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Old 10-27-2014, 02:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Heating my Sterilite Bins?

I'm very, very new to the hedgehog world!! Just finished building my cage and hoping to buy a hedgehog within the next month (: I keep hearing different things about heating cages, so I don't really know what to do.
I have two 54 quart bins connected by PVC pipe. The lids' middles are cut out and replaced with window screening.
I bought a small animal heating pad planning to use it under the bins to heat it up, but found out the pads are contact only-- won't work through the plastic. I've heard that CHE will melt plastic, and they're a little too expensive for me!
My room's general temperature in the fall/winter is 68ish. I have a small heater I can use when I'm in the room, but I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to run it 24/7. How can I heat up the bins to maintain a steady temp for my hedgehog?
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Old 10-27-2014, 02:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the hedgie world!

Here's a little back story-- my biggest fear.. probably in life, lol... is my hedgie hibernating. I live in the Northeast US, near Canada, and it is starting to get cold here and I know it will only get worse. I am guilty of cranking up her thermostat all the time.

With all of that being said, I am still learning a lot about hedgies, but I think CHEs are really the most efficient way to heat up the cage, especially when you have a thermostat attached to them. Yes, the start up cost is a little pricey (I'm a grad student, this graduate level tuition is a killer!) but with a thermostat, you will have the peace of mind that the temperature is always at a steady, safe temperature. Also, the thermostat will shut the bulb off when it exceeds the temperature you set, making it more energy efficient and the bulb will last longer rather than it burning all the time (they get pretty hot.) I can't really say too much about cost efficiency, because the thermostat will have to always be plugged in, but in general it is still much cheaper, monetarily and energy wise, than the next option I will suggest.

You can also get a small space heater, but that will definitely be more costly than having a CHE set up. I'm not sure how that would penetrate (or not penetrate) through a Sterilite plastic bin, though. They can generally stay on for long periods of time, and although not as common as a CHE set up, some people do use them.

If you are interesting in try CHE, I had my hedgehog for a weekend away in a Sterilite bin. On top of it, we put a metal wire screen that would typically be used on a fish tank. That worked well.

Good luck!
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Old 10-27-2014, 10:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm not sure where you heard that CHE's will melt a plastic bin but that definitely isn't true. As long as you have a thermostat with you CHE, it'll be kept at a maintained temperature. You can buy two small ones, plugged into one thermostat. You can buy wire mesh, cut holes in the lids of the bin and attach the mesh, the CHE can sit in the mesh.

Word of caution, if you think that a CHE set up is expensive, it is much more expensive to take an exotic animal to the vet because she/he got sick from a hibernation attempt. Many hedgehogs that hibernate get upper respiratory infections and need antibiotics to treat.

Please think about the price of your hedgehogs health before taking that leap into getting one.
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Old 10-29-2014, 08:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I can get a CHE if it's the best option, I was just seeing if what I had would be good or if there was a cheaper alternative.
Do you think it would be warm enough if I had a heating pad inside the cage for laying on, a reptile heating pad under the other bin, a space heater, and a snugglesafe microwavable sleeping pad?
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Old 10-29-2014, 08:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Heating pads of any type should only be used as extra heating for sick or elderly hedgehogs. You need something that will heat the air, not just the bottom of the cage. A CHE is going to be the most cost effective, and safest, option in the long term.
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Old 11-03-2014, 12:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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why couldn't you use something like this? it's only $15.
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I went through something like this myself. I ended up buying a hermit crab heating pad, and sticking it to the bottom of their bin. it seems to be working really well, and it doesnt melt the plastic at all, if you were worried about that.
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