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Thread: Heat mats with horned frogs

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    Default Heat mats with horned frogs

    I've seen so many people say that a heat mat will burn a Horned frog so I thought I'd just correct you...


    Reasons why a heat mat could burn a frog:
    - It's not being used with a thermostat. Heat mats must always be used with a thermostat, most heat mat instruction manuals actually state this but some don't. The reason for this is that most heat mats will reach temperatures of 100F when plugged directly in to wall. Unlike basking lamps or ceramic heat emitters, a heat mats wattage does not determine the heat produced, it's just more energy is needed to heat a larger area. The thermostats probe should be under the substrate in contact with the glass that's being heated, not above the substrate as this will not control the mat properly and it could overheat.


    - The temperature of the mat is not being measured correctly. Next to the thermostat probe you should have a digital thermometer's probe as well, this will measure the true temperature of the floor, where the animal will be. Some people may use a gauge thermometer that sticks on to the side glass, this cannot measure the temperature of the mat and you will not get a correct reading; you could think you're tanks at around 70F because the air temperature is, where as the floor is actually well above that.


    Possible problems a mat could cause:
    -A heat mat used with a thick layer of substrate could overheat from thermal blocking although if the tank has a raised bottom or rubber feets are used this could prevent this. Do not place anything like a water dish on top of the mat!

    -It's not natural for a burrowing frog for it to burrow closer to the heat source. Yes it is not natural, however neither is keeping it in a glass tank is it? The frog will still be able to thermal-regulate by moving away from the mat.

    Conclusion: it is not heat mats that burn animals, any heat source could cause problems if it is not understood and installed correctly. If you do not like the idea of a heat mat, then use a heat lamp.

    Jason

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    Default Re: Heat mats with horned frogs

    Have to apologize up front for not being patient here, but I probably telling that for 1K time now lol no, probably more then that....

    heat mats are not for frogs! For multiple reasons, unless you attach it to the side you should never use to for burrowing frog with or without thermostat! Never!
    Save one animal and it doesn't change the world, but it surely changes the world for that one animal!

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    Default Re: Heat mats with horned frogs

    Most frogs bred in the trade have probably been bred with the heat mat on the bottom. It's proven to work just fine, it's when people don't install them correctly problems can happen. Unless the room is particularly hot already a heat mat on the wall will be any use to the frog and innacurate temperatures are deadly. Heat mats are practical with frogs but not natural, so it depends on what way you look at it and if you want the natural way then simply don't use them and go for a heat lamp

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    Default Re: Heat mats with horned frogs

    Let me just state I'm actually not that big on heat mats but this was just to clear things up, I just hate when people say that they will burn a frog, they really won't it's just people that don't know what they're doing this will happen. I prefer to use the above heat source as it is more natural but I just won't say a heat mat shouldn't be used, as its proven to work... It's just the keepers choice at the end of the day

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    Default Re: Heat mats with horned frogs

    The only way you should look in relation to frog husbandry - how to create environment as natural as possible and how not to harm your frog or cause it unnessasary stress or illness. The best way of heating enclosure are infrared or centric heaters plugged into controllers.
    Save one animal and it doesn't change the world, but it surely changes the world for that one animal!

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    Default Re: Heat mats with horned frogs

    It's hard to create the natural environment, especially in the small tanks recommended for these frogs. In that case it's probably better not using infra red bulbs as light can still be seen from animals but doesn't seem to bother them as much. A ceramic heat emitter is better as it emit absolutely no light. I've found a daylight heat lamp to work in conjunction with a wall mounted heat mat for night time (frog will be able to use it as its above substrate) all I'm saying is it will not burn a frog, this is a rumour and any burns would be due to bad husbandry.

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    Default Re: Heat mats with horned frogs

    Hello,

    Interesting thread and thank you for posting.
    I found it a good read.

    However, if I might give a little tip? Personally, I would prefer choosing the words "informing people" rather than "correcting" them.


    On topic,


    Out of my own experience with these products I would like to add my view, it might be helpful.
    I've been heating animals, f.e. snakes/lizards/turtles/tortoises by lamp and/or mat for more than 13 years now and in most burn situations the heating medium is not properly used according to safety measures.

    However, there are exceptions, for instance using a heat rock with a ball python can severely burn them, because they can have the behavioral tendency to curl up around a heat source.

    So, looking at the animal, it's behavior, it's needs and the proper safety precautions are guidelines which used properly can make husbandry very simple and successful.


    - Most (quality) heat mats are secured in a way they cannot overheat the animal, most of the times this information comes with the product manual/specs.
    The maximum temperature range they produce should be in there as well. They cannot go over that max output because they have an overload security and they'll fail and brake. However, if you want to be 100% sure you should use a thermostat not only for correct temperatures, but it adds another layer of security to the mat.

    - In a manual, a thermostat is (sometimes) recommended for achieving a specific temperature, and maintain it. That doesn't mean you can't use it without a thermostat.
    I've been using it with snakes for over 13 years and have never used a thermostat. I always make sure the animal can get away from the heat source and can thermoregulate.

    - Heat mat yes/no with a frog? That has 2 sides, IMO.
    I believe they dig down in the substrate in the leaf litter on the bottom of the rainforest floor for their protection, humidity needs, and thermoregulation.
    You can use a heat mat, but that's a personal choice. I found it more Natural to use a daylight heat lamp during the day and the mat during the night. A good day and night rhythm, (photo period) is important to many animals.

    I have a leopard gecko with a heat mat without a thermostat. My frog doesn't have one either, but will for the frog I will get one in the future.
    My frog doesn't have the same needs/heat tolerance as my leopard gecko.
    My leopard gecko, can withstand higher temperatures and my Russian Tortoise even higher so it also depends on the animal, then make an informed choice.

    For my frog, I've been using a daylight heat lamp during the day, and a heat mat at night, both on a timer and that works for me, in my terrarium and in my house with the temperatures here. My frog has been eating, pooping and displaying normal typical horned frog behavior, and I feel it's going well. So that's something to be grateful for.

    Conclusion, there are many factors involved. Try to keep an open mind and find out what works best for your animal and you.


    Take care,

    Joey

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    Default Re: Heat mats with horned frogs

    Hi thanks for commenting Joey.

    The reason why I'm saying 'correcting' is because is angers me the fact people with come out with such a broad statement saying they can burn the animals and 'never use them on the bottom with amphibians' when there's a high probability that they've never even had an animal or seen one burned by one, some people are uninformed in how a heat mat works and how it should be used but assume that it is dangerous. Think of the people that set their frog up after reading a book by a professional comes across this site and see that someone claiming that their heat mat set up on the bottom will harm there animal, when used this is rubbish and an opinion but I feel many hobbyists are forcing their ways of 'this is how it should be done' on people and this is confusing. Every single book I've read on Horned frogs says the heat mat can go on the bottom.

    I'm going to have to disagree. A thermostat is a must and most heat mats manufactured in the UK state this! A mat is a general heater that heats up high temperature and needs to be controlled to the right temperature of the animal being kept with a thermostat. If you have a Horned frog why would you want a heat mat running full blast at 100F? This will cause burns. As I've said, with lamps you can chose a wattage that maintains a certain temperature for the animal being kept but you can't use this way in mats as all mats will all get hot near the same temperature, where as with lamps they get hotter by wattage. A thermostat is not an expensive piece of equipment and by not using one you put certain animals at risk from being overheated. Obviously animals will higher temperature tolerances will be less likely to be at danger. Some heat mats such as the Exo Terra ones have rainforest and desert heat mats, these probably do have a cut off and you can select the mat that best suits your animal, however most mats are like heat tape and need dimmed down or thermostatically controlled to suit the needs of the animal.

    I have a very open mind and I try everything before making a judgement but I feel a lot of people aren't open minded and think their way is the only way it should be done. If people are saying that you should create the most natural environment that you can then you probably need to get UVB lighting as well as I'd imagine they'd be exposed to it in the wild, even if it were a shorter time frame but then again, they've been kept without for years and do well as long as their diet is supplemented right, so this is the same view as mine with the heat mat on bottom.

    Jason

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    Default Re: Heat mats with horned frogs

    Reading it back I do contradict myself but I am terrible at putting sentences together. high quality mats and most instructions will state a thermostat should be used. If what works for you is fine aslong as you closely monitor temperatures and it is suited to the animal being kept

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    Default Re: Heat mats with horned frogs

    I have also read at many locations about people heating their Pacman frog enclosures with heat mats.
    How well does a heat mat perform when there is a thick layer of substrate?
    Considering that Pacman frogs need to have a few inches of substrate to dig in, isn't it too difficult to heat the enclosure without overheating the substrate?

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    Default Re: Heat mats with horned frogs

    If you control it so the floor temp below the substrate is of right temperature, when the frog burrows down it will get heated up and then if it wants to cool down it will move an area away from the heat mat. Because the substrate is kept moist the heat will rise to some degree. In my opinion heat lamps are better but not for the same reasons as a lot of people. Heat mats don't warm the entire enclosure but just where the mat is situated. With lamps you get that hot spot and then also a little ambient warmth and this is best rather than the frog being hot and cold. However of room temp is not too cold then heat mats would be fine. It's very important to use a high quality heat mat aswell as thermostat and make sure there's airflow under the tank to prevent it from overheating and failing which could cause a fire

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