From the pages of 'The British Tarantula Society Journal'

Heaters are for Heating, not Cooking!

Martin Overton


If you are not as lucky as the few that live in a temperate zone with temperatures around 75-80 Fahrenheit all year round then you need to keep your arachnids warm and toasty without breaking the bank or cooking them alive!

Well what do you use?

The reptile heating mats are a good start as they are relatively cheap and light-weight. Alternates include wine heating trays (I've actually used these with great success).

The above should NOT be placed underneath the tank as the arachnid (if a burrowing species) will naturally try to burrow to escape the heat. If the mat is under the tank the arachnid will dig itself an oven and proceed to cook itself!

This type of heating source should be attached to the rear of the tank or the top (unless it's an arboreal species).

Keeping the heater under control is a must, not an option!

The heating mat should be attached to a thermostat, such as a mat-stat.

Hot-Rocks are not a good idea for arachnids as they could cook the very creature you are trying to care for.

Light-bulbs are also not a good idea as they tend to dry out the tank very quickly leading to a desiccated and dead arachnid.

The other alternatives are:

Build a custom cabinet and heat the cabinet. This option allows you to use a room thermostat instead of lots of mat-stats.

Heat a room.
This is the most expensive option, unless you have LOTS of arachnids, by that I mean sufficient to fill a room.

Well there are some suggestions, the choice is yours!

Copyright 'The British Tarantula Society', 1996,2007


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Last Updated: February 19, 2007