Bioactive Tank setup

I am planning to set up a bioactive tank for my young adult ball python. I’m using a mixture of scotts top soil, sphagnum moss, and ABG mix for the substrate. I’ve been doing a lot of research and have seen some people use a drainage layer and some that don’t. I do plan to put live plants in this enclosure so wanted opinions on doing the drainage layer myself. Also, what light would be the best to use as a grow light? Doing this on a budget by the way, thanks.

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So I personally would do a drainage layer. While many people use just screen, I wouldn’t as with larger animals there is a chance that they could push the screen out of the way and possibly get stuck under it. What I would do is create a platform out of egg crate that fits snugly in the enclosure. attach some screen to it with zip ties and place it on top of your drainage media. remember to let your enclosure grow in for a couple months before placing your ball python in as well! we would love some progress pictures along the way!

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An LED shop light will work perfectly fine with your everyday houseplants. I would not spend much on plants for a heavy body snake like a BP. Ensure alot of time for it to establish itself before adding an animal.

A drainage layer would be beneficial as mentioned above, you can use egg crate (Light diffuser) and that will give a barrier. Even if you wanted to add Leca under that just as we do with screen dividers.