New enthusiast with heat-mat question.

Daesu

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Messages
12
Hi everyone,
Very new T owner here. I got Ragnar (curly hair i think) about a week ago and have an exo - terra enclosure which has a fake rock polystyrene background. Because i live in england the temperature at this time of year can fluctuate quite wildly from day to day sometimes between 5 - 10 degrees C.
I have a heat-mat which i want to attach to the back of the enclosure but am just wondering if the polystyrene will insulate the heat from the warmth and prevent it from actually heating the inside of the cage.
Anyone have experience of this?
 
Last edited:

basin79

ArachnoGod
Active Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
5,898
Hi everyone,
Very new T owner here. I got Ragnar (curly hair i think) about a week ago and have an exo - terra enclosure which has a fake rock polystyrene background. Because i live in england the temperature at this time of year can fluctuate quite wildly from day to day sometimes between 5 - 10 degrees C.
I have a heat-mat which i want to attach to the back of the enclosure but am just wondering if the polystyrene will insulate the heat from the warmth and prevent it from actually heating the inside of the cage.
Anyone have experience of this?
Get rid of the background and buy a mat stat. Job done.
 

sdsnybny

Arachnogeek
Arachnosupporter
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
1,337
1) The heat mat my start to melt/burn the background and release toxic fumes.
2) Mild temperature fluctuations are experienced in the wild so not a problem as long as its in the 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit range.
3) If your room isn't warm enough then invest in a decent oil filled space heater to keep the whole room in the correct range.
 

basin79

ArachnoGod
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Sep 14, 2013
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5,898
There's absolutely no need to buy a space heater.

You just need to remove the background and buy a mat stat to control the temperature of the heat mat.
 

The Grym Reaper

Arachnoreaper
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Jul 19, 2016
Messages
4,515
I'd personally take out the background (I'm not a fan of them, I'm sure others will agree), heat mats are generally frowned upon here but you've at least got the right idea by wanting to attach it to the back/side of the enclosure rather than placing it underneath, just make sure you hook the mat up to a thermostat to regulate the temperature or you run the risk of toasting your Tarantula.

I live in England too and my room temp doesn't really drop below 18C but I do like to keep the room in the mid 20's so I use a small heater to achieve that but I do use a heat mat rigged up to a thermostat for my Asian Forest Scorpion (she prefers temps in the high 20's/low 30's) and I've had no problems.
 

basin79

ArachnoGod
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Sep 14, 2013
Messages
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I'd personally take out the background (I'm not a fan of them, I'm sure others will agree), heat mats are generally frowned upon here but you've at least got the right idea by wanting to attach it to the back/side of the enclosure rather than placing it underneath, just make sure you hook the mat up to a thermostat to regulate the temperature or you run the risk of toasting your Tarantula.

I live in England too and my room temp doesn't really drop below 18C but I do like to keep the room in the mid 20's so I use a small heater to achieve that but I do use a heat mat rigged up to a thermostat for my Asian Forest Scorpion (she prefers temps in the high 20's/low 30's) and I've had no problems.
My room gets to around 65f during the day. Perfect for my Megaphobema Mesomelas girl. Heat mats connected to mat stats do the job for my other inverts.
 

Daesu

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Messages
12
Thanks for the advice guys, i actually have a thermostat for my heat mat. I considered taking the background out but don't want the little fellow feeling even more exposed than than it is already being in a glass box!
I will consider the information given here and make a choice.
 

basin79

ArachnoGod
Active Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
5,898
Thanks for the advice guys, i actually have a thermostat for my heat mat. I considered taking the background out but don't want the little fellow feeling even more exposed than than it is already being in a glass box!
I will consider the information given here and make a choice.
Take the background out. It'll stop most/all of the heat getting through. The installation you put behind the heat mat will block out any extra light if that's an issue.
 

Anoplogaster

Arachnodemon
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
675
You're actually safer staying on the cool side with Ts, as with most animals. Too cold, and metabolic performance is generally lower. But if you raise the temperature beyond a threshold, most animals decline VERY quickly! This is why most T owners steer clear of heat pads all together, even with a thermostat (they're not always perfect). When you start adding electronics, the odds of something failing go up. One malfunction can result in a dead T, and all because the keeper is chasing an arbitrary "perfect" temperature.

Also, the front access exo terras are not suitable for a curly hair. Too tall.
 

basin79

ArachnoGod
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Sep 14, 2013
Messages
5,898
You're actually safer staying on the cool side with Ts, as with most animals. Too cold, and metabolic performance is generally lower. But if you raise the temperature beyond a threshold, most animals decline VERY quickly! This is why most T owners steer clear of heat pads all together, even with a thermostat (they're not always perfect). When you start adding electronics, the odds of something failing go up. One malfunction can result in a dead T, and all because the keeper is chasing an arbitrary "perfect" temperature.

Also, the front access exo terras are not suitable for a curly hair. Too tall.
I've got my Brachypelma Smithi girl in a 30x30x30 exo terra. 4" of sub and she's right as a clock.
 

cold blood

Moderator
Staff member
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Jan 19, 2014
Messages
12,370
Hi everyone,
Very new T owner here. I got Ragnar (curly hair i think) about a week ago and have an exo - terra enclosure which has a fake rock polystyrene background. Because i live in england the temperature at this time of year can fluctuate quite wildly from day to day sometimes between 5 - 10 degrees C.
I have a heat-mat which i want to attach to the back of the enclosure but am just wondering if the polystyrene will insulate the heat from the warmth and prevent it from actually heating the inside of the cage.
Anyone have experience of this?
I've got my Brachypelma Smithi girl in a 30x30x30 exo terra. 4" of sub and she's right as a clock.
Important to note for both of you....that without significant modification (so the door is on top and the former top is dammed or blocked), an exo-terra enclosure is an arboreal enclosure and by design, not appropriate for a terrestrial. The front doors prevent the addition of enough substrate to maintain a safe environment.

Op, those backgrounds are also an arboreal specific thing, as they encourage climbing...something a terrestrial should be discouraged from doing, for its own safety.

As for the mats, you really want to avoid direct heat applications such as this as a rule with tarantulas. A secondary heat, like that of a space heater in the room, are much safer and most effective....there's a reason why so many of us use them.

A heat pad can be used though, it just makes for a slightly more cumbersome set up, as you need to turn that direct heat into a gentler secondary heat. You accomplish this by heating a larger enclosure, and putting the enclosure with the t, inside that larger heated one. I've seen a few set ups done like this that were pretty creative and looked nice.
 

basin79

ArachnoGod
Active Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
5,898
Important to note for both of you....that without significant modification (so the door is on top and the former top is dammed or blocked), an exo-terra enclosure is an arboreal enclosure and by design, not appropriate for a terrestrial. The front doors prevent the addition of enough substrate to maintain a safe environment.

Op, those backgrounds are also an arboreal specific thing, as they encourage climbing...something a terrestrial should be discouraged from doing, for its own safety.

As for the mats, you really want to avoid direct heat applications such as this as a rule with tarantulas. A secondary heat, like that of a space heater in the room, are much safer and most effective....there's a reason why so many of us use them.

A heat pad can be used though, it just makes for a slightly more cumbersome set up, as you need to turn that direct heat into a gentler secondary heat. You accomplish this by heating a larger enclosure, and putting the enclosure with the t, inside that larger heated one. I've seen a few set ups done like this that were pretty creative and looked nice.
With the 4" of sub it's 8" to the top. I don't feel that's a big deal myself.
 

bryverine

Arachnoangel
Joined
Apr 18, 2012
Messages
894
Yes. I'm getting paid. For every mat stat I sell I get 3p.
Seems like those are pretty area specific (geographically speaking)... not so easy to find in the US for a decent price... I love the idea though.
 

basin79

ArachnoGod
Active Member
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Sep 14, 2013
Messages
5,898
4+8 does not equal 30. Can you check your math?
4 inch + 8 inch equals 12 inch.

12 inch is equal to 1 foot or 30cm.

That's the maths I was taught at school. I mean it's been 21 years since I was there bit I'm pretty sure it's stayed the same.
 

Anoplogaster

Arachnodemon
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
675
4 inch + 8 inch equals 12 inch.

12 inch is equal to 1 foot or 30cm.

That's the maths I was taught at school. I mean it's been 21 years since I was there bit I'm pretty sure it's stayed the same.
That's where units are helpful, especially when you're mixing units in your descriptions.
 
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