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Thread: Redtail Boa Tank Setup Mistakes

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Redtail Boa Tank Setup Mistakes

    Hi, everyone, first post, and need some help.

    I have a redtail I bought (rescued!) a year ago. Snake was neglected, starved, etc. I bought a new 80 gallon glass tank , got a screen top, and have big driftwood pieces and aspen bedding. I have a big, heavy Pyrex bowl for water. The boa eats frozen rats regularly, has filled out nicely, loves to be held, and seems very happy.

    Here is the problem part. I have the tank placed on top of a big maple dresser. I put an 11" x 11" Fluker heat mat under the tank on the opposite side of the water.

    Today, I noticed a burning smell coming from the tank. The heat mat had gotten way too hot! It cracked and scorched the top of the wooden dresser! Lucky, the snake was not injured, and was resting on the water side of the tank.

    Okay, I don't want to burn my house down.

    I was thinking of placing 3/8 plastic feet at the corners and middle of the tank to get it off the wood and taping a new heat mat in place.

    Then my buddy suggested I just go with an overhead infrared heat lamp on top of the metal cover.

    So I wanted to ask you folks what you thought the smart thing to do was.
    Last edited by paul32579; 08-01-2010 at 10:42 PM. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    Senior Member CanadianKeeper's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Ontario Canada
    metal stand, overhead heat lamps can zap out humidity pretty good if its a larger watt.
    Buy a metal stand then you dont have to worry about fire hazards.
    Or did the heatpad not come with spacers for your tank ? The exoterra heat mats come with little plastic feet for your corners of your tank to raise it off what ever you have it on. Also so your not squising the cord.

  3. #3
    Member OrangeCrsh28's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Along with that, do you happen to be using a thermostat to control the heating pad?
    A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    I would get a "dimmer" switch for the heat mat so you can turn it down.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I use both a UTH and an above heating lamp for my 75 gallon tank and have never had an issue with keeping it humid. Frankly how are you keeping a tank that size warm with just using a UTH? I would suggest using a heat lamp and using a substrate that will hold humidity better just in case it does dries out.
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