Rheostat's aren't exactly the same as thermostats, but they are usually cheaper and can be used to control temperatures too. I think rheostat's are what people who use heat lights use?
I like thermostats more with UTH's because with a thermostat, you just set the temperature you want the tank to be and the thermostat does all the work of maintaining the correct temperatures. Rheostat's are basically what people use as light dimmers...they control the amount of power going to the heat source. You have to adjust the rheostats to maintain the proper temperature and will need to readjust once in awhile according to the temperature in the room - they don't maintain a set temperature, they just maintain a set amount of power going to your heat source.
With a thermostat, you don't have to worry about adjusting them even if the air temperature in the room changes.
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Last edited by Dragonrain; 04-27-2011 at 04:19 PM.