The most essential aspect of ball python care is getting the setup for their new home right. Since snakes are “https://www.britannica.com/science/ectotherm#:~:text=Ectotherm%2C%20any%20so%2Dcalled%20cold,amphibians%2C%20reptiles%2C%20and%20invertebrates.”ectotherms (cold-blooded animals that are affected by the temperature of their surroundings), having the proper tank climate isn’t just a matter of making them feel comfortable, but essential for their health and overall well-being. Ball pythons are hardy little snakes that are much more forgiving of mistakes than your average serpent. Still, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. Here’s the ideal terrarium for your pet ball python:
The Ideal Ball Python Habitat
The trick to nailing your reptile pet’s terrarium environment is by looking into its origins. Your goal as a pet owner is to do your best to recreate their native habitat.
Ball pythons are native to the central African plains, a land located just north of the equator and that is hot and has humid, subtropical conditions. As such, the recommended temperature is 88-92℉ on the warm side, 76-80℉ on the cooler side, and an 88℉ basking area. Their preferred humidity levels are between 50-60%.
Heating and humidity aren’t the only conditions to be mindful of however. In addition to the climate are the enriching elements, the physical items located inside the tank.
Hide boxes and other areas of privacy are a standard no matter the snake species. Ball pythons dwell in the grasslands or open forests near a body of water–be sure to include a shallow water dish that’s large enough for them to soak their entire body.
Ball pythons are found in burrows in the wild, so you’ll want to provide some diggable substrate for them, but are also semi-arboreal so a small-sized branch for them to roam over is also recommended.
Substrate is the material that makes up the flooring of the tank. There are many different types of substrates to choose from. Some are made out of wood chips or other types of plant fiber, while others still might be made out of recycled paper towels or newspaper. The care requirements for certain species might make some types of substrate ideal for some reptiles but not others.
For ball pythons, cypress mulch is a great option. The spongy wood makes it ideal for retaining moisture (which helps maintain appropriate humidity levels), it doesn’t compact itself which allows for burrowing, and best of all, it’s an inexpensive option.
Ball pythons are crepuscular, meaning they’re most active at dawn and dusk. Thanks to this, they have no special lighting requirements nor need any additional equipment. The ambient light from a window or a room is likely to be enough for them. This also means that ball pythons don’t require special ultraviolet lighting either, such as UVB lights. If you chose to include any sort of lighting in your ball python display (perhaps to show it off), just be sure that there is a shaded area so that it doesn’t throw off their natural circadian rhythms.
Where To Find Ball Python Equipment
If you are looking for the necessary items to outfit your snake’s tank–including the tank itself–you should be able to find them wherever you find ball pythons for sale. Specialty online shops will have the best selection to choose from and are a great place for a beginner snake owner to start.