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Old 07-17-17, 05:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Keeping snakes without a hotspot

I was recently speaking to a local breeder( a well known and respected one at that) and he was telling me how he keeps his entire collection at a constant temperature without offering the opportunity for the animals to thermo regulate. I was curious as to what everyone thinks of this. I wonder how this affects the animals long term??. I personally feel uncomfortable not letting my snakes cool off and warm up as wanted. Btw he breeds various boas and pythons
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Old 07-17-17, 06:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes without a hotspot

I always offer a hot spot and thermogradient, so the snake can thermoregulate at any given time. It would be like taking away our ability to sweat or shiver, although I doubt the effects would be extreme enough to kill the snake unless the room was too hot or cold. Doesn't mean they aren't uncomfortable though.
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Old 07-17-17, 06:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes without a hotspot

People seem to have good luck with controlling room temp over using hot spots, especially certain boa breeders.
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Old 07-17-17, 07:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes without a hotspot

Thermoregulation is an instinctive behaviour and imo therefore, a snake should be given the option to practice it.

There is also a danger of digestion issues if the temperature is not high enough. My olive male regurged twice when I had a stat failure and the temp in the viv was only around 22c.

Just because someone does do it (whatever their profile) doesn't mean it should be copied.
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Old 07-17-17, 09:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes without a hotspot

I mean to be fair our idea of thermoregulation is based off of what hobbiest have done before us. If the snake can maintain the correct temperature does it need to thermoregulate? Is this changing of temperature actually better for an animal than staying at the correct temperature all the time? I use heat pads as constant temperature isn't realistic in my home, but I may consider it if it were.
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Old 07-17-17, 09:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes without a hotspot

Also you'd have take into consideration if you have a variety of different reptiles in our collection, all needing different temperatures. Another thing is if you have a heat failure on your system, every animal could be cooked or frozen depending on what goes wrong
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Old 07-17-17, 09:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes without a hotspot

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Originally Posted by dannybgoode View Post
Thermoregulation is an instinctive behaviour and imo therefore, a snake should be given the option to practice it.

There is also a danger of digestion issues if the temperature is not high enough. My olive male regurged twice when I had a stat failure and the temp in the viv was only around 22c.

Just because someone does do it (whatever their profile) doesn't mean it should be copied.
His temps are kept in the 28-30c range. Temps being too cool definitely wouldn't be an issue. He isn't the only one to use this method and have a lot of success with it. Personally I wouldn't keep my animals this way, I'm just curious to see what the general opinion on this method is. Of course for a large scale breeder it's very cost effective not having to heat individual cages and I can see why it's done.
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Old 07-17-17, 10:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes without a hotspot

When I had a large collection I heated the snake room up during the day and cooled it down some what at night. I had amazon tree boas breeding every year. I had many different kind of snakes in my collection and had no issues with feeding or the snakes digesting their food. In fact when I gave some snake Hot Spots, I found them on the other side of their enclosure.

This way worked for me.
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Old 07-17-17, 11:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes without a hotspot

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Originally Posted by MesoCorney View Post
I mean to be fair our idea of thermoregulation is based off of what hobbiest have done before us. If the snake can maintain the correct temperature does it need to thermoregulate? Is this changing of temperature actually better for an animal than staying at the correct temperature all the time? I use heat pads as constant temperature isn't realistic in my home, but I may consider it if it were.
That's the point though - there isn't one ideal temperature for a snake to be kept at. That's why they thermoregulate. In nature they move from warmer spots to cooler ones depending on what their metabolism is doing / needs to do.

Also I'm still of the opinion that running a cold blooded animal at full tilt so to speak shortens their lives. I have no proof of this for reptiles but it's certainly the case for tropical fish for example.

A snakes metabolism isn't designed to run 24/7 and therefore it would have the option of speeding up and slowing down.
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Old 07-17-17, 11:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes without a hotspot

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That's the point though - there isn't one ideal temperature for a snake to be kept at. That's why they thermoregulate. In nature they move from warmer spots to cooler ones depending on what their metabolism is doing / needs to do.

Also I'm still of the opinion that running a cold blooded animal at full tilt so to speak shortens their lives. I have no proof of this for reptiles but it's certainly the case for tropical fish for example.

A snakes metabolism isn't designed to run 24/7 and therefore it would have the option of speeding up and slowing down.
Your experience in the hobby tells you there is no ideal temperature to keep a snake at. They thermoregulate because outside conditions are not controllable. When they get too hot, they move somewhere cool. When theu get cold they move somewhere warm, if it exists. If a wild snake were able to find a place that maintained an ideal temperature, had a food source, and gave it security than I question if the snake would need to thermoregulate. I don't think anyone keeps snakes at the maximum temperatures we see on hotspots so i doubt over active metabolism is relavent.
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Old 07-17-17, 12:25 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes without a hotspot

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Your experience in the hobby tells you there is no ideal temperature to keep a snake at. They thermoregulate because outside conditions are not controllable. When they get too hot, they move somewhere cool. When theu get cold they move somewhere warm, if it exists. If a wild snake were able to find a place that maintained an ideal temperature, had a food source, and gave it security than I question if the snake would need to thermoregulate. I don't think anyone keeps snakes at the maximum temperatures we see on hotspots so i doubt over active metabolism is relavent.
So why in a viv with a hot spot then where there is likely to be a point where the temperature is 'ideal' and food is regular as is water does a snake still choose to stay for prolojged periods of time at different positions in that viv?

I doubt very much that a snake likes to be at a single temperature all the time but I guess unless there is a major study into the subject we'll never know for sure.
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Old 07-17-17, 01:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes without a hotspot

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Originally Posted by dannybgoode View Post
So why in a viv with a hot spot then where there is likely to be a point where the temperature is 'ideal' and food is regular as is water does a snake still choose to stay for prolojged periods of time at different positions in that viv?

I doubt very much that a snake likes to be at a single temperature all the time but I guess unless there is a major study into the subject we'll never know for sure.
Well my initial thought would be that the snakes instinct would be to warm or cool as quickly as possible as outside conditions are so unpredictable. On top of this I imagine in most enclosures with a gradient of 90 to 75 there is relatively little area that is the ideal. I am not saying providing a gradient is wrong or harmful just that controlling ambient temps are not either, as testament from a number of folks who have good luck with it.
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Old 07-17-17, 05:18 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes without a hotspot

Most breeder practices aren't something one should copy over to maintain reptiles on the long run. There are so much care sheets already with very bad information.

Remember that breeders also have large(r) collections and a cost-revenue to take care off. Practicality often takes precedence over husbandry.

Keeping reptiles at a constant temperature over their entire living area is tricky because it's close to impossible to tell whether or not the reptiles are in fact comfortable, or just surviving. At least when offering a gradient, you offer the animal options.
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Old 07-17-17, 05:39 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes without a hotspot

My snake room is only around 78-80F and most of the snakes only use the hotspot infrequently (save a few species that just really like being warm). My thought is that 80F is warm enough for most species to digest food properly but not so hot that it harms them, but since many do still use the hot spot, I like providing it. tend to put the eggs in the highest locatoin furthest away from AC which is around 82ish which works well for me for many species. O.p.coxi I put in the lowest and coolest part of the room, at 75-79F Ive never given them any additional heat and multiple clutches every year without issue.
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Old 07-19-17, 10:29 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Keeping snakes without a hotspot

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Originally Posted by pet_snake_78 View Post
My snake room is only around 78-80F and most of the snakes only use the hotspot infrequently (save a few species that just really like being warm). My thought is that 80F is warm enough for most species to digest food properly but not so hot that it harms them, but since many do still use the hot spot, I like providing it. tend to put the eggs in the highest locatoin furthest away from AC which is around 82ish which works well for me for many species. O.p.coxi I put in the lowest and coolest part of the room, at 75-79F Ive never given them any additional heat and multiple clutches every year without issue.
I have to agree^. I believe the ONLY reason snakes need to thermoregulate is to digest food, and as long as they appear to be able to do so effectively, they don't need a heat source.

They may be snakes, but trust me, most species are perfectly happy sharing the same wonderful climate control we enjoy!
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