Hi all,
I've got a large cage for a large snake, and I'm having difficulty keeping the temps right. This cage is about 6'X2'X3', and is wood with screened areas on the sides and top. I have it in my basement, which has 3 air vents. I keep them closed, but we're running the AC all the time right now and our house AC is really cold. The basement averages around 65 degrees F.
What I have on the cage right now is overhead heating. The cage came with a pig blanket, but I just can't get it to work right, so I took it out. I can get the temps into the appropriate ranges with the assorted bulbs I have on it, but it just screams "fire hazard" (I have cats who like to make mischief) and dries the cage out too much.

So, how would you set up belly heat in this cage? It has a wooden floor, and sits on the carpeted floor. The substrate is newspaper. I've got UTHs on my glass terrariums, but I've never been good at setting them up on wooden tanks. I don't want to risk burning the snake. :-/
Any ideas? TIA
Jennifer
1 2
Hello Jenn!At the risk of being chastised like usual, I'll offer my opinion anyway. First, I wouldn't even try for belly heat in a wooden enclosure. I would block off the side screens, and use the open top for heat and air. I have my Boa in a similar sized enclosure, but glass instead of wood. Screen top, with a 100 watt ceramic heat emmiter at one end, and a 100 watt light at the other. I do have a UTH also, but only because it's easy and safer with glass. She rarely uses the UTH.

She would much rather bask under the ceramic emitter. My house stays around 70 or so..the enclosure temp is always 82-85. She has no shedding problems, usually in one 10-12 foot piece. She only has her water bowl, no soaking tub. I never even check humidity. I see no need to as long as she has no problems. As for the cats, maybe you could secure the light fixtures to the screen top some way? Then they couldn't turn them over or knock them off. Also..you keep the snake in the basement? what are you going to do in the winter time? Any chance of a snake room in the house? An addition to the living room furniture maybe? And by the way..what kind of large snake is it??

Sitting back and waiting for the fallout..
Roger
Hello Jenn! At the risk of being chastised like usual, I'll offer my opinion anyway. First, I wouldn't even try ... furniture maybe? And by the way..what kind of large snake is it?? Sitting back and waiting for the fallout.. Roger

It's a Borneo short tailed python. Covering the side vents makes sense, I bet a lot of colder air seeps in from the sides. The basement is actually underground on 2 1/2 sides, which keeps it pretty stable. During the winter the vents are open and our furnace runs regularly. There are also 2 large aquariums with heaters which add a bit to the warmth of the room. I already have a herp room, but it's a small room and already full! My husband doesn't want snakes in the living room or family room, so it leaves the basement. The basement is finished, fully carpeted, etc. It's a very nice room.
I'd still like to do less heat from above. I need to raise the humidity a bit, the snake has trouble shedding in one piece. I picked up a large plastic bin and I'm going to put her in it for a few days with high humidity, while I try to repair the cage. The bottom is falling apart and I want to rip it off and replace it. Too much humidity in the past and broken seals in the cracks. It's going to be quite a project.

Jennifer
So, how would you set up belly heat in this cage? It has a wooden floor, and sits on the ... at setting them up on wooden tanks. I don't want to risk burning the snake. :-/ Any ideas? TIA Jennifer

Have you tried ceramic heat emitters, or are you using light bulbs?

You could make a temporary lean-to or small room with heavy plastic and put an oil-filled radiator in there. You could use PVC pipe or leftover baseboard trim or 1 x 2s, etc., to frame it.
Cindy
It's a Borneo short tailed python. Covering the side vents makes sense, I bet a lot of colder air seeps in from the sides.

Borneos do need good humidity. Maybe you could use the heat emitters and put the directional spout of a small humidifier up against the screen on one side?
Hello Jenn! At the risk of being chastised like usual, ... is it?? Sitting back and waiting for the fallout.. Roger

It's a Borneo short tailed python. Covering the side vents makes sense, I bet a lot of colder air seeps ... it. Too much humidity in the past and broken seals in the cracks. It's going to be quite a project.

Neat snake Jennifer (pics would be cool).
You know though...they don't get more than about 4'-5' so why mot just get a
60 gallon glass terrarium with a couple of heating pads on the bottom? Getsome peel & stick rubber cups for the four corners of the cage so it's off the ground a half inch and use newspaper as a substrate (the Wall Street Journal makes a nice fit for that size cage:-). Put a piece or two of cardboard under the newspaper, but over the heating pads to prevent any possible burns to the snake and then place a cardboard box upside down with a cutout for the snake to come and go over the heating pads. This should keep the ambient temps inside the cardboard box warm. If it gets cold in the cellar, a towel placed over the screens (on the top of the cage) will help retain heat a bit as well. fwiw...

Robert J. Salvi, Ambiance Acoustics
http://www.ambianceacoustics.com
San Diego, CA USA
(858) 485-7514
Have you tried ceramic heat emitters, or are you using light bulbs?

The cage has a mix of them. The warm end has a large bulb and a CHE, and the cool end has a fluorescent light during the day (just for light) and two night bulbs on 24 hrs.
You could make a temporary lean-to or small room with heavy plastic and put an oil-filled radiator in there. You could use PVC pipe or leftover baseboard trim or 1 x 2s, etc., to frame it.

Eh, I'd rather keep it all looking pretty if I can. If I need to, I'll spend money of radiant heat panels and such, I just need to know what to get.
Jennifer
Neat snake Jennifer (pics would be cool). You know though...they don't get more than about 4'-5' so why mot just ... towel placed over the screens (on the top of the cage) will help retain heat a bit as well. fwiw...

I've thought of that, but I'm looking to see if I can use this cage first. It's a very nice-looking cage. (An evil voice in the back of my mind keeps telling me to move the snake into a glass cage and get a monitor lizard for the big wooden cage. I'm trying not to listen to it.)

Jennifer
Neat snake Jennifer (pics would be cool). You know though...they ... cage) will help retain heat a bit as well. fwiw...

I've thought of that, but I'm looking to see if I can use this cage first. It's a very nice-looking ... a glass cage and get a monitor lizard for the big wooden cage. I'm trying not to listen to it.)

For the sake of simplicity, repent! Repent! :-)

Robert J. Salvi, Ambiance Acoustics
http://www.ambianceacoustics.com
San Diego, CA USA
(858) 485-7514
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