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Do you spot clean/check everyday?

What substrate are you useing? Your viv should not really smell.
I just use washing up liquid with a touch of bleach on the big cleans and for
spot cleaning i use 'Detol antibac' (the clear squirt bottle not the pine)

What snake do you have
 

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My vivarium has started to smell, it's pretty much getting unbearable.
How can I neutralise the smell?
Take everything out give the vivarium a good scrub with F10 or other reptile safe disinfectant leave to dry. Scrub all hides inside and out all plants and any other decor and leave to dry. Chuck wood things that can't be cleaned and get new. If using a heat mat turn off at mains and wipe with a damp disinfectant cloth on both sides and dry it. Put fresh substrate in and bath your snakes in warm water (check temp is around 28c with a digital thermometer). Make sure you spot clean daily and remove all wet/dirty bedding daily. If its a very old wooden vivarium then the seal round the edge may have gone resulting in poo and wee seeping into the wood in which case scrap the viv and get a new one as you will never remove the smell. :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I think it's because i bought the viv second hand.
It used to have dragons in it and it smelt a little (not alot) when i first got it... but

before I used, I scrubbed down the inside and outside with washing up liquid, then gave a heavy coating of VWP sterilising solution in a spray and left for a couple of hours.

Rinsed with hot/just boiled water.

Then left for a couple of days to air off and the smell appeared to disappear.

Using aspen substrait.

The sealant on the edge looks in good condition.


only had to spot clean once as i've only had the snake for a week.

corn snake.
 

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Check that poop hasn't gone under the heatmat, my female likes to do her business under her mat and if I don't notice right away it can smell absolutely vile. Even a little bit of liquid will start to stink after a few days.
 

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I think it's because i bought the viv second hand.
It used to have dragons in it and it smelt a little (not alot) when i first got it... but

before I used, I scrubbed down the inside and outside with washing up liquid, then gave a heavy coating of VWP sterilising solution in a spray and left for a couple of hours.

Rinsed with hot/just boiled water.

Then left for a couple of days to air off and the smell appeared to disappear.

Using aspen substrait.

The sealant on the edge looks in good condition.


only had to spot clean once as i've only had the snake for a week.

corn snake.

If the previous owners of the viv had dragons in it and did not keep it very clean it will probably always smell. If dragons are not kept very clean they do pong a fare amount. The smell has probably got into the sealant and the wood and I very much doubt it will stop smelling. Its probably starting to smell more because of the heating for the corn. Did you buy the viv with the corn? I am guessing that when you purchased the viv it had been empty for a while so the smell was not so strong but now you are adding heat it is increasing.
 

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am i right in thinking that bleach isnt good for cleaning up regarding smell?, I remember being told by a cleaner that they dont use bleach in toilets to clean urine thats missed the toilet as it only makes it worse in the long run?, something to do with the chemicals reacting with the urine?
 

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Bleach and urine release chlorine gas. That is the reaction you are speaking of. I would look to the ventilation. There are a lot of bad smells but almost all are caused by high levels of bacteria. Poor air flow allows bacteria to proliferate and increases their numbers. (think petri dish and basements) I would consider how air moves now the set up has changed to the needs of a snake over lizard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It seems having placed the heat mat under the vivarium (which is made of wood) was the cause of the problem.

It didn't smell burnt, but it did smell disgusting for some reason.

I have removed it and started usign a ceramic and this the smell has restored.
 

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I wonder if it was the varnish or wood treatment reacting to the heat, or something?

Glad you got it sorted, though. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't know, it smelt quite organic in composure. Like very pungent musky/horribleness.

The heater was clearly getting too hot - having to heat up more to penetrate the layer of wood.

It may well have been releasing smells which have been absorbed by the wood from previous use. It had bearded dragons in there before I got it.
But liekwise, it could have been the wood/varnish itself.

It's gone now anyway.

I honestly don;t know if i could have lived with that.
 

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I use repticard and my snake room has a smell of cardboard.
 

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It seems having placed the heat mat under the vivarium (which is made of wood) was the cause of the problem.

It didn't smell burnt, but it did smell disgusting for some reason.

I have removed it and started usign a ceramic and this the smell has restored.
Just for future reference for you. You must NEVER place the heat mat underneath a wooden vivarium you are at risk of causing a fire as the heat mat is likely to over heat. Heat mats can only be used under glass or a plastic tub but must still run on a thermostat.
 

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Hang a magic tree on the corner to help get rid of the smells. Acts as viv decor as well.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I've used heat mats under wooden vivs with no problems. By placing the viv on strips of wood the mat will just slide under the viv leaving a air gap so no weight is on the mat. The probe for the stat and the thermometer goes into the viv through a hole, to guage the correct temperature over where the mat is. This way you don't get urates spilling onto the mat.
 

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I've used heat mats under wooden vivs with no problems. By placing the viv on strips of wood the mat will just slide under the viv leaving a air gap so no weight is on the mat. The probe for the stat and the thermometer goes into the viv through a hole, to guage the correct temperature over where the mat is. This way you don't get urates spilling onto the mat.
The temperature of the heat mat when used like this must be extremely hot in order to get heat through the viv floor in to the viv. I am sure this can still be considered a fire hazard.
I do believe that manufactures of these heat mats do say that in wooden vivs they should be used inside the vivarium and not underneath.
 

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The temperature of the heat mat when used like this must be extremely hot in order to get heat through the viv floor in to the viv. I am sure this can still be considered a fire hazard.
I do believe that manufactures of these heat mats do say that in wooden vivs they should be used inside the vivarium and not underneath.
I haven't found this to be the case, the mat is fully on (just like with plastic or glass....and unstatted mats), the wood slowly heats up to the statted temperature and then the mat turns off, just like using it with plastic or glass tanks. The wood retains heat so the mat may even have less work? The wood only gets as hot as the temperature you have set........far less hot than the wood above most peoples ceramic bulbs.
 
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