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Substrate Temperature and Belly Burn ?

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Posted by: AmandaJ at Mon Oct 22 17:40:07 2012  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by AmandaJ ]  
   

Hey all, I'm a very new snake owner. My nine-year-old had made it clear he wanted a snake and after researching quite a bit I determined our parameters (small adult size, eats frozen/thawed) and we headed to a local reptile event. We ended up with two young Kenyan sand boas (male, 4 months old, Anery; female, 3 months old, Dodoma Out Cross). We're tickled with them, and want to do our best by them, but I keep getting conflicting information about how best to heat their habitats.

The vendor we got the snakes from said the mini stick-on heating pad (Reptitherm mini 1-1.5 gallon size) would be fine for the bottom of the tank, and that the warm end of the tank needed to be from 95 - 105 degrees. Well and good; the temperature of the glass over the heating pad has thus far ranged from 99 - 103.

THEN I went to a local snake specialty store and a young lady there who owns a couple of Kenyan sand boas (from the same vendor) said that the particular pad I have could cause belly burns and we should instead have the pad on the side of the tank, or have a black light overhead to heat the substrate.

We have two tanks, one for the male and one for the female. Both use aspen shavings for substrate. The black light works fine on its tank (as in it stays lit), but only heats the warm end of the tank to 89; and for the other tank, putting the heating pad on the side rather than the bottom doesn't do much for the substrate temperature. It spikes to maybe 87 and that only at the very edge, leaving the "cooler" end of the tank at a whopping 84. Not much temperature variation there.

So I'm thinking we really need to use the under-tank pads rather than this side set-up or black light, but I'm worried about belly burn on these little snakes. They're only 15g (male) and 16g (female) so it's not as if they're the most massive creatures on the planet, and I'd feel awful if I injured any of my pets regardless of size.

Any experienced voice of reason would be tremendously appreciated. Thanks for reading this post -- sorry for the length!


   

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>> Next Message:  RE: Substrate Temperature and Belly Burn ? - AmandaJ, Tue Oct 23 11:13:48 2012
>> Next Message:  RE: Substrate Temperature and Belly Burn ? - bragg1, Tue Oct 30 13:03:15 2012