Make A Screen Top For An Aquarium For A Snake

Snakes make good pets with proper housing and care.

Snakes are escape artists. Their shape, habits and temperament demand vigilance, not just to their daily needs, but just to keep them where they belong. The use of simple materials and simple precautions keep snakes housed and happy when their quarters are well-constructed.

Aquariums make excellent snake cages–provided the lid is secure, tight and efficient to use.

Snakes can be kept in proper conditions without spending a lot of money. Attention to detail and a good, plain set-up will provide a sturdy healthy home for snakes and an uncomplicated situation for the owner.


1. Shape and agility make snakes natural escape artists.

Measure the length and width of the aquarium. Use the inside measurements, because the lid will rest on the inside edge. Mark the lengths on the chosen piece(s) of wood for the lid frame.

2. Cut two pieces of wood for the length and two for the sides. Wood dimensions of 1″x1/2″ will suffice as a minimum for a good rigid lid for a small or medium tank. Lids for aquariums of 20 gallons or more or for those of extra length benefit from an additional bar of wood to support the middle.

The 1″ side will be the horizontal surface resting against the aquarium’s edge and the side in contact with the downward-facing screen.

3. Place a drop or two of carpenter’s glue on each joint to strengthen the bond. Nail the pieces together at the corners to form a rectangle. More industrious builders can use mitered corners or supporting triangles within the corners.

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4. Set the lid frame onto a large enough sheet of screen material (or stiff wire hardware cloth with a small grid) to fit the lid and to fold around the narrow edge and onto the other wide sides of the wooden frame. Trim the screen carefully, leaving about half the width of the wood with screen and half bar.

5. Staple the trimmed end of the screen at about two-inch intervals or less to the wood along a long edge. Pulling the screen taut, staple along the opposite long edge. Carefully make a fold on each corner, and staple the screen at the corners and along the short sides.

6. Apply tape to the edges of the screen to protect against any rough points. Cover the entire stapled side so that the tape adheres to the screen and is securely anchored to the bare wood. If the tape is wide enough, fold it over the shorter width of wood, securely pressing along the inside frame edge. Use strong tape such as duct tape or other industrial-use tapes that have excellent adhesion and durability.