Hello I’m new to the snake world. I’ve loved snakes ever since I was little. I’m looking into getting a ball python. I’m looking for some ideas in a good setup that’s not too bad on the wallet. I’m located in the Rock Hill Sc area.
Welcome to the community! For enclosures it would help if we knew what species of snakes you are looking to keep. For most to start I always recommend a simple plastic escape proof bin, with an under tank heat panel or heat tape on a thermostat. This helps you dial in the right temperature and humidity relatively easy. Then once you are comfortable with controlling the environment and the snake is thriving you can try more advanced/expensive types of cages if you wish.
Well a merry ho ho ho to you @grumpy_jm Grumpy and welcome to the forum! Definitely need to know the type of snake you are intending to house as @banereptiles Nathan stated. Then I would proceed as he suggested to get your animal started and it’s totally easy on the ole wallet! You can upgrade your setup as your snake grows.
Btw Grumpy, we all love pictures here so feel free to post away when you get your new snake!
Have to agree with @banereptiles. You can get a cheap storage bin from target (Ezy Storage is what I have used) for around $10-$20. (just need to drill some holes in it and possibly some in the lid as well)
Amazon has heat pads for under the tank with a control on it so you can adjust the temp, for around $12.(thess do not stick on, but you can secure it by taping the edges down on the surface you place the bin on.)
Coco husk chips for bedding.
Target sells cheap plastic bowls (I think it was 4 to a pack for under $5) use for water and the bigger ones you can cut the side open and use for a hide. Both of there are a soft plastic that you can cut with scissors.
No lighting is needed if getting a ball (or possibly another nocturnal snake.)
Hey hey! You’re getting some good advice here for a temporary/grow-out enclosure.
If you’re thinking of a ball python you want to really dig into a stellar permanent enclosure, the r/ballpython reddit has a really comprehensive enclosure setup guide in their info section. They go into a great deal of depth about lighting and heat and the rationales for different lighting/heat setups. Sadly I haven’t seen such comprehensive setup guides for other kinds of snakes around.
A really stellar adult setup for a mid-sized snake does get pricey though, so a temporary tub setup for a baby while you slowly build up the perfect adult enclosure as budget allows is a good middle ground. You can also tap things like craigslist for used enclosures and tank decorations on the cheap – as long as you’re really, really careful about thoroughly sanitizing stuff you get there. I’ve seen 4x2x2 PVC enclosures on craigslist for half or a third of the price of new, which shaves off a bunch of the cost of a good setup generally.
It really depends on what species/size snake you’re looking to get. That said, I’ll echo the opinion that latching plastic totes are the way to go if you’re looking to save money. They’re inexpensive and come in dimensions and sizes that will accommodate all but the largest snake species (and even the giants can be kept in totes as youngsters). Heat mats (with a thermostat) are going to be the easiest and cheapest way to heat those. It’s easy to add ventilation with a drill or soldering iron.
The main downside to the totes is that even the “clear” ones don’t offer very good visibility, so that makes it harder to observe your animal without taking the lid off. For that reason, it’s my preference to use the totes as baby enclosures and then get a nice PVC enclosure for the long-term adult enclosure. But that’s just my preference as a keeper. The snake won’t care, so long as whatever you use is the right size and is outfitted properly.
Glass aquariums are another option, as you can often find them used (or even on sale at a pet shop) very cheap. Glass aquariums aren’t ideal for every species, as they don’t retain heat and humidity as well as plastic/PVC (you also can’t easily add cross ventilation, which some species really need), but they offer excellent visibility. You might even be able to find some good deals on used PVC enclosures.
Welcome to the community, @grumpy_jm ! You’ve already gotten great ideas. I absolutely agree with getting a plastic tub initially. Easy to find, easy to manage, easy on the wallet. So… what kind of snakes are you looking to get?
I’m looking at the Ball Pythons right now. A little limited on space right now.
Thank you! So why is it that the first thing a new keeper wants to do is put a light on top of the ball python enclosure? It has such a drying effect.
Needing lights are miss leading.
-Stores tell you you need them so they make more money.
-Old time snake owners use to say you need them, but most found out later it is not needed. I think this was just mis information as it was still a new process. (I was one that use to think this, way way back in time).
-some still feel that it is needed for them to know the day cycles. This is not true.
-special lighting is also not needed.
These snakes are nocturnal and do not need light to survive. They know the time cycle just from the natural light, even as little as it might be. They eat things that have vitamin d in them so lights for this is not needed. These are robust animals that don’t need much, heat humidity, food, a secure place.
Lol, sorry, I really went off track on answering you.
Several reasons, stores push them into it, our normal thinking is everything needs light, and old outdated info.
Drying, yes, adding lights makes it really hard to get humidity correct. Stores will never tell you this. It cuts into their sales. Then when you come back they sell you more things to try and correct it.
Off track again…
My easiest setup and cheapest was a storage bin ($16), under tank mat with built in thermostat ($10). Water dish and hide was something I had laying around the house, paper towel bedding. And I still use this setup for temp use or needing to isolated something.
Amen Amen and Amen! Very well said and I do so agree Duane! Btw I worked at Petsmart in pet care for a short while so I know about the sales push!
Amen Amen and Amen Duane! Very well said btw!