General Snake Care Sheet


Generally, young snakes will be comfortable in a 10-20 gallon tank. As your snake grows, depending on what type of snake you have, you will need 30g, 50g, and even custom tanks for larger snakes. The largest snakes (which are still common as pets) will even need entire rooms dedicated to them.

The tank does not need to be tall unless you are housing an arboreal (tree-dwelling) snake. Usually the long variants of tank sizes are ideal. For example, a 20 gallon long is longer than a regular 20 gallon but it is also shorter and possible narrower.

The substrate you use for your snake may also depend on the type you choose to own. Most breeders, due to the need to often change substrate, use torn up newspaper as the bedding for their snakes. This is a great, cheap, alternative to pet-store bedding. If you would like a more "realistic" look to your terrarium, and you choose to buy the wood-chips or sand, be sure to research thoroughly as there are some types of bedding which are believed to cause respiratory and a variety of other problems with snakes.

Heating / Lighting

The best source of heat for your snake is either an under tank heater (UTH) or a basking lamp. You can also use a combination of both to provide the perfect temperature for your snake. You will have to look up temperature guidelines for your particular snake because temperature needs vary drastically between snakes.

It is highly recommended that you DO NOT use heat rocks or any other heat source that the snakes would have direct access to. This can result in severe burns for your snake, and we do not want that.

One thing you should be sure to do is provide your snake with a temperature gradient. This means that you should have the heat source on one side of the tank, and allow the other side to cool. This will provide your snake with the option of choosing the most comfortable place on the gradient.

You do not need to keep your snake on a strict light schedule. Personally, I turn off the lights when I go to sleep and when I wake up I turn them on. I figure that's a pretty good way to be sure that they plenty of light / darkness each day (just in case it really does matter).


Feeding your snake is bound to be an exciting experience right? Well it depends. If you feed your snake live prey, then it will be very exciting but you run the risk of the prey injuring your snake (definite possibility when you start feeding rats and bigger). Personally I have always fed live, I keep a close eye on them and have not had a problem yet.

With pre-killed prey (highly recommended by some) you do not have to worry about your snake getting hurt. The major problem with this is that some of the more "picky" snakes, like the ball python, may refuse to eat this. You may have to go to great lengths to trick or possibly even force-feed your snake.

The size, type, and quantity of the prey you will need depends on the size and type of your snake. If you ever question what you should be feeding your snake, be sure to post it in the appropriate forum.

Well like I said, this was not supposed to be an expert care-sheet. This is just a general idea of ​​the type of care your going to have to give a pet snake.