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Posted by oldherper on May 02, 2003 at 06:46:34:
In Reply to: WARNING!! posted by dangry on May 01, 2003 at 22:27:35:
This is one of the reasons I don't like to use bottom heat for burrowing substrates. I prefer to heat them from above...ANY burrowing substrate. When burrowing snakes try to cool off, the natural tendency is to burrow deeper...in the wild, that would get them cooler substrtate. If you heat from the bottom, the deeper they go, the hotter they get. If I have to heat from the bottom, I make sure there is a good thermal gradient from one end of the cage to the other so they can get away from the heat and I monitor the heat very closely.
:I recently switched my substrate from Repti Bark to aspen bedding and noticed a slight decrease in cage temperature after the switch. I use under tank heating pads on my cages so I touched the bottom of the tank to make sure the pads were working. To my surprise, I nearly burnt my fingers on the glass! Yes, it was that hot. My guess is the aspen acted as an insulation and kept the heat below the surface. To make matters more dangerous, most of my snakes spend a lot of their time burried in the substrate. I have turned the pads off, am switching back to Repti Bark tomorrow and getting all new pads in case any or all of them were damaged by the heat. Has anyone heard of this before, it was news to me, not to mention a big scare. another lesson learned and a testimonial for checking the entire cage regularly.