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Posted by oldherper on April 17, 2003 at 07:39:38:
In Reply to: temperature probe posted by dave7739 on April 16, 2003 at 21:46:09:
Where does the snake spend it's time? Do you have hide boxes, or does he just burrow under the shavings? Wherever he tends to spend most of his time is where I control the temps. It really doesn't matter much where you place the probe, if those relationships stay constant. For instance, if it's always 80f on top of the shavings and 100f at the heat pad, then if you place the probe at the top of the shavings and set the thermostat for 80f, it's still gonna be 100f at the heating pad and vice-versa. I'm assuming you are switching from a rheostat to a thermostat if you are using a probe, unless it's just a thermometer probe to monitor with. By the way, if you are looking for a good, inexpensive single-zone, simple thermostat with a probe LLLReptile carries one called the Alife AE-26-1000 for about 30 bucks. They seem to work very well..like I said they are simple and you can't set up elaborate multi-zone systems with one, but if you use two on timers, you can set up for automatic night drops for a single zone and it's still much cheaper than the multi-zone thermostats with night drop modules.
One mistake I see many people make with fossorial snakes, especially things like sand boas, is that they fail to take into account the natural habits of these animals when thermoregulating. I've seen a number of people set up cages with under-the-substrate heating that is very hot (110f or more) at the bottom of the substrate and maybe 85f on top. Remembering that in nature the heat is from above (sunlight), the gradient is going to be reversed. The hot part will be on top and the cool part below. The natural reaction of the fossorial snake, when he gets too hot, is going to be to burrow deeper. In bottom heated cages, he burrows deeper trying to cool off and just gets hotter. To me, for fossorial species, heating from above with incandescent or ceramic heat bulbs is a better option, especially if there is no thermal gradient from one end of the cage to the other.
:should i place the probe on top of the substrate or on the bottom of the cage? I am using shredded aspen as a substrate. 2nd question, how deep should the substrate be? I'm keeping a deppei deppei with an UTH on a rheostat. the temps on top of the substrate never go above 80f on the warm end but my temp gun shows the heat pad to be about 100f. the cage is raised 1 cm above the floor.