Have Hot Rocks Finally been made safe?



From Petco's website:

ExoTerra Heat Wave Rock Electronic Heat Stone

Exo Terra Electronic Heated Stone For Desert & Tropical Terrariums: 1. Electronically-controlled heating element. 2. Even heat distribution. 3. Fully-encased element. 4. Light Emitting Diode (LED) On/Off indicator. 5. Energy efficient.

Easy to clean
Natural Look
Promotes natural behavior
Facilitates digestion

The heat Wave Rock stimulates a stone heated by the sun. Various reptiles, including nocturnal, use this form of conductive heat for thermo-regulation, which is important for metabolism and digestion. The Heat Wave Rock automatically shuts off when a certain surface temperature is reached to prevent burns or overheating. The fully encased, electronically-controlled heating element covers the entire stone, preventing hot spots. The special thermal conductive resin is waterproof, non-toxic, easy to clean and ensures an even heat distribution. Natural looking Heat Wave Rocks are available in three sizes and easy to integrate in any terrarium set-up: humid or dry.

This seems like it solved the problems that plagued heat stones before. What do you guys think?


Fatty Fatty Boomballaty
Western PA
Sounds interesting, and exo terra is pretty reliable... however we know uth work so i will stick with something that already does the job safely and efficiently.


the problem is that heat rocks still don't create a temperature gradient, which means you still need a secondary heat source to create one.


New Member
BlackReptiles said:
the problem is that heat rocks still don't create a temperature gradient, which means you still need a secondary heat source to create one.
by placing the stone at one end, while the other side has no heat on it, will create a temperature gradient the rock is made from what i am assuming is some sorta clay with help to retain heat and let it off at the same time. so you would indeed have a gradient. it would be like placing a rock over a uth, in a sense.
now i do not know how the rocks will work out. it's hard to say. i would still be hesitant, even though it says waterproof, and i am sure it is. when an animal gets wet and lays on a completely uncovered surface, relardless of the type (including uth) of the heat source. the heatcan be amplified (i guess thats the right word i dunno to early) through the water and result in burns.
i will just stay with what i use which is heat tape (uth) but even the older stones would create a temp gradient it's just that they would over heat and cause burns and sometimes even death.
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IMHO any and every heat source should be hooked up to a thermostat/dimmer and be on the outside of the enclosure. Just a simple rule of thumb of mine that I will never alter.


Huh, I thought that was one of the complaints of the old hot rocks, that they didn't create good gradients...oh well.


Shillelagh Law
The complaints were because of a lot of things.

A heat rock is basically a coil of wire embedded inside a ceramic chunk of crap.

Cermic is a natural insulator that doesn't transfer heat energy too well as a generalization- the same goes for air. Putting one poor conductor inside a whole lot of another poor conductor is not an ideal way to create a thermal gradient.

Further, it's not the temperature of anything that causes burns, it's heat energy being transfered from one thing to another. These two things are not synonymous; turn your oven up to four hundred degrees and give it a few minutes to get there... open the oven and stick your hand in there. The air is four hundred degrees but you won't be burned unless you leave it sitting for awhile- air is a poor conductor. Touch the rack and you've got a different situation entirely. These hot rocks, even the newer ones that are supposed to have a built in kill-switch (which, incidentally is usually nothing more than a fuse- if they get too hot they burn out permanantly) are not designed in such a way as to heat evenly. You have a heat coil positioned in an unknown manner inside an insulator- the places where the insulator is thinnest or where the heat coil is thickest will be much much hotter (and a much more efficient conductor) than the overall surface of the rock. So even using a thermostat of your own... the average surface temperature might be something reasonable (say... ninety-one-fifteen depending on what the thing was designed for and what kind of regulator it's got to choke the power) but then you'll get hot-spots which can be fifty-sixty degrees hotter. Add in the somewhat lax manufacturing process which leaves a lot of potential air pockets and imperfections in the material- all hidden from casual inspection beneath the surface... and this compounds both the potential effects and likelyhood of an issue.

I'd suggest busting one of those bad larrys open to see exactly what I mean.

If you're keeping a species that needs a hot rock for belly heat... just aim a heat lamp at a rock.

Edit: Ohyeah... and working on a "solution" to lessen a problem is a far cry from the marketing spin that it's been solved or has become an impossibility. The newer hot rocks aren't using the fat lava-lamp style heating coil anymore but they're a far cry from the perfection they're billed as by anyone trying to sell you one. If anyone is seriously thinking about using these... I definitely reccomend buying ONE and busting it open so you can see for yourself how minimal the "improvements" really are.
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