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Old 05-24-17, 07:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
Join Date: Nov-2013
Posts: 560
Re: Building my first wooden vivarium for my corn snakes

I'm not saying it's ideal and 40% probably is a good minimum humidity to aim for (I'd try to keep a corn closer to 60% max personally unless there is great air flow) but corns and a few other hardy North American colubrids are actually fine quite low and will shed usually with no problems down around 30%. Several species are great even lower like the rosy boa and desert king which shed in a mostly sand mix tank with no added water or misting when our house was reading 20% and they had infrared heat bulbs. I hadn't gone to any che yet. They were perfectly smooth and shiny like they are now with no dull or damaged scales and they shed so fast and easy the only clue I might have is a missed meal. I would not say all snakes do better or need that higher humidity but I agree I wouldn't let most snakes go really low. I'd still find 30% acceptable for corns, bull and gopher snakes, and like I said some of mine go lower and I don't bother trying to up the humidity. Although I do have che and 2 humidifiers now because why push things even more if you don't need to and the humans were getting sore throats last winter from the dry air.

Corns do also range all the way to Texas so the repeated use I see of claiming them as Florida conditions being ideal or necessary because they live there is not entirely accurate. It's the farthest end of one of their ranges and the only truly tropical area they are in. While a fair amount of their range is subtropical they also live in dry, rocky areas and fairly temperate areas quite a bit north, especially up the east coast. Forget the cut off states mentioned for their range. They are quite adaptable but I'd risk going low and have to do a little misting during shed if necessary rather than keeping humidity high if given those 2 choices. They have been known to suffer respiratory illness in enclosed cages with moderately high humidity while they generally shed without issue and remain healthy including in appearance at lower humidity. Risk assessment is why I'd open it up more and debate an infrared bulb's drying effect in the most humid months since we aren't even in to summer yet. It can get 90% with my hardwood doors absorbing so much they don't close properly so here it's still going to go up for 2months or so.

UVB for snakes is debated and generally considered unnecessary due to their diet but overall agreed it can't do harm if you don't go excessively crazy and some think it could be beneficial. My lavender corn actually loves this UVB halogen lizard basking bulb that was in the lighting system of the tank I moved him to before I got a che on there so I left it. The lights flip from the che to the basking bulb over a rock ledge and log every morning and back again at night. It was easy enough to do and I'm not in need of it elsewhere. He basks most of the daylight hours usually on the log. Fyi when designing enclosure decor corns love wood for materials above most else. I'm hoping the claims of improved and darker color are right for my interesting only morph instead of wild locale color I own. Otherwise it is at least not harming him and it's below what he'd naturally expose to sunning in the wild so why not? I do a lot of watching my animals for preferences since the info out there is still always changing, no one's enclosure conditions and the conditions around it are exactly the same, and there is no one right way proven for many reptiles so if it works they can have it their way.
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