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Thread: Heat mat question

  1. #1
    Pyxiefan001
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    Default Heat mat question

    Wasn't sure if this should go here or in Enclosures/etc. . .

    I've recently realized my dream of placing my adult female Pyxie in a 24L 18W 12H exo terra. I love being able to get in there and work (change the water, take out Frog for feeding, etc.) without needing to move the lamp(s) somewhere like I had to when she was in a 15 gallon long tank.

    Now I've got my 50W infrared for the main means of heat on the land and a small, adjustable submersible heater for her removable pool. on the land side my 8" lamp only covers half of the land side, leaving half of it unheated. I have put one of those nocturnal bulbs (night-glo), again 50W, in a 5.5 clamp on that side to keep it at a constant 77-degrees - daytime temps under the infrared are mid to high 80s during the day, and high 70s to low 80s at night. Temps in the room itself are usually in the mid 70s, unless somebody turns the AC on.

    Just so there's one less thing for me to clean, I was thinking about dispensing with the water heater (efficient as it is) and placing the night-glo light over the warm to keep it warm, and then place a heat mat to the side of the cage where night-glo was. Experience tells me side-mounted mats aren't the most efficient means of heating. But if I put plastic wrap over that side, would it trap enough of the heat the mat emanates to keep that side warm enough (I'd like a minimum temp of 75 on said side of inside of the cage)?

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  3. #2
    100+ Post Member Louis Charles Bruckner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heat mat question

    Yes you got the right place.

    I would not place anything on or over the heat mat.
    Especially plastic than can melt.

    Keeping temps at certain levels by manual methods are a nightmare. (at least for me.)
    So I got a Controller that has a nice temp and hygrometer.
    A zoomed Hygrotherm HT-10 and I love it.
    I controles all my "life support" for my frog.
    I have a 75W heatmat (on the side) 50W ceramic and a 50W infra red bulb in mini deep dome light fixtures
    that sit on top of the steel mesh of my small an Low ecoterra.
    With a Zoomed reptifogger
    For my Baby Pacman.
    And I love how it keeps a steady 80F during the day and drips the temp by 5F at night.
    It has a light sensor on the control head so it can make the night and day temps.

    You might ask why so many heat sources.
    #1 redundancy. Just in case one or more fails while I am away.
    My wife wouldn't notice and wouldn't know what to do.
    #2 the different sources act differently. Two are radiant and one is a light wave.

    And yes the heat mat does loose close to 60% of its heat when mounted on the side.
    So proper installation is a must.
    See This thread I know it is really about reattaching a old mat to a new tank but you can pick out the part you need.

    So to recap.
    Do not cover the mat with anything, it can cause it to over heat. It has no internal heat regulation.
    Highly recommend getting a Controller. Look on amazon first I recently found them for $40.00 each.

    Good luck hope this helps and welcome to the forum.
    OH please post pictures. We love pictures around here.

  4. #3
    Pyxiefan001
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    Default Re: Heat mat question

    Thanks for the info but I think you misunderstand me.

    What I meant about placing plastic wrap was to place over the screen, on the lid. Not on the mat itself lol. That WOULD be a bad idea. I was just wondering if the heat emanating from the mat would be stuck in the air by the plastic on top of the screen. I do have this thing to control it with.
    Amazon.com: Zoo Med ReptiTemp 500R Remote Sensor Thermostat: Pet Supplies

    THIS is what I'm thinking about, if it helps:
    Name:  diagram.jpg
Views: 225
Size:  24.4 KB
    And I have thought about getting a hygrotherm and a fogger to go with it but at the mo I can't afford them.

  5. #4
    Moderator Mentat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heat mat question

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyxiefan001 View Post
    ...and then place a heat mat to the side of the cage where night-glo was. Experience tells me side-mounted mats aren't the most efficient means of heating. But if I put plastic wrap over that side, would it trap enough of the heat the mat emanates to keep that side warm enough (I'd like a minimum temp of 75 on said side of inside of the cage)?
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyxiefan001 View Post
    ...What I meant about placing plastic wrap was to place over the screen, on the lid. Not on the mat itself lol. That WOULD be a bad idea. I was just wondering if the heat emanating from the mat would be stuck in the air by the plastic on top of the screen. I do have this thing to control it with.
    Amazon.com: Zoo Med ReptiTemp 500R Remote Sensor Thermostat: Pet Supplies

    THIS is what I'm thinking about, if it helps:
    Name:  diagram.jpg
Views: 225
Size:  24.4 KB
    ...
    As stated by Louis, heat mats are inefficient when placed on an enclosure side. IRT your description and drawing; would place mat above substrate level and away from any water source to prevent splashing on hot glass and shattering it. The plastic wrap on screen top will help retain heat on enclosure. It will also increase humidity and decrease ventilation.

    There is no way to predict if mat is going to be warm enough for your enclosure heating needs. You can experiment by covering around 50% of top and then increase as required. Since you got a thermostat, would use the largest mat that can fit the on the intended side, without exceeding the thermostat wattage. Good luck !
    Remember to take care of the enclosure and it will take care of your frog !​

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