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Ceramic Heat Emitters or Heat Lamps for Amazon Tree Boa

Discussion in 'Emerald Tree Boa/Arboreal Boas' started by MoskiWoski, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. MoskiWoski

    MoskiWoski Elite Member

    Hey everyone, I'm new to the site. I've owned many reptiles over the years, mostly lizards, and a Jungle Carpet Python. I'm considering getting an Amazon Tree Boa, and I'm in the process of designing and building a custom enclosure. My plans are to make it 32"W x 20"D x 48"H. From what I've read, that should be substantial for an ATB. (The enclosure will be made of sealed wood with multiple hinged glass doors and a heavy screen cover.)

    My question is, what would be a better overhead heat source, heat lights or ceramic heat emitters? I plan on building a hood to cover the entire enclosure and to hold all the lighting and controls. The lights or emitters would be elevated above the screen cover to keep the ATB from coming in contact with anything. Does anyone have ideas on what I should use for heat? Lighting will not be a problem, as I am installing fluorescent lighting, so I was leaning toward the ceramic emitters to supply heat. My plan is to use two emitters spaced evenly over the enclosure. But since Iv'e never used these, I have no clue what size I should use. 100 watt, 250 watt, no clue. I'm trying to keep in mind that the snake is arboreal and the enclosure it's self will be 4ft. tall.

    I'm also going to install a thermostat. I'm going to use a typical household thermostat, (I'm an HVAC guy, so wiring, transformers, and relays won't be a problem). My question here is, mount it on the back wall about just above center, and centered in the cage horizontally? Or, use a thermostat that has a wired remote sensor? The sensor I can attach it anywhere in the enclosure, but then I risk the ATB covering it, and the heat not shutting off properly, causing over heating. This is why I'm leanin toward wall mount. I can measure temperature at the top of the enclosure and adjust the thermostat accordingly using wall mount to keep the enclosure a consistent temperature, with the top being a little warmer, due to proximity to the heat source and with the fact that heat rises.

    So, in a nut shell:
    -Ceramic Heat Emitters or Heat Lamps? (With thermostat, 32x20x48" enclosure)
    -Wall mount or wired remote sensor thermostat? (ATB may cover sensor causing overheating)

    Opinions, suggestions, complaints, insults, and all other variations of input will be GREATLY appreciated.

    Again, I'm new here, so I'm sorry for the super long post. I'm older than I was when I had my reptiles in the past (obviously I couldn't be younger) and I'm able to do more for them now. I'd like to make life as comfortable as possible for both the reptile and myself. So, like I said, ANY information or just general input on this subject will be extremely helpful.

    Thanks a lot everyone.
  2. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    hey man, for arboreal snakes the best way to go is radient heat panels. They cost a little more upfront but save you in the long run. they provide better heat and are much safer for the animal. check out "pro products" heat panels they guys there are awesome to work with and will give you all the customer service you need. A 60-70w panel or so as compared to what you need for lights is a much better trade off. then all you need is a low watt light for their cycle. that's what I use now for all my chondros and have had MUCH better results then when I was using lights.
  3. MoskiWoski

    MoskiWoski Elite Member

    I'll look it up right now, do you install them in the enclosure or above?
  4. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    they are inside the enclosure on the ceiling
  5. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    you can see it in this pic above my girl. hope this helps


    Attached Files:

  6. MoskiWoski

    MoskiWoski Elite Member

    Yeah, I see it. I sent them an email describing the enclosure and asking for their recommendations. What size do you have, and what is the cost, approximately?
  7. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    I've used the 20 and 30 watt size for what I have. they keep a temp of 86 no problem and no issues with humidity. The ones I have are about 70 to 80 for each. Running several enclosures I figured it's cheaper then running lights that would maintain the same temps and hot spot. Once up to temperature they're off most of the day anyway. I can't say enough good things about them.
  8. MoskiWoski

    MoskiWoski Elite Member

    Right on! So you obviously use them on a thermostat. Thanks for the input, it's very helpful.
  9. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    no problem, I do use a thermostat. I went with digital aquatics for my system. They make systems for aquariums and for herps. I would recommend using at least 2 probes to ensure right temps before you put any animal in and check with a heat gun. Aside from the probe with the system I use a regular digital thermometer with a probe to make sure they're working well.
  10. MoskiWoski

    MoskiWoski Elite Member

    Sounds good. I appreciate the feedback. I'll be in contact with you once I start to build. I'm sure I'll have more questions. Ha!!

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