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D.I.Y: How to Set Up A Tub For Your Ball Python

Updated on September 12, 2011

Snakes can absolutely flourish in a tub setup IF you take the proper steps in preparing your tub. There are many pros and cons of using tubs as housing. I chose to move my Ball Python Prada into a tub because of shedding/humidity issues I was having in her previous enclosure.

This D.I.Y guide will outline the basics of how I set-up Prada's new home!



Pictured at right are the supplies you'll need to set up your snake's tub.

  • Tub (I chose a 90qt. Sterilite for Prada as she is a very large female Ball Python. Your tub size will depend on your snake)
  • Heating (Under tank heaters are the way to go! I chose to use Flexwatt.)
  • Thermometer (Pictured in final set up photo)
  • Soldering Iron
  • Electrical tape *optional* (for Flexwatt)
  • Thermostat (an absolute MUST for Flexwatt; recommended for any heat source)
  • Substrate (good ol' newspaper)
  • Hide box (optional, but I know she enjoys her privacy :))
  • Decoration *optional*
  • Water bowl (pictured in final set up photo)

I also found scissors (for cutting the electrical tape and taping the thermostate probe down), and a wet erase marker (for making your marks for the holes) helpful as well.

1) Mark where you'll place your ventilation holes

Tip #1: You can always add more ventilation holes if you tub is holding in too much humidity. It's better to have few holes and make more, than deal with low humidity from too many!

2) Use your soldering iron to melt holes carefully

Tip #1: I used a razor blade to clean up the edges of the melted holes.

Tip #2: If you are using a marker to mark where your holes are going to be, I'd recommend making only a tiny dot, and erasing your line before melting. Since my tick marks were a little big, you can see some green around the holes under the melted edges.

Tip #3: Please be careful with your soldering iron. You can be badly burnt if you are careless with it :)

My Final Set Up
My Final Set Up

4) Heat source and introduction

Make sure you safely set up your heat source for your tub. If you are using a UTH or Flexwatt, you'll need a small gap between the mat and your tub for air flow. Plug in your thermostat and set it to the ideal temperature for you species of snake.

I recommend running your tub for a few days prior to introducing your snake, just to be on the safe side. After introduction, it's always a good idea to keep on eye on your snake's temperament, and the heat and humidity levels.

If you have any questions, please feel free to write me in the comment section below. I'll be happy to answer your question, or if I'm not sure of the answer, direct you to a reliable source!


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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      thanks for your help

    • misspeachesx profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Northeast, Washington

      Ben, do you mean the UTH and the tub? Nothing goes between it but it is best for their to be a small gap for airflow to prevent overheating the UTH. Most of these large tubs have little round feet on the bottom of them which works perfectly. If your tub doesn't I recommend buying the glass tank spacers used for the same purpose of airflow and stick them to the bottom of the tub.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      What do u put between UTA and the tub?

    • misspeachesx profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Northeast, Washington

      Hi Krista,

      I think it would depend on your cage but for a tub set-up in which you're using Flex-Watt, I would tape the probe to the mat itself. Make sure you get a digital thermomter (or, even better, an infrared) to test the temperate inside the cage/tub to ensure you are getting the rights temps. This is especially important if you use deep substrate.

      Good luck!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Placement of thermostat probe? Some say inside taped to bottom. Some say no tape inside and to tape it to heat mat

    • misspeachesx profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Northeast, Washington

      I'm not sure where you are getting the $300 worth of supplies from. The majority of people that house expensive snakes in their collection are breeders. Tubs save a tremendous amount of money, allow for more productivity, and are actually healthier for the animals. It is much easier to get temperature, humidity, and make your snake feel comfortable in a tub rather than a glass tank. It comes down to a matter of preference, space, time, and money.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      why would a person spend $300 0n supplies for a $3 Plastic tub to house a $500 georgeous reptile instead of a beautiful vivarium?


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