Rosy Boa Surprise

Soooooo some of you may know that I have been wanting a Rosy. I put that aside to focus on my gargoyles instead, but tonight my boyfriend has informed me that SURPRISE!!! You’re going to be a snake mama!

He bought me a Rosy boa.

That being said, I’m slightly freaking out. I have never been a snake owner and I am unprepared.
Yes, I have done lots of research, but I would like someone experienced to give me more information. When we get it, what should I be expecting? I have supplies for it already, several hides, moss, aspen bedding, and something to climb. Of course a water dish. I’m planning on going bio active, but as this was a surprise, it’ll have to wait. I know to wait two weeks before I start handling and two days to handle after a feeding.

Seriously, any information would be great from the Rosy boa owners out there.


You don’t need any extra humidity at all so don’t have a large water bowl or moss. Bioactive won’t work given you need isopods and springtails that need moisture. They are a desert species and high humidity can make them sick very quickly. I have found my rosy boa eats better at a max temp of 86°F. Any higher and she isn’t active, which makes sense given they hide during the hot parts of the day. @mnroyals I believe they have owned rosy boas as well.


Literally everything I have read says they need a little bit of humidity. As for bio active, it’s doable, there are isopods from Spain that can handle the temperatures, and again, everything says they need some. I think 50% humidity.

Not over 40% in most cases (most homes have higher humidity than that unless you live in a dry region). The small bit they need will be provided in the form of a water dish. Bioactive level humidity won’t end well with a rosy. Given how often they need fed (once every 2-4 weeks depending on snake size is best as they have slow metabolisms) bioactive isn’t really needed since spot cleaning is easy.

Well, that does bum me out quite a bit. I’d love to plant some succulents (no pokey ones) and have an earthy substrate and not the aspen bedding. Of course, not at the risk of the snake.

Congrats on becoming a snake mom! And you really picked a awesome species to go with.
Rosy boas are so calm and gentle snakes.

But I would suggest to not go with a bioactive enclosure. That style of enclosure would create far to much humidity as @ashleyraeanne mentioned. Rosy’s do well around 40% relative humidity. Also 86 degrees is a good warm spot on the hot end, ambient I would shoot for 78-80 at most. They are nocturnal by nature and come out when it’s cooler.
If you have problem feeding it can be caused from high humidity, hot temperature on the warm side exceeding 89 degrees, cold temperatures falling below 72-74 on the cool end, and over handling as babies just to name the most common.
Aspen is a good choice, but until your rosy is bigger, I’d recommend paper towels. Impaction from substrate when they are small can be fatal. Or just feed them in a clear setting like flip a hide over and feed them in there. They can drag their prey through the substrate and that’s a pain, trust me lol.
Overall shoot for a desert style enclosure without the blistering heat of the desert. Rocks, pvc hidden under the aspen, small water bowl, hides and fake plants and you’re good.


Thank you! I’m excited, just really worried.

Ok… And a lot of my reading says to use heating pads and not ceramic heaters. I’ve always thought ceramic heaters to be superior, is this not the case with rosys?

They do better with belly heat as they aren’t natural baskers. I personally keep my rosy using ambient heat during the summer due to the room temps being perfect for her. A small UTH with a quality thermostat (I use JumpStart and never go cheaper) is best if you don’t have the ability to control individual room temps. Ceramic heaters can often be hard to control the temps on and it gets hot quickly with them as well.

With the gargoyle geckos we keep the place @ 74° F to about 78°F, with tank temps reaching 78°F to 80°F. 74 is our night time temperature, occasionally it gets that low in the day because I am too hot at the higher temps. It’s never for long, and the tank temps only drop to 76 if at all.

I would opt for a UTH. CHE will most likely get to warm as they will be hiding a lot of the time. To reach the desired temp below the substrate, the CHE would have to be hotter on the surface which could cause issues.
But if you find that way works for you, that’s ok. I just use belly heat for all my snakes and find it works the best for most species.

The room I keep her in has a day high between 84-87°F and a low of 74-78°F. Sometimes it can get to 72°F as a low if the temps outside drop suddenly, but that is just like natural variation for the weather in the wild.

Hmmm yeah, as of right now, the entire place is just set up for the gargoyles. I don’t have a room to individually set the temperature. I have a UTH heater somewhere, a Zoo Med, I believe. I got it second hand and never used it.

You should be fine with those room temps. My reptile room is between 74-80 on any given day depending on the season. As long as the temps in the rosy boa enclosure meet the correct parameters, you’ll be fine.
Just try and have her setup running for a week or two so you can adjust accordingly before you settle her into it.

Oh, that would have been nice, but we’re getting her tomorrow, I believe. I can start the tank tonight though.

Do I need to do anything with the aspen? I imagine I don’t wash it, that doesn’t seem right at all, lol.

Nope, nothing should be done with the aspen. Just make sure you get a thermostat to regulate the UTH. It can kill your snake with how hot it gets without a thermostat. The JumpStart brand is the lowest price one I can recommend, others are of questionable quality and can fail more often. This is also why you need to have the enclosure cycled for a few days at least, because even good thermostats could fail.

You got it. Getting on Amazon now.

Oh, lighting. Recommendations? I have some mini halogens and a big ole desert lightbulb Reptisun uvb.

I don’t use anything special for lighting. Just ambient light from the room. They are nocturnal so lights can stress them, much like with BPs. They also don’t need UVB like most snakes. You don’t want anything that will make it hotter in the enclosure as well.

I knew they didn’t need uvb, gargoyles are nocturnal too, but, they do like the light and it doesn’t harm them. Some think it’s beneficial and some gargoyles like to bask.

Gargoyle geckos/lizards are a lot different than rosy boas and snakes so don’t try to apply your knowledge of them to a rosy boa. My rosy boa avoids light like the plague and doesn’t come out from hiding at all with it on (unless it is feeding time or she is hungry). As stated, they do not bask in the wild because daytime temperatures would kill them in their natural habitat. Once the light comes out they hide. As stated, it can cause undo stress just like with ball pythons and other nocturnal snakes. Ambient light from the room it is in is all that is needed so it has a day/night cycle. What size of enclosure are you using btw? And how old is the rosy?

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20 gallon long is prepared, however, I have a 10 gallon and an 8 gallon. Baby, I think.

ETA:: I realize that the 20L may be way too big, but I haven’t seen the snake. The 8 gallon can be very quickly switched to active.