Uth without insulation?

This is where you discuss the conditions of your crabitat -- temperature, humidity, substrate, decorating, etc.
Post Reply

Topic author
Plasmoc
Posts: 263
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:34 pm

Uth without insulation?

Post by Plasmoc » Sun Oct 04, 2020 3:09 pm

I’ve tried reading through old posts & the sticky but am overwhelmed sorting through the information.

I have a 16 gallon tank and two Hydro 15w heaters made for 10 gallons. The heaters are on one side & back of the tank.


These heaters keep the tank at 79-83 steadily, but the heaters plastic outer shell bubbled which makes me very nervous. I need to un-anchor and re-anchor a cabinet to change the heaters so I want to get it right the first time. I’d like to change to just one UTH that doesn’t need insulation. What’s a good brand and size? Is it ok to do 1 bigger one or do I Need to keep with 2 small?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

User avatar

CrabbyLover77
Posts: 1844
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2019 11:30 pm
Location: PA

Re: Uth without insulation?

Post by CrabbyLover77 » Sun Oct 04, 2020 6:33 pm

Plasmoc wrote:I’ve tried reading through old posts & the sticky but am overwhelmed sorting through the information.

I have a 16 gallon tank and two Hydro 15w heaters made for 10 gallons. The heaters are on one side & back of the tank.


These heaters keep the tank at 79-83 steadily, but the heaters plastic outer shell bubbled which makes me very nervous. I need to un-anchor and re-anchor a cabinet to change the heaters so I want to get it right the first time. I’d like to change to just one UTH that doesn’t need insulation. What’s a good brand and size? Is it ok to do 1 bigger one or do I Need to keep with 2 small?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Ultratherm is a good brand, but you will probably need to insulate it. I just bought a 6"x47" for my 55 gal and it works great. There are no adhesive on these uth's, so you will need to attach it with duct tape. Measure the back of your tank, and buy the size that will fit the entire back when mounting it above the substrate line.
To insulate, you can put aluminum foil over cardboard, and duct tape that (shiny foil facing the uth) to the uth. My house isn't very cold, so I skipped the cardboard and just insulated with aluminum foil taped around the uth. It's keeping my tank nice and toasty.

Ultratherm uth:
https://www.reptilebasics.com/ultratherm-heat-pads

Thermostat (if you don't already have one):
https://smile.amazon.com/Century-Thermo ... e5a37a4fcf

So if one uth that fits the entire, or most of, the tank keeps it warm enough, there's no need to buy a second one. Hope this helps!

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk



My Pets: 1 Pomeranian, 1 Russian tortoise, fishes/snails(40 gal freshwater aquarium), and 7 hermit crabs.
"Animals are my friends, and I don’t eat my friends".
-George Bernard Shaw


Topic author
Plasmoc
Posts: 263
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:34 pm

Re: Uth without insulation?

Post by Plasmoc » Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:32 pm

Would it be possible to do one without insulation? Te back one is very close to the wall and I’d like to leave an air gap. I think cardboard & foil would make it touch the wall.

Also, I noticed you said ABOVE the substrate I have always had them below the substrate line (outside of tank). It needs to go only above?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

User avatar

CrabbyLover77
Posts: 1844
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2019 11:30 pm
Location: PA

Re: Uth without insulation?

Post by CrabbyLover77 » Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:51 pm


Plasmoc wrote:Would it be possible to do one without insulation? Te back one is very close to the wall and I’d like to leave an air gap. I think cardboard & foil would make it touch the wall.

Also, I noticed you said ABOVE the substrate Image I have always had them below the substrate line (outside of tank). It needs to go only above?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Insulating the uth makes it not work as hard to keep your tank at the set temperature. If you want, you can do like I did, I skipped the cardboard. I just insulated with aluminum foil over the uth and it's working well so far.

The goal with the uth is to heat the air, not the substrate. Heating the substrate can create hot pockets in the sand/ee causing harm to the crabbies. That's why you want to place it above the substrate line. If you have a uth that has adhesive, you cannot remove and restick it. It may not work properly. You can put the uth on the back or sides, or both.

Image

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk


My Pets: 1 Pomeranian, 1 Russian tortoise, fishes/snails(40 gal freshwater aquarium), and 7 hermit crabs.
"Animals are my friends, and I don’t eat my friends".
-George Bernard Shaw

User avatar

curlysister
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2333
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:54 pm
Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: Uth without insulation?

Post by curlysister » Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:26 pm

If it is mostly above the sub line, and happens to go below it a bit, that's no problem. A couple of mine go a couple of inches below the sub line. The sub does tend to dry out more along those edges, so if i am going to add any water, I will add it there.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

User avatar

wodesorel
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 9886
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:49 am
Location: Leetonia, Ohio
Contact:

Re: Uth without insulation?

Post by wodesorel » Tue Oct 06, 2020 2:54 am

I have always used pads that reach from top to bottom, covering all the substrate, so if its working for you I would not recommend a change.

Having the UTH that close to a wall will actually act as insulation. Less air flow means more heat buildup in the gap, and that will reflect back into the tank.

If you've been using padded UTH then you probably wouldn't need to insulate one of the better brands! Ultratherm or Flukers are pretty easy to use, and the way the are put together they are much safer to have at higher temps.

I'm not familiar with the brand you mentioned, Hydro. Did you mean Hydor? If so, I thought they only made aquarium (as in water) heaters.
Want to see all my crazy pets? @waywardwaifs on Instagram

User avatar

CrabbyLover77
Posts: 1844
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2019 11:30 pm
Location: PA

Re: Uth without insulation?

Post by CrabbyLover77 » Tue Oct 06, 2020 2:58 am

wodesorel wrote:I have always used pads that reach from top to bottom, covering all the substrate, so if its working for you I would not recommend a change.

Having the UTH that close to a wall will actually act as insulation. Less air flow means more heat buildup in the gap, and that will reflect back into the tank.

If you've been using padded UTH then you probably wouldn't need to insulate one of the better brands! Ultratherm or Flukers are pretty easy to use, and the way the are put together they are much safer to have at higher temps.

I'm not familiar with the brand you mentioned, Hydro. Did you mean Hydor? If so, I thought they only made aquarium (as in water) heaters.
Do you have trouble maintaining sand castle consistency with the uth covering everything? Since having the whole tank covered works for you, do you think we should always advise others to keep it above the substrate line? Thanks so much. Image

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

My Pets: 1 Pomeranian, 1 Russian tortoise, fishes/snails(40 gal freshwater aquarium), and 7 hermit crabs.
"Animals are my friends, and I don’t eat my friends".
-George Bernard Shaw

User avatar

wodesorel
Tech Support
Tech Support
Posts: 9886
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:49 am
Location: Leetonia, Ohio
Contact:

Re: Uth without insulation?

Post by wodesorel » Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:03 am

The substrate has to be maintained with moisture being added in as needed, same as any tank as it ages, but yes it probably needs rewet more often. It also has the effect of raising the humidity and keeping it steady since the warming of the substrate causes evaporation into the air. I think many keepers can get away with a smaller pad so I'm not sure if it always has to be mentioned, but if heat is an issue or very low temps are in play, then that extra coverage is needed. I can easily get a 30 degree boost over room temp with the insulated UTH on my tank.
Want to see all my crazy pets? @waywardwaifs on Instagram

User avatar

CrabbyLover77
Posts: 1844
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2019 11:30 pm
Location: PA

Re: Uth without insulation?

Post by CrabbyLover77 » Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:07 am


wodesorel wrote:The substrate has to be maintained with moisture being added in as needed, same as any tank as it ages, but yes it probably needs rewet more often. It also has the effect of raising the humidity and keeping it steady since the warming of the substrate causes evaporation into the air. I think many keepers can get away with a smaller pad so I'm not sure if it always has to be mentioned, but if heat is an issue or very low temps are in play, then that extra coverage is needed. I can easily get a 30 degree boost over room temp with the insulated UTH on my tank.
Wow, a 30° boost is awesome!
If someone has really low temps, then I'll know it's ok to mention getting a bigger uth, even if it hits the substrate. Thank you!

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

My Pets: 1 Pomeranian, 1 Russian tortoise, fishes/snails(40 gal freshwater aquarium), and 7 hermit crabs.
"Animals are my friends, and I don’t eat my friends".
-George Bernard Shaw


Topic author
Plasmoc
Posts: 263
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:34 pm

Re: Uth without insulation?

Post by Plasmoc » Tue Oct 06, 2020 10:02 am

I’ve found that the substrate needs to be sprayed down & mixed to maintain the sandcastle consistency in the areas closest to the heaters.

I it is Hydor, a slim one. I was told it could be used outside of water as a uth but that could be wrong and why I’ve had problems with them!

2 stupid mistakes thanks for catching these issues I’ll be sure to correct them ASAP


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Post Reply