Hognose Enclosure Set-Up

Getting everything ready for your new hognose may seem daunting at first, but it doesn’t have to be.  We’ve compiled a list of the most needed supplies, so you can ensure your hognose will be living the best life possible.

Enclosure Types
A shoe box sized tote or 5 gallon aquarium are favoured choices for growing hatchlings. We suggest 6QT Sterilite ClearView bins for hognoses that are 10+ grams. A 5 gallon aquarium with a fitted lid and clips will also work, but the the sides may need to be “blacked out” (covered) until your hognose is settled in and feeling secure.


Vivarium Electronics VE series racks are a good investment for those with a smaller collection. Each level can accommodate 3 different sized tubs to better suit varying age/sizes.

Aspen shavings, Carefresh bedding, coco coir and organic soil are the most popular substrates. If using Carefresh, make sure to not get odor control, which contains baking soda. Avoid substrates such as cedar and pine as both contain polyphenols, which can harm their respiratory system. Calci-sand shouldn’t be used as it can cause impaction if ingested


We highly recommend THG heat tape. Reptile brand heat cable and heat mats can be used, with the latter being less consistent or effective

** this is your most important investment as heat tape can reach over 140° F in a few minutes if not controlled and regulated by a thermostat


We use Spyder Robotics Herpstat 1’s, 2’s and 4’s, available in Canada at Cornel’s World, or direct from Spyder Robotics in the US. Vivarium Electronics makes good proportional thermostats, available in Canada from Northern Gecko, or from Reptile Basics Inc. in the US. Lower cost options include the R-Zilla Temperature Controller or Big Apple BAH-1000DC. We have tested the Big Apple thermostats and found them to be the most inconsistent
Food and Water
Feeder rodents – Your hatchling hognose will likely be on pinky mice for the first 2+ months if fed on a 5 – 7 day feeding schedule


Small crock dishes found at dollar stores work well as water dishes and many are weighted enough to prevent tipping


Forceps or feeding tongs are a cheap, important investment. Hognoses have a tendency to have poor aim and feeding tongs can help prevent accidental bites
Humid hides – With BC’s humidity averaging 60%, we don’t find it necessary to provide a humid hide. We have had minimal issues with stuck sheds. However, if you live in a more arid climate, a small container filled with moistened sphagnum moss makes a great humid hide that will aid in the shedding process.


Hides – we prefer using paper towel or pvc tubes in place of traditional reptile specific hides. We find the hognoses spend more time in tubes than in ABS hide boxes, however, anything that offers them a safe space to retreat is better than nothing at all