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Thread: Heating a planted pacman frog terrarium

  1. #1
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    Default Heating a planted pacman frog terrarium

    Hi,

    I am preparing a pacman frog terrarium.
    It is a 24x18x24" Exo Terra terrarium: the 24" height is only there to grow plants.

    I was planning to heat with a ceramic lamp: even if it dries out the air, I can just mist more since I have an automatic system for that.
    The problem is that my 25W ceramic lamp (which I put on top of the terrarium) does not heat it at all, not even 1C more. :S

    I am thus looking for other options, one of which would be a heating cable.
    - If I put it on the left or right side of the terrarium, could it heat the enclosure properly? I have cork on the sides of the terrarium, not sure if it would support well the heat of the cable...
    - If I put it under the substrate, will it still be efficient considering that I have roughly 4" of coconut fiber? Would the plants' roots support such heating?

    I would like to hear your experience on heating such configuration, any advice is welcome.

    Thanks.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Heating a planted pacman frog terrarium

    Hi

    The tank you have is far too high and only very high wattages of ceramic heat emitters would be able to supply enough heat to get the floor at a good temp and before reaching the floor it would kill your humidity and wouldn't surprise me if it would damage your plants as well. The problem with putting the heat cable or heat mat on the wall is that the frog is not arboreal and barely ever above substrate in order to utilize this heating method and in my experience is only a good way to supply heat at night, as the frog will be above the substrate. But anyway, won't pass the cork backgrounds. Under the substrate would be useless as it would have to get passed your drainage layer and so little heat will come from it, you might get a 5F difference as it heats the water up in the drainage. Just cocofiber is bad btw, you need at least some bark in there as well or a specialty made potting mix for the plants. The best method would be to heat the room up to the suitable temperature range by a space heater. I use a heat mat on the floor for mine and I heat the bottom glass to the suitable range with a thermostat, so when the frog burrows it heats up nicely but does not burn but you can't do this in this type of set up. I honestly don't think a planted terrarium is suitable for a horned frog as they produce a lot of waste and I think they're best kept in easy to clean set ups. If you want a more natural set up just use potted plants for easy maintenance. If I were you, I would put some tree frogs in that tank, consider whites and just put your frog in a normal pacman frog set up.

    Jason

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  5. #3
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    Default Re: Heating a planted pacman frog terrarium

    Hi Jason.

    Thanks for your answer.

    The frog is not there yet so I have plenty of time to adjust the parameters and get them right: temperature is the one that I do not get right yet.

    I wrote planted just to mention that there are living plants in there: in practice there are only two of them (one pothos and one philodendron) so they should not bother when cleaning the terrarium. Keeping them in pots buried in the substrate would be possible though.

    In your configuration, is the heat mat under the glass sufficient to get the proper temperature?
    I thought the draining layer was mandatory in such terrarium due to the humidity / misting. Am I wrong?

    Edit : My room temperature is 72 - 73F during the day.

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    Default Re: Heating a planted pacman frog terrarium

    Hey

    They're two good choices and buried in their pots would be good and no drainage layer is need for this.

    Yes definitely but some people don't agree with it on the bottom, however from reading books and from experience, it works very well but there are some precautions you need to take for your frogs safety. The heat mat will heat the glass floor up to 100F so it needs to be on a thermostat to keep it at the right temps. This should cover around a third of the floor and when the frog sits in its burrow it will get heated up but it can then move away to a cooler spot if it wants. It won't warm the air temperature or above substrate but it will heat the floor, where the frog will be. The thermostat and digital thermometer probe must be placed under the substrate and not above otherwise you can overheat the frog.

    I really recommend getting this book, it's got everything you need to know: http://www.amazon.com/Horned-Frogs-B.../dp/1882770889

  7. #5
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    Default Re: Heating a planted pacman frog terrarium

    I have a day/night thermostat available so it will not be a problem to regulate the heat mat or cable temperature.
    I will have a look at the book, thanks.

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