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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:welcome:
On my previous- and first- post, I had some very useful feedback given to me in preparation for getting my new crested gecko.
Since then I have received much more advice and undergone much more research.

However, some shops and reptile owners give very different advice, and I was keen to ask the forum; What substrate would you recommend for my crested gecko?

We are getting him/her next Saturday, and I am buying a heat mat for him/her -as advised by the reptile shop owner and other reptile owners as my house is very warm and an adequate temperature in the summer- so I'll only need to turn this on on cold days and in the winter.

I'm curious though, I've seen posts saying that substrate that hold moisture is a very good idea, such as eco earth mixed with repti bark or moss, even hydro balls, however I'm not sure how this will work with the heat mat? Does it have a special protection from substrate that holds moisture above it?

Apologies for the rambling, to clarify, what substrate do you recommend that will work with a heat mat, and are there any dangers of the heat mat not working well with a certain type of moisture holding substrate?

Many thanks, Georgia. : victory:
 

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Yay!! Cresties are awesome so its exciting that you are getting one soon :no1:

IMO a heat mat under the floor is pointless for a crestie - firstly, its probably not going to get through the substrate very well unless you have a really thin layer and secondly, crested geckos don't go on the floor...

From the sounds of it you were planning on putting the mat in the viv under the substrate? Heat mats aren't waterproof so don't put them inside the viv whatever you do! You put them outside - in a glass viv they work pretty well because the glass heats up nicely but stick them to the outside. Wooden vivs are not quite so good with heat mats (but they also aren't great with moisture so if you are going down that route you've probably got other issues to think about too...). I use sellotape around the edges and put them black-side towards the inside of the viv and sticky-side (paper still on) out.

In my tanks, I use a bioactive substrate (eco earth mixed with soil, orchid bark, dead leaves etc) but you can use eco earth or orchid bark on their own also, just not something dry like aspen.

I have the heat mat stuck to the side of the tank (on the outside!) where there is a bit of plant cover but no bark/anything else stuck to the glass so they have full access. I keep the mat on 24/7 over winter and have just turned it off because my house is sitting at a comfortable temperature for them now. They definitely appreciate the mat because they are quite often sitting on it or somewhere on the big plant in front of it :2thumb:

I hope that helps - if a photo would help let me know : victory:

EDIT: I found a photo on my phone that shows what I'm talking about :D - you can see the mat on the outside of the viv on the right hand side. I have a cork mosaic background on the rest of the walls but left this one free for the heat mat because the heat would not transfer through glass and cork bark to reach the geckos very well!

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yay!! Cresties are awesome so its exciting that you are getting one soon :no1:

IMO a heat mat under the floor is pointless for a crestie - firstly, its probably not going to get through the substrate very well unless you have a really thin layer and secondly, crested geckos don't go on the floor...

From the sounds of it you were planning on putting the mat in the viv under the substrate? Heat mats aren't waterproof so don't put them inside the viv whatever you do! You put them outside - in a glass viv they work pretty well because the glass heats up nicely but stick them to the outside. Wooden vivs are not quite so good with heat mats (but they also aren't great with moisture so if you are going down that route you've probably got other issues to think about too...). I use sellotape around the edges and put them black-side towards the inside of the viv and sticky-side (paper still on) out.

In my tanks, I use a bioactive substrate (eco earth mixed with soil, orchid bark, dead leaves etc) but you can use eco earth or orchid bark on their own also, just not something dry like aspen.

I have the heat mat stuck to the side of the tank (on the outside!) where there is a bit of plant cover but no bark/anything else stuck to the glass so they have full access. I keep the mat on 24/7 over winter and have just turned it off because my house is sitting at a comfortable temperature for them now. They definitely appreciate the mat because they are quite often sitting on it or somewhere on the big plant in front of it :2thumb:

I hope that helps - if a photo would help let me know : victory:

EDIT: I found a photo on my phone that shows what I'm talking about :D - you can see the mat on the outside of the viv on the right hand side. I have a cork mosaic background on the rest of the walls but left this one free for the heat mat because the heat would not transfer through glass and cork bark to reach the geckos very well!

image

Thank you so so much!!! This has really helped me! I will put the heat mat- the word mat threw me off, I guess, made me think I had to put it under the substrate! :blush: - on the side of the tank just as you have, this is a wonderful help to me!!

I am very excited for next Saturday and will be updating with a photo, which will obviously include your suggestion of the heat mat placed on the side of the tank : victory:

Thanks again, Georgia.
 

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Just as an Idea; EarthMix is a certified organic substrate that is heavily mineralised with volcanic rock dust, will support springtails from day one and has no, what I feel are potentially dangerous bits of orchid bark or stringy sphagnum moss bits in it.

It is a live substrate and will work with the lizard as part of Wild Re-creation.

I worked long and hard on the project and have had fantastic results with plants and animals of all types (reptile, amphibian and invert). I even keep my all of my hatchlings on it perfectly (plateds, pygmy chams and pictus geckos)

Just an idea.

John,
 

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Yay!! Cresties are awesome so its exciting that you are getting one soon :no1:

IMO a heat mat under the floor is pointless for a crestie - firstly, its probably not going to get through the substrate very well unless you have a really thin layer and secondly, crested geckos don't go on the floor...

From the sounds of it you were planning on putting the mat in the viv under the substrate? Heat mats aren't waterproof so don't put them inside the viv whatever you do! You put them outside - in a glass viv they work pretty well because the glass heats up nicely but stick them to the outside. Wooden vivs are not quite so good with heat mats (but they also aren't great with moisture so if you are going down that route you've probably got other issues to think about too...). I use sellotape around the edges and put them black-side towards the inside of the viv and sticky-side (paper still on) out.

In my tanks, I use a bioactive substrate (eco earth mixed with soil, orchid bark, dead leaves etc) but you can use eco earth or orchid bark on their own also, just not something dry like aspen.

I have the heat mat stuck to the side of the tank (on the outside!) where there is a bit of plant cover but no bark/anything else stuck to the glass so they have full access. I keep the mat on 24/7 over winter and have just turned it off because my house is sitting at a comfortable temperature for them now. They definitely appreciate the mat because they are quite often sitting on it or somewhere on the big plant in front of it :2thumb:

I hope that helps - if a photo would help let me know : victory:

EDIT: I found a photo on my phone that shows what I'm talking about :D - you can see the mat on the outside of the viv on the right hand side. I have a cork mosaic background on the rest of the walls but left this one free for the heat mat because the heat would not transfer through glass and cork bark to reach the geckos very well!

image
Hi there, i am having similar concerns with my Crestie. I've had her since last September and I've just recently moved her into a new larger terrarium. She was in a 'RUB' up until last weekend. I've currently got the heat mat underneath the Terrarium and my digital thermostat is reading in the mid to late 60s (F). Should i place the mat on the side of the glass instead of the bottom? And (Stupid question) what do you use to stick it with?
 

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We have a 60W red heat bulb above mesh in a reflector dome with an Arcadia canopy and a heat mat. If I knew then what I know now I would never have bought the mat it only keep the water in the aqua balls warm. We have a natural set up with live plants. Can recommend setting up your viv first and once the plants have grown in then buy your crestie. You will read on some of the forums that cresties don't need a UV lamp, they do. If you can't get an auto misting system buy a garden pump sprayer as your crestie will want a lot of humidity.
 

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The new range of HabiStat high power mats come as standard with a sticky surface.

I have switched all mine over to these and they are stuck to the viv wall at the side of the basking spot.

there is a short video here showing the mat and it being fixed here in our PRK viv build section https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Y8iEI4fW3s

hope it helps,


Hi there, i am having similar concerns with my Crestie. I've had her since last September and I've just recently moved her into a new larger terrarium. She was in a 'RUB' up until last weekend. I've currently got the heat mat underneath the Terrarium and my digital thermostat is reading in the mid to late 60s (F). Should i place the mat on the side of the glass instead of the bottom? And (Stupid question) what do you use to stick it with?
 

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Hi there, i am having similar concerns with my Crestie. I've had her since last September and I've just recently moved her into a new larger terrarium. She was in a 'RUB' up until last weekend. I've currently got the heat mat underneath the Terrarium and my digital thermostat is reading in the mid to late 60s (F). Should i place the mat on the side of the glass instead of the bottom? And (Stupid question) what do you use to stick it with?
The mat wants to be on the side towards the top but bear in mind it won't alter your air temps as there surface heaters so will only provide a hotspot they can go to.
 

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The new range of HabiStat high power mats come as standard with a sticky surface.

I have switched all mine over to these and they are stuck to the viv wall at the side of the basking spot.

there is a short video here showing the mat and it being fixed here in our PRK viv build section https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Y8iEI4fW3s

hope it helps,
What sort of temps are being achieved with the high powered mats john? I know with standard mats they just dont have enough of a punch to warm anything that's not within an inch of them which is why i've always preferred to use a ceramic.
 

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I use them alongside the halogen heatspot for nightime heat. They produce around twice the heat of standard mats

John



What sort of temps are being achieved with the high powered mats john? I know with standard mats they just dont have enough of a punch to warm anything that's not within an inch of them which is why i've always preferred to use a ceramic.
 
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