Boa And Python Basics

A 30-gallon fish tank is a good size to start for housing hatchling snakes and it can also house smaller species as adults. A fine mesh screen top provides adequate ventilation for the snake but make sure the lid is securely fastened to prevent escape. Adult large species such as Burmese and Reticulated pythons will need very large cages in which to house them. Newspaper, paper towels, and indoor/outdoor carpet make it easiest to clean substrates. A hide box should be offered on the warm side of the cage.

Snakes need a good heat source in order to digest their food. An under-tank heating pad can be used and the area over the pad should reach about 90 F. The snake should be able to curl its entire body over the warm surface area. Heating pads should be left on 24 hours a day. You can use an incandescent bulb to provide extra heat for your snake during the day. Place the bulb over the warm side of the tank to increase the ambient temperature of your cage. Snakes should be fed once weekly until mature. Once mature, they should be fed every other week. You should feed pinkies, mice or rats, depending on the size of your snake. The prey item should be no larger that the thickest part of the snake. You may need to feed more than one prey item at each feeding if the items are small or if the snake is still acting hungry. Offer your snake fresh water daily. The bowl should be large enough for the snake to soak its entire body in. You should also soak your snake in shallow warm water for 15 to 20 minutes two to three times a week and once daily during shedding.