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Old 09-07-17, 10:49 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Re: Reptile Heat Panel Heater

Given vivs over here are generally 15mm or 18mm wood (chipboard) then there is little choice but to put the mat in the viv if that's what you want to use for heat as it simply wouldn't work through such a thickness of material.
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Old 09-07-17, 10:55 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Re: Reptile Heat Panel Heater

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Originally Posted by TRD View Post
The sun is substantially hotter than any light/CHE bulb, the only reason why the ground isn't freaking hot outside is because there's plenty of ventilation. With other words; if you ventilate your vivarium with a controlled fan, have a stable ambient temp outside the viv, then you don't need a thermostat for heating. You can literally keep ambient at room temp, say 25 C, and have a large 45 C basking area in a 2' vivarium by providing airflow. No amount of thermostats, lamp combinations, heating elements, etc, is going to enable such temperatures in such small space.

But this is extra setup, monitoring, costs... And yea, you still need a thermostat on the COOL end for safety if the fan fails.

So, to answer the question; no you don't necessarily need a thermostat to moderate the heating to get a certain temperature, but you do need one for fail-safe.

This is how I setup my vivs. I want high basking temps, but normal ambient temps. Species which bask in tropical/desert environments around the equator may life in environments that have ambient temps at or about 28- 29C but the ground temperature on which they bask is a whole lot higher.
Plus there is a reason that the majority of tropical and desert species are crepuscular or nocturnal.
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Old 09-08-17, 03:09 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Re: Reptile Heat Panel Heater

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Originally Posted by dannybgoode View Post
Given vivs over here are generally 15mm or 18mm wood (chipboard) then there is little choice but to put the mat in the viv if that's what you want to use for heat as it simply wouldn't work through such a thickness of material.
That's when tube heaters come in handy. One of those on a thermostat 24/7 with a spot bulb on during the day and your all set (both behind a wire guard, obviously). Given that option, I'm not sure why anyone would risk putting a heat mat directly in the viv.
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Old 09-08-17, 06:08 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Re: Reptile Heat Panel Heater

Because pet shops sell heat mats with vivs unfortunately and it's the only way to set them up.

Wrong I know but that's how it is.
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Old 09-08-17, 11:38 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Re: Reptile Heat Panel Heater

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I think it's based on the the theory that animals like ball pythons spend a lot of time in completely dark places like termite mounds where the inside temperature can get as hot as (hotter than?) the outside temperature.
Problem is that ball pythons do not do that the majority of the time. This "theory" is only born from the period of the year that Ball Pythons are/were harvested for the pet trade in which they shelter in holes and people think this is how they live all year round - which is far from the truth. Male BPs are normally found in trees, for example. Females hiding in scrub. Not really in holes.

I can try and dig up some documents on their natural behavior, but it's a large dig.
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Old 09-09-17, 08:24 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Re: Reptile Heat Panel Heater

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Originally Posted by TRD View Post
Thermal blocking is simple to proof, something simply heats up when heat can't get away effectively. Ie- when part of the mat is covered which doesn't include the sensor, then the part block and not under the sensor will simply be hotter than the rest. Bad sensor placement of course plays a role here.
...
I would be very cautious when using a heatmat. Humans burn skin with prolonged contact at 110 F, I don't know if the same applies to snakes but it's likely close to it.
I decided to do one final experiment to see if there's any way this heat panel can be used as directed without the viv floor getting dangerously hot (mat underneath the viv with at least 1cm space between the mat and the viv floor). The only possible way I could see would be to put down enough substrate to "soak up" some of the excess heat. I left the mat on overnight to warm up, then this morning placed four newspapers inside the viv (total thickness of 70 sheets) as substrate to help dissipate the heat. I placed one thermometer probe on the newspaper surface and one under it, directly on the glass floor.

I left it for an hour or so until the temperatures had levelled out. Here are the temps I got (hygrometers were left outside the viv so you can ignore the humidity readings):
P_20170910_080946_LL - コピー.jpg

The newspaper effectively dissipated the heat to 31.3C/88.3F (down form 38C/100F), but the temperature underneath the substrate went up to 46C/114.8F!!! I was starting to get worried that the sealant around the viv floor might melt it felt so hot!

This was with the mat being used outside the enclosure as per the manufacturers instructions, so it's no wonder accidents happen when the mat is placed inside the enclosure, especially with bigger and heavier animals.
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