Advice for Heatwaves

Discussion in 'Australian Snakes' started by Bushman, Jan 6, 2013.

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  1. Bushman

    Bushman Very Well-Known Member

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    Since most of the country is suffering from record high temperatures and heatwaves, I thought it would be a good idea to start a thread about how to manage these extreme conditions for your reptiles.

    Feel free to post any good advice and useful tips that can be used to help others through these dangerous and challenging times. Please don't post unhelpful or meaningless comments, so that people opening this thread for helpful advice don't have to wade through it to find the good bits.

    I'll start with a few practices that I routinely employ for predicted high temperatures:

    1) Turn off ALL artificial heat in the room in which animals are kept and in individual enclosures the night before a heatwave. Avoid feeding animals like pythons before heatwaves, as a big food item and very high temperatures can cause complications. If a heatwave catches you unaware and your animals are already digesting a big feed, then reduced or suboptimal temps the night before a heatwave is less likely to cause problems than an overheated bellyful during a heatwave.

    2) Freeze big blocks of ice e.g fill ice-cream or tupperware containers with water and put in freezer the night before a heatwave is expected. These blocks can be placed in enclosures in trays to cool the inhabitants.

    3) If your reptile room gets too hot for the species you keep*, work out which room in the house (or under the house) is the coolest, and put your animals in there on the floor. (*each species has a different threshold).

    4) Cover any windows in the rooms in which you have animals with pale coloured blinds or aluminium foil to reflect the sun's rays.

    5) Stay home (if possible) and check on your animals during the day, monitoring temps with thermometers and /or infrared thermometers. Observe body language as well when you do this.

    6) Hose down/spray the inside of aviaries and soak pits on the morning of heatwaves.

    7) Last but not least, make sure that all animals have fresh drinking water prior to and during heatwaves. Check on this during the day if possible. Providing an additional large, shallow bowl or basin of water for the animal/s to submerge themselves in is also a good idea.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  2. sharky

    sharky Very Well-Known Member

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    IMO this should be a sticky since we all practically need know this stuff for when heatwaves hit. Good job Bushman!!!!! :D
     
  3. Gonemad

    Gonemad Well-Known Member

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    Peg a damp towel over a fan to circulate cooler air!
    Mist with cheap spray bottle through out the day!
     
  4. sharky

    sharky Very Well-Known Member

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    Also giving them a little swim in the bath tub every now and then won't hurt. (One at a time unless you keep them in same enclosure etc, then they can go together)
     
  5. dragonlover1

    dragonlover1 Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have found you can mix them all together in the bath because they have other things on their minds and no thought of violence or territory.I recently had my entire tribe in together
     
  6. jedi_339

    jedi_339 Well-Known Member

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    I've been looking into peltier devices lately, does anyone have experience with these on a reverse/cooling thermostat?
     
  7. stimigex

    stimigex Well-Known Member

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    We have a climated controlled snake room, We put in an inverter split system into the snake shed when it was constructed a few years back, The temp is set to 29dg and it doesnt faulter. This setting allows the thermostats on the enclosures to continue to function as normal.
     
  8. MonitorMayhem

    MonitorMayhem Well-Known Member

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    I have a soaker hose on the shed roof turn that on for 10 mins cools the shed by about 10 degrees and the water goes in rainwater tank so kind of get it back only problem is it only lasts around an hour so need to do it a few times during the hottest part of the day.
     
  9. thomasssss

    thomasssss Very Well-Known Member

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    this ones for those with sheds , i recently installed some of those wirly bird things( the little round spinning domes) in the roof of my shed to test it over the summer as it gets boiling hot in there , i was a little sceptical myself on how well they would work but so far there working well i only put 2 on the roof and its a 4mX4m shed

    that ones going to look a little funny from the street ;)
     
  10. Zanks

    Zanks Active Member

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    These are what the cheap car fridges use. Very inefficient.
    Could be ok for very small area. Useless compared to a heatpump.
    Sorry to burst your bubble...
     
  11. jedi_339

    jedi_339 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I have no experience with them however I thought it pertinent to ask.

    In terms of maintaining a 'cool' end in very warm weather (and with an appropriate cage around the cooling element) do you think it would be sufficient?

    I did see a kit a while ago for an 80watt peltier device claiming to reduce ambient temp by 50 degrees C and this is what I was basing my thoughts on, It'd probably need to be bigger then a little cigarette lighter car esky device to make it viable.



    Update--------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Just checked, listed as a peltier junction thermo electric heat pump

    and their description

    "This cooler / heater assembly includes a heat-sink, and a 65-70W Peltier device that cools to a maximum of 50 deg. "C" temp difference with hot side fan (not included)and insulated cold side. Requires 12VDC."


    Very interested to know your thoughts though.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  12. oOLaurenOo

    oOLaurenOo Well-Known Member

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    Turn on the air con in your house? lol.. If your lucky enough to have that luxury. I have sand as a substrate for my beardies, I spray it down so its all damp for a hot day. As well as all the above mentioned (turn off all heating devices and lights, cover windows, close the house up ect) Also an important factor I think needs to be mentioned, if your reptile is in a hide, even if it gets to hot in there they will not come out if they are frightened so its important that there hiding area doesn't get to hot. For example, if you put a nice cool ice brick in a water bowl, put it near the hide, not at the opposite end of the enclosure. :)
     
  13. Wild~Touch

    Wild~Touch Very Well-Known Member

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    When it is really hot I hang wet towels around the enclosures plus a fan on in the room (like the old fashioned Coolgardie effect)

    Also 2 litre cordial bottles of frozen water in the enclosure I wrap the bottle in a teatowel.

    Use cooler bricks or anything else....

    Remember to have a big freeze up the night before the hot days and have spares on hand
     
  14. wokka

    wokka Guest

    I suppose it depends upon wether the shed is insulated. Mine is, so I discourage any daytime air from entering and lock the trapped cooler night air in, which is normally in the low twenties. Tomorrow will be the test as we are expecting 40C but so far my rooms have stayed below 30C all days.
     
  15. Thyla

    Thyla Well-Known Member

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    "Hey boss, I can't come into work today because I have to stay at home and monitor the temperatures of my reptiles."

    I think I would be fired.

    I just set my air conditioner to turn on automatically at about 11am before I leave for work in the morning, then when I come home, the place is nice and cool :)
     
  16. thomasssss

    thomasssss Very Well-Known Member

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    yea this sheds a true shed :) just bricks then a few wooden beams to hold up the tin roof , no insulation or anything fancy , sounds like it works well though would you insulate just the roof or do the walls as well , keeping in mind they are sandstone sort of bricks so stays rather cool its more the roof that acts like a heating element
     
  17. Bushman

    Bushman Very Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for adding your good ideas and suggestions everyone. 8)

    Has anyone else got any suggestions?

    - - - Updated - - -

    It's over 40°C in the Sydney region today and the fire danger is extreme.

    I have another tip. Cover outside aviaries with shade cloth or roofing material so that they're completely in shade.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  18. Bushman

    Bushman Very Well-Known Member

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    An unseasonally early heatwave is passing through the eastern states at the moment, so I thought I'd bump this thread up to help keepers manage their herps.
     
  19. getarealdog

    getarealdog Well-Known Member

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    Tub them & place them in the bathroom on the floor or inside the bath or shower cubicle. I have outdoor pits, my elapids go into their underground hides, also place large tubs of water for them to soak in but have yet to see them use them.
     
  20. Cockney_Red

    Cockney_Red Well-Known Member

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    High 30's at my place today...so will be spraying the outside Diamonds periodically. Very hot weekends, are good for the herps, and ME!!!!!
     
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