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Thread: Repositionable heat mats?

  1. #1
    "First shed In Progress"
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    Repositionable heat mats?

    Hi,

    Does anyone know any repositionable heat mats that are available in Canada?

    Alternatively, I read in another thread about someone who stuck their heat mat to aluminum foil. Would that be a good way to make a repositionable heat mat?

    Also, I actually have a used heat mat stuck to the bottom of my tank. It came with the tank, though, so I don't know anything about its "history". I've never used it because of the overheating risk that comes with heat mats stuck to the bottom, but I have about 1 inch of soil in there (maybe a bit more). Does that make it safe? Does it make the mat useless because it's never going to be able to heat the terrarium trough all that soil?

    Finally, if the mat is on the side of the terrarium instead of the bottom, is it actually safer? I figure snakes could still get burned / overheated if they stick right up to the glass.... but at least its not likely to be their whole body at the same time.

    I'm also thinking about adding a relatively big rock so my snake will be able to bask closer to the light, but I have some doubts because it will be a pretty big heat sink.

    Any thoughts?

    I'm trying to make sure my snake will be a more reliable eater this fall / winter than last fall/winter and he's already in one of its "I don't care about food" phases and the high end of the temperatures is only down to 25C (77F).

  2. #2
    Juvenile snake Qwerty3159's Avatar
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    Re: Repositionable heat mats?

    You need to get a thermostat for the mat to prevent it from overheating.
    I don't use any mats, just lamps, for my garters. I have one for my leopard gecko, I fixed it to the bottom of the tank using foil electrical tape (not aluminum foil) so I can move it if absolutely necessary. As for whether they're safer on the bottom or sides I couldn't tell you, but being on the bottom seems to make more sense.
    Tommytradix likes this.

  3. #3
    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: Repositionable heat mats?

    HydroFarm makes a great thermostat, been using that brand for years.

    https://www.amazon.com/MTPRTC-ETL-Ce.../dp/B000NZZG3S
    Steve
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  4. #4
    "PM Boots For Custom Title" Albert Clark's Avatar
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    Re: Repositionable heat mats?

    For the heat mats, it's always best to place your thermostat probe between the outside and bottom of the enclosure and between the mat and the glass. Any heat mat affixed to the side is useless bc they only heat what's above them and don't really contribute to ambient temperature unless you have a glass top and even then it's negligible. Heat mats with a attached thermostat only provide a hot spot for the animal. Never use a heat mat, pad or device without a thermostat!
    Stay in peace and not pieces.

  5. #5
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    Re: Repositionable heat mats?

    Yeah, I always thought placing them on the side would be wasteful, energy wise, but that's probably why some consider it safer. I.e. if it can't heat much of your terrarium to start with, it shouldn't be much of a problem if it overheats. Do you think a heat mat would work through an inch / an inch and a half or so of soil?

    Qwerty 3159, I'd like to avoid heat mats, but heat lamps don't seem to be quite cutting it in my case. I have a 100W bulb in there right now and the air temps on the warm side are around 25C (77F) during the day and the basking spot surface is around 26C (78.8F), and we're not in winter yet. It was fine like that for the first winter, but after that, things got out of whack (eating-wise). Although, to be fair to winter, it started during the really warm summer we got last year. I can't be completely certain it's temperature related, but it could be a factor.

    Maybe a 200W ceramic "bulb" would cut it, but that seems like a lot of wasted energy.

    Do you think the rock thing is a decent idea, or is air temp more important than surface temp / temp directly received from the light.

    Also are there any rocks that are unsafe for garters and how can you tell a safe one from one that isn't?

    That thermostat is a bit expensive for me, but if I use the heat mat that's already on there instead of buying a new one, that could be alright.

    Finally, are seedling heat mats alright for this job or is the strength likely to be wrong?

  6. #6
    "PM Boots For Custom Title" Albert Clark's Avatar
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    Re: Repositionable heat mats?

    Yeah, I always thought placing them on the side would be wasteful, energy wise, but that's probably why some consider it safer. I.e. if it can't heat much of your terrarium to start with, it shouldn't be much of a problem if it overheats. Do you think a heat mat would work through an inch / an inch and a half or so of soil?

    As long as you have a thermostat regulating the mat or pad you're safe and the animal is safe.
    Stay in peace and not pieces.

  7. #7
    Juvenile snake Qwerty3159's Avatar
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    Re: Repositionable heat mats?

    You could just put a thin flat rock over the heat pad and thin out the substrate layer surrounding it. Or you could do as Albert suggested, if you have a thermostat you should be fine.
    What kind of bulbs are you using? 100 watts is an awful lot. I use a 25 watt and it gets the basking area in my tank 85 no issues

  8. #8
    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: Repositionable heat mats?

    Message me your name and address and I'll send you thermostat. A gift from the T. radix Ranch.
    Steve
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    They are not just snakes. They're garter snakes.
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  9. #9
    "First shed In Progress"
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    Re: Repositionable heat mats?

    Steve, that's an awesome offer and I thank you for it. However, I think shipping would be prohibitive, since I live in Canada.

    I think I'll test the heat mat today. I'll be home most of the day, so I can check on the temps, to make sure everything is ok. Then I'll test the rock, if someone can let me know how I can make sure its a safe rock for my snake (if this is something that needs to be worried about).

    Qwerty 3159, I use ExoTerra Daylight Basking Spots (Exo Terra : Daylight Basking Spot). The problem is probably a mix of the height and the substrate. I was told this was a 30 gallon long terrarium, but it seems tallish, to me. With the height of the terrarium, plus the space between the bulb and the lid, the bulb is 16 to 16.5 inches from the ground and 15.5 inches from the basking rock's surface. That might not be all of it though. I remember trying their 25w bulb on 10 gallon quarantine terrarium and it couldn't get the temperatures anywhere near what they should have been (and the 50W bulb was way to much, lol).

  10. #10
    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: Repositionable heat mats?

    I calculated the shipping cost before I made my offer and still made it. A gift is a gift. If you're interested PM me.

    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

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