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New Snake questions :))


New member
Hi everyone!

I’m looking into getting two corn snakes from a friend of mine soon, and I’m trying to research to make sure I have everything properly set up when I get them.

Right now, the two of them are still pretty small, so I was gonna start them off in two 20 Long tanks. I was planning on using aspen, as most people seem to agree that that’s a pretty good substrate for them, but I’m getting a little mixed up trying to figure out proper heating for them.

Right now, I’m looking at the Ipower 6”-8” heat mat, but i’ve seen some people recommend 50-60w daytime bulbs, or heat emitters for them. I was just wondering what you all preferred.

I haven’t started looking for things to go in the tank yet, but I know I’ll probably need a few flat slate pieces, hides, water bowl, and a few things to climb on like wood pieces/plants. I haven’t decided if I want to try to establish a bio active tank yet, but I am at least somewhat considering it. I was wondering if cornsnakes required a dripper or something to keep the water from being still. I’ve been told some reptiles won’t drink from stagnant water.

Sorry to dump that on all of you, but this would be my first time owning a snake, and I really don’t wanna do anything that could hurt either of my girls.
Hi, welcome to the forum!

Since it's your first time owning snakes, I would start with a simple set up. You can always change things later once you are comfortable with care and feel confident that they're eating well, shedding well, etc. The easiest setup is going to be aspen with a heat pad, controlled by a thermostat. And of course, hides, decor, climbing opportunities, etc. The water can be still, they don't need movement to drink. A dish big enough for them to get into is nice, although most corns don't soak very often.
Welcome to the hobby! Sounds like you're thinking things through. Do you plan to get youngsters? If so, it will be extra important that they have lots of places to hide. Lots of things prey on baby snakes in nature, and feeling secure is very important to them. Most like to burrow and tunnel in aspen, so that's a good thing. Lots of ground clutter is also good; fake plants, rocks, "logs" like paper towel cores (you can cut them in half for easy human access) and sticks for climbing are great for them. Simple small boxes or crumpled paper make fine hides as far as the snakes are concerned. They have advantages when the snakes are small because babies enjoy squeezing into snug spaces.

I like UTHS and use them for several of my vivs. Of course, there are other options which work as well. As Olivia said, no need to be fancy with water.

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Personally, I always recommend the following to new corn owners or prospective new caretakers... I'd suggest you consider ordering one of the following books. The authors of these 2 books have a combined total of 80+ years of experience keeping and breeding Corn Snakes and absolutely everything you will need to know regarding housing and care of your Corn Snake can be found in these books. These books are not just so you can learn how to initially care for your snake, but also serve as a valuable resource when questions or issues arise. Both books are equally well-written and have a ton of high-quality color photographs. Either can be ordered online for less than $20.
• Corn Snakes: The Comprehensive Owner's Guide by Kathy and Bill Love
• Corn Snakes in Captivity by Don Soderberg