making a heat mat?

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miketropic

making a heat mat?

Post by miketropic » Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:07 pm

I got a new aquarium the other day I was going to use as a large seed prop. I got a new plant light for it and figured being in the house ( stay around 21C ) and the plant light on it that it would keep the temps high enough. the thermo says its around 21C inside the tank (air) but the bottom of the pots feel cold. I went looking for a heat mat the other day at the pet shop and they were alot more than I remember for the last one. Anyways I had the idea to put maybe a metal baking sheet in the bottom of the tank. lay a heat tape that you use to keep the water line from freezeing on it then another pan on top of it and sit the pots on that. Does anyone see any safety concerns/plant death/problems with this idea? I can get the heat tape and baking pans for about £9 where a real heat mat would run about £21.

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Dave Brown
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Re: making a heat mat?

Post by Dave Brown » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:53 pm

I bought a reptile mat over 3 feet long by 1ft wide for about £18. I put a growbag tray on top and stand the plants on the tray. :wink:
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Kristen

Re: making a heat mat?

Post by Kristen » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:00 pm

Any damp sand or somesuch in the growbag tray Dave, or is it just dry / used for bottom watering only?

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Re: making a heat mat?

Post by The Codfather » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:39 pm

Dave Brown wrote:I bought a reptile mat over 3 feet long by 1ft wide for about £18. I put a growbag tray on top and stand the plants on the tray. :wink:
the same but I use foill cooking trays instead of grow bag trays (cheaper !) and the reatly conduct the heat.
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Wish list - Big Palms or Dicksonia antarctica's but open to anything really.....Cash Waiting !

jungle jas

Re: making a heat mat?

Post by jungle jas » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:40 pm

Try eBay,under a tenner. icon_thumright

Vagetarian

Re: making a heat mat?

Post by Vagetarian » Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:09 pm

The reptile mats on ebay are pretty much identical to what's inside some of the cheaper heated propagators.

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Re: making a heat mat?

Post by Dave Brown » Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:19 pm

The Codfather wrote:
Dave Brown wrote:I bought a reptile mat over 3 feet long by 1ft wide for about £18. I put a growbag tray on top and stand the plants on the tray. :wink:
the same but I use foil cooking trays instead of grow bag trays (cheaper !) and the reatly conduct the heat.
The plastic conducts the heat, but won't conduct electricity :wink:

Kristen, I have trays inside the tray which hold water for those plants like that. :wink:
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miketropic

Re: making a heat mat?

Post by miketropic » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:08 pm

I found one on ebay comes in 5 sizes and it dosent cost much so I think I'll order it this weekend. been trying to keep these T rex roots warm and get them to start up with out the mat but there making me worried. hopefully by next week I can get some seeds ordered, my mat in the tank and my spider mites running for cover.

since I have gravel in the bottom of the tank could the heat mat go right onto that then just a foil tray on top to put the plants on? don't want to cook the roots just keep em warm and cozy

miketropic

Re: making a heat mat?

Post by miketropic » Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:16 am

well I went ahead and got a heat mat. 91 cm long by 27 cm wide. should fill the tank very nicely. I got a hot/cold type insulated bag to stick it in and sit the plants on. hopefully all this with the bit of moisture in the tank and the lid and light will make for a perfect growing atmosphere and I can start some seeds. orderd about 10 packs of seed also, some palms and other tropicals. update when its all put together.

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Re: making a heat mat?

Post by Dave Brown » Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:42 am

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miketropic

Re: making a heat mat?

Post by miketropic » Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:44 am

what do you usually use for a seed starting mix dave? make your own or buy premixed?

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Re: making a heat mat?

Post by Dave Brown » Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:51 am

miketropic wrote:what do you usually use for a seed starting mix dave? make your own or buy premixed?
It is dependent on the type of seed. Most seed need air and moisture in roughly equal parts to germinate. Most common failure is too wet and not enough air, which causes the seed to rot.

Any open mix without too much fertiliser. Could be perlite or coarse peat, or moss etc, or a combination.
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charliepridham

Re: making a heat mat?

Post by charliepridham » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:16 pm

Has any one ever tried the electric underfloor heating panels for larger heated areas? I presently have a HOTBOX panel which is in a foil sandwich but the alluminium foil rots out because our water is acidic, and I noticed recently underfloor heating panels are a lot cheaper!

grub

Re: making a heat mat?

Post by grub » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:16 pm

Welcome over to the other side Charlie icon_thumleft , never tried them but can't see why they wouldn't work other than they don't very much like water.

miketropic

Re: making a heat mat?

Post by miketropic » Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:52 pm

well everything came in today. I went ahead and got a regular reptile heating mat. 91 cm long by 28 cm wide. it completely fills out the fish tank. I have some small pebbles under it with some foil over top to sit the plants on. working on installing it while I'm posting.

Image

also got my seeds in today. gunna be hard to judge when to sow so that I don't have a inside jungle before it gets warm again. Going ahead with the palms as they will take awhile and grow slow anyways

Image

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