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New Corn Snake. Heating Concern

Discussion in 'Corn Snakes' started by Aubz311, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. Aubz311

    Aubz311 Member

    So, I got a new albino corn snake and am loving him. This is my first snake and I have been reading any and everything I can about care.

    I got this guy from my cousin this past Saturday. He was holding onto it for his buddy who then decided he didn't want it anymore. And then my cousin's wife said she didn't like it. So, I was like PICK ME!!!!!!

    Anyway, he's very happy and healthy and seems to be doing great.

    My question right now is about the heating.
    They have used an undertank heater and a lamp. This lamp just has a 60 W bulb in it, so it isn't a super hot one. The tank is a 20 gal. My snake is about 2 - 2 1/2 feet long. I have yet to hear from my cousin how old he is. Still waiting.

    I read that albinos don't like the light quite so much, and they really don't need it. So the first day I just left the lamp off. The thing is, the temp says it is about 74 on the warm side without the lamp. There is no temp gage on the cooler side, so I can only assume it is lower than that, which I feel may be too cool when the lamp isn't plugged in. So today I turned the lamp on and it has made it up to around 82 on the warm side.
    He just ate yesterday, so I am concerned the heat is too low if it is only around the 74 on the warm side for him to properly digest.

    I'd prefer not to use the lamp if possible. Just because he doesn't need the light, and he likes to stick his nose against the screen to try to find a way out, I worry he will burn himself. The UTH doesn't have a temp control and it is working. The temp gage is near the bottom of the tank. But 74 on the warm side seems too cold to me. But I am FAR from an expert here. ;)
  2. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Here is a caresheet that will help you out until a corn snake owner comes by;
    Corn Snake Caresheet (Pantherophis guttatus)

    Not sure what you are using for measuring your temperatures, but I would suggest that you use a digital thermometer with a probe. Place the probe of the thermometer on the floor over the heat mat, inside the hot hide and this will give you an accurate basking temp. Also when using any Under tank heat mat, you should also have it plugged into a thermostat, this will ensure that it doesn't go below the desired temp or over the desired temp.
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    74 is nowhere close to being warm enough. You need a basking area of at least 85-90 degrees. I keep mine set at about 90. If the UTH is not doing the job then you need the lamp. The light will not hurt the snake.
  4. justor

    justor Elite Member

    If they've been using the lamp up until now with no problems I don't see why you shouldn't use it anymore. If you're really concerned about the light you could get a ceramic heat emitter. Projects heat without producing any light.
  5. Kernel

    Kernel Elite Member

    74 is good for the cool end, but the hot end needs to be 85 to 90. Without adequate heat, he can't digest his food and could regurgitate. You best get a thermometer for the cool side as well.
  6. Aubz311

    Aubz311 Member

    Thanks for the help guys!! I did see the care sheet and the thing that throws me off is the "they don't need light but they need 87-90 degrees on the hot side" and his UTH is just not doing the job by itself. It's a pretty small one, it doesn't even cover 1/4 of the tank. So maybe I should get a bigger one? Problem is, the **** tank is cracked over there. I'm not sure if it was caused by this UTH or a previous one. But this one just isn't that warm.
    And I didn't realize you plugged those into a thermostat. Thank you for that. I will have to go find one. They never said anything about using a thermostat with this one. I figured they just went to a constant temp for herps and that was that.
    Shows what I know. HAHA
    Well, I have left the lamp on so the heat stays up. I knew that it was too cool over there. I just wasn't sure if it was ok as far as his care goes, the people who had him before just used the lamp all the time. But I put the temp gage in there, they never monitored it when they had him (Store only had one when I went, so I need to get a second one for the other side).
    But, the previous owners also had him in a little room that was always dark so they had the light on a timer, and my bet it was warmer in the room they had him in than it is in my downstairs living room with windows. And our house stays at a pretty cool temp because it's too expensive to always have the heat on during the day when none of us are home (Utah, it gets so **** cold here so fast).
    I just don't like the light on all the time and from what I have read, they don't like it on all the time either. With the light constantly on, doesn't that stress them out?
    I will have to go look for the ceramic heat emitter. I like the idea of that. I looked online and see a 40w. Do you think that would be sufficient for a 20gal?
    He really doesn't need the light. It's plenty bright where I have him during the day. But the temp in our home is a definitely too cool for him.
    Overall, he is fine. Still running around and checking things out. He ate Sunday night and has already pooped it out. So I can see his digestion is working fine.
    I just don't want to "kinda" take care of my snake like I hear so many do. Not you guys, as far as I can tell you all take the best care of your herps than anyone I see. That's why I am here! ;)
  7. Aubz311

    Aubz311 Member

    HA!! I got censored. Sorry, I said the "D" word. Please don't judge me. HAHAHAA!!
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Sounds like your heat pad is too small. You want it to cover about 1/3 of the tank bottom. But if the room itself is very cool a pad may not be enough.
    I think part of your confusion is over the "Don't need the light" part.
    They don't require UVB light the way some species do. But they do need a dark/light cycle. Just like us, having it always dark or always light will mess up their cycles. They need dark at night. In a room where there is ambient light from windows or such, that will supply them with their daylight need.
    And you don't want the lights on 24 hrs a day. A drop in nighttime temperatures is fine. If the heat pad keeps it at 74 at night thas great.
  9. Aubz311

    Aubz311 Member

    Ah, I see. That makes sense. Thanks so much!
    So the temp is fine at night if I turn the light off? That's what I did last night. I don't think I mentioned that. I left it on during the day and then switched it off before going to bed. Turned it back on this morning. Roughly a 12 hour on/off period.
    But if I do the CHE and leave it on all the time, that will be fine too? The cool side should be fine so long as the CHE doesn't heat the entire tank. I don't know. I have no idea how hot they get or anything.
    But if the light is fine to just have on during the day and off at night with the temp dropping like that, then I may go with it. However, it's not even winter yet and it will get cooler in here at night. So, maybe the bigger heat pad will help with that.
    Regulating the temp is a bit more challenging than I though. I will be happy to have it all figured out.
  10. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The CHE will get quite hot. I suggest getting a thermostat to control it.
    And by putting it on the smae end as your other heating equipment you will still be establishing a thermal gradient.
  11. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    Something else I noticed, you said something about your heat not being on all day while no one was home. The temperature of the environment the cage is kept in has a direct effect on the temps inside the cage. If the daytime drop is very much, the heating devices you have(or get) may not be able to keep up. Might want to pick a small room where you can set up a space heater or something to help keep temps stable, or find a way to insulate the cage. Ignore all this if i misunderstood, just sounded as if you may be shutting off/turning down the heat during the day to save energy.
  12. Aubz311

    Aubz311 Member

    The heat does get turned down during the day. But I think the light and heat pad combined are fine. The heat pad def isn't enough on it's own. So I will stick with the light until I get the CHE.
    He has to be where he is... there isn't really anywhere else I can keep him. My husband is a bit of a snake-aphobe, so we have some agreements as to where he can be kept. My dad lives with us and he would probably just freak if I put it in his room. As much as I'd love to have the comedy factor on that one, it won't happen. hehe
    My kids are much too loud and... well... they're kids, so they'd end up hitting the tank constantly while in their rooms, jumping around and creating so much vibration and just generally freaking the poor guy out. I am very strict with how they are with him, but, if he was in their room... you know how kids are. "Mom's gone... let's do something we aren't supposed to do." HAHA
    He will be good in the living room. This floor is on the ground level, so there's very little vibration from people walking or kids jumping. I am able to keep a good eye on him and check things out.
    We have a stand being delivered so he will be on something a little more stable and more central to the room, right now he's just hanging out on a table until I get it, hopefully this weekend. He's near the sliding glass window, so that doesn't help the temperature very well. But with the lamp on it's perfect. Once we get that stand I think it will improve things... both environmentally for him and aesthetically for our living room. Things are everywhere. Can't wait to get that stand. ;)
    Right now the temps are perfect. He seems to be fine. Still very active and took his first feeding with me with zero issues.
    This first week is more of an adjustment to me than him I think. HAHAHA
  13. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    One thing I highly suggest, given the possibility of temperature fluctuation in the room is a digital thermometer with a min/max function. This will record the highs and lows that the tank reaches during the day and night. That way you will know what is going on at times when you are not around to monitor the tank.
  14. Knox

    Knox Elite Member

    I use ONLY heat lamps with my Corn and Cal King.

    In the cooler months, I have a 75 watt bulb (standard lamp bulb). In the summer, I drop that to 60 watt.

    My snakes are in 40 gallon breeders. The warm side is 88 on the ground, 92 on the climbing cave closer to the lamp. Cool side is 76 or so.

    I occasionally mist the tanks, but not regularly by any means. My snakes eat, poop, and shed wonderfully.

    There is a "religion" of UTH ONLY! that has swept the hobby in the past few years. There is nothing magical about UTHs. Heat is heat. Lamps heat the surface AND the air. UTH's heat the surface.

    Either is fine.
  15. Kernel

    Kernel Elite Member

    I use mostly heat pad cause they don't use as much electricity and your not replacing bulbs constantly, but in your case you need the heat lamp too.

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