So this isn’t urgent, but I’d like to solve this puzzle.
(yes I know I’ve asked about this kind of thing before but I have a setup that is different and I’ve been fiddling with this and not sure about it)
I have a little PVC 31x16x16 that is meant to house my tiny house snake eventually, but I can’t seem to get it warm enough without turning it into a dessicating oven, even with thick bioactive substrate.
It is heated using a heat panel on the ceiling, but whenever I get that warm enough to heat up a hide on that side, the humidity plummets right back to like 48%. I don’t want to add any more ventilation as that dries it out even faster- I live in the driest part of the US, the Ski Country, and the indoor humidity in my house is 30-40%. There’s a small mesh section in the ceiling mostly blocked by a panel of LED grow light, but I could block it up further… There’s also slits in the back of the enclosure for air circulation.
I want to be able to offer a warm and a cool side, and that’s doable but never quite at the temps I want for this snake. The way I keep him now is 55-60% humidity, and a moist hide, and a lot of cool side cover, many small tunnels, and a warm hide heated from underneath so that even if the air gets to 68 he has a comfy place to be warmer. He cruises around at night and hides during the day.
Now, he’s flourishing in that setup, but with a PVC I will not be able to do undertank heating to make him his warm den in this new enclosure. That’s why I need to get it warmer, without drying it out.
Hello! I have zero knowledge on house snakes or husbandry so please take this with a grain of salt.
I know we’re working with entirely different substrate too but if I need a quick-ish boost in humidity my first step is to uncover their enclosure (a “darkening sheet” and a mild way of keeping the energy bills down) so that the ambient air clashing with the cozy temps of the bins it usually does the trick. My other thoughts would be a humidifier or larger water bowl under the heat source. Sorry if this doesn’t apply to you because of the husbandry differences and needs but I figured I’d give it a try anyway
Why is that? I use UTHs with both my PVC enclosures, I haven’t had any issues with it (though now I’m questioning if I shouldn’t be using those for some reason??).
You could add a water bowl with a larger surface area and put it near the warm end. More evaporation will add more humidity. You could also mix some damp sphagnum moss into the substrate. I did that last winter (when it gets really dry in my home), and it helped quite a bit. I just soaked some moss in a bowl of water, wrung it out slightly, and sprinkled it around the enclosure.
Oh it’s just that this pvc is expanded board and pretty insulating and thick. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get it to work Under Tank but I’ll try it.
I can try putting a water dish on the warm side too. There’s already sphagnum moss in there, mixed in and under the leaf litter, but I think I will also be adding a Mister. Maybe then we can get warmth AND moisture.
Yeah, you might also just have to mist from time to time. Depending on the time of year, I have to mist anywhere from once a week to 3x per day to keep my blood python at around 70%. (Our summers are relatively humid, but our winters are often quite dry.)
Covering up more of the top mesh would also help. I ended up covering most of the mesh cutout on the top of my enclosure with foil, and that’s helped quite a bit.
Thanks @jawramik and @gina5678 !
I think a combination of these good ideas is likely to help, starting with the Mister machine. I got my friends over tonight to help me set up the little mist machine I have, and we shall see if that can keep things from drying out too entirely when it’s warm in there.
What enclosure is it? The dimensions are so weird lol. I don’t have much to add but I just had to ask
LOL I think those are them but I’ll have to double check! It’s one of the smaller pvcs offered by Kages
Ah okay it’s 30x16x16. I thought it was close to that because instead of a stand, I bought a sturdy but dirt cheap desk on wayfair to hold it- Useful thing, keeps supplies in the drawers and underneath it.
It will be plenty of room for my extremely small Black African House Snake, who likes clutter and not open spaces, so I am in the process of learning to garden and NOT kill the plants that I have living in there. I want to get some flowering african violets going so he can live in pretty flowers, but of course first priority is dialing it in to a more stable environment so the plants don’t just kick the bucket.
It’s got isopods but the springtails I put in there vanished and I think it was too dry for them. The mister should help.
I use heat tape for all my PVC enclosures and it works wonders. Definitely try it out. You will have to play with temps on your thermostat but you will find the sweet spot easily.
@athleticshoelace, you will notice that humidity doesn’t dissipate as fast with under tank heaters. That is due to the substrate being heated as well. When it’s heated, it releases humidity. I do want to ask though, is your LED light going to be inside the enclosure or just on top of it? I know they produce a lot less heat, but they can produce some, but not enough to hurt him in any way.
Being as this is a Kages enclosure, does yours have the optional belly heat recess or no? If not, you might need to clear out the enclosure and use a router to remove some material on the outside of the bottom panel so that the heat mat isn’t trying to heat through the thick PVC.
This is a good point. My AP enclosures are 1/2 inch PVC and they heat completely fine. But yes, I would check out how thick the PVC is. Very good catch @noodlehaus.
Yeah I think this enclosure might have the proper Recess for under tank heat, so i’ve ordered some better feet for the enclosure and will be installing the square UTH mat that’s meant to go there. We’ll see if I can’t make a nice lil warm burrow.
Sangfroid is used to lower “ambient” air temps in his enclosure, with a heated hide available at all times if he feels cold, and he seems to thrive that way so I want to replicate that over again in this bigger bioactive.
Good news! With one mishap I have gotten the Mister system to work. It operates best from a spot on top of the enclosure, so that the pump doesn’t have much work to do. I’ve got it sitting up there inside a bin so if it leaks the water can’t go anywhere. Peace of mind is in a disaster-proofed plan.