The Ideal Habitat for Red Tail Boas

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A red tail boa, AKA boa constrictor, is a popular pet snake. These snakes can live up to 30 years in captivity, but they do get pretty large. A full-grown red tail boa can be 8 to 10 feet long and weigh up to 50 pounds. Check local laws before getting a red tail boa, because they are restricted in some communities. Know what kind of habitat your red tail boa needs so you can be prepared when you bring one home.

Red tail boa curled up inside enclosure

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What size of tank/enclosure does a red tail boa need?

Young red tail boas, those under a year old, only need a 10- to 20-gallon aquarium, but once the boa gets older, it will need a larger enclosure. You’ll want an enclosure at least 6 feet long, 2 feet wide and 2 feet high, but bigger would probably be better. Red tail boas don’t stretch out to the full length very often, but they do like to move around. Make sure the enclosure is tight without any loose spots where the snake could escape, because if it can find a way to get out, it will.

What is a good temperature for a red tail boa?

Red tail boas are from Brazil, so they are used to heat and humidity. They prefer a warmer environment of about 85 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, they’ll want 60% to 80% humidity. A mister can help maintain that humidity, but you may want an electric humidifier. Invest in a hygrometer so you can be assured that your snake has the appropriate conditions.

Do red tail boas need a heat lamp?

Red tail boas instinctively know how to maintain their temperature. They are cold-blooded animals who prefer the heat. A heat lamp or other type of heating element provides a spot for basking. Make sure your snake can’t burn itself on the heating element, though. Hot rocks are not good in snake cages. You want the basking temperature to be around 95 degrees. The other side of the cage needs to be around 85 degrees.

Red tail boa in water

Sipa on Pixabay

What is the best bedding for a red tail boa?

Red tail boas produce a lot of waste because they are large snakes. With younger snakes, paper towels work well for bedding material. For adults, you want a natural floor covering that is easy to clean, such as reptile bark or reptile dirt mixture. Don’t use sand. It can be ingested by the boa, causing serious health problems.

What do red tail boas eat?

Adult red tail boas prefer rats or small rabbits, but younger snakes will eat small mice. Although some snake owners do feed their boas live bait, these snakes will also accept frozen prey. Live bait can bite or scratch snakes before being killed, which can injure the snake.

Red tail boas make good pets when you are prepared to take care of them properly.

About the Author
chameleon planted terrarium

Dustin Williams

Dustin Williams is a third generation aquarist and tropical fish fanatic. He grew up surrounded by various pets including; dogs, cats, turtles, hamsters and of course, aquarium fish. He has owned his own aquarium since Y2K and is experienced in keeping all types of freshwater tropical fish. He currently owns a 67 gallon tank with various African Cichlids and writes content for his personal aquarium website.... Learn More

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