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  • [Temperature] im new to all this would like a little help

    I am very new to all this i dont have a snake yet i am planning on getting a albino red tail boa some time in the near future i am trying to do all my research on them before i buy 1. i have a couple of questions if u dont mind. first off i am planning on making my own cage out of melamine a 6x2x2 just keep that in mind when aswering my question thank you.

    1. what i have read is undertank heaters are a better way to go. how far should i cover the tank with these all the way half way?

    2. during the day they should have 12 hours of light correct do i also use a heat light on the same side of the enclosure or do they not need a heat lamp if i have the heating pads under the tank?

    3. should i just put a tube light in there for the day time cycle and leave the heating pads on?

    4. also with the heating pads do i leave them on 24/7 ?

    im sorry about all the questions i have read a lot about careing for this reptile but nothing really answered my questions to my satisfaction all other information would be much apprciated i want to learn as much as i can before i buy one so i dont risk the chance of killing my new addition

  • #2
    Re: im new to all this would like a little help

    hey, welcome to the forum! if you haven't already, check out the ultimate care guide. there's a link to it on the left side of the page. this may clear things up a bit for you. as for your questions:

    Originally posted by monster619 View Post
    1. what i have read is undertank heaters are a better way to go. how far should i cover the tank with these all the way half way?
    they are definitely the best way to go. flexwatt is most common, but some people also use the commercial kind, which are more expensive.

    usually people cover about 1/3 of the bottom with it, which in your case would be approx 2ft x 2ft, but it doesn't necessarily have to cover from front to back as long as the (full grown) boa has enough of a hotspot to fit his whole body on curled up.

    Originally posted by monster619 View Post
    2. during the day they should have 12 hours of light correct do i also use a heat light on the same side of the enclosure or do they not need a heat lamp if i have the heating pads under the tank?
    light is actually a non-issue for boas. they do not need full spectrum lighting (uva or uvb) or any light for that matter.

    i do have fluorescent lights in my cages, but they are more for display than the boas themselves. they do bump the daytime temps up a couple degrees, but even when off the ambient temps are sufficient. just don't leave them on 24/7. use a timer if you have to.

    Originally posted by monster619 View Post
    3. should i just put a tube light in there for the day time cycle and leave the heating pads on?
    see above

    Originally posted by monster619 View Post
    4. also with the heating pads do i leave them on 24/7 ?
    the heat should always always always be connected to a thermostat. this way you can set the thermostat to keep the hotspot at a certain temp, and you don't have to worry about it overheating and frying your snake.

    ideally the under-tank heat should be enough to keep the rest of the cage at the appropriate temps. if it doesn't, your room temperature is probably too low. the room i keep my snakes in is between 75 and 80.

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    • #3
      Re: im new to all this would like a little help

      ok i think this helped me out lemme just repeate it so all i need is heating pad 1/3 the whole tank. they dont need heat from above so a basking light is a waste. and just to light up the cage a bit so i can see in there for display purpose use a tube light nothing fancy.

      ampbient temps should be 85 during the day and night should be 80 and the heating pad a.k.a basking spot should be 90-95 all the time correct?

      humidity should be 50-60% and if i need to raise it i should put an extra smaller water bowl were the heating pads are at?

      i read that article but there are somethings that i just want to clear up before i purchase one i have more questions but i will put them in the correct thred section thanks for ur help anything else at all would help greatly i apprciate it
      ________________
      thanks ,richard

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      • #4
        Re: im new to all this would like a little help

        ambient temps should be right around 80 most of the time. if they vary a couple degrees in either direction it's not a big deal.

        hot spot should be 86-92. i keep mine right around 90.

        i'm glad to hear you're doing the research before you buy the boa. well done

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        • #5
          Re: im new to all this would like a little help

          1.ok i have yet another question i have been doing my research and i came across some one saying radient heat panels are better than flex watt is this true? which is the better set up.

          2. if i use the flex watt the goes under neither the cage right just want to make sure

          3. this questions dosent pretain to temps but i was wondering if i could put the snake on tile for substrate and if so does it need to me smoth like a ceramic tile or rough like a slate tile? i have bearded dragons and i have them on tile and it makes my life so much eaiser i was just wondering if i could do the same with the snake or no?

          _____________
          richard

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          • #6
            Re: im new to all this would like a little help

            Originally posted by monster619 View Post
            1.ok i have yet another question i have been doing my research and i came across some one saying radient heat panels are better than flex watt is this true? which is the better set up.
            some say RHPs are "more natural" because they radiate down like the sun would in nature, but probably better than 90% of breeders and collectors use FW because it's MUCH less expensive and gets the job done just fine. they also use less electricity. RHPs are nice, but you definitely pay for it

            Originally posted by monster619 View Post
            2. if i use the flex watt the goes under neither the cage right just want to make sure
            you're asking if the FW goes under the cage? yes, it can. many people choose this route. because you're using 3/4 melamine, however, the FW temp will have to be rather hot to conduct all the way through the wood. others may be able to answer that more accurately because the one melamine cage i have is actually a rack, so the tubs sit directly on the FW.

            another option is to place it inside, completely covered by glass or plexiglass (sealed around the edges with silicone so it's waterproof). if you don't think you can waterproof it, don't put it inside.

            Originally posted by monster619 View Post
            3. this questions dosent pretain to temps but i was wondering if i could put the snake on tile for substrate and if so does it need to me smoth like a ceramic tile or rough like a slate tile? i have bearded dragons and i have them on tile and it makes my life so much eaiser i was just wondering if i could do the same with the snake or no?
            you could, but here are the downsides to tile. being made from melamine, your cage will already be VERY heavy. adding tile will only compound this problem. tile is also porous, allowing all the nasty snake products to soak into it over time. this will smell and become a breeding-ground for bacteria.

            my recommendation is linoleum. i don't think it's entirely waterproof, but it is more-so than tile. it's also light, cheap, and easily replaced.

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            • #7
              Re: im new to all this would like a little help

              ok so i can use tile but if i seal the grout there shouldnt be any problem with bacteria like i said i use this for my bearded dragons and they poop everyday on it and this what alot of people are using for bearded dragons because all other substrates harbor bacteria.

              also if i did descide to go with tile then would i put the FW under the tile or should i put it on top with a piece of plexie over the FW or i could just do the thing on top of the cage?

              sorry about all these kinda stupid questions but i am just trying to figure everything out before i get one and i dont mean to sound rude if thats the way u are interpreting this i just want something thats going to look nice and do the job

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: im new to all this would like a little help

                My advice is:

                Download and read the Care guide 3-4 times.

                Purchase appropriate housing (dont go the cheap route)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: im new to all this would like a little help

                  Not rude at all!

                  Our goal here is to educate. So ask as many questions as you need to.

                  I don't know much about beardies, but I can tell you boa poop/urates get big and wet. It's not so much the grout that soaks it up (although it does) it's the tile itself. It gives the appearence of being waterproof, but it's not (maybe the glossy kind is, but that's kinda cheap looking if you're going for display).

                  Just about everyone puts something down on top of the floor material, whether it's cypress or aspen mulch, or newspaper (my personal favorite). Cypress mulch actually is (to a degree) resistant to mold, and as long as you stay on top of spot cleaning as-needed and do a complete change every month or two, it will be fine. Aspen is the same way. This adds a few more layers of soaking power for those messy snake products, not to mention spilled water bowls.

                  As for putting FW under tile, I'm not sure about that. You may need to put a tiny spacer under the tile so it's not sitting directly on the FW, I'm not too sure. Linoleum will be much less expensive and easier to cut to size and someday replace if needed. I do know you can put FW under the linoleum. It's not going to be as heavy.

                  And like I said: we'll answer any questions you need answered. We're just glad you're doing this all before you get the boa. You're starting out ahead of alot of people that way!

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                  • #10
                    Re: im new to all this would like a little help

                    Scott does bring up a good point. Even well made DIY cages will not likely last as long as a commercially built one. Plastic just lasts longer!

                    If this is your first cage, the odds of you actually saving money by DIY are rather slim. I built a double-decker cage and spent almost 300 more than if I would have bought two boaphiles. I loved the process, and am still very happy with how it turned out, but I won't do it again

                    have you looked at commercial cages? You could get a 4x2x1 cage w/ heat for 250 shipped. Most boas do just fine all their lives in a 4ft long cage, actually.

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                    • #11
                      Re: im new to all this would like a little help

                      hmm good point well i think i need to sleep on this one for a while and think about this and i might just go the aspen route and newspaper under that. i did download that thing and have read it 1 time i gues ill have to read through it again i really like custom cages i am very good at building them i have them for all my beardies and if i have to replace it 15 years from now then so be it but i love building the cage and that whole process idk im going to look into the pastic ones maybe ill just do that since i dont really have the time to build my own anymore well thanks everyone for all ur help im sure ill be back to talk more im going to read that article again

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