Essential Ball Python Care Guide For New Snake Keepers

close up of ball python

Select a secure, well-ventilated tank or PVC enclosure. Begin with a 20-gallon tank for young snakes and upgrade as they grow to a larger enclosure, ideally 40 gallons or more. Ensure proper ventilation to prevent respiratory issues.

Choose a substrate that retains humidity, such as cypress mulch, coconut coir, or aspen bedding (we prefer to use coconut). Regularly change the substrate to maintain cleanliness and prevent mold.

Maintain a thermal gradient within the enclosure. Provide a warm side with temperatures between 88-92°F (31-33°C) and a cool side ranging from 78-80°F (25-27°C). Use heat mats or lamps to achieve and maintain the temperature gradient. While ball pythons don’t require UVB lighting, ensure they experience a natural day-night cycle.

Keep humidity levels between 50-60%, increasing to 70% during shedding. Utilize a humidity box with damp moss to aid the snake during the shedding process. Regularly monitor and adjust humidity levels as needed.

Offer at least two hides, one on the warm side and one on the cool side, to provide a sense of security. Include a humidity box during shedding to facilitate a smooth process.

Feed juvenile ball pythons every 5-7 days, while adults can be fed every 10-14 days. Opt for prey items approximately the same width as the snake’s widest part. Avoid handling for at least 24 hours after feeding to prevent stress.

Provide a clean, shallow water bowl for drinking and soaking. Change the water regularly to maintain cleanliness.

Limit handling, especially during the first few days in a new environment. Gradually introduce handling to help the snake acclimate. Handle with care and support to avoid stress.

Regularly monitor your snake’s behavior, shedding frequency, and feces. Address any changes promptly and seek veterinarian advice if necessary.

Perform routine checks of the enclosure, including cleaning, to ensure a healthy environment. Create a schedule for substrate changes, cleaning, and overall maintenance.

Individual snakes may have unique preferences, so it’s crucial to observe and adjust care practices accordingly. Stay informed and adapt your care routine based on your ball python’s specific needs.

We are available to provide advice on anything that isn’t covered in this guide.