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Experimenting with insulation

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  • [Housing] Experimenting with insulation

    I'm 2-3 months out from buying a few enclosures, until then i'd like to get my ambient temps up if possible. So here's what i'm working with and what i've done so far. Any tips are always welcome.

    Cage: 20 Gallon Long w/ screen top (one photo is the 10g)
    Location: Living room w/ 70f room temp.
    Bedding: Aspen
    Heating: Exo Terra UTH 8"x8"

    Previous Humidity Issue
    1. With out spraying the humidity normally around 50%-60% because part of the water bowl is over the UTH.

    2. Laying a wet towel over the screen is just too high of maintenance because you have to keep wetting it etc.

    Humidity Solution
    As you can see by the pic i've covered all but about 1" of the right side of the screen with insulation wrapped in plastic. I wrapped it so the humidity doesn't get into the insulation. Last night at 8pm i sprayed down the bedding (not soaked) and 12 hours later the humidity is still 85% and it's hard to even see inside the glass. This is ideal for BRB's 24/7 or a BCI currently in shed, which mine just so happens to be so i'm sure she's very happy right now.

    Basking Temps
    This one is quite simple. UTH plugged into a T-stat. I place the probe from the t-stat along with the probe from a thermometer on top of the UTH and temps stay at 90f 24/7.

    Ambient Temp Issue
    This one seems to be the biggest pain, i did a search and also saw that i'm not the only one with the issue. As you can see in the pics, yesterday i placed the insulation around the outside of the tank. I have not put any on the underside where the UTH doesn't cover, but I may tonight to see if it helps.

    The insulation didn't do a darn thing for the ambient temps, which are stable at 71f (temp of the room). The 1" gap on the screen is on the cool side of the tank. My theory was that if the primary way air could escape was on the opposite side of the tank from the UTH that it would set a nice temp gradient inside. That theory has failed. I say primary because it's only about 95% air tight around the insulation covering the screen.

    Is the aspen bedding to much of an insulator preventing the warm air from the UTH from warming up the ambient air inside the tank? I don't have quite enough for the snake to borrow under but it's between 1"-2" of bedding outside of the basking area. Under the rock (basking area) i hardly have any because when the glass over the UTH is 90f, on top of 1"-2" of aspen is in the mid 80's. I keep the therm probe under her rock on top of the UTH to make sure she's getting her proper temps.

    Things to try
    1. Remove the aspen bedding completely to see if it's acting as an insulator. If the ambient temps rise then limit the thickness of the aspen bedding or find new substrate.

    2. Insulate the bottom of the tank where the UTH does not cover. I'm thinking if the aspen bedding is acting as an insulator then it's absorbing the heat and/or pushing the heat out of the bottom of the glass. If the bottom is insulated hopefully it will help keep the heat inside.

    Any suggestion, comments, tips?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Experimenting with insulation

    I would use a larger uth personally. that should correct your issue with the setup you got.


    • #3
      Re: Experimenting with insulation

      Originally posted by snake77 View Post
      I would use a larger uth personally. that should correct your issue with the setup you got.
      Depends because the glass on the underside is only but so wide. Next size UTH is about 11"x11" which may not even fit, i'd have to measure when I get home.

      I was thinking flexwatt actually. I just found this on bigappleherp

      It comes in a few sizes:

      6 foot cord: i haven't seen anyone talk about this yet. I'm interested to see how it works.

      Also Flexible Heat Ropes