An appropriate sized habitat for a snake to live in is vital for it being a healthy pet. Here are three tips to get you started in making a choice.
- Buy for how large your snake currently is
- When deciding how large of a tank your snake needs get it based on what it needs now. A 75 gallon tank would be appropriate for a medium sized boa, but it would be much to large for a baby or neonate boa. Naturally you want something that can accommodate some growth from your snake, but don’t try to put a baby snake into its adult home.
The appropriate sized tank will:
- Allow the snake to thermoregulate its temperatures
- Allow the snake to move around
- Allow the snake to choose being in a hide or not
- Allow the snake to uncoil approximately 3/4 of its length
Those are the basics. If you find that your snake can hardly move around or has to make a trek that’s a pretty good indication that the cage is either to large or to small for your snake.
- Prepare for how large your snake will be
- It’s important to have an idea of how large a cage will safely accommodate your full grown, adult snake. That way you can prepare ahead of time. Several reasons to know this information:
- You need room for the tank
- You need to locate the appropriate tank (or build it)
- You need to be able to afford the tank
- You need to know how large your cute little “worm” is actually going to be
- The snakes natural environment
- In addition to the appropriate sized cage based on sized you also need one based on the species of snake you have. A ball python for example does well in smaller, tighter spaces. It still needs a tank that allows it to move about and thermoregulate, but if the tank is too large for it then it will be uncomfortable. An arboreal snake (amazon tree boa for example) has more need of a tall tank than a wide tank.
You will need to spend some time finding out what kind of habitat your snake would live in if it were in the wild. Try to answer these kind of questions:
- Does it like small tight spaces like rodent burrows?
- Is it usually found wrapped around tree branches above the ground?
- Does it seem to prefer open areas where it can move around?
Of course that’s not an exhaustive list but it gives you a starting point.