Not so new Member
I want to heat my spotted python enclosure with a radiant heat panel but can't seem to find any! 40w is the ideal one
I started this a couple of days ago, but then got interrupted. Sorry if it seems to ignore other posts…
In nature Antaresia pythons obtain their warmth through contact rather than basking, such as within a rock ledge or underneath sheets of rock that have been warmed by the sun. A heating tile inside the enclosure is therefore an excellent alternative. It is basically a heat cord sandwiched between a wooden base and a stone or ceramic tile on top. A 30 cm square heat tile using all the heating element of a15W heat cord gets to a stable temperature of 34 - 35oC when the ambient air temperature is in the low to mid-twenties.
The wood base, say 16 mm MDF, has saw cuts along and across to form furrows in which the heat cord sits. How much heating element is threaded into the base can be then be altered to drop the temperature if desired. Thin wooden edging attached to the base (or something like Blu tack) are used to hold the top in place but allow it to be readily removed when required.
Wood is a good insulator and greatly reduces loss of heat through the base. Stone and ceramic tiles are reasonable conductors and so absorb the heat and spread it to form an even temperature at the surface. The tiles are also good at storing heat. This means that if a cold reptile plonks its body on them, the tiles will be able to heat up the reptile’s body without dropping greatly in temperature themselves. Due to their heat storage the tiles do take a little while fully warm up, but are also slower to cool down. With basalt, granite, slate, limestone and sandstone to choose from, stone tiles can usually be matched into most naturalistic landscapes.
Instead of a 30 cm square heat tile, you might want a 20 cm x 45 cm one. No problem. Just cut the base to those dimensions and add the edging. Then get two tiles cut to fit (one 20 cm x 20 cm and the other 20 cm x 15 cm) and pop them in place side by side. Note that both base shapes are 90 cm2 in area and so equally suitable for a 15W heat cord.
All wooden parts will need to be sealed so they are waterproof.
Any time , best of luck.
Definitely a worry I have, but I've seen lots of people do it for ball pythons, whilst they need a higher humidity I could tweek this and only have plants that don't need to be damp (eg. Moss). If I was to do it, I'd have it up and running for a month before hand at least to monitor heating, humidity ect.Personaly , i would stick to artificial plants , as stated previously, the humidity inside the enclosure with live plants would most likley end up being detrimental to the health of your spotted python. As they have slower metabolizm than mamals , they tend to take longer to recover from illness, and vets are expensive , so not worth the risk in my opinion. You probably will not find a more efficient way of heating your enclosure than heat mat or heat cord. But if you do , please let me know ?