Considering a hatching corn snake, advice on set up... - Reptile Forums

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Old 08-05-2019, 01:57 PM
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Default Considering a hatching corn snake, advice on set up...

Hey, so Im basically tossing up the idea of getting a corn snake instead of the leopard gecko I was originally planning for. I was just looking for some advice on corn snake setups and was wondering is what I already have appropriate for a corn snake.

At the moment I have a wooden vivarium that's 33 inches long, 15 inches wide and 15 inches deep, now I am aware this wont be big enough for an adult corn but I plan on getting a hatching to start with and will definitely upgrade when the time comes.

So at the moment I have a heat mat and habistat reptile radiator, this one to be precise:

https://www.reptiles.swelluk.com/hab...tile-radiator/

Would this be appropriate to heat the viv?

Also do corns need UVB/special lighting or any special supplements?

How long would it take a hatching corn to outgrow the enclosure I have?

Thank you!
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Old 08-05-2019, 02:14 PM
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Have a read of the Heating and Corn Snake Stickies at the top of this Section
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Old 08-05-2019, 02:22 PM
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That viv will be fine for a couple of years. Include a lot of cover and clutter initially and you can gradually take some out as the snake grows and increases in confidence. You're right, it's not adequate for a fully grown adult corn (although some wouldn't hesitate to keep them in that viv their entire lives) but if you feed sensibly I think you'd be good for 2 years.

I haven't used a reptile radiator like the one in the link, but I'd imagine it would need controlling with a thermostat - every heat source should be regulated, otherwise you have no control over the thermal gradient you are providing for the snake.

The same goes for the mat - if you use this, it needs to be regulated with a thermostat.

You do not need both the radiator and the mat - one or the other will suffice.

Corns do not require UVB to live long healthy lives in captivity, but probably do benefit from it. They don't require supplements if you are feeding whole prey items.
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Old 08-05-2019, 02:44 PM
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Thanks for the reply.

Yeah I have two thermostats, a pulse one for the radiator and a mat stat for the mat.

If I don't need both I reckon the radiator would suit me and the snake better since that would also boost ambient temps, I live in Ireland so need it and thats why I bought the radiator, but if I could kill two birds with one stone and could forgo the mat that be great!

Would I put a flat rock, or something directly underneath it for basking?

85 - 90ish on the hot side, dropping to the 70's or soon the cooler side is that right?

Yeah I thought they didn't need supplements, this is another reason Im going for a corn snake, frozen mice once a week or so far easier than whats needed for the gecko!
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Old 08-05-2019, 02:47 PM
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It's all documented in the two guides already mentioned at the top of this section.
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Old 08-05-2019, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benson1990 View Post
Thanks for the reply.

Yeah I have two thermostats, a pulse one for the radiator and a mat stat for the mat.

If I don't need both I reckon the radiator would suit me and the snake better since that would also boost ambient temps, I live in Ireland so need it and thats why I bought the radiator, but if I could kill two birds with one stone and could forgo the mat that be great!

Would I put a flat rock, or something directly underneath it for basking?

85 - 90ish on the hot side, dropping to the 70's or soon the cooler side is that right?

Yeah I thought they didn't need supplements, this is another reason Im going for a corn snake, frozen mice once a week or so far easier than whats needed for the gecko!
Yes, I would go for the radiator in preference to the mat. Glad to hear you have a stat for it. A flat rock or similar directly under it is a good idea, but the snake may not bask out in the open while it is young so you might not see it used for a while. Make sure there is a hide near the hot spot so it can enjoy warmth without being exposed.

I'd probably aim for about 88 on the hot side. Don't worry about the temps for the rest of it, remember they come from the temperate USA so they aren't super sensitive - make sure your hot spot is as far to one end as possible, and let the rest of it be what it will be.

I hear you on the feeding - snakes are way easier than lizards in that respect. You're also spared having to deal with creepy crawlies if you go for the snake
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Old 10-05-2019, 02:10 AM
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So just a quick question on the thermostat probe placement and thermometer probe placements...where would be the best place to place them? should they be on the floor, say under the hide on the hot side?

I was going to put maybe some branches on the hot side too so the snake can climb, wondering how close can the branches be to the heat source? is 88 the maximum temp the snake can be exposed to as obviously the higher the branches the closer t'll be to the heat source and hotter it'll be..

Any opinions on how to set it up?
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benson1990 View Post
So just a quick question on the thermostat probe placement and thermometer probe placements...where would be the best place to place them? should they be on the floor, say under the hide on the hot side?

I was going to put maybe some branches on the hot side too so the snake can climb, wondering how close can the branches be to the heat source? is 88 the maximum temp the snake can be exposed to as obviously the higher the branches the closer t'll be to the heat source and hotter it'll be..

Any opinions on how to set it up?
https://www.reptileforums.co.uk/foru...e-heating.html
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Old 10-05-2019, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benson1990 View Post
So just a quick question on the thermostat probe placement and thermometer probe placements...where would be the best place to place them? should they be on the floor, say under the hide on the hot side?

I was going to put maybe some branches on the hot side too so the snake can climb, wondering how close can the branches be to the heat source? is 88 the maximum temp the snake can be exposed to as obviously the higher the branches the closer t'll be to the heat source and hotter it'll be..

Any opinions on how to set it up?
The closer to the heat source you situate the probe, the more accurately you can control the maximum temperature.

For mats, the probe should be in direct contact with mat, but if you're using the radiator, I'd drill a hole so you can locate the probe as near to the radiator as possible (but not in direct contact). Remember to seal up the hole from the outside around the cable once you've fed the probe through - otherwise it's a potential escape route for the snake.

No, 88 isn't the absolute maximum a corn can safely be exposed to - it gets hotter than this in the Southern USA. It's great to be able to provide a range of temperatures by using the vertical space, and thereby give the snake choice. Remember though that young snakes are very timid and I'd say it is unlikely to bask openly in a branch for long periods of time. It might make use of a hide positioned on a high shelf though, accessed via the branch. Or bird boxes mounted high up on the viv wall can also work, again, accessed via the branch.
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Old 10-05-2019, 02:39 PM
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I've said it before, people get hung up on temperatures. In the wild there will be fluctuations in temperatures throughout the day and from one day to the next. You won't get the stable temperatures seen in a vivarium.

You need to set the environment so there is a temperature range suitable for the reptile being kept. If the guidelines and consensus is that 88f is the "ideal" hot spot for your snake then setting an area up to reach that temperature is the thing to do. If you find the snake spends all its time under the heat source then it can be increased a degree or two at a time until the snake is seen to move away from the heat, returning periodically as it thermoregulates. Equally if it spends all its time at the cool area, or midway, and is never directly under the heat source then turn it down a degree or so. Let the snake tell you what it likes.

Having said that, there will be times in the snakes normal life cycle where it will use any heat it can, such as straight after a meal, or if it's in poor health, or sometimes females will seek out the heat as part of the egg development. Also, some species are nocturnal, so will spend all day under the heat source to store the energy for being active at night, when in the wild the temperatures will be a lot cooler, even for desert and tropical species. - Its all part of researching and monitoring your snakes needs, and then adjusting the environment accordingly.
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