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Dart Frog Forums » Vivariums, Paludariums, and Terrariums » Construction and Design » Substrate heat

Construction and Design Share your construction and design tips, secrets, and ideas. Post your Construction Journals and Do-It-Yourself (DYI) projects. Substrate, Lighting, Heating & Temperature, Humidity & Air Flow, etc.

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Old 05-03-2009, 10:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Substrate heat

OK... I know a lot of you are in the So Cal area. I'm in Connecticut and it gets cold here. I cannot keep the house in the 80's so I'm sure I will need a substrate heater for my first viv.

Any thoughts? Recommendations? I've seen the Exo - Rain Forest substrate heaters. Does anyone know anything about these? Do they need a thermostat or can you run them full blast?

Thanks (in advance) for any and all help.


Bill
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Funny you mention that. I face the same issue as you in the winter. Yet, instead of putting my frogs in a dedicated frog room, where I can easily heat the entire room, I decided to put my frogs in my "Man Room" where my TV and pool table are. For now it seems to be working well since the weather has broke. But come November I know i am going to be in trouble. It is very expensive to heat such a large room. So, I plan to heat the tanks individually. I plan to either use the heat strips or the Exo - Rain Forest substrate heaters you mentioned. I will put a thermometer. In the past I have use a simple dimmer switch s a thermostat. Just see what temp the tank get to and write it on the dimmer with a sharpie. Not real attractive or accurate, but it works. I def plan to explore the Exo - Rain Forest substrate heaters. BJ had the mat the White Plains show for like $22.

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Old 05-04-2009, 12:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If you are havinbg heating issues I would personally use a false bottom where you can actually put a small 50-100 watt heater to keep it around 80 degrees.... I live in SoCal but I still use a heater on most of my tanks because when it gets cold here the rooms can get to be about 60 degrees.... I set all the heaters at 78 degree just to be safe because they will turn off at that temp and will never turn on if the viv is at that temp or lower.... One more thing to add is test the heater first and when I mean test I mean put in a tank with water and put it on the temp you want it which should be 78-80 degrees then leave over nite or a few hours. Check the temp and if the heater is accurate put it in the viv. Good luck.... If you need help just reply back or pm...

-Angeles
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Just another thing to keep in mind, What ever the room temperature is you can add 3-5 degrees to the temp inside the tanks. So if its 75 degrees room temperature then the tanks are probably around 78-80. The heat radiated by the lights and humidity are the reasons for the difference in temperature. Also depending on the location of your tank that will also play a roll in temperature
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I would suggest if you have more then 5 tanks to go with heat rope with a thermostat. Buying heat mats for every tank you have is going to cost alot more then setting up a heat rope setup with a theromstat. Only probably you might have is if your tanks arent all together on shelves or if some are in different rooms of the house. Since even though the heat mats are for a certain temperature they can over heat a tank really fast. Thats why most will use thermostats with them. I dont think you want to buy a thermostat for each heating mat.
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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While some pumilio species like the 80s, most dart frogs like it cooler (70 degrees is fine). So, like someone said, your lights will add a couple of degrees to the tank, so as long as the room stays above 65 during the winter days, you won't need any heating. If you do need heating, I recommend putting the lights as close to the tank as possible (touching it is fine) and monitor the temps.
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lego9V View Post
OK... I know a lot of you are in the So Cal area. I'm in Connecticut and it gets cold here. I cannot keep the house in the 80's so I'm sure I will need a substrate heater for my first viv.

Any thoughts? Recommendations? I've seen the Exo - Rain Forest substrate heaters. Does anyone know anything about these? Do they need a thermostat or can you run them full blast?

Thanks (in advance) for any and all help.


Bill
Depending on the size of your tank, for example one of my tanks is a 20gal. I use a 10 gallon under tank heater that you would use for heating the bottom of tanks. But in my tanks I have a thick layer of gravel where water collects and evaporates into the tank raising humidity and with the lighting it will help with temps during the day. BUT be careful as if it is just water, glass and heating pad, the glass can crack and break. This is just a suggestion as most of my tanks have this ability and I have not had problems with this personally in 4+ years or so in dart frogs. House stays between 68-76F. This might not heat up the substrate but it will keep your tank warm in turn keep the environment they it is supposed to be.

PS: If you live in CT be careful what the laws are in your state as CT states, "Any animals that can be potentially dangerous are considered illegal." It is highly unenforced (which is good to a degree. ) and I know CB species are not poisonous. They still can be bought wild caught which specimens can be poisonous and they do have the potential to become poisonous whether they are captive bred or not. This is just a FYI, not to discourage you away from the hobby. Not many people know the laws and even if you pick it up at a a local pet shop, it is the buyer beware in some states and not the responsibility of the shop owner to educate the laws of ones state. So anyway, this is for another topic.
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