The Corn Snakes Forum
Welcome to The Corn Snakes Forum

Part of The Corn Snakes Site




All times are UTC [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Heat Mat Safety
PostPosted: Thu 14th January 2010, 5:00 pm 
Offline
Regular Poster
Regular Poster

Joined: Thu 3rd December 2009, 7:35 pm
Posts: 20
Hi, I went to my local snake and reptile dealer today to get a new heat mat, he advised me to use a heat lamp instead has there have  been problems with heat mats setting on fire, or even electrocuting a snake if they got wet, has any member of this forum ever experience these problems and are there any safe guards against this type of thing happening, please advise i am a newbie and i would'nt want to do my cornsnake any harm. Thanks Steve


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Heat Mat Safety
PostPosted: Thu 14th January 2010, 5:28 pm 
Offline
Regular Poster
Regular Poster
User avatar

Joined: Mon 11th January 2010, 3:45 pm
Posts: 106
Location: South East, USA
Gender: Male
I do not know from experience, but here's my take on it....

The heat mat is an electrical device.  If improperly used, could over heat.  Being the electronics major I was back in college, I do not see how it could kill your snake through electrocution.  I'm sure there are more high powered models, but I have the ZooMed for a 20 gallon tank and it's only 8 watts.  I have not hooked anything up that has given me the amps it's consuming, but I'd imagine they are rather low.  Maybe it could kill a snake, but there would have to be direct contact from the crack in the viv to the hole in the mat.  Water, of course, could create this direct contact though.

Reading online, I have seen people attach the UTH to a tile and place that under their tank.  I believe it's an unnecessary precaution because you'll just have to turn the current higher to get the desired temp in the viv.  

The determining factors would come down to if the mat has ever been moved (this could cause instability in the mats protective outside) and the condition of the viv.  

Now hopefully someone who is experienced will chime in.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Heat Mat Safety
PostPosted: Thu 14th January 2010, 6:52 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Thu 3rd May 2007, 2:22 am
Posts: 6093
Location: Dorset, England
Gender: Male
Um, for those unfamiliar with UTH, it stands for Under Tank Heater and is the commonly used term for heatmat over in the USA.  This cos they mostly use glass aquarium tanks for keeping snakes in.

The reason (I think) some people use a plastic floor mat in conjunction with a glass tank setup is that the mat itself can get pretty hot and if in direct contact with the glass bottom of a tank, it has been known for these to crack the glass, due to uneven heating.  With a wooden or chipboard vivarium, you place the mat on the floor inside the viv and tape it down round the edge.

Under normal usage and provided it is not folded or bent too much, then there is no reason why a heatmat should not continue to function perfectly for years and years.

The one proviso I would add to that is that you should cover the area where the cable enters the mat with a piece of duct tape.  This is the only part that is not completely waterproof.  I know this, because, many years ago, Shaggy did a watery poop in that area and a few minutes later there was a bang and a puff of smoke where the liquid had got into it and shorted the  cable and blew the fuse in the plug.  So I had to get the snake out of the viv pronto, cos of the stinking smoke and then get a new heat mat...  And that one I covered the connector area with tape (as well as taping it down round the edge anyway) and it is still being used today...


Edit:  Oh and I forgot to say...  The BEST way for a corn snake to keep warm is with a heatmat, because corn snakes do not bask under sunlight - they are a nocturnal snake - they warm themselves by coming out of hiding at dusk and sitting on warm ground previously heated by the sun.  

Thus they get their heat through their bellies from the ground, not through their backs from the sun - so, obviously, a heatmat is a better way to warm them in captivity than a light, which imitates the sun.

A light in a corn snakes viv is for one reason and one only - and that is for YOU to see the snake better.  The snake could not care less whether there is a light in there or not.  And, unlike some other reptiles which need a UV light for health reasons, corn snakes do not need one.

_________________
The Corn Snakes Site
http://www.snakepictures.co.uk/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Heat Mat Safety
PostPosted: Thu 14th January 2010, 7:46 pm 
Offline
Regular Poster
Regular Poster

Joined: Thu 3rd December 2009, 7:35 pm
Posts: 20
I did forget to mention that my VIV his made of wood, i would also like to know the min/max temp on the floor of the VIV at both Hot/Cold ends of the VIV.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Heat Mat Safety
PostPosted: Thu 14th January 2010, 8:19 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Thu 3rd May 2007, 2:22 am
Posts: 6093
Location: Dorset, England
Gender: Male
On the cold end there is no heating - so it will be more or less room temperature...  65F-75F or 18-23C

On the warm end, if you lay the probe of a digital thermometer on the surface of the substrate (woodchips or similar about 1/2 to 1 inch deep), then the temperature you are looking for is in the range of 82-86F  or 28-30C  and no more than 31C or 90F.  It is better for a snake, in general, to be a little cool rather than too hot.

_________________
The Corn Snakes Site
http://www.snakepictures.co.uk/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Heat Mat Safety
PostPosted: Thu 14th January 2010, 8:36 pm 
Offline
Regular Poster
Regular Poster

Joined: Thu 3rd December 2009, 7:35 pm
Posts: 20
Thanks Steve you have been very helpful


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron



The Corn Snakes Forum is run in conjunction with The Corn Snakes Site
and is hosted by 4UHosting in the UK




Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group