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  1. #1
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    Heating through coconut

    I recently picked up some coconut substrate (Prococo Chips-N-Fiber) to try at a show. I've been using paper, but kept having issues with it getting soaked every night either by urine or by her pushing a corner of the paper into the water dish. I wanted to try an absorbent substrate so I don't have to take her out and tear down every time she urinates.

    I soaked the coconut and then left it to dry out for a day. I should have waited longer, I'm having issues with the humidity being too high, but I expect that to get better with time.

    My question is about heating - I have ~1" of coconut in the cage (boaphile 322), and I'm having trouble keeping the temps up without having the floor of the cage too hot. Right now I've got the thermostat set so I am reading about 96F max on the cage floor, but the substrate above the heat pad is only reaching the high seventies according to my IR thermometer. The cold side air temp has also dropped, it's now down around 74 instead of 79. Temps and humidity were great before the coconut, I just didn't like having to tear the whole thing down every day when it got wet. Will the temps improve once the moisture level drops? I imagine the evaporation is helping a bit to keep things cool.

    Thanks for any suggestions!

  2. #2
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    Re: Heating through coconut

    Your snake will move the coco to find the heat. The temp on top of the substrate is not what should be measured. Reduce your heat so the floor temp (under the substrate) is 90F.


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  4. #3
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    Re: Heating through coconut

    Quote Originally Posted by BPGator View Post
    Your snake will move the coco to find the heat. The temp on top of the substrate is not what should be measured. Reduce your heat so the floor temp (under the substrate) is 90F.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    The issue is that the whole enclosure has dropped to below 80 degrees after putting in the coconut. Air temps on the warm side are like 78 and the cool side 74 (below ambient in the room). If I drop the floor temps I'm concerned the snake won't be able to get warm at all (she has not dug for heat yet, she tends to ignore hides too as she was raised without them).

    Is it normal for coconut substrates to drop the temps so drastically? I figured after 3 days it would have stabilized.

  5. #4
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    Re: Heating through coconut

    What is your room temperature? In and of itself there's no reason for your cool side to be below your room ambient.

    My guess is what is happening is the water in the coco is evaporating and reducing the temperature. Kind of like alcohol on your hand - it feels cold because the phase change from liquid to gas requires energy that is pulled from your hand. Once the water in your coco evaporates it should come back to ambient.

    But if you leave the floor temp high, your snake may decide to bury and can overheat.


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    Re: Heating through coconut

    Quote Originally Posted by VorpalZard View Post
    I recently picked up some coconut substrate (Prococo Chips-N-Fiber) to try at a show. I've been using paper, but kept having issues with it getting soaked every night either by urine or by her pushing a corner of the paper into the water dish. I wanted to try an absorbent substrate so I don't have to take her out and tear down every time she urinates.

    I soaked the coconut and then left it to dry out for a day. I should have waited longer, I'm having issues with the humidity being too high, but I expect that to get better with time.

    My question is about heating - I have ~1" of coconut in the cage (boaphile 322), and I'm having trouble keeping the temps up without having the floor of the cage too hot. Right now I've got the thermostat set so I am reading about 96F max on the cage floor, but the substrate above the heat pad is only reaching the high seventies according to my IR thermometer. The cold side air temp has also dropped, it's now down around 74 instead of 79. Temps and humidity were great before the coconut, I just didn't like having to tear the whole thing down every day when it got wet. Will the temps improve once the moisture level drops? I imagine the evaporation is helping a bit to keep things cool.

    Thanks for any suggestions!
    I used Eco-earth the kind that comes loose in a big bag. But I didn't put it so deep (1 inch) instead I had it about a half an inch or less, around a quarter of an inch. When using an UTH the manufacturer's recommend using a very thin amount, since deep substrate can cause over heating of the UTH

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    Re: Heating through coconut

    Quote Originally Posted by BPGator View Post
    What is your room temperature? In and of itself there's no reason for your cool side to be below your room ambient.

    My guess is what is happening is the water in the coco is evaporating and reducing the temperature. Kind of like alcohol on your hand - it feels cold because the phase change from liquid to gas requires energy that is pulled from your hand. Once the water in your coco evaporates it should come back to ambient.

    But if you leave the floor temp high, your snake may decide to bury and can overheat.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Room was at 77, the cold end of the cage was 74. I agree with you that the evaporation was cooling things, so I pulled the coco out for now and am going to dry it out for a few days then try again. I'm also probably going to pick up a RHP for additional heat so I can let the house heat drop a few degrees.

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