Heat source

Al Muoio

Arachnosquire
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Sep 8, 2002
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Has anyone ever tried putting aluminumn foil around a lightbulb to limit the light and heat?
 

Gail

Arachnopixie
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Aug 16, 2002
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No, I haven't tried that. Light bulbs as a heat source for T's is generally considered not a good idea though since it can dry them out and stress them. Unless your place goes below 70 degrees in the winter you should be able to get away without a supplemental heat source. (Unless you have some of the more demanding species.) I only provide supplemental heat to my slings via heat rising from a heating pad. The adults are all kept at room temp and do very well for me.
I'm sure that there is someone here who can give you better ideas on heat sources than me if you do have some of those species that like it warmer.

Gail
 

JacenBeers

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Light bulbs are just a bad idea overall no matter what modification you make. It is strange to me that people do not have the ability to keep their homes at room temperature over winter.
 

Code Monkey

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Originally posted by JacenBeers
Light bulbs are just a bad idea overall no matter what modification you make. It is strange to me that people do not have the ability to keep their homes at room temperature over winter.
That's what I'm always thinking. Any temp that is unhealthy for my Ts is uncomfortable for me. I do not consider anything below 72 suitable for normal habitation. Between the fact that I lived in Florida for a number of years and that I pretty much live in my boxer shorts and a T-shirt at home no matter what the month, I just don't get the people who keep their living quarters so damn cold. I'll live on cheese and mayonaise sandwiches before I'm going to freeze my doodads off to save $15/month.
 

JacenBeers

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Yeah no doubt living comfortably is so important. I hate the cold. if you keep your house at a comfortable temperature all should be fine.
 

Al Muoio

Arachnosquire
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Its not that I'm trying to save $15 per month on heating, I just feel comfortable sleeping with temp at 65 degs at nite. Sometimes it may go to 63 degs. Dont get me wrong, I was not planning on putting heaterlight right over the T. The tank is large enough so that I could maintain 80 degs at the warmest and will have cooler areas if desired. My intentions were not to have my T's bask in the sun (heat), I save that for my snakes.
 

Wade

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Aug 16, 2002
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Al-

It is possible to use a lightbulb for extra heat, but you've got to be real careful, it's easy to over do it. I definitely wouldn't use one on an small container like a vial or deli cup. In larger aquarium, like a ten gallon or bigger, it may be OK to position a light over one end of the enclosure. The important thing to remember is that excesive heat can kill a T much faster than too low temps (unless you're talking freezing).

Use a very low watt bulb, 25w or less. I don't know about wraping the bulb in foil, it seems like that would cause the bulb to overheat and burn out, or it may even be a fire hazard. At the hardware store, I have seen 25 and even 15 watt red "party" bulbs for $2-3 each. Inverts are not supposed to see much in the red-yelow end of the spectrum, so the light shouldn't be too disturbing. They sell darker red bulbs for reptiles, but these are higher wattage and more expensive. There's also incandescent black light bulbs, but again I think these burn too hot, plus many arthropods are attracted to light on the blue-violet end of the spectrum, so it may be visible to tarantulas as well.

I would position the lamp several inches above the tank, and carefully monitor the surface temp. Since you're just trying to bump it up a few degrees, start pretty high and see how it works. If you have a thermometer with a probe, it'll be easier to keep an eye on it.

You will also have to worry about descication. If you've got a desert species, keeping a filled water bowl in there at all times should take care of it. Humidity-loving species may be trickier, maitaining a moist substrate will require a lot more attention. Frequent, heavy mistings may help a little, but pouring water right on the substrate is probably better. You could also cover the non-heated end with plastic to keep in more humidity.

Another safer but expensive option is the radiant heat panels sold for reptiles. These mounted over the cage and radiate warmth into the cage. They emit no light. Although they can cause some of the same problems as bulbs, they heat at a lower temp (it's safe to touch them with your hand) so the risk is much lower. Since they start at something like $50 each, however, this may not be an option.

Wade
 
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