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My first heat mat- inside or out?

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by scaramanga, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. scaramanga

    scaramanga Arachnoknight Old Timer

    Ive kept my Ts warm for the past 6 months or so with a low wattage (25W) blue bulb housed in some bamboo, which i have experienced no problems with but its frowned upon so ive finally got round to buying a heat mat.

    I live in the UK and winter will soo be hear so would my heat mat be best inside or could i save time emptying my vivarium and place it underneath? Its made of glass but has a plastic frame around the edges...

    I would imagine inside would be best but im just checking.

    The mat is 20W and measures - 17" x 11" and the tank is much the same size and around 12"+ tall

    Theres a pic of the tank at the bottom of this thread - http://www.arachnoboards.com/ab/showthread.php?t=22101&page=2&pp=15

    (but ive changed the setup loads!)
  2. Immortal_sin

    Immortal_sin Arachnotemptress Old Timer

    heatmat goes on the OUTSIDE, preferably on the side of the aquarium. If a T burrows at the mat site, it might cook itself...it's way warmer than the T needs to be...
  3. scaramanga

    scaramanga Arachnoknight Old Timer

    wow, that saves me a lot of bother and heartache! I don't want no roast tarantulas. One is a GBB too so it would burrow, yikes, close one.

    Do you think there will be a problem with the glass not sitting flush up to the mat (the plastic casing sits about 2mm off of the glass). I think i might move my a.huriana into its new vivarium possibly tonight now :) cheers for the advice Immortal_sin! apologies if i sound way too much like a newbie.
  4. watch to see if your spider seems to be more active then usual. If that is the case then the heat mat is too hot.
  5. scaramanga

    scaramanga Arachnoknight Old Timer

    thanks for that. Ive just put it underneath with a piece of cardboard making the heat matt flush with the glass of the tank. Is cardboard ok to use? So the heat 'unit' (where the cable meets the mat) is also flush i had to face the copper strips on the mat down. Is one side hotter than the other? Should the copper side be facing up?
  6. I would'nt use cardboard. You should also place it on the side of the tank. What kind of spider is this for?
  7. scaramanga

    scaramanga Arachnoknight Old Timer

    place it on the side of the tank? Like the back of the tank? Won't it be better on the bottom so it heats upwards and evapourates the moisture from the soil?

    Why not cardboard? Will it burn it? And also anything on one side hotter than the other?

    EDIT - I have the tank seperated. One side there is a green bottle blue- 1" (being kept in a smaller container at the mo), the other side- a.genic- 3"

    The heat mat has been on for about 15mins or so... Its not feeling that warm. Is there any real problem placing the heat mat underneath the tank? As i had a bulb before there were some parts of the tank that were prone to damp and in those corners the odd mite has shown up. I wanted to eliminate the threat of them by drying out the peat from underneath. Will the heat pads heat reach through 4-6" of peat?

    Im feeling so stupid. I feel i should know this sort of thing by now.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2004
  8. With cardboard there is a risk of burning. If it is on the bottom, the substrate may act as an insulator between the heat mat and the area needed to be heated. I would place the heat mat on the side were the spider don't usualy be found(if possable).
  9. Sheri

    Sheri Arachnoking

    Are you sure you need a heat pad?
    I live in godforsaken Winnipeg, Canada where summer lasts three days, and winter an eternity...
    In the first quarter of the year, anything above -30 is a bonus.

    What is the lowest your temps (inside your home) will go?
  10. scaramanga

    scaramanga Arachnoknight Old Timer

    Ive added a little bit above on my last post ^ +

    ok. Well i could place it on the back of the tank but the damp parts are at the front. I suppose i could sort them out by replacing that peat. So its definitly the side of the tank for best results?!

    sheri - Im almost positive i need a heat pad. I had a bulb in which at times could be too hot when the central heating but in my previous houses we had to pay for that (in the new one bills are inclusive, its a uni student house). So now the heating is on quite a lot... I really just want to get rid of this damn damp at the front of the tank without digging/disturbing my T.

    Sorry if it seems like im going on here. Ill leave the heat mat underneath for the night, see how it goes. If it evapourates the damp peat at the front ill remove it and stiick it on the back of the tank (or if the temps get too low).

    Thanks for the help people, much appreciated! Anymore advice is welcome...
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2004
  11. mouse

    mouse Arachnolord Old Timer

    what you could do is keep the heat pad only plugged in when it is real cold and unplug later on again. i'd leave it unplugged during the day and only plug it in at night time if it gets too cold (but of course if it's in a room that you are in you shouldn't need a heat pad)room temp is usually fine.
  12. Matt

    Matt Arachnosquire Old Timer


    I'ld put the heat mat on the back if it is used as a regular heating because T's burrow when it gets too warm for them. They try to go down where it is cooler, but with the heat mat underneath the terri it gets warmer the further down it goes. The situation is unnatural for the T.

  13. If you have to use a heat mat then i would follow this advise. I agree with the room temp(my t's are usualy kept at around 20*C, When it gets colder then that i plug in a hot rock for them).