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  1. #1
    Registered User VelkynKarma's Avatar
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    Deep Heat Projector problems?

    Hey all, curious if this happens to anyone else.

    Just got my first ever ball python over the past weekend. I've been letting him settle in and leaving him alone right now, but I have been regularly checking the tank's heat and humidity. (I've got a 4'x2'x2' pvc tank).

    I'm using a pair of Arcadia deep heat projectors (one for a higher temp on the hot side, one to maintain a temperature in the low 80's on the cool side since it's winter right now). They work great for heating surfaces and keeping the general temperature up but I've noticed that the heat really doesn't penetrate hides. I've got one square pangea hide that warms appropriately, but nothing else seems to.

    This is particularly a problem for his humid hides. Since it's winter and my place gets super dry then, I've added humid hides. I've tried both a mossy cave hide, and a plastic tupperware with spagnum moss in it. Both keep humidity up great but are way too cool on the inside (room temp, about 74F).

    I'm thinking I might need to switch to a ceramic heat emitter, but I'd like to get some feedback first. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Registered User Hugsplox's Avatar
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    Re: Deep Heat Projector problems?

    What are you using to take temperatures inside the hides? If you're using a temp gun it's possible that while the surface temp inside the hide is only 74, that the ambient temp is actually higher. I also use the Pangea hides, both the regular ones and the humid version. My RHP always heats the top of the warm hide, raising the ambient temp inside the hide, so the ambient temp around the hide is 85 while the inside is 88-90. My cool side ambient temp is around 76-78, and my guy spends more time on that end than he does in the warm hide, with the exception of after a meal.

    I can't speak for DHP as I don't use them, but it's possible that the issue is your enclosure not maintaining the ambient temps as well as you'd like.

  3. #3
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I've never used a DHP either, but I think bcr229 uses them- might pm if no response here.
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  4. #4
    bcr229's Avatar
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    I use DHP's but am wondering how you have them set up for a PVC enclosure since they won't penetrate opaque material, and only the doors are transparent. Do you have them aimed through the door?

    Mine are aimed through plexiglass so the radiation penetrates well and then warms up objects in the enclosure - including the snake - when he basks on a perch.

  5. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to bcr229 For This Useful Post:

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  6. #5
    Registered User VelkynKarma's Avatar
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    Re: Deep Heat Projector problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by bcr229 View Post
    I use DHP's but am wondering how you have them set up for a PVC enclosure since they won't penetrate opaque material, and only the doors are transparent. Do you have them aimed through the door?

    Mine are aimed through plexiglass so the radiation penetrates well and then warms up objects in the enclosure - including the snake - when he basks on a perch.
    The top of the enclosure is a wire mesh, with a hood on top. The DHP's are set up on top of the mesh projecting down into the enclosure, and the hood goes over the top of the DHP's to keep them contained.

    The surface of the objects are warming up pretty well (the tops of the caves, a log, some rocks, the substrate). It just seems like the inside of the caves aren't really warming up at all. I rearranged my humidity box (currently a plastic tupperware with spagnum moss in it) and it seems to get up to 83F at best on the inside.


    What are you using to take temperatures inside the hides?
    I've been using both a temp gun and a Zoomed hydrometer/thermometer combo for testing the insides of the hides. I also have other sensors hooked up to a herpstat 4 measuring the overall ambient temperature and adjusting the DHP's.

  7. #6
    bcr229's Avatar
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    The DHP's will heat up the tops of the hides but most of the heat will rise above them.

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  9. #7
    BPnet Veteran WrongPython's Avatar
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    Re: Deep Heat Projector problems?

    Another DHP user here. Hopefully I can be of some assistance.

    Personally, I've found that DHPs are only good for heating surfaces directly underneath them and providing pointed heat/basking areas in smaller enclosures. They're not the efficient choice for raising ambients overall in larger enclosures -- that would be RHPs.

    The 50w DHP I'm currently using is sitting on a screen top and pointed directly over a small Reptile Basics hide ~9" below. The inside of the hide is probably around 83F during the day, which is sufficient for a warm hide. Basking temps definitely don't penetrate inside, though, and the hide wouldn't be so warm if it wasn't sitting directly under the DHP's beam.

    CHEs are good for throwing off loose heat (ie. raising ambients), but that's about it. In your case, switching over to a CHE or otherwise adding one in will only be the best choice if you find you need to raise overall ambient temperatures more. A humid hide at 83F should be good enough for your BP to get by, assuming they have another (hotter) dedicated basking spot. If you need to warm that hide up more, try moving said hide directly under the DHP if it isn't already. Otherwise, you may just have to to raise your ambients a tad more overall. Remember that CHEs will zap your humidity, though, and that evaporating water (read: damp moss) will cool things off a little (this could be part of the reason why your hides read so cool, if you're primarily measuring them with your temp gun).

    Quote Originally Posted by VelkynKarma View Post
    The top of the enclosure is a wire mesh, with a hood on top. The DHP's are set up on top of the mesh projecting down into the enclosure, and the hood goes over the top of the DHP's to keep them contained. DHP's.
    You wouldn't happen to be talking about a Custom Reptile Habitats/Maximum Reptile or similarly all-screen topped enclosure with a canopy here, would you? I have one myself (sans canopy) and have also found it to be unable to hold tropical ambient temperatures and humidity in the winter when using light-based heating. Like you, I also see cool and very dry conditions in my house during the winter. In its current configuration with a Jungle Dawn LED bar, halogen basking lamp, and back-up-heat CHE, the only part of the cage that is properly up-to-temperature is the warm half under the CHE. Minimal ambient humidity has been a struggle to maintain, even with most of the screen blocked off and extra damp moss being worked into the Reptichip I use.

    After dealing with these conditions for a few months and trying every trick in the book to resolve them, I've personally come to the conclusion that these all-screen-top enclosures are not suited for the true tropical species (think: ball pythons and Papuan carpet pythons) in places with cool and dry winters. There's just too much ventilation with these enclosures -- air cycles through the enclosure so quickly that the ambient heat and humidity they need can't hold. These sorts of cags are better suited to temperate species (think: corn snakes, kingsnakes, Bredl's pythons) that can tolerate cooler and less humid conditions. If you live in a place that's cool and dry, a true tropical snake would be more comfortably housed in a cage with an RHP and -- if you're so inclined -- a smaller screen cutout just large enough for an external basking bulb.

    Personally, I'm going to be moving my Papuan carpet currently living in the aforementioned cage out and into a new one. Thankfully I have another snake who is tolerant of more temperate conditions and in need of new digs. Worst case scenario... let's just say I have a few IRL friends with hardy snakes that could use a cage this size.
    0.1 Sonoran Boa sigma​: "Adelita" ('19 Hypo het. leopard)
    1.0 Boa imperator longicauda: "Kuzco" ('19 het. anery)
    0.1 West Papuan Morelia spilota​: "Pandora" ('20)

  10. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to WrongPython For This Useful Post:

    bcr229 (01-14-2022),Bogertophis (01-13-2022),Homebody (01-14-2022),Hugsplox (01-14-2022),Malum Argenteum (01-13-2022)

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