- Pro: Offers Precise Temperatures for Habitats
- Pro: Velcro Backing makes it easy to adjust
Zoo Med Economy Analog Dual Thermometer and Humidity Gauge Review
The Zoo Med Economy Analog Dual Thermometer and Humidity Gauge is a perfect solution for those who keep reptiles and amphibians. By allowing you to keep track of two of the most important factors to your animals’ health with one product you can save time on finding the perfect spot and since they’re analog you won’t have to worry about any extra wires. So not only will they benefit your beloved amphibians and reptiles, but they can also help increase the activity and longevity for the crickets they love to eat.
The Good Stuff
Anyone who keeps reptiles or amphibians knows the struggle of having to find good gauges to make sure they’re providing an optimal environment for their animals. Humidity and temperature are two of the biggest factors and both have to be controlled quite well in order to provide the best terrarium or vivarium possible for our pets.
The fact that it’s not digital means you can avoid having to run anymore wires than necessary into the enclosure. This can be a constant struggle, especially for frogs and other creatures which are prone to escape since each wire presents another opportunity for them to get out of the cage.
While it’s not perfect, it does make a low cost way to monitor these vital environmental characteristics without having to fudge with wires. It’s also easy to apply, since it comes with a Velcro backing that you can simply place on the glass and then put your gauges up where you can see them.
The gauges are super easy to read and attractive, which makes using them a snap. You’ll have your readings at all times and most people will be able to read them from a considerable distance. Readability is sometimes overlooked, but it’s an important quality at the end of the day.
Make sure that you place it both where it can be easily read and in the zone which your pet inhabits the most within their home and you’ll find that you’ve got an easy way to make sure that you can keep things within reasonable parameters.
The Bad Stuff
While it’s a low cost solution, it’s definitely not the best if you’re keeping animals with precise ranges needed. There’s a few different issues with the device that will turn a lot of pet owners off.
The first issue is the accuracy: it’s accurate to about ±5% on both of the gauges. This is good enough for a ballpark estimate, but some creatures have remarkably tight tolerance ranges. This isn’t something you really want to use with creatures like a chameleon or dart frogs, for instance.
The humidity gauge is particularly problematic in this one, if you have a large tank and run multiples you’ll find that they may be off in both directions and you’ll have a pretty wide range. It also has a tendency to break after being exposed to lower temperatures.
It also has a tendency to break down when exposed to a humidity of over 80% for an extended period of time. Again, this is an almost fatal flaw for something which is meant to measure that quality and some critters require humidity in that range in the first place.
The temperature gauge isn’t much better, with some people reporting variances from the actual temperature as wide as 10°. That doesn’t sound like much, and it’s not too far off for some animals but it’s definitely way too wide for anything that requires even a moderate level of experience in keeping.
These gauges from Zoo Med do have their place in the world of reptile keeping, especially for someone on a budget. If you’re keeping a bearded dragon or anoles or some other animal with broad tolerances this set will work just fine for you. With those animals a general “is it warm?” and “is too wet?” are usually enough to keep them in optimal health.
Where the usage of this set starts to fall apart, however, is when you get into more specialized animals. You absolutely should not use this set if you’re keeping animals with a tight range of tolerances. For instance, relying on these gauges for something like a chameleon could end in disaster.
Pretty much, you need to keep in mind that you get what you pay for with any kind of pet equipment and it’s usually better to find a more accurate digital gauge without so many breaking points in its range of operation.
We can’t really recommend this for anyone but those keeping hardy animals with a tight budget, and even then you may want a couple of them for any tank larger than 30 gallons or so. If you happen to fall in that niche, however, it should perform adequately enough to allow you to keep your animals alive. For anyone else, there are much better options available that still won’t break the bank.