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  1. #1
    Registered User Maddlesrain's Avatar
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    Is using a red heat bulb bad?

    Ok all,
    Since my snake has been fasting, Iíve been trying to figure out why that may be. Iím in several Facebook groups and everyone on there jumps on anyone who has some sort of light source over their tank that isnít a ceramic heat emitter. Iíve had a red heat light going for over three years now and Iím just now finding this out. Should a switch the bulb I have out for a ceramic heat bulb or is the red light fine in your opinions? Iím asking on here because I canít tell if the people saying ďlight is badĒ are just regurgitating information or are actually experienced keepers and I feel like you all here give advice with facts / experience to back it.


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  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    I've been running bulbs for the entire time I've been keeping snakes, almost 20 years. All my animals are healthy, good eaters, etc...
    I prefer the dark purple bulbs myself, but that's just cause I hate red, hahahaha.

    FB groups are toxic... I ditched my FB account about 6 years ago. One of the best things I ever did.
    ...life is beautiful...

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  4. #3
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I don't keep BPs, but I use red or black bulbs for some of my snakes that like more warmth (like my spotted python loves to bask under her warm light), & I've
    seen no problems at all with them. All of mine are used with dimmers also, never on full-blast...they're supplemental heat only- all my tanks have UTH too.

    The main thing for you is whether or not your enclosure is meeting the needs of YOUR snake: heat rises, so overhead heat (of any kind) isn't the most efficient
    when it comes to reaching the very floor of the enclosure, which is where your snake is mostly going to be. (BPs are not big on climbing up to bask.) In my spotted python's tank, she has a very warm UTH also running, so she has all sorts of choices that meet her needs. What are the temperatures in your snake's cage, on the warmest end & the coolest end (on the floor)? Is the light your only heat source? How tall is this enclosure? The chillier the room is where the snake lives, the more you'll need UTH heat rising from the cage floor, but if the room is kept warm (near the ambient needed for a BP) then you might get away with just some extra heat from above. (it's just not optimal for such terrestrial snakes though...their tummy needs the warmth)

    I would not worry about using a red or black light, as long as your snake is getting the temps. & privacy he/she needs to thrive. Keep in mind that it's not only
    winter that snakes sense a chill in the air...our air conditioning in summer can do the same thing, put a snake off food because they're too cool.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 07-12-2019 at 04:31 PM.
    Many friends in low places...

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  6. #4
    Registered User Maddlesrain's Avatar
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    Re: Is using a red heat bulb bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Craiga 01453 View Post
    I've been running bulbs for the entire time I've been keeping snakes, almost 20 years. All my animals are healthy, good eaters, etc...
    I prefer the dark purple bulbs myself, but that's just cause I hate red, hahahaha.

    FB groups are toxic... I ditched my FB account about 6 years ago. One of the best things I ever did.
    I completely agree. There are too many overly aggressive people in the Facebook groups. That goes for all types of animals. And most of them have no idea what theyíre talking about.

    Lol I donít mind the red. I didnít think my snake did either, but figured Iíd double check!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    I don't keep BPs, but I use red or black bulbs for some of my snakes that like more warmth (like my spotted python loves to bask under her warm light), & I've
    seen no problems at all with them. All of mine are used with dimmers also, never on full-blast...they're supplemental heat only- all my tanks have UTH too.

    The main thing for you is whether or not your enclosure is meeting the needs of YOUR snake: heat rises, so overhead heat (of any kind) isn't the most efficient
    when it comes to reaching the very floor of the enclosure, which is where your snake is mostly going to be. (BPs are not big on climbing up to bask.) In my spotted python's tank, she has a very warm UTH also running, so she has all sorts of choices that meet her needs. What are the temperatures in your snake's cage, on the warmest end & the coolest end (on the floor)? Is the light your only heat source? How tall is this enclosure? The chillier the room is where the snake lives, the more you'll need UTH heat rising from the cage floor, but if the room is kept warm (near the ambient needed for a BP) then you might get away with just some extra heat from above. (it's just not optimal for such terrestrial snakes though...their tummy needs the warmth)

    I would not worry about using a red or black light, as long as your snake is getting the temps. & privacy he/she needs to thrive. Keep in mind that it's not only
    winter that snakes sense a chill in the air...our air conditioning in summer can do the same thing, put a snake off food because they're too cool.
    I have the heat lamp and then a large heat mat that covers the front panel of the cage / goes under one of the hides. Itís on a thermostat that keeps it between 89-93F. Right now itís HOT here so the ambient temps have been 84-88F most days and upper 70s-80F at night. Iíve been trying to keep the humidity up, and itís been mostly in the 50s, but it drops during the day sometimes down to 45 and then comes back up at night when it cools down to the mid 50s.

    We donít have any air conditioning, so thatís not a problem! Trying to rule out everything to make sure itís not something Iím doing causing this fast, but if the light isnít an issue Iíll just leave it.

    From my understanding the CHE put out more heat? Is that correct? Thinking it may be worth it for the winter months.


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  8. #5
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    A CHE is just like a light bulb, only without the light: what I mean is, the output depends totally on the wattage. There are options for CHE, just as with light bulbs. And I don't use any CHE, but I've heard that they are more apt to burn out (faster) if dimmed down. I've not noticed that with light bulbs, but if you
    need more heat (& less light), you might want to try a CHE. Just don't forget it's on & grab it bare-handed...(it has happened a lot), and make sure that the
    light fixture you use is easily rated for the wattage you use. You want a ceramic base, not a (meltable) plastic one.

    For more humidity, you might try another substrate...some hold it better than others, but with constant heat in a cage, they all dry out & need refreshed.
    You can also put in a "humid hide"....like use a plastic food container of appropriate size (for snake + moss) and cut a "doorway" into it, & keep it filled
    with soaked/drained sphagnum moss, or other moist substrate. My spotted python (actually a coastal species) spends most of her time in her humid hide,
    as it's also over the UTH, & she likes it better than just her warm hide. She also cannot do a good shed without her humid hide.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 07-12-2019 at 05:07 PM.
    Many friends in low places...

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  10. #6
    Registered User Maddlesrain's Avatar
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    Re: Is using a red heat bulb bad?

    @bogertophis

    Makes 100% with the wattage Iím not sure why I didnít use common sense with that as well.

    Actually, one of my three hides is a humid hide and thatís how I keep the humidity up now. Might add a little more moss as well. Iím also going to be moving the cage to a new apartment and keeping a humidifier in the room since itíll be a smaller space.


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  12. #7
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    So it sounds to me like your BP is "just being a normal BP". I've kept a number of BPs in the past, & in my experience they ate very well as young snakes,
    but got "fussy" (fasted now & then) as adults (2 yrs & on up). You didn't mention how old your snake is, did you? BPs have many attributes, but eating is their
    "achilles heel".
    Many friends in low places...

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  14. #8
    Registered User Maddlesrain's Avatar
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    Is using a red heat bulb bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    So it sounds to me like your BP is "just being a normal BP". I've kept a number of BPs in the past, & in my experience they ate very well as young snakes,
    but got "fussy" (fasted now & then) as adults (2 yrs & on up). You didn't mention how old your snake is, did you? BPs have many attributes, but eating is their
    "achilles heel".
    I got her about 3 years go, so sheís past that young and easy to please stage haha. Iím not sure how old she was when I got her (not more than a few months probably), but sheís definitely between 3-4 now.


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    Last edited by Maddlesrain; 07-12-2019 at 06:00 PM.

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  16. #9
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Is using a red heat bulb bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maddlesrain View Post
    I got her about 3 years go, so sheís past that young and easy to please stage haha. Iím not sure how old she was when I got her, but sheís definitely between 3-4 now.


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    So this fasting is really really really normal...she's just following the "Ball Python Playbook", chapter 5, how to frustrate your owner & make them pay attention.
    Many friends in low places...

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  18. #10
    Registered User Maddlesrain's Avatar
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    Re: Is using a red heat bulb bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    So this fasting is really really really normal...she's just following the "Ball Python Playbook", chapter 5, how to frustrate your owner & make them pay attention.
    Oh, Iím paying attention all right. Iím practically stalking her cage and I canít even see her because of the angle of the hide sheís in


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