Corn Snake Tank Requirements

Baby corn snakes can easily live in a smaller 10-gallon tank. However, as they reach adulthood it is highly recommended that they be housed in a 20-gallon tank. At the same time, corn snakes can get stressed out by the overabundance of space. They prefer to be cozy. Because of this, you want to make sure you go for a long and low style tank when you make your purchase (as apposed to aquarium style tanks which are much taller).

Like other animals, snakes need exercise and stimulation. It is important to fill a good part of the empty space with hides and decor for them to climb and explore. For more info on that, visit our Hides and Decor Page.

As far as tank mates, it is not recommended that you house two corn snakes together. They are not social animals and a tank mate will stress them out.

Corn Snake Tank Heating

One of the most important aspects of setting up a corn snake tank is making sure you have a temperature gradient. This means that one part of your tank should be warmer, and the other side cooler. As cold blooded animals, corn snakes rely on their environment to help regulate their body temperature. With a warm and cool side to their tank, they have the ability to regulate their body temperature as needed if they are too hot or too cold.


Example of a low and long tank


    • Thermometers: You can choose between regular needle thermometers or digital thermometers. My corn snake’s tank has both digital and a regular needle thermometer. Both work great! I put the digital thermometer on the wall of the cool side of the tank and needle thermometer on the wall of the warmer side.
    • Heating Pads: To create your heat gradient, I recommend under-tank heater pads. These can get pretty hot if not controlled. Getting a digital controller thermostat is highly recommended for the job. There are also non-digital controllers, but I find that they are less reliable when it comes to setting the perfect temperature. Digital controller thermostats are user-friendly and help keep the warm side at a perfect 85 degrees. It is a smart investment to spend just a couple extra bucks to get a reliable digital controller that lets you set the perfect temperature vs. a cheaper controller that only has ‘low, med, high’ settings. It is very important that your corn snake’s tank has a cool side (in the low 70’s Fahrenheit) and a warm side (between 82-85 degrees Fahrenheit). You will be able to monitor these two temperatures with thermometers that you can attach to the tank’s wall. Corn snakes are drawn to the warm side after feeding. They need the warmth to properly digest their food.

      DO NOT use heating rocks in your corn snake’s tank. Corn snakes can easily get burned.

Corn Snake Tank Lighting

Corn snakes do not need special lighting. Natural lighting from your windows provides all the necessary light they require. The day-to-night shift in lighting provides helps them adjust their sleep cycle. Some tanks come with spot lamps. I recommend that you discard these since they tend to get very hot and will cause the metal lid on your corn snake’s tank to become hot enough to burn your snake.