Corn snakes make a great beginner snakes because their general care is not that complicated and they come in a huge amount of colors and patterns. They do not get very big. Full grown is generally 3-5 feet. With proper care their average life span is 15 to 20 years.
Corn snake don’t require a huge enclosure. An adult corn snake can live in a 20 gal tank. One thing you want to make sure is that it is escape proof. A snake is the best escape artist and will find the smallest area.
Heating and Lighting
Corn snakes don’t require special UV lighting. Since in the wild they are nocturnal and are usually hiding under fallen brush and rocks during the day. However, since they are cold blooded they do need warmth to help the digest food. It is recommend to use a under tank heater with a thermostat or rheostat to warm the enclosure. The enclosure should have a warm side and a cool side (75-85 degrees).
*It is very important to have either a thermostat or rheostat regulating the heat mat. If not the heat mat can get up to 130 degrees. *
Aspen and Newspaper are the most common substrates used for corn snakes. You can also use cypress, repti bark and carefresh liter. You do not want to use cedar or pine since these do contain toxic substances that can be harmful to your snake’s health. You also want to avoid using sand because it can get in between the snakes scales and cause irritation.
Corn snakes in captivity feed on mice. Most will eat frozen thawed mice without a problem. Feeding frozen thawed mice is recommended because it is safer than feeding live food. A live mouse will fight back and can cause serious harm to your snake. The rule of thumb in the size of the food is the mouse should not be more than 1 ½ times bigger than the snake.
Last but not least.
Your enclosure should have 2 hides. One on the warm side and one on the cold side. The hides help the snake feel secure and it helps minimize stress. What kind of hide is up to you, you can purchase fancy hides or simply use paper towel rolls or small boxes. You will need to have fresh water available at all times. You want a sturdy water dish that the snake can’t knock over and is big enough for them to curl up in to soak.
Most of all Corn snake can be cannibalistic so it is recommended to never have more than one snake per enclosure. It is rare but it can and does happen.