Where do small breeders keep their snakes?

I have three ball pythons and keep seeing awesome groups for good prices on MorphMarket consisting of a male and numerous females. I just don’t have the room for all of these snakes or the money to keep buying all of these tanks that don’t stack well. What do you guys use? Are there good rack systems I can use? Maybe just a standard metal rack and some large tubs? I just don’t know what these small breeders with maybe 20 or so ball pythons keep them. Do they just buy small rack systems and keep the snakes in poor condition, or are there actual good rack systems that they use?


I am trying not to be rude here but if you are having difficulty figuring out where to put 20 or so breeding stock ball pythons what are you going to do when these animals produce babies, maybe 6 to 8 at a time? With the first clutch alone you could easily end up with 28 animals total.

If you aren’t already familiar with how to keep a large quantity of ball pythons (I can tell this by your post), then you should take a step back and reevaluate your plans. If you will check out the number of ball pythons for sale on MM, there are 53,073. The market is saturated to the max. Unless you have adopters/buyers already lined up, or plan to do so, you are going to end up with more animals than you can afford to care for adequately. Between feeding and cage maintenance alone, you are going to have money problems. It sounds like you already do now.

Here’s another thing to consider and that is qualified reptile vet care, which you should already have lined up for the 3 animals you own right now. Do you have a qualified reptile vet? If not I suggest you do your research and find one ASAP. Btw, a reptile/exotic vet is a specialized practice and therefore can be very expensive.

So if I were you I would do the ethical thing and keep your 3 ball pythons and enjoy them as pets. You will save a lot of money, prevent a lot of headaches but most importantly you will not be contributing to an insanely over saturated ball python population.


Definitely not. A large female usually will drop around 10 eggs with 17 being the largest clutch I have heard of. And when you are starting out, some eggs will go bad during incubation.

As to answer the question, they use reptile racks. Breeders keep multiple different sized racks for different life stages. Here is a rack that would work well for 16 adults ARS Caging, Professional Caging for Professional Breeders. Reptile Breeding Systems and Rodent Breeding Systems: Caging: ARS Caging 8016-Original


I think Caron more meant that the starting group of ‘20 or so’ can easily become 28 as in babies that can’t be sold. I could be reading into it too much.

This is a bit of a rude remark to make right off the cuff. It is quite as easy for you to be keeping them in poor conditions even in a terrarium setup. And if you mean aquarium tank… that’s usually not a great recommendation for ball pythons either.

I fully agree with @caron
I think you really need to be doing more research and consideration for yourself before coming and throwing backhanded comments to the people you’re asking for help.
A good place for you to start is possibly this more recent thread regarding thoughts on vivs vs racks:


Isn’t that pretty much what you are saying you can afford? What conditions are you keeping your ball pythons in, in the “tanks” you are referencing? A metal rack and some large tubs doesn’t sound like a great plan.

Sounds like great advice.


So the number of animals on hand goes from 28 to 30. I was just giving a conservative number. Not every large female will usually lay 10 to 17 eggs. So my original estimate is Not a “Definite Not” Logan. But thanks for your expertise.

Thank you. I was just trying to give a low end conservative number of animals the op could end up with at one time

Edit To Add: This is one of the reasons I don’t hang around MM much anymore. There can be too much nit picking at times imo. But I couldn’t resist responding to the original post……


Sorry, it was late at night and I for some reason got the impression that you were saying that you could get 28 babies from a singular clutch.

And this is more in general but sorry if I haven’t been as “nice” as usual. It is the end of the marking period and I am stressing about it


So who ever said you were “nice”? :joy::joy::joy::joy:

No problem Logan. But I thought you always read and re read your texts before you posted them??? Stressing about a marking period…… I remember that! Only we called it the “grading period “ back in my day……

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I’m going to hope you guys are just misunderstanding what I’m saying and the reptile community isn’t just unwelcoming to new breeders. 80% of YouTubers and big time breeders I see are keeping these animals on newspaper with a single water dish in tubs that are obviously wayyy too small for them. My question is what are the breeders that aren’t posting to YouTube etc doing for these animals, are they also doing this, or is there a better way and what is it as I want to start breeding and I am not going to keep my animals like that but I also don’t want a $300+ enclosure for each snake. And btw I’ve been researching breeding snakes for years, had my ball pythons as babies and one of them is already 7 years old and I bought her with the intent of one day breeding her.

And another thing for those asking if I keep my ball pythons in poor conditions in their vivs, I don’t. They have massive water dishes, three hides, tons of cover, and lots of climbing enrichment. And the vivs are 4x2x2. And for those asking what I mean by large tubs, I saw one person on here keeping their ball pythons in 130-180 liter tubs. Essentially everything inside of what would be in a viv, as well as the enclosure itself not costing $300, more like $30. I’m aware that I will have snakes that don’t sell, because of this, I can assume breeders don’t buy $300+ enclosures for each one of those snakes and I doubt they’d have room for them considering it’s hard to find ones that stack well unless they are even more expensive PVC.

And one more thing, if you guys ARE keeping your reptiles in very expensive vivs then you can tell me that instead of just saying “do more research” or “just have pets.” I am willing to pull out my card if that is the best option, I am going into this with the intent of a hobby and fun experience as I always have and always will love snakes. I am most definitely not delusional enough to go into this expecting profit, I am well aware that this is a very expensive hobby and nobody makes money at least when they are just starting.


Thank you for the rack system, I have definitely looked into ARS. I wasn’t sure what the size limit really is though. I thought about the 9706-Original as it’s about a 4x2x1 which is the closest system I could find two a 4x2x2. The one you suggested is a little smaller, is this still suitable for large adult ball pythons. I always worry that my animals would be more surviving rather than living in their enclosures. I definitely want them to feel like they have enough room to move and aren’t totally cramped.

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If you prefer terrariums and your snakes are doing well in them, you can look into those wire shelving units. They come in a variety of sizes, are adjustable, and they can hold a lot of weight. And they’re not super expensive. Having a small rack for babies will probably be necessary, though.


For most, yes. it would work well for anything up to 5 feet. It is also a bit bigger than most breeders use for every adult. What you could do is get the 8016 for the majority of your animals and get the 9706 for your largest animals.

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Okay, sounds great. I always loved the idea of ARS, it’s nice to be able to buy a level or two as you need them. I just wanted to make sure I wouldn’t appear as someone like Brian Barczyk. As much as I liked the guy, his ball pythons could not fit in their tubs at all and they literally just had a piece of cheap deli paper and a single water dish. I couldn’t imagine being a snake and just sitting in the dark without being able to move for years.
That actually brings up one more question, do ARS racks support overhead lighting or would you recommend just installing a light strip above them and using that. I feel like they’d be too close to the top for UV that they’d get burned but I don’t want them to live in the dark. I definitely want to give them a day cycle.

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It’s hard to misunderstand when you are insulting a dead man now on top of being the one to generalize rack users as keeping animals in poor conditions.

I am one of those people who have “20 or so” animals and breeding. Your first post was fairly insulting to say that my animals are in “poor conditions” because many of them are kept in racks.
It’s fine to want to keep animals a different way but you can keep the negativity out of your questions.
And saying that the animals can’t move in their tubs is the silliest thing I’ve heard in a while.

That being said… It is also a very oversaturated market. There are over 50k ball pythons for sale at the moment. You should really have more of a plan for what you’re doing than having 3 posts about opinions on the same BEL animals and wanting to buy bargain groups.
It’s not about being unwelcoming. It’s being honest.


Look, I never said your animals are in poor condition in racks. What I said was that the big time breeders I see all have their animals in SMALL tubs with nothing but paper and a water dish. If your animals are kept like that then yes they are in poor condition. My question was asking for recommendations on good rack systems that are big enough to provide enrichment and proper bedding as well as let the animal stretch out and for recommendations on other ways to keep them as well, nothing insulting. And I am not insulting Brian really, he got me into reptiles when I was a little kid. I watched his videos every single day when they came out and he’s the reason I love banana morphs and ball pythons specifically so much. I cried when I found out he had cancer and I cried even more in his goodbye video. As much as I love the guy and know he loved his animals, it is impossible to look over the fact that his ball pythons had absolutely no room to move and lived in the dark, on paper, with nothing but a rat once a week and a water dish refilled every day. It really is sad because I refuse to hate the guy for it because he was practically my idol even though so many other do hate him.

I too keep around 20 animals that are in tubs and they all have ample room to move around. They also have the “proverbial enrichment “ in their tubs as well. On any given day my animals, upon inspection, will be found living in a clean environment with clean water, no stuck shed, and well fed. In addition none of my animals are strikers. All are handled weekly.


This forum is not unwelcoming in any way. However your first post was difficult to interpret. You indicated you had not a lot of money to invest but you were planning to buy animals in bulk and you were trying to figure out where to put them all. That’s what we had to work with.

If in fact you just want to breed ball pythons as a hobby and you have available funds to properly care for a significant amount of animals then by all means go for it. There will be plenty of people here to advise you all the way. Just remember that if you ask for advice you are going to get it, along with constructive criticism. The people here have a number one priority. The welfare of the animals. Period.

Now I still have an unanswered question for you. Do you have a qualified reptile vet lined up? I am assuming you do since you already have 3 ball pythons. If not, and you are going to breed, you absolutely have to have access to a vet. If you bring new life into the world and you have an issue with one of the babies you are responsible for any medical intervention required. Or if you have issues with a pregnant female you are responsible for any medical intervention needed.

Hope you figure things out Nathan.

And about your talk about the market. I am very aware that my snakes would take ages to sell if they ever do. I have bred reptiles before, I know how this works. I’ve just never bred snakes before. I’m allowed to have questions and when someone has questions and talks about wanting to take good care of their animals you don’t go talking about how they don’t have enough money for it and they should just own pets. You started somewhere and you had questions. And just because I say I want recommendations that don’t include 20 quart tubs for a 5 foot snake doesn’t mean I’m being negative. If you feel insulted by me saying that I want to keep my animals in large 130+ quart tubs where they can stretch out and enjoy themselves then you are not caring for your animals. You’re just keeping them alive.

I do apologize to everyone if my post seemed rude, it was not meant to be at all. I have absolutely no problems with animals being kept in racks. You are the exact people I wanted recommendations from as I explained in one of my posts. You have 20+ snakes and have a way to keep them with as you said room to move around. I guess I should have specified more that I don’t have a problem with racks at all, I am actually mainly looking at racks. I just really don’t know what ones to get as I’ve never had one before. And I also apologize if I made it seem like I didn’t have enough money for this hobby, I do, my post was more about the space that I stackable tanks require. And I was curious if you guys used racks or had shelving systems for your tanks. I appreciate the link to ARS and will most likely pick up one of those racks to house my pythons.


Where have I ever mentioned money?
All I said was about purchasing bargain animals, nothing about you only owning pets.

To answer your questions, I do have a vet. I have a professional reptile vet lined up and a herpetologist friend. I have had to deal with a serious respiratory infection on a ball python (was a rescue and it came like that) as well as a crested gecko refusing to eat (all good now) and a bearded dragon rescue from Petco that came with tail rot. All except the python are doing good, unfortunately he did pass away as he was young and malnourished by his previous owners. But yes I have a vet, and I do also very much care about my animals welfare, that is my top priority. Nothing matters more to me than keeping them healthy, happy, and alive.

Just an edit, I did indeed specifically choose this community forum as I had a good feeling that the people here would care about their animals and give me proper advice to make my life easier and keep my animals happy. I was right, can’t even imagine the type of responses I would have gotten from Reddit….

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