heating Vivarium
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Old 12-05-2003, 12:42 AM   #1
HERPER
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Im looking for different ways to heat a vivarium
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Old 12-05-2003, 12:55 AM   #2
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Under tank Heating Pad
Aquarium Heater in Water resevoir
Heat Lamp

There are a few idea's to start...
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Old 12-05-2003, 08:48 AM   #3
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How effective are the undertank heating pads
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Old 12-05-2003, 07:05 PM   #4
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To be honest I dont know... I've never used em. My house is hot enough that I dont need to heat my fish tanks or terrariums
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Old 12-11-2003, 04:22 PM   #5
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I have used normal old heating pads from wal-mart and they work good. They even have a low, med, and high setting for about $10.
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Old 12-14-2003, 10:38 AM   #6
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I use "REPTITHERM U.T.H. BY: ZOO-MED" and I will never try another again. Others I have tried are the "EXO-TERRA" and the generic one that just says "UNDER TANK HEAT PAD".

The "Zoo-Med" heating pad will heat your pad up to 100F if you let it run solid, you NEED a thermostat controller for these things, and any mild ventilation under the tank.

Mine sticks directly to the bottom glass and the low profile form will let this fit under any, 30Gallon or higher, tank. My stand has two 1 inch holes drilled on both the right and left side, so that ambient heat can travel the length of the tank, while allowing concentrated heat to not rise to a level that would kill my herps. These things will shut themselves down after reaching 110F as a precaution, but this may ultimately destroy the heater as this is an emergency step not a normal operation method. I place my thermal sensor directly in the center of the pad, just underneath it (Taped to the heater). When the actual heating element reaches the desired temperature, the heater turns off. (70 for my herps) If you place the thermal sensor in the tank, the heater may heat to 100F in order to raise the temp up to its desired temp, which is bad... because that will cook your herps, and cause the heater to turn on more, hotter air cools quicker, and rises faster... if you only heat the element to 70, then the tank will stay at 70 longer... if you heat it to 100, it will be 70 for a few seconds, then cold air will drop, and push the hot air out fast. Any-way...

10G - 20G Longs will need to be propped up about 1/8 of an inch to stop the tank from resting on the heater connection underneath, possibly cracking the glass. (I am sure that the ones for 20Gallons and lower come with rubber risers, but I would head to a hardware store and purchase an additional eight more little rubber feet pads just to distribute the weight better.

My tank is a 55 Gallon tank with several creatures, and as soon as I build my back wall, there will be more insulation inside and out to help keep the heat regulated. As if the 20 pounds of stone that cover the bottom aren't enough... You can use this same trick with a heat rock, to make it herp safe. Use a small heat rock, (One that can get wet, or just coat it in fish tank caulking and sand for added appeal, I find heat rocks to be real fake looking and ugly... Then place the rock directly on top of the thermal sensor, and possibly burry the rock with bedding to limit herp contact. Usually the rocks turn off at 90F - 100F but you just set the sensor to turn the rock off when you want it to. Place a thermometer directly on the rock when adjusting the sensor, as most thermal controllers have only a useless Red-to-Blue color indicator or an even more useless 0-10 on the dial.
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4 Fire-Belly Toads, 2 Fire-Belly Newts,
2 Giant Black Millipedes, 1 Grey Tiger Salamander
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Old 12-29-2003, 01:23 AM   #7
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Also, in addition to my above post...

The top image setup will have a subtle air flow, as long as there are some form of vents. (Which there should be, stagnant air breeds sickness.)

The bottom image will have a medium air flow, as long as there is a restricted top on the tank. (Most reptile setups have a full open screened top, this requires a 1/2 solid segment in the middle.

The picture that I left out, would be the one of a full open tank with regulated or unregulated heat. Which would be full red on the side with heat, and full blue on the side without heat. Although this is not a bad setup for most lizards, this would be bad for amphibians. Since most people never have a full open top for amphibians, I failed to post this representation.

All data for creating these images was from direct and personal testing. I used radio-shacks indoor/outdoor digital temp gage, and positioned it at grid points along the center for 30 min. at each position. The temperatures recorded were the average of High/Low, (Room temp was regulated at 60)

Personally, my tank is left at 75 degrees. The heater turns on when the temp falls to 73, and turns off at 76. So, my tank is even more steady then the pictures above. (I also keep 1/2 inch of water in the 1.5 inches of stone under my 2 inches of substrate.) The whole tank is about the same temp, with the cool air entering the front of my tank, while the hot air expels from the rear. (Same as the first drawing, but that would be a side view of my tank, not a full front view.)
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20Gal. Long (Green-House) and 55Gal. Tall (Primary Tank)
4 Fire-Belly Toads, 2 Fire-Belly Newts,
2 Giant Black Millipedes, 1 Grey Tiger Salamander
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