Power Outages

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DevilNDisguise
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Power Outages

Post by DevilNDisguise » Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:40 am

Inspired by the fact that because we had an extremely bad windstorm yesterday and throughout the night before, we lost power and didn't get it back for almost 8 hours. This brought along an issue: the heating of my hermit crabs.

Now, we live in an area which experiences frequent power outages, especially given because we basically live in middle of the woods. Being in New England (NH, specifically), it gets cold enough this time of year as it is, and with winter coming we're bound to get more outages.

The solution I've always used for my bearded dragon if it gets to the point of prolonged coldness is to put him in a smaller spare tank insulated inside and out with blankets and/or towels, and I put hand warmers on the inside, then wrap him up and stick him in.
Of course, I can't really do that to the hermit crabs without causing all kinds of stress, obviously.

I've read about people wrapping the tank in blankets and pillows, using generators to keep the power going for them, transporting them to someone's house with power, etc. Don't think a generator will be able to be in question, though, and I unfortunately don't have anyone I could bring them to.

So I was wondering if there're any other creative ways people have thought up to keep their enclosure warm enough (even at least to the minimum), or would I be safe moving them into a smaller tank and using the same hand warmer trick if I had to? I suppose I could also use them on their current enclosure, but maintaining the heat will definitely be more difficult with those once they're in the 75g.

A couple more related questions:
- How long could they potentially be alright without the heat?
- Would any molters be fine being left where they are without the heat?
1 Bearded Dragon, 1 Guinea Pig, 1 Mouse, 1 Lovebird, 1 Dog, 2 Cats, 2 Rabbits, 2 Frogs, 2 Cockatiels, 2 Budgies & Their 3 Babies, 3 Rats, 4 Hamsters, and Many Hermit Crabs!


HPOfficeJetPro6978
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Re: Power Outages

Post by HPOfficeJetPro6978 » Fri Apr 24, 2020 1:42 am

I find that having a air tight top really helps trap warmth as well as humidity in, theyre so easy to make with an acrylic sheet and some know how. I always keep a low power heat pad under the tank so the substrate remains warm

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CrabbyLover77
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Re: Power Outages

Post by CrabbyLover77 » Fri Apr 24, 2020 2:17 am

HPOfficeJetPro6978 wrote:I find that having a air tight top really helps trap warmth as well as humidity in, theyre so easy to make with an acrylic sheet and some know how. I always keep a low power heat pad under the tank so the substrate remains warm
Just a note, your heating pad should always be mounted on the sides or back of your tank, above the substrate line. Placing the pad under the tank can cook the crabbies while they are burying/molting. The main goal is to heat the air and not the substrate. Image

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HPOfficeJetPro6978
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Re: Power Outages

Post by HPOfficeJetPro6978 » Fri Apr 24, 2020 9:10 pm

CrabbyLover77 wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 2:17 am
Just a note, your heating pad should always be mounted on the sides or back of your tank, above the substrate line. Placing the pad under the tank can cook the crabbies while they are burying/molting. The main goal is to heat the air and not the substrate. Image

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theyre on a low heat setting and the R value of the dirt is high enough, no worries :)

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curlysister
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Re: Power Outages

Post by curlysister » Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:10 pm

HP....HCA absolutely recommends AGAINST putting a heater under the tank. Not only can it injure or potentially kill crabs, it can also be a fire hazard.
CL77 is correct that we recommend heat pads (UTH's) go only on the back or sides.
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wodesorel
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Re: Power Outages

Post by wodesorel » Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:02 pm

I heat my substrate, but from the back of the tank. The insulation factor of substrate becomes a fire risk to the UTH, because they are designed to dispel the heat they create fairly quickly. Since heat rises and the sand traps so much heat, the pad can overheat. Not to mention that when crabs moult they go straight to the bottom against the glass, which is a concern when there's a heat source down there.

As far as heating in a power outage, our plan is always to pull them out and take them someplace that does have heat. (Work, family, friend.) Moving them to a smaller container with hot hands would work as well. Not ideal in terms of stress, but extreme cold is an immediate danger.
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curlysister
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Re: Power Outages

Post by curlysister » Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:38 am

The few times we have had power outages in the winter, I have luckily been home. I immediately go and pile a bunch of comforters / blankets over the tank, being sure to cover all sides. The longest outage we had was about 6 or 7 hours, it was about -24C outside. The house did get quite cool (we slept in front of the fire place. But the temp in my tank only dropped to 71.5 degrees. I was very impressed with the insulation properties of the heavy blankets! I do have a couple of old-fashioned hot water bottles. Next time, I would fill those before the hot water tank cooled off, and put them between the tank and the blankets too.
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AwesomeHermit
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Re: Power Outages

Post by AwesomeHermit » Sat May 02, 2020 4:18 pm

Would you be able to put a heat mat on the lid of a tank and having it be safe? (question for me)
3 Clypeatus or maybe two idk
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CrabbyLover77
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Re: Power Outages

Post by CrabbyLover77 » Sat May 02, 2020 6:05 pm

AwesomeHermit wrote:Would you be able to put a heat mat on the lid of a tank and having it be safe? (question for me)
If there's no electric, your heat mat won't work. I just went through a 2 day outage. I couldn't do much for my 55 gal but blankets, but I used about 6 or 7 of those hot hands packs attached to blankets, and put them up against my 20 gal tank. My house went to 64 deg, and the tank stayed at 70. I used them for my fish tank too. My fish tank went down to 69, which was 5 deg higher than the room. If it was the dead of winter, I don't think they would have helped as much. The temps didn't fall below 48 outside the last couple of days.

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AwesomeHermit
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Re: Power Outages

Post by AwesomeHermit » Sun May 03, 2020 10:48 am

I mean just in normal conditions, having the heat mat on the tank lid instead of the side of the tank.
3 Clypeatus or maybe two idk
Goodbye my little E. See you soon.
Crabbing for over two years!

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CrabbyLover77
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Re: Power Outages

Post by CrabbyLover77 » Sun May 03, 2020 12:35 pm

AwesomeHermit wrote:I mean just in normal conditions, having the heat mat on the tank lid instead of the side of the tank.
Oh! Sorry lol. Image Just taking a guess, but I would think it wouldn't be as effective heating the whole tank since heat rises.

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My Pets: 1 Pomeranian, 1 Russian tortoise, fishes/snails(40 gal freshwater aquarium), and 4 hermit crabs.
"Animals are my friends, and I don’t eat my friends".
-George Bernard Shaw

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AwesomeHermit
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Re: Power Outages

Post by AwesomeHermit » Mon May 04, 2020 9:01 am

The tank seems to be warm but you may be right. the thermometer usually is 82-88 degrees
3 Clypeatus or maybe two idk
Goodbye my little E. See you soon.
Crabbing for over two years!

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