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Old 10-24-17, 06:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Heat panel placement.

Seeing as I haven't used overhead heat panels before, I thought it best to check on here before making a decision on where to position them in my viv. I know they don't have produce the same penetrating heat as CHEs, but tend to warm the viv up more gently. I'll be using two 76w panels (and a 38w UTH if necessary) in what is essentially a 4x2ft viv. The viv will be 50cm tall.

Should I; A) space the panels out to cover the more of the ceiling, providing the heat gradient from top to bottom, or B) group them more at one end so the gradient also goes left to right?

According to the manufacturer, in a 3x1.5x1.5ft viv at an ambient room temp of 25.4C, the temperature 30cm below a single panel reaches 35.5C (up 10.1C). That's left running without a thermostat.

Here's an image of what I mean (the large rectangles are the heat panels, the long thin rectangle is the UV light fitting):
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Last edited by scales.jp; 10-24-17 at 06:10 PM..
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Old 10-25-17, 04:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Heat panel placement.

B this will give you more of a gradient to a cold side. 2 76w panels seems like a lot in a cage that size.
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Old 10-25-17, 06:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Heat panel placement.

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Originally Posted by trailblazer295 View Post
B this will give you more of a gradient to a cold side.
Layout B is what I asked the guy building it to do if he could fit it all in, A was more of a backup plan. He replied today to say that layout B won't be a problem, so that's what I'll go with.

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2 76w panels seems like a lot in a cage that size.
Really? I was under the impression they don't put out very intense heat compared to bulbs. For example, in my original set up I had a 150w heat lamp and the 38w UTH keeping a 3x1.5x1.5ft viv warm. There's no other heating in the room, so I thought I'd need two heat panels for the winter months. Would one be enough?
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Old 10-25-17, 08:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Heat panel placement.

That highly depends on the hotspot temperature you're trying to reach, room temperature and terrarium material (wood/glass makes a big difference). In one terrarium (glass with 3 side background) that measure 90l 45d 60h centimeters I have 1 50W radiant heat panel only. Hotspot is at 31C and the coldest spot is 22C. Room temp is 21C
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Old 10-25-17, 12:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Heat panel placement.

I have only 1 panel in my pvc vivs 4x2x1 and 48x24x16. Don't know the wattage off the top of my head. Room temp varies from 20-23c depending on season. I can still maintain 90f hotspot
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Old 10-25-17, 04:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Heat panel placement.

OK, thanks for the advice. The viv will be mostly wooden, lined and sealed with a waterproof surface and with a 5mm thick glass front. No heating will be necessary over the summer as it gets very hot here, and I plan on dropping the temperature over the winter anyway (ambient 23℃/74F). Looks like one panel might be enough.
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Old 10-25-17, 08:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Heat panel placement.

The only gradient my snakes get is based on where the heating element is placed. Because my natural terrarium's setup is more or less vertically oriented because of my custom background. The top part of the terrarium tends to be a few degrees warmer than the bottom.

There is no rule that says a tank's gradient has to be left to right, right to left, back to front etc.

For me my gradient goes from top/back and sort of to the right (warm) to bottom and sort of left/front (coolish). If your tank is set up with lots of climbing spaces and such then I think it wouldn't be ridiculous to go for top/back to bottom front for a gradient.

When I make my move to a heat panel here in the near future I will be remaining in this top hot/down cool gradient approach. It's not only easier to accomplish than left right, especially with heat from the top, but it is technically more natural. I imagine that due to the more gentle nature of a heat panel that it will actually make it even easier to accomplish than what I've been doing with my snake with this ceramic heat emitter setup I have going.

I will qualify my technique by mentioning that my snake has 4-6 inches of substrate to dig into if they want to be cooler and they often utilize this despite the max temp in the terrarium being 83F (much cooler than the recommended hot spot) directly below the CHE, in theory when the CHE is running the snake could stretch up to be right next to it but I've never seen this occur.

I do agree that, at least from my research on RHP that two of them is gonna be major overkill unless your home is REALLY cold.
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Old 10-25-17, 09:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Heat panel placement.

I was under the impression heat panels gave off more heat than a CHE, that's why they are popular with people's vertical enclosures.
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Old 10-25-17, 09:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Heat panel placement.

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I was under the impression heat panels gave off more heat than a CHE, that's why they are popular with people's vertical enclosures.
They give off a more spread out heat. Think heat pad with better heat penetration but downward instead of upward/by contact.

A ceramic heat emitter REALLY directs the heat down. I tried to emulate the spread out heat of a RHP by using a REALLY wide fixture of 10 inches. The heat is REALLY direct from a CHE so much that the CHE itself is what's directing the temp and not so much the fixture which is why I'll be switching over.
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Old 10-25-17, 09:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Heat panel placement.

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Originally Posted by jjhill001 View Post
I do agree that, at least from my research on RHP that two of them is gonna be major overkill unless your home is REALLY cold.
I don't know if the panels I'm talking about are the same as the type available in other countries, but I'm sure they can't be all that different. When I first inquired about using them I was told that two 76w panels would heat a 4x2x1.5ft to between 25 and 30℃.

My house never gets what I would call really cold, although my wife would disagree.
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Old 10-25-17, 10:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Heat panel placement.

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Originally Posted by scales.jp View Post
I don't know if the panels I'm talking about are the same as the type available in other countries, but I'm sure they can't be all that different. When I first inquired about using them I was told that two 76w panels would heat a 4x2x1.5ft to between 25 and 30℃.

My house never gets what I would call really cold, although my wife would disagree.
Personally, if you don't have a 2nd enclosure to try the other one out I'd grab the first one and if it's not enough I'd then buy the other one. Just trying to save you money. If you buy two and they're on a thermostat you won't notice if it's too much.
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Old 10-25-17, 11:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Heat panel placement.

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If you buy two and they're on a thermostat you won't notice if it's too much.
Yes, that's what I thought, too!
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