border
sSNAKESs : Reptile Forum
 

Go Back   sSNAKESs : Reptile Forum > Colubrid Forums > Elaphe Guttata Guttata

Notices

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-22-17, 11:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: May-2017
Posts: 9
Country:
Question Building my first wooden vivarium for my corn snakes

I posted this previously in the enclosure section but I'll reupload here since I have cornsnakes.

So I'll be making my first wooden Vivarium soon, I have plans drawn out. It'll be like a shelving unit almost, two separate cages for my two male corn snakes. Storage under and it'll reach about 5 and a half feet tall, I want it eye level not touching the ceiling. I have a few questions I'd like to ask anyone who can help me.

Like heating, it'll be wood, and I see some people still use heatpad and it seems to penetrate through the wood and not cause any problems, with corn snakes, I feel like I could use light fixtures and heating bulbs, but being as this is my first Vivarium build I'm not completely sure on what's best. Best to heat the ground for belly heat and safety for my snakes. This is probably my biggest concern for my build. My snakes do like to burrow so I'm just torn between the two.

I live in Chicago, recently it has been storming, humidity goes way high, 70 to 80 and higher. Even in my house, it still stays around 60 maybe 50 if it's a good day. Any help with lowering the humidity? I will be getting a dehumidifier for my room, but With a wood Vivarium I'm a little curious on the ventilation. I see cup size holes and they seem to think it's enough, I see others with house hold vents screwed in the side. Having cornsnakes I hear it's best around 30 humidity. Up to 50 but shouldn't go higher cause they couldget sick. I even had a little scare where I saw dry or damaged scales, maybe 3 on one of my snakes. But no darkening on his underbelly, so I don't think it's scale rot. I still am bathing him in diluted iodine and washing him off and drying him. Just to be sure till his next shed. So humidity is a problem for me and any suggestions would be great.

I think those are my main worries at this time, building the actual shelving and glass windows aren't a big deal. I have the help of my uncle who is a construction worker. All the tools and such are ready. He even suggested melamine, it's already fairly water proof, he thinks it'll work great.
Alexa02 is offline   Reply With Quote
Login to remove ads
Old 05-23-17, 03:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Nov-2013
Posts: 501
Country:
Re: Building my first wooden vivarium for my corn snakes

For corn snakes I'd just vent the whole, or at least large sections of, the top if you have no need of it as a surface for things. That's how I'm doing the bull snakes, pine snakes, and probably even the crested geckos for easier lighting, heating, summer humidity.... The exception right now will probably only be the higher humidity and still heat needing blood python enclosure because it dries too much to top heat and open top for them.

Top heating works fine with corns Just like the sun warms the surfaces they lay on and that gets belly heat. Heat doesn't come out of the ground in the wild. You only have ambient and Sun warmed. I place rocks or natural stone flooring tiles that can be raised as hides under the heat to absorb and make an open basking spot.

If you use an infrared bulb instead of heat emitter it will be drying which is usually undesirable but I find very useful often with my north America colubrids and to avoid excessively damp top layer in bioactive soil, especially with plants that need watered. Swap it to che in winter and you cut the drying again. Internally mounting a heat lamp is more dangerous so far trickier than leaving part or all the top mesh to keep it outside the snake area and ventilate the dome itself. Make sure the top mesh is heat resistant or hang from another top frame that could also hide the domes. I just stuck a 2x6" board down the front of the wire frame holding my corn snake che and daylight heat bulb off the finer mesh so it's open but you don't see. It's like building an aquarium design but you hinge or slide the front panel to open instead of top mesh.
akane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-17, 01:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jan-2015
Location: Youngstown
Posts: 772
Country:
Re: Building my first wooden vivarium for my corn snakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexa02 View Post
I posted this previously in the enclosure section but I'll reupload here since I have cornsnakes.

So I'll be making my first wooden Vivarium soon, I have plans drawn out. It'll be like a shelving unit almost, two separate cages for my two male corn snakes. Storage under and it'll reach about 5 and a half feet tall, I want it eye level not touching the ceiling. I have a few questions I'd like to ask anyone who can help me.

Like heating, it'll be wood, and I see some people still use heatpad and it seems to penetrate through the wood and not cause any problems, with corn snakes, I feel like I could use light fixtures and heating bulbs, but being as this is my first Vivarium build I'm not completely sure on what's best. Best to heat the ground for belly heat and safety for my snakes. This is probably my biggest concern for my build. My snakes do like to burrow so I'm just torn between the two.

I live in Chicago, recently it has been storming, humidity goes way high, 70 to 80 and higher. Even in my house, it still stays around 60 maybe 50 if it's a good day. Any help with lowering the humidity? I will be getting a dehumidifier for my room, but With a wood Vivarium I'm a little curious on the ventilation. I see cup size holes and they seem to think it's enough, I see others with house hold vents screwed in the side. Having cornsnakes I hear it's best around 30 humidity. Up to 50 but shouldn't go higher cause they couldget sick. I even had a little scare where I saw dry or damaged scales, maybe 3 on one of my snakes. But no darkening on his underbelly, so I don't think it's scale rot. I still am bathing him in diluted iodine and washing him off and drying him. Just to be sure till his next shed. So humidity is a problem for me and any suggestions would be great.

I think those are my main worries at this time, building the actual shelving and glass windows aren't a big deal. I have the help of my uncle who is a construction worker. All the tools and such are ready. He even suggested melamine, it's already fairly water proof, he thinks it'll work great.
Sounds like a really fun project.

Corns are fine at regular ambient humidity of 50-70%, they are from Florida where it rains pretty much every day. 30% is actually really low for just about any snake and your snake could actually be dehydrating if your heat is too warm which can cause weird scales sometimes.

Cornsnakes do best in temp ranges from 70-85 degrees. Personally I keep any rat snake (corn snakes are this) in the 75-83 degrees F range with just regular humidity and a humid hide (don't really need to make it humid in summer cause we open windows). But if you want a target 40-70% will be fine.

Snakes needing belly heat is a myth. They want the right temps it doesn't matter how they get it.

Humidity isn't really what causes scale rot, wetness is usually the primary cause. Sitting in constantly sopping wet conditions is bad for any but the actual aquatic species like tentacle snakes and such.

If I were to take on such a project I would use a ceramic heat emitter in a top corner guarded by an aluminum or other metal cage of some sort (so the snake can't get at it) Then set a thermostat probe inside the cage and set it to 85-90 degrees depending on what your airflow is like so that you can get a warm side at the 82-85 range with the rest of the cage remaining in that 75 degree range. Make sure you waterproof your cage as well so that the enclosure doesn't warp from spilled water, misting during sheds, etc.

I'm very curious as to where you heard that corn snakes are best at 30% humidity because they would all die in the wild if that was true.
jjhill001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-17, 06:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: May-2017
Posts: 9
Country:
Re: Building my first wooden vivarium for my corn snakes

I do keep the current enclosures from 75 on te cool side, 80 at the ambient temp and 85 at the hot end. So I'm doing good there.

Also with the humidity, it is usually at 50-60 in my house, I think I got 30% from a youtube video, someone said they are fine from 10 t0 50% but shouldn't go higher cause it could cause problems like respiratory issues or scale rot. So I guess I just rounded out the suggestions. Thank you for letting me know about the more normal humidity of 40% to 70% so I shouldn't worry too much. I'll still be keeping a good eye on the dry or damaged scales.

And I do currently use UTH so once I finish building the vivarium I will be using heat emitter bulbs, with guards to protect the snakes from burning themselves. Normal LED strips for lighting. With the emitter, I will use a thermostat controller as well, not sure which would work well for just two Vivariums. I don't plan to get any more reptiles or other pets at the moment. People say snakes don't need uv lighting, I am considering UVB lamp. The floor to the roof of the vivarium will be at least 1 and a half to 2 feet high and 4 feet wide and 2 feet deep. Any thoughts on UVB for corn snakes?

And I'm sure my uncle will be able to waterproof the vivariums and give them a nice look. I'm really looking forward to their new adult enclosures and making it comfortable and safe.
Alexa02 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-17, 07:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Nov-2013
Posts: 501
Country:
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.
akane is offline   Reply With Quote
Login to remove ads
Old 05-30-17, 02:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jan-2015
Location: Youngstown
Posts: 772
Country:
Re: Building my first wooden vivarium for my corn snakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by akane View Post
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.
Those corn snakes living in Texas were previously considered Great Plains Ratsnakes, did that change again (I honestly feel like there is some hidden rat snake scientist feud going on due to all the changes lol).

The temps are what decides how high humidity should be kept. If your temps aren't crazy high you can kind of ignore humidity to an extent. When the temps are too high the animal metabolizes water that much faster which is what causes bad sheds. I don't keep any snake with a heat source hotter than 85 to be honest.
jjhill001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-17, 12:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Nov-2013
Posts: 501
Country:
Re: Building my first wooden vivarium for my corn snakes

My corn can get into a basking spot that gets closer to 90 because she liked the lizard uv bulb so I left for her during the day but she usually doesn't go that warm. She did when all heat was turned off overnight but I got a che installed and swap back and forth so now that she's heated 24/7 with dark and light she pretty much just stays on one log that is around 80F.
akane is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cornsnakes, vivarium

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On




All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:42 AM.

Powered by vBulletin®
©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2002-17, Hobby Solutions Inc.

right

SEO by vBSEO 3.1.0