04-10-2009, 09:19 PM
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It is funny, because sometimes I have friends come over and ask me why I have some snakes in what appear to be small enclosures, and I begin to explain to them that, for instance, the Ball Python, in the wild, lives in termite mounds. These snakes rarely leave these mounds and are ambush predators. This basically means, they sit around all day and wait for a food item to walk on by.
I have also noticed that I could give this species large 60, 80 gallon tanks to live in, but they would still find the smallest crevice to hide in and stay there for weeks, only sticking their heads out weekly to feed.
So long story short, don't think they need ridiculously large enclosures to "be happy". I have actually found ball pythons do better in dark rubbermaid containers. I used to use a rack system, which held 2' long, 18 inch wide and 8 inch tall rubbermaids. The animals inside also had a place to hide. As one who knows this species, they are very picky eaters and tend not to eat for weeks, sometimes months, for what appears to be no reason.
I found my two Ball Pythons readily ate in these containers and were far more picky when originally being kept in glass aquariums. It is hard to accept the fact they thrive in these less physically pleasing enclosures, but fact is fact. And don't get me wrong, their are some species of snake that would require large enclosures, especially those that grow large, but even small slender but long snakes would require large enclosures, such as the Blue Beauty. They get to about 7 feet but are thin, like a golf ball thickness. These are very active snakes and would really be ideal in a very large enclosure.
I also would not suggest glass aquariums, those should be left to the fish. They tend to be very poor for keeping humidity as they are usually sold with screen tops. Wood enclosures or plastic/acrylic are better.