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  • temp problems....

    I have a 5 or 6 month old red tail boa named Cloe, and I am having a really hard time keeping the temp and humidity at the right level.  She is in a 10 gal tank with a heating pad under it.  I've also tried the basking lights with her water on the warm side, but that just seems to dry her out.  Now shes showing signs of a cold, and its my fault because her cage is too cold!! :-[ I also have 2 baby cornsnakes and I am keeping them in rubbermade containers with a heating pad underneath...this seems to be working better and keeping the humidity a LOT better!  Can I use the same setup with my boa?  Or is there anything else I can try with the 10 gal?  ANY suggestions would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks  ;D ???

  • #2
    Re: I

    I highly recommend  you read Clays Care Guide.
    Clay has more expirience with the different typse of heating so I'll send him a message about your temp problems.
     

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    • #3
      Re: I

      Thanks, I really appreciate it. I don't understand why it is so hard to keep the correct temp in her tank!! It is driving me crazy, as well as worrying the heck out of me, especially now that she has a cold!! I put the basking lamp on her to raise her temp and if her symptoms don't improve in a few days, I'm gonna take her to the vet. On top of all that she just finished with a shed, so shes in a pretty foul mood I feel so bad for her. Thanks for your help ;D

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      • #4
        Re: I

        Could you describe in more detail the heat setup you are using to heat the Boas enclosure? What substrate are you using? What are your current temps and humidity?

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        • #5
          Re: temp problems....

          I keep her in a 10 gal tank. I am using coconut bark, but am going to change it to fir bark (using that for my corns, I like it better). She has a heating pad made especially for reptiles, for ten gallon tanks, her water bowl is on the warm side and she has a climbing log on the cool side. The warm side stays usually around 80 and I know that the humidity is off too, because her sheds NEVER come off in one piece! The weird thing is that a lot of the time she is in the cool side, and the warm side is definately not too hot for her!! I've tried basking lights and a UVA light, but those tended to dry her out even when I misted her daily. I finally gave up on the lights, plus the guy I bought her from said she didn't need it till she was older anyway. I mist her a few times a week, every day if she is shedding and she also gets a bath once a week or every two weeks. Right now I have a basking light on her, because she is showing signs of a cold. I hope she gets better soon, if not she will go to the vet in a few days. I feel really crappy because its my fault that she is sick, and I don't want this to happen again. I was thinking that maybe I should use newspaper or something thinner for her substrate, maybe being closer to the heating pad would make her warmer? I don't know, but I still need to get her humidity up also! Any help would be greatly appreciated ;D

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          • #6
            Re: temp problems....

            one thing is that the cage is going to be too small real soon... any way just get a che (ceramic heat emitter) from you pet store, along with a heating pad...(you can get a heating pad for humans they work just fine, Make sure that it has temp ajustments on it...) when you get those thing's you need to go and get your self a heat and humitiy guage.. you can get these at wal-mart.(15$) the humidity should stay around 60-70%. Now since you have a glass tank it will help it you put a towl around the glass.. less of the heat will be sucked out of the cage by the cold glass... Aslo you need to put a towl on the screen lid... This will also help keep in the humidity and heat. You said that you snake has a cold then you need to make sure that it is realy warm and has very low humidity... this will help dry out the cold... as for the substrate you should switch to aspen I don't know for sure but I know that ceder and pine They will cause respatory probles... And as for the guy that sold you this snake I would not listen to him any more... Your snake does not need uvb or uva rays for any reason... not now or when it is large... and light cycle will help with the stress level of your snake though.. Get the temps up even if it mean's buying a small space heater and heating a room with the cage in it...
            Well just ask if I have not answered you "?" See ya
            Eric aka...Red

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            • #7
              Re: temp problems....

              I agree with Red on this, don't take any more advise from the guy who sold you the snake.  

              You are going to need a much bigger enclosure than a 10 gallon tank.  I would suggest that you get a tank big enuff for  an adult Boa, instead of spending more and more money on enlcosures for as the boa grows.  The size you will need will be a tank 4 feet long by 2 feet high by 2 feet wide.  

              I use artificial turf as substrate.  Though you do have to wash it when it goes to the 'bathroom'. So if you use artificial turf you will want several pieces so that you have a clean one to use while the other one is being cleaned.  

              As for the Boa staying on the cool end I would suggest that you put the Climbing Log on the warm end and the water bowl on the cool end.  I am betting that the Boa is staying on the cool end because it is using the branch as a hide spot,so try switching places with the water bowl and climbing branch.

              If you do get a tank 4 feet long by 2 feet wide by 2 feet high,  you will probalby need a 100watt Ceramic Heat Emitter(CHE), CHE.  Then if you use an UTH pad,  I use ZooMed UTH pads, and for an enclosure the size I have listed you would have to get the RH-6  which is the biggest UTH pad made by ZooMed.
              Both heat sources are to be on one end of the enclosure.

              Several people use damp towels and place them over part of the screen top on the cool end.  

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              • #8
                Re: temp problems....

                Well you guys have done well again.

                The 10 gallon tank is way too small for a boa constrictor. The minimum size should be a 20 gallon long (long means wider but narrower than a standard 20 gallon).

                You will never properly acheive the proper temperature gradient in the 10 gallon tank. You need to provide a "hot" end and a "cold" end. You need to have the UTH and CHE on the same end of the enclosure, but in a 10 gallon size, this is impossible.

                The current problem is directly related to the size of the Under the tank heater you are using. It appears to be too small. A UTH should be able to maintain 82 degrees or higher in an enclosure that small. Get the CHE as soon as possible and find a MUCH larger tank ASAP.

                Even the 20 long is outgrown during the 1st year.

                To gain knowledge is good, but to share knowledge is wise

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

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                • #9
                  Re: temp problems....

                  thank you guys for all the advice. I will get her a new cage very soon, probably this weekend, or I'm going to wait till she is feeling better. She is in an onery mood right now.... I think I will start using the turf, it sounds so much better. I have a few other problems now....I have the basking light on her right now, she SEEMS to be breathing better today, I would really like to spray her down (she still has to shed her head and one eyecap!!!) Can I spray her down, or will that make her more sick? I really dont want her to get dried out and that happens every time I use the basking light!! I havent stunted her growth using a 10 gal tank have I? I was thinkin that she IS kinda small, she is just now starting to get thicker, and she has a ferocious appetite!

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                  • #10
                    Re: temp problems....

                    Ok so a very fast way of getting shed's off is to put the snake and a warm(warm means like 82-90 deegrees.) damp coth in a bag.. Leave the snake in there for like 6 hours and then take her out the eye cap probley will have come off by then... If it has not then you need to get somone to help you, you can damedge the eye if you try to take off the eye cap and do it wrong... I would write clay about this one... But try the bag I think it will work... I would not give her more then 6 hours in the bag with the cloth a day with the cold.. try to keep her dry.. But the eye cap is a priority right now... That need's to come off...
                    Well good luck
                    Eric aka...Red

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                    • #11
                      Re: temp problems....

                      what kind of bag? A paper bag or more like a pillowcase?? I will stick the bag back into her cage, under her light, that way she can stay warm. BTW she is sounding better today and not breathing out of her mouth as much!! ;D

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