Is a 40 gallon tank big enough for an Adult Ball Python?

So currently I have a Corn Snake (who’s gone awol but that’s a different post) but I have also been curious about having a Ball Python in the future.

Would a Ball Python require and bigger tank than a 40 gallon or would it be good for him/her? I’ve been researching but never found a clear answer.


Well imho there is no clear answer because there are so many opinions. Most anytime you research enclosures for a reptile you will get the recommended size that a reptile can live “comfortably” in but then you will most likely see “bigger is always better.” Which in most cases is true.

That said, imho, an adult male would be comfortable in a 40 gallon tank and probably most females that aren’t on the huge size as well. However if you get a baby, a 40 gallon would be way too large to start out with, as baby ball pythons need to feel safe and secure to eat.

I am a ball python keeper so I not just pulling this out of the air. I have a female that’s almost 2 years old and she is in a tub that’s equivalent to a 20 gallon right now and she has plenty of room.

There are others I am sure who will reply with opinions as well…… :blush:


It definitely depends on who you ask and the individual. I’m sure there will be some individuals that are perfectly content in a 40 gallon, while others definitely would need larger.

That’s not necessarily true! A 40 gallon could absolutely work for a baby, you just need to make sure it’s cluttered enough for them to feel comfortable in (and possibly block out the sides). This applies to any age. I know plenty of people who have put hatchlings into 4x2x2 enclosures and they did amazingly, absolutely no issues.

There will be individuals who do have a hard time transitioning into a larger enclosure (adults/older animals seem to have a harder time with this). You’ll need to work with the individual and find out what works best with them. They may just need to be slowly transitioned


I always start my little ones in small cozy tubs, but then again I am a tub person. I know there have been people who have posted here about their babies not eating while housed in huge enclosures, which is why I brought up the subject. However you certainly are correct that done right, babies can thrive in large enclosures that have lots of hides and clutter to make them feel safe! :+1::blush:


As mentioned above, it could be good for MOST males. Females, I would say maybe a bit bigger.

I say most because I am the owner of a 3000g male. He is larger than every female I own. Hahah.
So obviously, of the fit looks a bit tight, you can always look for something bigger later on.


Holy cow! 3000 grams is humongous! That’s crazy! :sunglasses:


When you’re talking 40 gallon usually that means a glass terrarium with mesh ventilation. I highly recommend getting a PVC 36L x 24W x 18H with a glass/acrylic front opening instead. The time/headache it will save you on dialing in humidity and temp is worth any difference in price.


This is so true! :+1:


Depends on who you ask, personally i would say no, i would recommend one that was at least about the length of the snake in length x 18 width x 24 height. My boy is currently just over 36 inches, he’s in a 36x18x24 and he’s doing pretty great, though i am considering getting him a 48x24x24 since two hides + a water bowl that fits his needs actually take up quite a lot of space. 18 also isn’t heigh enough imo cause they like climbing if you give them the chance, and having a nice thick layer of substrate helps with humidity. I personally like having a mesh top since having a lamp inside takes up too much space imo, but either can work.


Yes, a 40 would work. Not knowing how big it will get, you may have to replace it down the road (a few years from now). Then again, if you take it out often for time to stretch and move around, you could use it forever.

Glass is harder to get setup. Some shortcuts from outer That have used them,
Plan on covering 80% of the top mesh to help hold in heat and humidity.
Use under tank pad on some sort of thermostat.
A single light fixture sitting on to (covering the remaining open area) is all you need.
Place a second water bowl on the hot side with bedding in it and water to help keep humidity up longer.
Covering the sides and back will help it feel secure and also could help with temps.
If not wanting to eat, you can cover the front during feeding time, so it is not distracted.


Its definitely possible and IMO it will be fine for one ball python in its lifetime. Just understand it will be harder to keep humidity in a glass aquarium. Ive done it for decades so it can be done but I prefer enclosures meant for reptiles with heat tape.


I never had a humidity issue when I started off with a ball python in a glass aquarium. I used reptichip and was able to have it maintain correctly throughout the whole time he lived in the aquarium, before I decided to give breeding a try. Here is what my setup looked like:

I would say if you planned on going the aquarium route with a ball python I’d make sure you did your research about all that’s needed AND get a male ball python (since they won’t grow as large as a female). I have this photo saved on my phone that I jacked from someone on the forms (sorry lol, I don’t remember who) and it’s a great guide to use as far as an example of what to go for!


I could never keep humidity steady in aquarium style tanks compared to my acrylic enclosures no matter the bedding I used but it still worked. I just found it much easier in tubs/pvc enclosures. I still like to be able to look at the pythons moving about in the glass tank much better than the pvc enclosures so i still have one up. I find myself having to mist more often but thats no issue in the long run. Your set up is beautiful to say the least👍On another note, our male ball python has a thing with with constantly tipping over his water bowl, I swear he waits for me to fill it. I put a large tupper ware bowl full of water under CHE and that definitely helped humidity


Thank you all for the information!! I apologize for not replying to them, i recently got a new phone and it won’t let me download the community app for some reason.

I will definitely keep this in mind! My glass tank is front opening with a mesh top but i could cover the top with the heat tape mentioned.

I don’t feel comfortable getting a female snake of any type considering I’m newer to the community and I would have no clue what to do with the eggs or if she became egg bound. I would probably panic :sweat_smile:


Just want to throw one thing out there, you just need to cover the top with foil, plastic, blanket to keep hest and humidity in. Please do not cover it with heat tape. If using heat pad and need more heat, use a heat lamp resting on top on an incoved part.

For the front, tape up all vent holes.
Also you can use tape that is folded over onto itself as a gasket between the doors to help keep heat and humidity in.


You don’t want to block off ALL the ventilation. Only as much as you need. You do still need ventilation. Without it your animals are more prone to respiratory infections and mold is more likely to grow


This is true. Blocking the front won’t hurt, in fact, I had to do this to keep the correct settings. The top was 80% blocked. Just the area where the extra heat lamp sat and around it was open. If you are in a much higher humidity area, then this might be to much. You need to test to see waht works best with your environment.
As far as to much blocking can cause it to be to humid, with this setup, I also had to add an extra water dish to the got side to get the humidity up to standard. I never had and issues with to hot, to humid, scale rot, or health issues.
It all come down to testing and find wjat works for your setup.

Edit: keep in mind, there doos still have 3 sided open. The gasket between them just closes the big gap between them. Covering the vents beneath them is not an issue, as some don’t even have vents in them.