Best snake rack and thermostat combo?

What is the best and most accurate thermostat in your opinion/experience to use for snake racks? And what’re the best racks to use?

I’m thinking about buying a VE 300 Thermostat along with a VE Super 70 Series II 5 tub rack.

I like that you can buy more of these racks in the future to stack them on each other for a neat and professional appearance. Also the super 70 tubs are big so I can raise my snakes from hatchlings and never have to change their housing.

The the VE thermostats just seems professional looking and The price shouts quality to me lol that’s my take on that. I also like that I can buy all of it on one website at reptile basics.
I’m planning on breeding ball pythons. Is this a good setup to start off with?

Reptile Basics racks are great. I only have experience with 1 VE thermostat (I’ve been using a Vivarium Electronics VE200 for about 5 years now and it has worked beautifully the entire time (knock on wood). I do think you may be running into a headache going straight to the Super 70 rack with neonate animals. They really are BIG tubs. (I have a stack of 8 sitting in the garage about to be used in a rat growout rack). You may find yourself preferring to start them out in a VE6 rack.

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Is there a problem with housing babies in big tubs?

Younger snakes of some species have a tendency to not do as well in larger enclosures, ball pythons being one of them. They’ll stress out and likely refuse to eat.
You might be able to get it to work if you provide plenty of clutter, coverage, and of course hides.


Wow okay, I never knew that. Thanks bro. I think I’m gonna go ahead and buy the super 70 and clutter it. Thanks so much though for the heads up.

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You might want to look into herpstats over the VE. Both good stats but I’ve had a VE stop working accurately after only about 12 months. Both of my herpstat 2s have been working perfectly for a while. If you can afford them I would look into ars or freedom breeder racks as they are stainless and you never have to worry about them warping over time. PVC is a great option if your on a bit of a budget. Most PVC manufacturers also make racks that can hold different size tubs which is great for a small collection or when your just starting out. Good luck.

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“Best” is going to be subjective.

A large portion of the hobby will recommend Animal Plastics but I will NEVER buy from them again

CSerpents has been my go-to for racks, mostly because they are at the shows I frequent so it is convenient.

My preference for thermostats is HerpStat by Spyder robotics. Even their basic models offer proportional regulation and if they fail, they fail in the “off” configuration so your racks are not subject to a massive unregulated temperature spike


I have also had great luck with herpstat. I used Tall Grass Racks until they went out of business. I look for suspended tubs,(this is a preference, as long as the heat tape doesn’t rub against the tub, it is fine) belly heat and good workmanship in racks. I also like freedom breeder tubs,(very easy to purchase if you need a replacement)
I would use freedom breeder racks if I could afford them.

I have all Reptile Basic racks, I’ve had other brands but never used them and since sold them. The price is competitive and even the wait times arnt as bad as others. I’m using a few v2 and v6 racks right now that will eventually turn into hatchling racks/grow outs. I have a v6 Economy I bought used that holds heat well but my room doesn’t go below 75°. I’m going to order one more v6 but with solid sides to be more efficient. I just got a Super70 setup that’s for future adults. As for thermostats I only use Herpstats on all my animals for the safety features and quality. They’re expensive but they’re protecting my animals. I’ve heard good about VE Stats but I’ve also heard bad, I’ve never heard bad about Herpstats. I wouldn’t switch over to professional racks like FB or ARS unless you can commit to a strict room temperature.

I use both Herpstat and VE and haven’t had problems with either. I use ARS, AP, Reptile Basics, and C-Serpents racks, and I like them all. The only rack I’ve ever really not liked was PM. It was made of a very thin plastic and didn’t really hold heat well. It probably would have been ok for animals that didn’t require high heat.

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I personally have had 0 issues raising hatchling ball pythons in 70 series tubs. I provide a warm and a cool spot hide and that is it. They have all thrived. If you want to get one rack to cover a ball python from neonate to adult I wouldn’t hesitate to use a 70 series. Just plan on utilizing hides.

I personally wouldn’t go with reptile basics, AP, boaphile plastics, or any of those. Why? Inferior tubs. Freedom Breeder and ARS make the best tubs with the nod going to Freedom Breeder. There are rack builders that offer the same style plastic racks with those optimal tubs. I’d go for the built in cup holders as well. I got a rack in a month or two ago from “Next Level Displays” that holds 16 of the freedom breeder 10 series baby tubs (good for ball pythons up to around 750g) and it’s great.

I’d recommend a 5 tub FB 40 stack. The thinner tubs are more space efficient (compared to a 70), will hold adult females up to 2500g or more possibly, and will help them feel more secure. But again, if you wanted to go with a 70 series I think you’d be fine with hides but that size tub really isn’t needed until you have very large females. I’d still utilize hides for smaller animals in 40 series tubs.

There was another new rack builder that Olympus Reptiles was sponsered by after TGR went out of business called “Pride of Texas Rack Systems” but when I just searched for their page was taken down. I’m assuming they already called it quits.

For stats I would go with herpstat. I have herpstats that have been running without a single issue since 2003. They’re continuously improving the design and are widespread well regarded within the hobby.


I too have both Herpstat and VE thermostats. After using both for a while I am only getting Herpstats from now on. The Herpstats just have more useful features at too similar a price point. The controller also seems better tuned on Herpstats in my experience and I see less variation and overshoot compared to the VE.

All my racks so far are homemade, so can’t comment on rack brands. Next rack is going to be purchased though. So interested to read everyone else’s thoughts!

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Agreed on AP. People in this hobby seem to adore them and if you search through any of the old forums or FB groups, there are tons of people screaming “Ali is the BEST!”

I have AP products. They are solid and in a way, priced right. But the customer service is atrocious and the “moving to a new facility” story that they have been telling for the last 5 years is tired and lame. The first time I ordered a rack, I was told that the lead time was 4-6 weeks. At 8 weeks I had heard nothing. I emailed and was told that the CNC router was broken and they were waiting on a part. OK, that’s fine, but at least let your customers know!

Several years later, I ordered a pair of cages off of their “Quick Ship” (LOL) page. After 4 weeks, I had to call. I got my cages on the 5th week.

I know that good cage manufacturers are in demand and are often backed up. But this is a whole other level of ridiculous. Also I have had a suspicion for years that they prioritize large orders from big breeders over everyone else.

Its a good product, but I will probably never do business with them again.


Pride of Texas was impacted by hurricane Sally. They are finishing up current orders, then will start selling again.


Good post Ryan, but I wanted to know, when was the last time you used Reptile Basics tubs? The new design they use, the tubs are virtually impossible to tell from ARS tubs (all of my tubs are either RBI or ARS) The only difference I’ve seen is the handle on one of the short ends on the Reptile Basics sold tubs.

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Hey Randy! Cool to see you posting here man, brings me back to the good ol’ days when we regularly chatted in boa forums in the mid 2000’s.

Does reptile basics offer grey tubs with cup inserts like ARS/Freedom Breeder? Those are two relatively important factors for me these days focusing solely on ball pythons. Ball pythons are so much more space efficient compared to boas and optimizing efficiency is especially important as the number of animals goes up. For that reason I feel like cup holders are a must, no more spilled water bowls or wasted substrate. ARS and Freedom breeder they use different plastics as well. Urates seem to stick more easily to ARS tubs in my experience. Also, with the 40 and 70 series tubs the cup holders are placed too far forward in the ARS tubs. With Freedom Breeder tubs it is placed perfectly where you wont accidently throw rodents into it when feeding and also acts better as hot/colt barrier/hide. That’s why I like FB over ARS anyway. If reptile basics makes greyed out tubs with cup holders I’d put them into consideration as well.

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Why no to animal plastics? Not trying to start a fight, just want to know your reasons for your opinion