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Heating Pad, Wooden Terrarium and Tiles

Discussion in 'Heating' started by Eliot123, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. Eliot123

    Eliot123 Member

    Hello :)

    I have a 60-gallon wooden terrarium (sliding glass in front) for which I have decided to use tiles as substrate (just had them cut to fit, will be placing them inside in a few days) but I am a bit worred about heating/temperatures. Basically, in my flat the average temp is around 25 degrees C and I'm not sure a light bulb will be able to keep the heat up in the terrarium properly, considering the terrarium is next to a window that we keep open a lot so it gets a lot of ventillation.

    I was thinking about buying an ExoTerra HeatWave Desert heating pad just in case (I live in a small country in Eastern Europe so reptile-related stuff we can get in pet stores is somewhat... limited btw:p), but I was curious as to whether those can be placed between tiles and wood (i.e. would it be a fire hazard? I spend a lot of time at the university so I'd rather not take chances), or maybe between glass and tiles (if I place a layer of glass on the bottom of the terrarium first and then tiles on it)? Possibly aluminum foil layer around the heating pad as a precaution, or would that decrease the heat that actually gets to the top of the tiles considerably? Lastly, would a heating pad be better than an overhead light for keeping the heat gradient proper in a terrarium of that size (in case it matters it is 100x45x55cm LxHxW)? I'm just looking at all my options.

    The terrarium is for a leopard gecko by the way.

    Sorry(!) for the wall of text, I just wanted to check first what I can do to make the place as comfortable as it is possible for the leo while not putting the whole building in risk of burning down. =P
  2. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    You want to have a way for excess heat to escape or it will build up.
    Putting a probe on it with a thermostat would be a good idea as well.
  3. Eliot123

    Eliot123 Member

    Oh yeah I was definitely thinking about getting that as well. The terrarium itself has 2 openings on sides (maybe 30x15cm) and one on top (maybe 40x20cm).
  4. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    I don't have a pic with me here at work. But I have a human heating pad on a piece of plexi-glass sitting under a 3/4" plywood box.
    It is not sealed up and has no problem maintaining 86 deg Fah in the deep substrate.
    It's not sandwiched between or pinched. There is a 3/4" space.
  5. Eliot123

    Eliot123 Member

    Cool, thanks for the info. ^^
  6. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    You can cut a hole in the bottom of the enclosure about an inch/2.5cm larger than the perimeter of the UTH to expose the bottom of the tile, then securely fix the UTH to the exposed tile. It's either that or you can do as Mike said and raise the tiles up off the bottom of the enclosure by implementing a lip around the interior perimeter and, if need be, beneath each tile joint.
  7. Eliot123

    Eliot123 Member

    Yeah kriminaal's idea seems like a good way to solve this (now that I think of it, kinda funny that that didn't occur to me before, hehe).

    I think that is what I'll do, thanks for the help! :)
  8. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Trust me, the obvious solutions are usually the last ones to think of.
    Smart people like us (*insert rooster strutting picture here*) tend to over think things ;)
  9. Borjawil

    Borjawil Member

    What kind of tile and how thick? I'm having a similar issue

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