Heat Mats

EulersK

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Well, I'm more than a little angry right now. I've been using Zoo Med heat mats since I started keeping roaches, but I've had it with their complete unreliability. They tend to last about six months before dying out, and they're not exactly cheap.

Does anyone have an alternative that I could use? Last time I asked, some people suggested heat blankets. Those make me nervous though, because they're not designed to run 24/7. But I can't think of anything else. My roaches are in a closet with no doors, and I've thought of heat tape to run along the enclosures. Is that effective enough? And how reliable are those?

I'm open to any suggestions, because I am officially done with these heat mats.

My closet is open air, otherwise I'd be looking at ceramic bulbs. Or would those still be effective in such a setup?
 

Ranitomeya

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I had two of those heat mats and the first one stopped working while the second one started sparking the day I was about to leave on a long vacation. Never bought another one again.

I now use heat mats marketed for use in germinating seeds. The good ones are heavy duty and you can tell they're made to last longer than the crappy ones marketed for pets.
 

RTTB

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I've found the ZooMed heat mats to unreliable and they do not last long at all. Those seed germinating mats sound like they have potential.
 

EulersK

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I had two of those heat mats and the first one stopped working while the second one started sparking the day I was about to leave on a long vacation. Never bought another one again.

I now use heat mats marketed for use in germinating seeds. The good ones are heavy duty and you can tell they're made to last longer than the crappy ones marketed for pets.
I actually saw those on Amazon during my search, but do they get hot enough? They seem to be marketed towards botanists during the winter. I didn't think that they'd get above 80F at the most.
 

1Lord Of Ants1

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Huh, interestingly the only three zoomed heatpads I've ever owned are still working to this day. The oldest one is a large that I've had for 8 years. However, I still almost exclusively use flex watt paired with a thermostat to heat most of my collection.
 

Rob1985

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I actually saw those on Amazon during my search, but do they get hot enough? They seem to be marketed towards botanists during the winter. I didn't think that they'd get above 80F at the most.
That's what I use to regulate the temp inside my 50g "sling/juvy" micro climate tank. No issues. The Zoomed ones are really bad!
 

basin79

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Obviously won't help you bit I've had my heat mats for years and they're still going strong.

Do you stat your mats? My mats are all stated. Maybe that makes a difference?
 

EulersK

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That's what I use to regulate the temp inside my 50g "sling/juvy" micro climate tank. No issues. The Zoomed ones are really bad!
Well I'm keeping (and breeding) dubia roaches. I suppose it's worth a shot, worst case scenario I can just return it. Thanks for the info, I'll give these a shot.
 

EulersK

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Obviously won't help you bit I've had my heat mats for years and they're still going strong.

Do you stat your mats? My mats are all stated. Maybe that makes a difference?
Stat? What do you mean that?
 

basin79

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Ah, then no, certainly not. I didn't think I needed to.
I have all my mats on stats. They obviously have no shut off so they'll be on 24/7 no matter how hot they get. A stat obviously controls their temps. In summer (in the UK) my mats are off most of the time due to the ambients.

I also think this is where the massive misconceptions come about about heat mats. Connected to a stat they're NO different than a space heater.
 

BobBarley

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I have all my mats on stats. They obviously have no shut off so they'll be on 24/7 no matter how hot they get. A stat obviously controls their temps. In summer (in the UK) my mats are off most of the time due to the ambients.

I also think this is where the massive misconceptions come about about heat mats. Connected to a stat they're NO different than a space heater.
Where would you recommend putting the probe? On the surface of the sub?
 

basin79

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Where would you recommend putting the probe? On the surface of the sub?
I tape my probe to the actual mat or with another set up I've siliconed it to the inside against the wall the mat is touching. Depending on what you do you need to change the temp on the thermostat to suit. Obviously if you tape the probe to the mat outside you'll have to turn the temperature gauge up to get the correct temp inside the enclosure. Either way works.
 

basin79

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I have all my mats on stats. They obviously have no shut off so they'll be on 24/7 no matter how hot they get. A stat obviously controls their temps. In summer (in the UK) my mats are off most of the time due to the ambients.

I also think this is where the massive misconceptions come about about heat mats. Connected to a stat they're NO different than a space heater.

In fact a mat on a mat stat is better than a space heater as it doesn't heat the whole enclosure to the set temp. So your T/invert has a thermal gradient to use should they choose.
 

SlugPod

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I agree you need a thermostat to control how hot your heat source gets.
Any heating element you choose to use has the potential to get so hot it can literally burn things.
(maybe not likely to happen but it can).
You also don't want it getting too hot that it'd burn your animals.

So you need a thermostat.
A heat mat would likely last longer with a stat. It won't burn out then.
As Basin mentioned.
 

basin79

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I agree you need a thermostat to control how hot your heat source gets.
Any heating element you choose to use has the potential to get so hot it can literally burn things.
(maybe not likely to happen but it can).
You also don't want it getting too hot that it'd burn your animals.

So you need a thermostat.
A heat mat would likely last longer with a stat. It won't burn out then.
As Basin mentioned.
Used on the side or back of an enclosure there's probably no way a heat mat could ever burn an occupant. Where there can burn though even with a stat is if they're placed below the enclosure and either a lot of substrate is used or a heavy bodied snake lies on one. Thermal blocking can be extremely dangerous as temperatures can get to dangerous/deadly levels.

A mat stat is still a must though to regulate the temperature inside the enclosure.
 
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