Best enclosure size for young Kingsnakes?

Currently we have two baby Kingsnakes in a couple quarantine bins. It’s difficult for me to regulate their temperatures that way, so i’m looking for some sort of front opening enclosure that would be good to house them in until they grow out enough for bigger enclosures.

They’re only about a 1/4 inch thick, and 16 inches long. SO a 33 gal or higher would be way too big and they’d escape.

I’d ideally like a front opening, just so trying to hand tame them is a bit easier since theyre both a bit shy/not super tame.

The smallest I see for front opening is 12 x 12 x 12 and im just not sure thats too big or too small…


I have both of mine in exo terra 36x18x18 since i got them. They were only a few months old at the time. Never had any escapes, and both are thriving for almost 2 years in them. I also live in Florida, both are Florida kingsnakes. I have uth set at 85 for their warm subterranean hide, and the ambient air is based on my apartment temp. 78 during the day and 70 at night. Their enclosure is also all bioactive.


Welcome to the hobby! You’re absolutely right that being escape-proof is THE primary consideration for young colubrids. It doesn’t take much of a gap for them to be gone, and it doesn’t matter how dialed in one’s husbandry is if there’s no snake in the viv.

You’ll get different thoughts about the size you need. In my experience, confident youngsters can thrive in escape-proof adult-size enclosures. You’re specifically asking about a smaller size to be able to get hold of them with less of a chase, which makes sense. The general rule of thumb is that the snake’s length shouldn’t exceed the length of two adjoining sides. 12+12=24, which is longer than 16. That’s workable now. Young snakes grow fast, so it won’t be ideal for long. Many young colubrids do enjoy climbing, so they may make use of the vertical space if you put in things for climbing. That effectively gives them more usable space so they’re okay in that space a bit longer. Of course, climbing branches and such can make it more challenging to get hold of the snake.

Long answer shorter: 12x12x12 will work as a temporary tame-down bin. They’ll outgrow it before long, but with consistent handling, by the time they do, they should be much more accustomed to you.

Hope that’s helpful!


Oh sweet! I wanted to move them into a 36x18 but I wasn’t sure how the gaps would work for these guys. That’s a huge relief! I can for sure set something up for em! I didn’t even think about a subterra hide. I think they’d love that loads honestly!

thank you so much for the advice! Our end game is a bioactive set up, so its great to know its possible LOL



This is super super helpful! We’ve been doing as much research as possible, and our collection has rocketed in the past couple months LOL

My immediate goal is to tame them a bit better, and I know chasing em in a big enclosure would have the opposite effects! I’m glad for the confirmation lol

When they get big enough to…not escape super easy…our goal is to have them in a 4 x 2 x 2 since they get to be pretty sizable, active snakes. We have a 36" for when they out grow the baby tanks, and we can definitly utilize the space in a 12 x 12! Thank you so so much for the advice! By the time they outgrow this one, i’m hoping they wont be nearly as flighty!


They enjoy a deep substrate for tunneling. My female prefers to remain hidden. While my male will spend most of his time crusing. The only issue i had was the gap between the lid and the inside of the tank. When they were small, they were able to wedge themselves in there, but they couldn’t escape. Scared me when i was trying to find them and then saw them chilling there.


Happy to share. Sounds like you’ve got a very workable plan.

You know you can’t say stuff like this without further explanation, right? Also, there’s the MM “picture tax” which will need to paid when convenient. :grin:


Good point about the substrate. They do like tunneling.


OH yeah! Both of ours are females; and ive learned that the spicy one actually loves burrowing more than the shy one! We’re trying to observe and set up their big girl tanks with their preferences LOL


Thank ya!

OH say no more; Im happy to oblige LOL
We started a few months ago with a rescued Crested Gecko, and then we rescued a pac man froglet(who is driving me nuts), and then I inherited my moms ball python, we adored him…we got 2 more of our own…and then someone offered us these girls, a florida kingsnake and a cali king/corn snake hybrid…and then someone ‘gifted’ us a western hognose…

and then someone “gifted” us a pair of leopard geckos, and a blue tongued skink LOL

We’ve been nose deep in researching the past month for all these critters. I dont know how we became the local reptile rescue, but here we are! We only voluntarily got two of them :joy:


Wow, what a nifty collection! You are definitely gifted to care for all of them well. :heart: