Winter is coming and in my ig's cage the night temps are dropping. I have a ceramic heat emitter (150 Watt) it's on for like 3 hours (not continuously) but it's not enough (and he doesn't sleep every night on the same spot).
Is it an option to buy an elctric blanket pillow size and to use it at night. Day temperatures are fine (there is additional to the heat lamps a radiator in the room). My main concerns are if it's safe against those claws of his (or is there a way to protect it) and if the heat doesn't rise to dangerous levels.
Why isn't the CHE on all the time? Getting a rheostat would help regulate the CHE to the degree that you would have for the timers for daytime lights. Very easy to regulate.
You can also use a human heating pad which is a bit sturdier than the electric blanket/pillow thing I'm trying to picture you describing..;-) In the stores these are hard to find without the automatic safety cut-off feature, though. Ask on Freecycle.org for any older model human heating pads and see what you have coming at you. You can also try waterbed heater pads wrapped in fleece to keep the mat from direct contact with your ig and providing a soft something to lay on at the same time...:-D
I like the human heat pad idea I have one that lasts for 4hrs and Sancho's body is still warm when I wake up at 6 in the morning. Another option you could use (it only works if you have a platform your iguana sleeps on) is to use heat cable along the underside (no contact with iggy) the length of the platform he sleeps on, you would of course need a rehostat to regulat the temperatures and make sure it doesn't get too hot but they provide a decent heat to even 3/8" thick wood and helps with abient temperatures too and there's no risk for belly burning since they have no contact and it doesn't get too hot.
I bought the waterbed heating pad, it looks pretty sturdy and has a rheostat. The store owner realy liked the idea of an iguana bed so I got a good discount . He said it was very sturdy and save for igclaws I still have to install it on his sleepingspot but I'm already very happy with this solution. Thanks for pointing me in this direction, I would never have thought about it. As for the CHE, I was not feeling to comfortable leaving it on all night for 2 reasons. First off I was worried as it has no rheostat it would get to hot for him and second it takes a lot of energy. I think with the waterbed heater I don't use as much electricity.
With the waterbed heater, defintely have something between iggy's belly and the heater. It's never a good idea to have a heating instrument open to the iggy claws. Even if it looks safe enough, wear and tear over time might get a claw in and it could electricute him if he comes in contact with the current which produces the heat. Basically anything that he can lay on that won't disloge and expose the pad. Nice find though, never would've thought of a waterbed heat pad! Cool!
I would be concerned about the waterbed heater overheating. Those are designed to be under the waterbed and as such the water in the bed itself would be helping to disperse the heat. The coils may be too hot for the ig. Also it is only going to warm the ig's body while laying on it. If the air itself is cold and the ig is breathing that cold air it it could very well cause respiratory problems. I would be more concerned with addressing the actual temperatures in the cage.
I've installed the heater pad. On top of it I put a doormat, I tried it myself and the pad is indeed to warm for the ig but with the doormat it feels very comfy. In the mat is a heatsensor. The CHE will stay in his cage although on a slightly different spot so when he decides to sleep somewhere else that's also warm. From last year I've noticed his overall cage temps will not drop below 64 degrees Fahrenheit. I think the temps on his spot with the heater will also heat some of the air around him (the pad is 39 inch in length and 12 inch in width), but I'll monitor how it goes before cooking or freezing him )
I would be very concerned with putting the door mat over the heater. In its intended use, the the water would be pulling the heat away and dispersing it. With the door mat over it the heat is contained and not dispersed. You could very well have a fire hazard there. The only safe way that I can think of to use the waterbed heater would be to rig it the same way as heat tape. Using a thermostat and putting the probe on one of the heater coils. The it could be set to turn it off should it get too hot.
I'll monitor tonight if it gets to hot. I hope not, I was so happy with this solution. The heat mat has a probe inside and I have a thermometer hanging +/- 8 inches above the heat mat. I can set the temperature of the heat mat from 68 - 97 degrees Fahrenheit. The temp is currently set on 72 degrees at night (during the day is shut off, because the baskinglamps and the radiator are providing heat during the day).
If I understand you correctly, having the thermometer 8 inches over the top of the mat is not going to do it. The mat itself will be collecting all the heat so while the thermometer will be reading the temps of the air in the tank, it will not tell you how hot the coil is getting under the mat.
When he was asleep last night a put a digital thermometer next to his belly on the heat mat, the other one is +/- 8 inches above the heat mat. The good thing was the average temp in his cage did not drop below 72 degrees fahrenheit (night temp outside about 40 degrees), but the temp next to his belly increased to 93 degrees. It is a min-max thermometer so I don't no for how long the temp was that high. I think with adjusting the timer I can decrease the temps. I'll play with the timer untill it's right. Thanks for all the input