When a snake lives in captivity, it is important to properly arrange its terrarium so that it feels comfortable and, by extension, is in good shape. The ball python is a rather large snake, it looks impressive, but it is a very interesting reptile to observe.
How to properly arrange the terrarium of a ball python? What substrate for the ball python? What are the maintenance parameters of the ball python? Discover all the information useful for the layout of the ball python terrarium.
Ideal dimensions of the terrarium for a ball python
Able to measure between 100cm and 150cm long, the ball python is a large snake which requires a terrarium large enough to allow it to be comfortable, but which is not too spacious to cause the condition of stress.
For an adult python of 130 to 150 cm the dimensions of the terrarium of the ball python will be 100x50x50 cm and 80x50x50 cm for a smaller python of 100 cm. These dimensions are quite suitable for this snake which requires a space confined enough to feel good but large enough to be able to move. Do not try to give him more space because it would become a source of stress.
Terrarium of the ball python: substrate, decoration, water point
Everything will play out in terms of the layout of its terrarium. Since he generally lives in humid savannas and tends to dig large burrows in which to shelter, the choice of the substrate will be made on a light material such as wood shavings, coconut fiber or humus. Absorbent and comfortable, they also have the particularity of being able to be dug to leave the possibility for the snake to bury itself in the ground.
There are also specific soil mixes for pythons and savannah biotopes that you can find in specialized stores. The use of sand or peat is however not recommended due to the low absorption capacity of excrement and the risk of occlusion.
In terms of decorating the terrarium of the ball python, you can give free rein to your imagination by placing branches, roots, and rocks in the tank to create climbing areas very attractive to the reptile. Do not forget to put at least two hiding places (hollow trunk, terracotta pot, etc.) in which your snake can come to rest and shelter from the outside world.
For a little more aesthetics, it is possible to plant vegetation (fern) or to place artificial plants that will decorate the terrarium. Be aware, however, that natural plants require a lot of maintenance and risk being quickly crushed under the weight of the snake and that it is advisable to favor false vegetation.
Do not forget to make a water point available to your snake. For this, you can use a large dish used to contain flower pots, a dish or a specific bath found in specialized stores. The water point must be large enough to contain the snake if it wants to bathe in it, and an average depth of about 5 cm.
The water point must imperatively be placed at the cold point of the terrarium in order not to favor the proliferation of bacteria.
Parameters of the ball python terrarium: temperature, humidity, lighting
Respecting the maintenance parameters of the ball python is essential to guarantee that it lives long and in good health.
Remember that this is an exotic animal so the needs are very different from the parameters of our homes. With a heating mat, it will create a hot zone of 35 ° C wherein the snake can digest, and a cooler area at 28 ° C. Between these two zones, a temperature gradient will be created to avoid a sudden change in heat. At night, temperatures will be between 26 ° C and 28 ° C depending on the areas of the terrarium. To ensure that the temperature is always optimal, the thermometer is an essential accessory.
As for lighting, it is not necessary to install a UV lamp, a simple bulb will do the trick to provide 12 hours of light per day to the snake. Finally, the humidity of the ball python terrarium should be around 60% to 70%. To maintain a good humidity level, you can spray water several times a day, this is particularly useful when you have a lamp that dries the air in the terrarium.