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Cultiv8 Flexible Super Thin Heat Mat - Medium 55 x 28 cm
Meet my new favourite plant accessory for winter survival and propagating all year-round, the Cultiv8 Heat Pad. If you've seen the Seahawk brand, Cultiv8 are the new model that replaces the old Seahawk pads, made by the same company.
As soon as these arrived I popped one underneath my Exo Terra prop tank to keep my cold-sensitive plants, baby plants, propagations and cuttings toasty warm and happy through winter. The warmer air also helps naturally increase humidity.
These are double-insulated, super thin, flexible heat mats, and if you have an Exo Terra terrarium, these slide neatly underneath the tank, so no messy cords inside (the rigid, hard plastic Egmont Heat Pads are great too by the way, that's what I used to use inside my prop tank before I got my Cultiv8 pad).
What size is the medium?
This is the MEDIUM which measures 55cms long x 28cms wide, and about 1.5mms thick (see? super thin!). The cord length is a long 6 foot (2 metres). A perfect size to pop under multiple Elho Small Grow Houses or Elho Medium Grow House or slide under or inside a glass prop tank or glass cabinet. You can also put seedling trays directly on top. Keep in mind heat pad placement - what's above and below it - can alter the temperature (more about that below).
What temperature does it heat up to?
This is the type of heat pad you can 'set and forget' as it regulates the temperature to average 5 to 10 degrees warmer than the room temperature at all times. Many people leave them on 24/7 over winter, to avoid cold shock from overnight drops in temperature, or you can also pop this on overnight-only.
What do they come with?
Cultiv8 Heat Mats come with the heat mat with NZ plug, and long 6 foot cord as well as a pack of 6 neoprene foam blocks all included. 230/240 volts made for use in New Zealand and Australia. The medium are 25 watts.
Adjusting heat and humidity
Many do put a tank, grow house, seedling trays or potted plants directly on a heat pad, however some airflow is recommended (even if it's just leaving one end slightly uncovered), rather than completely covering the pad.
You can use the supplied neoprene foam pads between the pad and a tank or tray to increase airflow if you like. Adding space between the pad and plants also reduces the temperature if you find it gets warmer than you want.
Keep in mind the surface the heat pad is on changes the temperature also. Placing on colder surfaces or materials like concrete will reduce the temperature, or placing on an insulated surface will raise the temperature. Covering the plants (putting them inside a dome, prop tank or grow house), helps retain the heat and also increase humidity and reduces water loss.
Get yourself a mini 2-in-1 hygrometer and thermometer to keep an eye on the minimum and maximum temperature and humidity to help you create the ideal environment for your plants.
I like to keep my prop tank around mid to high 20's in temperature, and above 70% humidity, which I achieve easily with my Cultiv8 Heat Pad under my tank (my prop tank is partially covered also with a 3/4 perspex 1/4 mesh top). On really cold or dry days I pop a cordless humidifier inside also (I use a H2O plant humidifier), to raise the humidity, and I completely cover the top to keep things warm and humid.
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