When you bring a new snake home you will need to provide it with the proper housing. Snakes often require specialized habitats in order to thrive and survive. It is relatively easy to set up the proper living conditions for your pet snakes if you have the proper information about what they require in a setup.
- How big is the snake now?
- When you get a new pet snake you should be providing housing for how large it is at the time you get it. There’s no need to put an eighteen inch boa into a 125 gallon tank just because you’d put an eight foot boa into that size of a tank. It’s actually a bad idea to do so because snakes tend to like smaller, tight fitting areas so they don’t become overwhelmed. When you’re looking at housing for your snake look for something it can use for a few months, not the rest of it’s life. Unless of course it’s an adult that has done the majority of its growing.
- How big will the snake get?
- Even though you shouldn’t buy anything for a full grown snake you certainly need to know how big it is going to potentially get before you purchase it. When you have that information take a look around and see how much it might cost to give the snake a place to live. Sooner than later you’ll have to deal with the snakes size. Sometimes at the pet stores they will tell you that if you feed it less and keep it in a smaller tank it won’t grow as fast, or will even stop growing altogether. If you’re ever told this at a pet store leave immediately and take your business elsewhere. Snakes never stop growing as long as they are alive. Do you really want a hungry, cranky, 12 foot long python sizing you up for dinner because you’re always trying to ration it’s food?
- What kind of climate does the snake need?
- When it comes to outside stress on a snake the immediate climate is one of the biggest ones. Snakes have very low tolerance a climate variations. That’s why it is so important to learn how to regulate your tanks climate before you ever bring home your new pet.
Every snake owner should at the very least have a reliable thermometer and a hydrometer to measure humidity. It’s actually a good idea to have two thermometers, one for the hot side and one for the cool side. The hydrometer will measure the humidity.
- An alternative to the tank
- Everyone is aware of keeping snakes in glass tanks, but there’s another method which arguably works just as well for most people. Instead of buying a big, bulky, dirty, potentially dangerous glass tank get a plastic storage tote such as a Sterilite.
- It is much cheaper
- You can buy this alternate method of housing for far less than a tank. A tank will run you $200.00+ easily, but this will run you between $5.00 and $50.00 depending on the size you purchase.
- It is easier to maintain the climate
- Plastic tubs retain the heat and humidity much easier. For instance in one of my glass tanks I need two under the tank heaters (UTH) and a 100 watt heat lamp going at all times to maintain the heat. In a plastic tub of the same size I can get away with just one UTH. In the glass tanks I tend to need to assist in keeping the humidity up, but in the plastic ones I almost need to fight the humidity.
- It takes up much less room
- Most pet snakes don’t need huge enclosures so why waste the space in your home on something they don’t need? Plastics tubs are generally not as deep as a glass tank is. You can stack them on bookshelves and you’ll hardly notice that they are taking up space.
- It is much easier to clean
- In all but the most dire situations you can simply wipe down the plastic tub with a wet paper towel. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
There are a few disadvantages to using a plastic tube and for the most part they are negligible, but they do need to be mentioned so you can make the best informed decision. For one they are ugly. They simply don’t have the “character” that a nicely setup glass tank does. Some people say they don’t upstage the snake, but if you’re very concerned about putting on a show then you’ll probably want to consider a glass tank.
No matter what snake you get or which equipment you get to go with the snake you need to make certain it will meet the needs of the snake. Sometimes people have a little sticker shock when they realize the true cost of snake ownership. The snake itself is fairly cheap, but the equipment can burn a whole in your pocket very quickly.