Rack Heating Help

I ordered a Sterilite 15 Qt. Rack 3 Tub from dragsons4you to hold my three hatchlings until my TGR rack came in, and am having an issue with the bottom tub.

The heat tape goes on the side of the bottom tub and the middle tub, which makes them warmer. The top tub stays at about 85 degrees, and then drops down to about 82 at night. I know the top drops down in temp because it doesn’t have a side of heat tape attached to it.

The middle tub where my demon hatchling (Margo) currently resides has perfect temps.

The bottom tub though stays anywhere from 96 degrees to 98 degrees and I know that is not going to work. I have two hatchlings coming in tomorrow so I need a quick answer on how to solve this issue. I already have the temp probe and controller in place, but it doesn’t seem to affect the bottom tub (just the middle and top tub).

So I was going to drill holes in the back of the rack on the bottom tub level. Does that seem like a good/smart idea? Do you think that will help with me with my issue? Any guidance or advice is appreciated and welcomed at this point. This rack has given me nothing but stress for the last week and a half.


1 Like

Is the 96 -98 degrees inside the tub or at the heat tape? Also where is your probe located?

@akirby91 I would caution ya NOT to do any drilling just yet. Don’t wanna do something permanent that might be fixed otherwise. (Always learn this the hard way) :wink: Do you have the heat tape fixed in place? Or can it be adjusted in general? Try taking some pictures of the current set up and posting them on here so we can see to get a better idea of what exactly you’re working with. :+1:t3:

1 Like

It is inside the hub

@gregp and @iamgroot

1st tub

Middle tub

Bottom tub

Heat tape with probe on bottom tub section

I see the problem

The probe must be taped directly to the heat tape that is why it is getting so hot.


Thank you @gregp. Changing it out now and will update this thread tomorrow morning

+1 :point_up:t3: I concur. Hopefully that fixes it!


Mid 70’s this morning but that’s because of the cool temps outside.

Will update when temp would be normal throughout the day.

1 Like

@gregp and @iamgroot

So I have bumped up the Thermostat Controller this morning to 95 degrees. After 4 hours I came back and checked on the tubs. The tubs are staying at 77 degrees. Bumped up my thermostat controller to 100 degrees 2 hours ago, and the tubs are still at 77 degrees.

Pulled out the bottom tub and used my heat gun to measure the heat tape (the one that we taped the probe to last night). The heat tape says 85 degrees, even thought my thermostat controller is saying 99 degrees as I write this post. I am not sure what to do at this point. Any guidance is appreciated.

Don’t worry about your ambient temp. You want the temp of the inside bottom of the tub over the hot spot to be that 90-92 not the air in the tub. Do you have a heat gun or any way to measure the ground temp? I have found it works better to have the probe siliconed to the bottom of the tub but you can make do just fine with it on the heat tape as long as it is secure.

@thecrawdfather just temped it with the temp gun and it’s at 80 degrees on my bottom tub. 78 for the middle and 74 for the top.

substrate at bottom of tub is 82 degrees

Thats strange. Sometimes people recommend taping the probe on the middle level to get a more even distribution of heat. May try that. Also what type of thermostat are you using? I would also check and make sure the probe hasnt came unplugged from the thermostat. Temps shouldnt be that far off.

1 Like


I’m using the BN-LINK Digital Heat Mat Thermostat Controller. I have two more for Penny’s tank and have never had an issue with it. Keeps the temp perfectly, so I figured using it for a rack would be okay.

So yesterday it was too hot, and today it is now too cold. Someone suggest instead of foil tape to use electrical tape. Do you think that would make much of a difference at this point? I might just need to purchase another thermostat controller and probe and hope for the best. I really don’t want anything to happen to my little noodles.

edit; I’m using Reptile Prime substrate. Could it be I have too much in the tub for the temps to read accurately?

1 Like

@akirby91 Highly doubt using electrical tape will make a difference here, as the normal argument is that foil tape makes it misread Hotter, rather than cooler. In your case, I would say try moving the thermostat to the middle tub, middle of the heat tape, and give it an hour and check each spot again. The main temp you want to measure is directly on the plastic, as your noodle will inevitably push that reptiprime to the side and wiggle closer to the bare bottom. If you’re still not reading accurately, you may have a bad thermostat controller. :roll_eyes: penny will be fine for a couple hours if you wanna try unplugging one of hers and putting the probe next to the other one to compare readings if it isn’t too much of a hassle.

But it sounds like you’re temp gun is already telling you there is a difference… sooooo. :expressionless:


Could be, I would push the substrate aside and re check temps again. The snakes will burrow in it to get closer to the heat.

@iamgroot and @gregp

Took out 1/2 the substrate and bottom temp is finally reading accurately. I think I had too much substrate in the tub. I will recheck after dinner. Who knew this would be so difficult lol


@gregp and @iamgroot

So after dinner this is the temp with the heat gun
Top 78
Middle 82
Bottom 84

Thermostat is set to 103