The instant-read Zoo Med ReptiTemp Digital Infrared thermometer (temperature gun) makes checking the temperature in your box turtle habitat a breeze (it works anywhere else, too!). With the push of a button it’ll display the temperature in either Fahrenheit or Celsius. You can take single readings or scan the whole habitat. It’s Min/Max function lets you find the warmest and/or coolest spots in the habitat.
Stop relying on a single reading in one spot in your pet’s home. Now you can be sure he’s comfy wherever he roams.
Keep reading for more about the ReptiTemp Digital IR Thermometer:
How it Makes Temperature Monitoring Easier
The ReptiTemp Digital IR thermometer is much more flexible than an in-habitat thermometer (although you should still have one of those). You can use it to check the temperature in any part of the habitat instantly (an in-habitat thermometer can only measure the temperature where you put it). This means you can easily check that you have a good temperature gradient for your boxie. And you can do it without needing two, three or even four thermometers scattered around the habitat.
You can also double check that basking areas are warm enough and shelters provide a cool retreat area. You’d need half a dozen in-habitat thermometers to keep track of all those spots. That’s expensive, a hassle and a lot of clutter. Of course, it’s still a good idea to have at least one in-habitat thermometer—just to be sure the overall temperature isn’t too hot or too cold.
It comes with a battery, so it’s ready to go right out of the package. And the battery is an easy-to-find CR2032 button cell battery. So you don’t have to worry about finding replacements. When the time does come to change the battery, all you’ll need is a small screwdriver.
The thermometer measures a wider range of temperatures than you’re ever likely to need: -28 to 230° F (-33 to 110° C). That makes it useful for any temperature monitoring you might need to do, not just for your boxie’s habitat. We’re all about multi-purposing!
The Min/Max function lets you scan the habitat while displaying the warmest or coolest temperature it finds. As long as these two numbers are within your pet’s preferred temperature range (about 70° to 80° F for box turtles, plus an 85° F basking area), you know you have a good set-up for his heat sources.
How to Use the ReptiTemp Temperature Gun
Infrared thermometers actually measure the heat coming off the surface of objects, not the “air temperature” in the middle of the habitat. So you’ll basically be measuring things like the surface of a rock under a heat lamp or the substrate on the floor. But since your boxie is walking or sitting on those surfaces that’s the temperature you’re interested in anyway.
When you point it at area you want to check and push the button, an infrared light beam shows you where you’re masuring the temperature. The area measured depends on how far away you hold the thermometer. According to Zoo Med, at one inch away, it measures an area 1-inch diameter and at 3 inches away an area 3 inches in diameter.
To scan the habitat and get continuous readings, just hold down the button. This is useful for checking your gradient. It also has a lock mode (set by using the Mode button) that lets you scan without having to hold the button.
The Mode button also lets you access the Max or Min modes to find the coolest and warmest temperatures in the habitat. When you scan the habitat in Max or Min mode it will display the first measured temperature until it finds a warmer (max) or cooler (min) spot. Then the display will change to that temperature until you find yet another warmer or cooler spot.
You don’t have to remember to turn it off; it goes into standby mode automatically after 15 seconds of no activity from you. If you’ve set the clock, it will display the time and ambient temperature while in standby. If you don’t set the clock, the display will be blank.
A few conditions can give you wrong readings. These include:
- measuring shiny surfaces
- Trying to measure through screen or glass/plastic (it’ll give you the surface temperature of the material instead).
To keep your temperature gun working well for as long as possible, keep it away from water and store it at room temperature (it works just fine at a wide range of temperatures, but you don’t want to store it at extreme temperatures). Don’t leave it in high humidity areas, either.
If you want more information and detailed directions for use, you can find the Zoo Med instruction for this thermometer here (PDF).
Pros and Cons of Zoo Med’s Digital IR Thermometer
From what we’ve read, users are very satisfied with this thermometer. It’s got a whole long list of pros. And not much in the way of cons.
- Simple push-button operation
- Uses common CR2032 batteries
- Battery is easy to change
- Auto-off feature
- Temperature readings are reliable and comparable to more expensive units (one reviewer compared it to a professional model and found the temperatures comparable).
- Display temperatures in your choice of Fahrenheit or Celsius
- Can check for max and min temperatures
There’s really not much not to like about this thing. A couple of minor possible inconveniences include:
- It won’t measure through glass or screening (but really, how hard is it to open the top to the habitat? Assuming you even have a top for it, which many people don’t)
- You have to reset your clock and, if you changed it originally, the temperature scale (whether you want the display in °F or °C) after replacing the battery. But that’s pretty standard for any battery operated device.
Sooooo … if you’re looking for a reliable digital IR thermometer at a good price, it looks like you’ve found it.
Check Prices and Availability
Ready to buy? Or just want to investigate prices? Consider starting with these retailers. There were some sale prices and free shipping offers as of this writing. Check to see if any of those are still available.
(links open in a new window, so you can easily come back here to check another retailer and compare deals)