You can use this basic care sheet for most small non-venomous snakes.
To start off this basic Corn Snake care sheet I will start by saying it is never advised to keep more than one Corn Snake living in the same tank together even if they seem to get along really well at first. You should always be experienced in snake handling before breeding and know the sex of your snakes. So do not be tempted to go out and buy two snakes to be housed together. At least until you become more of an expert and have done your research.
Corn Snakes can grow up to more than 6 feet long depending on their environment. Be sure to be prepared to house a large snake should your Corn Snake become large.
For a baby (hatchling) or yearling a 10-gallon tank may be good enough, some Corn Snake owners will go all out on massive tank enclosures, but it is not necessary.
Your snake will grow but depending on the corn snakes size as an adult, be prepared to use anything between 20 and 60 gallons upwards. This may become expensive, but a cramped tank can lead to too many stress issues and feeding problems. Too small a tank and you could have fatal health issues or at least an overweight snake due to inability to exercise.
There are many safe methods to build your own snake toys or hides. Feel free to be as creative as you desire, but remember to follow a few simple and basic rules. I wont make a huge list so if your not sure if something is safe to use do your research online or ask your local vet or snake specialist.
Some of the better known D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) methods involve sculpting clay that you use for modeling and carving wood – but remember some types of wood are not advised and can cause health issues if they have painted or varnished surfaces. Driftwood is great to use. Also when using clay do not leave the clay over sealed, this can cause a lot of issues caused by humidity inside the clay hide. Make sure there are plenty of ventilation holes and that the clay hide is glazed to avoid accidental moisture exposure, damp and rot, nor is it just healthy at all for your Corn Snake.
You can find plenty of snake homes to base ideas for clay hide designs online; you should remember to follow glazing and baking instructions when making your hide. Use a non-toxic glaze, they are available and are usually used for glazing household food plates. You can use an oven or an inexpensive kiln to harden your clay snake hide.
Not just any bedding is a snake friendly bedding, so what types of bedding or substrate are recommended?
Types of bedding I would not advise is sand, bare soil and fine pine shavings (Sawdust). These can cause impact if ingested with food and pinewood can also be toxic. Although in the wild a snake will cope with such conditions, a captive snake can be slightly less adaptive. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Some of the safer Corn Snake bedding materials are one of the many aspen types – this is a good substrate although make sure there are no harmful toxins such as creosote or lacquers in the shavings. Good old paper towels are a great substrate although I do not recommend thin tissue paper. Make sure you clean paper towels out the tank on a regular basis.
Eco. Earth mosses are great; you could even create a natural grass habitat if you are really creative just keep your eye out for snake mite and bug infestations.
Is fabric safe to put in a tank with snakes?
Yes of course, there is a wide choice available, I would say tiny hide pouches which you can find in specialist pet stores, some people have even tried putting toilet roll tubes into socks (always check toilet roll tubes regular for defecation and clean accordingly), anything large enough to where your snake can’t suffocate him or herself.
A quick safety tip would be keep any thick materials clear of under tank heaters, they can become to warm for your snake. It is better to place your hide or material pouches to the side of a heater; your snake has the choice of heat source or cooler enclosure and will be far more comfortable in its environment.