Heating at night?

Discussion in 'General Reptile Discussion' started by Raebiez, Oct 20, 2015.

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  1. Raebiez

    Raebiez New Member

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    What is everyone's opinion on heating during the night?
    I have found conflicting information online about whether or not to turn heat lamps off and was wondering what everyone else likes to do.

    I have turned mine off during the night in the summer months.
    I have had red heat bulbs constantly running (on a thermostat, of course).
    And I have had moonlight heat bulbs constantly running.

    I have not noticed any positives or negatives to any of these options in regards to any of my snake's behaviour.
    They carry on as per usual.
     
  2. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Power Seller Power Seller

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    I only heat hatchlings 24/7.
     
  3. Raebiez

    Raebiez New Member

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    I've given every thing a go to see what works for them, but they don't seem to care.
    I would have assumed the red bulbs would confuse them to night and day.
    And I don't want to not heat at night over winter months. But then there's the old "but in the wild...." debate.
     
  4. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Power Seller Power Seller

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    What animals?
     
  5. Raebiez

    Raebiez New Member

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    I have a jungle, coastal and a woma.
     
  6. BredliFreak

    BredliFreak Well-Known Member

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    I have constant heating for my carpet and my lizards's heat mat is on through both the night and day (though turned off when too hot) and it hasn't appeared to bother them but I'm going to change the timings on red's ceramic light so it goes cooler at night. It wouldn't be easy to survive the canberra weather without heating!

    Bredli
     
  7. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Power Seller Power Seller

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    24hr heat & light are known to be detrimental to the health of reptiles. At least this can & likely will lead to stress & I believe reduce the animals lifespan.
    Constant heating through winter months has the same effect to a greater degree, the animals need a break.

    I'm not trying to scare you off but it's my opinion that reptile keepers play a significant role in the early demise of many animals.

    There will be many others who may tell you I'm talking cr@p and that's fine, it's their opinion. I suggest you do lots of research & talk to people you trust who have been keeping for many years, not the usual 5 minute experts. I learned the hard way as did many others on here who may or may not be willing to share their experiences.
     
  8. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    People talk about 'no heat' but there's no such thing when keeping reptiles. 'No heat' might mean 30 degrees in Cairns or -2 degrees in a shed in Ballarat, or anything from 15 degrees in your house and 25 degrees in the house next door, or a different room in the same house. If I was living in Cairns and keeping reptiles in an insulated building I probably wouldn't be heating anything at night. If I lived in Ballarat Victoria and was keeping animals in a shed, I'd be keeping the tropical snakes heated at night.

    If I was keeping Carpets and Womas in Brisbane, as you are, it would still depend on the type of house and where the snakes were, but I would be giving them some time unheated at night all year, probably most/all of the night most/all of the year. Brisbane's climate makes keeping snakes pretty easy as long as you make sure they don't get too hot.
     
  9. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Power Seller Power Seller

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    My BHP's have no artificial heat at night once they pass 1 year old and I'm in Melbourne.
     
  10. cement

    cement Subscriber Subscriber APS Veteran

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    The old in the wild debates not really a debate, in fact the closer temperatures and photoperiod reflect what an animal has evolved over millions of years to exist with, will go a long way to ensure good health, and also breeding of that animal if thats a goal.
     
  11. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    We live in Adelaide, and only our hatchies get 24/7 heat. When we get our hot summer temps, all heating goes off during the day, except for the monitors, who don't seem to mind.
     
  12. kingofnobbys

    kingofnobbys Suspended Banned

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    Ditch the red heat bulb.

    If it gets quite cool overnight a CHE on a thermostat is sufficient.

    All my lizards have 7W and 5W heatmats sandwiched between 2 layers of ceramic tiles , on a thermostat placed under their hides , run 24/7 , so they can retire to a warm place for a nap and they often choose to sleep there too. I don't think it can hurt to give access to a warm place at night for any lizard. All mine love their's.
    I expect snakes would probably like a warm place to curl up and nap or too , but this is speculation only.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2015
  13. Raebiez

    Raebiez New Member

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    Thanks everyone for your help!
     
  14. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    That's actually a myth. Animals in the wild experiencing natural temperatures often freeze or cook to death, or are stressed by the extreme weather. You're probably familiar with cases of larger than usual numbers of snakes being found dead or in desperate conditions during heat waves, and death rates of most species spike during winters. The natural environment exists, and animals evolve to cope with it. The natural conditions are not designed to be perfect for the animal, and evolution is not capable of making any species perfectly suited to its environment (though people often wrongly describe them that way). We are capable of giving them much better conditions in captivity, which is why captive snakes live longer, reproduce more successfully, and are healthier (on average of course - some people do a dismal job, but even most people with little clue still beat mother nature).

    It is the same with most aspects of wild environments. They are by no means the ideal environment for the species which live in them. Even photoperiod can be improved on slightly.
     
  15. cement

    cement Subscriber Subscriber APS Veteran

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    Yes I agree there are extreme weather moments, if an animal can't find suitable shelter or food they perish. but you didn't mention that,, along with the "bust" scenario, there is also "boom" times, in which a species can find itself doing very well. You can't tell me that conditions that make a species thrive shouldn't be replicated in captivity.
    I disagree with your statement about "evolution is not capable of making any species perfectly suited to its environment", ... the longer a species has survived for unchanged, has to be as close as it can get. Every species on this planet has evolved specifically to fill a niche role in a particular environment, of course they have their parameters, and yeah nothing lives forever, but if a species wasn't 'perfectly' suited it wouldn't bounce back after ....say, laws are changed to protect them.

    The main reason our pets live longer in captivity is the same reason we as a species now live longer. Protection against heat or cold, and removal of detrimental parasitic or invasive micro-organisms, bacterias and viruses. Add quality, nourishing food, the right amount of excercise and rest, good genes and only stress that is easily coped with, and you have a perfect specimen.... well, as perfect as can be. But nothing lasts forever because this world is constantly changing.

    If my dogs nuts aren't the perfect evironment for fleas, how come they do so well there? :)

    Its also perspective,.. if your glass is half empty, nothing is perfect :p
     
  16. kingofnobbys

    kingofnobbys Suspended Banned

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    In the wild , reptiles , like all other animals , will seek out more comfortable places , if it's getting too cold, they'll seek out rocky areas (will hold the heat) and will shelter in cracks, crevaces, caves, or if they can't access these, they'll burrow into the sand, dirt, litter and be somewhat insulated from extremes of cold overnight. You'll not find beardies sleeping in places exposed to frosty conditions.

    Similar in extremely hot days, unless they are forced to hunt, they'll stay somewhere that's protected from the worste of the heat.

    Hence my personal reasoning behind providing overnight heating for my pet lizards. Heatpads are cheap to operate , reliable and relatively safe if they are controlled by a thermostat.
     
  17. GBWhite

    GBWhite Well-Known Member

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    It's a very interesting topic. I have a recollection of reading a paper by John Webb (when he was still a student of Rick Shine's) of a study he conducted in both a controlled environment and an outdoor environment to establish how wild snakes maintain body heat during the night and from memory the results showed wild snakes kept in an outdoor pit only lost a degree or two with no ill effect. I'll try and find it and post it up when I have a bit more time.

    On another note I remember one spring finding a Water Dragon in a pond just after dawn one morning that was iced over in the Nymboida River (located west of Dorrigo in the New England Ranges of NSW). It was quite obvious that the lizard had spent the night in the pond. I had to crack the ice to remove it and at first thought it was dead. I placed it on a rock in the sun and within about ten minutes it became active and wandered off. It just goes to show that these lizards are quite capable of withstanding very cold conditions.

    I'll add that i keep my Water Dragons in an outdoor pit and it is not unusual for them to overnight in their pond even when the temperatures get very, very low.

    George.
     
  18. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    Our Mertens' water monitors are currently in in indoor enclosures, and it is not unusual for them to spend the night in the water either, even in the colder months.
     
  19. kingofnobbys

    kingofnobbys Suspended Banned

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    in the 2 examples given by gbw and pf , being in the water may actually be warmest place under frosty conditions , that is the air temp may well be several oC colder that in the pond which , unless the river or pond froze solid (which is unlikely here in Australia).

    A few anicodotal examples do not make for a good reason for a rule.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2015
  20. GBWhite

    GBWhite Well-Known Member

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    I don't see where I stated it was a rule nor do I read that in the pinefamly's post. Both are observations.

    Granted that the water temp may have been slightly warmer than the air temp, however; In my case, given that both the wild WD and my captive animals had the choice of sheltering under ground, in hollows or amongst rocks where they could have remained much warmer I find it odd that they would choose to spend the night in such very cold water. In addition, as I stated it demonstrates that these lizards can tolerate night time temperatures well below that of what some are kept in captivity.
     
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