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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought a heat-emitter set-up for my hedgie I pick up in a week (yay!), and I have a couple of questions about the physical set-up of the system. I have a 8.5" ceramic fixture, a 150W emitter bulb, a ReptiTemp 500 thermostat, and a digital thermometer. I have Marchioro cage (20" x 32," http://www.petco.com/product/13394/Marchioro-Small-Animal-Cage.aspx).

My questions are:
Where should I clamp the heat emitter lamp? The center of the cage? To the side where he sleeps or the side with his wheel? Or does it even really make a difference?

Where do I put the wire sensors for my thermostat and thermometer? I'm assuming the side furthest from the heat source... Also, how should I place the sensors in the cage so the hedgie can't get at them? I have them in the corner of the cage and have shoved his igloo against that corner to block access, but I'm guessing he will be able to re-arrange his home as he sees fit. I also wonder if blocking them in like that will give an inaccurate temperature reading.

I'm sure I'll have more questions on this as I figure it out more. Sorry if this info is posted somewhere, but I wasn't able to find it in the search or Wiki. I may be over-thinking this whole thing, but I just want my hedgie to have a comfy home when he gets here :D
 

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I suggest exchanging the 8.5 fixture for a 10. The 10 will spread the heat out more. Also, with a 10, the fixture doesn't get as hot. Not a huge deal if you can't.

I put the emitter in the center of the cage usually but you can experiment with what works best. I close in the back wall of the cage with heavy clear plastic on the outside. It helps hold the heat in but with a 150 emitter you probably won't need the plastic. You may find the 150 is too big and you can't get the temperature low enough. I have found that with the 150 in a similar sized cage, but experiment.

My fixture has a couple of little holes around the bottom edge and I use them to wire the fixture right on to the top door of the cage. Then I can lift the door with the emitter on it and also don't have to worry about cats knocking it off. If you use the clamp, it will position the emitter a bit further away so the 150 might be ok. If you have other pets, I recommend wiring that clamp onto the bars of the cage so it can't be knocked off.

The probe for the thermostat works well if it is positioned right where the plastic base meets the wire. I put it at the back of the cage about middle. Set your thermostat on the cage floor directly under where the emitter is placed. It will give you the reading there. Then you can move it to beside the probe and you will know if there is a temperature difference between the location of the probe and under the emitter and adjust the temperature accordingly. It takes a bit of experimentation. Two identical thermometers work will help so you can check different areas of the cage.

I have yet to have a hedgehog mess with the probe. Usually the interest in something new wears off quickly.

Experiment. It will take a few days but you will find what works best. Is it hot right now where you live and do you have air conditioning? If no A/C, you probably won't need the emitter. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's been in the mid 80's here, but the cage has only gotten up to 76 degrees one time. We haven't had to turn on the AC yet. It gets much cooler in the evening, and as low as 72 degrees in the cage. I bought the 150W emitter as it wasn't much more expensive, and it was recommended on the Wiki. So far it doesn't seem to be much of problem, but do you think it would be wise to invest in this fixture with a dimmer? http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2753983&clickid=cart
 

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The fixture with the dimmer does work BUT, it will not turn the emitter off if the temperature is high enough that it isn't needed. Think of the dimmer like a dimmer switch on a light. It will turn the light off and on, or you can make it brighter or dimmer but wherever you set it is where it stays. The thermostat will turn the emitter off and on as needed.

You can use the dimmer in conjuction with the thermostat. The dimmer will control the output of the emitter. I actually use that dimmer fixture with my 150 so I can turn the output of the emitter down so that the thermostat will be able to control it better. The fixture with the dimmer is only about $2 more than the one without so go for it. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, I that's what I was planning on, using it with the thermostat since you said the 150w may be too big of a bulb. I just ordered the 10" one.

Thank you for all your help!
 
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