Here's a step-by-step guide on how to make a simple set up for your little corn snake - Reptile Forums

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Old 28-08-2009, 12:25 AM
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Arrow Here's a step-by-step guide on how to make a simple set up for your little corn snake

So, exactly what the title says is what I will be trying to explain through this post.
To create a simple but effective home for your corn snake or other snakes of similar needs you will need the following:

This is a Really Useful Box known as a 'RUB' on this forum.
Here are 2 different sizes. You can find loads of sizes in Staples or any good stationary shop, you donít need the well known Really Useful Box brand but make sure the lid is secure and has no way of being pushed up by your snake if you donít use them. I am using 3litre RUB's for my 1 month and 2 month old corn snakes at the moment but that size isnít shown below because I donít want to disturb them. Starting off with a 3 litre is fine for my hatchlings because theyíre both slightly skittish but it is down to personal preference.



The bigger one is a 9 litre.


You will also need:
Kitchen roll or newspaper, I use kitchen roll so I can see the poop better and it's easier to change because the moisture gets absorbed instead of the newspaper getting stuck to the bottom.

Squared paper - used to get accurate spacing for your air holes.

A biro pen - used to mark out the holes.

Toilet roll or a box of tissues - used so you don't make holes in a table!

A pin or safety pin - to make holes in the paper.

Permanent marker pen - to mark on the RUB where to put the holes.

Screw driver or drill - to make holes in the RUB.

Candle or tea light - to heat up the screwdriver if you use one.

Scissors/ scalpel/ Stanley knife - to cut card/plastic, etc.

Ok, so basically i'm going to list in order what i personally do, everyone is different so no critisism please unless it's constructive!

Use the biro to mark small dots on the squared paper, equally spaced out or whatever you wish to do.


Try to not put them really close incase you split the plastic in the following steps.

Then get your pin and push it through each pen mark like this:


Make sure you went all the way through like this:


Then, getting your RUB or other tub, stick the peice of paper in place where you'd like the holes and using a permanent pen, go over the holes like this:


You'll be able to see the dots, you might want to go over them so you can see them better though. This is my example:


Do the same for each narrow end, on one end put the holes near the top, at the other end put them nearer the bottom so you can create air flow and it's easier to keep the temps level i find.

Next, if you have a drill then fantasic, find a small drill bit and drill where the dots are on your RUB or other box.

If you don't have a drill, fear not! I have a solution.
Now, if you have a soldering iron in your possession, do the same as you would with the drill but with the soldering iron.
If you don't have one of these either then i have yet another solution


Get a screwdriver, preferably one that doesn't have plastic binding around it.
Ok, got one? Right, now, off you pop to find a candle, or you can use a gas ring.. aslong as there is fire basically! But lighters will get right up your bum.. i mean, nerves because you'll have to keep it alight constantly.. and you need 2 hands to do what i'm about to say so either find your OH and make them stand there with the lighter and tell them not to move under threat of death, or, find a candle. Your choice!

Ok, now you need to hold the screwdriver over the flame for a good 10-20 seconds, basically you want it to be burning hot.

When your screwdriver is hot, push the hot end of the screwdriver (the metal bit) into where you marked the dots, repeat for each dot.
You might need to file it down with a nail file or sand paper or just pick it off. It does come off, if there's a blob of solid burnt plastic then just scrape it off with a butter knife, it worked for me!

Great, now you have your air holes and now it's time for you to wonder where on earth do you put your probe?
And if you are lovely and good you will have a thermostat, if you are horrible and bad and troll-like, you wont have a thermostat.

Most thermostats have big, huge, chunky, meaty... yeah... big probes which have thick wires. If you are a very dirty person who inclines this is being rude, good on ya, it seemed rude to me too


You basically have a little bit of a problem, you have a big probe from the thermostat and you should also have another probe which is from a digital thermometer (if you're using a dial, stick on one then compromise by making the hole for the probe a bit smaller so it fits snugly.. snugley...sp?)

Using one of the 3 methods of making air holes (drill, soldering iron,
screwdriver) then do the same but just make a bigger hole on the end where your air holes are nearer the bottom.

Having the probe hole on the side where the holes are nearer the bottom means that the heatmat has to be on the same side and as heat rises it will be pushed to the opposite side of the RUB or tub, creating air flow. Which is good. Or so i'm told.

Ok, so now you should have something that looks like this, maybe a little neater or a bit scruffy but it will do the same job.


As i'm using one heatmat for 2 RUBs my probe isn't going through the bigger holes so in this picture you'll only see the thermometer probe.
As you can see the probe is on the end with the heat mat and i've used white tack/blu-tack which is non-toxic so safe to use. But if you do use it, make sure it's a big blob that will keep it firmly in place like this:


These are my RUBs for my 2 month old and 1 month old corn hatchlings. They both have halved toilet tubes and random plastic pots with holes but into them.
In the smaller RUB there is a red box with a hole in the top, this is plastic and great because it can have moss or damp kitchen towel in to assist with shedding and it's also nice and dark.




Well, hope you enjoyed doing this, it was a long read for you i bet!
Any questions, just ask and i will try to answer as best as possible.
It's not hard, i promise! I'm 15 and did it all Well, Dad had to hold the RUB so it didn't go spinning off into oblivion from the power of the drill lol!


In the last picture there is a chopstick going across the RUB wedged in and held in place with blu-tack, it's good for them to hang off and my little corn loves it lol!
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Last edited by Freakinfreak; 28-08-2009 at 12:49 AM.. Reason: Forgot something :S
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:13 PM
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Just thought i'd bump this up tonight if anyone needed help.
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Old 09-09-2009, 08:45 PM
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nice guide mate.

any tips on what to put in the rubs?
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:33 PM
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Anything dark.
For instance, i have toilet tubes cut in half, small, opaque, plastic bowls with a hole cut out, no sharp edges.
I have small plastic tubs which are dark and i just cut a hole in the lid, anything really.
I prefer using plastic because you can clean it easily and i found that if i use cardboard hides and things then they end up smelling quite a lot.

Make sure anything you use isn't sharp and isn't small enough for them to eat, they probably wouldn't but just incase.

Hope i helped
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Old 10-09-2009, 12:18 AM
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Nice step by step guide
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:45 AM
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Thanks, dad wondered what i was doing with his screwdrivers
They're a bit burnt now
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Old 10-09-2009, 11:55 PM
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you did mate. thanks
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:02 AM
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Or instead of a 9L rub for a hatchling use a braplast flip top tub, a snap shut sandwich box or even a medium flat faurnarium that has the same area as a 9L rub but without the risk of escape, people think they cant get out of a 9L but trust me a hatchling corn can. But otherwise good guide.
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Old 06-03-2010, 06:27 PM
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Bump up for some peeeeeoples
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:57 PM
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for my young corn i have used the ASDA sandwich tub with the clips on each edge of the lid.... i's ideal...


i also use the chopstick type thing in my corns tub, he doesnt use it tho i dont think...
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