Heatmat Stat/ Temps Questions - Reptile Forums

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Old 07-02-2020, 10:02 AM
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Default Heatmat Stat/ Temps Questions

Morning all, newbie to the forum and also to Snakes!


I'm keeping my baby corn in the Exo Terra Large Flat Faunarium (this was recommended by my reptile shop), with a Pro Rep 7W heatmat and a Micro Climate 100 stat. I'm using Lignocel for bedding (no deeper than 1cm) and I've given Snakey the choice of 3 hides, cool end, warm end and right in the middle, along with various toilet roll tubes for security.

Heat mat is situated underneath the tank with the stat on top of the mat, therm probes are in cool end and one in the warm hide (I use a temp gun daily too).

I got a bit worried about keeping the mat on top of a wooden table, so I turned a wire metal cutlery drawer, and am using that to give an airflow gap (probably too much though!)


I am worrying over everything like a brand new parent! I've noticed that my temps in the warm end never seem to get high enough. They hit around 30 Degrees C, but then overnight when I come downstairs in the morning, they've dropped to around 26/7. I'd like to keep them at a constant 30 on the warm side, but as I understand this is normal with on/off stats to vary. The dial on the stat doesn't seem to correlate to the correct temp, so I go off of the temp right above the mat on the enclosure floor, and measure that with temp gun and adjust the dial accordingly.



So, after all that waffling here are my questions:


1) Is it safe to have the stat turned up all the way to 35 degrees to bump it up a bit (whilst monitoring the temps, it never actually reaches the number on the dial). I wasn't sure if having the stat the whole way up would be dangerous in any way? I mean, I'm thinking that if it was dangerous it wouldn't be designed to go to that temp, but I'd just like to double check.


2) My little guy has fed with me twice so far and has taken it like a champ both times, but I've noticed that he stays in his cool hide all the time. I always thought snakes needed heat to digest properly, and with his cool side being around 22, I have been getting worried about that. Of course, the Snake probably knows what he needs better than I do, but it has been worrying me. I have checked the warm side temps with a gun and they are never exceding recommended temps. Even when they're down to around 26 which I consider too cold for him, he doesn't seem to seek heat? Have I just got a weirdo?
Sorry for all the waffle, but I wanted to get all of my concerns out in the hopes that you guys here may be able to advise and/or ease my mind some, thanks.
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Old 07-02-2020, 11:18 AM
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There is a good selection of sticky posts at the top of the forum on Cornsnake care and heating... have a read of those and see if they answer your questions
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Old 07-02-2020, 11:30 AM
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Hi Malc, thanks for your reply. Yes, I have been having a browse through those and they are very helpful indeed. I guess I just need some extra reassurance that I'm doing everything right for the little guy. I'm mostly concerned about him not wandering around much and sticking in the cold hide. I will take another look at those stickies though
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Old 07-02-2020, 12:03 PM
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1. As long as the temp measured by you gun is correct then the dail on the stat is not as important.


2. As long as there is a gradiant in temperature i.e cold side and hot side across the tank then the snake will find where it needs to be, wether that is for digesting or for basking etc. Providing the hides are the same size then he will be choosing based on heat not if he preferes one over the other/feele more secure etc.
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Old 07-02-2020, 12:11 PM
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Thank you Herpster Yes, the temp is measured by a digital probe and then double checked with a temp gun and they match up. Yeah, I did wonder if it was hide preference, so I've added a few that are a bit different but around a similar size. I guess I just need to trust that he knows what he needs best and I need to stop worrying like a new mother
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Old 07-02-2020, 12:21 PM
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You've got the exact same setups I'm using for my young corn snakes. The reason you'll be getting a few degrees fluctuation is your ambient temps drop at night which isn't a problem for corn snakes. Also because it's an on/off stat you won't get a constant temperature from the heatmat. Dimmer or pulse stats keep the temperature more stable and there is usually very little fluctuation but mat stats are fine.
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Old 07-02-2020, 12:22 PM
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Don't get hung up on temperatures... Provided you create a hot spot at one end of the enclosure that is around the 28-34c range depending on species, and the enclosure is large enough to provide a cooler area to allow the snake to thermal regulate then that's all that is required. Never go by the dial on the thermostat, using a thermometer to set up the hot spot is the only way to ensure that reaches the desired value
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Old 07-02-2020, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malc View Post
Don't get hung up on temperatures... Provided you create a hot spot at one end of the enclosure that is around the 28-34c range depending on species, and the enclosure is large enough to provide a cooler area to allow the snake to thermal regulate then that's all that is required. Never go by the dial on the thermostat, using a thermometer to set up the hot spot is the only way to ensure that reaches the desired value
This ^^

Shock, horror, I have my corns heat mats at 29-31c. I actually forgot care sheets state the magic number is 28c.

When I move them to a vivarium they will have a choice of hot spot basking areas and some will be a lot higher than 31c and some lower than 28c.
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Old 07-02-2020, 12:32 PM
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Thanks all, much appreciated yes, I think I'm probably just over analysing my setup as I'm a new Snake owner. Hoping to see him out and about today, I'm gonna add some backdrop to the sides and back to make it feel a bit more snuggly and secure for him. I also don't have much of a regular daylight cycle myself (insomnia/depression) so I've bought an overhead LED to sit outside of the faunarium and got a timer so I can give a 12 on 12 off light cycle. Didn't want to set it up until tomorrow though just in case the movement and light stresses him out at first as he was fed on Weds, don't want to risk a regurge!


As my partner tells me "You need to chill, he's fine and just doing snake stuff"
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Old 07-02-2020, 12:49 PM
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You're partner is right

You're not alone, quite a few of us are in the same boat as far as the insomnia and depression goes - and having a focus such as the snake is good therapy.

It's a bit difficult to advise on the set up without seeing images of what you have. Provided the snake has access to a hot spot, cool spot, and cover at either spots then it will soon settle in. The light will help, but if the room has a window and gets natural light then this would be sufficient for now. When he grows a bit and you place him into a larger enclosure then you can look at adding lighting including UV at a later stage.

Too frequent handling causes more stress then adding light etc, so initially just let it settle in and get use to routine.
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