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Heating / Set Up For Kenyan Sand Boa Question

Discussion in 'Rosy Boas & Sand Boas' started by pcs17, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. pcs17

    pcs17 New Member

    Hello everyone,

    A couple of days ago I purchased my first snake (Kenyan Sand Boa) at a local reptile show, yay! I just have a question concerning the heating in the cage.

    I purchased a U.T.H. for heating as well as an incandescent day light. I keep the U.T.H. running 24/7 and the light on for 12 hours a day. During the day in the hot spot my thermometer tells me it is 92 degrees F and on the cold side is roughly 80 degrees F. At night the hot side reads about 80 degrees and the cold about 72.

    One thing I noticed today that really concerned me was that when i pulled back the substrate and touched the glass directly where the U.T.H. was, it was scalding hot. I couldn't keep my hand on it more than a couple seconds. I went out to look for a dimmer/rheostat but Petco, Petsmart, Home Depot, and Walmart didn't have them so I ended up buying some of that reptile carpet and put a small strip of it directly over where the heat pad is. Will this be okay? I'm concerned without the carpet it will burn my new snake. I'm also concerned that with the carpet it might block too much of the heat. Unfortunately the crappy little thermometer I chose isnt much help. It is permanently affixed to the bottom corner of the tank (about 1/2 inch from the base of the tank where the heat mat is).

    Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions for me? Thanks in adnvace.
  2. GitaBooks

    GitaBooks Well-Known Member

    Congrats on the snake! : )

    UTH can be awesome, but in certain set-ups they seem just to be more trouble then help. This is particularly true with sand because the sand will hold in the heat and cause the glass to expand and possibly crack, not to mention a burrowing snake can be burned.
    When using a deep substrate the best choice of heating would probably be a red or purple heat light that can be left on day and night. The heat from above will be more easy to control and monitor as well as letting the snake choose to bask on top of the sand or burrow away from the heat.

    I hope this helps. Best of luck!
  3. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    First off unplug that UTH immediately. And ditch the carpet, it will only compound the problem. What you really need here is a good thermostat to control that heat pad, but in the short term if you can do any basic wiring at all go to your local home improvement store and get a dimmer, an outlet box, and an extension cord around 6' or so. Wire it up and plug the UTH into that, then adjust as necessary. Or search Amazon for hydrofarm thermostat, they are around $40. Under no circumstances should a UTH be run without some way to regulate it. I would also recommend purchasing a non contact IR thermometer, aka temp gun. That will give you the best reading of the surface temp, and a way to double check your t-stat when you get one.

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