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  1. #11
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    Re: Glass Tank- Humidity/Substrate tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by craigafrechette View Post
    Happy to help! I definitely like to prove some of the "glass bashers" wrong. I've been keeping snakes in glass tanks since around 2000 when I got my first.
    It just takes a little more work to tweak things, but once things are dialed in it'sno more difficult than PVC enclosures or tubs.
    Absolutely! I know tubs can be easier, but I am all for building/adjusting to make things perfect- like a science experiment! So, I am actually looking forward to making this work! Plus, this new tank is AMAZING!! I picked it up last night and it is in virtually perfect condition and is so much more spacious than her tub, I know she'll be so happy once I fill it up with a bunch of stuff to hide under!

    LOL I didn't realize you were from Mass! I bet you're having a good laugh. Us over here in Cali were literally screaming and crying this winter when we left our houses in the mornings and it was a WHOPPING 40F!! LOL

    Okay perfect, I was considering insulating, but wasn't sure really what material was best or how to do it! I do have some clarity questions, though!
    1. Just to make sure, the foam board is on the OUTSIDE of the tank or inside? And just regular old foam board from the Hardware store will do? Not toxic or anything? OR have you ever tried/read about using cork board? I've seen a couple people using it, but not sure if it is an aesthetic thing or a functional thing.
    2. For substrate, I know using a thicker layer supposedly helps more with humidity as well, right? BUT, will my UTH be able to heat through a thick layer of substrate? Obviously I would have to set the thermostat higher, but will that shatter the glass? Very nervous about that. If I have to set the UTH thermostat to like 106 to achieve the 90 spot, will anything bad happen?
    3. Is it okay to place the heat lamp (inside a Zoo-Med dome) on top of the screen? If you look up the EXO-Terra PT2613 screen, you'll see that it has 4 metal bars across the top, which I could rest the lamp on top of so it isn't in direct contact with the screen part. I'll have to probably cut out 4 foam pieces to fit into the sections of the screen, but more fun for me!

    That's exactly the combo of substrate I was considering using, so I'm glad you've found success with it! When you have left over substrate, how (or IF) do you store it? For example, if I order like a 72 QT of reptibark and I don't use the whole bag at once, how best can I store it so it doesn't dry up or mold?

    Seriously, thanks a million for your detailed explanation and ideas!!

  2. #12
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    Re: Glass Tank- Humidity/Substrate tips?

    OH also, what do you use to cut the foam board?

  3. #13
    Registered User SquirmyPug's Avatar
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    I use a sheet of foam board from Lowe's that's 4'x8' and .5". It goes on the outside of the tank and I just cut most of the way through with a knife, then fold it so it breaks on the line.

    You only want a little substrate over the uth because it won't heat through much. So that I don't have issues with humidity, I put more on the cool side and just barely cover the uth side. You won't crack the glass unless you set the thermostat really high and then pour water on it. Just having it slowly get warm won't be a problem.

    I didn't have any trouble with a che on top of my screen. The bars are plastic in all the exoterra cages I've seen. If the lamp is touching the plastic and gets too hot it could melt a bit but if you're only using it for ambient temperature then it probably won't get too hot.

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  5. #14
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    Re: Glass Tank- Humidity/Substrate tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by SquirmyPug View Post
    I use a sheet of foam board from Lowe's that's 4'x8' and .5". It goes on the outside of the tank and I just cut most of the way through with a knife, then fold it so it breaks on the line.

    You only want a little substrate over the uth because it won't heat through much. So that I don't have issues with humidity, I put more on the cool side and just barely cover the uth side. You won't crack the glass unless you set the thermostat really high and then pour water on it. Just having it slowly get warm won't be a problem.

    I didn't have any trouble with a che on top of my screen. The bars are plastic in all the exoterra cages I've seen. If the lamp is touching the plastic and gets too hot it could melt a bit but if you're only using it for ambient temperature then it probably won't get too hot.

    Awesome, thanks! And do you attach the foam with just tape or some type of adhesive?

    That's a great tip for the substrate! And having a bit of a height gradient may help it feel even more natural for her!

  6. #15
    Registered User SquirmyPug's Avatar
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    I just use a good tape to hold the foam in place

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  8. #16
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Re: Glass Tank- Humidity/Substrate tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hannahvh View Post

    Okay perfect, I was considering insulating, but wasn't sure really what material was best or how to do it! I do have some clarity questions, though!
    1. Just to make sure, the foam board is on the OUTSIDE of the tank or inside? And just regular old foam board from the Hardware store will do? Not toxic or anything? OR have you ever tried/read about using cork board? I've seen a couple people using it, but not sure if it is an aesthetic thing or a functional thing.
    2. For substrate, I know using a thicker layer supposedly helps more with humidity as well, right? BUT, will my UTH be able to heat through a thick layer of substrate? Obviously I would have to set the thermostat higher, but will that shatter the glass? Very nervous about that. If I have to set the UTH thermostat to like 106 to achieve the 90 spot, will anything bad happen?
    3. Is it okay to place the heat lamp (inside a Zoo-Med dome) on top of the screen? If you look up the EXO-Terra PT2613 screen, you'll see that it has 4 metal bars across the top, which I could rest the lamp on top of so it isn't in direct contact with the screen part. I'll have to probably cut out 4 foam pieces to fit into the sections of the screen, but more fun for me!

    That's exactly the combo of substrate I was considering using, so I'm glad you've found success with it! When you have left over substrate, how (or IF) do you store it? For example, if I order like a 72 QT of reptibark and I don't use the whole bag at once, how best can I store it so it doesn't dry up or mold?

    Seriously, thanks a million for your detailed explanation and ideas!!
    Sorry, just getting home from work...

    I'm glad to hear you like your new tank!!

    1) yes, the foam board goes outside. I buy it from Home Depot. It's in the insulation section. The one I use is the 1/2", but you could obviously go thicker if you wanted to. I think that would be overkill in Cali though. The thicker it is the higher the R-Rating. Higher R-Rating = more insulating power. I just cut the pieces to fit using a razor knife (utility knife).

    I don't know anything about using cork, so can't weigh in there.

    2) you want to measure the actual surface temp of the glass, not the substrate. Your snake can and will burrow and push substrate around and lay directly on the glass.
    When I set new enclosures up or do a full deep clean I only put about 1/4-1/2" of substrate over the hot spot. They just move it around anyway.
    As far as the deeper substrate holding humidity better, yeah it will. But I doubt you'll need to worry about it in Cali once you insulate the tank. If the substrate itself is damp when you put it in it'll prob raise your humidity too high. I would probably start with about 1-1 1/2" of substrate and see how that works out.

    3) yes, you can put your lamp on top like that. Mine are all set up that way, have been for many years.
    I think I know the screen lid you're talking about, and if I'm thinking of the right one, yeah you may need 4 pieces of foam.


    I store my leftover substrate in 5 gallon buckets with lids, works perfect.

    Very happy to help! Don't be afraid to ask any more questions you may have. I'm always happy to help.
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  10. #17
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    Re: Glass Tank- Humidity/Substrate tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by craigafrechette View Post
    Sorry, just getting home from work...

    I'm glad to hear you like your new tank!!

    1) yes, the foam board goes outside. I buy it from Home Depot. It's in the insulation section. The one I use is the 1/2", but you could obviously go thicker if you wanted to. I think that would be overkill in Cali though. The thicker it is the higher the R-Rating. Higher R-Rating = more insulating power. I just cut the pieces to fit using a razor knife (utility knife).

    I don't know anything about using cork, so can't weigh in there.

    2) you want to measure the actual surface temp of the glass, not the substrate. Your snake can and will burrow and push substrate around and lay directly on the glass.
    When I set new enclosures up or do a full deep clean I only put about 1/4-1/2" of substrate over the hot spot. They just move it around anyway.
    As far as the deeper substrate holding humidity better, yeah it will. But I doubt you'll need to worry about it in Cali once you insulate the tank. If the substrate itself is damp when you put it in it'll prob raise your humidity too high. I would probably start with about 1-1 1/2" of substrate and see how that works out.

    3) yes, you can put your lamp on top like that. Mine are all set up that way, have been for many years.
    I think I know the screen lid you're talking about, and if I'm thinking of the right one, yeah you may need 4 pieces of foam.


    I store my leftover substrate in 5 gallon buckets with lids, works perfect.

    Very happy to help! Don't be afraid to ask any more questions you may have. I'm always happy to help.

    Awesome! I definitely think I know how to set all this up now and even have ideas buzzing around on how to make it look all fancy! lol

    You have answered all my questions, thank you!! I'm sure I will think of more later on, but now it's time to get building!

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  12. #18
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    Re: Glass Tank- Humidity/Substrate tips?

    I just happened to be by Home Depot, so I stopped in to take a pic of the insulation I use. Anything comparable would work though.

    Sent from my SM-J327T1 using Tapatalk
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  14. #19
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    Glass Tank- Humidity/Substrate tips?

    I donít have to insulate my exo terra. I use a UTH and a RHP. I covered the top with Tin foil and then I just use a humidifier for my room and I barely have to mist because the humidity is bout 50 in my room so it is always above 60 in the tank. I use forest bedding and eco earth as substrate.


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    Last edited by Jcd5v; 03-15-2019 at 03:26 PM.
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