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I complete glass reptile cages by attaching electric heat tape to part of two of the four walls and under about 1/3 of the floor to create a “hot spot.” There is a thermostat with a sensor probe typically set to keep temps around 78 to 82°F. The probe works best sandwiched against the heat tape in the walls, with hysteresis set to 3°F. The heat tape heats untils it warms the probe that 3° more than the setting on the thermostat, then is off until 3° below the setting, and so on. In a short time the desired average temp is reached this way and maintained.

The “hot spot” on the cage floor is just a bit warmer for various reasons and used by the animal for their thermal cycling: I put it there and maintain it and they choose how and when to use it. These animals aren’t always able to act for their own safety so I design a safety factor in. First, I try to not allow the floor they rest on to get too hot, but only have one probe for the thermostat, and it works better to keep the air at the design temp and try other methods for the floor. I keep floor heat reasonable by the amount and type of heat tape I use in proportion to the floor area and the overall temp desired. Experience helps. Second, I diffuse and distribute floor heat with ceramic glazed-clay floor tiles. The adhesive used needs to attach the tiles directly to the enclosures’ glass floors. The adhesive should be permanent and last for the life of the enclosure. It needs to expand and contract and maintain the bond. The tile and the glass may have different temps based on the current state of the heating cycle, described above, and environmental conditions in the area, such as a warm cage in a cold room. Last and not least, the adhesive needs to seal the joint between tile and glass floor so animal waste can be cleaned out effectively and completely.

That’s a lot to ask of an adhesive. I’ve always used ’pure silicone’, labeled as such. I wonder if anyone has a recommendation for any other material? Is there a particular silicone product (by type if asking for brands is not allowed), or is there a good flexible epoxy or polyurethane that might work with these materials and varying conditions? I know from experience that if the adhesive doesn’t flex enough the glass will break and possibly the tile too, or the joint may fail before the materials. Thanks.

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  • "The adhesive used needs to attach the tiles directly to the enclosures’ glass floors" WHY does the tile need to be coupled to the glass with adhesive ? My search for "flexible adhesive" turned up many products.
    – Alaska Man
    Mar 7 '20 at 23:03
  • RTV (room temperature vulcanizing) Silicone labelled as safe for aquarium use is what holds most glass aquaria/terraria together - any "frame" tends to be visual only. So it's probably the best material for attaching things to one, as well. Good results do depend on a certain degree of fanaticism in cleaning before applying the silicone.
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 7 '20 at 23:49
  • As this is a shopping question it is off topic. The temp is nothing but thermal conductivity is important, I would use thin set as the adhesive just like a tile shower. Use some green or red scotch to scratch the glass and a tile and grout sealer. This would be good enough for a shower so I would think it would work for your case and have good thermal conductivity.
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 8 '20 at 8:09
  • To answer 1 and 3, I went intothe detail I did as this is, 1 - a DIY situation; 2 - the application is such that thinset will not work - even the ‘flexible’ varieties will crack the glass of the floor because ‘flexible’ is relative, and the differential expansion between clay glazed w/ ceramic and glass means the glass will crack (experience! and that’s a fail); 3 - the animals produce solid and liquid wastes, and good husbandry means cleaning and disinfecting as well as possible, within reason; good design reduces permanent porous surfaces like grout. Grout can be cleaned, but bad application Mar 8 '20 at 15:44
  • I’ve not used but will try RTV and fanatic cleaning (used mostly pure siliconej. Was wondering if anyone reading this would recommend an epoxy or urethane or polymerizing glue of some sort that has great flexibility (maybe something new or that I’d never heard of!) I use a single large tile that covers just less than the width of the floor and about 1/3 of the length, thus the main point is to seal the edges and adhere it tothe floor. Mar 8 '20 at 16:14

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