View Full Version : tank heating issues...

09-24-2005, 10:44 PM
hello again. first off all, i'd like to thank everyone who's given me so much good information regarding my other posts. after lots of consideration, we bought a macklot python (mostly for me :santa: ) and she is a beautiful little sweetheart- extremely good temperment. anyhow, the problem we are having is this, the temperature in our house (trailor) is constantly fluctuating, and we obviously need to keep her tank at a stable temperature. so, we are wondering which would be a better system to go with- a proportional thermostat or an 'on/off' type. we'd like to either use heat lights or ceramic heat emitters (to keep the ambient temperature at 80 degrees. we would like to use a heating pad on one end to raise the 'basking' temperature to 90 degrees- we do not intend to hook the heating pad up to the thermostat.) if anyone has a particular trusted brand to recommend for any of these systems we'd like to know that as well. we've heard that the 'on/off' types will shorten the life of the heat emitter, and heard that proportional can also be bad in that heat emitters are not meant to be 'dimmed'. currently we're working with heat bulbs and her tank conditions have been good so far, but we want to have a better, more reliable system. any help that anyone can offer will be appreciated.

thanks again to everyone!

Jim O
09-25-2005, 10:20 AM
Some of the answer to this depends on the size of the animal and the enclosure. If she is young, be aware that she will get BIG and will outgrow whatever you have her in now.

Most of my snakes are kept in racks with Flexwatt or cages with radiant heat emitters, all with on-off thermostats. For the few "tanks" that I use, mostly for lizards, I use Zoo-Med brand IR lights on dimmer switches (if needed) but my herp room stays relatively constant in temperature except in the winter when I intentionally cool it down. Since these are essentially light bulbs, using them on a dimmer (or a proportional thermostat) is fine. Just make certain that the sensor is at or right above the surface of the enclosure. As for undertank heaters, I think they are all pretty much the same. Some will swear by one brand or another but that's mostly personal preference IMHO. You may well need a dimmer switch for that. Whatever you choose to use, get a temperature gun to check the real temperatures. It's a very worthwhile investment.

Lastly, if you are using a glass tank, do not use a screen top over the entire enclosure. That is a sure way to reduce the humidity, especially if you are using a heat emitter from above. You can have a piece of glass cut to size (not expensive) to allow some air exchange but not be totally open.

09-25-2005, 12:32 PM
some additional info about our set up & situation: she is about 2 feet long right now, and we do intend on of course up-grading her tank size when needed. currently she is being kept in a 55 gallon glass tank, and we do have a thermometer that reads both the 'cool' and 'warm' ends of the tank. it has a screen top at the moment, but we keep most of it covered to minimize heat and humidity loss. we realize that keeping the room itself at a stable temperature would greatly improve our ability to regulate the tank temperature, but that is unfortunatly almost impossible- the inside of the trailor changes temperature throughout the day and we've not been able to do much of anything about it. (our residence came with my job- i'm the caretaker at a conservation club which provided the trailor and pays our rent and utilities.) anyhow, as i said, just wanted to provide a bit of extra info that may help provide a better idea of which heating set up would be best for our situation. thanks again everyone!