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The goal: Design a habitat suitable for a hatchling/juvenile blood python.

Main issue: Controlling temperature and humidity

Progress so far: What I've got so far (all theoretical at this point) is a 36" x 12" x 12" (91 x 30 x 30 cm) glass tank with a cypress substrate. There will of course be a water bowl, hideouts and things in there. I'm planning to use a Raspberry Pi connected to a thermometer/hygrometer to control the heat source/fogger. See simple diagram here

Problem details: I am having trouble coming up with a suitable heat source. A heat lamp would be simple enough, but most of the research I've done suggests blood pythons don't like/need a lamp. Plus this would dry out the tank faster, I'm not sure if the fogger would have problems keeping up. I've thought about under tank heaters, but am worried that it wouldn't supply sufficient heat through the substrate. I've thought about a "side of tank" heater, but looks like that would just be an under-tank heater taped to the side of the tank, I'm not sure if that would present safety hazards or not. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  • One comment, that tank is too small for an adult blood python. Eventually it should be relocated to a bigger tank. – JAD Aug 1 '18 at 18:20
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    Of course, something like this would just be temporary. I imagine I would build a custom cage once he out grows this. – SuperStew Aug 1 '18 at 18:29
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Disclaimer, I linked a few example products. These were the first items I found, I do not own or sell these specific products, or am in any way affiliated with them.


There are roughly four ways to heat your tank:

  1. Heat lamp. Has a few problems, one of which is that it suck humidity from the air, but also an aesthetic one. If you are regulating the temperature by a thermostat, doing that with a light bulb will turn the light on and off. This is troublesome for both the visibility of the tank and the day-night cycle in the enclosure.

  2. A ceramic lamp. These lamps are screwed in ceramic light fixtures, but don't glow. They only create heat. This solves the aesthetic problems with the heat lamps. I'm not sure what exactly it does with humidity though.

  3. Heat mat. This is a mat placed underneath the enclosure to heat the substrate. If you make sure the table or whatever the enclosure stands on is decently isolated, most of the heat should go into the tank. You should be able to regulate the heat with this quite easily.

  4. Heat cable. This is somewhat similar to the heat mat, except that it is a cable. It is often used at the back-side of rack-like stacks of enclosures. I don't use them personally, but I know of many people who use thermostats to regulate a great number of enclosures (mostly in tub racks) that use heat cables at the back.

To summarize: Heat mats and cables are often used to heat enclosures without lighting, especially with thermostats. Mats generally go under the tank, cable on the side. Make sure that you always have a gradient in your tank. It should always have a warm side and a cooler side, so the snake can thermoregulate.


Random remark in parting: I have no experience with foggers, but when working with a plant spray, the spray wins against the humidity drain of a heat lamp, so it shouldn't be that big of a problem.

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  • This is actually the first i've ever heard of heat cable, I'm not sure how. After a quick google, it looks very handy, easy to re-configure as needed. With a longer one, i could wrap around the bottom and one of the sides. Thanks a lot man, this looks promising. – SuperStew Aug 1 '18 at 16:17

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