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Thread: How to heat the cool side of a snake tank

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  1. #1
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    Default How to heat the cool side of a snake tank

    I've been thinking about getting a Corn snake but I'm worried that my apartment is too cold. I would of course have a heat pad on one side on a thermostat set to the proper hot temp but I'm worried that the rest of the tank will be too cold. Right now my apartment is around 65-68 and never gets warmer then 75 in the summer. I don't have heat right now (landlord turned it off for the summer months) so the temp changes with however warm or cold it is outside. Today was warm so it's 68 in here. Is temps that cold ok since they have a proper warm spot?

    I don't think a heat pad would contribute much to the overall tank temp would it? I was thinking maybe some sort of heat lamp? I don't have the money for one of those fancy dimming style thermostats (they are like 300 dollars!) so any heat lamp would be full blast all the time and at night too which makes me worry about overheating the cool side.

    Any advice about what other people do would be great! I have a tiny portable heater but I don't run it when I'm not home since I'm worried about causing a fire and I work all day so the temp can drop a lot if it's cold out and there is no heater. I just use tons of blankets and sweaters to stay warm but I know that doesn't work for a snake!

  2. #2
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    A 50 watt light bulb during the day and a 60 watt blue night bulb(exo terra) during the night would work well to keep the air temp up. Using a towel or something to cover part of the lid would also help keep the heat and some humidity in if you live in also dry area like me. You could also keep a corn in a tub which holds temp and humidity super good. Try to keep the bulbs around the middle of the tank to heat it evenly
    Sam
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    You can get a fairly good analog thermostat controller for around $30, not $300 (online). Unless you want to light the cage too, you can just use a ceramic heat emitter (no light), just make sure the lamp fixture is ceramic based. Put the probe in, set the temp to what you want, and you're good to go. The heat source(s) plug into the controller. The basic one I use for my pythons and dragons is 1000watt max draw that I plug in a 100 watt ceramic heater or UTH, and sometimes a UTH and ceramic heater too if the cage is smaller (it can hold three items plugged in, as long as the total watt draw is below 1000). You'll be fine turning it all off in the winter since they want to be cool/cold to hibernate and your temps are fine for that. I don't heat my corns at all. In the summer they go up into the 80's during the day, and down to around 70 at night. In the winter, it's usually right around 72, all the time. They don't really hibernate, but do slow down. If you're also using a UTH, it's generally safer if the above heat is on the other end. That will also balance the heat out a bit better to up the entire cage temp. Thermostat controller for heat sources is SUPER important. It helps to keep your animal from getting burned and it saves energy since it's only on when needed. Just make sure the probe is where the snake is, IE on the bottom. I've been keeping my corns unheated for 10 years, including raising up a lot of babies in the summer/fall, but my ambient temps are quite higher than yours. They've all had very good vet checkups (except for one that had genetic deformities that didn't show up right away). Just remember that even if the cage feels cool, check the bottom where the snake is laying, that may be just fine, or even too hot. With your place being that cool in the summer, supplemental heating is probably a good idea, especially for a young snake. A warm spot is also important for proper digestion. If you want to light too, a florescent strip (under cab light) on a basic light timer works fine. Have fun choosing a corn, tons of colors!!

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    Eileen
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    I figured a regular thermostat wouldn't be very good for a light source since it would be constantly turning on and off which could confuse the snake? I heat mat would likely not turn on and off as often on one since it would be under the tank and not cool as fast. The dimming style thermostats (rheostats) that control the output of the heat source so that they are on all the time but stay at the right temperature are the expensive ones. They are usually like 100 dollars for a decent one, which I don't have the money for. I have a regular thermostat that my heat mat would always be put on so it would always have the warm side temp 24/7/. I just wasn't sure what to use to heat the rest of the tank to get it up to the cool side ambient temperature since my apartment would often be colder then that in the warmer months. In the winter the heaters keep my place around 72-73 so the cool side would be ok especially to have no light bulb source of heat at night.

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    I tried running the metal halide UV/heat bulbs on my dragons on the thermostat controller one summer, briefly. During the middle of the day they stayed off, but in the morning and evening they were winking on and off a lot. (The place I lived in at the time was getting to nearly 100 in the day.) It's really bad for any light bulb to be switched on and off a ton, shortens the life span of it. A ceramic heater is fine with that, and there is no light to get confusing/annoying. They also last a REALLY long time.

    http://www.lllreptile.com/products/1...ure-controller

    That's the one I use. The company making it has changed hands a few times in the last 20 years, but they are still very good. But I kinda like the digital one recommended above and I may give it a try when I need a new one, or expand again. For light, a regular under cabinet florescent light (around $15), with a bulb who's color you like, on a timer, works great. Corns don't need uv.

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