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  #1  
Old 09-09-2013, 10:42 AM United States
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lcw142 lcw142 is offline
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Default Heating Supplies

I'm sure there are several threads about this, but I have to ask-

What is the best heat source for my hedgie?!
background- I have a 20 gallon aquarium (currently) and I do use a heating pad underneath the tank for several hours at a time..never during the night unless or when I'm not home which is often (work and school) therefore, I need something to regulate the heat or something I wont be afraid to leave on while I'm not home.

I own a red heat lamp, and also a reptile heating pad and I have not used either.

It's getting cold here in upstate NY..I need helpppp!!!
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  #2  
Old 09-09-2013, 11:16 AM United States
akane akane is offline
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A 20 gallon aquarium is less than half the size you actually need. A 40gallon breeder is the suggested minimum. About 4 sq ft. This is enough for a wheel, hedgie bag, and food and water dishes.

For heat you can either put them in a room with a space heater to maintain the entire room at the right temp or get a heat emitter bulb which puts out only heat and no light plus a thermostat to control the temp the bulb is producing. A couple thermometers should be placed throughout the cage to make sure the whole thing is holding the same temp.

The bulbs look like this but I'm not sure what watts you want since we have 5 hedgehogs plus occasional hoglets so we just heat an entire room for them.
http://www.amazon.com/Amico-Reptile-.../dp/B00AUBRX18

A thermostat can be bought in the reptile section of most petstores and plugs in between your bulb and the wall. Then sits in the cage registering temp and shutting the bulb off as needed.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:42 PM United States
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smhufflepuff smhufflepuff is offline
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I'm not so sure I'd use a ceramic heat emitter (CHE) in a aquarium set-up. It can really hold the heat -- as in, perhaps, too much! But I do like the CHE/lamp/thermostat set up for other types of cages. They work wonderfully.

If you're sticking with the aquarium, I'd heat the whole room. Get a heater that has a built-in thermostat. Put a thermometer in hedgie's cage and make sure that what the heater says the temp is agrees with what the thermometer says the temp is in hedgie's cage.

For the long-term, though, I'd move away from the aquarium style cage and move toward something with more ventilation. Also, as akane mentions, 20 gallon is small. C&C cages are wonderful. As are the standard plastic-bottom, wire-top ones you can find in most pet stores. And, of course, if you have the funds, the Ferret Nation and Critter Nation cages are great.

Reptile heating pads can get too hot for hedgies, so I'd steer away from those.

The red heat lamp can be problematic with a 20gallon aquarium in the same way that the CHE can be -- heating too much. The other problem is that a good number of hedgies do not like the red light; they won't come out at night to eat, drink, nor run. Like akane mentioned, the CHE-type bulb solves this by emitting only heat and not light.

Long story short, for now, I'd get something that heats the whole room and has a built-in thermostat. You can use it starting immediately. It will work with your aquarium. And, should you decide to get a different style cage with a more hedgie-specific heating system, it will remain a perfect back-up system in case something goes wrong with the more hedgie-specific system (eg, if the CHE bulb dies when no stores are open).
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  #4  
Old 09-09-2013, 02:08 PM United States
akane akane is offline
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CHE and thermostats are designed to work in aquariums for reptiles and chicks. That's the entire point of them. Proper use of a thermostat and thermometers to make sure there are no overly hot and cold spots should prevent overheating in a properly sized aquarium.
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  #5  
Old 09-14-2013, 08:03 AM Canada
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I agree with smhufflepuff. CHE setups are not really safe for use with an aquarium. CHE's should only be used with ventilated cages so hedgie has a cooler area to go to if he/she finds it too warm or if the thermostat malfunctions and the emitter stays on.

As has been mentioned, aquariums are not a suitable environment for a hedgehog. A proper wire cage is best and is best for use with a CHE setup.

You will need a heating source that will be left on 24/7. Only having a heat source on when you are home puts hedgie at high risk for a hibernation attempt. A CHE and thermostat setup is considered the safest cage heating option and is also more economical to operate than a space heater.

I live in Southern Ontario and my hedgehogs have had to have heat on most of August since the nights have been so cool.
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  #6  
Old 09-16-2013, 11:40 AM United States
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Any heating source can malfunction. My space heater after a power outage decided to make it 100F in my hedgehog room while I had guinea pigs in there who can die of heat stroke at 80F if circumstances are wrong. We reset the space heater and it's worked fine for several more months. We now know to unplug it during a power outage so we can reset it when we get home/wake up and the power is back on.
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  #7  
Old 12-02-2013, 08:28 PM United States
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I used a small animal/reptile pad heater on the bottom of my hedgehogs cage with an adapter/controller that allowed me to control the temp on the pad. Granted hers was a plastic base and not glass...so not sure if you could do the same with glass.. .might get way too hot.
I see you are in upstate NY... I am too.... I recently had my hedgehog pass. If you would like my supplies (cage and all) let me know. It might be a better setup for your baby Milo then an aquarium. I'd be happy to help.
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:36 PM United States
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Pads are not sufficient heating. Hedgehogs are not reptiles that lay in one spot absorbing heat from the ground or cooling off by not laying on it. They need a mostly uniform temp across the cage in the air itself. A degree or 2 difference in a large cage might not matter but just heating the floor in one spot is not enough. They will sleep where it's convenient not where it's a certain temp and they will run around the whole cage and their wheel when awake which won't get any heat. In cooler houses or more sensitive hedgehogs may get chilled and try to hibernate.
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:54 PM United States
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Well it did well for my girl and is what was recommended by her experienced breeder. May not be right for everybody or every hedgie but it always worked for us. Our house is usually on the warmer side though as we were always conscious of her needs. Not that other people arent lol, just noting as you mentioned house temperature.
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Last edited by Aurora; 12-02-2013 at 09:55 PM. Reason: clarification
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  #10  
Old 12-04-2013, 05:31 PM United States
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I heard that reptile heating pads might not be good for hedgehogs, but what about heating pads that are made for small animals? I had a few geckos and other reptiles in the past and there seems to be a pretty clear difference between ones for reptiles and ones specifically for furry friends. Like what has been said, reptiles go to one area to warm up and another to cool off, so a lot of times the specific heating pads or heating rocks are small enough to fit into less than half the cage, so there is room for a cool spot.
The one I got for Ppunk advertised being made for guinea pigs, rabbits, cats, hedgehogs, ext. It is bigger than ones for reptiles, so it really covers up a good portion of the cage and honestly seems to emit lower heat into the air around, not just the pad itself is warm.
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Last edited by PpunkTheHedgehog; 12-04-2013 at 05:34 PM.
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