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Old 03-09-2020, 11:48 AM   #1
Clemency05
Beginner Help...Need peace of mind

As embarrassing as this is to admit and then announce to people, it must be said.

My Husband loves snakes. He said that as kids he and his brother would grab them from outside and keep them in tanks in the home. Whatever that means beyond that, I have no clue. So when the decision came to get a snake, my daughter and I started researching the best beginner snakes, and read all of the care sheets, etc.

I knew that we needed to get all of the supplies for a ball python first before purchasing so we have everything set. However, my Husband who has no impulse control and has a lack of patience shrugged off that idea just because the guy he talked to who works in the store we go to said that he has many snakes and never once preset any habitat before purchasing a snake. What my Husband failed to realize is that, that guy can get away with setting up habitats right on the spot because he's an expert and knows how to do it. Not that I'd condone this even for experts, but still.

I wasn't able to convince him to do that first and so we naively bought a 6 month old ball python and all of the stuff at one time. We did all of this last Thursday March 5. We set everything up. We have all of the probes in the right positions to check temperature, humidity, etc. We have one of those UTH pads, that attaches directly to the bottom of the tank. It is a glass tank with a metal top. We also have one of those heat lamps. I switch out the bulbs, one bright light to one infrared type. I do this because the temperatures fluctuate and don't stay the same. I just bought a thermostat on amazon and it'll arrive by tomorrow.

Here is the predicament.

The temps currently:

89.8 (hot side)
80 (cool side)
70% (humidity) - I am aware that this is a bit high but I am half sure that he is going to be shedding soon or is at least in the beginning stages and humidity drops fast.

Previous to these current settings, his hot side would only be 84, cool side would only be 70-72 and humidity would be low to 35.

It has taken several amounts of adjustments to achieve the consistent temps I have now. I am worried that because I've been messing with things so much that I've totally stressed this guy out. Fortunately, yesterday he slept all day and all night. This morning (5 am), he was up and drinking and then went back into his hide. Given the fact that you're not supposed to handle them so much the first week what are some things I could look for to see if he really is stressed? He is hiding now which I think would be normal because it's late morning and previous to yesterday he didn't really "sleep" much. He was roaming a ton and laying on top of the hide a few times. I am assuming all is good now but it still weighs on me a bit.

Thank you ahead of time for those willing to put up with this to give me advice and input!
 
Old 03-09-2020, 12:22 PM   #2
bcr229
Do you have a thermostat regulating the UTH so it doesn't get too hot?

How are you measuring the temperature? If not with a IR thermometer or temperature gun, go get one. You need to know the surface temperatures of the floor of the enclosure, not just the ambient air temperatures.
 
Old 03-09-2020, 12:34 PM   #3
Clemency05
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcr229 View Post
Do you have a thermostat regulating the UTH so it doesn't get too hot?

How are you measuring the temperature? If not with a IR thermometer or temperature gun, go get one. You need to know the surface temperatures of the floor of the enclosure, not just the ambient air temperatures.


The temperatures I listed are the "floor" temperatures. I don't know for sure the ambient which I am looking into the temperature guns now. I get the floor readings by placing the probes directly on the floor of the tank under the substrate.
 
Old 03-09-2020, 01:26 PM   #4
bcr229
Thermometers with fat probes don't give accurate floor/surface temps, as most of the probe is not in contact with the floor but with the air or substrate above the floor.

What kind of thermostat are you using? Not thermometer, thermostat.
 
Old 03-09-2020, 01:31 PM   #5
Clemency05
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcr229 View Post
Thermometers with fat probes don't give accurate floor/surface temps, as most of the probe is not in contact with the floor but with the air or substrate above the floor.

What kind of thermostat are you using? Not thermometer, thermostat.
So even being buried under the substrate won't be accurate? I mentioned that I ordered a thermostat today so it'll arrive tomorrow. I currently do not have one.
 
Old 03-09-2020, 03:24 PM   #6
Socratic Monologue
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemency05 View Post
So even being buried under the substrate won't be accurate? I mentioned that I ordered a thermostat today so it'll arrive tomorrow. I currently do not have one.
Well, unless the snake buries under the substrate, then the reading isn't all that helpful.

IR temp guns are the way to go: cheap, non-intrusive, accurate, can also be used around the house for other purposes. They can also measure the temp of the substrate, temp of the snake, temps in the rest of the cage, all instantaneously.

Your thermostat will help with all this. You likely still will need to calibrate the temp the thermostat probe reads with the temp that the snake experiences (because unless the probe is taped to the snake's belly, likely the pad will have to get warmer than the temp you want the snake to be able to maintain).
 
Old 03-09-2020, 04:02 PM   #7
Clemency05
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post
Well, unless the snake buries under the substrate, then the reading isn't all that helpful.

IR temp guns are the way to go: cheap, non-intrusive, accurate, can also be used around the house for other purposes. They can also measure the temp of the substrate, temp of the snake, temps in the rest of the cage, all instantaneously.

Your thermostat will help with all this. You likely still will need to calibrate the temp the thermostat probe reads with the temp that the snake experiences (because unless the probe is taped to the snake's belly, likely the pad will have to get warmer than the temp you want the snake to be able to maintain).
Okay, thank you!
 

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