Keeping snakes – which species are suitable?
Here are some 5 snake terrarium ideas and things to consider if you are thinking of keeping a snake pet.
Many species of snakes such as Adders, poisonous snakes, but also pythons, or giant snakes can be kept in terrariums.
The latter belongs to the group of strangler snakes and are protected species that require proof of legality.
Smaller species such as corn snakes, banded snakes or chain snakes, which do not have any special requirements for keeping, are suitable for beginners.
Where “small” is relative – after all, they can reach a length of 150 cm.
The corn snake is one of the most popular species because of its attractive scaly dress and its peaceful nature and is an ideal beginner’s snake.
For reasons of species protection, only animals from offspring should populate your terrarium.
You can get the right snake in pet shops, at breeders or at reptile fairs and terrarium fairs.
The scaled housemates are loners.
If you decide on two copies, it should definitely be a couple – however, the question of the offspring must be considered here.
Which terrarium for which snake?
Whether a snake feels comfortable depends on the conditions it finds in the terrarium.
It starts with size. The terrarium should have a minimum size of 75 x 50 x 75 cm (length x width x height) for reptiles under 150 cm in length.
Larger ones require a living space of at least 100 x 50 x 75 cm.
Sufficient height is especially important for species that enjoy climbing.
Glass terrariums are more suitable for tropical species that need a warm, humid environment – wood would go moldy.
Treated wood terrariums with glass fronts are the ideal habitat for reptiles who prefer a drier indoor climate.
Keeping snakes – natural design of the living space.
But not only the size, but also the design and equipment of the terrarium are crucial factors in keeping snakes.
Each type of snake has different needs and demands.
The keeping conditions depend on the habitat from which the reptile originates – whether it comes from warm, humid tropical regions, is forest or desert inhabitant.
The design should adapt as closely as possible to the natural conditions that the animal finds in nature.
A corn snake (Pantheropis guttatus) as a forest dweller absolutely needs climbing opportunities.
They offer her thick branches and large roots that should be well anchored.
Forest-dwelling species appreciate plants with green foliage.
Even species that don’t climb like to lie slightly elevated on branches to quietly observe their surroundings.
Moisture-loving snakes from tropical regions need a base made of special terrarium soil, while desert dwellers prefer soft sand.
The corn snake, on the other hand, feels at home in wood granulate or fine bark mulch.
What every snake – regardless of the species – needs is a dark retreat where the animal feels safe and unobserved.
Turned pieces of bark, a dense network of branches, or a hollowed trunk are suitable for this.
A small water basin for drinking and bathing should not be missing.
Technical equipment of a terrarium
Snakes are cold-blooded animals and are not able to generate their own body heat.
You are therefore dependent on warm ambient temperatures.
The temperature in the terrarium should therefore never fall below 20 degrees – except for species that hibernate.
Therefore, the terrarium must be equipped with light and heat sources. It is best to combine floor heating with warming radiators.
The snake should definitely be able to choose between cooler and warmer areas.
Especially in the molting phase, she likes to go to cool places.
The ideal temperature depends on the type of snake and its habitat.
It is usually around 25 degrees, but it can be higher or lower depending on the species.
Appropriate ventilation must also be provided.
Thermometers and hygrometers provide information on whether the temperature and humidity are correct.
Grooming and feeding
If you decide on an uncomplicated species like the corn snake, keeping it is also quite easy for beginners.
A snake does not need deworming or vaccination.
Occasionally, pangolins are troubled by parasites – this is where the vet can help.
Of course, the terrarium needs to be cleaned of feces from time to time.
You should change the entire substrate at least once a year.
Feeding a snake is not for everyone, as reptiles are prey hunters and prefer live food.
These are usually rodents, birds, or chicks. For the faint of heart, special shops also have frozen food animals – but not every snake gets used to dead food.
Fortunately, reptiles digest very slowly, so depending on type and age, they have to be fed every 10 – 30 days.
By the way, a snake is not really a pet. Frequent taking out causes the animals more stress – especially during the day because many reptiles are crepuscular and nocturnal and only wake up in the evening hours.
The purchase of a snake should not be a spontaneous inspiration.
After all, the scaled housemate can live up to 20 years and it is also important to think about the costs of acquisition and maintenance.