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Old 02-01-18, 10:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Just canít get heating right.

Relatively new snake owner here.
I did so much research before I got my snake and most people said that I would not need a heat lamp and an under the tank heater would be fine

Iím currently using a 36x18x18, 50 gallon terrarium, I have a large heat pad on about a 1/3 of the bottom set to 90 degrees. I have a thin layer of aspen and I have added branches hides and reptile safe leaves to give him plenty of places to hide since the enclosure is pretty big especially for him.

I used a temp gun and found the hottest and the coldest parts of the terrarium and placed a temp probe on top of that substrate. My cool side is 69-72, but my hot side I canít seem to get warm enough.

My house is a little chilly. I have a zoo med mini dual dome lamp combo , 100 watt each side, on a lamp stand 1/2 in above tank. 68 during the day and 65 at night. I started with a 60 watt exo terra daytime bulb and a 50 watt night time blue bulb. Wasnít getting hot enough. So I went up to the exo terra 100w daytime bulb, couple degrees but not enough. Since Iím limited to the 100w I bought exo terra 100w light basking spot since itís supposed to be be 75% more intense. But the highest Iím reading is with temp gun is 84.

Iím debating on exchanging the mini combo lamp so I can get more wattage. I just donít understand why Iím having so much trouble getting the right temps. Especially when most people said I wouldnít even need a heat lamp.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 02-02-18, 06:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Just canít get heating right.

The larger the enclosure, the trickier heating often gets. A UTH will not do anything to raise the ambient air temp, unfortunately. If you are going to go with lamps, a ceramic heat emitter will heat the enclosure much more effectively than other bulbs, although it will also zap humidity.

What species of snake are you housing in this enclosure? Are they living there now? I recently had to move one of my snakes into a smaller enclosure temporarily so that I could tinker with the heating in his big boy home. Mine has not yet arrived, but I know radiant heat panels seem to be the heating gold standard. However, with the height of your enclosure, I think you could heat it sufficiently with a lamp on each end. I would ditch the night bulb in favor of a CHE and then keep a basking lamp on a timer at the other end.

That is simply a matter of preference, though. I personally like to give my snakes a day/night cycle and allow for a little evening temperature drop.
You could add some insulation to the sides and top of your enclosure to help it retain heat.

Good luck getting everything adjusted! I know dialing in these things can be a pain, but just think. By the time you get your second snake, you'll be a heating pro. It is inevitable
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Old 02-02-18, 08:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Just canít get heating right.

First off, what species is in the enclosure? 69-72 is way too cold for most species.

Bottom line is fairly simple: UTH is there solely to provide a hot spot to aid with digestion and not for ambient temps. If the ambient temps in the room the enclosure is in don't remain a constant low 80s you will need an additional heat source.

Reminder: ALL heat sources should be regulated by a thermostat
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Old 02-02-18, 10:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Just canít get heating right.

Had started with just a UTH for a glass tank, but found the combo of UTH and ceramic heat emitter to work much better in the winter. Also found the combo of dimmer & thermostat to be better than thermostat alone. Actually, with the right dimmer setting, the thermostat rarely had to cut the heat off. Though my UTH & heat emitter were the minimum wattage needed.
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Old 02-03-18, 07:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Just canít get heating right.

If you're using any kind of bulb it's going to create a rather dry environment. Make you have a large moist hide that the snake can get in. They will especially use it when shedding. I use cocofiber in mine.
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