Post by gorgeousgastropod on Nov 21, 2005 14:19:15 GMT
I had my heat mat on side of the tank (outside).. but it didnt seem to be having much effect, so i thinned out a section of the substrate and put the heat mat underneath (still outside) the tank (with polystyrene backing).
Dolly went and sat right on top of the section of the tank where the heat mat was, which was initially fine as she looked abit perkier!
but after a while she was still there, i felt her shell and it was really really warm! so i picked her up, she was out of her shell and the only way i can describe it was she was all floppy!!! she actually looked rather drunk (LOL)!!!
i moved her to a different part of the tank and she returned to normal after a while... so im asking can a snail get too hot? ..... i thougt they were supposed to move away from the heat mat when if they were too warm?
Post by gorgeousgastropod on Nov 21, 2005 14:31:57 GMT
all the others were fine, enjoying their extra warmth.
Not sure what to do with my heat mat (i know there have been numerous threads re: them..) as when it was on the side, even with the ventilation holes covered, it wasnt really having any effect on the tank or the snails...
I have to question whether or not a snail would indeed cook itself. The reason being, I use heatmats both undertank, and on the side. Undertank mat only ever covers a third of the tank floor, and is only used on capillary matting based tank setups. The snails have never had an issue removing themselves from the heat.
But the clincher is the fact I have a 46inchx6inch heatmat running along the side of my tiger tank, directly against the glass. And have witnessed margies and iredalei both sleeping with thier foot against directly that heatmat. Now the matt gets quite hot, and so do the snails, but theyre unaffected, choose to be there, and Ive never had health issues with them regarding it.
With regards to insulating heatmats so the majority of heat enters the tank, polystyrene is a good start but try covering the side of the poly board that goes against the mat with tinfoil, will help reflect the heat back against the tank rather than just insulate.
Post by gorgeousgastropod on Nov 21, 2005 15:02:03 GMT
i shall try the tinfoil thing, thanks...
i wondered about the 'too hot' issue... as their natural habitats can be rather warm to say the least!!!! Can snails from hot climates adjust to heat better abit like humans can? (i.e. british people on a hot day make such a fuss, whereas people that live on the equator just 'live with it'!)
well the thing is snails bury themselves to escape heat and by putting the heat mat underneath the tank, when the snails bury they just go further into the heat, and i think like with reptiles i think snails have a delayed reaction to burns etc..
Copigeon you have capillary matting which means the snails can't bury themselves anyway so they can't get directly to the heat. It's easier for snails to move along the sides of the tank than on the bottom so by having the heat mat on the sides of the tank allows the snail to just slide away from the heat or if they begin to over heat they fall off the side of the tank resulting in imediate coolness away from the heat mat, whereas when on the bottom if they begin to over heat they can't move and just lay there and the heat doesn't go away resulting in a slow death in some situations.
I'd agree sarah were it not for the fact Ive started using undertank heating for propogators which contain a layer of peat substrate. Ive had no issue with them for 2 weeks now? And dont forsee any, I'd imagine the output of a standard reptile mat just isnt enough to do them any harm? Snails have some sense?
You say about snails sliding away or falling off of a heatmat set on the side of the tank, but these margies and iredalei litterally sit on the mat, directly on the mat with only a sheet of glass between them. And stay there for the whole of the waking day. They dont flop off.. surely if that direct heat doesnt harm them then undertank heating cant do any worse?
well i think it's because heat rises so when it's on the bottom they get the full effect of the heat, whereas on the side the heat rises away from the snail and also escapes from the other side of the heat mat.
Well, theres not a chance that mat couldnt be considered too hot for prolongued direct contact as it is... and its fully insulated at the back. Dont get me wrong, I believed the self cooking snail theory to be right, I also thought the heatmats would cause injury. But from what Ive seen thats not the case.
I agree with Sarah, it's risky. The issue is that heatmats can overheat and burn out underneath and under substrate causes the substrate to heat up more than the glass in a tank does, Ive tried it. It traps all the heat because soil is a fantastic insulator. You tank hardly warms up for the energy going into it, the substrate can get so hot it practically burns you when you stick your hand in it. A thin layer would be fine but inches of soil on top is dangerous in my opinion.
One thing worth mentioning is that when I first got mine, I was really disappointed with their performance, until I realised it takes about 24 hours to heat the air inside the tank. Once you hit that point they do a great job of keeping it warm.
Oh, and snails can tolerate a lot of heat, mine also sleep against the heat-mat wall and it can get pretty hot. However the glass is a conductor not an insulator so the heat spreads round the tank. Soil is quite the opposite so I think it gets a lot hotter for that reason.
Post by gorgeousgastropod on Nov 21, 2005 17:59:23 GMT
i think im going to leave mine where it is, underneath.
It only covers a very small area so there are plenty of cooler spots for the snails if they need it, i dont have the heat mat on all the time anyway and since ive had it underneath they have been alot more active. I did give the heat mat a couple of days on the side to heat up, but just wasnt happy with the effect and my snails kept themselves buried.
As mentioned in my first post, i dramatically thinned out the soil above the heat mat (as stated in the instruction book to prevent heat spots and glass cracking).
It seems that everyones snails have their own preferences, so as long as they are being kept safe, healthy and happy i shall keep my snails living arrangements based on what they like best!!!
Just to add a little note to this thread.....snails can indeed "cook" themselves on a heatmat. I have lost three snails in this way. It was my own fault, the heatmat was underneath the tank. I only meant to leave it on for an hour or so until I went to work in the afternoon. But I forgot to switch it off again..........
Most of the snails did move away from the heat, but three didnt.
Needless to say I am much more careful now. It is heartbreaking when you realize what has happened and it is so easily preventable.