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Very Cold House, Heating Ideas?

Discussion in 'Ball Pythons' started by DragonPaws, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. DragonPaws

    DragonPaws New Member

    So, first of all for the past year or so I've been planning on getting a ball python. I've found a breeder and a tank, but my problem is I live in nothern Illinois and at night the house temperatures dip into the lower 60s. I have trouble keeping my fish tank heated evenly, and I'm worried about keeping an even more temperature sensitive animal. Can I ren a heating pad under the entire length of the tank, and use a red heat lamp on one end?
  2. MorganLeFay

    MorganLeFay Elite Member

    Your idea is good. Normally I wouldn't recommend covering the entire floor of the tank with a heat mat, but since your house is so cold, you pretty much need to:) You can also place an open-bottomed hide made out of insulating material such as wood over the heat pad to trap the heat inside and create a "heated cave". I recently did this myself and can fully recommend it. Just make sure that the snake can't burn himself against the bottom of the tank where the heat mat is. You can also use a ceramic heat emitter. A lot depends on the wattage of the mat you'll be using and the type and size of your tank. You'll just have to experiment and measure the temps until you find the solution that works best for you. It's possible that you'll have to rearrange things a couple of times before you're satisfied:)
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I'm sorry but its a REALLY bad idea! You do not want the heat mat covering the entire bottom as that gives the snake no where to get off of it and cool down. If you must use the tank, make a sealed wooden top to replace the screen. this will allow you much greater control over heat and humidity as well.
  4. MorganLeFay

    MorganLeFay Elite Member

    But since the cool side for BPs should be between 77-80 degrees and his house is in the 60s, maybe he could pull it off with a weak heat mat (not more than 20W), and if he covered it with insulating substrate like Aspen, he could definitely do it, don't you think? But maybe it would be better to get a stronger mat that would cover about 35% of the surface and just make a hot hide or put a heat lamp additionally above the mat. It would probably be safer...anyhow a good thermostat is a must. Especially as I don't know if the house is so cold all year round or just in winter...not enough information to give any proper advice :s
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    They are going to be losing a lot of heat out the top of the tank. closing it off will make things run more efficiently. My reptile room is a bit cool in the winter getting down to the mid 60's at times.
  6. MorganLeFay

    MorganLeFay Elite Member

    I seemed to have missed the info about the screen top...
  7. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    If you have not purchased a cage yet, you may be better either shelling out the money for a good one, or making your own, that way you can have one designed to be well insulated, and withstand cooler temperatures, while still keeping your snake warm.
  8. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Best option as Dragoness said would be to build your own cage or spend the cash for a good reptile specific cage. The tank will work, but it will take a lot of mods and maybe some extra equipment. As Merlin pointed out, you'll need a custom top, a screen lid won't cut it. I would also insulate the tank as much as possible. If I were setting this up, after the top I would insulate the back, both ends, and even the bottom , except where a normal sized heat mat would be. Part of building the top would include installing a caged ceramic heat emitter on the inside. That could then be put on a separate thermostat to control ambient temps.

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