When bringing home a new ball python the first thing that should concern you is buying a proper enclosure. A proper enclosure with necessary setups is required for them to stay healthy. If you are searching the market to get the best enclosure, things might seem a bit confusing for you. So here are the 9 Best Ball Python Enclosures you can buy.
If you are here in a hurry to know just the best of the bests, our suggestion is to get the Zen Habitat Reptile enclosure. Among other unique features, it has a top humidity panel which totally sets this one apart from most other reptile enclosures in the market.
Although I have suggested the best one, I still recommend reading through this entire article. All the products described here are loaded with features. So, you never know which one is best suited for you.
Before I begin talking about the enclosures please take a look at the following table where I compare some key features of each of them.
|Zen Habitat Reptile Enclosure||120 Gallons||48 x 24 x 24 inches||Check Price|
|Carolina Custom Cages||Varies||Varies||Check Price|
|Exo Terra Terrarium||120 Gallons||41 x 23.5 x 28.7 inches||Check Price|
|Repti Zoo Reptile Glass Terrarium||68 Gallons||36 x 18 x 24 inches||Check Price|
|Zilla Critter Cage||47 Gallons||36 x 17 x 18 inches||Check Price|
|Zoo Med Double Door Naturalistic Terrarium||40 Gallons||36 x 18 x 18 inches||Check Price|
|Zilla Reptile Starter Kit||20 Gallons||23.75 x 14.5 x 17.75 inches||Check Price|
|Exo Terra Outback||14 Gallons||25 x 19.6 x 13.3 inches||Check Price|
|Exo Terra Faunarium||5 Gallons||14.5 x 8.7 x 9.8 inches||Check Price|
Top 9 Best Ball Python Enclosures
Here I’ve discussed some of the best ball python enclosures I could find in the market. I’ve discussed their features, pros and cons so that you can decide for yourself which would be best instead of just making a decision based on my opinion. So, without further ado, let’s get right to it.
1. Zen Habitat Reptile Enclosure
The Zen Habitat Reptile Enclosure is according to my experience the best enclosure for ball pythons that money could buy. Its 4’x2’x2′ dimension which is equal to almost 120 gallons is the perfect side for any ball python. Its sliding removable doors allow easy access to the inside.
The top panel has screen bars and grommets to support any add on you might want to install later. What sets the Zen Habitat Reptile Enclosure apart is the humidity shield. The 36 inches acrylic sheet that sits on top of the top panel helps to retain moisture and retain the required humidity.
- Manufacturer: Zen Habitats
- Dimensions: 48 x 24 x 24 inches
- Size: 120 Gallons
- Weight: 50 Pounds
Front-sliding doors: Approaching your pet from the top might stress them. In some ball python enclosures, that is the only option. Here in the Zen Habitat Reptile Enclosure, your ball python doesn’t have to be stressed out. The front door allows you to reach them from the front. Also, the sliding mechanism makes less noise.
Composite PVC panels: Allows for a high humidity environment without the disadvantages of glass aquariums.
Non-reflective surfaces: Sometimes the ball python’s own reflection freaks them out. Keeping that in mind, Zen Habitat has designed a non-reflective surface. This helps to reduce anxiety and stress, and stay calm.
Humidity Shield: Humidity is very important for the well-being of ball pythons. theOptional 36 inches acrylic sheet as the top panel helps to control humidity precisely. It also provides adequate ventilation.
Substrate Shield: All Zen Habitats come with an optional substrate shield for those who use loose substrate.
- Easy to assemble
- Huge size
- Suitable for a variety of species
- Flat packed to prevent any damage
- The stylish look matches any interior
- Acrylic panels are easily scratched
2. Carolina Custom Cages
The Carolina Custom Cages comes in 18 different models. So, you can choose whichever suits your ball python best. If you are thinking of getting a smaller one and later switching to a larger model, Carolina Custom Cages have got it all. Their models start from 24” L and go as big as 72” L. But I’d recommend you buy the biggest one you can afford from the start.
The 24” L and 36” L models have hinged doors while the 48” L and 72” L models feature sliding doors. Also, their signature ‘bio deep’ models have a waterproof base in case the filtration malfunctions.
- Manufacturer: Carolina custom cages
- Dimensions: Varies
- Size: Varies
- Weight: Varies
Easy assembly: Carolina custom cage enclosure is huge. But that doesn’t make the assembly rocket science. All of the models are super easy to assemble. The manufacturers thought about the general consumer base and made the assembly procedure as easy as it can be. Plus, a user manual is included for the convenience of customers.
King-sized: Some of the Carolina custom cage enclosures are humongous. They are as big as you would want. Huge size and dimensions allow you to have freedom in terms of decoration. You can put as many hideouts or UV lights as you see fit.
Escape Proof: Ball pythons look slow and lethargic. But they are master escape artists. With Carolina custom cages, you won’t have to worry about that anymore. All of their models have lock and key features that make your ball pythons wandering out impossible.
- Different models
- Ample space inside
- Easy to assemble
- Excellent after-sales service
- Lock and key feature
- The key is small and easy to lose
- Glass finishing might feel uneven
- Some customers complain of the size being smaller
- Some models can be defective due to poor quality control
3. Exo Terra Terrarium
Exo Terra glass terrarium is admired by many reptile enthusiasts. This enclosure was specially designed and engineered by European herpetologists. They are highly versatile as they come in all sizes, shapes, and with many features. They have a wide range of terrariums suitable for any reptile species.
Exo Terra Terrarium comes with a nature themed background. So, your pet ball python is more likely to feel at home. They come in 12 different models and are loaded with exciting features that are sure to come in handy. Exo Terra Terrarium enclosures have various optional accessories and decoration items. Also, closable inlets for wires and tubes, make cable management easier.
- Brand: Exo Terra
- Dimensions: 41 x 23.5 x 28.7 inches
- Size: 120 Gallons
- Weight: 81 Pounds
Extended surface: Their surface is more extended than traditional aquariums. This gives the ball python extra space to dwell. Also, you have additional space to decorate, tube management, heat pad installation, etc.
Removable screen top: The screen top allows the passage of sunlight and fresh air. It is completely removable for convenient cleaning and decoration of the tank. The top is attached to the cage with a secure lock. Also, the screen top has additional inlets for water tubes and electric cables.
Specially designed lock: The lock is specially designed without keys. So, you can open it anytime you want. You won’t have to ransack the entire house to search for the key. Plus, kids and children can’t open it due to its intricate nature.
Double door: The Exo Terra Terrarium features double doors. So, the cage can be opened wide for decorations, spraying, or any minor repair. It’s worth knowing that you can do all these tasks with only one door open. These doors come in both pivoting and sliding models.
Chamber for heater: The bottom panel of the enclosure features a hollow chamber. There you can place any heater, heating cables or any other heating accessories. This chamber is usually used for heat pads. Also, the panel gets adequate ventilation because of this chamber.
- Double door to prevent escape
- Detachable top
- Specially designed keyless lock
- Heat pad chamber
- Designed to facilitate filtration
- Various optional useful accessories
- Fragile glass
- Too heavy
- Hinges and latches are weakly built
- The door hinge and the sidewall have a big gap
4. Repti Zoo Reptile Glass Terrarium
The Repti Zoo terrarium focuses on making excellent glass enclosures. This brand is preferred by many herpetologists and reptile enthusiasts. Its waterproof bottom panel makes it suitable for both desert reptiles and rainforest reptiles. It also features a raised bottom panel to accommodate heat pads or any other heating elements.
It’s easy to assemble and has good ventilation. The front doors can be opened as wide as you want for cleaning and other chores. Inlets for tubes and wires give the enclosure a sleek look. Furthermore, Repti Zoo’s customer-oriented service guarantees free replacement of any parts broken during delivery.
- Manufacturer: REPTI ZOO
- Dimensions: 36 x 18 x 24 inches
- Size: 68 Gallons
- Weight: 62 Pounds
Simple assembly: Repti zoo has emphasized hassle-free assembly since it’s a complaint of many consumers. It can be assembled or taken apart in only 5 minutes by following their step-by-step tutorial.
Meticulous packaging: Many glass enclosures get damaged during transportation. Faulty packaging is to blame here but manufacturers do not take that responsibility. Repti zoo packs every product with cardboard and extra reinforcements to make sure that you get your desired product unscathed.
Terrarium stackers: Repti zoo has terrarium stackers which are sold separately. These stackers are very handy to put multiple terrariums on top of each other. You won’t have to worry about the cages falling apart or anything. The stackers keep them in place.
Safety lock: You can keep the doors locked to prevent escape. Also, if you have kids in your house, this lock and the key feature will keep them at bay.
Useful accessories: Repti zoo offers lots of accessory items to decorate and set up the enclosures. The best part is that these accessories are customized for these particular enclosures and can be purchased at a discount if bought together.
- Spacious interior
- Easy assembly
- Well ventilated
- Raised bottom panel
- Well packaged to prevent damage
- Build quality is questionable
- Difficult to assemble alone
5. Zilla Critter Cage
This small and concise package is adored by many pet owners and reptile enthusiasts. Zilla Critter Cage is suitable for both desert and tropical reptiles. Because of being small, there is no setup process. You can simply buy it from the store, decorate accordingly, and put your ball python inside.
The top panel features slide-opening and has a lock mechanism for the safety of your ball python. Brackets for hanging water dishes and other accessories give this cage a nice touch. Ports and inlets for cables provide a minimalistic and neat look. Though on the smaller side it can easily fit a medium to large sized ball python comfortably.
- Manufacturer: Zilla
- Dimensions: 36 x 17 x 18 inches
- Size: 47 Gallons
- Weight: 44 Pounds
Sliding top panel: The top panel can be opened by sliding. It makes the opening and closing very convenient for daily chores. The locking feature prevents the unwanted departure of your ball python. Plus, the mesh panel ensures proper ventilation.
Ports and inlets: No more haphazard tube and wire management. You can keep the wires in place using the specific inlets. These inlets are placed precisely where tubes run through for easy management.
Secured front door: The front panel can be locked permanently. This feature is added in case you leave your house for a few days or if kids crash at your house. You don’t have to worry about losing your pet anymore.
- Secure top panel
- Lock available for both front and top panel
- Ports for convenient cable management
- Suitable for various types of reptiles
- No assembly required
- It may not be suitable for large ball pythons
- Replacement parts are scarce
- May contain carcinogens (styrene)
6. Zoo Med Double Door Naturalistic Terrarium
This naturalistic piece of art soothes your surroundings. They have dual front doors and a stainless-steel top panel. So, you won’t have to worry about your cage getting rusty. Front and top panels provide adequate ventilation. These exclusively built in USA enclosures ensure maximum quality and durability.
The doors can be locked for safety. Power cord and exit slots for tubes are also added to facilitate decoration.
- Manufacturers: Zoo Med
- Dimensions: 36 x 18 x 18 inches
- Size: 40 Gallons
- Weight: 53 pounds
Rust Proof: The top panel and the front doors are made of stainless steel. And we all know that stainless steel is great for keeping rust away.
Snap door: Snap door means easy open and closure of the doors.
Lock feature: Both front and top panels can be locked. With this you don’t have to worry about your ball python escaping anymore.
- Stainless steel build
- Made in the USA
- Doors can be locked
- Build quality could be better
7. Zilla Reptile Starter Kit
The Zilla Reptile Starter Kit is one of the best enclosures for ball pythons. It’s slightly smaller but excellent for both enthusiasts and beginners. It’s just a plain rectangular box that requires no assembly. It comes with two dome-shaped lights attached to the top. These lights provide light and also work as a heat source for ball pythons.
A black bulb delivers the required warmth without disturbing your pet. The white colored bulb provides heat for the daytime. A built-in temperature and humidity reading gauge allows you to monitor the internal environment closely and take necessary measures. It comes with a specialized carpet that fights odors emitted from the snake’s excrements. The cage is a bit small for fully grown ball pythons but for small to medium ones it is just perfect. This is a great little temporary cage for you to get started with owning a ball python.
- Manufacturer: Zilla
- Dimensions: 23.75 x 14.5 x 17.75 inches
- Size: 20 Gallons
- Weight: 17 Pounds
Anti-odor Carpet: It comes with a biodegradable odor fighting carpet. So, you won’t have to fight the odors from the ball pythons’ bodily excretions and whatnot. The specialized carpet will do it for you. Also, it is harmless to your pet.
Comes with Heating and lighting: Light and heat sources are two of the key components when setting up the terrarium. Luckily Zilla Reptile Starter Kit has both of them. It comes with a Black Incandescent bulb and a white bulb for both daytime and nighttime basking.
- Great for hatchlings and juvenile snakes
- Great for beginner snake owners
- Comes with heat and light source
- The odor-fighting carpet
- Included thermometer often malfunctions
- Not large enough for adult snakes
8. Exo Terra Outback
The Exo Terra Outback is great for juvenile snakes. It comes with front window ventilation so your snakes get adequate air.
It has a hand-painted rocky background to give it a natural look. Dual door design prevents escape while stainless steel top ensures durability. Inlets are also included to get rid of messy cable management.
- Manufacturer: Exo Terra
- Dimensions: 25 x 19.6 x 13.3 inches
- Size: 14 Gallons
- Weight: 36.81 Pounds
Front Doors: It has a dual door design in the front. As mentioned before the front doors allow you to reach in from the side of your ball python which is the more preferred method.
Hand-painted background: The hand-painted rocky background is a unique feature. It gives the cage an all-natural jungle look making your cage a bit more interesting instead of just being bland and empty.
- Good for baby to juvenile snakes
- Good as a temporary cage
- Excellent background
- Not suitable for adult snakes due to its small size
9. Exo Terra Faunarium
The Exo terra faunarium is a plastic built enclosure suitable for baby ball pythons as temporary shelter. While it is not suitable for adult snakes as permanent shelter, it is great for transporting them from one place to another. Such as for carrying them to a vet.
The top panel has a small window. This allows easy removal and placement of the snakes. If you are looking for a good carrying case for your ball python this is the perfect cage to get.
- Brand: Exo Terra
- Dimensions: 14.5 x 8.7 x 9.8 inches
- Size: 5 Gallons
- Weight: 1.66 lbs.
Great as a temporary enclosure: Due to its plastic build and affordable price, it can be used as temporary housing for baby ball pythons.
Great for transportation: If you are moving from one place to another, this small cage can work as a great transportation medium for even adult ball pythons.
Easy cleaning: It’s made from plastics so durability is unquestionable as it’s not fragile as other glass builds cages. So, you can clean it anytime, any way you want without worrying about scratching or breaking it.
- Small package and easy to carry
- Best for transporting baby ball pythons
- Best as temporary housing
- Easy to clean and disinfect
- Plastic build
- Cheap build quality
- The opaque orange or brown tint
- Not good for adult snakes
- Not good as a permanent terrarium
What to Look for In A Ball Python Enclosure – Buying Guide
When looking to buy ball python cages, there are some crucial parts you must look into. Here are the features you must look for when buying your first ball python tank:
The size of the enclosure is often trivialized. Not only by new pet owners but also by many enthusiasts. Many people think that, as ball pythons are a bit sluggish in nature, they don’t need that much space. Just enough food and light will do. In reality, it’s quite different. Ample space is crucial for the ball python’s well-being.
A minimum of 30-gallon tank is required for adult ball pythons. But 40 gallons is recommended. For hatchling to juvenile, a 5-20-gallon tank is needed. Baby ball pythons need a smaller enclosure because if it’s too big to be comfortable, they might feel insecure and get stressed. The same thing applies to adult ball pythons. The enclosure shouldn’t be excessively large.
The dimension of the enclosure is equally important as the volume. All three dimensions should be adequate for the snake to reside comfortably. Even though they climb on trees, they are mainly land-dwelling creatures. So, the length and width are more important than the height.
There are different measures for hatchlings, juveniles, and adults. However, a general rule is the length of the enclosure has to be twice the size of the snake. And the width should be half of the snake’s length. They tend to climb up, so their height should be at least one foot to 18 inches.
As for individual measurements, the dimension for hatchlings should be 20 x 11 x 13 inches. For juveniles up to 3 years old, the ideal dimension is 24 x 13 x 13 inches. For adults over 3 years old, the dimension is 30 x 12 x 12 inches. The female adults require more space. Their ideal dimension is 36 x 18 x 18 inches.
Click here to learn how you can tell the age of your ball python.
Note that these figures are not absolute. They can vary accordingly and that’s okay as long as the general rule is being followed.
The enclosure material is important. It plays an important role in temperature maintenance, humidity control, cleanliness, various health issues like mold growth, mite infections, etc. Considering all these reasons, glass made enclosures are highly popular and recommended. Enclosure maintenance, heat and humidity control require little to no effort.
Controlling the temperature gradient is very easy in glass enclosures, thanks to their thermodynamic properties. As glass is transparent, you can see what’s going on inside and interact with your pet. Due to the circulation of heat and light, the interior remains dry naturally. They are durable, easy to clean, and available.
Glass enclosures also have some downsides. They are heavy so difficult to move from place to place. Also, careless handling can cost you the entire thing as they are highly fragile. Glass enclosures are expensive as well. Some glass enclosures do not have any add on feature. This also might prove to be trouble later.
Plastic enclosures are very popular for these reasons. They have all the benefits of glass enclosures, minus the downsides. Plastic enclosures are lightweight, cheap, and easy to handle. Also, they have a decent build quality so you won’t have to worry about durability. The only problem that you might face is less availability.
In recent times, wooden cages and homemade customized cages are becoming popular. Wooden cages give a natural feeling. So, the snake is more comfortable. These homemade enclosures can be customized as you like them. And thus, the price and other attributes may vary.
Durability is a major issue as these enclosures don’t come cheap. You would not want them to break after a year or two. There are two main reasons; one: the money and two: the sheer amount of labor that goes into preparing the terrarium.
The enclosures might need to be moved to another room. Poor durability can cause problems in such cases.
When preparing the terrarium, lots of things need to be attached to the interior of the cage. Some built-in add-ons shall make your life a lot easier. Under tank heating, sliding door, substrate shield, etc. are some add-on’s that might be available in expensive models. Also preinstalled fixtures for light, cord ports are some essential accessories.
However, these are not mandatory. I have mentioned these features here because having them ease things up in the future. Just keep in mind that the top design and hides matter the most, other than size and dimension.
Specific humidity and temperature are required for the well-being of ball pythons. There are ways to control humidity. You can open or close to ensure there is adequate humidity inside the cage.
Now, you would need a hygrometer like the Jlenoveg Hygrometer to measure how much humidity is inside your ball python terrarium to properly use the humidity panel.
Another reason to rethink the top panel design is accessibility. If the enclosure you are buying has only a top panel to reach your pet, try not to get that one. Reaching them from above might freak them out. The natural predators of ball pythons are birds which swoop down from above. So, they are naturally tuned to be stressed by seeing something coming from above.
There are cages with front windows that allow you to reach in from the front or side of your ball python. Which is much less stressful for them.
Everything has a price. You can buy the absolute best ball python enclosure out there, but it will leave a dent in your wallet. So, balancing between price and performance is important, unless you have deep pockets. Then again, you can save money by going cheap. But you might regret it later.
The price can be anywhere between 50 dollars to 300 dollars and even more. Try to buy the best one you can within your budget.
Can A Tank Be Too Big for A Ball Python?
The size of the tank is a big issue that is often misunderstood. A bit earlier I have clearly stated the appropriate size of the enclosures according to the age of the ball python. Now, you might wonder, okay but what if it’s bigger? Can a cage be too big for my ball python?
The answer is yes, a tank can be too big for ball pythons. Especially for baby ball pythons. They can get stressed easily if they feel like they are out in the open.
Stress is bad for any living creature. They might stop eating which is detrimental to their health. For adult pythons, a slightly bigger cage is okay as long as there are enough hideouts and substrates. If they feel exposed, they’ll seek shelter in one of the hides. However, adult snakes too can feel insecure in time.
Many will debate that having decorations, substrates and hides will compensate for the excess size of the cage. But this nullifies the point of having a large cage. So, at the end of the, it’s just a waste of money. Following proper size guidelines is recommended for the best care of your ball python.
What You Should Consider While Making A Ball Python Terrarium?
The main part of petting a ball python is setting up the terrarium. 90 percent of your labor goes into it. Among others, some components are the most vital. I am going to discuss them briefly
Providing your ball python with a hiding place is very important when preparing the terrarium. A hiding place is necessary for many reasons. In the wild, they don’t live in the wide open. They prefer to tuck into small pits or hollow cavities. This gives them a feeling of safety and comfort. Ball pythons do not favor direct light. They spend the majority of their time in confinement.
Shedding is the most common physiological phenomena you will face with your ball python. They shed, usually once every 4-6 weeks. A proper hiding place is mandatory for shedding. You wouldn’t feel comfortable changing your clothes in front of people, would you? That’s exactly the case here.
At least two hides are recommended for each enclosure. One at each end of the temperature extremity. This is mandatory, the rest are optional. More hiding place means more comfort for your pet.
Note that, no specific temperature is stated as ideal for ball pythons. They require a range of temperatures to stay healthy. This range is called the temperature gradient or thermal gradient. Ball pythons are cold-blooded creatures. They seek sunlight or any source of heat when needed. So, there should be a point of higher temperature and another lower temperature point.
To maintain the gradient, we must know the maximum and minimum temperature that a ball python needs to survive. Procedure to maintain the gradient is also vital knowledge. The temperature gradient should be between 70° Fahrenheit to 85° Fahrenheit. To maintain the gradient precisely, you can use heat pads, halogen lights, etc.
A substrate is what you put on the floor of the enclosure. While it’s purely aesthetic to the viewers, it’s a critical part of setting up the enclosure. Substrates directly affect humidity and temperature. In turn, influencing the well-being of the ball python. So, choosing the right substrate is necessary as there are lots of different types of substrates.
Shredded aspen and orchid barks are really good for ball pythons. They maintain the temperature really well. Also, if the pet swallows them somehow, it isn’t fatal. Cypress mulch, coconut fibers are also superior substrates. Almost all of them serve the same purpose. The difference is in their price, availability, and preparations.
Cedar substrates, reptile carpets are contraindicated. Even though they are good at filtration and humidity maintenance, they are harmful to the snake. The volatile oils present in cedar are injurious to the respiratory system of the ball python. Artificial carpets are difficult to clean and have poor filtration.
Last but not least, proper humidity is crucial for two important physiological factors; Shedding and respiration. In their natural habitat, humidity can go as low as 30 percent and as high as 90 percent. However, in captivity, 60-70 percent humidity is recommended. Low humidity can cause shedding trouble and high humidity is one of the main reasons behind skin diseases.
Installing a hygrometer can increase the efficiency a lot more. You will know if the humidity needs to be increased or reduced just by looking at it. There are some easy ways you can control the humidity. Regular misting with spray bottles can do the job. It’s always good to keep a dish of water in the enclosure. The ball python can drench itself whenever it feels dry.
Choosing the right enclosure is crucial for the survival of your ball python. Any wrong decision could result in an untimely death. So, we have done the best research to recover every bit of information to determine the 9 best ball python enclosures. We also why they are the best and why they may or may not be suitable for you.
If you are still confused to choose among these diverse choices, we recommend you to get the Zen Habitat Reptile enclosure. It’s a bit pricey but it’s a bang for the buck. Every penny you spend on it is worth it. And I’m pretty sure your ball python would love it as well.
I hope after reading this article, you won’t need any further research in the labyrinth of the internet.