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Old 10-09-17, 05:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Talking Saharan Sand Boa heating pad?

Hi! Just got my first snake today, he's a ~2y Saharan sand boa. I got a 150W UVB bulb that I have on a timer and a heating pad that I have under the enclosure. I'm just looking for advice, I'm not sure if I should leave the pad on all the time or keep it on the same timer as the lamp? Also, the thermometer I have on the wall of the tank displays about 80 degrees, should I invest in a digital one to measure the temperature on the ground or is it sufficient to assume the lamp is heating the tank up appropriately?

Any advice is much appreciated, I've been around snakes for a while but never had to do everything on my own. Thank you!
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Old 10-09-17, 07:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Saharan Sand Boa heating pad?

Unloosed,
Congratulations on your new addition! If it was me, I would leave the heating pad on a low setting all the time (as I do with all of my snakes), but it really depends on the ambient temperature when the light is on or off. I wouldn't think a digital thermometer would be necessary. As a friendly tip, UVB light is not necessary for snakes; if you think it looks cool or something, that's great--I just know how much I get ripped off on those UVB bulbs, so feel free to use a regular 150W lightbulb instead
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Old 10-09-17, 07:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Saharan Sand Boa heating pad?

The most important thing is temperature, and heat gradient. Snakes are cold blooded and need to thermoregulate, or adjust their body temp by having a spectrum to choose from. So, the light and heat pad should be on one side of the tank, and for a Kenyan Sand Boa, that should be around 90-95, the cooler side of the tank should be about 80. A 10 degree drop at night is good. The heat pad always being on, allows for the temperature gradient 24 hours a day. The light, allows for the daytime increase. Further, on the wall thermometers are not very reliable, I would purchase a laser gun thermometer, they are not very expensive and you can get a reading any part of the enclosure, any time. Use a dimmer switch to control intensity of heat pad and light, so that you can get that ideal daytime and night time temperature. Here are some links, hope this helps

https://www.amazon.com/Infrared-Ther.../dp/B002OD0NCG
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...d_i=6291364011
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Old 10-10-17, 01:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Saharan Sand Boa heating pad?

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Originally Posted by MoreliaSpilota View Post
Unloosed,
Congratulations on your new addition! If it was me, I would leave the heating pad on a low setting all the time (as I do with all of my snakes), but it really depends on the ambient temperature when the light is on or off. I wouldn't think a digital thermometer would be necessary. As a friendly tip, UVB light is not necessary for snakes; if you think it looks cool or something, that's great--I just know how much I get ripped off on those UVB bulbs, so feel free to use a regular 150W lightbulb instead
Tend to disagree on the UVB light for the following reasons;
1) UVB light helps not only with vitamin production but also immune system related processes, there are plenty of studies of the benefits of UV light for snakes, reptiles, and terrestrial species in general. It's odd to believe that animals, and especially reptiles that have been around for millions of years, do not have biochemical processes tuned to harnessing the most energetic wavelengths of electromagnetic energy reaching the earth's surface..
2) Snakes see UVA light in their vision, not providing those wavelengths basically screws with their vision (and snakes have very good vision - probably much better than what people tend to think). Imagine no blue in your vision, your whole world would look weird hues between red and green. UVB lights also provide enough UVA.

Please see this for research on the vision of the Ball Python, might be an interesting read..
http://jeb.biologists.org/content/je.../1931.full.pdf
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Old 10-14-17, 12:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Smile Re: Saharan Sand Boa heating pad?

Thanks for the replies everyone ! My only concern with the heating pad is that it's attached under the bottom of the tank and I'm worried that the bottom glass gets too hot? My snake likes to hide under the sand (wow hence the name. Amazing) and I'm worried he'll get heat burns. Should I just get a dimmer and leave it on low or do I need to add some sort of padding ? Thanks!
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Old 10-15-17, 12:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Saharan Sand Boa heating pad?

That is a good question; personally, I use astroturf on my cage floors, but with your sand habitat, I'm not sure. If the heating pad is on a low enough setting, I wouldn't think it would be able to hurt him.
TRD, I will check that out; thanks.
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Old 10-15-17, 11:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Saharan Sand Boa heating pad?

A heat pad is not the best. Snakes tend to bury to find cooler temperatures so by having a heat mat the exact opposite happens. An overhead heat source is preferable.

Agree 100% with trd regarding UV also. All my snakes have it and all actively bask under it.
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