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Heating Tubs

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  • Heating Tubs

    After looking at every forum and website I could find about this, I still haven't found a solid answer. What do you use as a heat source for your geckos if you have them in tubs? I am almost in panic mode here and need to figure out how to keep mine warm during the day. I have 2 gargs and a crestie in 3 separate sterilite tubs (66 qt), and during the day the heat is set to 60 in the house so my room gets down to about 62-64. Night time isn't an issue because I run a space heater in my son's room at night, so I put the geckos in there to stay warm and their temps stay around 68-70. It's just daytime that's the issue. Heating the room itself with a space heater or anything like that is not an option, nor is setting the heat higher in the house since I'm not the one in charge of utilities and neither of us are keen on leaving a heater running while no one is home.

    I guess I'm really left with the option of heat mats or flexwatt. I know nothing about flexwatt and am a little hesitant to use it, since I guess the heat strength depends on how much flexwatt you use? Does anyone else with plastic tubs use heat mats, and if so what size and how do you have it mounted to the tubs? I used to have them all in ExoTerras with CHE's but obviously they would melt the plastic.....that was the only thing I didn't consider when switching them all to tubs It's supposed to be in the 20s during the day and single digits at night for at least the next week, and if their temps are getting down to 62-64 during the day now they won't survive if it gets lower and I'm freaking out.

    Any and all help is much appreciated!!

  • #2
    These are pricey, and have to be ordered, but I'm saving up for some as they seem like the best option for a cold room.

    In the meantime, can you get some of those hunter's hand-heaters and wrap them in a towel or old sock and put them in the bottom of the tubs? You'd have to buy quite a few, as they only last a few hours, but they are fairly cheap and should be readily available at this time of year at Wal-Mart or sporting goods stores. That would be a stop-gap until you can get something better.

    Just curious why you switched to tubs from the Exo Terras?
    TAD "Tiny Ancient Dinosaur" (Crestie), Hidey (Garg), O.G. "Office Gecko" (Bauer's Chameleon gecko), TBD "Tiny Badass Dragon" (Western Bearded Anole), 3.1.0
    Rody Jane (cattledog/stinkwad mix), Dixie Moonpie (rattledog) George P-Dog (lab/Great Pyr) 1.2.0, Ringer (barn cat) 1.0.0


    • #3
      plastic tubs are a pain to heat imo due to the melting that can happen by any kind of heat. Once the plastic begins to melt it can release harmful fumes @_@;

      honestly, your temps aren't that bad for day temps.

      Almost every site i find that talks about New Caledonia temps say the same thing, this one is just easier to find:

      "A cool season, sunny and with little rainfall, from June to August or September, during which average highs drop to around 23/24 C (73/75 F), and lows to 17/18 C (63/64 F), and sometimes even below, in fact sometimes there can be days with maximum temperatures around 20 C (68 F). Actually, even cold-air outbreaks are possibile, with night temperatures around 10 C (50 F) and even below, although in recent years they have become rare."
      I used to live in Montana, where i had my original first 2 crestie males. If you're not familiar with Montana... we have some seriously cold winters. There was one year where I was living by myself in a studio apartment while I went to college. Running the tiny, pathetic wall heater costed $$ I didn't have, and it didn't even heat the 'house'. like... at all... Warm spot by the heater and thats it. Plus it smelled naaaaasty, so I just kept it off. Kept my socks and slippers and sweatshirts on, and bought a thick, big blanket that I wrapped around both my gecko tanks (exo terras). At the time I wasn't aware of CHE's and I knew heat bulbs (red/blue) were bad/not the greatest. Temps in my studio apartment for the coldest months of winter were in the low 60s, high 50s. Yes it did slow down my gecko's growth (but thats what colder temps usually do, slow down metabolism, therefore growth, and I'm a firm believer that if an animal experiences winter in it's natural habitat, we should allow them to experience it in captivity as best we can, not saying don't provide some heat for your gecks when your room is 50 degrees, but you get my point lol) but once it started to warm back up, they began their usual gecko-y-ness behaviors.

      I wouldn't risk your average heat sources around plastic. Granted, melting points for plastic are a lot higher than I think most people think; however, the heat can still warp the bins and weaken them

      However, I will share with you a heating mat (for humans) that I use for my roach bin. highest setting keeps the bin around 70-80F in winter in an unheated room (and the roach bin has a large screen top too lol) and it's a large plastic (granted, the thicker plastic, ya know the grey ones you find at walmart) tote and I've seen no indication of any warping with the mat. It can be left on 24/7... in fact my mat has been on... running 24/7 for a solid year now LOL. I have it sitting on a pane of plexiglass lifted off the carpet by short pvc tubes so it can breath a bit. I wouldn't put it on carpet just cus I'm paranoid lol, and I probably won't suffocate it between the bin and lets say the dresser you might put it on. Give it a little breathing room.
      Check out my website for helpful info about Crested Geckos, Gargoyle Geckos, Abronia Alligator Lizards, and Brazilian Rainbow Boas
      Sovereign Reptiles

      0.1.0 Gargoyle Gecko || Honey Bear
      1.1.1 Crested Gecko || Malakai, Snapshot, Tiny


      • #4
        I keep my geckos in 66qt sterilites as well. I use 4" THG heat tape:
        A thermostat is a must. The 4" tape is only six watts per foot. Even if it overheats, it's not going to melt plastic.
        Heat tape doesn't do much to warm the overall enclosure, but it will give the geckos a warm place to sit when they want to.