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  • Problems with heating!!

    Hey,
    I just bought a terrarium and I'm planning on buying a red tail. I've set it up but I can't seem to get the right humidity or temperature. It's a 50-60 gallon with a screen top lid, I have a UTH that covers 60% of the tank, I have 2 100 - watt incandescent bulbs. And it's still only at 85F at the basking spot and 77F at the other end of the tank. And for the humidity I have a big kitty litter box full of water. I've tryed putting a damp towell across the top but then it gets to humid. With just the kitty litter box it's at 40% and with the towel it's 70%. Does anybody have any idea's? Please I really want a red tail!!!!

  • #2
    Re: Problems with heating!!

    First I would take a surface temp reading and find out what the temperature is on the warm end. I too thought I needed to raise the temps in mine becuase my temps were similar to yours but when I decided to find out what the surface temp was I foud out it was right at 90 degrees F on the warm end. I was getting a cooler reading becuase of were I had placed the themp guages. So take some surface temperature readings. And as far as the humidity goes, my enclosure shifts between 30%-40% and my boa is doing fine. Try covering less of the Top with the towel and see if that decreases the humidity from 70% down to 50-60%.

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    • #3
      Re: Problems with heating!!

      Thanks alot viper64801 I'll try that out.

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      • #4
        Re: Problems with heating!!

        Your welcome, It just seems to me that 2-100 watt Heat bulbs should be more than enuff.

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        • #5
          Re: Problems with heating!!

          I had the same problem yuou do.When I first got my terranium,it was a pain in the a$$ to keep the humidity up and the temperature at the right degree.I got 2 under tank heaters and put the big one which covers 35% under the basking spot and a smaller one on the cooler end which is about 12 inches long and wide.I haver a 75 watt day lamp on the hot spot and at night i put a night glow 50 watt bulb on.Half of the lid is glass and the other half screen with a towel over it.The humidity is at 70% and the temp is 85 on the cooler end and 92-95 at the hotter end.My boa has never had a problem.Nor have my pythons.To keep humidity up,mist the tank if you wish.One method I used to get the humidity up is I put the water bowl by one of the lights and that shot the humidity right up.I would say that your 70% humidity reading is just right.Goodluck.
          p.s.What type of UTH do you have??

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          • #6
            Re: Problems with heating!!

            Thanks king_ding_a_ling!
            It's heat tape and the brand I don't know.

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            • #7
              Found a problem with heat tape!!

              It all started when I was concerned about my temp. I thought It wasn't warm enough in my tank. So I posted and viper64801 responed with "First I would take a surface temp reading and find out what the temperature is on the warm end". So I did and it was way to hot around 110 degrees F. So I went and bought a zoo-med repti temp control to fix the problem and well it worked I thought. The temp went down and every thing seemed fine at 92 degrees F. So I went and bought my RTB. I put him in the cage to let him get settled. I have a real nice hide for him and he went straight for it. So he stayed in there the first night. Then when I woke-up in the morning he was at the other end of the tank. No big deal right. So I took him out that day and I when I put him back in the cage he went into the hide again. So about an hour later I come back and see he's at the cool end again. So I reach under the tank and it was really hot again so I took a reading it was at 100 degrees F, but only where there was weight on top of it, like his hide, branch and water dish. And most likely where he was laying. And the manual for the heat tape dosen't mention anything about this it just says "safe, even heat distribution". So now I take extra reading's from under the tank. I got lucky, he smart enough to move your he could have over heated.

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              • #8
                Re: Problems with heating!!

                ???The only thing I can think of that is making the temps get to hot at the surface is Heat Build Up from the heat tape.

                But I have never used Heat tape nor have I ever used two heat bulbs either so your guess is as good as mine on this one ???

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                • #9
                  Re: Problems with heating!!

                  Yours is a common problem. I think I can help.

                  First of all, Incandescent light bulbs are the worst possible thing you can use. One they are required to be left all the time on to work, and that defeats the day/night cycle the boas need for good health. Two they are not safe and are very inefficeint. If there is any way you can purchase a Ceramic Heat emitter (CHE) then do so immediately. You also need a thermostat type (rheostat) device to regulate the device. The light bulb is designed to emit light, and while there is considerable heat produced, it is undirected heat. The CHE is really one of the best heat sources I have seen if you need to use the overhead heat sources.

                  One of the optimal situations is to have a configuration that will produce a "little" too much heat that can then be regulated with the rheostat device. By gaining the ability to control the temperature you gain control over the entire environment.

                  If your devices are ALWAYS FULL on, then you will never acheive optimal temperatures. Likewise the inconsistent heat range will make it tougher to solve the humidity problem.

                  Once you can regulate the temperature gradient, then you can solve the humidity problem by using a method similiar to the towel on top of the cage. By using the wet towel method, your humidity gets too high, so what we want to do is cut a piece of box cardboard exactly half the length of your screen top and poke a few pencil size holes in the cardboard. This method has been used many many times to succesfully raise the humidity. Here is the trick, we must maintain resident heat to correct the humidity problem. Try this method. I think you will find it works great.

                  Just lose the light bulbs and get a CHE.
                  To gain knowledge is good, but to share knowledge is wise

                  -Best Regards
                  -Clay English
                  Founder Redtailboas.com 1998-2013

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                  • #10
                    Re: Problems with heating!!

                    For my latest addition, I have been using a Dragon Lair Heat Mat from bigappleherp.com with a thermostat and have been very happy with the results. I also have a ow wattage bulb during the day to help with the heat cycle. I have the thermostat set a bit lower (about 83). This allows the bulb to raise the temp to about 90 at one end during the day and the temp will drop when the bulb cuts off in the evening.

                    So far, so good.

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