Tarantula cabinet heating suggestions

mistertim

Arachnobaron
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Sep 4, 2015
Messages
549
So I have a cabinet/wardrobe type thingy that I keep my tarantulas in...it seems to work well as it lets in enough light (through a hole in the back that is pretty close to a shaded window) during the day for them to have a day/night cycle and also closes in the front so they can mostly be in low light, which they generally prefer anyway. Here's a pic:

t-cabinet.jpg

What I'm looking to do is find a way to give the inside of the cabinet some localized raised heat to simulate more of a summer environment as my house is generally kept around room temp and my room is in the basement as well so can get a little cool. Any suggestions from those who may have done something similar? Maybe a couple heat pads on the side or ceiling of the cabinet inside?

I do have a space heater but it isn't really powerful enough to reach all of them where they are now (old spot used to be lower to the floor, but my collection expanded). And if I get some huge space heater I'll likely end up with an 80 degree room during the summer (ugh).
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
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Dec 8, 2006
Messages
14,319
Probably the best route would be flexwatt. I'd join the ballpython forum and ask there as those guys regularly wire it themselves. If you go that route, you WILL have to drop about 120$ for a thermostat.

Alternatively, MAYBE a radiant heat panel. Though I'm unsure what size one would need for that volume, and how hot it would get. I would get one from Pro-Products, and you would need a thermostat for that as well.

Controller here http://www.spyderrobotics.com/ These guys are one of the leaders.
 

Vanessa

Grammostola Groupie
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Mar 12, 2016
Messages
2,437
I don't have any experience with heat mats, but could you stick one onto the side of the cabinet, on the inside, and heat it like that? Would it generate enough heat to be a fire hazard if attached to wood?
Or, you could buy a piece of glass that could lean up against the hole in the back of the unit and attach a couple of mats to the glass and then lean it up against the unit. The glass would be long enough to be able to sit on the floor and the heat mats could be placed on the glass to line up to the hole in the back of the unit. That way you could just remove the glass when the heat is not needed, and the glass will still allow light to get through.
Do you understand what I mean? It's difficult to explain it without a picture.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
Staff member
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Feb 22, 2013
Messages
3,301
Get a large heat mat (about $25 online) and plenty of tiny terracotta pots from an arts and crafts store (about $0.50 each). Plug in the heat mat, set it up on the bottom shelf, and place the pots onto the mat upside down. The terracotta will help radiate the heat, the quantity of them will have high surface area, and the heat will naturally rise. The more pots you can fit on there, the better. To increase efficiency, drill a couple holes into the top so heat can actually escape slowly. This will help avoid stagnant air.

This is what I did for my slings during Nebraska winters, and it works like a charm. I had molts all through the winter. Not as fancy as @viper69's solution, but it works!
 
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magicmed

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jun 4, 2016
Messages
404
This is just what I would do personally to save some money, I have a cabinet I'm planning on turning into a snake tank that is similar. Drill a decent sized hole centered in the top of it (4-5"), Mount a reptile heat lamp in there (ceramic base, metal dome, no plastic junk) from the inside using some washers as heat sinks between the wood and the dome. Vent the shelving of that thing well so all levels get heat, and add a few vents in the wood sides and back so you don't overheat it. Now here's where it gets really important, get yourself a VERY low power ceramic heat emitter or red bulb, CHE are better from what I've heard, and put a couple digital thermometers in there and give it a trial run for a day or two. See how hot it gets and add more vents if you need to cool it down.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
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Dec 8, 2006
Messages
14,319
I wouldn't use a bulb, far less reliable. If you go with something that has a socket, make sure you use a lamp dome that has a ceramic socket. Plastics will melt.

I've used both, and after using ceramic, I'll never go back.

Radiant Heat Panels are even better than the above.
 
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mistertim

Arachnobaron
Joined
Sep 4, 2015
Messages
549
Thanks guys! Some really good suggestions here. I'll check them all out. Only thing I'm worried about is whether the heat will all just escape out the hole in the back. However, if I cover up the hole, I'll lose the ventilation that provides as well, as I tend to keep the front mostly closed. I suppose I could go fancy and fit a small fan into a piece of plexi and attach that over the hole.
 
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