Corn snakes are the second most popular pet snake in the United States, and with good reason. In captivity, they’re quite placid and easy to care for. You must, however, purchase a corn snake tank and properly set it up.
Varied snake species have different habitat requirements. Some species necessitate intricate habitat designs and large quantities of space, which most enthusiasts lack. Other species, such as the corn snake, are easier to keep because they don’t require anything complex or particularly large.
Below, we’ll go over all you need to know about providing an appropriate home for your corn snake.
One of the most crucial things you’ll do as a keeper is to provide the correct habitat for your new pet corn snake. The habitat of your snake effectively becomes his entire world. Because many of the health issues that plague captive snakes can be linked back to poor habitat design and management, it’s critical that you get the right cage and set it up properly.
You can keep your pet in a simple, “sterile” environment or design it to look like a miniature version of the corn snake’s native environment. Many keepers who have maintained public corn snake exhibits (including yours truly) have created corn snake habitats that closely resemble the forests, marshes, and farmland where these snakes thrive.
Where are Corn Snakes found in the Wild?
Wild corn snakes are primarily confined to the southeastern United States. Their range essentially covers the area stretching from Louisiana to North Carolina, and scattered pockets of corn snakes can be found as far north as New Jersey. Corn snakes are even found living in the Florida Keys.
Within this range, corn snakes inhabit several different types of habitats. Historically, corn snakes were likely most common in the hardwood, pine, and mixed forests of the southeast, and some individuals undoubtedly inhabited fields and wetlands too. Once humans began altering the North American landscape, corn snakes also began living in the farms they created.
Corn snakes now live in the same types of forests, fields, and marshes that they’ve always lived in, as well as farms and other disturbed places like backyards, gardens, and vacant lots.
What Tank Should You Provide for Your Corn Snake?
Because the length of the snake determines the tank size, there is no standard. The vivarium of a corn snake should be long enough for it to stretch out entirely. If the tank is too large, though, your snake may feel exposed and vulnerable to attack.
The length and width of your corn snake aquarium should be at least as long as your snake. The tank might be 2 feet length by 1 foot broad if your snake is 3 feet long.
This is, however, a bare minimum requirement. The length of the tank should ideally be the same as the length of your snake. Corn snakes enjoy climbing, thus it should be tall enough to provide vertical enrichment, such as branches.
This could cause stress if your corn snake’s vivarium is too huge and unfilled. As a result, do not immediately place a baby corn snake in a large aquarium. Begin with a tiny habitat and gradually expand as your snake matures.
Plastic or glass are the two basic possibilities for your corn’s containment. Wooden vivariums aren’t recommended because they might harbor mold and are difficult to maintain.
Plastic Tubs for Your Corn Snake?
Corn snake tanks made of plastic tubs are the cheapest. They come in a variety of sizes, making them perfect for both children and adults. The box must have a sturdy lid to prevent your snake from escaping. To allow excess moisture to escape, you’ll need to drill ventilation holes in the sides.
Plastic tubs keep humidity in and are simple to clean. They’re also lightweight and portable when needed. The main disadvantage of plastic tubs is that heat lamps are difficult to utilize with them. Heat bulbs risk melting the plastic cover, thus heat mats are preferable.
Plastic tubs aren’t particularly attractive. So if you’re planning have your corn snake on display, you may prefer glass instead.
Glass Vivarium for Your Corn Snake?
Corn snake housing in glass aquariums is more expensive. They can be somewhat expensive, but they are far more appealing to the eye than plastic containers.
If you want to put your corn snake on display, a glass vivarium is the ideal choice. Because they’re translucent, you can see your snake and tank decorations well through them.
Plastic tubs retain humidity better than glass tanks. Corn snakes, on the other hand, do not require much humidity, so this won’t be an issue unless your environment is really dry.
A metal screen lid is included with most glass tanks, which is ideal for use with a heat lamp. This means you can provide a basking area for your corn snake.
The Best Enclosures for Your Corn Snake
- Repti-zoo Glass Terrarium
If you want a glass tank for your corn snake, the Repti Zoo Reptile Glass Terrarium is a perfect choice. It’s translucent and appealing, making it ideal for exhibition. It has front-opening doors, making handling, feeding, and cleaning a breeze.
2. Xu-pet Condo Reptile cage
The Xu-pet Reptile Cage is the pinnacle of luxury corn snake housing. You won’t need to buy a separate thermometer, hygrometer, or light fixture because it has everything incorporated in. All you’ll need is a heat lamp and some internal components.
3. Really useful Clear plastic storage box
Plastic storage boxes from Really Useful Box are reliable. Snake fans choose their boxes because they are durable and have a safe locking cover. They’re also light and simple to maintain. Really Useful Boxes are inexpensive and come in a variety of sizes. This means you can start with a smaller snake and upgrade it as needed.
Setting-up Your Corn Snake Enclosure
You’ll need to set up your corn snake’s new aquarium once you’ve picked it. You may need to construct a glass vivarium first if you’ve chosen that option. Once you’ve removed the box and washed the plastic container, it’ll be ready to use.
So, what exactly does a corn snake require in its home? Snakes are simple creatures who don’t require a lot of extras to be content.
A corn snake just need heat and light, as well as access to housing, bedding, food, and water. Branch and log enrichment items will also help your corn snake feel at ease.
Aspen is the greatest corn snake substrate. Corn snakes prefer aspen shavings because they are inexpensive, lightweight, safe, and comfy. Aspen absorbs moisture but does not overwet the vivarium. If your corn snake burrows in it, it will keep its shape.
If aspen isn’t available or you don’t want to use it, you might use:
-Soil for reptiles
-Newspaper or paper towels (not ideal, as corn snakes prefer to burrow)
Give your corn snake a few layers of paper or 1-2 inches of loose substrate. Sand, gravel, and bark substrates should be avoided because they might cause impaction if eaten mistakenly.
If corn snakes are overly exposed, they may feel attacked and stressed. They spend a lot of time in their hide box when they aren’t drinking or looking for food.
Your corn snake’s tank should ideally have two hides, one on each end. Your corn will be able to select between the cool and warm ends.
Each hide should have a single entrance and be large enough for your snake to coil up within. Your snake won’t feel safe if it’s too big. Plastic hides are the simplest to clean, however wooden or ceramic hides can also be used.
To be healthy, your corn snake will want constant access to fresh, clean water. Corn snakes not only require water to survive, but they also like bathing in it. As the water evaporates, the water bowl also helps to maintain humidity in the vivarium.
Choose a sturdy ceramic water dish that your snake will not be able to tip over. If your corn snake wants to snuggle up inside, it should be large enough. Every day, clean the water dish and refill it with filtered water.
Anything that improves an animal’s quality of life qualifies as an enrichment item. The finest enrichment items for corn snakes are those that mimic their natural surroundings.
Corn snakes bask in the sun in the mornings in the wild. Corn snakes are ectothermic (cold-blooded) and rely on the heat of the sun to move about.
At the heated end, place a large, flat rock beneath your corn snake’s heat lamp. It should be big enough for your snake to climb all the way up. If you place it too close to the lamp, your snake may overheat.