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  1. #11
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    Alright, I didn't see anyone else doing what I do, so I'll weigh in also!
    My thinking is that the gradient is at least as important as the maximum temperature, so I tend to focus more on the point in the tank where the UTH ends and un-heated portion of floor begins. Since glass both conducts and radiates heat well, this will be the point where the heating effect of the UTH and the radiating effect of the "bare" side make for the most mixing of the two effects. I have found that if I shoot for 86-88 at this point, with my mostly paper towel substrate and ambient room temp of 74-76, that my warmest point in the tank, which is the middle of the UTH, is 94-96 while my cool side is 76-78. I use the Zilla point and click to measure, as well as the yellow zoo-meds mounted semi-permanently.
    I'm not going to say that my way is any more or less "right" than anyone else, it's what works for me and my pets seem quite happy and healthy.

    Todd
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  2. #12
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    @Yoshi'smom

    Thank you, dear. I'm glad that no one has decided to be a total jerk yet, too. Maybe my comment of "Keep it classy" warded the trolls off? XD

  3. #13
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    @amsdadtodd

    That's actually a really cool technique! Granted, that's a bit more technical than what I would have ever thought to do, but I'm sure it works well for you! All I do is fiddle with the warm end's temp until my Leo's use their warm and moist hides equally.

  4. #14
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    I'm an engineer, so I tend to apply a fair amount of analysis before coming up with the easiest solution and a set of testable parameters to verify functionality. So, by finding the sweet spot and identifying the ideal temperature range at that spot, I'm actually measuring one thing to indicate that both the warm and cool side are where they belong. Of course, I can always measure them directly to be sure, and I often do, but primary measurement is that point at the edge of the heater. Now that I have that, I can go all geeky and use some computer monitoring and alarms and whatnot!

    Todd

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    @amsdadtodd

    Ah, well that explains things quite a bit then. I'm a biology major (graduating with a B.S. next month, fingers crossed), so I tend to look more at behavior and physical aspects of my geckos for temps. But that's still really cool that you can do all that!
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  6. #16
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    Say, since we're on the subject of heating and temps...

    I was talking to a friend that keeps a variety of reptiles (leo's, ball pythons, bearded dragons, etc.), and he doesn't use a thermostat or rheostat to maintain his temps. Instead, he uses a plug in lamp dimmer, of all things! This has worked accurately for him for several years, apparently, and he finds it much less expensive/tedious than dealing with thermostats.

    Has anyone else heard about this sort of thing being used?

  7. #17
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    Absolutely! I've also used a cheap on/off timer in the past, setting it for 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off. I still use this same technique on the fogger for my boas.

    The problem with using either of these hacks is that if your room temperature varies at all, then your control won't adjust the tank for it. If your room is very tightly controlled then yes, this technique is a less expensive option. I prefer the peace of mind that comes with using a thermostat, even with that I'm always checking temps.

    I think that in general, it's best to start off doing things "by the book" and then, as your hobby grows and you learn more about your pets, then you can make an informed decision about alterations are appropriate to you and your pets.

    Todd

    Todd
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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gossamer View Post
    Say, since we're on the subject of heating and temps...

    I was talking to a friend that keeps a variety of reptiles (leo's, ball pythons, bearded dragons, etc.), and he doesn't use a thermostat or rheostat to maintain his temps. Instead, he uses a plug in lamp dimmer, of all things! This has worked accurately for him for several years, apparently, and he finds it much less expensive/tedious than dealing with thermostats.

    Has anyone else heard about this sort of thing being used?
    I simply cannot see how such things can work over any extended period of time unless the room itself is temperature controlled.

    A Dimmer or Rheostat has no means of taking the varying temperature of the vivarium / room itself into account and will always just 'dim' to what it is set to without any consideration given to the fluctuations of the air around them which is the point of the thermostat in the first place.

    If temperatures never changed one could just place their CHE the appropriate distance away and it would have the same effect really, sadly that's not wise outside of temperature controlled rooms and a thermostat remains the only safe and reliable way to ensure your pets have the correct temperatures. That's not even getting into fire risks etc also.
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  9. #19
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    I used a lamp dimmer on my heat pad until my thermostat came in the mail. Boy was it a pain in the butt to keep the temperatures just right. Had to constantly play with it, I only use it on my lamp now and it works fine at 50% power. I used to run 2 CHE's unregulated years ago and never had fires. Give granted one lizards needed 120* day time temps and the other had a custom built cage so it was a pain to heat that up.

    I have read that people have used lamp dimmers for years, and long before there were affordable thermostats, without problems.They also had herp rooms with regulated room temperatures to. It can be done, if you can constantly keep an eye on the temperatures or have the dimming down to an exact science.
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    Okay, so he's not as crazy as I thought he was. He's got the "Reptile Room" temp controlled, so I suppose that would be a cheaper option than thermostats. I figured his logic would be that dimmer=rheostat, but I wasn't too sure. Me+electricity="magic blue smoke" as my dad put it, so I try to avoid electrical work. I tried to make a rheostat from scratch once for a class project... it didn't go well. XD

    But no we've officially hit the cold months here in Florida, and my poor geckos are so confused! We had pretty good weather, and then all of a sudden it was in the 30's last night. It's a good thing I woke up early, that way I was able to get the space heater out and get the ambient temps back to where they needed to be (it was like 68 F in my room!!). Things are kosher now (heater kicked on after mom set it, swearing the whole while), so I'll just have to keep an eye on their temps. @#$*&^# cold snaps, man.

    Poor Lore was looking between me and her food dish the whole time I was setting the space heater up like: "It cold??? I try eat but not wanna??? What do???"
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