Unlike dogs or cats, pet reptiles are not internally heated. It means that their heat source primarily comes from outside their bodies. In the wild, this is not a problem. Reptiles would just bask in the sun to get the necessary heat and be on their way. However, if you have a terrarium and you live in a particularly dark or cold part of the country, this might be a big issue because your reptile pets need external heat to digest the food and other key biological processes. Many reptile pet owners invest in a ceramic heating, heating lamps and other heating devices to warm their pets.
This is great and everything because it provides the external heating needed for optimal biological processes for reptiles like snakes and lizards. However, the heat might get too hot. That is the other challenge of keeping a terrarium. You must monitor the temperature constantly to make certain that the heat your pets are getting is constant and even. One way to handle this would be to manually do it or have a timing system where you have an alarm to tell you and then you manually turn off the lamps or manipulate the heat that way. There is a better and easier way and that is to use a thermostat. A thermostat just detects the heat in the environment and once it reaches a certain point, it turns off the heating device.
A good thermostat specifically designed for reptilian environments and terrariums is the Zoo Med Repti Temp 500R Sensor UL Listed from Pet Store. This thermostat detects temperature range between 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It is set to turn off based on your settings. That way, your pets do not overheat and it is also set to turn on when the temperature drops to a certain level so your pets do not become uncomfortable in the cold either. If you are looking for a well-designed thermostat just for reptilian pets, try the Zoo Med Repti Temp 500R Sensor UL Listed.
Zoo Med Repti Temp 500R Remote Sensor Thermostat
Features include a 6 foot remote sensor probe, a dual port plug receptacle to control multiple heating devices, and adhesive pads for mounting. Excellent for use with Zoo Med's Ceramic Heat Emitter and the Repti Therm Under Tank Heater. When used in conjunction with a timer, natural conditions are replicated by providing the proper photoperiod for your reptile, along with a beneficial nighttime temperature drop (consult a good book on your species to determine its specific temperature requirements).
• Safety cover prevents accidental bumping of the temperature control dial!
• Range is from approximately 70F to 110F (21C to 43C).
• UL listed
• Maximum 500 watts of Control
• Full One Year Warranty
Q: What is the difference between a rheostat and a thermostat?
A: A rheostat is basically a dimmer. It allows you to manually reduce the amount of power reaching a heater. A thermostat like the 500R senses the temperature and turns the heater on and off accordingly.
Q: Can I use the rheostat/thermostat with a Reptisun, Avian Sun or Power Sun UV?
A: These lamps need specific line voltages; they cannot be used with dimmers/rheostats.