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 Heat Panel or Heat Tape?

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Christopher
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PostSubject: Heat Panel or Heat Tape?   Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:42 pm

Which do you prefer? So far I've just been using heat pads under my aquarium. Pretty archaic, I know. Just not sure which way to go from here. I like the low wattage under tank use of flex watt and the less severe repercussions of failed thermostats but they just seem dangerous from an electrical standpoint. I'm new so take it easy on me if this one is a no-brainer. Thanks!
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PostSubject: Re: Heat Panel or Heat Tape?   Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:21 pm

This one differs between each application, at least for me.

For racks, I use heat tape (both back for hatchlings and belly for everyone else). There just isn't enough room to use anything else. The back heat created by the flexwatt is almost like a radiant heat panel on my hatchling rack. I framed in a 4ft piece with aluminum and packed one side with insulation. I'm still working on this prototype but I think it's possible to make these into panels cheaply and safely.

For my enclosures, I use Reptile Basics Radiant Heat Panels (RBI RHP). RHPs work best from above and because my enclosures are mostly melamine, they are easily mounted. They are expensive and bulky, but they seem to be the best at keeping my ambient temperatures up.

When I use to use tanks, I used sticky heat pads on a rheostat to control the temps. I think these are probably the best for aquariums because they adhere to the bottom of the tank and leave little room to be "pinched" and create hot spots. I have used heat tape/flexwatt in the same manner, but taped it to the bottom. The only problem with flexwatt, is I don't trust it with the amount of power needed to heat the glass and substrate. It feels like it has to run on full power 24/7. Heat pads achieve a higher temp. I've seen heat tape burn up, but not heat pads yet (although it's likely possible)
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Christopher
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PostSubject: Re: Heat Panel or Heat Tape?   Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:33 pm

Ok, thanks for the info. I've been looking at ordering a front opening cage but wasn't sure on whether I should order one or the other. I figured the more expensive route was probably the way to go. Dang.
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PostSubject: Re: Heat Panel or Heat Tape?   Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:35 pm

LOL, it always seems to work that way ... a few exemptions though.
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