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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys

I am new here but I am after some advice. I will be getting some Rankins Dragons later on this week with any luck. I am just setting up their vivarium at the moment.

I have a heat mat on the floor of my viv. It is a 36x15x18. I am happy thay I've set everything else up ok but the heat mat is causing me headaches.

I am really worried about how to set it up. I don't want to hurt the lizards in anyway and am worried about having it on the floor unless I build something around it. I would like to raise the level of the floor inside the viv too.

Could anyone suggest any ways of setting this up. I am at a bit of a loss as to how to be honest.

Thanks

P.S. I posted this inthe Lizards section then realised it might be an idea to actually post it here
 

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Okay, I haven't kept lizards for years and only used bulbs when I did.

I can give you a few pointers but I'm sure a lizard guru will step in and help you out.

1. Your heat mat should not be coveng all of your viv floor. Not sure exactly how much for your lizard but he/she will need a gradient of heat I assume (experts tell me if I'm wrong). So the mat should only heat one third to half the viv floor. Could be more with lizards but its defenitely not all of it.

2. The mat should not be in your viv. It needs to be underneath to avoid burning your animal. It also needs to be regulated with a thermostat. 'Mat Stats' do the job and are cheaper than the better 'dimmer stats' and 'pulse stats'. The latter two stats will keep your mat at pretty much a constant temp where the 'mat stat' will heat the mat to your set temp then turn off until it drops a degree or two. Either choice you MUST ensure the stat sensor is positioned in the place inside the viv where the heat mat can warm the most. This will most certainly be right on top of your mat on the viv floor (under any substrate).

As long as you put substrate down then you should be able to protect your lizard from the heat okay.

Be aware if you use too much substrate and have a deep floor then the heat may not get through which is why you may also need some kind of light on another stat.

Unless you already know you will have to look in Lizards for your individual heating and lighting requirements. I know some lizards need UV light to produce vitamins so check that too.

Also do a search on here for heat mats. You will find loads as I had a few questions answered the other week.

Good luck with your viv setup.

If you can't find the info on here then it probably aint worth knowing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Guys - thank you so much for your help - I really appreciate it.

In one post on that link you sent Mark, someone else(also called Mark) said

"I've got a heat mat that covers about 1/3 of the floor, and a heat light controlled by a dimmerstat at the same end as the mat, the bulb helps to keep the air temp right as well as the floor, the bulb needs to be turned off at night so the snake has a proper photoperiod(night/day)"

Thats exactly the same set up as mine really. Though I have a day/night habistat that will control the bulb for me(lazy I know!)

After looking at all the info around, my plan is to get the heat mat directly on the bottom of the viv(on the inside) and get a cork floor put in over the heat mat then some substrate on top - I'll give that a go and see what happens - I think its the way forward - though if anyone has any advice or thinks this isn't the way to go - do let me know

Cheers again - this place is invaluable
 

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Not too sure about a cork floor over the mat - cork in quite insulating so may block a lot of the heat. Unless it's really thin and then may not be too very hardwearing.
I've never used cork for this kind of thing so I may be wrong, but I'm sure hardboard or perspex would be at least as good if not better.

Whatever you use it'll also need to be fairly waterproof (able to cope with a spilt water bowl for a time, for instance) to stop moisture getting to the electrics. and remember the have a 5mm gap between the mat and whatever covers it.
 

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we use cork tiles, its only like the 3mm stuff [thats a guess to be honest]
It lets most of the heat through.
still get a high surface temp, think if you could infact also put small holes..like straw size holes or smaller in the tiles it would help air get through and in turn reduce any risk of hot air pockets between the mat and the tiles....or you could tape them down very firmly and tightly to do the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Tested it last night - with just cork tiles over the heat mat and no other heat source the temp at that end of the viv was 80F
 

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warm end? if then the cool end was less [70] then perfect really.
if that was the cool end then its too high for night and more than u want for day time when u consider the bulb will take it up more.
 
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