Heat source for my tarantula?

Factanonverba

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 24, 2010
Messages
3
I've read that room temp is just fine for a Chilean rose and no additional heat is necessary, but I've noticed that my tarantula will consistently position itself toward wherever the highest amount of heat is located.

Observation; I keep her in a plastic shoe box which I used to place on top of my snake's terrarium cover, which has a heat emitter next to it. The tarantula would wedge itself up against the plastic wall which was nearest the emitter. If I turn the T's enclosure around so shes on the opposite end, she will move over toward the emitter. I've turned it on all four corners and each time it moves to whichever end is closer to the emitter. I placed a thermometer over the area inside the T's enclosure and revealed that the warmth was around 80-81F.

To give the entire enclosure a little more ambient warmth I placed her on top of my DVR (half the enclosure is over the warm vents, other half is off) and the avg temp now inside is about 78, and she started digging in the portion of substrate located underneath a piece of hide cork, I'm assuming to get to the warmth. She will also occasionally place herself on top of the hide, and return to the burrow at leisure.

So the question is, should I purchase some sort of external heat pad to warm the enclosure? I was told by some that this is not advisable for T's, but it seems apparent that mine likes to keep warm even though my room is generally around 72-75F already.
 

curiousme

Arachnoprince
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Dec 11, 2008
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It really isn't necessary to provide extra heat for a G. rosea, especially at the temps your house is. However, since you have noted its preference for the warmth, placing it in warmer areas, such as the ones your have already tried should provide the extra warmth it seems to be seeking.

Most heatpads are pretty much crap and we rue the day we spent money on one, so I don't recommend trying to buy that alternative.
 

Stewjoe

Arachnosquire
Joined
Sep 4, 2010
Messages
102
I use a heater in my Arachnid room but its set to room temperature so it will never dip below that. I have 75w heat lamp directed at the younger and higher temperature species.
 

AgentD006las

Arach-how about..NO
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Jan 30, 2010
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590
Once it gets under 65 deg you may want to consider heating the room. Otherwise its not neccesarry.
 

curiousme

Arachnoprince
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The temperature at which people keep their Ts is variable.

For instance, I am sitting in a room with all of our Ts and the thermometer reads 61 degrees. It has been about this low or maybe a little lower each fall for the past 2 years and none of our Ts seem to be suffering any detrimental effect. They molt regularly, eat well, do not drop dead and seem no worse from it. There are others that will staunchly disagree with this husbandry, but so far we haven't seen any problem with keeping them at these temps. We know they would 'like/ prefer' it to be warmer, but like us, a little chilliness doesn't seem to hurt our collection of species.
 

ruca49

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 21, 2010
Messages
48
Don't waste your money on a heating pad. Often they have "hot spots" and are unreliable. Not all of them are crappy but most are.
 

briarpatch10

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Messages
67
I have heat sources for all of my T's {lamps with ceramic emitters} My house gets below 60. I keep the heater on my kids and keep them between 70-73. If your house gets cold I would do it.If your house stays 72-75 I dont see the point
 

Ictinike

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
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Aug 30, 2009
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460
You could consider Flexwatt "Heat Tape"..

I'm about done with building a second T cabinet and retrofitting the first one with a 4' run of 4" heat tape inside the cabinet. Did a brief test and set the thermostat to 90F and within about 20 mins it went from 66F to 83F being closed up. I plan on running both cabinets off the one thermostat with each having a 4' run on the back inside of the cabinet.

This stuff was so easy to build and the hardest part was the foil tape :( Never seemed to go where I wanted but after fighting it for 40 mins I finally get it all run in the new cabinet.

Works well and once I'm done I'll take some shots and detail everything here..

Got mine from The Bean Farm and you can view it HERE
 

AgentD006las

Arach-how about..NO
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590
You could consider Flexwatt "Heat Tape"..
This is what i have done also. I have a book shelf with a plexi glass front and flex watt on the back wall. I added a small fan on the inside to circulate the air. I ordered 12" wide tape instead. Its more cost effective.
 

Ictinike

Arachnobaron
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Aug 30, 2009
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This is what i have done also. I have a book shelf with a plexi glass front and flex watt on the back wall. I added a small fan on the inside to circulate the air. I ordered 12" wide tape instead. Its more cost effective.
I was going to go with the 11" but for the current cabinets I have felt it would/could be a bigger potential hazard so I stuck with the 4" stuff.

Not sure about not being cost effective and each application has it's worth since really 3 4" runs (24w) is only 4w over the 11" (20w) per foot. Thermostat I bought can handle up to 1000w so not even coming close there and opted for it over a rheostat "dimmer" setup.

All in all it's working well and I can keep the room a bit cooler since it's the wife and I's bedroom and I hate being overheated trying to sleep :)

This allows me to keep it snug 80-90 in the cabinet with some added Styrofoam board insulation and be comfortable in bed the low 70's.
 

AgentD006las

Arach-how about..NO
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I was going to go with the 11" but for the current cabinets I have felt it would/could be a bigger potential hazard so I stuck with the 4" stuff.

Not sure about not being cost effective and each application has it's worth since really 3 4" runs (24w) is only 4w over the 11" (20w) per foot. Thermostat I bought can handle up to 1000w so not even coming close there and opted for it over a rheostat "dimmer" setup.

All in all it's working well and I can keep the room a bit cooler since it's the wife and I's bedroom and I hate being overheated trying to sleep :)

This allows me to keep it snug 80-90 in the cabinet with some added Styrofoam board insulation and be comfortable in bed the low 70's.
It is cheaper per watt for the wider stuff. You can apply the same amount just use less of the 12" wide.

The place i got it from priced it 5$ per foot for 4" and 7$ per foot for 12"
You get 3 times as much for 40% more money.

So if you got 2' of 4" for 10$ you could get a 1' of 12" for for 7$. Thats more product for less money. Its just not as versatile.
 

Motorkar

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
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Aug 16, 2009
Messages
473
I use homemade heat pad. I took some foam, wich isolates the heat, measured it for the distance of all enclosures I have one to eachother. Then I attached 25W heating cable on it and for cover I mounted a thin copper plate, same measurments as the foam. I putted this behind the enclosures so that it can heat them all with same temperature if there is too cold in my house( it can drop under 18°C). Also I have pluged this "heat pad" onto thermostate so that it turns it off if it gets to the specefied temperature. And heating like that the t has a chance to move away from the heat if too warm.
 

Ictinike

Arachnobaron
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It is cheaper per watt for the wider stuff. You can apply the same amount just use less of the 12" wide.

The place i got it from priced it 5$ per foot for 4" and 7$ per foot for 12"
You get 3 times as much for 40% more money.

So if you got 2' of 4" for 10$ you could get a 1' of 12" for for 7$. Thats more product for less money. Its just not as versatile.
I get ya.. As you said tho the 11/12" stuff is so hard to use unless it's a big application..

So far my application is working well but was losing some heat out the back so I went to Home Depot and bought some 4' x 18" blocks of styro and foil taped them to the back directly behind the heat tape (it's on the inside, the sytro is on the outside. This is insulating it enough to allow the heat to dissipate forward instead of being lost out the back and within a few mins now it's gone from 75F to over 86F which is where I want to keep it. I'm pushing it to 90F then setting the dial down to 85 to see how long it takes closed up before it kicks back on and then how long it takes to heat back up. I'm sure I'll have to insulate the sides a bit but for what it's worth and the cost of the cabinets and heat tape it's a fine good job :)
 

Ictinike

Arachnobaron
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Aug 30, 2009
Messages
460
Here are some pics of said cabinets. After some room renovations, forward then back again, I only had time to wire up the one cabinet.

I'll be taking the 1st cabinet's residents out tomorrow and doing the same to the first as I have with this new one.











 

Factanonverba

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 24, 2010
Messages
3
That's a very nice setup, Ictinike!

I only have one T to heat though, with no real plans to get more. I was thinking something along the lines of a repti-therm or exo-terra pad, no more than 4 watts to stick underneath. The DVR so far works ok, but when I'm not home and it goes into sleep mode the T's enclosure cools back down.

Anyway its just an idea I'm contemplating, I know the T isn't suffering as my room is always a comfortable temp. I just want to provide the T a consistent source of what it apparently desires.
 

AgentD006las

Arach-how about..NO
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Heres my setup. The odd looking thing in the corner is a fan that circulates the air. Mines dialed in with a dimmer switch. Using more product allows you to keep the flex watt surface temp low and consistant. I run the flex watt at 95 deg constantly. That keeps everything inside at 85. I sometimes keep a container full of water to keep up the humidity a little.

I plan on upgrading to a proportional thermostat soon with a on/off backup thermostat.

A dimmer has worked well for me since my room is always the same temp. Meaning i never have to adjust the dial.


After experimenting with the styrofoam ive found it greatly reduces the circulation of heat and traps it behind the foam. So i no longer use the styrofoam.

Im running out of room. Its about time to upgrade to a bigger shelf..


Just snapped a photo of how it is now.. Been moving things in and out trying to quarantine any new arrivals.

 

Rayven

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 7, 2010
Messages
25
Pay attention to your animal and ignore the experts. I use a heat cable on my tarantula cages because I keep my house around 73-74 degrees. ( I raise dart frogs and try to keep things cool enough so they won't overheat)

I used to follow the *expert* advice and kept all my T's according to what I read was the proper conditions for each species. When I became confident enough to ignore the experts my T's became much happier and healthier. I added a clump of damp sphagnum moss to each cage, even for the ones who supposedly need dry conditions, and ran a heat cable across the backs of all the cages. My T's are much more active and plump now. You have to pay attention to your animals and take into account your individual conditions. If your house is very dry, as mine is, add humidity, even to the cages of the T's who usually want dry conditions. If your house is on the cool side, give the T a choice of whether to be near a heat source or not.

In other words, pay attention to your animal and follow your instincts instead of some *experts* generic advice.
 

AgentD006las

Arach-how about..NO
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Messages
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Pay attention to your animal and ignore the experts. I use a heat cable on my tarantula cages because I keep my house around 73-74 degrees. ( I raise dart frogs and try to keep things cool enough so they won't overheat)

I used to follow the *expert* advice and kept all my T's according to what I read was the proper conditions for each species. When I became confident enough to ignore the experts my T's became much happier and healthier. I added a clump of damp sphagnum moss to each cage, even for the ones who supposedly need dry conditions, and ran a heat cable across the backs of all the cages. My T's are much more active and plump now. You have to pay attention to your animals and take into account your individual conditions. If your house is very dry, as mine is, add humidity, even to the cages of the T's who usually want dry conditions. If your house is on the cool side, give the T a choice of whether to be near a heat source or not.

In other words, pay attention to your animal and follow your instincts instead of some *experts* generic advice.
You dont make much sense. So you keep all your Ts on wet sub? Why? I give all my Ts dry substrate and a water dish except my swamp dwellers. They are extremly well fed. Wet substrate is an invitation for a mite infestation. And desert dwelling Ts dont need dry sub or any extra humidity to thrive. The natural habitat they live in has neither. Do what you want with your Ts but that additude will get you no where in this hobby.
 

curiousme

Arachnoprince
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Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
1,659
You dont make much sense. So you keep all your Ts on wet sub? Why? I give all my Ts dry substrate and a water dish except my swamp dwellers. They are extremly well fed. Wet substrate is an invitation for a mite infestation. And desert dwelling Ts dont need dry sub or any extra humidity to thrive. The natural habitat they live in has neither. Do what you want with your Ts but that additude will get you no where in this hobby.
Tarantulas don't actually live IN the desert...... on the fringes in scrubland yes, but not in the desert.

She also didn't say that she had wet substrate, she said she added a clump of wet moss. Not my cup of T either, but it works for her.:)


As far as expert advice, even Schultz's will say they have more to learn. I think it is hard to be an 'expert' in the field of tarantulas, because there are so gosh darn many of them. I am still a newbie, but have a little bit of experience under the belt to offer. ;)
 

jebbewocky

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 1, 2009
Messages
910
Pay attention to your animal and ignore the experts. I use a heat cable on my tarantula cages because I keep my house around 73-74 degrees. ( I raise dart frogs and try to keep things cool enough so they won't overheat)

I used to follow the *expert* advice and kept all my T's according to what I read was the proper conditions for each species. When I became confident enough to ignore the experts my T's became much happier and healthier. I added a clump of damp sphagnum moss to each cage, even for the ones who supposedly need dry conditions, and ran a heat cable across the backs of all the cages. My T's are much more active and plump now. You have to pay attention to your animals and take into account your individual conditions. If your house is very dry, as mine is, add humidity, even to the cages of the T's who usually want dry conditions. If your house is on the cool side, give the T a choice of whether to be near a heat source or not.

In other words, pay attention to your animal and follow your instincts instead of some *experts* generic advice.

Whatever works, but I'm not doing the same with mine.
 
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