How do you properly set up the Zoo Med’s ReptiTherm Under Tank Heater? I’m going to show you in this article. Under Tank Heaters can be a great way to provide 24-hour primary or secondary heat to a variety of dry area reptiles and other small pets. The distinctive flat and adhesive design of the Under Tank Heater allows for easy placement on your pet’s terrarium. It can also be adhered to the underside of the habitat to provide beneficial belly heat. However, being a heating device, you’ll want to be extra careful when setting it up for your pet to get the best, and safest, results.
First, establish the size Under Tank Heater that will work best for your habitat. ReptiTherm Under Tank Heaters come in a variety of sizes to choose from. Once you have the appropriately sized heater, determine whether you are going to mount the heater on the side or the bottom of your pet’s tank. Be mindful of the location of the cord, and that the glass surface is clean before applying to ensure that it sticks properly. To apply it, simply remove the protective cover from the sticky side of the Under Tank Heater. Press it entirely onto the flat surface of the glass, making sure to smooth out air bubbles. When mounting it on the bottom of the habitat, do not place the tank on the carpet, fabric, towels, plastic, or other heat-sensitive materials.
Where to Place The Tank & Layering
Apply the included rubber feet to the corners of your pet’s habitat to help avoid heat encapsulation by allowing space for air-circulation underneath the tank. For large tanks or those with specific frames, it is recommended to place the tank on an opened top terrarium stand. The choice of substrate and the amount used is also important when setting up an Under Tank Heater. Heavy substrates, such as sand, should be no deeper than an inch and a half to avoid heat encapsulation. If you need to use a deeper substrate layer, mount the under tank heater on the side of your tank. When using lightweight substrates, such as Snake Bedding, it is recommended to use a layer of Eco Carpet under your substrate to prevent burrowing animals from resting directly on the hot glass. Substrates such as Newspaper, Paper Towels, Crushed Walnut, and Corncob Bedding should be avoided. Finally, be mindful of where other objects in the habitat are placed.
What to Avoid
Avoid placing hides, heavy decor, or other heating devices directly onto or above the Under Tank Heater to prevent heat encapsulation again. Food and Water Dishes should always be placed away from the Under Tank Heater. Remember, when setting up a tank with an Under Tank Heater. Be sure to place your reptile tank on a tank stand or other hard surface in a location that does not receive direct sunlight. Elevate the tank to provide ventilation to the heater. Use a suitable substrate at the correct depth. Stagger heating elements to ensure a proper thermal gradient, and place food and water dishes, hides, and heavy decor away from the Under Tank Heater.
Always monitor temperatures in your tank to make sure they are safe for your pet and that a healthy thermal gradient is established. Zoo Med’s ReptiTemp 500R and ReptiTemp Rheostat are great ways to help manage the heating elements in your tank by providing easy methods of adjusting or automating your devices. If the heater is only needed for part of the day, a ReptiCare Timer can be used to turn the heater on and off automatically.