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Thread: Basking light/heat mat question

  1. #1
    Never shed
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    Basking light/heat mat question

    Hey All,

    Should I keep both my basking lights and UTHs on a rheostat? Or, just keep the UTHs on the rheostat and plug the basking lights into a conventional outlet and set them on a timer/turn them on in the mornings and off in the evenings?

    I have one garter in a 40 breeder and a smaller garter in a 10 gallon. I plan to cohabitate them when they catch up in size. Each tank is set up separately with its own equipment but in the same manner.

    I was only using a basking heat lamp and UVB bulb for both snakes for a while. The lights are connected to a rheostat/thermometer set to about 88 degrees Fahrenheit. I noticed that the lights would sometimes shut off in the summer, but mostly remained on during the day.

    Now that it's winter and bitterly cold here in Minnesota, I added an appropriately sized UTH for each tank. I connected both the UTH and basking lights to a rheostat/thermometer. I'm noticing that with this combo of a lamp and UTH, the rheostat is triggered more often and shuts things off more frequently.

    I am using a digital thermometer and the temps in both tanks read well -- 86 to 88 degrees on the hot side and low 70s on the cool side. It also tends to read warm but a little cooler under the basking light (on a log or fake plant) than on the tank bottom right over the UTH. (I have several layers of newspapers on top.)

    My small snake has never been one for basking out in the open much, but would hide out in its plastic plant. Now it seems to favor staying on or near the UTH.

    My bigger garter has always been big on basking, but now usually doesn't bask much because her light isn't on as often.

    Thoughts? Thanks.

  2. #2
    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: Basking light/heat mat question

    Keep the heater on the rheostat. It is the most dangerous part of the setup.
    MNGuy likes this.
    Steve
    5 awesome kids!
    Emmy, Kale, Molly, Gabby, Hailee
    They are not just snakes. They're garter snakes.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/thamnophis14?feature=mhee

  3. #3
    Never shed
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    Country: United States

    Re: Basking light/heat mat question

    Quote Originally Posted by guidofatherof5 View Post
    Keep the heater on the rheostat. It is the most dangerous part of the setup.
    Got it. Thank you.

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