Different Thermostats Available For Reptiles
The thermostat is one of the essential pieces of equipment that any well set up vivarium requires.
It will control the heat source in your tank to make sure that your pet does not die from cold or the more common problem of excess heat.
It cannot be emphasized strongly enough that if you neglect to use this piece of kit you are heading for a lot of trouble and the strong likelihood of your pet's unnecessary death.
The Thermostat Explained
The diagram on the right illustrates a standard thermostat. The unit sits outside the tank and is plugged into the household power supply.
A small hole is normally drilled into the vivarium and the probe is situated at the position that the temperature is being controlled. For glass vivariums there should be access via the hood. If the hole is big enough for escapees a bit of non toxic sealant can be applied. Make sure that the probe is securely attached to the tank and cannot be moved, as you need to be monitoring a fixed position.
This probe is normally placed at either the hot end of the tank or in the middle of the heat gradient.
The tank's power source is the plugged into to the connecting socket this is also on the outside of the tank. Adjust the gauge to the correct temperature. You will also need at least one thermometer to check that all is working correctly.
You may need to make slight adjustments until your temperatures are in the correct range.
Types Of Thermostat
On/Off ThermostatThis is the standard thermostat and controls the temperature by switching the heat source on and off. When it reaches the higher end of its tolerance the thermostat will cut the power and when it reaches the bottom end it switch it back on again.
The disadvantages are that there can be fluctuations in temperature during this cycle and as it is either full on or off heater sources may become very hot. Another potential problem is that the equipment attached such as light bulbs or heaters are being switched off and on regularly which shortens their lifespan.
This being said they have advantage of being the cheapest and also can be used with any type of heater. They are also the most widely used.
Pulse ThermostatPulse thermostats work by sending different intensity pulses. When the temperature falls too low with will increase the pulses and when it reached its peak the pulses will slow down.
Pulse thermostats are more expensive than the On/Off thermostat and also cannot be used with spotlights. They are however better at running other heating devices than the standard On/Off thermostat.
The Dimming ThermostatDimming Thermostats work by controlling the amount of power that is supplied to the heater, it works the same was a domestic dimmer light switch. If the temperature is too high the power is reduced and when it is too low it is increased.
Dimming Thermostats have the advantage of working with all types of heater but are also the most expensive of the thermostats mentioned. You should also be careful to check that the wattage of the heater is high enough for the thermostat.