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  1. #1
    Registered User Spoons's Avatar
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    best way to keep ambient temps at 80

    Hi! Been a little bit since I've been here. Nice to be back

    So, recently my fiance and I bought a house! It's lovely and I am excited to expand my reptile collection. We've lived here a few weeks and so we are getting the feel of the house down. I house Argus - my male Bp - in a 40 gallon Exo Terra tank, the kind with the front-opening doors. In our old apartment, which was easy and cheap to heat, he had a ceramic heating bulb in a hood over his tank. He also has a heat mat hooked up to a thermostat keeping his hot spot at 90. This kept his ambient temps at 80.

    At the new house, it's larger and a bit older and harder to heat. We put the tank in the basement where my gaming den will be, but I pretty quickly realized it's too cold for my current setup (he was down there all of one night). Ambient temps in the basement are 60 degrees right now because it shares a wall with the garage (and it's winter in MN - it's been 20 below outside overnight). I plan to get a space heater for when I'm using the basement but we won't heat it full time any higher than whatever the ambient temp is.

    It was actually my fiance who realized it was far too cold for him. His thermostat went out, so I unplugged the mat and covered the tank with foil and blankets to insulate the heat my ceramic bulb was putting out. The next morning he texted me at work to tell me the tank was only 62 degrees, so he moved it upstairs (by himself!) and let Argus hang out in his shirt to warm up (what a great guy). Now, upstairs, his heat mat is all set up again so his hot spot is 90, but even with the ceramic bulb and the foil and insulation the ambient is only 72. The thermostat is kept at 69 in our house.

    So. What do I do? A giant ceramic bulb with enough power to heat that tank 10 degrees will make it dry as a bone in there. Are there more efficient heating options, or am I stuck with ceramic bulbs and just get a bigger, better one? I feel like there has to be something better but there's so much "so-so" info I figured I'd ask right at the source.

    Thanks much

  2. #2
    Registered User MD_Pythons's Avatar
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    Re: best way to keep ambient temps at 80

    Email Bob at pro products about installing a RHP on there. That should take care of your temp issues.

  3. #3
    Registered User SDA's Avatar
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    You have a better chance of getting upper 70s than 80 in the winter. That basement is far too cold to even bother trying with what I assume is a glass tank. either you can get a space heater and use that, a ceramic heat emitter and set it via thermostat to a desired temp or if you have say an exoterra tank with enough realestate, get a radiant heat panel and use that.

    I would highly recommend insulating the bottom, three sides, and top of the tank to get temps better. I am sure you will quickly find this out, glass is a pain in the glass to heat in Minnesota!
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  4. #4
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    I agree with the above--a PVC tank or a tub would be so much easier to heat and maintain humidity! Short of that, a RHP installed would make the humidity control easier.

  5. #5
    BPnet Veteran KevinK's Avatar
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    Re: best way to keep ambient temps at 80

    I live in central Wisconsin and went through these heating problems for several years before finally doing it right.....get an animal plastics T8 and heat it with a 65 watt ProProducts radiant heat panel hooked up to a quality thermostat. Hang the thermostat probe on the cool side of the enclosure and set the thermostat to 80. The area under the heat panel will be about 92 degrees.....but I would say a basement is going to be too cold regardless. My cage is on the main floor of the house with ambient room temps ranging from 68-70.

    I messed around with glass enclosures, red bulbs, ceramic heat emitters, and everything in between for a long time before I realized how easy PVC cages with a radiant heat panel make your life. They also hold humidity like champions.
    Last edited by KevinK; 01-12-2018 at 02:13 PM.

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  7. #6
    Telling it like it is! Deborah's Avatar
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    Either raise the room temperture (not worth it for a limited amount of animals) or have an additional heat source (UTH) plus an additional thermostat.

  8. #7
    Registered User Spoons's Avatar
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    okay, so obviously the answer is a Animal Plastics tank and a RHP!

    But, those are $$$. So until then I suppose I'll make do best I can and keep an eye out for a used tank of some sort. (Amazing how much money you don't have after buying a house!)

    I will keep him upstairs for now and add another ceramic bulb until the time comes I can get a better tank for him.

  9. #8
    Registered User CALM Pythons's Avatar
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    Re: best way to keep ambient temps at 80

    Quote Originally Posted by Spoons View Post
    okay, so obviously the answer is a Animal Plastics tank and a RHP!

    But, those are $$$. So until then I suppose I'll make do best I can and keep an eye out for a used tank of some sort. (Amazing how much money you don't have after buying a house!)

    I will keep him upstairs for now and add another ceramic bulb until the time comes I can get a better tank for him.
    I wouldn't spend any money on a used tank. A T8 is $200 shipped and and a T10 about $250.. RHP Pro Panel $100 & Herpstat $100-$200 depending which one. Your looking at $450-$500 Tops to have it Perfect.. Save and keep him in what he is in for now & insulate it, keep it in the living part of the house. Also your basement isnt going to be good enough during the winter unless its heated to 65. I keep my house 60 at night and my (oversized) RHP's runs 100% in T12's from about 12am till 6am and ambient still drops a bit (cool side 76*) but the hot hide/side is always available if they need it 88-92. Id save a bit if i were you and get what you need once instead of wasting funds. Congrats on the house


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