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Help needed! Chipsi substrate & humidity in a click clack container for a juvenile spotted python + soldering holes

Herptology

Very Well-Known Member
Trusted Seller
i wouldn’t put the probe inside the tub if there’s a snake inside, just because they can and will move it, if you were going to hold it down dont use anything that’s sticky like tape or glue
 

Sdaji

Almost Legendary
APS Veteran
Trusted Seller
Agreed about not putting the probe inside the tub. Partly because the snake may move it etc etc, but also because you want to be able to easily move the tub around for various reasons. It's also going to need cleaning... there are plenty of reasons not to, especially for contact heat sources (ambient heat is sometimes an exception but you want to be very careful, and this is not such a case).

As I keep saying, the thermostat is not a thermometer. Ignore the reading on the thermostat. It can say 40, it can say 20, it's common for them not to be calibrated properly and often even if they are, the temperature setting won't reflect the temperature at the site of interest. If the *thermometer* says it's too cold, increase the setting on the thermostat, regardless of what that number is. If it's too hot, reduce the setting on the thermostat, regardless of what that number is. Set the temperature using a thermometer to measure temperature and using the thermostat setting as an arbitrary scale, or a vague reference. I've seen so many snakes kept at the wrong temperature because of thermostats being used as thermometers. Do not use the thermostat scale as a guage for setting the temperature. Use the temperature, measured by thermometers, to set your thermostat.
 

newtothescene

New Member
Ok, I will rest assured that the thermostat is, by nature of being just a thermostat, inaccurate. However, I feel more secure when the heat mat is regulated in accordance to the surface temperature of the tub (if I were to secure the probe down that is - would that make a difference?).
That said, if you both believe the inside-container-probe-setup will cause serious problems, in terms of cleaning and obstruction, I will try to put the probe directly to the heat source (if true to one of your previous comments, that won't disrupt the readings because heat mat because it's not a radiant or ambient heat source).

I have also reconstructed the base, using some insulation and creating a pouch inside it for my heat mat (for heat-efficiency) hoping this will bring more consistency in temp readings and more steady/reliable heat-retainment.
I've noted my quarrel with the thermostat/thermometer but haven't outlined my actual problem - it is that I distrust the thermometer because it takes so long to adjust to the surface i'm measuring. I'm not sure if that's normal, but I feel like I'm infinitely standing there waiting for the number to stop going down or up, and sometimes, the value would fluctuate to very undesirable numbers.

Also wondering if my goal should be achieving a total maximum of 34 degrees in any one spot on the hot side, or, (e.g.) if the general hot side can be 33 degrees while underneath the hot-hide it is 35 degrees?
 

Herptology

Very Well-Known Member
Trusted Seller
Don’t overthink it mate

KISS keep it stupid simple

Can’t imagine putting it inside the pouch being a good idea or efficient as it’s another layer to heat through
The temp could be fluctuating due to the type of thermostat if it’s turning off at 33c it’s gonna turn off till about 28-29 then turn back on, this is why dimming stats are recommended as it lowers the wattage of the heating source and keeps a stable rather than just cutting it off and having a recovery period
 

Sdaji

Almost Legendary
APS Veteran
Trusted Seller
Yeah, definitely keep it simple and don't overthink it. Sounds like my comments about contact vs. radiant vs. ambient heat sources wasn't understood, so forget that for now and just focus on this situation.

Don't stress about 33 or 35 degrees.

If your thermometer is crap, get a new thermometer or two. It never hurts to have extra thermometers, and you definitely want to make sure you're measuring the temperature correctly.

Yes, ideally you'd be able to regulate the temperature based on exactly where the snake is, but in the real world this isn't possible without causing problems, and while drastic temperature spikes are to be avoided, minor fluctuations are probably better than a dead flat temperature 24/7 anyway. The way I do it somewhat regulates the temperature of the element itself (I have the probe directly in contact with the heat source) rather than the thing being heated, which results in a mild fluctuation at the target site (where the snakes are sitting), so it's slightly (maybe a degree or two) cooler at night and warmer during the day, even without a timer or changed thermometer setting. That may be difficult to comprehend with all this being new and you being unfamiliar with setting these things up, in which case ignore it for now.
 

Sdaji

Almost Legendary
APS Veteran
Trusted Seller
So, not dangerous?
Why would a plastic tub be dangerous? I've had thousands of snakes contact their plastic tubs. Almost all of them do from time to time. We literally eat out of plastic tubs. A lot of the ones we use for snakes are literally designed to hold human food.
 

Bluetongue1

Well-Known Member
APS Veteran
Let’s go back go to basics. The preferred body temp (PBT) of most Morelia pythons is around 29oC. So why don’t we set the whole cage temperature to this? Snakes are behaviourally geared to coping with conditions in the wild, where temperatures rise and fall every 24 hours. So they heat themselves up to above their PBT where and when they can, then set off hunting, or stay put to digest food, cooling down in the process. This is an inbuilt behavioural pattern; to enable them to make best use of the varying temperatures that occur every 24 hours. Given that snakes naturally want to heat themselves somewhat above their PBT, we need to provide a heat source that allows them to do this, be it from a radiant or contact heat . At the same time we need to provide a lower temperature range so that that they can lose some of that excess heat as they would in the wild. So what is it that we should be trying to achieve? You want a warm surface of approximately 32oC for hatchling pythons (and up to 35oC for adults). You also want a cooler area for the snake to be able to lose heat as it would in nature. So whether you are using a radiant heat source or a contact heat source, you want the heated surface that the snake will be on when warming itself to be at 32oC.

It stands to reason that if you want direct control of a heat source using a thermostat, then the probe needs to be in direct contact with the heat source, as was recommended by Sdaji (using Bluetack to do so). A thermometer reading on the surface that the reptile is in contact with is required to determine if the desired basking temperature of 32oC is actually being achieved. If not, then one needs to tweak the thermostat such that it is being achieved, irrespective of what the thermostat probe might read. If there is any difficulty in understanding what I have said here, I am happy to draw a diagram to make it clearer if you prefer that.

One thing I will add that it is important that you observe the behaviour of your snake. If it spends an inordinate amount of time at one end of the enclosure, then you need to adjust the thermal gradient accordingly so that it moving between both ends on a regular basis. What can also be done is to provide a hide in the middle of the thermal gradient so that the snake has the opportunity to spend comfortable time at its PBT.
 
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newtothescene

New Member
I've tried various arrangements. Whenever the probe was in direct contact with the heat mat (beneath the tub) I had to set the thermostat to >41 degrees, and even then, both sides were 2-4 degrees below the requirement - not energy efficient in my opinion
I have only had success so far by securing the probe beneath the paper-towel substrate within the actual tub and will do that. But I will also secure the probe with a cardboard loop/hot glue to the base so that it can't be manoeuvred. Hopefully that is ok.
As for the snake getting underneath the paper-towel substrate, I only suspected it would be unsafe as there would be no separation between the heat source and tub but the plastic.
 

Herptology

Very Well-Known Member
Trusted Seller
Let us know how it goes when the probe gets wet inside the tub whether from spilled water or snake pisses all over it..
It’s really really not recommended mate, just keep mucking around with it even if it means getting a hotter heat source like a 20w heat cord or 14w mat
 

Sdaji

Almost Legendary
APS Veteran
Trusted Seller
I've learned that there's a point at which arguing isn't worth bothering with. Many people need to learn the hard way. Every time a newby tells me off for not knowing what I'm talking about then ends up with a dead or sick snake I should put a dollar in a big green can and take a nice holiday each summer.

I've said my piece here, have fun :)
 

Bluetongue1

Well-Known Member
APS Veteran
What is the important temperature here to get correct? Answer: The temperature of the contact surface where the snake basks. To determine this accurately you need a thermometer. Do NOT rely on a thermostat probe for accurate temperature measurements. They are not easily calibrated to read temperatures accurately and can often be 2 or 3 or more degrees out. However, they are consistent in their readings and every temperature reading will be the same number of degrees above or below the actual temperature.

What you need to understand is that the electrical power required by the heating element (heat mat), to achieve the desired temperature on the basking surface (inside base of plastic tub), is NOT going to change because the the thermostat probe is put in a different position. Putting it on the heating element, versus on the basking surface, it is only to be expected that the temperature registered on the probe should read several degrees different. Heat is lost from the heat mat to its surrounds as well when it is being transferred through the plastic base and spreading out in the process. Repositioning the probe will not make it any more or less power efficient - you will still need to use the sam amount of electrical energy on the heat mat. Where you decide to put the probe is up to up to you. Irrespective of where, what you will still need to tweak the power supplied to the heat mat using the thermostat and probe, such that the basking surface temperature, as measured by a thermometer, is consistently on or near to the recommended 32oC.

Just to put your mind at ease about the plastic potentially melting. You’ll find that the melting point of your plastic tub is clearly in excess of 100oC. Otherwise you could not rinse it with boiling water or use it in a microwave oven without it deforming.
 

tweeds

New Member
I've tried various arrangements. Whenever the probe was in direct contact with the heat mat (beneath the tub) I had to set the thermostat to >41 degrees, and even then, both sides were 2-4 degrees below the requirement - not energy efficient in my opinion
I have only had success so far by securing the probe beneath the paper-towel substrate within the actual tub and will do that. But I will also secure the probe with a cardboard loop/hot glue to the base so that it can't be manoeuvred. Hopefully that is ok.
As for the snake getting underneath the paper-towel substrate, I only suspected it would be unsafe as there would be no separation between the heat source and tub but the plastic.
I don’t understand your comment about energy efficiency and thermostat probe placement.
Fix the probe to the heat source outside the tub and set the thermostat to a temperature that gives you the desired hot side temperature. There is absolutely no reason for the probe to be inside the tub when your using a “belly heating” set up.
As to the Chipsi, I’ve found the smaller bags to be softer. This is only an observation as I’ve used probably about six of the large bags over time, but it does seem coarser than the 2kg bags.
 
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