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Old 08-14-17, 08:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Rack Setup

After living in 6 qt shoe box tubs for their first year it's about time to upgrade the tub size for my remaining 24 Dominicans. I found the 12 qt Sterilite sweater boxes for a good price (4/$7.99) at Wal-Mart, figure those should be good for another year or so. The local Lowe's doesn't carry 4x8 sheets of pvc, so building a custom rack myself isn't looking likely at this point. I have found some relatively inexpensive plastic shelving locally, would be around $100 for enough of them to hold the 24 tubs. Not as pretty as pvc, but will work if I use the lids on the tubs.

Next consideration is heating the tubs. The two pvc shoe box racks I have now are completely different. One is a boaphile rack, with separate dividers for each tub and a single continuous length of heat tape run through the several different levels/layers of slots for belly heat. The other rack was built from pvc by the guy I bought it from. It has 3 separate strips of heat tape running down the back, with no dividers between tubs. I use Helix DBS 1000 T-stats on both racks, the one with back heat uses all 3 available sockets on the t-stat, the boaphile with belly heat only uses one.

At this point I'm debating whether to use heat tape or heat mats. Tape would be less expensive, but the ultratherm mats won't overheat or melt anything if something goes wrong. I'm thinking to enclose the back and sides of the shelves with plywood to help maintain the temp, with the heat source in the back rather than belly heat. It shouldn't be too difficult to set up either way, critical point is the number of heat mats (likely 4, so 2 Helix) that would need to be plugged in vs 2 strips of heat tape.
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Old 08-15-17, 07:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Rack Setup

Heat tape should be fine, calibrate it on a lamp dimmer (12$ at Lows) and then bump the dimmer slighter higher and plug that into your tstat. If somehow the tstat fails or probe is dislodged, you're still at a max output of say 5% higher than perfect.
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Old 08-22-17, 09:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Rack Setup

Why are you keeping so many if I may ask?
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