Corn snakes make great pets but if they are kept in the wrong habitat, they can get sick and even die. Stress, respiratory issues and dehydration are all signs that your pet is suffering and needs a change in their living environment. There are some basic decisions involved in making a habitat that a corn snake would thrive in.

  1. Enclosure

    The best enclosure to use for a corn snake terrarium is a glass aquarium. Ideally, it should be around 40 gallons in size for this species.

  2. Heat

    A corn snake habitat will require some type of heat source. Even warm homes in mild climates will require additional warmth for a reptile. Talk to pet retailers about various heating elements that work well in a corn snake aquarium.

  3. Bedding

    The material that snakes use for their bedding is called “Substrate.” Some types of substrate include newspaper, cypress mulch and specialty snake bedding materials. Never use cedar, pine or gravel, as these can seriously injure the pet. When in doubt about substrate, it is best to refer to a professional for advice.

  4. Water

    Make sure that snakes have access to fresh water 24 hours a day. Use bowls of nonporous material that won’t tip over easily. Shallow bowls work well with corn snakes; clean daily as some reptiles may defecate in their water dishes from time to time.

  5. Accessories

    Snakes are smart and can get bored like any other pet. Provide ample things for them to explore in terms of accessories, branches, stones and decorative items they can hide behind. These items should always be sanitized before you put them in the pet’s habitat.

It may be surprising that corn snakes do not require additional light sources in their habitat. Your current light fixtures or ambient light in the room where the enclosure is kept is adequate and fine for a corn snake.

Use these tips to set up a terrarium that not only keeps a corn snake healthy, but also happy. Visit and consult with exotic pet care veterinarians and retailers to learn more.

Ball pythons are wonderful pets, but there is a lot of work required to set up a proper enclosure for them. Burrows, size, humidity and temperature all play a large role in keeping ball pythons happy and healthy, as outlined below.

Ball Python Habitats

Wild ball pythons inhabit grasslands, open forests and savannas within West and Central Africa. They use water to keep cool in the hot weather and stay underground in burrows for most of their lives.

Humidity Inside the Habitat

Ball pythons are designed to live in warm and wet environments, so humid air is important for their habitat. They need to have a humidity level between 50 and 60%. Ball pythons use humidity to shed properly, but too much humidity can cause them to develop skin diseases. Respiratory infections can also occur if the humidity is too high or too low.

Temperature Inside the Habitat

Temperature is extremely important for a ball python’s habitat since they are cold-blooded. There should be two distinct sides in the habitat: a warm side and a cool side. This allows the ball python to regulate its body temperature. The warm side needs to be between 90 and 95° while the cool side should remain between 75 and 80°.

Setting Up a Ball Python Enclosure

  • Start with a cage. Common ones include glass, plastic and rack systems. A 4-by-2-by-2-foot enclosure is the minimum size recommended, but it is always best to get the largest size possible.
  • Decide on the bedding, or substrate, for the base of the enclosure. Newspaper, aspen shavings, Carefresh bedding and cypress mulch are all acceptable substrates for ball pythons. Water can be added to the bedding to assist with the humidity inside the enclosure.
  • Place multiple hide boxes in the enclosure for the ball python to hide inside. This will help the ball python stay relaxed and reduce its stress.
  • Make one of the hide boxes wet. This will help prevent dehydration and provide a space to shed.
  • Mist the enclosure daily with a water sprayer filled with filtered water to maintain the proper humidity.
  • Use a hygrometer to measure the humidity within the habitat.
  • Include a water dish for the ball python that will add to the overall humidity.
  • Invest in a white light heating lamp, specifically one with a dimmer to control the heat if it becomes too hot.
  • Use a temperature gun to track the temperature.
  • Include a UVB fixture to simulate the natural day/night cycle of ball pythons.
  • Other decorations like plants or branches can be added, although they are not necessary.

Reptile owners may want to create a cool little ecosystem for their pets, such as in a terrarium. Be wary of the kinds of plants you put in with your reptile or amphibian, as many common varieties are toxic when eaten. Furthermore, choose plants that will last and will not be vulnerable to damage from your pets, such as uprooting or eating the living plants.

Pet-Friendly Plants

Since the terrarium is home to a reptile or other pet, not all plants will thrive in a closed environment. Some plants require an open-air climate, so make sure you choose accordingly. Furthermore, avoid anything that could be potentially toxic for herbivores or omnivores. Some pet-friendly terrarium plants include:

  • Spider
  • Snake
  • Ficus
  • African Violet
  • Ponytail palm
  • Orchids
  • Schefflera
  • Peperomia

Know that every species is different so some may be more sensitive to plants than others. Also, be aware that oxalic acid, present in many plant types, can be problematic if consumed in large quantities. Talk to a veterinary provider to learn more. Some plants that are high in oxalic acid include Mostera and Pothos.

Pet Perks and Accessories

When setting up reptile terrariums, there are other features for pets beyond living plants. Consider things like ladders, hammocks and accent items that could possibly entertain or teach your pet something. Consider varying levels of stones or branches that add spots for your pet to hide or climb. Non-living elements can also make maintaining a terrarium easier.

Pet Owner Cautions

Some plants contain sap that can be toxic if ingested. So, how can owners know if this is a potential issue for their reptile or amphibian? Err on the side of caution and always consult with your vet regarding the best terrarium plants and practices for a healthy pet.

With some insight into the right plants for your pet’s terrarium, it is possible to create a self-sustaining eco-system that any reptile or amphibian would be happy to call home!

Making your own reptile terrarium can be a very rewarding process, and it will invoke your creativity as well as your practical expression, so that you end up with a unit that is not only functional, but aesthetically pleasing as well. A pet snake or other reptile will enjoy its surroundings inside a terrarium, and you will have peace of mind knowing your pet is safe and contained.

Below are listed the simple steps it will take to build your own reptile terrarium, and even if you’re not an experienced do-it-yourselfer, you’ll have no trouble assembling this.

1 – Decide on the Dimensions 

The actual dimensions for your terrarium will depend on just what type of reptile you are housing and what size it requires. A chameleon needs more space than most other reptiles, so a 4-by-4-by-4-foot structure is necessary. A ball python requires 4-by-2-by-2-foot, whereas a bearded dragon might need only a 25-by-25-by-25-inch enclosure.

2 – Frame in your Container 

First, you’ll need to measure and cut the frames for the container. Attach these pieces using screws, then cut plywood or other material for the base and walls. Make sure to leave one side open for a plexiglass window, or you might want to leave all sides open for plexiglass. You’ll also have to leave the top open, because that’s where you will eventually install mesh.

3 – Cut and Glue the Plexiglass 

Measure how much plexiglass you will need to close in the open sides, then cut the plexiglass using either a saw or a box cutter. You can either attach the plexiglass to the outside of the frame, or glue it to the inside. It will look a little more professional if you glue it to the inside.

4 – Attach the Door 

Attach the door locks and hinges so that the door will fit snugly, but can still be easily opened and closed. You can also use the frame and plexiglass to install a smaller-sized door, or you could even install a mesh door on top of the terrarium.

5 – Add on the Screen Top 

Measure the area for the screen top and cut mesh to fit the space so it fits securely on top of the container. Then staple the mesh to the frame with a staple gun, so it is completely secure. If you’ve already installed a mesh door on top, ensure that this mesh piece is securely fastened to the door frame.

6 – Check for Any Rough or Sharp Edges 

The last step of the assembly process is to check for any rough or sharp edges, because these may cause injuries later on. Once they have been sanded down, you’ll be ready to set up any habitat you’re adding for your reptile, and your terrarium is ready for occupancy!

Turtles have always fascinated human beings. Older than homo sapiens by many millions of years, a turtle is the only vertebrate that carries its home on its back in the form of a shell that is actually part of its spine. Given this fascination for them, are turtles good pets? Are turtles easy to take care of?

Taking Care of a Turtle

Taking care of a turtle should be both simple and easy, depending on the species. One thing to keep in mind is that they are cold-blooded reptiles, so their enclosure needs to be kept at a certain temperature to keep them healthy. Another interesting fact is that a well-cared-for, healthy turtle can live a very long time. It’s not unusual for a turtle to live as long or longer than a human being, and owners might want to make provisions for their pet if they can no longer care for them.

There are close to 300 different kinds of turtles, but not every turtle is suitable as a pet. Specialists claim that the following species make the best turtle pets.

  • Painted turtle
  • Red-eared slider
  • Mississippi map turtle
  • Eastern box turtle
  • African aquatic sideneck
  • Central wood turtle
  • Spotted turtle
  • Caspian pond turtle
  • Russian tortoise
  • Greek tortoise

Some of these turtles can grow very large. For example, the Greek tortoise can grow a foot in length, so their ultimate size should be taken into account when choosing this turtle for a pet. And turtles never actually stop growing, but their growth rate slows down drastically once they reach maturity.

When it comes to food, some turtles are herbivores, while others eat both meat and plants. Still other turtles eat meat when they’re young but become herbivores as adults.

Enclosure and Environment

The size of the turtle’s enclosure is a factor to consider. Even if an owner gets a turtle when it’s very small, the enclosure needs to be as big as possible to accommodate their pet. Turtles need water and a lot of space to explore.

The enclosure should also mimic the turtle’s natural environment when it comes to light and air temperature. To make sure that the temperature stays consistent, it’s a good idea to keep a thermometer in the enclosure. Experts also recommend that the turtle be moved out in the sun once in a while.

Water

Water, even if it’s in a shallow dish, needs to be kept filled and scrupulously clean. This means it needs to be changed frequently, especially if the turtle is aquatic. If this is problematic, owners should consider a different type of turtle such as a tortoise, which is terrestrial or land-dwelling, and doesn’t require as much water.

Food

Meat-eating turtles will eat insects such as crickets, mealworms, tiny comet goldfish or commercial turtle food. Besides being terrestrial, tortoises are herbivores, so they should be fed fruit and vegetables and the fresher the better. Another good reason for having a turtle as a pet is that they don’t need to eat every day unless they’re very young and mostly aquatic. Grown turtles only need to be fed every other day or so.

A clean environment, including fresh water, good food and the right temperature and light will keep a turtle happy and healthy for decades.

Introduction

When feeding your Betta fish, it’s important to stick to a schedule. That way your fish can know when to expect to be fed and be given the proper time for digestion.

Overfeeding is one common mistake that many rookie fish owners make. It makes the fish bloated, which causes them to eliminate very fast. As a result, a complete tank cleaning may be in order afterward.

Betta fish can go for an average of 10 days without food. However, this should only happen if necessary, in extreme survival situations. Some owners do fast their fish every 10 days or so to ensure they’re not overfed. But missing too many feedings is very hard on their organs and they can starve to death.

Long-Term Feeding Options

If an owner’s going to be gone for more than two days, they should ask a friend or neighbor to come and feed the fish. If that’s not an option, an owner can invest in a mechanical feeder which dispenses the food at preset times. However, mechanical feeders can only last so long. They also often have issues with getting clogged, etc., so it should be tested before leaving.

They’re not recommended, but feeding blocks are another option for feeding your Betta fish. They work by gradually breaking down to release the food. However, they tend to dirty up the water very quickly, which can lead to the risk of ammonia, etc.

What Do Betta Fish Like to Eat?

What do Betta fish eat? This is one of the first questions new owners almost always have in mind. And the short answer is that Bettas are carnivores. In the wild, they hunt larvae, worms, crustaceans and smaller fish.

But Betta fish are opportunistic feeders, which means that they may eat things new owners may not necessarily expect. That’s good in that it means that Bettas aren’t picky eaters; however, it can also lead to some weird ideas of what should be in the Betta’s diet.

If the fish acts disinterested in the food at any time during their regular schedule, it probably gobbled up something inedible when the owner wasn’t looking.

To prevent digestive issues, owners should ensure that the food is made specifically for Bettas.

Because they are carnivores, Betta fish food pellets often contain ingredients such as bloodworms, shrimp, mosquito larvae, etc., and is available in dried, frozen and even live forms.

Some dried pellets expand when they absorb water. As a result, they should be tested and possibly presoaked before being given to the fish. Frozen foods should always be thawed first, otherwise they can stress the fish.

Live and frozen foods have the most nutritional value so they are the most favored by experienced owners. However, they’re often very rich so it’s recommended for novice owners to wait before trying them.

Three pellets is the recommended serving amount. Most Bettas can eat that in about two minutes, but it’s recommended for owners to observe their fish to gauge how much they can take.