Best Enclosure For A Ball Python (Detailed Guide)

  • By: Reptilia Planet
  • Time to read: 10 min.

Ball pythons are one of the most popular pet snakes in the world. They’re a docile, easy to care for species that can be great family pets. But when it comes to their enclosure, there’s a lot you need to pay attention too!

Bull Pythons are not for everyone. They require a lot of attention and care to thrive in captivity, but they can be very rewarding pets if you’re willing to put the time and commitment into them.

One question that many new pet owners ask is what’s Best Enclosure For A Ball Python?

An adult ball python can live comfortably and safely in a 120-gallon tank 48″ x 24″ x 24″ however, you should always provide an enclosure with at least two hides big enough so your snake can feel safe and secure inside.

Ball pythons like space so make sure you give them more than enough room as they grow larger!

If you’re looking to buy an enclosure for your ball python, this blog post will go over some pros and cons of each type so you can decide which is best for your bull Python.

What Is The Best Enclosure For A Ball Python?

The enclosure for your snake is an important aspect in providing them with what they need to live happily and healthy. When trying to figure out what kind of enclosure you want for your ball python, there are many options available.

So what is the best enclosure for a ball python? When it comes to what type of enclosure you decide to use for your pet “in this case a bull python” apart from the size, you also need to think about the materials (what the tank is made of)

First off, it is recommended that you use a tank that’s longer in width rather than in height as ball pythons can feel insure in large tanks as mentioned in this video below

You also need to consider things like size, weight, climbing ability, temperature, heating, and lighting (such as a heat lamp or infrared bulb) which we are going to talk about in this article.

Types Of Tanks

There are many types of terrarium enclosures available for ball pythons today, they can come in the form of wood, plastic, and glass. However, the type of enclosure you choose will depend on your budget and the size of your ball python.

So below we shall go through the different types of enclosures you can use for your ball python from small to medium-sized and the materials whether that’s wood, plastic, or glass.

Wood Enclosure

Wood Enclosures are great for providing a ball python with a more natural habitat and what’s great about wooden enclosures is they are very easy to make.

The great thing about making your own is you can create in any size or shape that you desire at a bare minimum cost. They are also cheap to buy on the market compared to glass enclosures if you prefer not to make your own.

However, you’ll want to make sure they’re not using painted or wood that’s been treated with chemicals that could be toxic to your ball python!

Plastic Enclosure

Plastic/PVC tanks aren’t available in quite as many sizes so it can be challenging to find the right size if you have specific requirements. It’s important when buying a plastic enclosure for your snake to make sure they’re made specifically with them in mind.

There is a lot of debate as to whether or not a plastic enclosure is suitable for a ball python, but the benefits are that these tanks are affordable, easy to clean, and lightweight.

But the disadvantages are that plastic enclosures are small and don’t allow your reptile enough space to move around and are also hard to change and modify.

Glass Enclosure

Glass enclosures are great for creating a habitat that is both safe and attractive for your ball python and is a good choice for people who want to be able to see their snake,

Most are made of durable tempered glass and are also easy to clean and maintain, but with that said they can be expensive.

However, there are disadvantages to having a glass enclosure, not only are they expensive “but they are also quite heavy making them difficult to move around.

Exo Terras

Exo Terras Glass terrarium is more suitable for baby ball pythons because of the size. But want makes these enclosures stand out is fact that they are made of all-glass which is great if you want to see your snake display much like a fish tank.

These types of tanks are very easy to move around and clean and some are even escape-proof. Typically you want one that has front opening doors that allow easy access for feeding and cleaning.

Suitable TanksTerrarium DimensionsBall Python Size
REPTI ZOO 10 Gallon Tank 20″ x 12″ x 10″Hatchlings
Exo Terra Glass Terrarium20.32 x 20.32 x 20.32 cmHatchlings / Juveniles
OIIBO White Reptile Terrarium36″ x 18″ x 18″Juveniles under 3′
Carolina Custom Terrarium23.9 x 18 x 23.5 Adults Over 3′ Long

Tank Features

Snakes require an environment that is specialized to their needs, which includes a tank with plenty of features and accessories.

In fact, modern reptile tanks have features like mess-proofing walls, a terrarium background that can help create a beautiful addition to the tank, and Hides (places for your pet to retreat).

By adding some of these features this will help keep your snake calm and healthy and at the same time happy. So let’s go through some of the benefits of each feature and how it can be used as part of your snake’s environment.


Ball pythons need to be kept in a temperature-controlled environment, which is why hides are so important and each one should provide different temperatures.

There should be at least 2 hides usually at either end of the enclosure and these hides are very simple to make and the best way to provide this at no cost is by using things like rocks or logs from your yard.

However, if you prefer just to buy one they are fairly cheap at places like amazon.


Using mesh for snake enclosure allows good ventilation that provide an extra barrier against drafts which can cause temperature fluctuation.

A mesh screen can be placed over the top of the enclosure and then easily removed for cleaning. Another perk of these tops is that they provide a natural and comfortable environment for your ball python, while still keeping it secure.

They are perfect for humidity and temperature control with their breathable material that doesn’t trap in heat like plastic would and comes in a variety of sizes to fit most tank sizes whether you have an aquarium or terrarium.

Water Dish

Keeping your reptile hydrated is very important, every enclosure should have a large enough bowl of clean water available at all times, and the same goes for ball pythons, this way it can both bathe and drink when needed.

Heated Pad

Snake owners know that the right habitat and heating elements are essential to their pet’s health. But what should you do when your reptile needs a little help with regulating its temperature, particularly in winter?

Well, this is where using a heated terrarium pad can be an effective solution for ball python who need extra warmth during cold months, you can simply place their heat mat in one of the hides and the snake will naturally lay on it.

Artificial Foliage

Reptile owners are always on the lookout for new ways to spruce up their pet’s enclosure and one way is by adding artificial foliage that won’t require any maintenance and will still look realistic.

Having artificial plants can help give your pet a sense of security and provide them with some much-needed beauty in their enclosure.

Logs/Thick Branches

Reptiles need logs and thick branches to climb on and hide in, not only is this important for the snakes mental health and their physical health.

Having logs and branches in the enclosure can provide a more naturalistic environment for your pet which can also be helpful if you’re trying to find ways to increase the humidity levels in your enclosure.

Terrarium Background

A terrarium background can be a great addition to an enclosure. It’s not always easy to find the right type of background, and it can be even more difficult to find one that will fit in an enclosure without being too big or small.

However, once you add one not only will it look stunning but it also gives your enclosure a more naturalistic feel. There are many different backgrounds that can be used including plants, rocks, or leaves that can be purchased at places like amazon.

Heating Lamps

A snake is a cold-blooded reptile, meaning they need to maintain their body temperature through external sources. This can be done by using heating devices or lamps.

Using a light can keep the snake warm in its enclosure with a low wattage basking bulb placed on one side of the tank near where it needs to bask during daytime hours.

The best type of lamp for this purpose would be an infrared heat lamp because it emits no visible light which could disturb your pet’s circadian rhythm and cause stress while also providing some UVB rays for vitamin D3 synthesis.

The type of lighting you use in a snake’s enclosure also depends on the species. For example, some snakes are nocturnal and would prefer infrared or ultraviolet light that mimics natural sunlight.

We all know that ball pythons are nocturnal reptiles and they spend a lot of time sleeping and hiding in dark places during the day. That means that it is important to provide them with an environment where they can feel secure and hidden.


How much heat does a ball python need in an enclosure? In order to make sure your pet snake has enough warmth, you should use a heating source like infrared lamps with thermostats that are set between 82°F – 88 ° F.

During daylight hours; ceramic heater bulbs which should also stay around this temperature range but can go up as high 89 degrees Fahrenheit because these don’t emit ultraviolet light waves) OR combination lighting

The best way to know if your pet is too hot or cold in their enclosure, you can use a thermometer and check the temperature at different points around the enclosure.

If there are multiple heating devices used make sure that all areas have equal temperatures so one area doesn’t get hotter than another.5

The humidity level should also be between 50 to 60 percent. By controlling the humidity this will help your ball python shed properly.

  1. The enclosures temperature should be around 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. The enclosure should have at least two hiding spots
  3. They also need a humidity level of 50 to 60 percent

This is where having good artificial lighting in the enclosure comes in handy for when they’re awake,

Does The Size of Your Ball Pythons Enclosure Matter?

The size of the enclosure you choose for your ball python is very important. One of the most common mistakes people make when choosing a snake’s enclosure is that they don’t take into account how often it will grow and run out of space.

Ball pythons can grow to lengths of up to 6 feet so they need plenty of space. The size of the enclosure you choose for your ball python is very important because it will determine how much space they have to move around in, which actually affects their health.

Snakes are also great escape artists and will try anything to get out, including slithering through tiny cracks in their enclosures. If you’re not sure what size your snake’s enclosure should be, then here are some tips to help you figure it out!

To start with a ten-gallon tank (20″ x 11″ x 13″) should be more than enough space if you have a small baby python snake. as your pet grows larger then this is when it’s time to upgrade to something bigger like a 40-gallon tank (36” x 18” x 18”).

Once your snake grows to its full size then this is where your need a 120-gallon tank 48″ x 24″ x 24″ giving them plenty of room to move around.

  • Baby Ball Python 10-Gallon Enclosure (20″ x 11″ x 13″)
  • Ball Python Under 3′ Long 40-Gallon Enclosure (36” x 18” x 18”)
  • Adults Over 3′ Long 120-Gallon Enclosure (48″ x 24″ x 24″)

Why It’s Important To Have An Enclosure For The Ball Python?

A ball python enclosure is one of the most important aspects of taking care of your ball python. If you don’t have a good enclosure, not only will it be hard to keep your snake healthy but keeping them happy too will be a struggle.

While many people think that all they need for their pet’s home is an aquarium with a screen top, this isn’t always enough. Not only do these enclosures lack special features like hiding spots or ramps, but they are also far too easy to escape from.

“Keeping your snake in an enclosure is a must! and the truth is snakes are very clever and they will figure out how to escape from their tanks if you’re not careful.

We all know that snakes need to be housed in an enclosure for their safety as well as yours. In the wild, snakes are constantly on the move and like investigating new environments and the same goes for ball pythons.

Just remember the enclosure is where your snake will spend most of its life, so it’s important they have the space that they need as we have mentioned above.

You also want to replicate the conditions in the wild by adding reptile substrates or reptile bedding so your ball python can hide and feel comfortable in its new enclosure.

How Often Should You Clean The enclosure?

Cleaning your pet snake’s enclosure is a great way to keep it healthy and happy. However, there are some things that you need to know before you start cleaning.

If your snake has been shedding recently, then don’t clean the enclosure for at least one week because this can disturb their natural shedding process.

If you have a snake that is shedding, it’s best to wait until they have finishing shedding before cleaning the enclosure.

How often you clean a snakes’ tank depends on the size, however, it is recommended that owners do so at least once every two weeks.


Terrariums are a great way to bring nature into your home. They provide the perfect environment for your ball python or other small pets to thrive in, however, depending on the size of the enclosure you want they can be very expensive.

With that said, it is recommended to use a good quality terrarium for a snake because as mentioned before you want one that will last a lifetime so you won’t need to buy one every couple of years.