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  1. #1
    colleen0904's Avatar
    colleen0904 is offline Newbie
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    Default Those with under tank heaters...


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    I got a UTH and was reading the instructions. It says that unless you are using it wih a terrarium stand, you should mount i on the side. It says that even with the rubber feet, the tank could still get stress cracks and the furniture could get ruined. The instructions also say that I cannot use paper towels as substrate, because it may get too hot. Here are my questions:
    1. I am placing my tanks on regular furniture, not stands specifically designed for terrariums. Should I mount the heater to the bottom of the tank, using the rubber feet to elevate it, or should I mount it to the side of the tank like Zoo-med recommends? I don't wanna burn my gecko or ruin my tank or cause a fire, but I want the gecko to be warm enough as well.
    2. If I mount it to the side I am worried that the ground won't be warm enough. But if I mount it to the bottom and use paper towels for now (I do plan on getting some repti-carpet soon) I am worried that it will cause stress cracks and get too hot.
    3. Can I still use paper towels as a substrate if I mount it on the bottom of the tank?
    4. Two of my four geckos (my new hatchling and my adult leo) are not eating. They each got an undertank heater today, but I have yet to hook them up. Do you think the UTH will help stimulate their appetite because of the belly heat?
    5. Do I leave the UTH on all day and all night, or just during the day. About how many hours per day should I leave their lamps or UTH on? I have no iea how many hours of heat per day they usually get. I turn their lamps on before I leave for work (5 am) and off at night before bed (9-10 pm). Is this too many hours of heat?
    6. What is the best substrate for use with a UTH? I am thinking repti-carpet, correct? What do you guys use? Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    colleen0904's Avatar
    colleen0904 is offline Newbie
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    Also, the little feet things that came with the tank are tiny. Are they enough to elevate the tank or should I elevate it more? How much space needs to be in between the tank and the furniture/stand?

  3. #3
    Allee Toler's Avatar
    Allee Toler is offline Member
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    Get some bottle tops (I used medicine bottle tops because they're higher) and put them on the corners of each of the tanks. Use the little rubber things that gave to and stick it on the side of the caps, to keep them from sliding so much. (edit-I'd suggest at least 1 inch.)

    If mounted on the side, your gecko won't get the belly heat it needs.

    I don't see why not to the paper towels. People always have used them. As long as you can monitor the temp and keep it below 98F. Having the gap between the tank and the furniture helps.

    It could very well help stimulate their appetites. The hotter their tank, the more they eat. The hotter the tank, the better digestion and faster digestion.

    I leave mine on all the time.

    Substrate for a UTH, it's a sketchy topic. Everyone has different views. It's really what's best for you. But Honestly- SLATE is the best. It's cheap, holds heat well, and easy to clean and remove.
    Allee Toler Cepeda

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  4. #4
    colleen0904's Avatar
    colleen0904 is offline Newbie
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    Will the people at Home Depot cut the slate for me if I measure my tank?Or do I need to get a special tool to cut the slate myself? So 98F is the max temp it can safely go, correct? Thanks for all your help, Allee! You're a lifesaver!

  5. #5
    Allee Toler's Avatar
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    Measure your tank, take it there. I don't know if they'll cut it for you.

    What you could do is put a little bit of sand between the cracks. Or break it up yourself, then use the sand as a filler for all the cracks.

    If they can cut it for you. Do it!! If they don't, then lay it out on the floor of the store and play around with arrangements. They should have 1'x1', 6"x6", 1"x1", tiles. If you need to use an arrangement, then do it. But I hope for your sake that they can cut it for you. It'd make it so much easier. Lol.

    And your welcome. That's why I'm hear. I've read a few book on leos already. I'm one of those people that need to know EVERYTHING about their animal. Lol.
    Allee Toler Cepeda

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  6. #6
    acpart is offline Senior Member
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    If you have trouble with your UTH getting too hot you will need to get a thermostat or rheostat for it to keep the temperatures at the right level. There are posts elsewhere on the forum about what each of these is and how to use them.

    Aliza
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  7. #7
    Gecko Newbie is offline Newbie
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    I've been asking a lot of these same questions.

    I'm using repti-carpet right now (went through sand and coconut fiber already) and just bought my digital thermometers - they're WAY worth the money cause those little analog ones that stick to the tank and DON'T come off, really aren't accurate. I have 2 tanks, but only 2 thermometers...I'll get the other 2 (for the cool sides) after my next paycheck.

    I'm going to try sheets of styrofoam to make a naturalistic vivarium, but I know I'm going to have to test it and monitor the heat before putting my geckos on it cause styrofoam is an insulator....but it should be able to take the heat from the UTH, the problem will be getting it to give the heat up so Tony and Lola get it.

    Not too much help, but, one more opinion about substrate.... And I know there are a lot on this topic.
    Gecko Newbie

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    Lola is a Hypo Tangerine and Tony is a High Yellow

  8. #8
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    Kichi is offline Newbie
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    Can't use paper towels with an UTH? Since when...lol I've done it occasionally, when my repticarpet is drying. If you want to use them, do so. Just so long as the temp isn't getting above the levels your gecko should have. Belly heat is a key ingredient in land dwelling reptiles life-style. But I use both an UTH and a 50Watt infrared blub. That way the temp is warm enough during the day, but I keep the UTH on all the time.

    As for Home Depot cutting the slate titles for you, I know Lowes will. I went in there the other day to look around at titles for my little girls cage, and so found a machine on one of the isles that had a sign posted saying they'd cut it for 25 cents per title. Expensive if you have 100 titles, but for as few thats not too bad.

  9. #9
    colleen0904's Avatar
    colleen0904 is offline Newbie
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    Okay, now I just need to find a Lowe's in the area...lol. The zoo med instructions that came with my UTH said not to use paper towels, so that's whay I asked. I knew that tons of people here used the paper towels, so just figured I would ask. Thanks for the help!

  10. #10
    smorris65 is offline Newbie
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    Default What size under tank heater do i need?


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    Hello,
    I have a 20 gallon long aquarium 30"x12.5"x12" and am getting it setup for a Leopard Gecko, but I am so confused about what size UTH I need. I ordered the Zoo Med Reptitherm Small 6x8 as it said for 10-20 gallon aquariums, but that seems too small. So I ordered the medium, which is 8x12 for a 30-40 gallon and it does not fit long ways front to back. If I put it long ways to the side that's more than 30% of the tank.

    Also, I plan on using 1/4" - 1/2" sand with ceramic tiles on top of that which is very similar to slate. The sand is just to fill the 1/4" void between tile and bottom for even heat distribution.

    Please help me. Do I need to cover 30%, 50% of the bottom? Can someone suggest what size heater I need? And I need an idiot proof answer, please.

    And I bought my tiles at Home Depot and took them to Lowes. The guy cut them for free.

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