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Old 02-10-19, 02:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Arrow Questions Assembling a King Snake Enclosure.

Hello everyone,
After more than a few years of being herp-less I am starting to put together a 20 Long to eventually house a Mexican Black King Snake.

I did have a few questions as it starts actually coming together and I am probably going to add a few more along the way as it progresses.

This is what I have going so far. I still have more than a few items left to add, but sadly all of my funds can't go toward assembling this tank..







My Questions so far:

1) With the under-tank heating pad I was going to add a terrarium liner (preferable the brown one that Zilla makes just because the dimensions will that match the tank) and then add the actual substrate over the top of it. However this leaves me with the issue as how to attach it to the bottom of the tank so the snake can't get under it and still make it removable so I can take it out and clean it.

2) I have heard different opinions on whether or not Kingsnakes need UVB. The lighting fixture I was thinking of getting it the ReptiSun Terrarium Hood from Zoo Med (Also it anyone has an experience with this product I would love to hear about it because I have never used it before but it looks pretty spiffy.)

3) I am also not sure if a Kingsnake would require an extra heat source such as a heat lamp. I was thinking probably not, but something I should check into while still budgeting to put this together.

Some other products I was thinking of adding into the tank.
- Zoo Med Reptile Rock Corner Water Dish
- Zoo Med Aspen Snake Bedding
- Zoo Med Repti Shelter 3 IN 1 Cave
- Pieces of Grape Wood for climbing
- Something for a warm hide spot.

4) I was also looking into how I add some foliage into the tank, I had an old magnetic plant shelf but was sure a good live plant to add into the tank for a kingsnake. I was already planning to add a few of the Zoo Med Natural Bushy Mexican Phyllo to the walls but I have always had at least one live plant in my previous tanks and wanted to see if I could find something to match this biosphere.

5) I do have the little rubber feet on the bottom of the tank to elevate it for the heating pad, but if you think this is anything I should add between the shelf and heating pad?

I will probably have more questions later, but I figure that is a good thing in that my goal is to have well-rounded tank for my (eventual) snake.

Thank you for making it all the way to the end of this post. I would greatly appreciate any feedback from anyone on the questions listed, the products I would like to use, or anything else you think I have missed.
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Old 02-11-19, 06:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Questions Assembling a King Snake Enclosure.

Most people "highly" recommend putting your thermostat probe outside the tank, between the pad and glass--I don't myself, but it's recommended. One of the reasons for keeping it outside is that the snake can't move the probe around, especially the burrowers like Kings, Corns, Garters, etc. You could silicone it down but then you have a day or two with fumes to put up with while it cures. One reason I don't like it between the tank and pad is that it creates a pocket where the pad can't heat directly to the glass. I'm sure that there's some radiant heat passing through the glass via that pocket, but as we all know, air is a poor conductor of heat.

Lay a piece of aluminum foil under the UTH to help dissipate the heat if you're really concerned.

Put your ZooMed Thermometer probe at the other end of the tank so you can get an idea of how cool the far end of the tank is. BTW, those things fail rather frequently, and finding the batteries is a pain. Consider buying a thermometer that just sits at the bottom of the cage and stands up...maybe one with a hygrometer (humidity)...they're fairly cheap.

Get a laser thermometer to "shoot" the temp at the glass and at the top of the substrate for better temperature readings and adjust your thermostat accordingly to get the temps you desire.

For a basking light, for my 20gal tanks, I just use a 25w appliance bulb. You can probably get away with a 40w (29w actual) energy efficient bulb that doesn't put out too much heat. Stay away from the ZooMed blue bulbs...the failure rate is ridiculous.

Stay away from Aspen--too dusty and doesn't hold water well for humidity purposes. Go with Forest Floor (Cypress) or a mixture of Forest Floor and Eco Earth (coco) to hold the moisture better. I use a 3:7 ratio of coco to cypress.

I use two hides--one at the hot end and one at the cold end. I also use plastic plants from Petco, Michael's Crafts, etc. and lay them in the bottom, stick them to glass with suction cups/hooks, and use either grape wood or cholla cactus wood.

Use glass, ceramic, or metal water dishes. Once they poop in those ZooMed plastic dishes you'll never get the smell out!!
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