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  1. #1
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    Question Need help with BP enclosure!!

    Hi guys, I am getting my first BP next week ( a juvenile weighing 150g) and am setting up the terrarium but I'm having a lot of issues with achieving the right temp + humidity levels. I have a 20 gallon tank and a Zoo med reptitherm 10-20 gallon UTH. However I have had the heat pad on for 2 days and it barely feels warm enough to melt an ice cube (even though I also have a thermostat attached to it which is set at 92 F) I really don't know what to do.... I think a lot of the heat is escaping through the lid of the tank which is a screen top. I have tried insulating the lid with the Zoo Med Eco carpet but that doesnt seem to be helping at all... I heard a ceramic heat emitter could help but apparently they destroy the humidity....I'm really concerned about not giving my snake the right conditions and I really want to give it the best life possible...

    Any tips or advice would be GREATLY appreciated!

  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum!!!

    First off, good job getting your enclosure set up BEFORE bringing the snake home. You're already a step ahead of many new keepers

    You'll probably hear some people say glass enclosures stink for BPs. But I whole-heartedly disagree. I've been using glass with success for almost 20 years as have many other keepers. They just take a little extra TLC to get set up.

    So, here we go...

    It's important to understand that your UTH is there solely to provide a hot spot to aid in digestion and not for ambient temps.
    You'll need to set your tstat (props for having a tstat already too ) a few degrees higher than your goal temp and check the actual surface temp (not the substate) because your snake will burrow under the substrate, push the substrate around, etc...and lay directly on the glass.
    To check your temps you'll need an infra red temp gun. You want the actual glass to be 89-90.

    Next, on to ambient temps...unless the room the snake is is remain a constant temp of 78-84 you'll need an additional heat source. Just like the CHE you mentioned. You can also use bulbs, they're cheaper but don't last as long. You're right, these will zap humidity, but there are tricks to that too.
    You want your ambient temps around 82-84 with a cool side 78-80, never below 75.
    You'll also need to regulate your heat lamp with a tstat.

    At this point, it's a bit of trial and error to dial things in. Tweak things, check temps, tweak some more until you're dialed in.

    On to humidity... yes the additional heat source will zap humidity, but using the right substrate gies a long way. Unfortunately, there's no "right" answer since we live in various climates around the country (and world).
    Many of us (myself included) use one of the handful of coco coir substrtates. I use a blend of eco earth and Repti bark and that works great where I live in MA.

    Adding a larger or a second water bowl helps a lot too.

    Finally, I wrap my glass enclosures in foam board insulation. It's 1/2" think and comes in sheets. I cover the back, sides and top. This helps immensely with heat and humidity control as well as saves money on the electric bill since the equipment is running more efficiently.

    Feel free to ask any questions you may have. I'm happy to help. is beautiful...

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  4. #3
    BPnet Veteran Sunnieskys's Avatar
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    I use a CHE for all my snakes. The lamps all have a dimmer. For keeping humidity in use cardboard cut to the size of the lid and cover completely with foil. I have a tutorial. I only spray once or twice a week.

    For or the heat mat it should not really feel warm to you. We are 98.6 so the uth won't really be warm to the touch. Use a infrared heat gun and always measure at the glass without substrate.

    My tutorial:
    Last edited by Sunnieskys; 05-05-2019 at 01:47 PM.
    Coilsome, Odyn, & Eeden AKA theLittleOne

    0:1 Pastel Het Red Day Chocolate
    1:0 Normal
    0:0:1 Pueblan milk snake

    *~* Nothing sticky (tape, stick on gauges, Velcro) goes into your enclosure! Again...NOTHING sticky goes into your enclosure....EVER! *~*

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  6. #4
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    Re: Need help with BP enclosure!!

    Thanks for your reply!
    I have the CHE over the cool spot of the tank and the thermometer says that area is at 83F. However, the thermometer in the middle of the tank which I guess is the ambient temperature is at 78 and when I woke up this morning, the humidity levels had dropped to 39%....

    I wrapped about 2/3 of the screen lid with saran wrap last night but I don't know if that has helped at all...

    I have three thermometers, one tstat and a temp gun but all of them 1. give off completely different numbers 2. change drastically (up to 5 in minutes)... it's just been really hard for me to figure out how to get the ideal temps and humidity levels right because I can't seem to get an accurate reading....

  7. #5
    Registered User fadingdaylight's Avatar
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    I had similar issues with overnight humidity drops when I first set up my original glass tank also. What I found worked the best was, like Craig mentioned, adding a second water bowl. I put a decent sized (6" dia) ceramic bowl on the cool side, then moved my larger reptile bowl over so that it was halfway over the UTH and partially under the heat lamp. This caused my water in that bowl to evaporate at a faster rate, maintaining better humidity. I just had to keep topping it off every other day or so.
    - Jason

    "Why should I fear what others fear? How ridiculous!" - Lao Tzu

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