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Or Vivarium Mats

Due to this cold snap in England I’ve had to purchase under-floor heating – not for me, but for the pet beetles.

A typical heating mat for glass vivariums

A typical heating mat for glass vivariums

I was afraid with the fluctuating temperature of my room (as low as 65 sometimes, as high as 73 at most) being detrimental to the health and wellbeing of my exotic little critters, so I bought a heating mat (the type for reptiles, many people manufacture and sell them, online, and in petshops) to go under the glass vivarium that houses Mrs Bella + Friends.

Cucumber Beetle, basking in the sun, photographed by Jack Wolf.  Thank you for the use of your photo.

Cucumber Beetle, basking in the sun, photographed by Jack Wolf. Thank you for the use of your photo.

~ Click on the photo to view the larger size to download to your computer for a desktop image ~

I soon realised that I shouldn’t have bought the mat in the exact same size as the viv because it does get quite hot! I was poking holes through the substrate with my finger, checking the temperature, and (I would think, by doing this) circulating the heating better. The mat came with good instructions (whoops! a little too late in my case as I had purchased online without those same instructions). It can happen that when using inches of substrate as people (should) do with keeping exotic beetles, that the glass in the vivarium can indeed get overheated and break (this is why it would have been useful in reading those instructions before buying!).

The manufacturers advise using the mat on either the walls of the viv or over, or under the floor of it. I didn’t like the idea of the mat being inside the viv…getting dirty, getting possibly damaged, getting its electrical cables in a spaghetti bolognese mess, poking jauntily out of the viv, thus producing possible escape routes (gaps) for adventurous beetles. So I placed the mat under the housing.

By the way, these mats aren’t supposed to be cut or rolled, or bent out of shape. I wouldn’t advise using them with PLASTIC housing – you wouldn’t want to cook your pets!

I couldn’t believe just how effective this under floor heating is – although I did have something similar installed in my German flat and found it very nice to walk on πŸ™‚

So effective is this type of heating, in the way that I used it, that in fact, it got too hot. The instructions mention the need of maybe getting a SMALLER mat than the viv because then the beetles can decide for themselves whether they want to be in a warmer – or cooler – spot. They cannot get over-heated, can’t get burnt tootsies.

I’ve decided to move this present mat to the much larger viv (where the newly hatched Pollys are), therefore giving them the choice of whether they want to be in a warmer, or cooler place; and, have ordered a smaller mat, which encompasses 2 thirds of the floor space, in the Bella abode.

Now, I think I have it sorted.

πŸ˜‰

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Sunday 2nd January 2011

PS,

I would like to add – keeping an accurate eye on the temperature inside the viv, with a thermostat (you can buy cheap stick on ones) is a good idea.

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Copyright Stephanie Faith 2010
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