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Any risk using copper wire in enclosure ?

Discussion in 'Tarantula Enclosures' started by castor, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. castor

    castor New Member

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    Hi guys,
    To fix thermometer on top in new enclosure for avicularia avi i ll receive in few days, i used copper wire (same i use for bonsaï three), then i ask myself "is there any risk of toxicity for the avic" ?
    What do you think ?
    I join some pics.

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  2. Logan D

    Logan D Active Member 3 Year Member

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    in all reality the thermometer is not need as long as your house doesn't dip under 70 degrees the avic will be fine and also to much moisture can kill and avic just a heads up
  3. castor

    castor New Member

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    Thanks for the reply, i know about temperature and stuff to keep the avic well, what i asked myself is : copper wire i used to fix the thermometer can be toxic for the tarentulas ?
    Because i know there are some problems when copper fertilizer is used in farming => bad for the environment (plants & animals) :/
    Dave Jay likes this.
  4. Enn49

    Enn49 Moderator Staff Member 3 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    What @Logan D is saying is that there is no need for a thermometer in the Ts container as long as the temperature in your room is 70+. Personally I wouldn't risk anything in their container that could possibly harm them.
    Logan D likes this.
  5. Dave Jay

    Dave Jay Well-Known Member

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    I understand your concerns, copper is toxic to invertebrates at a fairly low dose but I think you'd have to be using it in the water dish or perhaps the substrate for it to have any effect on the tarantula, out in the open like that it wouldn't get into the spiders system anyway. Copper fly screen and the like is used as an insect deterrent in gardening sometimes, the idea is that insects will avoid contact with it and leave the roots of your veggies etc alone, how well it works I don't know.
    I think that having wire like that might pose a risk of the spider getting tangled in it regardless of the type of wire used but then perhaps the spider will avoid the copper? I don't really know but I would try not to leave loops and gaps where a spider might get caught. With those thermometer /hydrometers the display unit is supposed to be outside of the enclosure anyway, only the probe is placed in with the animal, that's why the probe is attached by a long wire.
    Enn49 likes this.
  6. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    If you have backing, I'd put it there. A copper electric wire might be better because it's insulated. You can put a small amount of electric tape or a drop of epoxy at each end to fully seal it off.

    Copper does oxidize and it turns an ugly shade of green. A wire can be any color you want and won't change much if at all.

    Your friendly auto parts store will probably have a wide selection at reasonable prices.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  7. castor

    castor New Member

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    Okay guys, thanks for all these replies, i'll change the setup enclosure before getting the little avic's.
    My problem is i need thermometer, because this room down to 15 celsuis degrees. So i use heat mat to have a nice temperature ;)
    Thanks a lot for helping me !!
    Dave Jay likes this.
  8. Enn49

    Enn49 Moderator Staff Member 3 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    If you're using a heat mat you need a thermostat with the probe attached to the heat mat to prevent overheating.
    Nunua likes this.
  9. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Just put the heat source at the side or above and not below it. They will tend to dig down and fry themselves if the heat is below them, at least with terrestrials.

    I'd also consider a ceramic type of heat bulb (all heat no light) or a red heat type bulb. If you do that, keep it at least 8 inches away and under 25 watts in my opinion. Generally that is placed overhead.

    I prefer to use a rheostat switch and not a thermostat. Of course, you'll have to set the initial temperature manually with an infrared thermometer first but the advantage is that the setup won't be turning off and on all the time. This means the components will last much longer. A switch will give a safe steady controlled heat at all times with perfect stability once you adjust it properly. Taping the dial into the proper position or putting it in an out of the way place is also a good idea.

    Also, if a thermostat malfunctions, the setup will remain on under full power and kill the tarantula. I heard about this occurring when I was researching the question. That was one reason I decided not to use thermostats.

    I have the same situation. My condo is only 68 degrees USA because my roommate requires that and uses all rooms in the condo where my Ts are.

    Just be extremely careful with heat.

    There are also grow tents that people use for orchids. Those might also work if you can maintain visibility. I haven't tried those myself however they are considered very safe for living things.
  10. castor

    castor New Member

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    Well guys, i don't do it the same way: i used to give space to my tarentulas, for exemple 80*35*50cm enclosure for a smithi, with a 30w heat mat.
    I place the heat mat to have a temperature gradient in the enclosure. the heat mats are running h24 without thermostat, I never have any problem. The temperature is relatively stable and the temperature gradient in the terrarium allows the tarentula to choose the temperature she needs at the moment.
    I don't understand how you guys have overheating problems with mats.
    Maybe because you have too big mats for the enclosure if they running without stopping?
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  11. Enn49

    Enn49 Moderator Staff Member 3 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    This is what can happen to a heat mat without a thermostat
    024.JPG
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  12. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Heat mats, according to what research I was able to do, generally produce fatalities when they are inside of the enclosure or on the bottom.

    This is because regardless of heat source direction, tarantulas go down and dark or side to side when excessively heated.

    They also go for height and light when cold. This is one reason why cold temps can also injure your spider, greatly increases the risks of falls especially if it's on the lid hanging upside down while being a terrestrial species.

    Probably 75 to 85 temps are all the best. I have a wide variety of species and they mostly fall into that range, some a little lower some a little higher but all within that 10 degree zone.

    Yes, I acknowledge this is controversial and an extraordinary level of caution should be considered mandatory, but all of mine have done great.

    My lowest satisfactory temp is my new B hamorii, which has her cage under my wireless router. (Not a traditional heat source but it works)

    My highest temps are for my pokies. My P striata likes it at 83. He will walk away if it gets any higher. My P vittata slings also like it like that but a degree higher. Frankly, I'm to scared to see what their upper limit is!!

    Still, the ultimate champion in all this has to be my H spinifer scorpion. Before I got any tarantulas, my AC froze over and stopped working for a few hours. I'm lucky I was home!! She was walking proud around her enclosure doing her "King of the world" routine.

    No way I was going to open that up and throw in a feeder!! I just poured some cool water into the dish and overflowed it.

    Heck she was almost practically running up the glass. She also avoided the cool water