TLDR This is a long post. Sorry. Basically I would like opinions/advice about using a small room to keep my 6 tub melamine snake rack in. The rack is currently hanging out with us in our living room and always has been.
Hi everyone! My name is Gina. This is my first post but I’ve been lurking for a good while! I love reading the posts in this forum. This is such an entertaining and informative platform. I learn so much from your posts and comments.
So, I have been keeping a few ball pythons for the past 4 years and they are awesome… Currently our snakes are in a 6 tub vertical melamine snake rack in our living room (ha!). Uses belly heat. I find that the rack thermostat is constantly working very hard just to maintain the warm side temperature and our heat system is really struggling to keep the cool side of the bins at an acceptable temperature and the electric bill is through the roof. Heating system was a year old when we bought our house but little did we know the unit is too small for our house so it’s constantly cycling off and on during cold days and hot days.
Anyway, I had a “brilliant” idea today and would really like to have you weigh in on it. I would like to have my own snake room. However, our only free “room” is tiny and there are no windows. There are no vents. One door of this room opens to our garage, the other opens to our kitchen. I can’t find any information, or advice online that would apply to me because of the size of the room. The dimensions are 4’5" x 8’2". First of all, is this even logistically possible? Would it stress the snakes or potentially impact them negatively? I’d love to hear thoughts and opinions. Can it be done? Is it a hard “no”? Ill effects? I would never jeopardize the well-being of my snakes. If it’s an awful idea, please save yourselves the agony of finishing reading the rest of this post and please just skip to the comment box if you would like to reply . If it is feasible, what type / wattage should the heat source be to keep the ambient temperature at an acceptable level? And which thermostat would you use? It would be way too cold in the room without an additional heat source to supplement the heat tape and keep rack temps good. With that said, I currently use a space heater near the rack to keep the humidity in check. It ran on the high range of the acceptable level
, so adding a space heater made a difference because the dry air keeps the humidity in check. I think the high humidity level was due to the ambient temp in the house being so much lower than the temps within the racks, rather than lack of holes in the tubs to allow circulation of air. Also, the rack is open on 3 sides which further adds to the issue.
Ok, thoughts? I trust and respect your opinions and will follow your advice. Thank you for reading this. Please take it easy on me, my idea may or may not be completely ridiculous, but in my mind it made enough sense to me to make this post haha.
Setting up and using a small room is feasible. I at one point had all of my reptiles in my laundry room (was about 6’×10’ but had a washer, dryer and water heater in the room as well). You’ll want to get an idea what that room fluctuates through the day on cold and hot days. It could be a Toaster oven during summer which would be terrible.
An option you can consider would be to enclosing the rack on the open sides and back with insulation and also consider attaching a door to the front. It would help hold on to the heat the racks already producing and wouldn’t have to fight with the room temperature as much.
Have to agree with @randall_turner_jr. First thing I would do is enclose the open 3 sides. Since you mentioned how much it fluctuates, I would use something solid, not just hang plastic over it. I would do this before anything else.
Having holes in the tubs might not be such a good idea in this situation. I would tape them off and test it. (if you have an empty one, use it for testing. Set it up like the others)
If you do move it, and using the same setup, there won’t be any issues with the snakes. They won’t know they are in another room.
As far as what size of heater to use, there is no way of answering it. You would just have to find something that is designed for the square footage you are covering, and physical size that will fit.
My only concern with using the room you mentioned, would be the temperature change when opening the door to the garage, on the very hot and cold days. But if this won’t be an issue then you could use it. I know some that keep everything in their garage year round. And it works for them.
Welcome! It’s really cool that you’re so concerned about doing right by your snakes. Yes, you can absolutely use that small room as a snake room. @d_y_python and I had the same thought about temperature fluctuations from opening the garage, but that can be addressed, and of course depends on your logistics. @randall_turner_jr is right on the money, you should insulate at least two of the open sides. That will keep your temps much more stable. You may like looking in at them. Since they’re in your living room, I’m thinking that’s a yes. I know BPs can do well completely enclosed, so you can do that if dictated by temperature needs. I would buy a sheet of styrofoam insulation, which is easy to cut to fit. I’ve got Dow blue styrofoam between the outside walls and my bins in bedroom, which tends to get too cold in the winter, too hot in the summer. It’s very helpful.
Wow that a bog first post (I tend to give lots of information too)
First welcome to the community, its the best place for advice and non judgemental comments.
[quote=“gina5678, post:1, topic:36354”]
I find that the rack thermostat is constantly working very hard just to maintain the warm side temperature and our heat system is really struggling to keep the cool side of the bins at an acceptable temperature and the electric bill is through the roof.
[/quote] Insulation of the racks might help. Are they open racks or melamine with only the front open.
either way, insulate them might help. I only use racks with the front open for that reason.
[quote=“gina5678, post:1, topic:36354”]
would like to have my own snake room. However, our only free “room” is tiny and there are no windows. There are no vents. One door of this room opens to our garage, the other opens to our kitchen. I can’t find any information, or advice online that would apply to me because of the size of the room
[/quote] is it possible to fit two extractor fans? one in and one out to increase ventilation?
My other concerns would be the day/night cycle… maybe having a lamp of some king on a timer would ‘sorta’ simulate a minor day night cycle to provide for your snakes natural day/night cycle needs?
I think it’s doable. You have some options too which is great! If you choose the room, you’ll have to come up with ways (and buy some things) to tweak it. (Along with general temp monitoring in there) and keep in mind how much you go in and out of your garage… Or you could try the rack insulation if you feel you’re particularly handy or know someone that is and are up for it!
Just my view, don’t worry about photo period. Mine breed all year round and I live in the UK with large photo period variations, they all breed fine. I even have a table lamp on a timer that comes on at the same time every day so i can see in the evenings in winter.
Thank you for the warm welcome. It’s so much different on this forum than on social media. I don’t even use social media anymore because it seems like anyone asking any sort of questions like mine gets torn down or made fun of for posing a “dumb” question.
This forum makes me feel comfortable to ask questions so you’ll be seeing more posts from me! You guys are awesome! I never really expected so many of you to reply to me, and I am very grateful for your suggestions! So, after reading the posts, I went to Home Depot, and did some shopping on Amazon and Craigslist. Here are my next steps. Please feel free to suggest changes or comment on my plan:
- Leave rack in living room, install the insulation i bought today and cover some of the holes in the bins to see how much it helps with humidity/heating difficulties
- Build a single-tub rack closed on 3 sides, add heat tape and thermostat, set it up in small room with substrate and water bowl. Add heater and its thermostat. And my paranoia kicked in so I’ll add the “security camera” and basic smoke alarm to the room as well. Overkill!!!
- Add wifi lightbulb with timer that I already had for daylight/night-time effect
- Closely monitor conditions of the room and tub over the next few days
- Make my decision based on temps, humidity and on any issues that come up unexpectedly
If my trial period exposes any big flaws I will at least be able to use the materials I bought elsewhere in the house and keep the snakies in our living room!
Thanks so much everyone!
Sounds like you have a good plan. Just remember to setup the testing rack as if there are snakes in it, water, bedding, hide. This way you can get a real reading. Keep us updated on the results.
As a side note on your comment about social media, I totally agree with you about the difference between that and this forum! This is the only place I visit as a Christian and a reptile lover. There are plenty of categories here to participate in!
I am retired so I have time to check in everyday! I just love it!
I might be late to this thread, but I have a small snake room in my house with custom-built rack units. They are open on three sides which allows for plentiful natural light. I use heat tape with Herpstat regulators. I also have a larger humidifier in the room (regular one from Target). I keep the door closed to the room. The temp in my house is usually 68-70 whereas the temp in my snake room is around 80 (with 40% humidity).
Please excuse the disarray. I’ve been rearranging and cleaning out closets.
@gem_state_pythons Thank you for sharing! Although your room is a little bigger, it looks like we both have the same ratio of enclosures vs. space I feel like it’s almost a skill to arrange and rearrange the racks to maximize the small space! My husband and I just built a rack specifically made to fit in a corner where I won’t trip over it…my snake room temps hold steady at 80 like yours but humidity fluctuates between 50-70% depending on whether or not any of them is in blue. It was quite a trial and error experience with correcting for humidity changes before my snakes moved in. I use Govee wifi thermometer/hygrometer to keep my paranoia in check while adjusting humidity. Summer is coming though and I’m a little nervous about what changes I will need to make since there is no air conditioning in this room. I’m sure I’ll figure out some way to maintain proper temps and humidity.