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Is my heating set-up ok?

1624 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Annabeth
Right now it's cooler in Houston and we've been keeping the apartment at about 74 and she's been doing fine. No hibernation attempts but since my Maine **** seems to be a little annoyed with how warm it is in the apartment, I'm switching to a heat source. I'm wondering if the components I've bought and plan to buy for my Mina's cage are ok.

Here's what I've bought so far:

150 watt ceramic heat emitter bulb-

Clamp lamp-


I'm planning on ordering the following thermostat and wanted to know to see if anyone has ever used it and what they thought.

A few housing specs-
A & C cage with a 28" x 48' living area with an unfinished loft over possibly 1/4 the cage (haven't decided). The cage is 28" high, not including the storage area underneath. There is a 10" coroplast pan because my little Mina is a climber.

Thanks in advance for your feedback!
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I have a ReptiTemp thermometer, and I'm finding it only just barely adequate. There's no real display on the thing to show how warm you're setting it to, for one thing. It just has a rheostat-like dial that indicates a lower or higher setting. Finding the right temperature for your hedgehog is a trial-and-error process of shifting the dial one way or the other, and checking the effects on a thermometer (not built in or included).

This is also an "on/off" system, which works sort of like the furnace in your house . . . or at least the furnace in my house. >.< The bulb will turn on when the thermostat's probe senses that the heat is lower than whatever limit you set. When the temperature rises higher than that limit, the bulb shuts off. So you get a series of: "Too cold. Dammit! Too hot. Dammit!" instead of a steady temperature. If your hedgie is in a room where the temperature is very stable, this last bit probably won't bother you, but since my entire apartment is always going from too cold to too hot, I'm finding it a problem. (I happen to like the air about the same temperature that a hedgehog does, so I'm not fond of hot!cold!hot!cold! either.)

I'm thinking of asking for one of these for Christmas (can't really afford one on my own):


Proportional thermostats do a much better job of keeping a cage area at a steady temperature, and these models allow you to do things like type in "75" instead of looking at a separate thermometer and guessing which dial position will keep the temperature where you want it.

If your house/apartment doesn't have unpleasant temperature variations, you might want to look at this:


It's an "on/off" thermostat, but it does let you pick specific temperatures. It's also like 40 bucks instead of 140. ;)
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I don't find the ReptiTemp gives much of a temperature variation. If I get it set for 75, it stays within a degree of that. I do agree though that it can be a bit of a pain to get set initially but once set, it doesn't need to be changed. Ones with actual temperatures would be easier, as long as it was accurate.
I expect it depends on where a hedgie will be living. In most people's houses, on/off-type thermostats should be okay.

If you live in a badly-insulated apartment in a state where the weather is famous for doing bizarre things, however, a proportional thermostat might make your hedgehog more comfortable.

As an example--the temperature in my apartment can easily rise or drop by 10-12 degrees within a couple of hours. This crummy temperature control seems fairly typical of older and cheaper housing (and if I know about anything, it's about old and cheap!!) ;) My ReptiTemp helps keep the variation in Spirit's cage to more like 6 degrees, but I think she'd be happier if I could reduce the sudden changes in temperature even more.

I agree that most home environments aren't going to require a fancy-shmancy thermostat, but if someone knows they live in a "dress in layers" house, they might want to consider saving the 30-40 dollars, skipping the ReptiTemp, and going directly to a high-end thermostat. Chances are that's what they'll wind up with in the end, anyhow.
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Thanks for your imput guys!

Our apartment complex was built in the early 70s, so I'll probably shell out for the higher end thermostat. Although it is comfortable @ home for the most part, it does take forever to find the happy medium. We constantly have the "ah, it's too hot...now it's too cold" discussion and I don't want Mina to suffer because of it.
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