colubrids and heating

Ariel

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 2, 2009
Messages
1,421
Just had a quick question...

I was reading around and saw a couple of people say they don't use supplement heating for their native colubrids, and this made me realize that my texas rat snake never goes near the warm end of his tank, it averages around 85F on the warm side, and I've never seen him over there. Unless he's exploring about he always hides under his waterdish on the cool (75F) side of his tank.

Colubrid owners, do you use supplement heat for your snakes? Or have you ever noticed a preference to a side of the tank if you do?

We've also noticed this with my sisters albino bull snake, it stays on the cool side of the tank as well.
 

pitbulllady

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
May 1, 2004
Messages
2,290
Just had a quick question...

I was reading around and saw a couple of people say they don't use supplement heating for their native colubrids, and this made me realize that my texas rat snake never goes near the warm end of his tank, it averages around 85F on the warm side, and I've never seen him over there. Unless he's exploring about he always hides under his waterdish on the cool (75F) side of his tank.

Colubrid owners, do you use supplement heat for your snakes? Or have you ever noticed a preference to a side of the tank if you do?

We've also noticed this with my sisters albino bull snake, it stays on the cool side of the tank as well.
No, I don't use supplemental heat for any of my native Colubrids. Unless it's something native to the deserts or tropics, there's no need to, not living in South Carolina. I WANT my native snakes to be able to go into a cool down/brumation period during the cooler months, as per their natural cycle. They won't breed otherwise. I keep them in my bedroom, where it gets down to around 65 degrees or so at night, so it's still not what most folks would call cold. Most of the species I keep are nocturnal, and avoid the hotter part of the day, anyway, or typically are found in cooler, shady areas. Now, if you live where the winters are awful and you experience temps cooler than say, 55 degrees indoors during said winters, you might want to consider supplemental heat for native snakes during the winter months, but it IS good to let them experience a normal period of inactivity during these months, too. During the summer, I don't use supplemental heat on ANY of my snakes, since it's all I can do to keep the temps in my room below 90, even with central AC, given the room's location where it gets sun throughout most of the day and given that there is only one AC duct in there. I actually have native snakes go "off-feed" during the summer when it's hottest, because they do NOT like temps that high, and they seem to be the most active and eat the best when the temps are around 75-78.

pitbulllady
 

the toe cutter

Arachnobaron
Joined
Mar 20, 2010
Messages
424
I agree, with PBL. I have kept quite a few native colubrids and they will do fine if the ambient air temps are around 75. 85 is a bit too hot for native colubrids and even desert species as they will avoid temps this high and normally seek shelter out of the sun. Natural cooling is best both mentally and physically, but I still normally don't let the temps get below 60. And I know in Nebraska it gets pretty d@%& cold. I would still use a thermometer INSIDE the tank near the floor for terrestrial herps, and mid-way for arboreal herps, for an accurate temp reading. Just be aware that if you are using glass tanks they usually are a bit cooler on average on the floor than ambient air temps so just make sure you check that if that is the case. Hope it helps
 

Ariel

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 2, 2009
Messages
1,421
Well, it does get pretty darn cold in nebraska, but I'm also a wimp so I keep a space heater on in my room to make sure it doesn't drop below 70F. lol. So would you say I don't nessicarily need a heat mat on one end of my texas rat snakes enclosure?
 

pitbulllady

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
May 1, 2004
Messages
2,290
Well, it does get pretty darn cold in nebraska, but I'm also a wimp so I keep a space heater on in my room to make sure it doesn't drop below 70F. lol. So would you say I don't nessicarily need a heat mat on one end of my texas rat snakes enclosure?
No, you do not need a heat mat if you keep your room at 70 degrees. Just make sure that you keep a bowl of water full in his cage at all times, since the heat used during winter tends to lower humidity and evaporate water quickly, which can lead to shedding problems.

pitbulllady
 

Ariel

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 2, 2009
Messages
1,421
No, you do not need a heat mat if you keep your room at 70 degrees. Just make sure that you keep a bowl of water full in his cage at all times, since the heat used during winter tends to lower humidity and evaporate water quickly, which can lead to shedding problems.

pitbulllady
ok thank you. I have a pretty large water dish in there. I have noticed it evaporating more quickly since I started using the space heater. I'm topping it off every other day.
 

Ookamii

Arachnosquire
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Messages
104
my corn always stayed in her warm side of the tank, "warm side had a big heating pad that kept it around 78-80 and cool side had a small heating pad that kept it about 70" right near the heating pad, but i love the cold and kept my house at 50-60 year round and had 2 fans running in my bed room, where she was kept.
 

pitbulllady

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
May 1, 2004
Messages
2,290
my corn always stayed in her warm side of the tank, "warm side had a big heating pad that kept it around 78-80 and cool side had a small heating pad that kept it about 70" right near the heating pad, but i love the cold and kept my house at 50-60 year round and had 2 fans running in my bed room, where she was kept.
I'd hate to see your electricity bill in the summer time, especially if you live in TX! Ours goes up to $300.00+ per month in the summer here in SC, and that is with the thermostat set at 76! I didn't know they even made an AC unit that could bring the house temp down to 50 degrees in the summer.

pitbulllady
 

Ookamii

Arachnosquire
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Messages
104
I do live in Texas, my bill was around $200 a month, but we had good insulation in the house. in the winter it was about $50
 

Ariel

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 2, 2009
Messages
1,421
Just another quick question, would MBKs fall under this caratagory? I know they're not nessicarily native, so would they need a supplement heat source?

I'm getting one later this week and I was just curious, since most research I've pulled up told me the same thing as my rat snake, that it requires a warm side of 80-85F.
 
Last edited:

Ariel

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 2, 2009
Messages
1,421
Just wondering if someone might answer my question. I just want to know for sure. I'll likely end up getting a heat mat just to be on the safe side, but I wanted to know what ya'll think.
 

Crawly

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 21, 2009
Messages
36
You could purchase a heat mat that is designed for a smaller enclosure than what you are using (i.e. if you keep your snake in a 20g, get a heat mat designed for a 10g). That would make one end a little warmer. Also, you could put the mat on the side of the enclosure instead of on the bottom.

I personally use supplemental heat, but I keep my snakes in boaphile cages, so they have a lot of floorspace. I've tried without heat, and they did fine, but they are more active with the additional heat.
 

the toe cutter

Arachnobaron
Joined
Mar 20, 2010
Messages
424
You could purchase a heat mat that is designed for a smaller enclosure than what you are using (i.e. if you keep your snake in a 20g, get a heat mat designed for a 10g). That would make one end a little warmer. Also, you could put the mat on the side of the enclosure instead of on the bottom.

I personally use supplemental heat, but I keep my snakes in boaphile cages, so they have a lot of floorspace. I've tried without heat, and they did fine, but they are more active with the additional heat.
I do the same with my herps now as suggested above with the smaller warm side heating pads. But mine are not indigenous to this hemisphere, are equitorial for the most part and more suited to warmer environments anyway. For a L. g. nigrita, which I think is what you mean by MBK, you could use a supplemental heating source just to see what its reaction maybe and then make a decision based on whether or not it uses it.
 

kevin91172

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 11, 2009
Messages
407
my corn always stayed in her warm side of the tank, "warm side had a big heating pad that kept it around 78-80 and cool side had a small heating pad that kept it about 70" right near the heating pad, but i love the cold and kept my house at 50-60 year round and had 2 fans running in my bed room, where she was kept.
Wow!I bet those windows are just dripping wet......:eek:
 

Ookamii

Arachnosquire
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Messages
104
Wow!I bet those windows are just dripping wet......:eek:
alil condinsation, but its getting cold so i had to sadly turn on the heat to 75, for my dear pets to be comfy...i have 3 fans running on me now instead of keepin the ac down.
 
Top