Sunday, March 8, 2009

Cage Requirements

The "ideal" cage size for captive Green Tree Pythons is hotly debated (see this posting in the morelia viridis forum). Most breeders opt for 24 x 24 x 24 inch cube cages for adults, and rack systems with 12-16 liter tubs for juveniles and 6 liter tubs for neonates. Each animal should be housed individually, chondros are not social creatures. The tub-rack system is an ideal way to keep younger snakes as it is easy to clean, easy to keep temperature and humidity, and very cost effective. I believe that for adult snakes the more room you can afford the better. They key is to give the animal a clean and stimulating environment to explore with enough stretching room to provide exercise.

Homemade Tub-rack sytem for 4 juvenile Chondros

Glass or acrylic aquariums and vivariums work well when properly modified to meet the heating and humidity requirements. I prefer custom cages as they can be optimally designed for chondros. If you are carpentry inclined you can build your own from wood or melamine board(Greg Maxwell provides plans to his cages here), or you can have one made for you from various cage manufacturers.

Greg Maxwell "style" cage. From

The cage should be furnished with plenty of well-secured perches and decorated with silk or live plants that allow the snake some coverage and a general feeling of security. Chondros are cautious animals and when given the choice between a high perch and proper temperature, they will almost always choose the safety of the high perch. This is why, contrary to popular beliefs, Chondros fare better in horizontally oriented cages as opposed to vertical “arboreal” cages. By placing the heating source off to one of the sides, we create a horizontal heat gradient that allows the snake to thermo-regulate along the perch while not having to sacrifice health and comfort for safety.

A water bowl with clean fresh water should be placed inside the cage. Despite chondros prefering to drink water droplets from their coils after a rain (or in captivity, a misting),they should be given the option of a constant clean fresh water source. To Maxwell’s point, give your snake the same water you would like to drink.The size of the bowl is inconsequential, note that a larger bowl can be useful if maintaing high humidity becomes a problem.

Newspaper and Paper towels work well for substrate as they are easy to clean and retain moisture. If you want a more natural look, I suggest Cypress mulch which smells great, looks great, retains humidity, and is easy to clean. Substrate should be replaced every 4-6 weeks and spot cleaned as needed.


  1. I had visited your website which was really good Plastic Manufacturer

  2. Hey thank you so much.this post is going to help me a lot with my pet.Also I would like to say that you are doing a good job here so please do more of it!

  3. What do you use for heat source? Im new to tree pythons and tree boas. I use heat pads with stats for my ball pythons and boas. Just wondering if you use the same for GTP