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Old 10-21-17, 09:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Having trouble heating my RTB enclosure

So i am a newbie with an adult Red Tail Boa. I bought her with the enclosure she was being kept in which is a glass tank with a screen lid (dimensions are 48 x 16 x 16). I know she needs something different so I'm planning to purchase an Animal Plastics cage soon, however in the meantime I need some help getting my tank at the ideal temperatures.

I put in an under tank heating pad however which did not help with the ambient temp. So I got a 100 watt red heating bulb which I placed on top of the screen, however it seems to be making the tank too hot! I turned it on and a little while later the thermometer was reading 104! I have the probe for the thermometer on top of the substrate, right under where the light is. Is this placement correct? I only have one thermostat right now, but it is connected to the UTH, however I'm assuming I should use it with the heating bulb instead for now.

For these type of tanks, do people typically use both a UTH and a heating bulb? Or would just using the bulb alone be ok? I've had her for about a week now and have had issues with the tank getting too cool and now too hot so I'm worried I may be stressing her out! Any advice is much appreciated!
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Old 10-22-17, 03:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec-2016
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Re: Having trouble heating my RTB enclosure

Hello aliamo,
Either you need another thermostat, or you need to disconnect your UTH (completely) and hook the light bulb to it for the time being. You're right in your statement that a UTH doesn't do anything significant for ambient temps.

Also, why red light?
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Old 10-22-17, 03:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Having trouble heating my RTB enclosure

I would also suggest that you consider switching to a Radiant Heat Panel from ProProducts. Pro Products – Specialized Habitat Control Products

I had a very similar problem maintaining proper heat with my Brazilian Rainbow Boas. Dave Colling from Rainbows-R-US recommended that I look at the RHP heaters. I took the plunge and I am extremely pleased the heat is maintained within 1/10th of a degree day and night with a gentle overhead heat panel. They are intended to be installed inside the enclosure, usually on the ceiling of the cage. They are super easy to install the guys at ProProducts will ask you a few questions to help you get the exact size for your enclosure and the animal that you're keeping. They cost a bit more than under-the-tank heaters, but are much more reliable and durable. Well worth the money to protect my little beauties. Just a thought... p.s. I have no affiliation with ProProducts at all, I'm just a very satisfied customer.
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Old 10-22-17, 04:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Having trouble heating my RTB enclosure

Going to second the RHP! They produce no visible light (which can disrupt snakes during the night time), are safer than bulbs, and last a lot longer. Where a bulb might last you 2-3 months, RHPs can last nearly a snake's lifetime.

I would advise a thermostat with pulse-proportional or dimming capabilities for an RHP, such a Herpstat. ON/OFF is ok, but can create wild temperature swings of 5 degrees or more in my experience.
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