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Old 02-03-2009, 12:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Zoo Med Repti Temp Rheostat

Wondering if I could get some advise. I went to the local pet store today to get some heating for my hedgehog. I was able to get a fluker's clamp lamp and the Exo Terra Ceramic Heat Emitter 100W, but I could not find a thermostat where I can set it to a temp that I want. I could only find the Repti Temp Rheostat, which has a dial for low, med and high. I do have a digital thermometer which I have been keeping a close eye on. I am wondering how easy these are to use to keep the cage a certain temp? I only have two pet store's in the city where I live so choices are limited. Any advise would be great.

Thank You
Carla
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Old 02-03-2009, 01:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zoo Med Repti Temp Rheostat

its a good idea to get the thermostat only cuz it comes wit a probe u can put in the cage so u know the temps right... with a rheostat itst just always on at the setting u pic... if u go to petsmart.com u can order the 500r for a really good price... i have it and its amazing
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Old 02-03-2009, 03:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zoo Med Repti Temp Rheostat

A rheostat is basically a dimmer. So the heater is always on but you can control "how bright the light is" or how hot the emitter gets. This is a bad choice. You really want a controller which is basically a thermostat just like the one for your home heating. You set the controller at a certain temperature and the controller turns on and off the emitter to keep the temperature at the probe at the set temperature. So in my case my probe is on the inside of the cage at the bottom by the floor of the cage. I set the temperature at 75 and the controller keeps the temp of the cage between 74.5 and 75.5. Zoo-Med's repti-temp 500 r is a good choice and Zilla has a 500 watt model as well as a 1000 watt model. I have the latter with a 150 watt emitter. It works absolutely perfect. A temperature controller is definitely the way to go.
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zoo Med Repti Temp Rheostat

I did some research and, as it has already been mentioned, the Rheostat just adjusts how much heat your lamp puts out (like a dimmer) while a thermostat will turn the lamp on when the temp gets too low, and then turn it off when the temp gets too high.

I'm planning on buying the rest of my hedgie stuff next week and have a thermostat on my list since I will be using 2 heat emitters on each side of my cage. This way I can set it and forget it. After a LOT of searching online, I've found that ReptileSupply.com seems to have the best price if you are willing to buy online. Plus, if you find it cheaper somewhere else they will price-match.

They have a couple to choose from. The ReptiTemp 500R is $24.99 + shipping, and the 500 watts Zilla Temperature Controller is $28.99 + shipping. (I did see the Zilla one in my local Petco for around $50). I was thinking of getting the ReptiTemp one just because I haven't heard anything about the Zilla one and couldn't find any reviews for it online.

ReptiTemp 500: http://www.reptilesupply.com/product.php?products_id=75
Zilla Temp Controller: http://www.reptilesupply.com/product...oducts_id=2534
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zoo Med Repti Temp Rheostat

I use the Zilla and it works perfectly. I have the 1000 watt and it has more than one outlet for multiple heaters. I have a Marchioro "Tommy 120" cage, basically 2 feet by 4 feet with one 150 watt ceramic emitter. The cage temperature stays within +/- 1 degree F. The Zilla controller also has a graduated dial with temperatures marked on the dial. I was surprised to find the markings on the dial are actually accurate. If you set the dial at 75 F that is the temperature it keeps the cage at. I also use a digital thermometer as well as an old glass type with red "mercury" in it.
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zoo Med Repti Temp Rheostat

Thanks for sharing your review Reaper!!! I think I will get the 1000w Zilla then since I'm going to have 2 lamps. (It looks better, but I was worried buying something I had never heard of!) I was kind of dreading getting the temp right with the ReptiTemp since it doesn't have any numbers...just low, medium, and high. I have a fish tank heater like that and it was such a pain in the butt to find the right spot, and one time I bumped it and had to start over! Pointing to a number sounds so much easier! (I'll still monitor the temp though just to make sure it's accurate.)
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zoo Med Repti Temp Rheostat

The ReptiTemp has infinite control, not just low med and hi. What it doesn't do is give you degrees to set it too but I have heard that the ones with degrees are not usually accurate anyways. Reaper, you must be lucky. The only thing is, with degrees, once you know what degree to set it to it is easier even if it doesn't correspond to the actual temperature. The ReptiTemp will control two emitters and it works well as I've used the same thermostat to control two separate cages.

I'll have to get the Zilla one and try it so I can give a comparison between the two.
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Old 02-03-2009, 07:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Zoo Med Repti Temp Rheostat

Thanx everyone for all the help. I have ordered the Zoo-Med's repti-temp 500, and it should be here in a couple days. I will be keeping a very close eye on the heat until then.
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Old 02-10-2009, 02:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zoo Med Repti Temp Rheostat

Actually, the zoo-med rheostat is completely analog, so you can dial it up and down to any point on the dial, not just three settings. As someone pointed out already, it does not have an exact temperature control so you have to “dial in” the temp you want through trial and error. An infrared thermometer is really helpful for this.

http://www.amazon.com/PE1-INFRARED-THER ... B0009O1G5K

I use the zoo-med temp controls on my under-tank heating pads. This allows me to put some warmth on their sleeping area, but prevent the area from becoming too hot.

The zilla thermostat is a pretty neat idea and the price is nice and reasonable. The other devices I’ve seen have run near $100 (USD), so this is much more approachable. If it cycles the heat on and off then it would also help keep the energy costs down, as those ceramic heaters use gobs of power.
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Zoo Med Repti Temp Rheostat

They only use as much power as they are rated for. A 60 watt emitter can only use 60 watts. The same amount as a 60 watt light bulb. All of the temperature "controllers" are analog. A rheostat is a dimmer, A thermostatic controller is a switch that turns the heater on and off at the desired setting just like the thermostat for your home heating or air conditioning. The zoo-med repti temp 500r is a thermostatic controller good to 500 watts. Zilla (previously ESU) makes two : one is rated at 500 watts and one is rated at 1000 watts. This means you could plug in TEN 100 watt ceramic heat emitters without causing damage or a fire hazard. The wattage on a ceramic heat emitter is how much power the device uses. It can never use more. It can however use less if hooked up to a rheostat. With a rheostat you can turn the amount of power the emitter uses from zero watts to the devices rated watts. For instance : if you have a emitter rated at 100 watts you can turn it from zero all the way up to 100. So it is always on. And if you had it turned half way the emitter would be using 50 watts of electricity all the time. A controller with the same 100 watt emitter turns the the emitter on using 100 watts of electricity until the desired setting is reached (say 75 degrees F) and then turns it all the way off. When the temperature drops it turns it back on and so forth. A thermostatic controller is a much more precise and efficient way to keep an area at a set temperature
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