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Old 01.11.2009, 10:18
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advice needed on heating a vivarium

I'm up nice and early for my Sunday project, which consist of getting the heating right in Eric's new snake house. It's currently too hot, about 31degs, I need to reduce it down to about 25, but the heating pad cannot be regulated. I've had various ideas on how this could be achieved, I'll run through them and you can help by giving your opinion on which materials would work better.
My idea is to put another layer of insulation between the heating mat, which is stuck on, under the viv, on the outside, and the snake.
There is already a coupla inches of wood chip but I was thinking of using, and here's the interactive part peeps, a few newspapers, cork matting, some aluminium foil or a piece of mdf. Which substance do you think would help cool things down?
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Old 01.11.2009, 10:36
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Re: advice needed on heating a vivarium

It is quite obvious that you need to include a thermostat switch to the heating pad. Thermostat placed inside and wire it inline to the heating pad. It is as simple as that and you won't waste electricity.
Just adding more insulating between, long term would not make any difference as eventually by conduction the area would eventually reach the same temperature and then take longer to reduce.
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Old 01.11.2009, 10:42
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Re: advice needed on heating a vivarium

What's obviously to me, is that there is no way of regulating the heating mat without doing major work on a basic piece of equipment, I don't think it's worth it really. I am aware of the problem of whatever I add eventually heating to the same temp as the mat, possibly. Are there no subtances known to man that would work?
I could go out and buy a lamp on Monday, but that's too boring, I want to solve the problem myself (I love diy) with a little help from the forum.
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It is quite obvious that you need to include a thermostat switch to the heating pad. Thermostat placed inside and wire it inline to the heating pad. It is as simple as that and you won't waste electricity.
Just adding more insulating between, long term would not make any difference as eventually by conduction the area would eventually reach the same temperature and then take longer to reduce.
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Old 01.11.2009, 10:47
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Re: advice needed on heating a vivarium

do you have an electrical timer switch? vary the heat on and off over the day to achieve your median temp.
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Old 01.11.2009, 10:50
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Re: advice needed on heating a vivarium

This is what I'm doing, he gives me such looks everytime he has to put a scarf on, but I thought there might be a slightly more professional way of doing it.
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do you have an electrical timer switch? vary the heat on and off over the day to achieve your median temp.
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Old 01.11.2009, 10:51
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Re: advice needed on heating a vivarium

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This is what I'm doing, he gives me such looks everytime he has to put a scarf on, but I thought there might be a slightly more professional way of doing it.
how frequently do you vary it on and off? sounds like the snake's telling you that you need to fine-tune it
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Old 01.11.2009, 10:57
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Re: advice needed on heating a vivarium

It's a new, so I've only had to turn it on and off a couple of times. If all else fails I'll have to get a diferent heating system.
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how frequently do you vary it on and off? sounds like the snake's telling you that you need to fine-tune it
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Old 01.11.2009, 11:03
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Re: advice needed on heating a vivarium

I think what you need is one of these:



The Thermocontrol Pro 2 has a realtime clock and two temperature circuits which make it possible to set different temperatures for day and night.

It's available at Qualipet for 121.10chf.

http://www.qualipet.ch/index.php?sei...rnr=F209808122

Search the Internet and you'll probably find it for less somewhere else.

http://www.google.com/search?client=...UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
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Old 01.11.2009, 11:05
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Re: advice needed on heating a vivarium

This, or something very simiar is plan b.
But then I won't have a Sunday project.
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I think what you need is one of these:



The Thermocontrol Pro 2 has a realtime clock and two temperature circuits which make it possible to set different temperatures for day and night.

It's available at Qualipet for 121.10chf.

http://www.qualipet.ch/index.php?sei...rnr=F209808122

Search the Internet and you'll probably find it for less somewhere else.

http://www.google.com/search?client=...UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
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Old 01.11.2009, 11:07
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Re: advice needed on heating a vivarium

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This is what I'm doing, he gives me such looks everytime he has to put a scarf on,
Thank you for the mental image and the chuckle this morning!

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but I thought there might be a slightly more professional way of doing it.

From the sound of his response, it seems perhaps Cashboy may have some more precise instructions he might be able to give you with regards to adding a thermostat to the system... ?

Meanwhile, this is regarding a home thermostat so has a bit of extraneous information BUT it seems to me to also have useful stuff if you want to install it in your habitat... just replace the idea of home heater/ air conditioner with the heating system for your snake.
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Old 01.11.2009, 11:17
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Re: advice needed on heating a vivarium

I'll be posting some real images next week, once my brain arrives from England!
I think I could add a thermostat to the pad I've got, with a bit of cutting and splicing and a roll of electrical tape. I've adapted a few appliances, but even though they have all worked after my fiddling with them, I would rather leave the wiring alone.

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Thank you for the mental image and the chuckle this morning!

From the sound of his response, it seems perhaps Cashboy may have some more precise instructions he might be able to give you with regards to adding a thermostat to the system... ?

Meanwhile, this is regarding a home thermostat so has a bit of extraneous information BUT it seems to me to also have useful stuff if you want to install it in your habitat... just replace the idea of home heater/ air conditioner with the heating system for your snake.

Last edited by i-b-deborah; 01.11.2009 at 11:40. Reason: spelling
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Old 01.11.2009, 11:30
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Re: advice needed on heating a vivarium

I remember when I was 17 working in Montreux building a vivarium for my boss to house a couple of green mambas and a couple of desert cobra snakes which you never knew where they were in the vivarium and some large pythons.
I was petrified of them at first and hated feeding them live mice.
When I built the vivarium, I used ordinary light bulbs and room thermostats if I recall. Things have progressed since then.
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Old 01.11.2009, 11:37
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Re: advice needed on heating a vivarium

I'd recommend the technology - coming home after a day out to find your reptile has expired because of overheating is not a nice experience...

Definitely need a thermostat-controlled heating pad, and especially in winter, when the background heating is on the apartment as well...in fact, I'm surprised they sell heating pads without thermostat controls...

I think my dad uses heat lamps instead of heating mats - the lamps are attached to the thermostat and turn on/off so you can tell by looking at them if they are functioning properly - he has 40+ reptiles and seems to keep them happy most of the time...
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Old 01.11.2009, 11:39
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Re: advice needed on heating a vivarium

Last spring, when Eric was filled with that luvin feelin, I tried to entice him to eat by using live mice. He lived with them for weeks before his lust abated and he finally realised he hadn't eaten for ages, then they suddenly weren't there one day.
He's a hardy bugger. It doesn't take alot of hi-tech, hi-priced gadgets to keep him happy. His favourite accessory is an old shoe box.
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.............I was petrified of them at first and hated feeding them live mice.
When I built the vivarium, I used ordinary light bulbs and room thermostats if I recall. Things have progressed since then.
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Old 01.11.2009, 11:44
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Re: advice needed on heating a vivarium

agree with previous poster on adding a thermostat. maybe there are ones you can get which the power socket plugs into so you don't need to fiddle with wiring?

other option is to make it a bit colder and knit your snake a jumper!
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Old 01.11.2009, 11:46
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Re: advice needed on heating a vivarium

Perish the thought. I want him to live to a ripe old age and die naturally, and then respectfully and peacefuly become a nice bag.
He has a few different environments to wander through via connecting pipes, with different temperatures, so he can escape the heat when he needs to.
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I'd recommend the technology - coming home after a day out to find your reptile has expired because of overheating is not a nice experience...

Definitely need a thermostat-controlled heating pad, and especially in winter, when the background heating is on the apartment as well...in fact, I'm surprised they sell heating pads without thermostat controls...

I think my dad uses heat lamps instead of heating mats - the lamps are attached to the thermostat and turn on/off so you can tell by looking at them if they are functioning properly - he has 40+ reptiles and seems to keep them happy most of the time...
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Old 01.11.2009, 11:47
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Re: advice needed on heating a vivarium

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other option is to make it a bit colder and knit your snake a jumper!
Or just cut the toes open on some tube socks..



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Old 01.11.2009, 11:48
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Re: advice needed on heating a vivarium

In winter he spends a lot of time curled up inside my jumper. Snakes will actually sit longer on your lap than a cat! In the right conditions of course.
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agree with previous poster on adding a thermostat. maybe there are ones you can get which the power socket plugs into so you don't need to fiddle with wiring?

other option is to make it a bit colder and knit your snake a jumper!
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Old 01.11.2009, 11:49
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Re: advice needed on heating a vivarium

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In winter he spends a lot of time curled up inside my jumper. Snakes will actually sit longer on your lap than a cat! In the right conditions of course.
Do you have a photo of him to share?

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Old 01.11.2009, 11:52
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Re: advice needed on heating a vivarium

There is one floating around on the current ef calender..... but next week I'm going to get some images posted.
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Do you have a photo of him to share?
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