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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran The Serpent Merchant's Avatar
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    How to Setup a Glass Tank (20 long) With Pictures!

    Since the stickied thread on how to setup a glass tank no longer has any pictures that still work I figured I would post a new one.

    This thread will cover how I setup a glass tank. It isn't the only way to do so, but it is what I have found to work the best for me.


    Materials and Tools Required:



    I will provide links to recommended products, and pictures whenever possible.



    1. Glass Tank (I will be using a 20 long, but the process will be similar for any glass tank. Larger tanks will be harder to heat & maintain humidity in)

    2. A Screen Top for the tank.

    3. A UTH (Under Tank Heater) Your UTH should cover about 1/3 of the bottom of the tank.

    http://www.reptilebasics.com/ultratherm-heat-pads


    4. A Thermostat to control the UTH

    Budget: http://www.amazon.com/Hydrofarm-MTPR.../dp/B000NZZG3S
    Mid-Range: http://www.reptilebasics.com/thermos...stat-prewired/
    Best: http://www.spyderrobotics.com/home/products.html




    5. Aluminum Foil Tape (this is for use on the OUTSIDE of the cage only NEVER use tape inside a reptile cage)


    6. A Heat Lamp (Make sure you get one with a ceramic socket as shown below. Also make sure you get a lamp that is rated for a higher wattage than your Heat Bulb uses)




    7. Zoo-Med Infrared Heat Bulb (75-100 watts)

    http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInUS%2FNo


    8. A Lamp Dimmer

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Lutron-Cr...0#.UiKoMRZ2aOI


    9. 2 Hides:

    http://www.reptilebasics.com/hide-boxes


    10. A heavy water dish

    http://www.reptilebasics.com/water-bowls


    11. A probed thermometer

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Acu-Rite-I...ndingMethod=rr


    12. Some sort of substrate. (I will be using Aspen. Other good choices include: Paper towels/newspaper/corrugated wrap/Eco-Earth/reptibark/Cypress mulch. Stay away from non kiln dried pine/cedar/reptile carpet)


    13. Something to cover 3 sides of the tank with (I use white printer paper, but there are many options)


    14. Scotch Tape (this is for use on the OUTSIDE of the cage only NEVER use tape inside a reptile cage)


    15. Scissors


    16. Aluminum Foil


    Step by Step Instructions:

    Step 1: Turn the glass tank over so the bottom the the tank is facing upward. Place the probe from your thermostat towards either the left or right side of the tank. Using a small piece of foil tape attach the probe to the underside of the tank. (Don't put the tape on the probe itself. Stick it on the probes cord)


    Step 2: Take your UTH and place it on the underside of the tank. center it on the thermostat probe:




    Step 3: Using foil tape secure the UTH to the bottom of the tank. Make sure to keep the UTH pressed down against the glass. The tighter down it is the better the UTH will heat the cage.




    Step 4: flip the tank over so it is now standing on one of it's sides. Cover the exposed side with paper. When covered use scotch tape to attach the paper:




    Step 5: Turn the cage over 180 degrees so the other side is facing up. Repeat step 4.

    Step 6: Turn the cage 90 degrees so the back of the cage is facing up. (The side where your UTH and thermostat probe cords are sticking out)


    Step 7: Cover the back of the tank with paper and use scotch tape to attach it like before:







    Flip your tank right side up. Your tank should look something like this now:




    Step 8: Place your thermometer probe inside the tank centered on the UTH:


    Step 9: While holding the thermometer probe in place put your substrate into the cage. Make sure to keep the layer thin. No thicker than 1/2" thick:


    Step 10: Place the thermometer unit itself into the tank on the opposite side from the UTH:


    Step 11: Place your 2 hides into the tank. One centered over the UTH, and one on the other side of the cage:


    Step 12: Place your water dish into the center of the cage:


    Step 13: Screw the heat bulb into the heat lamp fixture and plug the heat lamp fixture into the lamp dimmer. The lamp dimmer will eventually be plugged into the wall:


    Step 14: Place the screen top onto the tank and then place the heat lamp onto the screen. Center the heat lamp over the tank:


    Step 15: Rip off 2 sheets of aluminum foil. Place a sheet on each end of the screen top. Wrap the edges around the lip of the screen top. You can use tape to secure the foil if you want. Just keep the tape on the outside of the tank:


    Step 16: Plug the UTH into the thermostat, then the thermostat into the wall. Plug the lamp dimmer into the wall as well.


    Your cage should now look something like this:




    Adjusting your thermostat and lamp Dimmer:

    At this point the cage itself is done, but that doesn't mean you are ready to put a snake into it yet. First you need to get your temperatures and humidity to the proper ranges (88-92 hot side, 78-82 cool side, 40%-60% humidity)

    The process of adjusting your heating system involves using your probed thermometer to read the current cage temperatures and either increasing the amount of heat added to the cage or reducing it.

    You want your thermostat set to whatever temperature makes the probe on your thermometer read between 88-92 F.

    You want to adjust the lamp dimmer until the cool side thermometer reads between 78-82 F.

    To adjust humidity in the cage you can mist with a spray bottle and warm water. If your cage has too much humidity you can remove some of the foil on the screen top.

    You want your thermostat to be placed/mounted where it is easily accessible and visible:


    Once you have your cage temperatures and humidity in the proper ranges you can introduce your snake to it's new home.






    How it all works:

    The UTH is used to generate the hot side basking temperature. Since UTH's don't change the temperature of the air in the tank the heat lam pis required to maintain the cool side/air temperatures in the cage. The substrate needs to be thin for the same reason. UTH's only heat surfaces they come into direct contact with. If the substrate layer is too thick the UTH will be completely useless. The foil on the screen top is used to reduce airflow in the cage to help maintain high humidity levels. You don't want to cover all of the screen top though as your snake still needs fresh air.



    Threads on other types of cages:

    Tubs: http://ball-pythons.net/forums/showt...e-Basics-*DUW*

    Professionally made PVC reptile cages: http://ball-pythons.net/forums/showt...With-Pictures!

    Ball Python Care sheet: http://ball-pythons.net/forums/showt...ius)-Caresheet

    More info on cage heating methods: http://ball-pythons.net/forums/showt...t-Thermometers



    If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or improvements feel free to post them below, or send my a private message. I'll be happy to help in any way that I can.
    Last edited by The Serpent Merchant; 09-01-2013 at 01:05 AM.
    ~Aaron

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  3. #2
    Eric Alan's Avatar
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    Re: How to Setup a Glass Tank (20 long) With Pictures!

    Quality stuff, Aaron. Kudos!
    Find me on Facebook: E.B. Ball Pythons and Instagram: @EBBallPythons

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  5. #3
    BPnet Veteran The Serpent Merchant's Avatar
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    Optional Heat Lamp Modification:

    I have found that it is nice to actually attach the heat lamp to the screen top. This makes opening the cage much easier.


    Materials and tools required:


    1. A drill

    2. a 1/4" drill bit

    3. 2 plastic zip ties

    4. Diagonal cutters or scissors

    5. A punch ( a good sized nail & a hammer will do the same job)


    Procedure:

    Step 1: Make sure your heat lamp is unplugged, not sitting on the screen top, and there is no bulb in it.

    Step 2: Using the punch make 2 dents in the lip of the heat lamp one on each side 180 degrees apart


    Step 3: Using the drill and 1/4" bit drill 2 holes using the dents from step 2 as a guide.


    Step 4: Screw the heat bulb back into the lamp fixture, and place back on the screen top. Using the 2 zip ties attach the heat lamp to the screen top.


    Step 5: Trim the ends of the zip ties

    ~Aaron

    0.1 Pastel 100% Het Clown Ball Python (Hestia)
    1.0 Coastal/Jungle Carpet Python (Shagrath)
    0.1 Dumeril's Boa (Nergal)

    0.1 Bearded Dragon (Gaius)

    1.0 Siberian Husky (Picard)
    0.1 German Shepherd/Lab Mix (Jadzia)

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  7. #4
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    Replace the sticky??
    CRYSTAL MEPH



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    "It will all be okay in the end. If it's not okay, its not the end"
    –John Lennon//oo\\

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  9. #5
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    Looks great!!! I actually had to rip apart cheddars tank tonight because his hot side was reading too hot. Moved the probe further into the center of the mat... nice force clean at 9:00 pm. <damn snake' I was relaxing one minute, Up and running the next.>

    One question.... You placed the thermostat probe right up the center <clear part> of the heat mat as apposed to on the tinted/black part... Why?

    p.s. the upside-down pics made me giggle.

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    The Serpent Merchant (09-01-2013)

  11. #6
    BPnet Veteran The Serpent Merchant's Avatar
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    Re: How to Setup a Glass Tank (20 long) With Pictures!

    Quote Originally Posted by MsMissy View Post
    Looks great!!! I actually had to rip apart cheddars tank tonight because his hot side was reading too hot. Moved the probe further into the center of the mat... nice force clean at 9:00 pm. <damn snake' I was relaxing one minute, Up and running the next.>

    One question.... You placed the thermostat probe right up the center <clear part> of the heat mat as apposed to on the tinted/black part... Why?

    p.s. the upside-down pics made me giggle.
    I center the probe because it makes it easier to tape down the UTH, and the entire UTH heats up enough that it shouldn't make any real difference.
    ~Aaron

    0.1 Pastel 100% Het Clown Ball Python (Hestia)
    1.0 Coastal/Jungle Carpet Python (Shagrath)
    0.1 Dumeril's Boa (Nergal)

    0.1 Bearded Dragon (Gaius)

    1.0 Siberian Husky (Picard)
    0.1 German Shepherd/Lab Mix (Jadzia)

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  13. #7
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    Mine sits pretty darn snug but it bugs the heck out of me that it isn't perfectly flat <that's my OCD kicking in.>. I'm still quite torn on where to go from here, I know I'll never do a rack system, the animal plastics T-8 really appeal to me but I love the visual from my tanks since I finally got my humidity dialed in. *sighs* I will however be ordering my herpstat 2 within a few days. Once that comes in, I'll be doing some remodeling.

    Are the probes on the herpstat as fat as the one on the hydrofarm?

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  15. #8
    BPnet Veteran The Serpent Merchant's Avatar
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    The are longer, and maybe slightly fatter:

    ~Aaron

    0.1 Pastel 100% Het Clown Ball Python (Hestia)
    1.0 Coastal/Jungle Carpet Python (Shagrath)
    0.1 Dumeril's Boa (Nergal)

    0.1 Bearded Dragon (Gaius)

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    Ah darn.... Is this where that slot on the bottom of the T-8 comes into play? Seems that would help kee

    p the mat all nice and flat if you can run the probe right up it, tape it in place and position the mat directly on top?

    This is why I love my tank, he always comes out exploring after I clean mess with stuff. Of course, nice fresh clean water must be messed with.


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  18. #10
    BPnet Veteran The Serpent Merchant's Avatar
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    Re: How to Setup a Glass Tank (20 long) With Pictures!

    Quote Originally Posted by MsMissy View Post
    Ah darn.... Is this where that slot on the bottom of the T-8 comes into play? Seems that would help kee

    p the mat all nice and flat if you can run the probe right up it, tape it in place and position the mat directly on top?

    This is why I love my tank, he always comes out exploring after I clean mess with stuff. Of course, nice fresh clean water must be messed with.

    Yes, the thermostat probe sits in the slot, and the heat tape lays over it. No bulge or anything:

    You can sort of see the probe through the heat tape on the bottom of one of my T8's



    T8's are great. I don't do much as far as decorating, but there is a huge potential for it:

    Last edited by The Serpent Merchant; 09-01-2013 at 02:05 AM.
    ~Aaron

    0.1 Pastel 100% Het Clown Ball Python (Hestia)
    1.0 Coastal/Jungle Carpet Python (Shagrath)
    0.1 Dumeril's Boa (Nergal)

    0.1 Bearded Dragon (Gaius)

    1.0 Siberian Husky (Picard)
    0.1 German Shepherd/Lab Mix (Jadzia)

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