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safe heat sources?

Discussion in 'Product Questions' started by smallgrayfox, Apr 23, 2005.

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  1. smallgrayfox

    smallgrayfox Contributing Member

    Does anyone know if these are safe?

    http://www.zoomed.com/html/heat_cable.php

    Are they a burn hazard for a reptile? Are they a fire hazard? Are they as good as a heat lamp or ceramic heat emitter?

    My husband gives me a hard time about lamp bulbs burning out as often as they do, so I'm thinking of changing to something else. I can't use a heat mat because I don't use a thick substrate (I use newspaper and/or paper towels), and I'm afraid to use human heating pads because of possible fire hazard. I've been thinking about getting ceramic heat emitters, but I saw this online and wondered about it...I've also considered radiant heat panels...are they safe for reptiles and not a fire hazard?...what do you all recommend the most?
     
  2. deltro_star

    deltro_star Elite Member

    Even though I strongly believe that heat lamps are the safest and most efficient heat soucres I know for a fact that Cerarmic heat emitters are safe but its not a good idea to use them on large lizards like iguanas for some reason they cant tell how much heat is too much and will get burned if they have acess to get up close, Rock heaters work well but i dont use them since They dont work well with live plants and those new heat cables are still too new to know if theyre any good or not but to be honest i dont really trust many eletrical herp supplies that arent Exo-Terra brand. Try visiting the Exo-Terra website. They have some really good products that i think will help you.http://www.exo-terra.com/
     
  3. kenman1963

    kenman1963 Moderator

    I use the UTH's even with no substrate (paper towels is my choice) however to do this,,,you need a rheostat to control the UTH's temp. Heatrocks and caves should be banned from the market,,,they cause numerous burned reptiles,,,a well known fact. CHE's work well and i'm told the heat tape or cables are safe though i cannot say so from first hand experience.
     
  4. smallgrayfox

    smallgrayfox Contributing Member

    Ken, what brand of UTH do you use? I do have rheostats and/or thermostats that I could use...but what setting do you put a rheostat on with a UTH in order to ensure that it's not so hot it will cause burns? And if I used a UTH with a thermostat, what would I do, just put the probe directly on the glass over which the UTH is stuck? How would I secure the probe? Having had a bad experience with tape, I wouldn't tape it down, that's for sure... :eek:

    Do you still need lamps if you use a UTH? :confused:
     
  5. kenman1963

    kenman1963 Moderator

    I in fact have the same UTH's you posted (zoomed) and actuallu stuck them to the glass via the adhesive in the packaging. I was nervous of this at first so I set the tank up with a temp guage in the hide over the uth and one outside the hide over the uth. I set the rheo on med and left it overnight (with no herp in it ) I checked the temps the next morning and they were a little high for my geckos so we placed the rheo on low and let it sit overnight again. the next morning it was fine. we've had this setup for about 6 months and have a day lamp and nightlamp on clamps overhead at the warm end. The daylight throws of no heat,,,or i should say very little...it's for photoperiod only. the nightlight is only on for an hr. or 2 so my 8yr old can watch his buddies hunt crix. once he falls asleep. I turn the light off
     
  6. mackzbaby

    mackzbaby Active Member

    I use the zoo-med heat cables for me leos and they are wonderful. I like the heat cables better than the heat mats, I've been having problems with the heat mats falling off so I switched to the heat cables. I havent had any problems with them at all. The only thing I wouldnt do with the heat cable is put it directly into the tank with my reptiles like the box says you can do, I worry that they would burn themselves just like on a heat rock.
     
  7. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    I will never in my lifetime ever buy another ZooMed UTH!!
    It burned my ball python over half of his body and I only had bought it 5 days before the burn happened!
    Just my opinion....
    Jem
     
  8. smallgrayfox

    smallgrayfox Contributing Member

    That's horrible, Jem! :( I sure hope he's ok now.

    Were you using it with a rheostat or without? What kind of substrate did you have? The thought of one of my snakes getting burned terrifies me...
     
  9. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Hello,
    I have been using UTH's for years and have never had a reptile get burned. The brand depends upon where and when I bought it. I have used them all at some point.

    My UTH's are set with dimmer switches. I also use heat tape which is set to dimmer switches.

    One of my leo colonies recieves their heat from a normal human heating pad. (built in rheostat. lol)

    One of the dragon enclosures uses a Mega Heat Emitter, and the others use conventional Ceramic Heat emitters.
     
  10. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    We use a variety of heat sources for different animals - for our bearded dragons and cham we use CHEs on thermostats,. we are also about to switch to CHEs for our larger tanks and snakes, as we believe them to be safer. All CHEs will be covered by a guard to stop the animal getting close enough to burn, so no danger there. Also we are using them because you can use a thermostat with them, where you can't with bulbs, which we use in some of our other tanks.

    We use heat mats for several of our snake enclosures - never had a problem, although once one of them did melt but we had made the mistake of putting inside the tank and under thick substrate, so we were lucky we caught it in time. :( With our other heat mats though we haven't had a problem. I know some brands do seem to get much hotter than others, where i would class them as uncomfortably hot, but again you can use thermostats with them.

    We also use the heat cable in our racks, and it's great. We again have it attached to a thermostat to ensure the temps stay right, and have it wired through our racks, underneath the boxes. There is the advantage here that we can use one cable to heat several enclosures, where with heat mats you can only heat one or two.

    I think the main point here is that with a thermostat anything should be safe, and with exposed heat, like CHEs and bulbs, you should use a guard to prevent burns. As Ken said, i would never use heat rocks or hides.

    *Edit: sorry my mistake, you can use a thermostat with bulbs,. i get confused with the various thermostats!! :p But Joe has informed me that CHEs are better simply because they last longer. Sorry! :D
     
  11. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I have used human type heating pads for years as the sole heat source for my corns and kings, many of which are in plastic sterilite containers. The plastic would begin to melt long before a fire generating heat would be present. The beauty of these is they have a built in rheostat. I have never had to run them on high setting, low usually works just fine. I use CHE's for my larger enclosures such as my Iguana and my ball pythons. They last for years!

    I strongly disagree! CHE's are great for heating large enclosures such as those housing iguanas and other large lizards. ANY heating device can burn if the animal is given free access to it or it isn't regulated down to a safe level.
    Again I strongly disagree! Heat rocks are notorious for malfunctioning and causing burns on reptiles.
     
  12. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    Yes I agree with Merlin, i was a bit confused by the comment regarding the use of CHEs with igs,. a device like a CHE should only burn if the animal is actually allowed to touch it. Either the CHE should be placed too high away from the animal so it cannot get near it or ideally should be covered with a guard so that it cannot be touched. if it is covered there is no way the animal can get to it and therefore no way the animal can get burned.
     
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