vivarium heating guide

Vivarium Heating Guide

Types Of Vivarium Heating
There are 3 main types of vivarium heating are:

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  • Ceramic Heaters
  • Heat Mats & Pads
  • Heat Lamps


A combination of 1 or 2 types may be the best solution for heating your reptile vivarium.

Many reptiles require gradiant heating with a cooler and warmer end of the vivarium so it is advisable to purchase two thermometers, one for either end of the vivarium.

Ceramic Heaters

Ceramic heat emitters produce a natural heat source equivalent to the sun. The heat increases the air temperature of the habitat, warming the animal efficiently. The infrared heat waves penetrate the animal, promoting good blood circulation, maximising health and vitality. Ideal for heating a vivarium without bright lighting.

Ceramic Heaters:

  • Provides heat without visible light
  • Can be operated 24/7
  • Unlike heat bulbs ceramic heaters can be used with thermostats to control temperature
  • Create perfect basking spots
  • Increases ambient air-temperature
  • Used in desert or tropical environments

View our rang of ceramic heaters at Ceramic Heaters

Heat Mats & Strips

Heat Mats & Strips

Heat Mats produce ultra long wavelength infra red heat. This wavelength is invisible to the human eye and tends to furnishings in the cage rather than the air. This action of heating is very similar to the sun and it has the ability to heat anything that it strikes but with the air temperature remaining much lower. Reptiles absorb this at in a manner very similar to basking in a natural enviroment. Heat mats do get warm but provide a very gentle warmth which the animal can sit under or on top of. Used under normal conditions the mats cannot burn the animal.

It should be noted that heat mats give a gentle background heat. If you are keeping animals that requires higher temperatures, then you may require additional supplemental heating. Many diurnal or day active species of lizard require basking spots of rather high localised heat. Additional heat sources should then be provided for these species. Heat mats are excellent primary heaters for most applications requiring night time heating, as they emit no visable light and are the most widely used heater for this purpose.

For many species of snake and for most invertebrate heating. Heat mats are excellent as the sole heat sources. If in doubt please seek expert advice with regard to the animal’s specific requirements.

You would normally choose a heat mat approx 1/3 to 1/2 size of vivarium floor space.

View our rang of heat mats & strips at Heat Mats & Strips

Heat Lamps

Heat lamps are a popular choice as they can combine lighting as well as heating requirements. Many reptiles require a basking area as well as the benifits of UVB and UVA rays. Be sure to check what lighting requirements your reptile needs.

View our range of basking lamps at Basking Lamps, Mercury Vapour and Metal Halide

Infra Red lighting is a great alternative to heat mats for nocturnal reptiles, the produce heat with out the bright light and can aid in viewing your animals.

View our range at Infra Red Heat Lamps