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I've just taken in a Western hognose snake from somebody who was moving and wanted rid of it. This person was a friend-of-a-friend and I had no direct dealing with them. I asked my friend if there was a thermostat with the heat mat and she said yes, but when it arrived I realised she thought I meant thermometer (and only a dial one at that) - she doesn't know much about reptiles and it's my fault for not checking more thoroughly.

I've never used a heat mat without a thermostat. I did an experiment once, put the heat mat under the tank and left it, within an hour the temp at the bottom of the cage was 110F. I'm really not comfortable doing this without a thermostat but obviously I can't go and buy one at 9:30pm. How do I get the temps right without one? I know some of you do it successfully so could you give me some tips? I will go and buy one first thing tomorrow morning but for now I can't.

Oh there's also a light, but the fitting isn't attached to the lid of the vivarium. The light fitting is on a wire with a plug and it's just been lying against the cage side. I could use the light as a heat source instead of the heat mat if that'd be easier. I have a 40w red bulb and a 60w white bulb that I could use.

Other info - the cage is 3ft long and 1ft wide and the heat mat is about 12 x 10 inches.

Thanks everyone
 

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If you are really that worried, I am sure that for tonight he will be fine without a heat mat on... how cold does your house get?

I almost always use no viv heating at all at night inside my house because the ambient of the room is already good enough. Obviously on a really cold night the viv heating will get turned on by the thermostats but this hasn't happened yet...

As long as your house isn't freezing, you should be fine.

But also consider, if this snake has been kept for xx years with a heat mat and no thermostat, and has no burns, it is unlikely that one more night is going to result in an accident, as the heat mat most likely doesn't get particularly hot - different makes and sizes reach different temps.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I did think about that, I've checked him over and can't see any burns. I jut personally don't want to take the risk, a £30 stat is well worth the life of a snake. He obviously goes to toilet on his mat because it was covered in old shit (I've cleaned it) and smells of pee. So it's not just the heat but frying the snake that I'm worried about. I've put the heat mat on (away from the viv) and I'm going to see how hot it gets.

Temps in my room are 65 - 70, I think I'll put the heating on low to make sure it doesn't drop in the night.

Thanks for the advice. :D
 

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Will the heatmat go vertically against the outside of the tank for tonight? Shouldn't be able to burm himself that way, and it'll be warm enough for one night.
 

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do you have a mat already in use for another animal?
You could just use a double plug adapter and run two mats from the same stat for one night.
65-70 isn't a big drama anyway, i'd leave it off for tonight and get stat in the morning.
 
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