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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey ive bought 3 leo geckos recently and all i got with them was a red light and a heat mat.. the guy told me to just leave the red light on and nothing else but it gets really hot in there and everywhere ive read says it wrong but ive looked at thermostats like the dimming habistat ones and ive been looking at loads and just got really confused i want to get one that makes it day and night for them and keeps the heat mat and light at the right temps basicly i just need a new heating setup i think cos i dont think the heat mat works anyways. . what would you guys recomend?

cheers
 

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You were given some bad advice TBH.
Any kind of heating device needs to be controlled. Ideally you need separate stats for the bulb and the mat.

A dimming stat is the only type you can use effectively for a light bulb/lamp. The Microclimate one has a minimum load of only 5w so could be used with smaller bulbs, but Habistat ones are 40w minimum:

http://www.camzoo.co.uk/pd1112225376.htm?categoryId=12

http://www.livefoods.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=153

For the heat mat, either a mat stat or a pulse stat. A pulse stat would hold the temp steadier but mat stats work fine, just make sure the probe is as close as possible to the mats surface.
Mat stat:
http://www.camzoo.co.uk/pd-1167048544.htm?categoryId=12

You can leave the mat on all night - it won't really heat the viv, it'll just give a warm spot on the floor.
Not sure about air/ambient temps for leos as I've never kept them so hopefully someone else can say on that one.
If they do need the ambient temps kept up at night you could use a red bulb on a day/night dimming stat - both Microclimate and Habistat make day/night versions. Or a ceramic heater on a day/night pulse or dimming stat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
so your saying i need a thermostat for the light one for the heat mat and one for the red bulb for night time?
 

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If I were you I would set up your red bulb on a dimming stat and have your heat matt on 24-7. Your matt will need to be small enough not to get stupidly hot and underneath some carpet so it doesn't burn. You can then just turn off your bulb at night (just use a timer to turn the stat off - bought 3 quid)... This is eactly what I've done.

Also as a side note is worth menationing your heat matt should be coving no more than a 1/3rd of the viv
 

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Sorry - got to disagree - any heat mat should be on a thermostat regardless of it's size.

Anyway - Ethan - you'd only need 2 stats at most, a dimming stat for the red bulb and a mat stat for the mat. For a daytime light source you could use a 12w 'nightlight' bulb or 15w pigmy bulb.
These can be used uncontrolled as they give out very little heat - as long as the viv is at least 24" or so and has adequate ventilation it'll be ok.

Do leopard geckos actually need the ambient temp kept up at night? Or would the heat mat alone do for a night time warm area should they need it?
If they don't need the extra heating at night you can just use a white spot bulb on the dimmer stat for both light and heat during the day.
 

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Why cant they both go on the same stat? the red light is invisible so it wont hurt for the bulb and the mat to work as one surely? In the absence of a white light i mean.

So day time set temps up durin day and turn down at night and should be ideal, this is assumin your just using normal room light for day/night cycle.

ps- must be dimmer stat ofcourse, or you could forget the red light and go for a ceramic instead and urd only need a normal [cheaper] stat and could prolly do away with the heatmat either way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ive got a dimming stat and a mat stat now habistat ones :D
theres not alot of light getting in the tank were it is and ive got a good basking light could i put that in instaed of the red light?
 

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You can use any bulb on the habistat dimming stat as long as it's at least 40w (I think - best check the instructions in case they've changed).
I'd have thought a basking lamp/spot lamp would be ok to keep the daytime temps up.

Not sure if leos actually bask - aren't they nocturnal? But the increase in daytime temp will give them a proper day/night cycle.

If you do need to have the lamp on at night then it should be a red one, or as DeanandTrese said a ceramic would be ideal.

Have the mat stat probe directly on the mat (or on the area that the mat will heat if the mat is outside the viv), and the dimming stat probe suspended a few inches off the floor - that way the dimming stat will control the air temp and not be affected by heat from the mat.

DeanandTrese - I did think about putting them on the same stat, but thought that the heat from the higher wattage bulb may mean that the lower wattage mat would hardly receive any power and not heat up - not entirely sure though as I've never tried it, but it may well work ok.
But then the problem would be, if both were on the same stat you couldn't have just the bulb on a timer (to give the day/night temp cycle) as the varying power from the stat would just slow the timer down. You have to physically unplug the bulb or turn the stat down (which would mean no warm spot at night from the mat).
(As I said I've never kept leo's so I'm just going on bits and pieces that I've heard here and there - please feel free to put me straight on anything! :D )
 

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no ur right about the mat/bulb thingy.
i cant be arsed to rte-read what i posted as i honestly am exhausted..and to be honest...i bore myself silly.
But yeh we have to unplug the light [not the on all day on the timer one but the other one which is on the stat with the mat [dimmer] physically every evening when we turn down the stat to 70 degrees.
 
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