Question on heating and UTH

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Ankutchey
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:34 am
Location: Tennessee

Question on heating and UTH

Post by Ankutchey » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:13 am

Hello all, iv just recently decided to get back into crabbing (after being torn up about having to stop due to graduating and moving into what i thought would be a dorm). Me and my husband have made the decision that starting up again would be fun. My house runs in the 60s (normally near 69 but sometimes lower than that on the first story (which is where the tank is). I set up the tank with my substrate, water dishes (plastic storage containers, longer than sandwich ones and slightly deeper) without water, and some of my decor. I have a UTH for size 50-60 gallon. My tank is a 40B. I have it placed on the side opposite my water dishes on the side of the aquarium (not the back).

My questions are:

1. My undertank heater does not feel very warm and isnt keeping my tank but at 70 degrees.

2. With a mesh lid, will heat stay better if I ceran wrap the top? I know this works with humidity, and I do plan on doing this (because my humidity is only sitting in the 60s currently, I believe adding water dishes and something other than the mesh top should fix this)
I have five PPs: Smoky, Albert, Stuart, Rocky, and Jax
Two Cats: Sherlock and Snowball
One Dog: Serana

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Hermias_mom
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Location: Alabama, USA

Re: Question on heating and UTH

Post by Hermias_mom » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:49 am

Ankutchey wrote:Hello all, iv just recently decided to get back into crabbing (after being torn up about having to stop due to graduating and moving into what i thought would be a dorm). Me and my husband have made the decision that starting up again would be fun. My house runs in the 60s (normally near 69 but sometimes lower than that on the first story (which is where the tank is). I set up the tank with my substrate, water dishes (plastic storage containers, longer than sandwich ones and slightly deeper) without water, and some of my decor. I have a UTH for size 50-60 gallon. My tank is a 40B. I have it placed on the side opposite my water dishes on the side of the aquarium (not the back).

My questions are:

1. My undertank heater does not feel very warm and isnt keeping my tank but at 70 degrees.


2. With a mesh lid, will heat stay better if I ceran wrap the top? I know this works with humidity, and I do plan on doing this (because my humidity is only sitting in the 60s currently, I believe adding water dishes and something other than the mesh top should fix this)
1. Have you insulated the UTH or the tank? What is the size of the UTH? (6"x12", etc.) Since you have it on the side of the tank, and not along the back, you may not be covering a large enough area with your UTH. You can get a bigger UTH, or try insulating your heater and/or tank, assuming your UTH is a brand that can be safely insulated. You can only insulate the UTH without causing a fire hazard if the brand is Flukers or Ultratherm. Also, those are the two brands of UTH that work the best for crabbing (in my experience, the other brands I've tried have given mediocre to miserable results).

2. Heat will definitely stay in better if you wrap the top in saran wrap - this will prevent hot moist air from escaping. Even better if you get a glass aquarium lid - those hold heat well, but they are prone to cracking if you use lights for heat instead of just a UTH. I'm assuming you've read all the care guides and are using a 5:1 playsand/Ecoearth substrate at least 6" deep (or three times the height of your biggest crab) moistened to sandcastle consistency with dechlorinated freshwater or dechlorinated marine saltwater. [Careguides: viewforum.php?f=51 ] The best thing you can do for humidity is have a properly moist substrate with enough depth and with the amount of Ecoearth mentioned earlier. Some crabbers use different materials (100% Ecoearth) for substrate, but I don't personally have experience with that. For my 10 gallon and 29 gallon, once I put 6" of properly moistened (I picked marine saltwater to discourage mold) substrate in the tanks and got it to 80F using an Ultratherm UTH, the humidity fixed itself. It went up to 90%+ and stayed there.
4PPs and tons of FUN in a 29 gallon!
Hermia(F), Helena(F), Branch(M), and Tiger (M)
RIP Athena


Topic author
Ankutchey
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:34 am
Location: Tennessee

Re: Question on heating and UTH

Post by Ankutchey » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:02 am

i have a 1:1 ratio of ecoearth and playsand, this is the ratio I always previously used. It is 6 inches deep, but I do plan to add more sand before I get any lil ones for the home. The UTH covers almost the whole side area of the tank (above the substrate) and is a zoo med heater. I could not remember which brand I had previously used, but I do know that this heater is not putting heat off as well as the one I used before. I am unsure of its dimensions and have not insulated as this brand stated insulation could pose a fire hazard.

Thakn you.
I have five PPs: Smoky, Albert, Stuart, Rocky, and Jax
Two Cats: Sherlock and Snowball
One Dog: Serana

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Hermias_mom
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Location: Alabama, USA

Re: Question on heating and UTH

Post by Hermias_mom » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:36 am

Ankutchey wrote:i have a 1:1 ratio of ecoearth and playsand, this is the ratio I always previously used. It is 6 inches deep, but I do plan to add more sand before I get any lil ones for the home. The UTH covers almost the whole side area of the tank (above the substrate) and is a zoo med heater. I could not remember which brand I had previously used, but I do know that this heater is not putting heat off as well as the one I used before. I am unsure of its dimensions and have not insulated as this brand stated insulation could pose a fire hazard.

Thakn you.
I've had a Zoo Med heater in the past, and was unimpressed. They work great for other purposes (reptiles, etc), but for crabbing they are not (in my opinion) the best option for heating up a tank. It doesn't surprise me that it's not heating up the tank as much as you'd like it to. If you'd like to work with what you've got, you can try insulating the tank itself (NOT over the heater). Kinda make a cut-out for the heater so it's not covered, and then try insulating the lid, back, sides, as much glass as you're willing to insulate really. You can use Reflectix, styrofoam wrapped in aluminum foil, etc. The thicker the insulation, and the more area it covers, the more heat will stay in. If you search the forum for "Reflectix" or "insulation" you should be able to find more info.

If you're willing to buy another UTH, the Ultratherm brand (from bean farm or reptile basics) would be awesome, and would fix your problem, as long as you are covering enough tank area with the heater. Flukers UTHs are also great.

As long as the substrate will pack properly and hold tunnels and molting caves for the crabs without caving in, there's no rule on amount of sand/Eco-earth. There's really no rules on much of anything, but the 5:1 is a good guideline for new crabbers. By all means, use what works for you. Good luck!
4PPs and tons of FUN in a 29 gallon!
Hermia(F), Helena(F), Branch(M), and Tiger (M)
RIP Athena


Topic author
Ankutchey
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:34 am
Location: Tennessee

Re: Question on heating and UTH

Post by Ankutchey » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:46 am

Thank you so much.
I was worried after I got the UTH hooked up and it didnt seem to be heating well that it was simply a bad brand. Getting a new UTH isnt a problem, I went into this (this time at least) realizing how much I could end up spending. Ill look at both the brands you recommended (and now that i see them both written out I believe i had an ultratherm)

I appreciate your input greatly! Thank you :clap:
I have five PPs: Smoky, Albert, Stuart, Rocky, and Jax
Two Cats: Sherlock and Snowball
One Dog: Serana

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Hermias_mom
Posts: 598
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:08 pm
Location: Alabama, USA

Re: Question on heating and UTH

Post by Hermias_mom » Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:52 pm

Ankutchey wrote:Thank you so much.
I was worried after I got the UTH hooked up and it didnt seem to be heating well that it was simply a bad brand. Getting a new UTH isnt a problem, I went into this (this time at least) realizing how much I could end up spending. Ill look at both the brands you recommended (and now that i see them both written out I believe i had an ultratherm)

I appreciate your input greatly! Thank you :clap:
You're welcome! Happy Crabbing!!! :crabbigsmile:
4PPs and tons of FUN in a 29 gallon!
Hermia(F), Helena(F), Branch(M), and Tiger (M)
RIP Athena


Topic author
Ankutchey
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:34 am
Location: Tennessee

Re: Question on heating and UTH

Post by Ankutchey » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:55 pm

I purchased an additional uth. It appears to be heating more than the first and my temp is staying between 77-81 degrees. So yay!
My humidity is low on the end with both uths, but gets near 80 on the opposite end. Is this range okay?

Edit: my humidity has leveled out at 76/77. And my heat at 77-79 degrees!
I have five PPs: Smoky, Albert, Stuart, Rocky, and Jax
Two Cats: Sherlock and Snowball
One Dog: Serana

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Hermias_mom
Posts: 598
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:08 pm
Location: Alabama, USA

Re: Question on heating and UTH

Post by Hermias_mom » Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:21 am

Ankutchey wrote:I purchased an additional uth. It appears to be heating more than the first and my temp is staying between 77-81 degrees. So yay!
My humidity is low on the end with both uths, but gets near 80 on the opposite end. Is this range okay?

Edit: my humidity has leveled out at 76/77. And my heat at 77-79 degrees!
That's awesome!
4PPs and tons of FUN in a 29 gallon!
Hermia(F), Helena(F), Branch(M), and Tiger (M)
RIP Athena

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GotButterflies
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Re: Question on heating and UTH

Post by GotButterflies » Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:54 am

Happy Crabbing :) :crabbigsmile:

Edit: You can also use press n seal for the lid, or cut ziploc bags and adhere them with packaging tape to the lid :) Those will help keep the humidity in as well. :) Do not use lights with these options.

Not sure if it was mentioned, but you cannot insulate over zoomed heaters. :) You have to insulate around them.
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com


Topic author
Ankutchey
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:34 am
Location: Tennessee

Re: Question on heating and UTH

Post by Ankutchey » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:08 am

GotButterflies wrote:Happy Crabbing :) :crabbigsmile:

Edit: You can also use press n seal for the lid, or cut ziploc bags and adhere them with packaging tape to the lid :) Those will help keep the humidity in as well. :) Do not use lights with these options.

Not sure if it was mentioned, but you cannot insulate over zoomed heaters. :) You have to insulate around them.
Thank you! I used plain packing tape over the lid to seal it. It has worked AMAZING to keep the humidity in (im sitting around 83 percent normally). I havent tried insulating, what do I need to do if I do that? We will probably just order a better UTH next month to replace the ones we have.

Thank you!
I have five PPs: Smoky, Albert, Stuart, Rocky, and Jax
Two Cats: Sherlock and Snowball
One Dog: Serana

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GotButterflies
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Re: Question on heating and UTH

Post by GotButterflies » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:23 am

Ankutchey wrote:
GotButterflies wrote:Happy Crabbing :) :crabbigsmile:

Edit: You can also use press n seal for the lid, or cut ziploc bags and adhere them with packaging tape to the lid :) Those will help keep the humidity in as well. :) Do not use lights with these options.

Not sure if it was mentioned, but you cannot insulate over zoomed heaters. :) You have to insulate around them.
Thank you! I used plain packing tape over the lid to seal it. It has worked AMAZING to keep the humidity in (im sitting around 83 percent normally). I havent tried insulating, what do I need to do if I do that? We will probably just order a better UTH next month to replace the ones we have.

Thank you!
For insulation you have a couple of choices.
Cost effective way: you would use aluminum foil (shiny side facing tank), then cardboard or styrofoam. You can then repeat those layers. Adhere items using packaging tape, or regular tape.
If you have an extra $10-$16 - purchase a product called Reflectix. It is sold at local Lowe’s or Home Depot. It looks like a car shade. The Reflectix is reusable whenever you need it, and is sold in a huge roll. Adhere it using Reflectix tape, packaging tape or duct tape. :)


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Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com

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