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  1. #21
    Registered User WhompingWillow's Avatar
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    Re: Heating pad problems

    Quote Originally Posted by PitOnTheProwl View Post
    FYI most on/off thermostats have 5 to 6 degree swing
    Yes, Jumpstart I believe says they have a +/- 2 degree in either direction. But whether that correlates to what the actual glass temp measures is something else entirely.
    BALL PYTHONS: 1.0 Pied/Clark, 1.0 Pastel Vanilla Super Stripe/Sunny, 0.1 Dragon Fly/Buffy, 0.1 Pastel Vanilla Yellow Belly/Cher, 0.1 BEL (Mojave Lesser)/Arya, 0.0.1 Normal/Norm, 0.1 Cinnamon Enchi/Peaches, 1.0 Cinnamon Calico/Yoshi, 0.1 Pewter Het Pied & Lavender/Ariel
    BOAS: 0.1 Dumeril's/Memphis, 0.1 BCL/Artemis, 1.0 BCO/Grimm
    CORN SNAKES: 0.0.1/Mushu
    CARPET PYTHONS: 0.1 Morelia bredli/Zelda, 0.1 Granite IJ/Bridget, 0.1 Caramel Diamond Jungle/Pixie

  2. #22
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    Re: Heating pad problems

    Quote Originally Posted by WhompingWillow View Post
    Out of curiosity, what are your ambient (air) temps? A hot spot is important, yes, but so is having a temperature gradient from warm side to cool so that your snake can thermoregulate. Depending on how your enclosure and your room temperatures, a heat pad really may not be enough. You want about 80 degrees on the cool end. And how are you measuring your temps? Apologies if I missed you mentioning that earlier.

    As others have said, a range of acceptable hot spot temps is fine. 88-90 is ideal, but 87 - 91/92 won't do any harm. You simply aren't going to "fix" or get a constant hot spot temp with an on/off thermostat (ie, Jumpstart).

    The most popular proportional thermostats are probably Herpstats (manufactured by Spyder Robotics) and Vivarium Electronics (made by Reptile Basics). These works by maintaining a constant set temperature.

    Different cage types are easier to maintain. You can make pretty much anything work, but it takes some experimenting. As an example, a lot of people dislike glass tanks because of the difficulty maintaining heat and humidity. Ball pythons can definitely thrive in glass enclosures, but you may need to work at it more. Other popular options are tubs, either standalone tubs that are modified or tubs in a rack system. PVC cages are also popular (Animal Plastics, Reptile Basics, Herptastic, Boaphile, etc.) and a lot of people use Radiant Heat Panels as the sole heating element for those (from ProProducts or Reptile Basics).

    A final note: It sounds like you are a new keeper. We've all been there. I get being frustrated when it seems like things aren't working how they should be. But your original question was asking why your hot spot has temperature swings. Multiple people explained why in this thread. You've gotten a lot of advice on possible ways to address this and also reassurances that a range in hotspot temps is okay as long as not too hot or too cold.
    The room has a heater that I turn on frequently at a set temperature to keep the room from getting too cold. I measure the temps in the cage with an etekcity temp gun. I do understand that it's fine for the heating pad to go down to 87, but it isn't fine when it stays cold in the tank and there's nothing I can do to set it to the desired temperature. My snake went on a feeding strike for a month and one week. This is especially bad given he was only 4 months old when I got him. He had gotten very lethargic and wasn't acting like a ball python should. The third heating pad seemed to work better and for a while it heated it up enough that he started feeling better and has eaten twice. Yes, the heating pad sometimes stays at 88-91 which is what I want but say it was a bit colder and my snake wasn't getting enough heat so I wanted to turn it up a bit. I can't. Obviously, the thermostat needs to be set higher when the probe is directly on the heating pad. There have been times when the thermostat was set up to 99 and the tank never heated up more than 87. The probe heats up super quick and the heating pad is turned off before the heat reaches the tank. Yes, I am a new snake owner. I've never owned any type of reptile before. I've read stuff, watched videos, and all that about setting up heating pads and I've done pretty much exactly what I've seen and read but it just doesn't work for me.

  3. #23
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    Re: Heating pad problems

    The temp in the room gets down to 73 which is what it normally is in the rest of the house but the heater in the room raises it to the higher 70s.

  4. #24
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    Re: Heating pad problems

    Quote Originally Posted by RyanTheNoodleMan View Post
    I do understand that it's fine for the heating pad to go down to 87, but it isn't fine when it stays cold in the tank and there's nothing I can do to set it to the desired temperature.
    Quote Originally Posted by RyanTheNoodleMan View Post
    There have been times when the thermostat was set up to 99 and the tank never heated up more than 87.
    As I read earlier in this thread, you are trying to create a hot spot, not heat the whole tank with a UTH, so I'm not sure what to make of these comments.

    As has been mentioned before, a UTH is never going to heat the whole tank. UTHs are used to create hot spots only and cannot provide the ambient temps needed. but it seems you understand that since you set up a space heater, which just makes your above statements more confusing.

    However, 73 ambient is not enough. Most breeders I know warm the reptile room up to 77 or so. That way the cool side is always at least 77, and a hot spot can be provided with a UTH.

    You sound stressed but be assured this community wants to be helpful. I'm afraid that you haven't made the situation clear, pics and exact temperatures would be great. You say it stays "cold in the tank". In the tank or on the hotspot? How cold? 85? 80? 78? 73? That information is important to understand what is going on.

    Finally, and even without that information, I'll tell you exactly what the solution is. If we are talking about a TANK and not a tub. This is what you should do:

    Get a hold of a ceramic heat emitter (CHE). Junk the UTH all together. Plug the CHE into the thermostat and place the probe appropriately inside the tank. Finally unplug the space heater and put it away.

    Sorry but its a little overboard to permanently heat a whole room for just one snake. If you had, I don't know, 10 snakes then yeah, heat the room and use UTHs, but for just one? Nah, waste of electricity. It makes much more sense to just heat the tank directly with a CHE. If you have a tub that is a totally different story.

    You want to get a few Accurite thermometers also, as it sounds like you don't have any. Without a thermometer, you really don't know what the ambient temp is. They're cheap on Amazon, I get 'em for $10 or so, and they give humidity as well.

    Don't get discouraged. Snake keeping is a great and rewarding hobby, but can be really stressful at first. Hell, my bald spot expanded a whole inch within months of getting my first corn snake!
    \m/

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to JRLongton For This Useful Post:

    RyanTheNoodleMan (03-15-2019)

  6. #25
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    OP, you sound a lot like me. I want perfection for my animals and I go crazy trying to figure out how to do it.

    For me the solution was first to make sure that the room was staying (mostly) in the mid to high 70's, with a slight natural drop at night, then getting the best thermostat money can buy (herpstat, in my opinion) which means instead of keeping the area the probe contacts swinging from 87 to 93, it keeps it within 0.1 of the set temperature.

    The next thing I've done is ordered pro products heat panels which I'm excited to install soon.

    But, that's a lot of money, and I also understand you wanting to make the setup you have work. But it is just like anything else: the $50 solution is not going to be as good as the $300 solution, so you can't expect it to operate as efficiently, with the same level of stability, or as safely.

    In the interim, I would focus on keeping the room in the high 70's and keep the hot spot within a safe range for now. Keep in mind, these animals deal with temperature fluctuations in the wild, and even with temperatures perfect some snakes will still fast (because they are generally overfed in captivity).

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to -ryan- For This Useful Post:

    RyanTheNoodleMan (03-15-2019)

  8. #26
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    Re: Heating pad problems

    Quote Originally Posted by JRLongton View Post
    As I read earlier in this thread, you are trying to create a hot spot, not heat the whole tank with a UTH, so I'm not sure what to make of these comments.

    As has been mentioned before, a UTH is never going to heat the whole tank. UTHs are used to create hot spots only and cannot provide the ambient temps needed. but it seems you understand that since you set up a space heater, which just makes your above statements more confusing.

    However, 73 ambient is not enough. Most breeders I know warm the reptile room up to 77 or so. That way the cool side is always at least 77, and a hot spot can be provided with a UTH.

    You sound stressed but be assured this community wants to be helpful. I'm afraid that you haven't made the situation clear, pics and exact temperatures would be great. You say it stays "cold in the tank". In the tank or on the hotspot? How cold? 85? 80? 78? 73? That information is important to understand what is going on.

    Finally, and even without that information, I'll tell you exactly what the solution is. If we are talking about a TANK and not a tub. This is what you should do:

    Get a hold of a ceramic heat emitter (CHE). Junk the UTH all together. Plug the CHE into the thermostat and place the probe appropriately inside the tank. Finally unplug the space heater and put it away.

    Sorry but its a little overboard to permanently heat a whole room for just one snake. If you had, I don't know, 10 snakes then yeah, heat the room and use UTHs, but for just one? Nah, waste of electricity. It makes much more sense to just heat the tank directly with a CHE. If you have a tub that is a totally different story.

    You want to get a few Accurite thermometers also, as it sounds like you don't have any. Without a thermometer, you really don't know what the ambient temp is. They're cheap on Amazon, I get 'em for $10 or so, and they give humidity as well.

    Don't get discouraged. Snake keeping is a great and rewarding hobby, but can be really stressful at first. Hell, my bald spot expanded a whole inch within months of getting my first corn snake!
    sorry for the confusion, when I say tank I mean only a specific part of the tank, the hot spot. And when I said the tank isn't heating up, I meant the hot spot isn't maintaining a high enough temperature. The temp on the hot spot constantly changes which I wouldn't mind if it stayed in a good temperature range but it has gotten really hot and it's also lowered to 85. It doesn't stay at 73 in the room, it just dropped that low but the heater turns on then. Right now it's set at 75.

  9. #27
    Sometimes It Hurts... PitOnTheProwl's Avatar
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    Seeing that you have had the same problem with 3 UTH I would suspect your thermostat is bad.
    Then again we can only go by the information you provide.

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