our favorite substrates here.

What temperature range should I maintain in my ball python’s enclosure?

The temperature range in your ball python’s enclosure should be above 80 degrees on the cool side, and not above 90 on the warm side. Many people keep ball pythons too cold, and this causes them to not eat and digest properly. In their native range, these snakes are commonly found in burrows that are 90+ degrees. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature and make sure it stays within this range.

What types of hides should I provide in my ball python’s enclosure?

It’s important to provide at least two hides in your ball python’s enclosure, one on the warm side and one on the cool side. You can use commercial hides or create your own using items such as plastic containers.

What types of plants or decorations are safe for my ball python’s enclosure?

When choosing plants or decorations for your ball python’s enclosure, make sure they are non-toxic and can withstand the humidity levels in the enclosure. Some safe options include fake plants, rocks, and branches.

What types of lighting should I use in my ball python’s enclosure?

Ball pythons do not require UVB lighting, but you can use a low-wattage bulb to provide a day/night cycle and simulate natural lighting. Make sure to provide a heat source, such as an under-tank heater and ceramic heat emitter, to maintain the proper temperature range.

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