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  1. #1

    Default Slate Tiles and Under Tank Heater

    Hi, I am using an exo terra heat wave small under tank heater designed for 10-20 gallon tank. I am using a 20 gallon tank for my future leopard gecko.

    Right now my heat pad has been on for almost 24 hours and with the slate tile in it seems to only reach 30 degrees C while with reptile carpet it reaches well over 32 degrees C.

    But I read that the geckos get caught in the carpet so I would rather use the slate tiles. Plus I think the slate tiles look a lot nicer, and probably more natural for a leopard gecko.

    I have one 12 by 12 over the heat pad and its directly on the glass and I am using a digital thermometer to read the temperature. I have read that some people put a layer of sand between the tile and the glass/heat pad. Will this allow better heat transfer or is it because the tile is thicker than the carpet that the heat isnt transferred as well?

    If the UTH is not enough I guess I will have to invest in a ceramic heating bulb. But if there is anything that can improve heat transfer to the slate tile that will be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Happy Gecko Family Junior gothra's Avatar
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    Default

    If the bottom of the slate tile is too rugged, it may create air pockets between the tile and the heat pad. So adding a thin layer of sand will help to distribute heat better. You can try putting some insulating material like cork board or foam board beneath the heat pad, it will force all the heat to go upwards and not lost to the furniture of where your tank is sitting. Don't forget to add rubber feet to allow for some air circulation for the heat pad.

  3. #3

    Default

    It's also because of the size of your tile. Your heat pad is too small to heat up the whole 12" tile. You could get a bigger heat pad with more wattage and/or use four 6" tiles instead.

    I ended up doing both when I had this problem. I use the 16-watt Zoo Med with a thermostat to keep the temperature on the tile at 95F. I do not have any sand at all in my tanks.
    Bearded Dragon:
    - Papaya (hypotrans leather)
    - Pineapple (Fire & Ice citrus leatherback) - to hatch on 9/14/12
    Leopard Geckos:
    - Mango (SHTCT)
    - Dragonfruit (mack snow)

  4. #4

    Default

    By the way, the 16-watt Zoo Med pad will fit under your 12" tile perfectly.
    Bearded Dragon:
    - Papaya (hypotrans leather)
    - Pineapple (Fire & Ice citrus leatherback) - to hatch on 9/14/12
    Leopard Geckos:
    - Mango (SHTCT)
    - Dragonfruit (mack snow)

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudskipper View Post
    It's also because of the size of your tile. Your heat pad is too small to heat up the whole 12" tile. You could get a bigger heat pad with more wattage and/or use four 6" tiles instead.

    I ended up doing both when I had this problem. I use the 16-watt Zoo Med with a thermostat to keep the temperature on the tile at 95F. I do not have any sand at all in my tanks.
    But then there goes money down the drain when I remove the exo terra one as it will be damaged once removed.

    The slate tile does have a vertical line patter on the bottom so there are lots of air pockets. If I were to use sand and fill up the air pockets, heat should transfer easier, correct?

  6. #6
    James Skar Freshman Crewdog00's Avatar
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    I hear sand is good under the tile. I have paper towel below the tile and the heat seems to be fine. 93 in the hide but my hide has a "hot" corner of 97 degrees. She can regulate inside the hide.
    Female Leopard Gecko "High Yellow Normal"
    Columbian Red Tail Boa
    Normal Ball Python
    Female Tabby Cat

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Crewdog00 View Post
    I hear sand is good under the tile. I have paper towel below the tile and the heat seems to be fine. 93 in the hide but my hide has a "hot" corner of 97 degrees. She can regulate inside the hide.
    If what I have read is true though, air acts too much as an insulator and my slate tile bottom is ridged so it has about 50% of the tile contacting the glass and the other 50% creating air pockets.

    I wonder if I can throw my reptile carpet underneath to simulate the conduction of sand as the carpet should mold into the ridges and fill up those gaps.

  8. #8
    James Skar Freshman Crewdog00's Avatar
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    Reptile carpet would work for sure.
    Female Leopard Gecko "High Yellow Normal"
    Columbian Red Tail Boa
    Normal Ball Python
    Female Tabby Cat

  9. #9

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    If that does not work however, I suppose I will need to invest in a better under tank heater. I ordered a thermostat and it is on its way to control the heating mat. I had a zoo med repti therm 500R but that one was a little sad for the price so i returned it.

    And Looking up the zoo med larger sized medium 16 watt, I see that it is 8 by 12, so that will end up covering half of my tank rather than the 1/3rd but that should be okay since I am using slate tiles right?

    And I am guessing that because it is larger and a higher wattage it will produce more heat so it may get really hot easily and I may not even need a ceramic heater, even in the winter?
    Last edited by erodger; 08-09-2012 at 11:12 AM. Reason: information on under tank heater added

  10. #10

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    I grabbed the 16 watt zoo med pad from the pet store but it looks like it will be too long for my tank with either orientation. I will just have to throw on a bulb there and use a thermostat to play with the heat mat to maintain a consistent 32C

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