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Old 10-06-2009, 02:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Yet another heating question

I know this topic gets brought up every day but I'm having trouble finding specific information about heating pads. This is mostly because people will just say "don't get a heating pad, get a ceramic heat emitter" which I agree with but I think the way that my cage is setup requires me to get a heating pad.

[attachment=0:34856ozl]newcage1.jpg[/attachment:34856ozl]

When I first got Lima in March, I got a fixture with a built in dimmer and a 150 watt red bulb (I now realize should've been a ceramic heat emitter) which worked fine, especially since it was starting to get warm already. I did still keep my room around 75 because I didn't really have any other way to heat the lower level of the cage. I want to revamp my heating situation now for a few reasons.. 1, Although I do like having my bedroom at 75 degrees, I have 3 roommates and I don't want to have to rely on them being "good roommates" and not changing the radiator setting or leaving my bedroom door open while there's an open window somewhere in the apt, etc. So basically I need my cage to be able to completely heat itself. 2, I added an expansion to my cage since I built it and don't yet have a way to heat it. 3, My lower level still has no heat source.

My shopping list:
1 Zilla 1000 watt thermostat
1 new fixture for my "wheel room"
2 ceramic heat emitters (1 to replace my red bulb and 1 to go in the new fixture)
1 heating pad for my "downstairs"

My main issue right now is with the heating pad. Lima has 3 sleeping spots now. 1 upstairs and 2 downstairs. I realize that the heating pad shouldn't be plugged into the thermostat or it'll be flicking on and off while she's trying to sleep. I'd like to avoid buying a rheostat just for the heating pad, and instead just buy the correct wattage heating pad but I can't find any info about what wattage is appropriate. Also note this is a plastic cage.

On Reaper's heating info thread, he says to have the heating pad take up only half of the cage. Lima's entire downstairs is now taken up by a ginormous house which she now sometimes uses to sleep. I think I'll have to try to find a pad that takes up half of this house.

Also, I know the ceramic heat emitter gets much hotter than the red bulb and the fixture shouldn't be touching the plastic cage. Right now the fixture is about 1 inch away from the plastic, and it is extremely sturdy in this position. Is this safe?

PS- I realized I haven't posted on this forum in a long time. I think I need to post a little status update on Lima in "fun stuff" category which will include photos of her new giant house which is absolutely pimp.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Yet another heating question

I am still new so don't have much knowledge on this stuff but wanted to suggest a SNuggle Safe disk for the area that is difficult to heat as you only want to do half the area. Since you have alternate sleeping/warming areas if it does cool down, I was thinking this would be an easy solution for a difficult spot.

I have two of them as extra-snuggling options for my two little guys. I put the disk on half of their entire bed so they can still be in bed without being on top of it or forced to be against it.
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Old 10-06-2009, 04:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Yet another heating question

The impression I get from reading about other peoples set ups is that it is not safe to use a ceramic heat emitter with a bin cage set up - at all. Which sucks because your cage rocks but I don't know a way around it aside from just using a space heater or heating the whole room.

If the red light doesn't bother Lima (or hasn't so far) I would just stick with that and get a second one for the extension to the cage. I could be wrong but I don't think there is a safe way to use a heat emitter with a bin cage. Keep in mind I know very little about it and don't use one myself.
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Yet another heating question

krbshappy71, those heat discs actually look really good and I think I'll get one for after she takes a bath or if she ever tries to hibernate. But I'd still like a heating pad that I could just leave plugged in and not have to worry about microwaving every day.

hedgielover, I see your point and agree that maybe I should just stick with the red bulbs.. The problem is that I wanted to plug the heat lamps into a thermostat, and although I don't think the red light bothers her much, I think it would be bothersome when the thermostat flicks the lights on and off continuously. I guess I might just stay with red lights dimmed to a good intensity.

New question: The red light I have does a good job of heating Lima's "upstairs". But if I do the same setup for her "wheel room", I think the light will be way too close to her because she's elevated when she's on the wheel. So I guess I could either dim that light more, or set up a stand that keeps the fixture higher up. Or maybe that room doesn't need to be kept as warm because she only uses it for running and hedgies tend to hibernate when they're sleeping? But I guess it's important for her to be comfortable there or she won't run as much.

Does anyone who uses a heating pad have a recommended wattage that's safe for plastic?
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Yet another heating question

Found this heating pad that is designed for glass or plastic terrariums. Seems small enough that I could make it take up half of her house.

Zoo Med Repti Therm mini (RH-7)
http://www.reptilesupply.com/product.ph ... cts_id=686
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Yet another heating question

you still need to heat the air where she will be running...vast temperature changes can also trigger hibernation so her entire habitat needs to be kept the same temp....heating pads can also cause low temperature burns if she sleeps on it.
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Yet another heating question

Well I think heating pads are ok if they're used right, which is why I'm asking people who use them for advice. They're even on Reapers "three ways to best heat a hedgehogs cage or bin" in his heating/cooling thread. So based on Reaper's guidelines, I think the one I found might be a good fit for my cage.

And yeah I think I'm going to end up setting up the lamp in her "wheel room" the same way as I did with her "upstairs" and just dim down the intensity.. Hopefully it won't bother her to run with the lamp there.
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Yet another heating question

Reaper also said a human heating pad...i think the reptile ones turn on and off, not sure...but he did make sure that they did not have an automatic timer.
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Yet another heating question

Re: Under Tank Heater

Postby Nancy on Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:37 pm
Heating pads and under tank heaters only heat the floor of the cage in the spot where the heater is. The whole cage environment needs to be at a suitable temperature. Heating pads are very warm so when they leave the heating pad area, the air feels even cooler because of it being so warm where they sleep. A far better and healthier option is a ceramic heat emitter which will warm the whole cage environment without having such a drastic change in temperature.
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Yet another heating question

Are Ceramic Heat Emitters ok for Fleece lined cages?

I have a C&C cage with fleece liners... will the Emitter burn the Fleece? What is a safe distance for the Emitter?

I am planning on getting a CHE very soon but am concerned about burning the fleece and subsequently the safety of Flash, Dash, And Mundae
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