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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I live in Scotland and the temperature is beginning to plummet! I have a lovely 3 year old corn snake, who is super healthy and curious:) However, I am slightly concerned about my temperatures, and I'm looking for some advice.

I have a large wooden/glass vivarium, and I keep my temperatures controlled with a thermostat and heat mat (on the warm side). I also have a thermometer in the middle of the vivarium so I can gauge the general temperature. In the past few days as it has become much colder the thermometer has been reading 20 degrees celsius, which is pretty low and is really concerning me. I have previously lived in a much newer (and warmer) house, and unfortunately the insulation in Victorian buildings is terrible. How should I go about increasing the general temperature without turning the thermostat up? The heat mat is already extremely warm, and I want to increase the general temperature of the entire vivarium.

Secondly, despite the low temperature, my corn snake has been in her cold hide for the past few days. Should I just leave her to go to the warm side when she wishes to increase her temperature? Or should I move the location of the hide on the cold side? I have watched a few videos where some snake owners remove the cold hide during the winter, because their snakes like the cold side so much. Any suggestions or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Hello,

I live in Scotland and the temperature is beginning to plummet! I have a lovely 3 year old corn snake, who is super healthy and curious:) However, I am slightly concerned about my temperatures, and I'm looking for some advice.

I have a large wooden/glass vivarium, and I keep my temperatures controlled with a thermostat and heat mat (on the warm side). I also have a thermometer in the middle of the vivarium so I can gauge the general temperature. In the past few days as it has become much colder the thermometer has been reading 20 degrees celsius, which is pretty low and is really concerning me. I have previously lived in a much newer (and warmer) house, and unfortunately the insulation in Victorian buildings is terrible. How should I go about increasing the general temperature without turning the thermostat up? The heat mat is already extremely warm, and I want to increase the general temperature of the entire vivarium.

Secondly, despite the low temperature, my corn snake has been in her cold hide for the past few days. Should I just leave her to go to the warm side when she wishes to increase her temperature? Or should I move the location of the hide on the cold side? I have watched a few videos where some snake owners remove the cold hide during the winter, because their snakes like the cold side so much. Any suggestions or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
As long as the basking temp is 28-30c during the day, you've nothing to worry about. I would replace the mat with a ceramic lamp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not getting above 25/6 during the day, which I'm really worried about. The temperature here is about 9 degrees celsius during the day.

I have previously considered the lamp, so I will look into this. Thanks for the response:)
 

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As a temperate species, corns do naturally brumate. This is a form of hibernation but not to the extreme that mammals go to.
This is why your corn is staying at the cool end.
Stop feeding.
Two weeks after the last feed, start reducing the temperature. This will take a couple of weeks. Then pop the snake in a small dark box with plenty of aspen or similar to Bury itself in, a bowl of fresh water and keep at no more than 15c in the dark for 3 months.
Once a week change the water.
After three months, reverse the process, so gradually increase the temperature, but by bit every day, for a couple of weeks.
Once at the right temperature, offer a small meal, such as a small mouse.
Then back to normal feeding.
I would agree that you need to bin off the mat and go for either a spot lamp or a ceramic on the right stat - pulse or dimmer for a ceramic, dimmer for a spotlamp.
 

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Mine does the same

My female corn snake is 3 years as well and rarely comes out of her cold spot. She seems to be happy there and feeds normally and regularly so I am not too worried.

When I last took her out, I placed her back towards the basking spot and she was on there for maybe one minute before moving back to her cold hide.
I think it might just be preference - I made sure to leave my heater on during the day/night so that the temp won't drop below 20 degrees in my room.
 

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Heat mats do not warm the ambient temperatures, hence why you are getting low readings in all other areas around the enclosure. Ceramics /bulbs will heat the ambient temperature but as already stated, corns are very hardy and will do well as long as there is a hot basking spot of around 30c.

Sent from my EML-L29 using Tapatalk
 
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As a temperate species, corns do naturally brumate. This is a form of hibernation but not to the extreme that mammals go to.
This is why your corn is staying at the cool end.
Stop feeding.
Two weeks after the last feed, start reducing the temperature. This will take a couple of weeks. Then pop the snake in a small dark box with plenty of aspen or similar to Bury itself in, a bowl of fresh water and keep at no more than 15c in the dark for 3 months.
Once a week change the water.
After three months, reverse the process, so gradually increase the temperature, but by bit every day, for a couple of weeks.
Once at the right temperature, offer a small meal, such as a small mouse.
Then back to normal feeding.
I would agree that you need to bin off the mat and go for either a spot lamp or a ceramic on the right stat - pulse or dimmer for a ceramic, dimmer for a spotlamp.
None of the four I've kept have ever tried to brumate, & all have fed all winter.
 

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My female corn snake is 3 years as well and rarely comes out of her cold spot. She seems to be happy there and feeds normally and regularly so I am not too worried.

When I last took her out, I placed her back towards the basking spot and she was on there for maybe one minute before moving back to her cold hide.
I think it might just be preference - I made sure to leave my heater on during the day/night so that the temp won't drop below 20 degrees in my room.
My current corn, a male Carolina called Ziggy, stays in his hide at the cold end all day & only comes out at night- & even then not every night, except when I feed him during the day. Then he comes out, eats & goes back in his hide. Previous corns I've kept have been out during the day whether I fed them or not.
 

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My current corn, a male Carolina called Ziggy, stays in his hide at the cold end all day & only comes out at night- & even then not every night, except when I feed him during the day. Then he comes out, eats & goes back in his hide. Previous corns I've kept have been out during the day whether I fed them or not.
yes totally!

I sleep during the night so there is a high chance that she is just chilling there when I am not looking or not around.
 

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yes totally!

I sleep during the night so there is a high chance that she is just chilling there when I am not looking or not around.
If I get up in the night or stay up late, Ziggy's rarely out. If he is, he dashes back in his hide.
 

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And all the corns I have kept have done.
And a bit confused as you liked my post about corns brumating then say yours have never done so!
That's because I agree with everything else you said.
 

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Corn snakes are one of those species where some individuals will brumate every year whether you want them to or not, and others are happy staying active all year. This is because they have a range that encompasses areas that remain very mild during winter as well as those that get cool. So some populations will be forced to brumate, and others might just endure a period of cooler temperatures whilst remaining active.

Personally I prefer to brumate Corn snakes as Ian14 has described above, there is some evidence that it leads to longer lifespans in at least some genera (Pantherophis being one of those genera).

If the snake obviously is trying to brumate (and a lot of snakes are starting to prepare for brumation about now) then it is best to let it do so.

Here is a very abridged guide on how I go about this:

https://www.reptiletalk.net/brumati...BCagagSnL6nPfDVPPT3YqbDPEQZh28IXKiNfOmrmrrQ3c
 
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Some excellent advice from my learned friends above but if you are still unsure or would like some reassurance, I am in Scotland too and depending on where you are, I am happy to come over and cast an eye over your enclosure if you wish - I am in Stirling?
 

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I have just two corns; a rescue/rehomed Male regular/normal which I bought last year with a viv on Ebay.
Estimated to be about 10-12 years, was with a young family for about a year or two and purportedly from a petting zoo before that. He has a strong feed response, and rather entertaining character, although he does sometimes mistake me for food :bash:

He has also ceased using his 'warm hide', possibly since his last shed, or at least I have not seen him there.
I didn't brumate him in 2019 but I did reduce feeds, as he was rather chunky.

He is currently in shed and I swear he's been bluing up for two weeks. He might end up brumating this year ;-)

The other corn is a female Teserra CB20, which I won't try to brumate until she is bigger.
 
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