There are several products in the market designed to help reptile owners solve several challenges that occur when keeping reptiles. For a retailer, knowing how to market these products properly is equally as important as having them in stock.
Any reptile enclosure needs a thermostat. Even though some can still successfully keep reptiles without a thermostat, having one is safer and better. Apart from the initial cost involved in purchasing one, there are no disadvantages. Therefore, it is important people use it.
The primary job of a reptile thermostat is to regulate the temperature of a given environment. Since reptiles are cold blooded, they need to be kept in an environment that is adequately monitored and continuously controlled. A reptile may manage to live in a cold environment for an extended period, but it can’t withstand heat.
The warm weather during springtime quickly causes a sharp rise in the temperature and lead to fatality, but reptile enclosures with a thermostat do not need to worry much.
There are a couple of thermostats available in the markets and online stores, and they are discussed below:
These are the cheapest type of thermostats available in the market. Although they are not so sophisticated and won’t be the best recommendation, having them will do you better than not having anyone at all.
Just like the name implies, the on and off thermostat works by putting the heating on and off. It is set to work at a temperature, and so it works to maintain that temperature based on a high and low tolerance level. When the temperature goes beyond the high tolerance level, the thermostat switches off the heater, and when the temperature drops below the low tolerance, it switches the heater back on.
Even though this process helps regulate the vivarium a temperature, there is usually a vast difference between the on and off phase temperature. Because the heat of most thermostat’s vivarium is generated with the aid of a spotlight bulb, the continuous on and off of the bulb can easily frustrate both the reptile keeper and the reptiles. Furthermore, the constant on and off causes the heater bulb to blow out frequently.
Thermostats for Mats
These are on/off thermostats that are specifically designed for use in heat mats. They share every similarity with the regular on/off stats, but their maximum power output is lower.
Most users agree that this stat is the most effective and versatile. The only drawback of this stat is the initial cost because they are more expensive. However, their prices are well worth it because it doesn’t have the other disadvantages that are common in the on/off stats.
As the name implies, a dimmer thermostat works by increasing or reducing (dimming) the power supplied to the heater. The thermostat contains sensors that monitor the temperature of the enclosure regularly. When the temperature is too warm, the thermostat dims the bulb, and when it is too low, it brightens it up. The dimming and brightening process happens in an almost invisible way, but it is more efficient and less annoying than the on and off the type of thermostats. This dimmer works well with any kind of heat source.
These are more advanced thermostatic units that are custom made by the manufacturers for specific enclosures. They are usually preprogrammed and capable of managing more than one enclosure at a time. They are the most recent types and are still evolving.
Pulse stats are a different type of thermostat that works with heat sources that do make use of light, unlike the ones we discussed earlier, which work with spotlights. Pulse thermostats are usually used in ceramic heaters and other similar non-light-emitting heat sources. These thermostats work by releasing pulses of electricity to the heating unit at a high or lower rate, depending on the temperature recorded on the sensor. Since this thermostat is cheaper than the dimmer, it is an excellent choice for reptile enclosures.
How to set up your thermostat
Thermostats find use in different ways and countless applications, and it won’t be possible to name them all in this article. However, most users use them for almost the same thing and in the same way. It is essential to install and monitor the operation of the thermostat for a few days before finally introducing the reptiles.
A thermostat contains three cables coming out of it. One is marked as ‘mains,’ another as ‘heater,’ and the last one has marked ‘sensor.’ The main is made up of the regular three-pin plug that you connect to the energy source. Connect the heater cable to your heater, following the manufacturer instructions. Connect the sensor cable to your tank and fix the heater at one side of the enclosure making sure that a temperature gradient is formed. This way it will be easy for the sensor to read the temperature. The tank should be warmer at the area closest to the heater and cooler at the other area.
Ensure that the sensor is placed around the middle of the vivarium. After this, set the thermostat dial to the temperature range suitable for the type of reptiles you intend to keep in the enclosure. After this, you can go ahead to plug the thermostat and switch it on. The thermostat will need to stay for a while before it can correctly read the temperature. After following these steps, the next thing is to verify that the temperature is accurate.
Using a thermometer, check for the temperature of the vivarium from one end to the other. Ensure the temperature at both ends is suitable for the animals to be kept there. Finally, make use of the thermostat dial to adjust the temperature and make small adjustments where necessary until the ideal temperature is reached. We will also recommend that you keep at least two thermometers. One at the hot end and the other at the cold end. This will help you take a proper record of the environment.