How to build a corn snake terrarium? Under what conditions should the corn snake be kept?
The size of the terrarium for a corn snake
The corn snake is medium in size, varying between 70 cm for the smallest specimens up to 120 cm. His terrarium must, therefore, be able to accommodate him without him feeling cramped. But be careful not to choose too big! Although this is a good intention, a terrarium that is far too large could have the effect of making it anxious in such a large space.
The size of the terrarium should be changed according to the age of the snake. So, when it is still small a 40x40x40 box is perfectly suitable, we can enlarge it as it grows. It is only after reaching an adult size that we can offer him his final terrarium.
Thus, the terrarium for the corn snake must measure at least 80x45x45 cm but the bigger it is the better, so we can extend up to 120cm in length in order to give the snake the possibility of stretching and of being able to move. Of course, these measurements apply to a single specimen. For a couple, it will be advisable to at least double the size.
The layout of the corn snake terrarium
Now that you have chosen your terrarium it is high time to set it up. What should the terrarium contain?
- A suitable substrate
- Hiding places
- A decor element
- A large bowl of water
Let’s see what are the criteria for choosing each of these elements and how to arrange them.
The terrarium floor should consist of neutral elements. It must be absorbent in order to allow easier cleaning, and not at all dusty so as not to risk irritating the lungs of the snake.
The hemp is a good choice in terms of price/quality ratio. It is absorbent and easy to digest if absorbed by the snake. In addition, it is a soft material in which the snake can easily bury itself. They are easily found in the trade, specialized bags for snakes are sold by certain brands, the hemp contained is completely free of dust for the health of the reptile although basic it is not very dusty.
In the same vein, we can choose flax which on the contrary is not at all dusty and therefore totally healthy for the health of the snake.
The beech chips are very attractive and have a very good record in the terrarium, especially as it is a totally natural soil. However, it is not absorbent and a sub-layer of a substrate such as a hemp is advised to absorb the liquid excrement of the snake. In addition, if the snake ingests a chip it can be dangerous, care must be taken to feed it in a bowl for optimal safety.
Hiding places and decorative items
At least two hiding places should be placed in the terrarium: one at the hottest corner and the other at the coldest corner. But the more hiding places, the better for snakes.
You can choose to place largely turned barks, pieces of tree trunks or even coconuts with a hole to allow it to enter. You can easily find something to create a snake shelter in pet stores. Anything can act as a hiding place, the main thing being that the object is large enough for it to enter.
The hiding places also serve as decorative elements for the terrarium, but you can also place rocks or branches. Although it is a rather terrestrial snake, the corn snake is quite capable of climbing on high branches.
The water bowl
Indispensable for drinking, the water bowl also acts as a tank in which the snake will bathe. It must, therefore, be large enough to contain it so that it bathes there. A simple cup can be enough and costs nothing, but for a little more aesthetics we find in bowls with the appearance of rocks which are quite suitable.
Corn snake terrarium temperature
In order for the snake to regulate its temperature, it is advisable to create a temperature gradient using a heater and to offer it a hot spot and a cold spot.
During the day, the hot spot should be between 28 ° C and 30 ° C while the cold spot should be around 24 ° C. At night these temperatures will be lowered by 3 to 4 ° C. A thermostat is required to control the terrarium temperatures.
Different heating systems exist to create the required heat source:
- The heating mat to place under the terrarium. The tank should be raised slightly to allow air to pass through and avoid overheating which can cause burns to the animal. The carpet should not be the entire length of the terrarium, the part not covered by the heating will allow the temperature gradient.
- The heating cables should also be placed under the terrarium. Unlike the carpet, you have to snake it the entire length of the terrarium, insisting on the area where you want to create the hottest point.
- The heat lamp is placed inside the terrarium at the end where we decide to create the hot spot. It must imperatively be surrounded by a protective grid, a burn being quickly arrived.