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Childrens python set up

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New Member
Hi Guys / Gals- Just purchased a 25cm childrens python for my 8 YO son. I will be helping out in making sure we do not kill the little guy. So many different opinions online which is confusing so would love a little help by the reptile community here. We are in Sydney , Australia so you know the average temperatures etc winter summer

We have a 37cm x 25cm x 40cm ( high ) Glass tank. ( its a fish tank and I am placing a lid on top which is half mesh / half perspex so there is ventilation and at the same time heat wont escape easily)

Its a small tank but im hearing they wont like large enclosures until they are a little larger

It will go inside the house in my sons room.

I have a hide, the flooring, decor etc all covered. Below are some questions i need a little help with if possible

1. What size should the enclosure be for when the snake is adult size and what length should the snake be when transferring the snake to the final enclosure

2. What size heater ( and what type ) should i get for this small tank knowing glass will not trap heat well ( i hear mats can be dangerous for house fires etc? Any detail on heater set up in such a tank knowing the tanks base is 37cm x 25cm ( need a cool and hot side )

3. Should the thermostat dim the heat to give Day night temperatures or just run to maintain the one temperature 24/7? What is a reliable thermostat to go with the heating cord / element

4.Where should the thermostat be placed to make sure the heater does not burn the snakes belly in a cade where the litter might be pushed to the side and the snake is exposed to the heat source

5. What lighting do i need - For display purposes and not for heating ( any specific Kelvin rating, How long should we run the light for

6. Any pointers in maintaining its health- best food, What to look out for .

7. Put defrosted mouse in living enclosure or take snake out to another feeding enclosure

8. Handling, how often, when is best, can you take the snake out on the grass outside

9. Any pointers on making sure the snake does not grow up aggressive ( this probably goes hand in hand with Question 8 )

Any info would be awesome.



Well-Known Member
With such a small snake, I wouldn't be putting him in such a large enclousure- right now a small shoe box size is all he needs.
My Stimson's lived in a 30x20 for the first year. A click-clack type container with air holes punched in all along the edge should be fine for the first year.
Do NOT put it in your sons room- all interaction he has with the snake should be 100% supervised.
these guys can escape out of the smallest of gaps- invest in a PROPER reptile-proof enclousure

undertank heater (heat maps) should be fine if you run them through a thermostat. It should cover no more than 50% of the tank, and a suitable hide should be placed above it.

for a baby I'd leave the heatspot at 28-35 all day, all night. As an adult you can cool it down a couple degrees

A thermostats dial should remain outside? The heat mat should not be placed inside the enclosure, it should be placed BELOW the (slightly raised) tub. Measure the temps from within

this baby probably grew up in a dark rack system- lights can stress them out to the point of death. Probably best to leave it for now.

depends on the substrate.
for me, I take my guy out as I like to test out my photography skills up close when he's eating. For little guys I generally just toss it in there and leave it for an hour. Take it out and chuck it if they don't take it.

first two weeks, NO HANDLING AT ALL. Open up the enclousure to change the water, but leave the snake alone. Don't force him out of his hide, don't lift his hide off.
after two weeks, offer him a feed. If he takes it, leave him until he defecates, then handle him for 1 minutes.
every successful feed, add another minute to it. If he doesn't eat, leave him alone for the week.

i take my guy out for as long as I want to now- he's a sweetheart. But again, it took over a month before I was able to 'properly' handle him.


New Member
Awesome info Buggster. Just a few further questions if I may.

1. When you say it should not go in my sons room, is that mainly because kids getting a hold of the snake unsupervised, or its dangerous for my son if the snake escapes?

2. Are cheaper ebay heater mats ok for this temporary enclosure or should i spend some money to get a good one

3. Your 30cm x 20 cm is similar size to the tank i have but the tank is 40cm high. Would it be advisable to set up the tank with the heater etc and then place a smaller box inside the tank for the first 4 - 6 months so it gets used to its surroundings

3.5. should the smaller enclosure be clear or white or opaque

4. What size enclosure should i get for it in 12 months, what is an escape proof type you would recommend

Shot of the snake and tank- I do not have the snake yet but have this small tank available if applicable
Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 07.56.11.png

thanks again


Well-Known Member
It is very unlikely that you have to wait two weeks to properly handle, I generally let mine settle in for 2-3 days max unless they are bitey (haven't found one of those yet). Also, I don't see why you couldn't keep it in your son's room provided you set a rule that he can only get it out with your permission/supervision. Even in the enclosure they are quite interesting to watch and are quite entertaining if you have trouble getting to sleep.


Well-Known Member
He's 8 right? Eight year olds can be rather... Stubborn. Even with a firm rule of 'no snake out unless I'm there', he might just try to sneak his 'awesome new pet' out in the middle of the night.
there is the possibility that he will injure the snake, or loose it.

Probably best to keep him in your family/living room for all to enjoy and so any hands on interaction will be supervised

personally I don't trust a cheap one- they may overheat, not heat enough or not last long.
For my new snake (got the little guy today), I have him inside his adult enclousure in a small tub. I have a full sized heat mat for the adult tank (larger than the tub I have him in now), but only put the tub over it so only 1/2 is covered.

should be fine- provide hide, water bowl and some substrate in there and your small fish tank should be fine (provided it is escape proof- they can get through the tinest of holes). Another issue with a fish tank is ventilation- you can get a 30x30cm Reptile One tank for $50 online.

if you want something to look at, glass is better.

mine is in a 2 foot tank and that should last him for life. He's got a climbing background which adds addition 'floor space'.

Next year go to expos- they sell a large range of good quality reptile tanks and usually for a reduced price. My Woma is in a 4 foot tank I got for $180 brand new.

Personally I leave them alone for at least a week- more for nervous snakes. I'm guessing your son will want to immediately play around with his pet, so leaving your guy a little longer can't hurt.
look how little your guy is, even a little bit of rough handling may hurt him, or make him extremely nervous.
I make every time I take my snakes out a positive experience for them so they don't become bitey.


Well-Known Member
Have to agree with Buggster on that the snake shouldn't be kept in his room, it's far to easy for him to take it out during the night or some other time and injure/lose it, especially being so small. Unless you could find a way to lock it, the 'family' room would be a better place, at least until they are both older. I've heard too many horror stories about kids pulling out the brand new baby snake, and losing/injuring it.
As for a heat mat, I use the 'ReptiPets' one underneath my glass enclosure, set on 35 hotspot, it has a probe and thermostat attached and is pretty easy to use. It's a little pricey IMO, but well worth it.
As for handing, make sure it has at least one meal and keeps it down. Then, a couple days after, start handling. Slow at first, maybe 2-3 minutes per day.
Hope this helps,


New Member
Hi Buggster and Bredlifreak, Thanks heaps for your insight and knowledge which i needed to make the right call. It makes me nervous going to a shop and have someone who is only trained verbally in snake care give me advice. Google , youtube etc is always 50/50 with opinions. Now I know exactly what i need to do and appreciate your time answering all my questions.

- - - Updated - - -

Hi Iguana, definitely helps. Thanks


Not so new Member
Hi! Good luck with your new snake. These guys have all answered your questions pretty well, the only thing I can't help but add is, I'm not sure if you are planning on using those fish tank pebbles as substrate, but if so, that's a huge no no. Use newspaper, coconut fibre or wood shavings instead. If your snake swallows pebbles, it could kill him.

Other than that, have fun! Snakes make awesome pets.
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Very Well-Known Member
You don't need to wait long at all to handle your snake. Just make sure it's eating and then go for it.

You don't need to have another container inside the tank, just give it plenty of cover in the form off hide boxes or even fake leaves, and even a stick or two since your tank seems a little tall. You may find your snake will explore upwards as well.


New Member
HI All, I have opted for a small URS enclosure and canned the idea of the tank. I will monitor the snake and make he has plenty of hiding spots.

For the temperature sensor, where should this be attached if the small URS is glass- i put the mat on the bottom of the tank on the outside, does the sensor go inside the tank on top of the mat or just hanging in the air inside the cage



New Member
I'm not sure if you are planning on using those fish tank pebbles as substrate, but if so, that's a huge no no. Use newspaper, coconut fibre or wood shavings instead. If your snake swallows pebbles, it could kill him.

Just found this via google, question answered.
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