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  1. #1
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    Raising ambient temp

    I recently rescued a ball python and was given her enclosure too. Enclosure is a 40 gallon glass bioactive and I plan on upgrading after the holidays to a 4x2x2 pvc. The only heat/light sources they gave me and was using with her was a DHP and a grow light. No thermostat. I hooked up an extra thermostat I had but Iím having trouble maintaining temps. Cold side is reading 69-71. Warm side is reading 78-79. She has a warm log hide that is also the basking spot that currently reads 105-111. She seems fine in it and Iíve caught her basking, laying around the hottest spot. Should I move the DHP to the cold side and add a halogen light for basking to increase the temps? Iím just concerned that the basking spot is too hot and not sure how to heat the enclosure without making it hotter. It doesnít feel that warm to me and maybe Iím just being paranoid? First time with a bioactive enclosure and never had this much trouble before. I also read adding insulation would help. Currently there is plastic taped to the top except where the DHP is, thereís foil with a cut out for the DHP. I have some 2x4 pieces of 1/2 inch styrofoam, would those work for the outside?

  2. #2
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    Re: Raising ambient temp

    Your basking spot to too hot. You'll want to drop that to 90F, now. Adding a heat source (with a thermostat) to raise the cool side to 80F is a good idea as well. Insulating the sides with Styrofoam should help with raising your ambient. Pics would help us advise you better. This thread will show you how to add them: https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...-Post-Pictures.
    Last edited by Homebody; 11-14-2023 at 09:40 AM.
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  4. #3
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    Re: Raising ambient temp

    Quote Originally Posted by Btripp08 View Post
    Should I move the DHP to the cold side and add a halogen light for basking to increase the temps?
    I think the DHP is better for the basking spot. I've heard that they have a focused beam that's good for basking but not very good for raising ambient temps. I also think a CHE (ceramic heat emitter) would be better than a halogen at raising your cool side ambient temp. CHE's don't emit light. So, you won't have to turn it off at night.
    Last edited by Homebody; 11-14-2023 at 09:55 AM.
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  6. #4
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    Re: Raising ambient temp

    https://imgur.com/a/RXI4dQs


    Hereís a link to pics of the enclosure. I kept it pretty much how the previous owner left it other than added a bigger water bowl. Ordered new hides, just waiting on the mail. I do have an extra CHE I can throw on the cold side, but would have to order another thermostat. If I lower the temp to decrease the basking spot, the temps on the hot side drop to the mid 70s. I plan on adding more clutter.

  7. #5
    BPnet Veteran Caitlin's Avatar
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    First, thank you for rescuing this snake!

    The enclosure is looking and sounding pretty good, but your temperatures are problematic. Hopefully a fix won't be too complicated.

    First - I am not sure if the basking spot temps you mention are referring to surface temps on the basking log or to overall air temperature (ambient temp). The important thing here though is that either way, those temps(105-111F) are dangerously high and you need to get those dropped. The surface temp on a specific basking area shouldn't be over about 100F. Ambient temps should never be over 90F. Ambient temps over 95F can lead to neurological damage or death, and if surface temps, present a burn risk.

    But the other temps in the enclosure are so low that the snake is trying to prioritize staying warm even in unsafe temps. So you need to warm up ambient temps in the enclosure overall while also providing a temperature gradient from about 78-80 on the coolest side up to 88-90F on the warm side. The surface temp (not the air temp) of a basking spot could safely be up to 100F.

    In a 40 gallon you could use a 50W PAR20 wide angle halogen flood lamp on the warm side during the day. Arcadia makes a nice one, but you can also just use generics on Amazon as long as you are sure to get a flood; you don't want a really focused beam here. You could use the DHP 24/7 to provide nighttime heat and to maintain temps on the cool side. Of course, both would need to be on a thermostat - if you aren't able/ready yet to get something like a Herpstat, most of the more budget-friendly thermostats on Amazon like Inkbird or BN-Link will be fine.

    Alternatively, you could put the DHP on the warm side, and create a safe basking spot by stacking some flat slate or rock under the DHP beam. DHP are designed to allow heat to be absorbed by surfaces and then reflected back, so you can make a nice basking are that way. Then you could add a ceramic heat emitter or a second DHP on the cool side and set the temp so that it maintains an adequate cool side temp gradient.

    I hope all this made sense. I am just concerned that your temps are too chilly on the cool side and dangerously warm on that basking spot. I don't think it will be hugely crazy-making to get everything adjusted, but it will require some changes and another thermostat.
    Last edited by Caitlin; 11-14-2023 at 08:27 PM.
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    Re: Raising ambient temp

    Thanks for the detailed post! Yes the high 100 temps are when I measure the top of the basking log with a temp gun.

    I lowered the DHP and now the basking log is reading in the 90s but the temp on the hot side is still in the 80-82 range. I put styrofoam around the sides and back and this brought the cool side up to 75 but the warm side is the same. I use the reptizoo thermostats for my other reptiles since it has the dimming feature so I will got ahead and order another one and try swapping the Dhp for a halogen and moving the DHP to the cool side.

    I know ideally you want this figured out before you get the snake. But this girl was already living in poor conditions and when I picked her up she was ice cold. Owner couldnít tell me the last time the DHP was on.

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  11. #7
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    Re: Raising ambient temp

    Quote Originally Posted by Btripp08 View Post
    Thanks for the detailed post! Yes the high 100 temps are when I measure the top of the basking log with a temp gun.

    I lowered the DHP and now the basking log is reading in the 90s but the temp on the hot side is still in the 80-82 range. I put styrofoam around the sides and back and this brought the cool side up to 75 but the warm side is the same. I use the reptizoo thermostats for my other reptiles since it has the dimming feature so I will got ahead and order another one and try swapping the Dhp for a halogen and moving the DHP to the cool side.

    I know ideally you want this figured out before you get the snake. But this girl was already living in poor conditions and when I picked her up she was ice cold. Owner couldnít tell me the last time the DHP was on.
    I totally get that you are dealing with a rescue here and are doing your best! It sounds like you are making progress; let us know how things go when you've implemented the changes you plan. Poor cold girl. I'm glad she has you now.
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  13. #8
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    Re: Raising ambient temp

    Quote Originally Posted by Btripp08 View Post
    I lowered the DHP and now the basking log is reading in the 90s but the temp on the hot side is still in the 80-82 range. I put styrofoam around the sides and back and this brought the cool side up to 75 but the warm side is the same. I use the reptizoo thermostats for my other reptiles since it has the dimming feature so I will got ahead and order another one and try swapping the Dhp for a halogen and moving the DHP to the cool side.
    If you do that, I think your ambient will drop too low at night when you shut off the halogen. Since your place is a bit chilly, I think you're better off using the DHP for basking and a CHE to maintain the cool side ambient. That way, you don't have to shut off any of your heat sources.
    Last edited by Homebody; 11-15-2023 at 10:08 AM.
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