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Winter's Coming... Heat?

Discussion in 'Ball Pythons' started by dankaholic256, Oct 7, 2008.

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  1. dankaholic256

    dankaholic256 Active Member

    Excellent. Thanks for the info.
    To everyone else... I have a 30-gallon that my Ball is in right now. I have a 150W red heat bulb clipped a little above the top of the cage pointing down. Am I better off resting it right on the top of the cage instead, or would that get too hot. And, if that would get it too hot, should I buy a lower wattage bulb, and place it face down on top of the cage?

    Thanks
     
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Sorry for the delay in responding but I have been away for a while.
    No I have the heat emitter only, no under tank heater on the 55 and it is on a thermostat and is never turned off. With the room temperature that you are dealing with an UTH is going to be insufficient as the sole heating source. They will heat the area of the floor directly above them but will do little else.
    I think you are mixing up my posts. The temperature difference with the flexwatt was in reference to my boa cage which is basically a sealed wooden box, not a tank.

    That has not been my experience. As long as you are using a flat faced CHE and a reflective dome most of the heat is directed at the bottom of the cage and I can verify this with a temp gun. And one of the enclosures I am heating with CHEs is a 5 ft tall iguana cage! I know because when I am cleaning the cage I can feel the heat on the top of my head!:eek:
    Yes heat rises, but it will rise regardless of whether you use a che or a light bulb, heat is heat. The problem is in the screen top that most people use as it lets a lot of the heat escape, no matter what the source. And if the room the cage is in is very cool that heat will rise and escape very quickly.
     
  3. jimbud

    jimbud Active Member

    Um yeah, looks like I really mixed up your posts, thanks for the clarification. I think a big part of my problem had to do with some very conflicting info I had read somewhere else. After reading the last couple of response I think I can now safely say I finally got it and know where to go from here. I appreciate everyone's patience and guidance. :)
     
  4. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I wonder if that has something to do with the brand I use (usually what's on sale), because my Boa cage (completely closed in - the only screen parts are cut to size of lights, and do use reflective domes) only ever warms in the top foot of it. Same with my Water Dragon, who practically lives in a large Tupperware. By bulbs, I meant spot basking bulbs. They focus a beam that heats at a much greater distance than any CHE I have ever used.
     
  5. jimbud

    jimbud Active Member

    I've since changed out the 150w CHE with a 100w infrared and temps are slightly lower (ambient as well) although the floor was much hotter with the CHE. Friday I'll be heading to Lowe's to get some insulating material for the sides, back and under the tank on the side without the under tank heater. Seems I'm still having some issues with keeping the humidity up too. What type of gauge do you guys feel is most accurate to measure this? I'm thinking the $7 jobs I got at Walmart might be krap even though they looked decent enough quality. Gawd I hate gadgets as much as I love them. :p
     
  6. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I think I paid about $6 or $7 for a battery powered digital thermometer hygrometer duo at wal*mart. Used it in my tanks and it was fine. But when it went into the incubator, it didn't last.
     
  7. dankaholic256

    dankaholic256 Active Member

    What do you all keep your temps/humidity @ in a glass terrarium. I have read a few different numbers online and in books, trying to figure out what works best.

    P.S. Just got an undertank heater and a digital thermometer, should I put the undertank heater on the same side as my light?
     
  8. jimbud

    jimbud Active Member

    Someone more experienced should answer this but what I found was that putting the heat lamp/CHE over the under the tank heater created a really hot surface area. I've since moved it over a bit.
     
  9. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Where you put each heating element in your cage will depend a lot on size of cage. If cage is 'small' (55 gal or less) there may be no option. Two heating elements can be compatible if neither one is a terribly high-powered thing (I use a day heat lamp and under tank heater both on same end of my 55 gal - no prob (60 and 15 watts respectively). If the snake gets too warm, she moves to cooler end, and vice-verse. Since you have a digital thermometer, you could give it a test run, and move things around till you get numbers you like. My tanks average 72-87 degrees on warm and cool ends, and where I live, I generally don't bother with humidity until they are opaque. As long as they have a water dish big enough to soak in, should they need to.
     
  10. jimbud

    jimbud Active Member

    Good reading, makes me feel a lot better about my numbers though they're a bit lower than yours. However I did pick up some insulating sheets to cut-to-fit around 3 sides and 1/2 the bottom of the tank since the room does stay below 70 during the winter months. I will mess with that tomorrow since I was too busy yesterday and today have been setting up for a Halloween party. Also I noticed Gomez getting ready for a shed so I decided to try a moist hide. He's been in it since I placed it yesterday evening.
     
  11. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Balls are pretty flexible. A higher or lower temp won't hurt them so long as it isn't too drastic or too prolonged. I used to be in Michigan, and we had a few circuits in our house that would randomly stop working. Woke up at 2 in the morning one night to find the python's cage was about 59F (Circuits blew). She had escaped, and made her way to my bed (I had an electric blanket) and woke me up by pushing my headboard radio over on my face while i was sleeping. Room temp was even lower, so i know the tank could not have been without power for too long. It was cold enough for standing water to develop a layer of ice on the coldest nights. Keeping her warm enough was a challenge, but I managed so long as I had electricity. When we had power-outs (more than once) She spent nights in a pillowcase in my bed with me, as there was no other source of heat but my own body.

    I live in Florida now. Keeping them warm is so much easier...
     
  12. jimbud

    jimbud Active Member

    Thanks, makes me feel a lot better about my first winter with a snake here in Richmond even tho it's very mild compared to up north.

    Since putting the styrofoam sheeting around the back, sides and part of the bottom of the tank I saw an immediate difference in the temps. The thermostat is actually getting some use now and keeping things consistent. Also placed a moist hide inside since Gomez is getting his shed on and he's been in it since yesterday morning.
     
  13. dankaholic256

    dankaholic256 Active Member

    Awesome, I just got my digital thermometer all set up, so I'm getting some more accurate readings now. I'll go with this for a while once I get my undertank heater set up, and see where that leaves me. I appreciate all the advice, I'll keep posting when more questions arise.

    Thanks
     
  14. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    My female Ball is opaque right now too. I set her up with a wet hide, and she is using it to death - soaking a lot. (she isn't always so good about it) I'm hoping to get a good shed out of her to take in to work.

    Living in Michigan, I swore by insulating foam and lots of towels. She survived it though, and never had any problems come of it.
     
  15. dankaholic256

    dankaholic256 Active Member

    What do you all use for wet hides? The last two times Joselyn shed, she would just sit in her water dish every now and then. But, should I put in something else to help her?
     
  16. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Some people make a wet hide with any enclosed object (tupperwares work great) make a hole in it big enough to easily admit snake, and add wet moss or other safe substrate. Make sure it's warm, dark, and relatively enclosed. Right now, My ball is in a tupperware with a log half hide over it, so it's dark, and therefore secure. Half filled with water, sits on her under tank heater to keep it warm. She hardly moves from it. In the end, anything you can get your snake to use works.
     
  17. dankaholic256

    dankaholic256 Active Member

    Awesome, thanks dragoness, I just got an undertank heater for her and everything, so I'll do just that, I'll put the tupperware underneath my half log hide, over the heater.

    I hope she uses it :) she's kinda snooty.
     
  18. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I hate snooty snakes. Mine have their own ideas about such things as soaking while opaque, and eating pre-killed rodents. Good luck with the shedding. If he doesn't shed good, you can also use olive oil to encourage him, though I only do that as a bit of a last resort... Rub them down with olive oil. You can also soak them in a bathtub or large basin for 15 minutes a day if he refuses to use his new arrangement.
     
  19. dankaholic256

    dankaholic256 Active Member

    Cool, ok. S/he has shed great twice already, but its gotten drier with winter around, so I'm trying to preemptively help her out. She's a spoiled, but she's my baby. :D
     
  20. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    That's what they are for - spoiling. You'll have to figure out what works best for him/her. They all have their own preferences. My baby ball won't soak at all, and has to be forced into a rubbermaid with holes drilled in lid. Our male, no matter how much he is soaked, always seems to shed horribly. Our female is pretty content to live in her soak box when it's in there.
     
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