Why does the tarantula community vehemently oppose heat padd?

BishopiMaster

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
358
Just thought I'd bring this up because I've wondered about it:

For my slings, i use a bare bones micro climate esque setup where i use a heatpad on the side of a 10 gallon aquarium, and i cover 2/3rds of the top screen with foil. It keeps the enclosures high 70s on a hot day and low 70s the rest of the time, it works very well for me, and is cost effective.

I think there are 3 arguments that i have observed.

1. heatpads should not be used because tarantulas burrow to escape the heat.

- place it on the side

2. heatpads should not be used because heatpads dry out the cage.

- they do dry out the substrate a little bit
faster, but only as a result of the ambient
air being hotter, were not talking about. any hairdrying effect here, id even argue that its good because the evaporation of water is what creates humidity, and i water my slings once a week.

3. heatpads should not be used because. they get too hot

- even without the required 8th inch gap, and metal foil tape, in my 5 gallon, which houses 5 slings, the substrate floor of each jar is high 70s at the most on a hot day.

No offense, but i dont want to hear any arguments about heatpads not being needed because of room temperature being adequate. Let us assume we are using external heating because the rooms are not hot enough.
 

Stormsky

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 9, 2016
Messages
33
I think the biggest issue is that it creates a spot in the enclosure with direct heat where the tarantula can possibly cook themselves instead of just being an ambient temperature that you would get with a space heater in the room. You said that it doesn't get too hot but some of them are capable of reaching pretty high temperatures which can cause problems very quickly being right next to the tarantula like that.

When people do say it is ok to use them, it is in situations like the way you are using it. It is attached to the side of a larger enclosure with the normal enclosure inside of it so the spider is incapable of direct contact with the heat source.

Now for the argument you don't want.
I also think that in most cases where this is brought up, it is in threads where beginners were told to use them by the pet store when they really don't need them and being beginners, probably wouldn't be using them right even if they did need them.
 

BishopiMaster

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
358
I think the biggest issue is that it creates a spot in the enclosure with direct heat where the tarantula can possibly cook themselves instead of just being an ambient temperature that you would get with a space heater in the room. You said that it doesn't get too hot but some of them are capable of reaching pretty high temperatures which can cause problems very quickly being right next to the tarantula like that.

When people do say it is ok to use them, it is in situations like the way you are using it. It is attached to the side of a larger enclosure with the normal enclosure inside of it so the spider is incapable of direct contact with the heat source.

Now for the argument you don't want.
I also think that in most cases where this is brought up, it is in threads where beginners were told to use them by the pet store when they really don't need them and being beginners, probably wouldn't be using them right even if they did need them.
I can understand the single located spot issue, i only use them as a means of ambient air either like this microclimate setup or in a rack behind enclosures, the beginner thing makes sense
 

CEC

Arachnoangel
Arachnosupporter
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
852
In the situation you are framing, and assuming you are only heating species that thrive in a warmer climate. I don't see anything wrong with it. I live in a winter hell hole so winter months I use a space heater. It's more economical than slapping a heat pad on or around every enclosure I have.

If you haven't noticed this is only one example. The community likes absolutes which is non-sense. There are many alternatives to keeping these creatures and most of the time there's an exception to the rule. Absolutisms are hard to come by in this hobby. Lots of misinformation is regurgitated without question or thought, sometimes even completely lacking common sense.
 
Last edited:

boina

Lady of the mites
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Mar 25, 2015
Messages
2,205
The community likes absolutes, that's true. But you have to admit it's A LOT easier to tell a newbie to not use heat pads than to go into a very long explanation as to how they may be used without harming the tarantula, in which cases they make sense and when not, and, and, and... And then repeat or reference that to every new newbie that comes along. Maybe we need a masterpost: When and how to use a heat pad correctly.
 

Ungoliant

Malleus Aranearum
Staff member
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
Messages
3,825
Maybe we need a masterpost: When and how to use a heat pad correctly.
If anything, they should consolidate and unpin some of the ones that are there now. It's already two page downs to get to the first thread with new posts.
 

Venom1080

Arachnoemperor
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
4,583
tarantulas are heat pad addicts. i know when i used one in my beginner years my porteri never moved form that spot. i have to say shes still alive and well however. but i imagine if its was a more moisture dependent species it would have died. iud never risk it on say, a Lampropelma or Theraphosa.
improper use can lead to burns. a stated mat on the side would be okay.
 

mconnachan

Arachnoprince
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
1,246
Coming from Scotland I need to use heat mats due to our wonderful weather (NOT) I always use a thermostat, I always have the mat on or to the side of the enclosure with large sp. but with slings (I have 3 ATM) they are 1/3 of the way onto the heatmat, that way the spider can choose where it is most comfortable, I've always used them and unless I move overseas I always will, have kept T's this way for over a decade with no harm to my prized collection.
 

Walker253

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jun 12, 2016
Messages
556
Yeah, the problem is the heat from a pad or mat isn't regulated. Some unit can overheat and burn the animal. Burrowing and terrestrial T's can find their way to a very hot spot. I have no issue about keeping one on the side. It may not look the best but it can be functional. A 17 watt heat mat is definately more economical than a 1500 watt heater.
 

boina

Lady of the mites
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Mar 25, 2015
Messages
2,205
Yeah, the problem is the heat from a pad or mat isn't regulated. Some unit can overheat and burn the animal. Burrowing and terrestrial T's can find their way to a very hot spot. I have no issue about keeping one on the side. It may not look the best but it can be functional. A 17 watt heat mat is definately more economical than a 1500 watt heater.
And even that isn't absolute. For a large collection one space heater is more economical than, let's say, 100 heat mats :p.
 

Jason B

Arachnosquire
Joined
Sep 10, 2016
Messages
88
I use a heat rope to currently keep my roach colony at a above room temp tempature. I also have a regulator in the terms of a dual outlet with a dial that controls the amount of electric going to those outlets with out this regulator this heat rope will make my 36 gallon bins over 110 degrees with ease. keeping the setting on low keeps these bins at 85-95 degrees. halfway between medium and low put them at the 110 mark.. This is a product which does not come with the regulator and with a bad setup could kill Ts with ease.

That said in my past I used this setup to do something similar with my slings and it worked. It just requires the proper set up and some understanding that even though Ts come from hot areas in nature they have ways to escape extreme heat. This is all stuff your average Joe walking out of a pet store with his first T might not understand.
 

CEC

Arachnoangel
Arachnosupporter
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
852
The community likes absolutes, that's true. But you have to admit it's A LOT easier to tell a newbie to not use heat pads than to go into a very long explanation as to how they may be used without harming the tarantula, in which cases they make sense and when not, and, and, and... And then repeat or reference that to every new newbie that comes along. Maybe we need a masterpost: When and how to use a heat pad correctly.
I agree... The problem is these newbies are taught this without an alternative. Which leads them to teach the next line of newbies as if nothing else works. This causes a pack mentality of one way of doing things. If you haven't noticed, the most experienced people in this hobby really only comment to correct people. They have answered the same question so many times, they only chime in when false information is spreading. Of course, they miss a lot of it. So it remains a problem. Just look at some of the groups on FB, it's mind blowing how misinformed lots of people are and they will not budge on their inexperienced opinion.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
11,539
I agree... The problem is these newbies are taught this without an alternative. Which leads them to teach the next line of newbies as if nothing else works. This causes a pack mentality of one way of doing things. If you haven't noticed, the most experienced people in this hobby really only comment to correct people. They have answered the same question so many times, they only chime in when false information is spreading. Of course, they miss a lot of it. So it remains a problem. Just look at some of the groups on FB, it's mind blowing how misinformed lots of people are and they will not budge on their inexperienced opinion.
I couldn't agree more.
 

BishopiMaster

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
358
Man, space heaters are brutal, they easily cost you an additional 150+ dollars a month and that's not even necessarily absolute,;),
as they may bump you into the next tier.
 

Dylan Bruce

Arachnosquire
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
88
Coming from Scotland I need to use heat mats due to our wonderful weather (NOT) I always use a thermostat, I always have the mat on or to the side of the enclosure with large sp. but with slings (I have 3 ATM) they are 1/3 of the way onto the heatmat, that way the spider can choose where it is most comfortable, I've always used them and unless I move overseas I always will, have kept T's this way for over a decade with no harm to my prized collection.
Also coming from Scotland I can vouch for our amazing weather ;) I also use a heat mat alongside a thermostat and theromometer to monitor and control the temperature. Simply because it is too cold especially during the winter. My B. hamori likes to stick quite close to the heat mat as others have mentioned their T's like to do but I can't see this doing any harm simce the temperature is properly controlled. I understand that alot of newbies in the hobby don't do the proper research before getting a T and a heat mat used in the wrong way can be a disaster waiting to happen but I think it's always better to show people how to use them properly than simply say heat Mats are bad.
 

mconnachan

Arachnoprince
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
1,246
Yeah, the problem is the heat from a pad or mat isn't regulated. Some unit can overheat and burn the animal. Burrowing and terrestrial T's can find their way to a very hot spot. I have no issue about keeping one on the side. It may not look the best but it can be functional. A 17 watt heat mat is definately more economical than a 1500 watt heater.
It is if a thermostat is used..........
 

Kendricks

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jan 18, 2017
Messages
148
The problem aren't heat mats. The problem is when people use them wrong.
Unfortunately, many people fail to see the difference and still prefer to declare heat mats a source of hell-spawn danger, just waiting to malfunction and fry your Tarantula.
While I do not use them (no need for additional heat source), and while I agree that in most cases there are better alternatives - they can be useful, as some in this thread pointed out, and do not deserve the Flak they get in my opinion.
 

CEC

Arachnoangel
Arachnosupporter
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
852
Man, space heaters are brutal, they easily cost you an additional 150+ dollars a month and that's not even necessarily absolute,;),
as they may bump you into the next tier.
Depends on the kind first off, the oil based heaters don't use near as much energy. Secondly no, my electricity bill hasn't raisen anywhere near that much.
 

BishopiMaster

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
358
Depends on the kind first off, the oil based heaters don't use near as much energy. Secondly no, my electricity bill hasn't raisen anywhere near that much.
Yeah i had a 1500 watt electric that raised it up that much, granted, it was ran 24/7
 
Top