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  1. #1
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    Question Struggling with keeping temps up in the winter.

    Hello BP forums. I am new both to the forums and to keeping a Ball Python so be gentle.

    Now to preface I have kept many snakes in the past but that was quite some time ago (10 to 15 years at this point lol) and they were all local wild caught snakes that did just fine living in a cage with minimal heating and humidity.

    Syrup is my first ball python (named because I also have an injured brown snake named Pancake I am keeping till his broken ribs have healed enough for him to be released back into the wild) I have had Syrup is only about 4 months old at this point and I have had him for a little over 3 of those months. So far it has been warm enough that the one 8" x 18" heating pad in his cage has been able to create a sufficient hot and cold side in his terrarium. Unfortunately it is now winter and apparently, my house holds heat about as well as a colander holds water so his cold side has been dropping below 65. I have tried using a ceramic heat emitter to warm up the cold side but it murders my humidity and does not warm up the substrate or the inside of the hides on the cool side very well without raising the temps up to above 90 on the surface of the hides and climbables.

    I have been considering replacing the one UTH I currently have with 2 pieces of heat tape 1 that is approx. 12 in wide and 16 in long on the hot side and another approx. 21 in wide and 16 in long on the cool side. This will effectively cover the entire bottom of the terrarium. Both will be regulated by a single thermostat that has 2 outlets each of which are controlled by their own probe(2 outlets with 2 probes). my only concern is with this setup there will not be any part of his tank that is unheated meaning if something goes wrong with the thermostat and the temperature spikes there will be nowhere for him to go. Is this something I should be worried about and is having 2 heat mats an acceptable solution or is there something else I should try doing as well. Unfortunately moving the terrarium and raising the temp to the house are not options for reasons I don't feel like going into at the moment.

    The tank he is in is a ZooMed 40 gallon front opening style terrarium. The substrate is a mixture of eco earth and forest floor and is about an inch thick. I have covered the screen top of the terrarium with aluminum foil to try boosting heat and humidity and am in the process of insulating the sides of the tank with foam board.

    For the TLDR version does anyone have any recommendations on how to raise temps on the cool side of a glass terrarium and are there any issues with putting 2 heat mats set to different temps on the underside of a terrarium.

    Any advise is greatly appreciated. I can upload pics of my setup if requested I am just not very familiar with posting to forums so please bear with me.

  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran CALM Pythons's Avatar
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    Re: Struggling with keeping temps up in the winter.

    2 heat mats is the easiest... however i would use a Herpstat 2 for a Tstat. They have a Safety shut down incase of any issues with overheating etc..
    No matter the heat source there can always be a unforeseen situation. Your Tstat is something you do not want to cut corners on. If thats not possible have something he could get up onto.. even a large water bowl.


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  3. #3
    Registered User Spicey's Avatar
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    Re: Struggling with keeping temps up in the winter.

    I have a heat mat stuck against the side of my KSB's tank to help keep temps up, as well as foam panels around three sides of the tank.
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  4. #4
    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    Two heat mats are fine, but on a thermostat of course. The only problem with heat mats in a really chilly room is that heat mats don't help with raising the ambient temperature. You might look into using a Deep Heat Projector (DHP) instead of a CHE. They don't wreck humidity the way a CHE does, and they do a really nice job of warming substrate. I put a couple of big pieces of slate rock right under mine, and the slate absorbs and then radiates the warmth. DHPs tend to sell fast, though it looks like Reptile Basics has them available at the moment.

    But yes, two heat mats will certainly help.

    I'll co-sign the recommendation to use a Herpstat thermostat!
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  5. #5
    Registered User NJ Balls's Avatar
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    Re: Struggling with keeping temps up in the winter.

    Where's the tank located in your house? Is it possible to heat the room instead of the tank?

    In the winter time, I use an oil filled space heated in my reptile room. I also put a pot of water on top of the heater to help increase the humidity in the room, my house has forced hot air heat so humidity is always a problem anyway.

    It's only the one room and I only need to raise the temp a few degrees higher so the electric bill isn't that much.

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