For hatchling corn snakes, a small enclosure (floor dimensions of 12″ x 8″ and at least 3″ tall = 30.5cm x 20.3cm x 7.6cm) with adequate ventilation will be suitable until they reach approximately 24″ in (61cm) length, but larger vivaria are more appropriately heated by way of offering two or more distinct thermal zones–not always possible in very small enclosures. More details regarding the importance of thermal zones are below in the HEATING section of this care guide.
These neonates (newly hatched) corn snakes can escape from any cage with gaps or holes the size of their snout.
For adults, the cage length should be approximately 1/2 the length of the snake (or larger); a 15 or 20 gallon (56.8 or 75.7 liter) aquarium with a locking lid is adequate for the lifetime of most corns. Many owners of young corn snakes begin with a 10-gallon (37.9 liter) aquarium and upgrade to a 15- or 20-gallon (56.8 or 75.7 liter) fish tank as their snake grows. If you prefer not to have more than one cage throughout the lifetime of your snake, there is nothing harmful about making a 15-20-gallon 56.8 or 75.7 liter (or larger) enclosure the first and only cage they will know. Having only one functional lung, corns are considered “low-aerobic” pets. Therefore, corns do not require a spacious cage, but naturally, larger vivaria afford them the benefit of more exercise, thereby facilitating better muscle tone.
While aquariums are the most widely used cages for corn snakes, they are by no means the only efficient enclosures. The main reason they are the cage of choice is that their glass construction not only offers better viewing of your pet but has the greatest number of options for heating. The see-through cage sides increase detection of feces and fecal smudges that can harbor germs throughout the cage. If you use a cage that does not have a glass floor, research your heating options, since UT heaters (safest and most commonly used heat-emitting devices for snakes) are not safe for contact with many materials other than glass.
It is recommended that each snake have its own cage. While cannibalism among corn snakes is relatively rare in communal housing scenarios, it can happen without notice, regardless of what preventive measures are taken. The blizzard corn snake hatchling in this picture dined on one of its siblings, mistaking it for a meal.
Communal housing of corns of any size is inherently dangerous and therefore ill-advised.
Q: Guess who this newly-hatched Blizzard corn just ate?
A: His brother, Larry.
1. Warm hide (coconut half-shell) above the UT heater
2. Cool hide (coconut half-shell)
3. Passive hide (artificial greenery)
4. Passive hide (artificial greenery)
5. Passive hide (ornate tree branch)
6. Passive hide (aspen substratum)
8. Monitor for thermometer probe inside warm hide
9. Water bowl (molded composite plastic)
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