Corn Snake: Temperature – How To Get It Right
Don´t you just hate it when you are freezing and your house just doesn´t seem to get warm? I hate that, freezing all the time is really anoying and let me tell you something, your reptile doesn´t only hate it, too low temperatures can even kill it.
Most reptile keepers have problems with getting the right temperature in their reptile enclosure. Especially for beginners this topic can be pretty confusing. I mean, what should you get? A heat pad? A heat bulb? A ceramic emitter? There are tons of different possibilities to heat your corn snake enclosure.
In this article I am going to explain you what the right corn snake temperature is, how to get it and what you need for it. After reading this article, this topic won´t be confusing at all anymore. So let´s get right into it!
The Right Temp For Corn Snakes
To make it easy for you, I will separate this in a few different sections so you exactly know what temperature you need and when and where you need it.
The Ambient Temperature
This is the temperature in the whole terrarium. You want to have cool zones and warm zones in your corn snake enclosure so that your snake is able to get a higher body temperature and to cool down as well if it needs to. The ambient temperature should be from 75 °F (23 °C) to 81 °F (27 °C).
The Corn Snake Hot Spot
You need to create a hot spot for your corn snake. The hot spot is the warmest place in the terrarium. Corn snakes and other reptiles use that to get their body on temperature quickly whenever they need it. You will most probably see your snake under the hot spot every morning. The hot spot should get 86 °F (30 °C).
Corn Snake Night Temperature
You should create a day and a night cycle in your snake enclosure. The temperature should drop at night to around 68 °F (20 °C).
What You Need To Create The Right Temperature Easily
In order to create the right temperature, you need the right equipment. I know that there are tons of different methods to get the right temperature, but I want to make this easy for you. That´s why I show you the most common/ easiest ways for heating your corn snake enclosure.
The Heat Bulb
I know that most snake keepers prefer to get a heat mat, because they think their snake needs "belly heat" in order to digest their food. That´s not true. They need to get their body on temperature to digest food, that´s it. If the heat comes from above or from below is irrelevant.
I like to create natural habitats and that´s why I prefer to have heat bulbs, because in the wild the sun comes from above as well. Further I think that heating with a heat bulb is the easiest way to get the right temperature. Simply get a 100W incandescent bulb that gets warm, get a fixture for the heat bulb and place it on your tank´s screencover. If the temperature is too high or too low you can get a bulb with higher or lower wattage. However 100W is fine in most cases.
If you don´t have a screen cover, or if you use a box as enclosure get a lamp stand like this.
Get A Heat Mat
Don´t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with heat mats. Most people use them and have no problems at all. Heating with a heat bulb is just my preferred method.
So if you want to use a heat mat, make sure that you only cover a third of your enclosure´s bottom. Otherwise your corn snake won´t have any room to cool down. Further you must get a thermostat as well if you want to heat with a heat mat. Otherwise you won´t be able to regulate the temperature and the heat mat will get hotter and hotter. I recommend to get this heat mat and to get this thermostat.
Combine The Two
You can also combine a heat mat and a heat bulb. Most people do this in bigger enclosures. You can also do this if you don´t reach the recommended temperatures. Create a hot spot with a heat bulb and place the heat mat on the cooler side to make sure that you get at least 75 °F (23 °C) on that side.
Zoo Med Reptitherm Under Tank Heater
Heating with a heat mat is probably the easiest way to get the right temperature in the snake enclosure. This mat is highly rated and inexpensive.
Why You Need A Temp Gun
Please don´t get one of those plastic thermometers that you can stick inside your tank. Those thermometers are totally worthless. They don´t show the right temperature and the problem is that you can´t measure the temperature in different areas.
Get a Temp Gun instead. These guns are awesome, you can measure the temperature wherever you want in a matter of a second and you know exactly if everything is alright in your corn snake tank. Get a Temp Gun Here!
What You Should Know
You will most probably find tons of information on this topic and many people will say that you need higher temperatures or maybe even lower temperatures. That´s just the way it is in the reptile world. There are a lot of people with different opinions.
What I want you to know is that your corn snake is very hardy. I don´t want to tell you that you don´t have to take proper care of your snake because of that. All I want to say is that your corn snake won´t die if the temperatures vary a little bit from time to time. So don´t give yourself a hard time if your cool zone is 73 °F instead of 75 °F at times, for example. As long as this is not the case at all times everything is fine. Also read: how to increase your corn snake´s lifespan!
Corn snakes are pretty hardy, but that doesn´t mean you don´t need to take proper care of them. Getting the right temperature is not that hard if you know the right way. The two methods above are the easiest methods to create the correct temperatures, so you shouldn´t have any problems with that anymore.
Still, if you have any questions, leave a comment in the comment section below and I will be more than happy to help you out.
About the Author
Hey! I am Pierre. I own bearded dragons and many other reptiles for a very long time. I know from experience that it can be very hard to find the right information about a specific reptile, since there is so much misinformation out there.That´s why I created this website. To help other people to have the best time with their reptiles.