Heating

Discussion in 'General Reptile Discussion' started by Ghillies, Apr 26, 2016.

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  1. Ghillies

    Ghillies Not so new Member

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    This is a basic question with multiple answers but I would like to ask it as I'm stressing about it...

    so im building a 2 enclosures (4x2x2) for some adult Darwins and the only bit I'm stuck on and concerned about how i should go about heating..

    The climate were I live it can be anywhere from 40+ in summer and all the way down to below 0 come winter and generally dry all round with the occasional humidity spikes.

    looking for an effective means for heating in winter that won't over do it in summer, electrical efficiency is a plus. Also will be breeding this year if that needs to be taken into consideration.

    ive looked at routing into a shelf or the floor and using heat cable and a tile but worry that the ambient temp will still get to cold. Messaged Herp Pro about their panels and they suggested a 80w panel and while it's only 2 enclosures i plan to build more in the next 12 months or so...

    suggestions, links or photos are very much welcomed and enclosure size talk kept to a minimum as they will not be kept in those permanently.

    thanks!
     
  2. Sam123

    Sam123 Not so new Member

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    well I use a combo of a ceramic heater and heat mat hooked up to a thermostat. Ceramic heater during the day, heat mat during the night

    p.s what are you planning to keep?
     
  3. Ghillies

    Ghillies Not so new Member

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    ive got a pair of Darwins coming when I'm ready!
     
  4. Sam123

    Sam123 Not so new Member

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    Nice! that's so cool, if you want I could show you a pic of my snake enclosure for any ideas
     
  5. Ghillies

    Ghillies Not so new Member

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    yea mate throw them up, not sure how well ceramic heaters work with pulse thermostats though...

    looking for for as much input as I can get! Thanks.
     
  6. Sam123

    Sam123 Not so new Member

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    Here they are :) with a special appearance from my lil princess in the 2nd one!
    enclosure.jpg enclosure 2.jpg
    p.s sorry for the latish reply was watching Doctor Who
     
  7. saximus

    saximus Almost Legendary

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    Where I live, the conditions are very similar to what you described. Heat panels or heat cords are perfect for creating a direct hot spot without raising the temperature of the rest of the enclosure by too much. so they can get away from it during the really hot Summer days and they can brumate in Winter with short basking periods.
     
  8. Ghillies

    Ghillies Not so new Member

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    Mai I shouldn't stress to much about being able to raise the ambient temps in the enclosure to much? May I ask what your preference for heating is?
     
  9. saximus

    saximus Almost Legendary

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    I'm of the belief that there's no reason to raise anything except the basking spot above ambient; it's a waste of energy in my opinion.

    I prefer heat panels for ease of installation but heat cords are more efficient. You could also argue that it sort of depends on the species too. More arboreal animals might be better off with heat from above whereas terrestrial animals may prefer floor heating.
     
  10. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    One thing you might find the snakes will really use and like... The hide that Sam123 shows in the photos also works really well for Carpets and other arboreals when they are fixed the other way up on the ceiling of the enclosure. I've used them (and other black plastic tubs, depending on the size of the snake) by fixing two battens with grooves to allow the tub to slide in and be held against the ceiling by its edges. I hope that's clear enough... :? By locating a secure hidebox at the top of the enclosure, the snake has a retreat which is always warmer than one on the floor because the upper levels are always warmer, and it allows them to just hang out of the opening when they are hungry, so it simulates their natural ambush positioning as well.

    Jamie
     
  11. Ghillies

    Ghillies Not so new Member

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    So few more questions...

    with th the tile setup if the thermostat were to fail it would cause burns wouldn't it?
    With the heat panel my worry is during the warmer months and its effect on the cool end..

    another thing i thought up was what if lines are routed into the underside of the enclosure and heat cord secured in it? Would it still be able to produce a hot spot of say 35c max without a) heating up to much of the enclosure b) becoming a hazard to the snake or house if thermostat was to fail before I checked on my snakes.
     
  12. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    If you have a heated tile, you once again would use a heat cord with as low wattage as possible, and with the cord lines spaced suitably so that you don't get the heat too concentrated. If it gets hot enough to cause burns, it's way too much wattage. A forty watt cord spaced at 40mm should give a good even spread of warmth without any hotspots. You would still place your thermostat probe somewhere where it can sense the temps, but if you get a thermostat fail, the 40W cord should give you a lot of leeway, especially in the cooler months. On the hottest days or during heatwaves you should turn all heat sources off anyway.

    An overhead heat panel will not affect the cooler, lower levels of the enclosure, and if it gets very hot on hot days, turn off all heat sources anyway, regardless of whether you've got a thermostat or not.

    Jamie
     
  13. Snapped

    Snapped Subscriber Subscriber

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    I'd make up a shelf type heat panel using heat cord, so they can get belly warmth or bask under it, easy to do and very energy efficient.

    Heating the whole enclosure isn't necessary, though this is obviously going to be debatable depending on who you ask/talk to, so that's just my own opinion.

    Trying to think of places that get such extreme temps, but came up with nothing lol
     
  14. Ghillies

    Ghillies Not so new Member

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    South West QLD mate haha not unusual for weeks at a time that the temp sits around 0c and in summer atleast get 2 weeks of 38-42c haha it's ridiculous!

    As a little experiment i ran 8 runs of my 100w 12m cord between a board of 16mm melamine and wooden floor at no precise intervals and managed 38c on top and 65c underneath with the cords... If I was to route 1/3 of the enclosure floor and use a thermo would this be fine? Remember I'll be stacking these enclosures.

    if I went the heat panel could I get away with 40w? Or would 80w be safer bet? And how would I go about a shelf and could I avoid tiles?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Okay after hours of googling, drawing, discussing and thinking here is my plan...

    ive got a spare 12m heat cord which coupled with the largest tubs a can find floor space wise I can set up for temporary use as I've been in formed I shall receive the pair next early next week...

    in in the mean time I'm having the 2 4x2x2 enclosures built over the weekend (atleast the melamine part) and I will have a play around with cords and off cuts...

    going to try to make a melamine shelf that's routed underneath and secure the cord with aluminium tape and then frame it all off so the snake can't get near the cord or the tape but can get both belly and radiant heat.

    option 2: route the underside of the enclosure and heat the floor through the melamine (refer to previous post about my little test)

    option 3: Spring for a heat panel (40w or 28w??) and setup similar to option 1
     
  15. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

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    Check out this post by pythonmum as to how to set up a heat cord panel without using having to use tape or routing. https://aussiepythons.com/forum/showthread.php/208377-Another-TV-unit-conversion?p=2394782#post2394782. Rather than the melamine shelf you try a ceramic tile or tin, sealed plywood (or even possibly peg board, with aluminium foil glued shiny side down to the underneath. That should make for a more effective radiator panel and still allow some heat transfer though the shelf.

    I think you are asking for trouble if you attempt to through a melamine floor of the enclosure, not to mention inefficient. An adjustable heat tile can be made by sandwiching a heat cord between a slate or ceramic tile and a thin sheet of routed MDF. Starting 1cm in from one edge, saw or rout full-length furrows, slightly larger than the heat cord, into the MDF at 2cm interval across the entire width of the board. Repeat at right angles the entire length of the board. Attach beading to edges of the board so that it is just high enough to hold the tile when this is dropped into place. You will need to enlarge the furrow slightly where the very end of the heat cord is to sit. Make sure you seal all wood to waterproof it before assembling.

    A 30cm square tile using the full length heating element in a 4m 15W heat cord, produces a temperature around 35oC at normal room temperature (i.e. mid twenties). The tile conducts heat and acts as a heat diffuser to spread the warmth evenly. It also has a high specific heat which means it is slow to warm but also slow to cool and will not quickly cold when a cold snake sits on it.

    This set up needs only a small hole in a bottom back corner for the heat cord to be pushed into the enclosure. How much cord is under the tile is easily adjusted to give you control of the temperature. Heat cord not required dangles harmlessly out the back of the enclosure. You can also multiple tiles, cut to whatever shape – just need to cut the base to match. Heating one third of the bottom of the enclosure seems a bit much though, but I don't what dimension the enclosure is. It only requires enough heating area for the snake to fit comfortabley on.


     
  16. ShaunMorelia

    ShaunMorelia Power Seller Power Seller

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    I found that a 4m heat cord (around 25w of power) under a 450x450 tile wasn't enough power to heat the tile sufficiently with a cold adult python basking on it during winter.
    Upgraded to a 6m cord (around 40w of power) under the 450x450 tile seems to be working much better. Upgrading to this length decreased the spacing of the runs to about 25mm.

    Another option is to make a the hide box with the heat tile above it.this way it has a heated hide as well a basking spot on top if required.
    Always add another hide in the cooler area of the enclosure when using this option to allow the animal to hide without getting heat-stressed etc.

    Cheers
    Shaun
     
  17. Ghillies

    Ghillies Not so new Member

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    So I'm pretty set on using 40w pro Herp panels mounted under a shelf to heat above and below the shelf.

    have a hide under the panel and one on the cool side. Also a branch secured horizontally/diagonally.

    sound good guys?
     
  18. ShaunMorelia

    ShaunMorelia Power Seller Power Seller

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    Sounds good to me.
     
  19. Murph_BTK

    Murph_BTK Well-Known Member

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    Hey all, i am wondering if having wrinkles like my GTP has is normal? Is my humidity too high? (About 80%) temp was hot end 32 and cooler end 26. She sits about a 3rd of the way to the cooler end, and spray her enclosure everyday... she feeds like a trooper and is alert/responsive.. what do you guys think? Too wet/humid? [​IMG]

    I dmit its hard to notice the wrinkles but they are like it all down her body.. (she feeds on fuzzy mice)
     
  20. BredliFreak

    BredliFreak Well-Known Member

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    I would assume she's close to shedding?
     
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