When it comes to caging for your ball python you’ve got a few options to consider depending on what size ball python you have and what your particular goals are. If you’re looking to keep a single ball python as a display animal then I’d suggest getting some type of plastic cage designed specifically for reptiles. If you’re looking to keep a more and one animal and possible even breed your ball pythons someday I’d recommend getting a rack system.
Lets talk more about keeping a single ball python as a display animal. For one, ball pythons don’t make very good display animals (even though they are very beautiful) simply because they are nocturnal by nature and prefer total darkness. With that, if you put a ball python in a display cage inside of a bright room that animal is going to quickly become stressed out and miserable which will quickly lead to feeding issues as well as other health issues. If you provide the animal a hiding space to prevent these issues then you’ll never see the animal unless it’s late at night so you defeat the purpose of having this animal on display.
If you must use a display cage just be sure it’s escape proof and it doesn’t have too much ventilation. Also, whatever you do don’t buy or use a heat rock! Heat rocks are very dangerous as the heating element isn’t regulated. With that, heat rocks have been know to kill animals due to severe burns or even cause electrical fires. For a heating source I suggestion some type of heat pad designed specifically for reptile cages with a thermostat attached to maintain a consist heat supply. Also, follow the directions on the head pad very closely and never place any type of heat source inside the tub.
Now if you have interest in keeping a few animals a rack system like the one pictured to the right you’ll quickly see that this is an excellent way to maintain your ball python in an adequate micro environment. The reason why rack systems work so well for ball pythons is they mimic their natural environment in a variety of different ways. For one, they are not illuminated so the inside of these tubs stay pretty dark even if the room has the lights on. Keeping your ball python from receiving exposure to bright light is a great stress reliever, being that they spend the majority of their lives
underground. Also, these racks are easy to heat and maintain humidity inside the tub because airflow is limited. I do typically melt holes in my tubs for some airflow but I’m careful not to overdo it because cold drafty air can quickly lead to respiratory infection. Placing the thermostat probe directly onto the heat tape and setting the thermostat to a temperature of around 88-90 degrees should give you a warm spot of 85-87 degrees with the cooler end of the tub around 78-80 degrees. Just to make sure your thermostat is dialed in correctly use a temperature gun to double check your temps about once a month or so.
If you have any other questions regarding ball python caging, please submit a question on the question and answer page and I’ll do my best to give you a detailed reply.