Hello! It’s been a while since I posted in here but I need some answers. I am loosely considering the option of a hatchling rack, but would prefer one with heat mats vs heat tape/cord. What got me thinking about this is I recently obtained a hognose and purchased a starter kit with it that came with a seedling heat mat. I asked the seller if the mat required a thermostat, as I have learned that all the mats marketed for reptiles do, and they said no. So long story short, I have come up with the idea of making a hatchling “rack” out of an old bookcase that can fit 4 little tubs(smaller than 6qt) per shelf using a seed mat under the tubs. FYI, the tubs would be used for baby colubrids, currently baby corns. Now for my questions:
How hot do seedling heatmats get? Could they actually be used without a thermostat? If no one knows how hot they get, what is a max temp they should get before requiring a thermostat?
If I do need a thermostat for the seedling mats, would it be safer/better to have 1 thermostat per mat? Or is there a good/safe/recommended thermostat that can have multiple items plugged into it?
Can thermostats be plugged into power strips/extension cords?
What material would you recommend for the shelves? I know melamine and PVC are common practice, but I don’t know where to get them or how much? Could I just use the shelves that come with the shelving unit? It’s one of the cheap wood shelves from Walmart. The wood is covered with something, usually in the colors black, brown, or white.
I know these may seem like “duh” questions, but I am entirely new to the concept of even considering using something like this. So I am asking anything and everything I have even the slightest doubt on. Thanks in advance for any answers!