Before you bring home a pet ball python, you will first need to choose a tank/terrarium/enclosure or whatever else you may call it. A good terrarium is essential to keeping a healthy ball python. But, not all ball python terrariums are the same.
Ball python enclosures should be spacious, secure, and not very expensive. The best enclosures will also be sturdy and well-ventilated.
Finding a perfect ball python terrarium for a ball python can be hard. They range in price, design, durability, and safety. Ball pythons kept in the wrong enclosure can suffer a shortened lifespan, higher stress, and injury.
In this article, we give our review of the five best ball python enclosures. We share in-depth reviews, build quality information, and what we like about each cage. By the end of our guide, you will be able to pick the best terrarium for your ball python.
Your ball python will love the size of this cage! The non-reflective bamboo panels look amazing and also minimize stress. The enclosure is easy to assemble and clean. Check Official Website.
A Quick Comparison of the Best Products in 2022
48″x24″x16″ PVC Panel Ball Python Enclosure
Maximum Reptile PVC & Aluminum Enclosure
Best for Beginners
Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium
Exo Terra All Glass Terrarium
Repti-Zoo Reptile Glass Tank Double Hinge Door
Hagen Exo Terra Snake Starter Kit
The Six Best Ball Python Enclosures
1. Best Overall Tank: 48″x24″x16″ PVC Panel Ball Python Enclosure
Zen Habitats specializes in building reptile-specific habitats that are tailored to meet your pets’ physical and emotional needs. The PVC Panel Ball Python Enclosure is not only practical, but also attractive, simple to put together, and affordable. It provides a healthy environment for your python to thrive in.
The cage has an 80 gallon capacity, which allows your snake to stretch and climb, which helps to build muscle tone.
It features Front sliding / removable acrylic doors for easy access. Front doors minimizes stress when approaching your python.
The bamboo panels on this enclosure not only look attractive but are also better in retaining heat than glass, which helps to keep ambient temperatures consistent at a cheaper cost.
The 48″x24″x16″ PVC Panel Ball Python Enclosure by Zen Habitat comes with a 3-year warranty making it the most secure investment.
- Large enclosure – ideal size for adult ball pythons
- Front sliding doors that minimize stress when approaching your pet
- Retain heat better than glass enclosures
- Non-reflective surfaces
- 3 years warranty
- Cannot be stacked over one another
2. Strongest Design: Maximum Reptile PVC & Aluminum Enclosure
This cage is made by Maximum Reptile a reputed company in the US who are in the cage manufacturing business for over 44 years now. Maximum Reptile has created a beautiful collection of enclosures that are not only built with your reptile’s needs in mind, but also look wonderful in your home.
The cage is super water resistant made with real PVC and strong Anodized Aluminum that ensures this enclosure will never break, catch fire or rot. The front sliding doors makes it easy to clean and offers perfect viewing.
The screen top is super sturdy so your ball python will have no chance of escaping the enclosure. Also, it provides great ventilation.
One of the reasons why we like Maximum Reptile PVC & Aluminum Enclosure so much is that they offer 10 years warranty.
- Large enclosure – equal to 120 gallons
- Front sliding doors with key lock security
- Custom ventilation system for airflow control
- Comes with built-in thermometer/hygrometer
- Optional panel upgrade from PVC color
- 10 years warranty
- Requires tools to put together
- Not very forgiving of mistakes made during assembly
3. Best for Beginners: Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium
Carolina Custom Cage is an excellent ball python terrarium that is well-made and really functional. Your pet snakes will love it. It comes in equal-sized glass plates that easily screw together at the corners. The top and the base are both one piece.
The door is secured with a simple keyed latch, making it impossible for your ball python to open. The top grate is made of metal and works well with ceramic heat lamps and other similar items.
It provides ample space for your python to move around and be happy.
- Durable and easy to assemble
- It comes with sliding doors
- Provides key-lock security.
- Enough size for adult pet snakes
- It isn’t suitable for young and baby pythons.
- No door handles to open the glass doors
4. Most Affordable: Exo Terra All Glass Terrarium
Exo Terra Short All Glass Ball Python Terrarium is a great choice for a baby ball python. But not recommended for a large adult ball python.
The front-opening doors make feeding very easy. The doors can be opened separately and are secured by a specially designed lock.
The top of the screen is totally removable for simple access for decorating or cleaning and allowing UVB and infrared penetration.
Heat Wave Rocks, Waterfalls, Sensors, and other items can be installed inside the terrarium through the 5 closable wire or tube inlets on both sides of the screen cover.
The terrarium’s bottom plate is raised to accommodate a substrate heater that will heat a portion of the enlarged ground surface. The extra-high fixed front glass is perfect for thick substrate layers (burrowing reptiles), aquatic portions (paludarium), or mounting an Exo Terra reptile den.
- The glass walls provide an unobtrusive view of the ball python
- Waterproof base
- Dual opening doors for escape-free handling.
- Comes with inlets of wires and tubes.
- Hard to clean
- Not good for adult ball pythons
5. Repti-Zoo Reptile Glass Tank Double Hinge Door
Repti Zoo reptile glass terrarium comes with glass walls and hinged doors to access the ball python and clean the tank easily.
This tank retains humidity well as it doesn’t have extra ventilation. It also has a raised bottom, which enables the addition of a heater under the tank. Its a great ball python terrarium.
- Mesh top to allow ventilation.
- Durable glass walls.
- Retains humidity
- Raised bottom to add a heater under the tank.
- The screen top doesn’t retain heat well.
- An expensive option.
6. Best Starter Kit: Hagen Exo Terra Snake Starter Kit
Another tank choice for the young ball python is Hagen Exo Terra Snake Starter Kit; it comes with a thermometer, snake bedding, substrate heater, water bowl, LED fixture, 20-gallon tank a hiding cave. The screen is made of metal on the top and is a great choice for ball python if you’re a beginner.
This terrarium kit is a good starting point for you; it doesn’t have a few elements such as hygrometer, hiding spots, and other snake products, but you can always add them up in this kit to make it perfect for your reptile’s needs. The tank is longer, making it suitable for the ball python, as the snake doesn’t always like to climb on the high points.
If you do want to go with a terrarium kit then this would be a great option to consider.
- It comes with a thermometer, snake bedding, substrate heater, water bowl, LED fixture, 20-gallon tank, a hiding cave.
- Metal screen to protect the ball python.
- Long enough for the python to roam around easily.
- Doesn’t include all necessary elements such as a hygrometer, hiding caves, etc.
- It isn’t suitable for a baby or adult python.
What To Know Before Buying a Ball Python Enclosure
There are dozens of different terrariums available, depending on the age of your ball python, the type of setup you need, and your budget. When it comes to choosing a terrarium for a ball python, it’s easy to assume they’re all the same.
A ball python tank’s design and size have a huge impact on its safety, effectiveness, and longevity. Despite their differences, good ball python enclosures have a few things in common:
- Size (80-gallon to 120-gallon).
- Design (made from sturdy material, good ventilation).
- Security (front opening doors with functioning latches).
- Safety (sturdy with well-fitted top).
When purchasing a ball python terrarium, size and safety are the most important considerations. An 80-gallon terrarium is recommended for an adult ball python. If you get one that’s too huge (Bigger than 120-gallons), it’ll be difficult to heat, clean, and keep an eye on your ball python.
The greatest terrariums are strong and escape-proof. They also feature places on top of the tank for lights and heaters with no gaps or openings. Excess heat can cause the tops of low-quality tanks to get overly hot or even bend. This can result in burns and perhaps the heater falling through the enclosure’s top.
Ball Pythons need a safe and well-ventilated cage to live in. An ideal way to set up an enclosure for Ball Pythons is using a purpose-made enclosure with a locked ventilated top (screen wire or punctured metal sheets).
Selecting the right-sized ball python terrarium is a crucial part. Ball pythons are shy species so you don’t want to overexpose them by putting them in the oversized enclosure. The cage should not be very tiny either. As a general rule, the length of the cage should equal to the length of the body of the ball python and the width should be half its body size.
Please refer to the chart below in regards to various cage sizes:
|Python Size :||cage size requirement|
|Hatchlings up to 300g||10-gallon enclosure (20″ x 11″ x 13″)|
|Juveniles under 3′ long||40-gallon enclosure (36” x 18” x 18)|
|Subadults and adults over 3′ long||80-120-gallon enclosure (48″ x 24″ x 24″)|
An important note is that while most adult Ball Pythons can live quite happily in a 120-gallon long aquarium, Hatchings need a smaller space environment to feel secure. If Hatchings are placed in an environment larger than the recommended 10-gallon, they may feel afraid thus affecting their feed. Therefore it is highly recommended to use the chart above as guidelines, in order to provide the best living conditions for your Ball Pythons.
Your ball python isn’t a good climber but it can latch onto something if provided and surprise you by climbing to the top. In this case, the top design is important to be included in the cage of your pet python, which can be done by adding a solid piece top or something with a securing latch that can help the python to climb.
Snakes are master escape artists because of their ability to pass through small holes and edges. Providing a tank with big holes and an open stainless steel mesh top means an open invitation for them to escape, and you will lose your dearest reptile pet.
Key lock hood fixings or cover clips should be included in any ball python cage. These lockable fasteners are a must-have if your terrarium opens from the top and assist to keep screen-top tanks secure.
Front-opening terrarium doors should have a sturdy latch to keep them in place.
The tank that you’re purchasing for your python needs to be durable so that the enclosure can last for a few years. A good and durable material terrarium will last for the whole lifespan of the ball python. You can find the most durable one by taking opinions from those who have already used different products for their pet reptiles.
Ball pythons aren’t tree climbers in the wild; they like to spend their time moving and slithering on the ground. For this reason, you must ensure to get a tank that is long instead of being tall.
Easy to clean
Cleaning the ball python’s tank is essential for the reptile’s health, so you should get a tank that’s easy to clean and doesn’t absorb liquid.
Type of Enclosures for Ball Python
There are a number of different types of enclosures available for ball pythons made out of different materials. All cages come with their own pros and cons, however, so are simply better than the others. Below is a list of the most suitable options used today in the ball python community.
- Plastic Cages
- Glass Tanks
- Wooden Enclosures
- Homemade Or Customized Cages
Plastic or PVC cage is the most papular in the ball pythons community. Cages made out of plastic are easy to clean, hold humidity well, more durable, lightweight and are more attractive to look at as compared to glass cages.
A glass tank is also one of the most popular options for ball pythons. However, it comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Glass enclosures are easy to clean, are durable and offer excellent visibility for viewing.
But glass terrariums are heavy which means you won’t be able to move them around in your house. Also, the lid tops are usually not very strong in most of the glass tanks thus creating an opportunity for your ball python to escape.
Wooden enclosures for ball pythons are not as popular as plastic or glass enclosures however, many people still use them because of their ability to retain temperature and humidity easily. Wooden cages are also easy to modify.
Homemade Or Customized Cages
Custom-made enclosures could be very effective. If you have the DIY skills you can build a perfect size enclosure for your ball python with reduced cost.
Common Terrarium Issues
A common mistake made by first-time keepers is selecting an enclosure that is too small.
Smaller terrariums are typically less expensive and appear to be a better fit for younger ball pythons. But don’t be tempted! Ball pythons grow quickly. Only a ball python under the age of three months will fit in a 20-gallon terrarium.
The greatest ball python terrariums are made of glass, although the glass can be overly thick and reflective at times. If a ball python catches its reflection in the back or sides of the glass, this can be stressful.
Reptiles should not be kept in terrariums that are not designed especially for them.
They are not properly constructed and will not be safe for ball pythons. Parts of these models frequently scratch, pinch, or fall on your lizard.
Heat and light bulbs should also be able to sit safely. Reptile lights and heaters are frequently not secured on the tops of non-purpose tanks.
Also, avoid the “All in One” kits if you can. Because the equipment that comes with the kits is usually of lower quality. You will be better off buying a stand-alone enclosure and then decorating it with the right good quality equipment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a Ball Python Enclosure Be too Big?
Larger cages can be stressful for baby ball pythons. They may struggle to find the food in a large enclosure. For an adult, you should be using a larger and wider cage.
How Big Should a Terrarium Be for a Ball Python?
For a full-grown ball python that is 4 to 5 feet long, you should be using at least an 80-gallon tank. The enclosure size should not be less than the length of the ball python in any case.
What Do Ball Pythons Like in Their Tank?
A water dish should be present in a ball python enclosure at all times. They drink lots of water and also love to soak occasionally.
Ball pythons make great reptile pets for beginners because of their silent and gentle nature. However, they require a specific cage setup in captivity, which forms the essential environment for ball pythons.
So, as you plan to bring a ball python home, you must set up an appropriate cage environment for the reptile. Ensure to check the terrarium against the provided checklist to get the perfect durable enclosure for your ball python.
Finally, ensure to provide the closest replication of nature while setting up the cage to keep the reptile happy and healthy.