HabiStat Heat Mat
1200mm x 280mm
47" x 11"
About Your Heat Mat
Heat Mats & Strips produce ultra long wavelength infra red heat.
This wavelength is invisible to the human eye and tends to heat furnishings in the cage rather than the air. This action of heating is very similar to the sun and it has the ability to heat anything that it strikes but with the air temperature remaining much lower. Reptiles absorb this heat in a manner very similar to basking in a natural environment. Heat mats do get warm but provide a very gentle warmth which the animal can sit under or on top of. Used under normal conditions the mats cannot burn the animal.
Heat mats can be used without thermostats in many applications. With species that have particular requirements or in an environment which could be prone to over heating, it is sensible to use a thermostat.
It should be noted that heat mats give a gentle background heat. If you are keeping animals that requires higher temperatures, then you may well require additional supplemental heating. Many diurnal or day active species of lizard require basking spots of rather high localized heat. Additional heat sources should then be provided for these species. Heat Mats & Strips are excellent primary heaters for most applications requiring night time heating, as they emit no visible light and are the most widely used heater for this purpose.
For many species of snake and for most invertebrate heating, Heat mats are excellent as the sole heat sources. If in doubt please seek expert advice with regard to the animal's specific requirements.
Read these instructions fully before installation. All heaters can be potentially hazardous if misused. Do not take any risks with the lives of animals. Do not use if the mat appears perforated or damaged. Please note that white areas that appear to be bubbles in the laminate are not faults. This is de-lamination and will not affect the performance of the heat mat.
Most reptiles require a thermal gradient in their vivarium. That is they need to be able to move in and out of warmer and cooler areas. The heat mat should be positioned so that between one half and two thirds of the size of vivarium that is being heated. The remaining unheated section allows the animals to move away from the heat when required.
The heat mat can be positioned inside or outside of glass or plastic tanks. In wooden or melamine structures the heat mat must be fixed inside the cage. Wood is a good insulator and, if the heat mat were placed outside such a cage, little heat would find its way into the cage. This would thermally block the mat and may present a high risk of overheating. Heat mats can be used on the floor or mounted on the wall of the cage. When using on the floor it is imperative, if substrate is used, that it be kept to less than I cm. Many substrates have very good insulation properties (Vermiculite, wood chips etc.) and placing too much over the heat mat will stop the heat getting into the cage where it is needed.
The heat mat is like a radiator, in that equal amounts of heat are radiated from both sides. Because heat is wanted in the cage, it is important that it is directed there. The heat mat should have expanded polystyrene at a minimum of 6 mm thick, fixed to the outside surface of the heat mat. This will reduce wasted heat energy and will direct heat back into the cage.
Glass tank precautions. If the mat is being used under a glass tank, it is very important that the following advice be followed.
The substrate must not be too thick. If the heat cannot get through the substrate into the cage, it could overheat and crack the tank.
If burrowing species are being kept, use the mat on the back of the cage, not underneath.
Ensure that an adequate hole is cut in the polystyrene to accommodate the terminal block. If this is not done, the base of the tank will be stressed and prone to breakage.
You must Install the tank in accordance to the manufacturer's instructions.
When used inside the cage, ensure that the heat mat is fixed securely to the floor or wall of the cage. Secure with good quality adhesive tape fixed onto the clear edges of the mat. Do not use low tack adhesive tapes such as masking or insulating tape. Ensure that the mat cannot move and that the animals cannot get under or behind it. It is important that no sticky tape remains not stuck to the floor. Inquisitive snakes will very quickly find tape adhesive and get stuck to it; then removal is often very difficult. A poorly fixed heat mat could spell disaster for an animal looking for somewhere to hide.
Heat strips are manufactured in the same way as mats. They are made narrower and are generally used to heat small boxes and the cages used for housing juvenile snakes and some other species. The principles of use are the same as those for mats and the same precautions should be exercised. In small enclosures the heat can build up very quickly. The temperature should be adequately monitored and controlled if necessary with a HabiStat thermostat. When standing small boxes on the strip, ensure that no more than one half to two thirds of the box is heated. The animals must be able to escape the heat!
With large specimens such as boa constrictors, pythons and some lizards, it is essential to safeguard against the mat being flooded. These animals may produce large volumes of waste fluids and the heat mat must not be immersed! It is perfectly safe to wipe the heat mat with a damp cloth for routine cleaning but as with any electrical appliances, disconnect it from the mains first! Under no circumstances should any moisture be allowed to penetrate the terminal block.
With large monitor lizards, iguanas or any burrowing species, there should be safeguards against the animal piercing the mat whilst digging. The heat mat must not be pierced, folded or cut! It there is any danger of the mat being flooded or pierced, mount it on the side of the cage, out of the animals way.
Remember, never install heating and then leave it unattended. Establish that the installation is correct and that the vivarium is being maintained at the desired temperature. Never expose animals to any risk of over heating. Once installed, heating should be tested for a minimum of 48 hours prior to the introduction of livestock. It you haveconcerns about overheating, then fit a HabiStat thermostat. Do not risk the animal's safety! If there is any doubt, consult a qualified electrician.