Can A Ball Python Live In A 20 Gallon Tank?

Finding the correct tank size for your pet ball python is critical to its happiness and health.

Because a ball python’s tank environment is where he or she will spend most of its life, it is critical that they have enough space to slither, molt, and bask. 

To select an acceptable tank size, a ball python owner must first determine its maximum size as well as its age. 

Cute Reptiles as Pets x
Cute Reptiles as Pets

Can A Ball Python Live In A 20 Gallon Tank?

Can A Ball Python Live In A 20 Gallon Tank?

Yes, ball pythons can definitely live in a 20-gallon tank.

Baby ball pythons can generally survive in a 20-gallon tank, but older and bigger ones will not be able to properly grow, and they will be more likely to get overweight and/or have poor physical condition if they can’t move about and explore their enclosure adequately. 

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A tight enclosure can suppress growth and cause stress. If your ball python has grown or is older, you may check the table below to know exactly the size they need. Refer to the table below:

Ball python sizesTank Size MinimumTank Size MaximumPerfect Tank Size
baby ball python around 10 inches10 gallons20 gallons12 – 15 gallon 
juvenile ball python under 3 feet long 30-gallons60  gallons40 – 50 gallons
adult ball python over 3 feet  long75 gallons120 gallons85 – 95 gallons
Tank Size Table for Ball Python

Also read: Complete Ball Python Growth Chart

Ball python and Tank Size Issues

Ball python and Tank Size Issues

Ball pythons will continue growing regardless of the environment if they have access to the proper nutrition and temperature. As they develop, the size of its tank should be raised.

Ball pythons require tanks that are large enough for their age and size. A 10-gallon tank is recommended for a baby ball python.

A 30-40 gallon tank is the very least for an adult ball python, but any more room you can give them is better. 

Only one ball python should be kept in a tank at any given time. Providing your ball python with a properly sized tank will go a long way toward guaranteeing its health and well-being.

Larger tanks can bring about stress in your ball python and have problems with feeding. They may try to stretch up and escape the tank. 

It can be more difficult to maintain proper temperature and humidity management in a larger tank, but it is a much better option than a tank that is too tiny.

Larger tanks are especially good if they are well decorated. Ball pythons should feel safe with ample hides, branches, and plant cover, regardless of its or enclosure’s size. 

To effectively house a 6-foot long ball python, you will need at least 75–120 gallons.

While some ball pythons prefer to hide most of the time, it’s still necessary to allow them to completely stretch out in their cage and get some exercise even if they do not venture out very frequently.

Reptiles including ball pythons can suffer from a number of physical and behavioral issues if their enclosures are too tiny.

Small enclosures also make it more difficult for keepers to offer a proper habitat for their animals.

Also read: How To Lower Humidity In Ball Python Tank

Ball Python Enclosure Checklist

Ball Python Enclosure Checklist

Ball pythons are said to be timid snakes that would prefer to have a little space to themselves.

They enjoy having a dark, secure environment to retreat to. A hide is recommended although not required. 

But if your pet gets stressed, it will serve as its retreat haven. If you have a big enclosure, we recommend utilizing several hides to provide your pet with a variety of alternatives. 

It is also recommended for a tank to have two hides which are both located on the hot and cold sides of the enclosure.

This will give comfort to your pet as it hides without having to choose between too much heat and too much cold. 

However, aside from the enclosure size, there are other factors to consider in setting up the enclosure for your ball python:

  • Basking Heat Source (Mercury Vapor Bulb)
  • UVA/UVB Source (Mercury Vapor Bulb)
  • Thermometer – measures temperature
  • Hygrometer (measures humidity)
  • Reptile Carpet for Substrate
  • Night heat source (Heating Pad, Ceramic Heat Emitter)
  • Water Spray Bottle
  • Water Bowl
  • Humidity Hide

Also read: Temperatures for Ball Python (The Complete Guide)

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How long can my ball python live in a 20-gallon tank?

A baby ball python can live up to 3 years or more before it will need to upgrade to a bigger enclosure.

What size tank does a ball python need?

An adult should be kept in a tank that allows them to stretch out completely. The minimum suggested tank size for an adult ball python is a 40-gallon breeder tank.

Can a ball python live in a 30-gallon?

A ball python under 4 feet might theoretically be kept in a 30 or 40-gallon tank but it would be much preferable to maintain it in at least a 75-gallon tank, especially given how thick-bodied they are.


Ball Python Tank

The most crucial step, though, is deciding on the tank or terrarium in which your new pet will live.

If you’re unsure, choose a tank that is bigger than you think you will need. Small ball pythons can live in a 20-gallon tank. 

As they grow older and bigger, they will require a bigger space, thus, a bigger enclosure. Also, there are several factors to consider while setting up your pet’s tank.

Their heat, lighting, and humidity requirements will be largely determined by their natural environment.

Decor and whether pebbles, concealing boxes, or branches should be used will be influenced by whether they are arboreal or ground dwellers.