Thermo probe

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Mack86

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Hi all,

Google has not been my friend at all... I have a silly question but I'm going to embarrass myself and ask anyway.

When running a heat mat under an enclosure where does the thermostat probe go? Inside the enclosure positioned on the bottom of glass or tub under chosen substrate or sandwiched between the heat mat and the bottom underside of enclosure? I am doing the former and hoping it's correct.

Thanks in advance!
 

Vixen.

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Personal preference, some people say to do the under the enclosure, and then adjust the temp so that when you use a temp gun on the spot where the animal will actually be (on top of the substrate) it's to the right temp. Or do same thing but on the glass in the enclosure, then again need to adjust temp so that the spot ON TOP of the substrate where the animal is will get to the desired temp. Or have it the cord under the substrate, but the probe right near the top under the hot hide where the animal will be.
For any of these methods it's always best to use a temp gun to get the correct temp of the actual surface where the animal will be, that way you can correctly set up your thermostat to maintain that temp.
 

Mack86

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Thanks Vixen,

My little guy likes to burrow under the substrate (he's a Stimson's Python) so I have made sure that the probe is touching the actual glass as he often ends up touching the glass with his belly once burrowed. I have tested temps on the surface of the glass then only and adjusted thermostat accordingly. On top of the substrate is much cooler but I don't want to increase my thermostat to ensure the top of the substrate is warm enough because then when he burrows the glass will be too hot. As it is the heat mat is giving readings that are quite varied and in some very small spots were up to 36 or 37 (on the glass). I don't understand why heat mats can't just heat evenly. I just want to make sure I am doing right by my guy and if I can't get things how they need to be then I will have to look at rehoming.

He is healthy, eating, drinking etc but it's hard as they can't tell you if anything is wrong.
 

Vixen.

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You might find he's burrowing because it's not warm enough on the top, he won't burn himself with those temps if you increase it to be good temp at the top, my childreni used to burrow only in his hot hide, increased the temp and he is now happy to sit on top of substrate. When visited my Dad did the same for his stimsons, it burrowed for a little bit more, now it half burrows, sometimes it goes down (gets nice and warm quick) then cruises off elsewhere, other times he pushes substrate back over it and sits on top.
 

Mack86

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You might find he's burrowing because it's not warm enough on the top, he won't burn himself with those temps if you increase it to be good temp at the top, my childreni used to burrow only in his hot hide, increased the temp and he is now happy to sit on top of substrate. When visited my Dad did the same for his stimsons, it burrowed for a little bit more, now it half burrows, sometimes it goes down (gets nice and warm quick) then cruises off elsewhere, other times he pushes substrate back over it and sits on top.
But if I increase the thermostat to make the mat go hotter so the substrate top is warmer those higher temps on the glass will be hotter won't they ? I don't want to burn him. I'm sorry I know I sound dumb, but he is in my care and I want to do right by him

And hes been hanging on the cool side or in the middle a bit of late which made me think he was too warm on the other side ?
 

Vixen.

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It's not going to be so hot that it burns him, stick your hand on it yourself and you'll feel how hot it is, that's with our fragile skin let alone scales. Being on the cold side at the moment doesn't count as it's winter and they know the seasons so they slow themselves down during winter regardless of the temps of your enclosure. It's up to you, sounds like he's fine either way it's personal preference. But particularly when it comes to summer again if he's burrowing all the time try increasing the temp and see if he stops, then you'll have your answer, but again, it's up to you and depends what you want for your little guy, but you're not going to burn him with the increase to get the top warm. I have thick substrate and even mine when I clear it and hold hand on the glass it's not hot enough to burn.
 

Mack86

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It's not going to be so hot that it burns him, stick your hand on it yourself and you'll feel how hot it is, that's with our fragile skin let alone scales. Being on the cold side at the moment doesn't count as it's winter and they know the seasons so they slow themselves down during winter regardless of the temps of your enclosure. It's up to you, sounds like he's fine either way it's personal preference. But particularly when it comes to summer again if he's burrowing all the time try increasing the temp and see if he stops, then you'll have your answer, but again, it's up to you and depends what you want for your little guy, but you're not going to burn him with the increase to get the top warm. I have thick substrate and even mine when I clear it and hold hand on the glass it's not hot enough to burn.
I appreciate you explaining this to me thank you. I actually understand it all now thanks heaps. My thermostat is set to 31 at the moment with a 2 deg divergence. Should I set it up higher and to what temp would you suggest if I'm trying to achieve hotter on the substrate? It's only a 5w matt with its own inbuilt cut off at 50 degrees but I still need a thermostat hey?
 

Vixen.

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Yeah you need the thermostat, depends on your substrate, heat mat, and thermostat. All different that's why recommend temp gun, don't need $70 one or anything, even cheapy from online will help, aim for 32ish wherever your little dude will be. Mine's set to 34 ATM with divergence 2.
Don't overthink it too much they're pretty versatile creatures and we're in winter which is cooler anyway. Just keep an eye on it and how he's acting, winter they cool themselves more than in summer, thus why you'll see him going to cold side alot, it's not because hot side is too hot, it's just what he wants at that time. Being colder conserves more energy, also don't worry if go off food a bit during winter, all normal seasonal behaviour.
 

Mack86

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Thanks so much Vixen very helpful. Another probably silly question. Would my IR gun be measuring THROUGH the glass and taking readings of my heatmat which is why I'm getting high readings with that but my thermo prob (stuck to inside of glass) and my thermometer never give me readings as high?
 

Vixen.

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They do not "see through" glass, liquids or other transparent surfaces - even though visible light (like a laser) passes through them (i.e. if you point an IR gun at a window, you'll be measuring the temperature of the window pane, not the outside temp). Heat mats are like heat cords, the electricity/heat in them passes backwards and forwards through the wires in them, so yes from one mm to another it will be hotter/not as hot. Their role is to heat the area that they're under. So long as it's 1/3rd size of floor space of enclosure it should be able to do the job just fine.
 

Mack86

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They do not "see through" glass, liquids or other transparent surfaces - even though visible light (like a laser) passes through them (i.e. if you point an IR gun at a window, you'll be measuring the temperature of the window pane, not the outside temp). Heat mats are like heat cords, the electricity/heat in them passes backwards and forwards through the wires in them, so yes from one mm to another it will be hotter/not as hot. Their role is to heat the area that they're under. So long as it's 1/3rd size of floor space of enclosure it should be able to do the job just fine.
Ok thanks for that so basically in a spot or two my glass (inside that the snake can reach) is measuring 37/38 even though my thermostat is set to 34 and also my thermometer reads 32 on top of the substrate. Hopefully he doesn't bury down to those really high temperatures as I believe temps over 35 can overheat the snake?
 

Vixen.

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They get days over 40 in the wild, let alone on a hot rock etc, he won't burn himself, if he gets too hot he'll move and those temps aren't going to hurt him. They're hardy creatures that withstand more than we do and we can take those temps easily.
 

Mack86

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They get days over 40 in the wild, let alone on a hot rock etc, he won't burn himself, if he gets too hot he'll move and those temps aren't going to hurt him. They're hardy creatures that withstand more than we do and we can take those temps easily.
Thank you so much for your patience and all this information Vixen. It makes complete sense what you are saying and I have wrapped my head around it all now. Appreciate the help and thanks for not making me feel silly. I know they may sound like silly questions but better to ask then not ask at all and be doing the wrong thing.

Sorry, this should hopefully be the last question I have. Again this may be silly, but the thermostat is constantly cycling through the set temperatures I have given. For example, I have set the thermostat to 34 degrees with a 2 degree divergence. So what's happening is, the probe is measuring the temp on the glass (inside) and once it reaches 36 it's shutting off the heat mat and cooling down to 32 before kicking back in again, then heating back up to 36 and over and over we go. Is it bad for the heat mat to be turning on and off all day and night long? And is it bad that temps are fluctuating so much through the course of 24hrs over and over again?

I'll admit I (clearly ) didn't do enough research and I took the sellers word for it when they said I didn't need a thermostat or thermometer and that the heat mat would just "do it's thing" hence why now I am trying to get it right and understand.

Thank you for your patience with me
 

Vixen.

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That's what it's meant to do, will always cycle through it, purpose of thermostat is to heat mat doesn't short out and just go up up up and hurt snake, also allows you to see if it's stopped working too. Even without thermostat heat mats in built one SHOULD do the same thing, but you're then relying on just it to not break and do harm and you can't visually see the numbers to make sure. It's totally normal and doing exactly what it's meant to be doing.
 

Mack86

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That's what it's meant to do, will always cycle through it, purpose of thermostat is to heat mat doesn't short out and just go up up up and hurt snake, also allows you to see if it's stopped working too. Even without thermostat heat mats in built one SHOULD do the same thing, but you're then relying on just it to not break and do harm and you can't visually see the numbers to make sure. It's totally normal and doing exactly what it's meant to be doing.
Thank you for explaining Vixen 🙂

Yeah you need the thermostat, depends on your substrate, heat mat, and thermostat. All different that's why recommend temp gun, don't need $70 one or anything, even cheapy from online will help, aim for 32ish wherever your little dude will be. Mine's set to 34 ATM with divergence 2.
Don't overthink it too much they're pretty versatile creatures and we're in winter which is cooler anyway. Just keep an eye on it and how he's acting, winter they cool themselves more than in summer, thus why you'll see him going to cold side alot, it's not because hot side is too hot, it's just what he wants at that time. Being colder conserves more energy, also don't worry if go off food a bit during winter, all normal seasonal behaviour.
I know you said here about them cooling themselves more in winter but my little guy has been in his cold hide for 3 days now? I know he would move a bit at night but I don't even see any "tracks" like I normally would. He wouldn't eat yesterday either. I'm trying not to worry to much about eating though, his last feed was 10 days ago it's just that he is only 5 months old so I worry about him not thriving. Current temps in hot hide fluctuate between 32 and 34 (with digital thermometer that sits inside constantly on TOP of substrate) but outside of the hide is varying degrees of 28- 31 which I'm measuring with the IR gun. I can't really get the gun to measure inside the hide it seems to measure the actual log and not give me the correct readings. Cool side is between 20 and 24 with his cool hide specifically being 20/21. I aimed the gun directly onto him in there and I know they probably don't read body temps but it said 20 😳

Thoughts? All normal?

Sorry in the hide gets up to 36 but outside the hide much cooler
 

Vixen.

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Totally fine, mine went 6 weeks without food, ate once, currently at 4 weeks without food. Normal behaviour for winter.
 

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I have a hatchling Darwin that just took its first feed after 6months, looked like it was on deaths door, it was so skinny and frail.
Had another one that’s only had 2 small feeds, and is almost 6x the weight of the one that hasn’t eaten
 

Mack86

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I have a hatchling Darwin that just took its first feed after 6months, looked like it was on deaths door, it was so skinny and frail.
Had another one that’s only had 2 small feeds, and is almost 6x the weight of the one that hasn’t eaten
Wow! Resilient little things hey

Still on cool side....I'm really worried about his temperature. I thought they were supposed to warm themselves 🤦‍♀️🤷‍♀️

I'm trying to listen to what I've been told here and not stress but when your snake is chilling in his cold hide for days and you point an IR gun at him and it says 21 and then you research ideal body temps you start to freak out....

Also why is the outside of his hot hide (but still above heat mat) so much less? Is it just a case of heat trapped within the hide? Is this how it is supposed to be?

Once again sorry for all of these questions I'm just trying to understand. It's more complicated than I first thought.

Anyone?

I saw my little guy come out twice last night to hang out in his warm hide but this morning it was back in his cool hide. He doesn't move through the day and I'm sure he stayed there all day and appears to be there still now. I currently have my thermostat set at 32 with 2 degree divergence so my temps on my thermometer are cycling between 30-34. I thought about changing that to 33 so that temps cycle between 31 and 35? I did have it set at 34 so temps ranged from 32-36 on warm side but my thermometer was reading almost 37 and felt that was too warm.

Anything I research whether it be on here or on the net gives different advice and opinions on what the correct temps to keep a 5 month old Stimson at so I'd really appreciate some advice from anyone currently keeping a snake of the same age and what temps they are trying to maintain on the warm side? And is it OK that my temps are fluctuating from 30-34 every hour? I don't know how to maintain them just at one temperature. I wish I knew how. I changed the divergence to 1 and set the stat to 33 (so 32 to 34 range) but it was turning on and off too frequently?

Help please 🙏 am I on the right track with what I am doing?
 

Vixen.

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He's fine, try not to stress out. They DELIBERATELY lower their body temps in winter to slow their metabolism, hibernation, just because it's a pet doesn't mean it won't obey the laws of nature. He feels the seasonal change and is doing everything right, your temps are fine.
Yes that's how heat works, it rises, so outside of the hide it rises into the rest of the enclosure and dissipates, inside the hide it becomes trapped and makes it a nice warm place.
It's all good he'll come out more and go into warm hide and be completely different snake come spring/summer. He's just doing what his instincts tell him atm and he's correct.
 

Mack86

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He's fine, try not to stress out. They DELIBERATELY lower their body temps in winter to slow their metabolism, hibernation, just because it's a pet doesn't mean it won't obey the laws of nature. He feels the seasonal change and is doing everything right, your temps are fine.
Yes that's how heat works, it rises, so outside of the hide it rises into the rest of the enclosure and dissipates, inside the hide it becomes trapped and makes it a nice warm place.
It's all good he'll come out more and go into warm hide and be completely different snake come spring/summer. He's just doing what his instincts tell him atm and he's correct.
You have been so very helpful thank you heaps. Wish I had of done more research before purchasing him I feel quite silly and embarrassed, but I have learnt a lot already so thank you. I'll keep the stat at 32 if temps between 30-34 in the hide sound okay.

I have another question, I've noticed my thermostat isn't getting to the top temperature anymore and cycling through and turning on and off like it was before. I've got it set to 33 with 2 degree divergence and for the past two days it has stayed between 33.5 to 34 without actually going under or over these temps. I kind of like that it's staying there but I'm a bit worried that it's somehow broken? Or do they settle at one temp once you leave them for a couple of days after setting your preferences? I was going to start a new thread but thought maybe it was better to continue on in this one 🤷‍♀️

Thanks to anyone who might be able to advise...

Edit: we have had max temps of 14 degrees here in Brisbane so I can only assume that due to this cold snap it's just not heating to my max temperature. I guess if things warm up slightly it may start cycling again. Checked temps with temp gun and they range from 31- 35 under hot hide. My little guy ate on Sunday and where he is all curled up I even got a reading of 36. Hopefully that's okay. Temperatures really stress me out as I'm sure is blatantly obvious to all reading my anxious messages.

Just for anyone who may be looking at this thread or having a similar problem, when I turned the thermostat back to 32 it began cycling between 30 and 34 again. Who knows. Think the 5w heat mat coupled with the cooler weather was just struggling to hit the higher temp 🤷‍♀️
 

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