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Thread: Lets Talk Basking Spots (or lack there of)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Default Lets Talk Basking Spots (or lack there of)

    Hey Everyone,

    Something that has come up in a few other discussions is the idea of using only ambient heat without supplemental basking areas.

    So right off the bat, this is where I stand. I provide basking areas for all my animals. Babies to large adults. I am NOT saying this is the only way to do things but I will explain why I do this.

    Reptiles are meant to thermoregulate. It is how they are built. Whether after a large meal, growing follicles are just because some like to be warmer than others. I feel providing a temperature gradiant is important to the overall health, well being, and natural behavior of the animals we keep. I also believe it can aid in boosting an immune response and helping to fight off infections.

    This is by no means set in stone and I know others have and continue to do things different. Just something for you all to chew on.

    It is our responsibility as keepers to continue to learn, grow and do the best we can to provide the best care we can for the animals we keep.

    Looking forward to hearing what others have to say!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Conroe, TX
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    1,197

    Default Re: Lets Talk Basking Spots (or lack there of)

    I agree with you for the most part, While I'm not against people using strictly ambient temps as it has been proven that the animals remain healthy however I personally prefer to give my collection more of a thermal gradient.

    I keep all my animals in racks and all my racks with the exception of 1 that's not currently in use (has side heating) have belly heat. I keep my ambient temps in my room 78ish at night and typically never goes over 81 in the day. The heat tape is set to a thermostat to achieve the higher range temps which I typically only see being utilized during digestion and gestation. All other parts of the year I rarely ever see them staying on the basking portion of the tub.

    When I respond to threads I often times mention basking isn't required but could be provided. I'm always concerned if I tell them a basking is, they provide too large of a basking area where the animal can't truly thermo regulate and over heat the animals, sadly I have seen this happen more often than I would like to admit.

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    CBE

  5. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    TBC
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    Default Re: Lets Talk Basking Spots (or lack there of)

    We use basking areas for our adults & some sub-adults, but juveniles and babies are on ambient only. We do have the option to utilize supplemental heat in our juvenile racks, and I'm curious to see whether doing so will make a discernible difference.

    Nick, what type of thermostat are you using for younger snakes? Do you feel it is necessary to split heating up into zones on such racks, with separate probes to accommodate the difference in temperature between boxes closer to the floor vs. those closer to the top of the rack?

  6. #4
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    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: Lets Talk Basking Spots (or lack there of)

    I use herpstat I's for all my racks. Just one probed is used for the younger animals. I do not offer hotspots as warm for them as I do for adults. Just talking right around 82 (ambient in my room is 78-80). It isn't a significant temperature increase but for smaller animals I feel even the smallest bump up is felt by them.

    My bottom layer racks are insulated with 1/2" rigid foam board and I found that doing this creates much better temperature consistency throughout the rack.

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Catasauqua, PA
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    20

    Default Re: Lets Talk Basking Spots (or lack there of)

    In the past, I had raised my boas with ambient heat only. I kept my room to a consistent 82 degrees Fahrenheit. They eat, shed, pooped, and behaved normally; yet I questioned my own methodology. I wondered to myself; Even though captive breeding had lead to improvements in behavior and color on the genetic level, did it have an effect on their temperature needs (being that they were so far removed from founding imported stock)?

    I then began to offer a hot spot of 86 and observed how they would consistently visit the hot spot on days they had eaten. I had read an article that stated a study was conducted and that 82-86 was the ideal temperature for a snake to digest a "LARGE" meal. I found that problematic because we don't have wild snakes that are eating one HUGE meal and then potentially waiting months to feed again. But I digress; after observing them visiting the spot after they ate, or right before a shed, I decided I would continue to keep offering it.

    As I came to keeping bloods, I thought to myself; do I need to offer a hot spot for these pythons or would ambient temperature suffice? Being that they are kept slightly cooler than other snakes, I thought I would try ambient temperature with the first blood I acquired.

    During the time of ambient temperatures, my blood ate, shed, and pooped as normal. The one difference I did notice was that the prey item took an extra day or so to digest. I had read that they are slow digesters so I chalked it up to that. I offer all my bloods a hot spot at this time and observed that they did use it after eating, right before shed, and seemingly using it to move their water bowl to create some humidity. (I do lightly mist them every so often, they are not kept wet, or even damp).

    So to wrap this up, I do consistently offer a small hot spot for my bloods to retreat to if they wish.

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