Heat tape

EarthLion

New Member
Is anyone using heat tape? My Jackson's likes to bask under the UV thinking that he is going to get warm (he doesn't). I am thinking about wrapping the fake branch that he lounges on with heat tape. That way on cold days I can give him some heat.

If you are using tape, what brand?
 
Do you like to burn your feet on the hot sand at the beach? What would it be like if you couldnt find a shodow to stand in.

Just move the heat lamp closer to the UV, he he starts basking less than he was probably already regulating his temperature and deemed the UV light to give off sufficient heat.

Not to mention, heat tap and spray water... don't mix. If anything you would use heat rope, but still wouldn't want to use it.
 

EarthLion

New Member
Learn more about crickets.

I wouldnt...crickets could chew on it and possibly create a short and then you have water introduced.
You don't have evidence for either conclusion. Crickets will chew anything, but PVC is one substance that they can't get a bite of and that is what heat tapes are made of. Then again, I wouldn't leave a live cricket in with a cham long enough to chew a wire such that it shorted.
 

EarthLion

New Member
Self-serving, please learn to read carefully.

Do you like to burn your feet on the hot sand at the beach? What would it be like if you couldnt find a shodow to stand in.

Just move the heat lamp closer to the UV, he he starts basking less than he was probably already regulating his temperature and deemed the UV light to give off sufficient heat.

Not to mention, heat tap and spray water... don't mix. If anything you would use heat rope, but still wouldn't want to use it.
This reply is so inane that I will not enter into a discussion here. Please read the original post.
 

EarthLion

New Member
I did not ask for advice.

Don't ask for advice if you are going to attack the answers...and yes it would be silly to heat up their feet since this is not the way its done in nature.
I did not ask for advice. Please learn to read a post as it is written. To help you out, I asked:

Is anyone using heat tape?
If you are using tape, what brand?
What part of those questions did you mistake for someone asking for advice. I am always bemused by self-righteous pseudo-experts jumping in to help the 'noob'. Well, I may be new to this board, but I am certainly not new to chams.
 

EarthLion

New Member
Thanks, a sincere response...

I use a light timer to turn on the basking light 3 hrs before the uv, works very well. Or use a mercy vapor bulb.
I have avoided a basking light for two reasons: 1) Chams are a bit different from "heat lizards" (for lack of a better term) in that they tend not to need the same amount of warmth and 2) great fear of burns and/or fire.

It sounds like you have a good setup, but I am really looking for a bulb alternative. As an aside, a herp lover (and sales associate) at the local PetCo told me that he saw a heated branch on the web and that it was quite new, which is sort of what I am wanting to replicate.
 
Chameleons need light to warm themselves. I dont think a heated limb will work because the heat is only on there feet. Even if it did it would take a lot longer for them warm up. A 60w bulb in a quality dome fixture is plenty for a basking light.
 
No, no one here is using heat tape anywhere but in our incubators. It would be folly to use heat tape for a chameleon to stand on. They are not "programed" to regulate their core temps through their feet. As a result we have all skipped this most ignorant idea, and instead created temperature gradients in our enclosures to allow our chameleons to regulate their own temp. If a company is selling a heated branch I am sure that those that trust PetCo sales associates will buy one and use it, with disastrous results.

FlexWatt is a great brand for incubators, etc. I do not know that any experienced chameleon keeper, who understands anything about chameleon husbandry would be able to recommend a good brand for you to wrap a perch with.

How do you know the jackson is not getting warm enough? Did you take a temp reading from his skin? Jackson are montane and do not require the "heat" of say a panther. He is perfectly capable of choosing a suitable temp for himself.
 
Last edited:

EarthLion

New Member
Yes and no.

Chameleons need light to warm themselves. I dont think a heated limb will work because the heat is only on there feet. Even if it did it would take a lot longer for them warm up. A 60w bulb in a quality dome fixture is plenty for a basking light.
The idea behind the branch is that the cham will grasp it with it's belly resting against it, which is where it needs the heat. As for time, who cares? My chams day is filled with a busy schedule of resting-waiting (for food to wander by)-eating-drinking. He is quite happy to lounge on a branch all day.

Also, there is the bugetary issue. Assuming $.20 for a Kilowatt hour of electricity and also assuming that you run your heat lamp ten hours a day will cost you $3.60 per month. With a 10 watt conductive heater, that cost drops to $.60. It also puts far less heat into the house (assuming the habitat is indoors) and thus less of a heat load on the AC.
 

Tygerr

Avid Member
I think your husbandry might be a bit off.

If you are using tape, what brand?
I don't think you'll find anyone here using heat tape, at least not the serious keepers.

Chams are a bit different from "heat lizards".
You are correct. Chameleons are different to most lizards. Besides the obvious physical characteristics, they are also arboreal creatures. The live in trees, whereas the "heat lizards" I think you are referring to (Bearded Dragons, etc?) are mainly ground dwelling.
However, being reptiles they have similar needs when it comes to warmth. Any diurnal reptile needs to warm up its body in order to function. They need heat not only to be able to hunt, but also to be able to digest the food they have caught.

And whilst it is true that certain species of chams don't need as much heat as others, most of the bigger species (including Jackson's) do in fact bask. They don't go and lie out on a hot rock like some of the "heat lizards", but they do climb to the upper parts of trees in order to find direct sunlight to heat up. The amount of direct sunlight, and the time that they spend in it will be determined by their heat requirements.

In captivity, keepers mimic the way the sun provides heat to chameleons by providing a heat lamp under which the cham can bask.
Nowhere in nature do arboreal chameleons derive their heat from sitting on warm perches. They don't ever walk on hot rocks, and I don't know of natural tree branches that would heat up in the way you describe your device would. And the main aim of chameleon husbandry is to mimic their natural environment as best as is practical.

My Jackson's likes to bask under the UV thinking that he is going to get warm (he doesn't).
When you say, he likes to bask under the UV lighting: if you mean he sits comfortably for most of the day on a perch under the UV light, it's more than likely that he IS getting warm there. A chameleon NEEDS the heat - he wouldn't be comfortable until he got it (unless you have some temp guns monitoring him, I don't know how you can tell he isn't getting warm enough).
If on the other hand, he is climbing up the side of the cage, or up onto the top of the cage, hanging upside down, trying to get closer to the UV lamp to bask, then he ISN'T finding anywhere to get warm enough, and he is not basking at all, but desperately trying to find a way to get closer to some source of warmth. In that case, you need to provide a heat lamp to create a basking spot.

If your primary concern is that he is spending too much time under a UV light, and not enough under a heat lamp that you set up, then it sounds like you have a problem with your cage design.
You should design a cage so that there is both a UV and a heat gradient, and that a chameleon can spend time basking where he can choose to be exposed to UV or not. In other words, you should have your lights set up so that the cham can get warm, AND still be in range of the UV light.

and 2) great fear of burns and/or fire.
Again, this is a cage design issue. If your cage is designed and set up properly, even with a heat lamp there should be no burns or fire. There is plenty of information on this site, as well as other good chameleon websites that will explain how to set up heat lights safely for you and your cham.
(Also I think that heat tape in a wet environment - as a Jackson's cage should be - would probably be more of a hazard).

Like a wise member on this site once said to me (Zerah, you know who you are ;) ): you should first rethink your husbandry before going off to buy the latest gadgety-type reptile product.

Damn, my slow internet connection allowed you to beat me to the reply, Zerah
 

Chris Anderson

Dr. House of Chameleons
Staff member
I am always bemused by self-righteous pseudo-experts
The irony of you making this statement is quite amusing, thanks for the good laugh, I needed it.

I have avoided a basking light for two reasons: 1) Chams are a bit different from "heat lizards" (for lack of a better term) in that they tend not to need the same amount of warmth
My point exactly. Just because some chams require lower temps then many common herps and that due to their higher surface area to volume ratio do not need to spend as much time basking as many other commonly kept hurts does not mean that basking spots are not absolutely required for proper thermal management by the animal. They still need to bask to quickly warm themselves and the use of heat-tape/cord/branches does not follow the physiological system of the animals and is thus, not a suitable source of heat.


2) great fear of burns and/or fire.
Competent enclosure design and attention to detail negates these fears almost completely but what would a "self-righteous pseudo-expert" with so little experience compared to yourself be able to tell you about that?

a herp lover (and sales associate) at the local PetCo told me
Thank god we're finally talking about someone who knows what they're doing!

If you would actually like to discuss heating methods that work, feel free to let us know.

Chris
 
Last edited:

Chris Anderson

Dr. House of Chameleons
Staff member
The idea behind the branch is that the cham will grasp it with it's belly resting against it, which is where it needs the heat.
The posture you speak of is an unnatural position for a healthy chameleon and is generally considered an indicator of illness and stress. Healthy chameleons do not seek warmth in this manner, they bask.

Chris
 
Last edited:

ChameleonsTree

New Member
You really don't understand how educated some of these people are on here...such as chris and zerah and many other long time breeders. A lot of these people on here posess such a wealth of knowledge that is would serve you to just listen. You are way out of your league with some of these guys you have no idea. I feel so grateful to have these people here to ask for advice.
 

Scrappy

New Member
AMEN to that one ChameleonsTree! I am very thankful for keepers such as Chris and Zerah to share the knowledge they have with the rest of us who are not so knowledgeable. *Bows in praise of Chris and Zerah* :D
 

Jordan

New Member
Originally when I saw the post I thought that heat tape was in referance to the tape that can be wrapped on exhaust manifolds of racing (or suped up) cars. Glad that is clear up for me now. I was a bit confused at first.

I am a little confused on why lighting should be the thing you are cheap on. Go outside and get some free branches, raise some crickets, make your own dripper...etc. There are quite a few things you can save money. Raising your own crickets would pay for the lighting and then some month to month.

Over heating your house does not seem like a big concern. A Jackson does not need that much heat to begin with. Depending on some variables a 40W/50W bulb could do the job. The basking area in one of my veileds cage is at 110 degrees. The heat is not felt through the room. You can not really feel it up close.
 

EarthLion

New Member
Green Design

Originally when I saw the post I thought that heat tape was in referance to the tape that can be wrapped on exhaust manifolds of racing (or suped up) cars. Glad that is clear up for me now. I was a bit confused at first.
Yes, I was referring to the tape that you wrap pipes with that is electrified and heats up to keep pipes from freezing in the winter. This notion has been applied to reptile habitat products.

I am a little confused on why lighting should be the thing you are cheap on. Go outside and get some free branches, raise some crickets, make your own dripper...etc. There are quite a few things you can save money. Raising your own crickets would pay for the lighting and then some month to month.
Cheap isn't the reason at all. My interest is in optimization and efficiency, although some keepers may have less monetary resource than I have to put towards chameleon husbandry and so this could be an issue for them. Also, if one was keeping a large number of them, with their requisite need for private enclosures, efficiencies of this type could add up in the long term.

Over heating your house does not seem like a big concern. A Jackson does not need that much heat to begin with. Depending on some variables a 40W/50W bulb could do the job. The basking area in one of my veileds cage is at 110 degrees. The heat is not felt through the room. You can not really feel it up close.
The simple fact is that you are adding energy to the heat load of the room. Incandescent bulbs are notoriously inefficient and using them as heat sources underscores that fact. I have an Exo-Terra Jungle Vine threaded up through a ficus. Lucifer (some on this board will appreciate why he is named that, like owner, like cham...) uses the vine like a highway through the habitat. It passes by the feeder bowl, which is attached to the screen, then dips up and down and finishes up under the UV lamp at the top. I had the notion that a heat tape wrapped around the vine along the upper portion under the UV lamp would be perfect for him. Nice and cozy heat for his belly while basking. He goes up there after a meal, so I imagine he is seeking heat to aid digestion, or it may be instinct. Nevertheless, by targeting the heat in such a fashion I could lower the heat load, reduce utility cost, and less "junk", for lack of a better term around the cage.

As you point out, a Jackson's does not need a great deal of heat and that was what I brought forward, albeit not directly, in my infamous, but hugely successful, tutorial thread on chameleon heating. My point there was that if your room temp/humidity (or environment) was close to the chams normal habitat, then why not focus heat via a conductive source rather than convective/radiative?
 
Top Bottom