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snakes in sterilite tubs

Discussion in 'Not So Spineless Wonders' started by Kaimetsu, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. Kaimetsu

    Kaimetsu Arachnosquire

    So i am considering temporarily switching from a glass tank to a sterilite tub for my baby boa constrictor to solve some temperature problems i am having, since i don't yet have the money for a boaphile style enclosure. I was wondering if anyone can answer some of my questions regarding sterilite tubs.

    My main issue is heating, is it safe to put a heating pad underneath a plastic sterilite tub?

    I've also heard that even though boas are mostly nocturnal, they do need a light cycle and even a basking spot so they at least have the option to bask to aid in digestion. I've even been told that they can benefit from UV radiation. One solution i thought of is to cut a hole in the top of the sterilite tub and then glue screen material over the hole, then put the light over the screen as i do with my glass tank. Is this a good idea or not? Does anyone think it might not be necessary?
  2. desertanimal

    desertanimal Arachnoknight

    I don't know about boas and the lighting issue, but it's perfectly fine to have a heating pad underneath a plastic tub as long as you have it on a thermostat, which you should really have it on regardless of your set-up because those things can get way hotter than necessary for keeping a snake comfortably warm.

    People who keeps their snakes in racks either have heating elements under the tubs, at the backs of the tubs, or heat the whole room. Heating elements of any kind at any location on the tub simply need to be regulated.
  3. pitbulllady

    pitbulllady Arachnoking Old Timer

    I have some Boas in glass enclosures and others in Sterlite tubs, all with undertank heaters(NOT heating pads made for humans-BIG difference) with thermostats. The large glass enclosures have clamp lights with 100-watt bulbs in addition, as those are for my biggest snakes. I have never, ever used UV lighting on a Boa, and I've kept and bred Boas and Pythons for about 40 years now, give or take a few years in the middle where I thought I could break the large snake habit(didn't work). Some Boas like to bask under a light, while others will avoid it like plague. I would not personally recommend gluing or taping a screen to the top of a plastic lid, since I can promise you any snake worthy of the name will find a way to work it loose and escape, so you'd either have to use some sort of staples to hold the screen in place(lots of 'em, too-don't want any spaces in between where a nosy snout might fit, since once it does, the rest of the snake will soon follow suit), or stick with just an undertank reptile heater/thermostat combo. Human heat pads are not designed to be used long-term and can overheat and cause fires, thermostat or no thermostat. Most of the ones made today have an automatic shut-off built in that shuts it down after only about 15-20 minutes, which is the maximum they recommend using one on yourself for those aches and pains, something I found out when I purchased one to use on my busted knee recently.

    I'm in the process of slowly converting over to rack systems for all but my biggest snakes myself, and those have heat tape along with thermostats, and are very convenient. You might want to consider purchasing one of those(hit Craigslist-I snagged a four-drawer large Reptile Basics rack and a four-foot female Colombian Boa for $35.00 back in November from a guy who was being deployed out of our nearby AFB), especially since I haven't known too many people who can stop at just ONE Boa, lol.

  4. desertanimal

    desertanimal Arachnoknight

    Thanks for that. Very good point. I should have been more precise with my verbage rather than just repeating what was asked. It didn't occur to me that anyone might be referring to a human heating pad. I use flexwatt, myself (on a thermostat, of course). But I have a homemade rack. Using flexwatt instead of a UTH probably won't save the OP any money since the OP is heating just one animal.
  5. dtknow

    dtknow Arachnoking Old Timer

    Just curious what brand of UTH do you guys prefer and coupled with what thermostat? The most widespread is the Zoo med ones but I do not like the fact that they have to be stuck in place.
  6. Bazzgazm

    Bazzgazm Arachnoknight

    Just added flexwatt to a rack i built, 4" 8watt strips, roughly 12" long on a 41qt sterilite tub, creates 86-87* warm stop,

    The highest temp i got on the flexwatt was 92... not bad.

    definitely not going to start fires with that.