keeping warm during the winter?

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Post by jess32247 on Wed 21 Sep 2016, 9:36 pm

im wondering how i can help keep the girls warm during the winter? theyre housed in the basement with me, right now its getting cool at night and the boyfriend insists on keeping the door cracked open at night. i have two space heaters i use during the winter but things can still get chilly. im wondering if i can use a low wattage reptile heating pad or low watt heating bulb to help keep there tank warm? something i can turn on and off when needed would reassure me tremendously. ive tried looking into this but havent been able to find much information on it. any thoughts or recommendations?

thanks!

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Post by Peachy on Wed 21 Sep 2016, 9:48 pm

You can give them a heating pad on low under half of their tank, with a towel between the pad and the glass. We recommend half so that if they get too hot they can move away from the warmth.
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Post by jess32247 on Wed 21 Sep 2016, 10:31 pm

what kind of heating pad do you recommend? ive used reptile pads that stick to the outside of the tank, im wondering if one like that would work? im thinking about getting a 6" by 8" 8 watt one from zoo med and stickibg it on one of the sides. do you think that would warm a large tank enough but still not get too hot?

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Post by Peachy on Wed 21 Sep 2016, 10:40 pm

Oops. I didn't see that you asked about a reptile heating pad in your first post. Embarassed I have no experience with them, I just use a regular heating pad from the health sections at stores. I imagine that would be alright, though.
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Post by jess32247 on Wed 21 Sep 2016, 10:51 pm

do you stick your heatng pad into the cage? if it isnt much trouble could you link me the one you use or reccomend? being able to move it around and adjust the temperature sounds like it would make things a lot easier to me then having it stuck to the cage haha.

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Post by Peachy on Wed 21 Sep 2016, 11:03 pm

I just bought a little Sunbeam thing from a pharmacy store. It was a few years ago, but it was like this one: Sunbeam heating pad
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Post by jess32247 on Wed 21 Sep 2016, 11:08 pm

thats exactly the one i was going to ask you about, thanks for linking it! do you ever have problems with them chewing on the wire or the padding?

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Post by Peachy on Wed 21 Sep 2016, 11:12 pm

I was just about to edit my post to say to keep it out of the cage, just put it under the glass. Sorry, I'm all over the place. lol

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Post by jess32247 on Wed 21 Sep 2016, 11:21 pm

its not a problem, i had a feeling you meant to say to keep it out of the tank. i was wondering how you were able to fool proof it enough to make it safe for them :p

you keep it under the tank then, right? do you have the tank lifted up at all? i know when you use reptile pads it comes with little feet to put in each corner of the tank so im guessing ill have to find something like that to use. hmmm.

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Post by Peachy on Wed 21 Sep 2016, 11:35 pm

I put the pad down on the shelf/table/whatever, lay a towel over it, and then just set the tank on top of it.

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Post by Mouseketeers on Thu 22 Sep 2016, 6:18 am

I have never used a heating pad for my mice and it gets very very cold up here especially with no heating. However I do stop breeding over the cooler months.
I would just throw a warning out to people using heat pads for the first time. They can be incredibly temperamental and unstable with their heat output. I have only used them out of desperation and for very very short periods of time.

I would always make sure that at least half of their tank is free of the heat pad to give your girls a chance to move away from it if it gets too hot.

Very very deep bedding seems to work for me, even my lone boys do fine over winter. I often get surprised by just how hot their nest is. News paper, paper towel makes a super cheap and great filling for the cooler months too.
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Post by CallaLily on Thu 22 Sep 2016, 10:56 am

A reptile Under Tank Heater (UTH) would work fine but I definitely recommend also getting a thermostat.

I like Ultratherm UTH or Exo Terra UTH and I've used a Zilla thermostat for over a year without any issues.  Mind you I don't have need for these things on my mouse tank - I've used them for other pets - but they should work just as well to keep one side of your mouse tank warm.

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Post by jess32247 on Thu 22 Sep 2016, 8:46 pm

mouseketeers, how cold does it get in the room with your mice? and how much bedding do you recommend using? i went and picked up the heating pad listed above and i have it under half the tank but im almost just as worried using the heating pad as i am without it, because like you said, it seems like it can be temperamental. ill hang onto it in case of emergencies or cold nights with the door open but im not sure what the safe zone is for mice temp wise.

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Post by DVirginiana on Fri 23 Sep 2016, 4:58 am

I use a reptile heating pad attached to a thermostat (that keeps it at a set temp and shuts it off if something goes wrong and it starts to overheat). Then I put a house with bedding over top of it. I also have a hammock hanging from the lid and most of the tank isn't touched by the heat pad. So that way they can get away from it if they want for both playing and secure sleeping areas.

Get a thermostat though. It takes a lot of the worry away from leaving a heating device on when you're not around.
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Post by Mouseketeers on Fri 23 Sep 2016, 6:30 am

I don't remember what it was last season inside. This winter wasn't too bad but it still sat around 8 degrees when I would wake up for work inside the house. Not sure how much lower it got during the night. Last winter was much worse.

8 degrees would be around 46f by the way xD

The boys get four times as much as the girls do. If you imagine one of the small 10 gallon show tanks? 3/4 of the height of that is filled with bedding. Obviously in a bigger tank, but that gives you an idea of how deep it is. I use a mix of back to nature pellets, care fresh and paper towel in winter at the moment.

The girls get a lot less in depth but I can always tell if I haven't got enough in, as they will gather all the bedding from the tank and stack it around their hide. Leaving the rest of the tank bare.
I also found that I go through a lot more feed in winter. So I feed out more over the cooler months.

Just another side note, I don't like using plastic hides in general. Even after just a few days humidity can build up inside them if it is very warm. Especially if the mice have built up a huge nest or a heat pad is under it. Just keep checking to make sure there is no condensation. I drill holes in the top of mine to help with this.

I worry a lot lot lot less about them over winter than I do in summer, when we have a complete flip around and the house can sit around 40degrees (104f) during the day. However, I have lost some young mice to the cold and never lost one to the heat. Main thing is to keep an eye on them.
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