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Old 12-23-13, 05:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Heating up a glass terrarium for a Carpet Python (Morelia Spilota mcdowelli)

Hi all. I'm struggling with the temperatures and heating of my enclousure.

I'll state all that I have. This final setup was made after talking with the store that sold me the terrarium and also my vet.


My snake is a male Morelia Spilota mcdowelli with about 1.60m and a weight of 1.5 kg aprox.
I have a glass terrarium of 120cm (width) x 60cm (depth) x 40cm (height).
It as sliding doors in the front with a vent below and a vent in the ceiling. Both vents go all the lenght of the enclousure.
I've lined all the terrarium walls from inside with coconut fiber (except the floor, doors and vents).
I've placed a 150W ceramic heat lamp on the right side distancing 30cm from the right wall and in the middle (depthwise)
Below I have a 50W heat cable attached to the floor on the outside zig-zaging until half of the enclousure
Inside, the floor was covered with newspaper and then beech chaff substrate all over.
I also have a HabiStat thermostat where I've connected both the lamp and the heat cable.
I've set the thermostat to 30C
Room temperature outside the terrarium are around 20C (I'm from Portugal and it's winter here).
I have a digital themometer and also a fixed one with a probe. Both give out the same readings so I excluded wrong temp readings from any of the devices.
Temperature readings inside (measured 1cm above the floor)
Right side (hot zone) further away from the door: 28 C
Right side (hot zone) nearer the door: 24 C
Left side (cool zone) further away from the door: 21 C
Left side (cool zone) nearer thedoor: 19/20 C

For what I understood from talking for several people is that the terrarium temp should vary from 26 C and 30 C.
Everybody tells me that what I have in terms of heating is more than enought and that I should be getting the right temps. I've spent a fortune already trying to buy diferent heating and materials but nothing seems to work.

I want to know what can I do to help my poor snake getting the right environment. He already had a pneumonia a while back because of lower temps in a smaller terrarium. I've moved him to this one and I don't want it to happen again.

Are this temps normal? What are your suggestions to improve the temps? I cannot change the terrarium because this is brand new and I cannot afford to buy another one just now.

Also, I have some spare equipment I can use, I just need to know how can I used it.
Spare equipment:
25W Heat cable
100W Ceramic heat lamp
20W Heat mat (not sure if it's 20W, must recheck at home)

Please if anyone can provide me with some ideas or solutions...

Thank you
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Old 12-23-13, 08:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Heating up a glass terrarium for a Carpet Python (Morelia Spilota mcdowelli)

If you can't make it right with glass get a proper snake enclosure made of plastic and use radiant heat panels in conjunction with heat mats. You also need a thermostat to control temperatures. A proper snake enclosure with minimal ventilation will help maintain humidity.

If you are adamant about using the glass tank, just cover most of the screen top. Should help a bit.... but glass tanks with screen tops can't compare to enclosures made for snakes.
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Old 12-23-13, 08:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Heating up a glass terrarium for a Carpet Python (Morelia Spilota mcdowelli)

the heat setting dials on thermostats are not that accurate,my stats are set at 90F to 94F on the stat,to give me a hot spot of 88F to 90F



it may also be down to thermostat probe positioning

where is your thermostat probe situated mate ?


move it further away from your heat source and the hot end temperature should rise

try turning up the stat first,if that don't work move your stat probe around,until you get the correct temps

cheers shaun
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Old 12-23-13, 09:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Heating up a glass terrarium for a Carpet Python (Morelia Spilota mcdowelli)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikoh4792 View Post
If you can't make it right with glass get a proper snake enclosure made of plastic and use radiant heat panels in conjunction with heat mats. You also need a thermostat to control temperatures. A proper snake enclosure with minimal ventilation will help maintain humidity.

If you are adamant about using the glass tank, just cover most of the screen top. Should help a bit.... but glass tanks with screen tops can't compare to enclosures made for snakes.
Sorry my mistake. I imissed the part where you said you have a habistat thermostat.

In that case what shaunyboy may be correct. Some thermostat probes can give innacurate readings, in which case you have to see what temperature you set it at gives you the desired actual temperature.
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Old 12-23-13, 09:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Heating up a glass terrarium for a Carpet Python (Morelia Spilota mcdowelli)

Hi all... Thank you for your replies.

First, I've already tried without the thermostat conecting directly to see if the temperature rised with no success.

Firstly I've placed the thermostat below the lamp but then I've put it in the right corner in the front, new the door at about 1cm of the floor. The habistat shows when it's heating and when it's not and I've checked that when it's below the lamp it stops heating (37C is above the 30C limit) and near door it starts heating again (24C is below 30C). I've also tried to put the dial to max (32C) and the problem is still the same.
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Old 12-23-13, 10:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Heating up a glass terrarium for a Carpet Python (Morelia Spilota mcdowelli)

You need to cover all of the vents.
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Old 12-23-13, 10:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Heating up a glass terrarium for a Carpet Python (Morelia Spilota mcdowelli)

My vet told me that I should not cover the vents for that would keep air from circulating and the snake would be more vulnerable to diseases...

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You need to cover all of the vents.
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Old 12-23-13, 11:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Heating up a glass terrarium for a Carpet Python (Morelia Spilota mcdowelli)

I have five snakes in enclosures that have no ventilation other than the gaps around the door and i haven't had a sick snake yet.
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Old 12-23-13, 12:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Heating up a glass terrarium for a Carpet Python (Morelia Spilota mcdowelli)

Is the one thermostat controlling both heat sources and if so is it dual probed?
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