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Old 11-05-2015, 10:51 PM
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Talking 1st Vivarium 36x18x36 Exo Terra

I am working on my first vivarium. What do you recommend for a heating element? The room the dart frogs will be in is at a constant temperature of 60F, and it is not an option to increase the room temperature. I have a heating mat attached to the bottom of the tank, but it is not increasing the ambient temperature.
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Last edited by Kendra; 11-05-2015 at 10:53 PM. Reason: Include that I already tried one source of heat.
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:07 PM
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Default Re: 1st Vivarium 36x18x36 Exo Terra

More pictures.
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Old 11-06-2015, 06:22 PM
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Default Re: 1st Vivarium 36x18x36 Exo Terra

Ok I'm a noob but I will try to help. You didn't state your humidity levels or the type of lid or light you have on your tank (which looks good btw). When raising temperature it is important to make sure you aren't losing humidity. Also, in a 60F room you might have condensation issues with your warm and humid tank.


Reptile heat pads create a "hot spot" on the substrate but do little to raise overall temperature.

Heat lamps can work but they really dry out an environment.


Options I would consider:

-Small (50watt or less) aquarium heater in your misting system set to 78F.

-Higher temperature lighting system

-A heat lamp would be my last option. The ceramics are pricey and dome lights are ugly. The red ones don't look good either. Also you'd have to be careful with humidity, letting it sit on top of the cage etc. Best would be to set with a thermostat or timer.

Best of luck!
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Old 11-06-2015, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: 1st Vivarium 36x18x36 Exo Terra

I didn't realize you had a water feature.

Make sure the water level is high enough and add a cheap ~$15 50w or less aquarium heater to your tank. There's an Aqueon or Tetra one on the market with an auto setting of 78F.

Water is a great insulator and you don't have to deal with another light fixture or weird color light.
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Old 11-07-2015, 02:26 PM
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Default Re: 1st Vivarium 36x18x36 Exo Terra

My humidity is currently at 80% and the lights are only 13W LED from JoshsFrogs.com. No heat from them. Thanks for the information! I think I will try the water heater first.
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Old 11-07-2015, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: 1st Vivarium 36x18x36 Exo Terra

It is hard to heat properly a viv so large. The advice of FrogTim is fine, but I would use a 50 watt or plus aquarium heater.
I do not have water feature in my vivs, so I use under three Exo Terra 12 inches (total 36 inches) one 100 watt heating cable and one t5 (in addition to the Leds). Your viv is bigger, so I would use a 150 watt cable and T8.
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Old 11-07-2015, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by rigel10 View Post
It is hard to heat properly a viv so large. The advice of FrogTim is fine, but I would use a 50 watt or plus aquarium heater.
I do not have water feature in my vivs, so I use under three Exo Terra 12 inches (total 36 inches) one 100 watt heating cable and one t5 (in addition to the Leds). Your viv is bigger, so I would use a 150 watt cable and T8.
I saw this heating cable. Do you run it under your tank?
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Old 11-07-2015, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: 1st Vivarium 36x18x36 Exo Terra

I build a frame on which I place the vivs. Inside this frame, on a plastic net, I put the heating cable. In this pic you can see.
If you insulate well, the heat loss will be minimal. I do not insulate at all, yet I can easily reach 25 C (77 F) in winter with LED lights. With my old t5, even more.
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