A Quick & Easy Light Stand

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
89,314
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
When walking by the box turtle pen this a.m. I found a box turtle out, in the cold, with swollen eyes. I already have 3 tubs set up in the house, and they're sharing two light stands, the wrought iron stands from Zoo Med. So I had to make another light stand.

I built this stand in 10 minutes with supplies and wood scraps I had on hand. The wall where this stand is going to be is 38" wide, so even though my tub wasn't that big, I made the stand a bit bigger in case I ever needed to use it under a larger tub.

11-23-12 a.jpg

I had a piece of scrap plywood already cut to a good size for this project (33" L), so I just cut a couple pieces of 2x4 for the side arms (21 1/2").
11-23-12 b.jpg

I screwed them onto the plywood, and you don't have to worry if they're straight up and down or not because the top cross piece pulls them together. In this case, I had some old 1/2"x2" pieces. Be sure to cut your top piece the exact same length as the bottom plywood is.
11-23-12 c.jpg 11-23-12 d.jpg 11-23-12 e.jpg 11-23-12 f.jpg 11-23-12 g.jpg 11-23-12 h.jpg


I don't plant my baby box turtle tub because every day I have to dig them all up and put them in front of the food. This uproots all the plants, so its not worthwhile to have them.
 
Last edited:

Candy

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2009
Messages
3,990
Location (City and/or State)
Alhambra, CA
Thank you Yvonne. My husband went out about an hour ago and made me this for Joseph's little Sulcata. I saw him take a few bites of food today. I do believe that I saw a bubble or two come out of his nose though and he did open his mouth once or twice although it looked like a yawn to me. I do believe that this way of hanging the lights and the heat will get more percise readings with temps. I'm so happy you posted it. :D

DSCN0789.jpg


DSCN0788.jpg
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
89,314
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Since it's getting to be time to have your turtles back indoors, I thought it might be a good idea to re-visit this thread.

Lately, since learning about the closed chambers, I put a piece of plastic down first, then the stand, then I bring the plastic up and over the top of the stand to cover the whole thing.
 

BevSmith

Active Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
151
Since it's getting to be time to have your turtles back indoors, I thought it might be a good idea to re-visit this thread.

Lately, since learning about the closed chambers, I put a piece of plastic down first, then the stand, then I bring the plastic up and over the top of the stand to cover the whole thing.

Do you use thick plastic like a pond liner? I keep envisioning plastic being melted by the heat lamps.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
89,314
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Do you use thick plastic like a pond liner? I keep envisioning plastic being melted by the heat lamps.
I use 6 mil plastic, and it doesn't touch the lights, so it doesn't melt.

baby leopards 6-24-17 a.jpg baby leopards 6-24-17 b.jpg

After using this system for a couple years now, I've come to realize that a real closed chamber works much better. The plastic is ok in a pinch, but babies raised in a completely closed enclosure, such as a large tub with the lid on or a wooden box built especially for tortoises works much better. Also, the type of light/heat you use makes a big difference in whether or not the babies grow pyramided. I've always used black incandescent for nights and Zoo Med UVB for days. My baby tortoises go to Will's house in San Diego after hatching and I usually only keep them here for a few weeks. The last time he took babies home with him there were still two eggs in the incubator that hadn't hatched, so I had two baby leopards that I had to keep here until the next time Will came to get them. It was about 4 months. By the time Will came to pick them up, you could see that they were going to pyramid. So it's time to re-think the way I care for babies. I think it's mainly the lighting. I'm going to change out the incandescent and go with a tube type fluorescent UVB, then for heat I haven't decided on a CHE or some other non-drying heat source. I have to talk to @Markw84 and @Tom
 

BevSmith

Active Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
151
I use 6 mil plastic, and it doesn't touch the lights, so it doesn't melt.

View attachment 231580 View attachment 231581

After using this system for a couple years now, I've come to realize that a real closed chamber works much better. The plastic is ok in a pinch, but babies raised in a completely closed enclosure, such as a large tub with the lid on or a wooden box built especially for tortoises works much better. Also, the type of light/heat you use makes a big difference in whether or not the babies grow pyramided. I've always used black incandescent for nights and Zoo Med UVB for days. My baby tortoises go to Will's house in San Diego after hatching and I usually only keep them here for a few weeks. The last time he took babies home with him there were still two eggs in the incubator that hadn't hatched, so I had two baby leopards that I had to keep here until the next time Will came to get them. It was about 4 months. By the time Will came to pick them up, you could see that they were going to pyramid. So it's time to re-think the way I care for babies. I think it's mainly the lighting. I'm going to change out the incandescent and go with a tube type fluorescent UVB, then for heat I haven't decided on a CHE or some other non-drying heat source. I have to talk to @Markw84 and @Tom

It’s interesting that you mention the pyramiding. I’m hearing theories that leopards often pyramid in captivity, and that it may not be a humidity issue but more genetics. I had always been under the impression that pyramiding is due to lower than desirable humidity.

I hadn’t considered the lighting to be a major part of it, though it makes sense for a few different reasons (drying the air is certainly one of them).

Hoping to have a hatchling next month, but want to make sure I’ve got a decent setup first. I may have to sit this one out and wait.
 

Stoneman

Active Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Messages
355
Location (City and/or State)
Pacific Northwest, United States
Actually, I'm a wood hoarder. The only difference between me and those seen on the TV shows is that all my scraps are neatly stored and stacked according to size. Oh, and they're outside, and not in the house!! :p
I read somewhere not to stack wood by the house, because it is a haven for bugs and they will go into your house. Best to have it a ways away. This comment reminded me of that so I figured I would share. :)
 
Last edited:

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
89,314
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
I read somewhere not to stack wood by the house, because it is a haven for bugs and they will go into your house. Best to have it a ways away. This comment reminded me of that so I figured I would share. :)
Lol! Thanks for the warning! My wood collection is stacked up behind an old vacant house that's on my property. The house is falling down inch by inch, and will soon be a danger to kith and kin. But for now, let the bugs have it!
 

Stoneman

Active Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Messages
355
Location (City and/or State)
Pacific Northwest, United States
I wonder if using peg holes to elevate or lower based on intensity of lights as the lights go through stages of their useful life, could be used to make it more adjustable.

The other question, how could this be done in a closed chamber system?
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
89,314
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
I wonder if using peg holes to elevate or lower based on intensity of lights as the lights go through stages of their useful life, could be used to make it more adjustable.

The other question, how could this be done in a closed chamber system?
You don't really need a light stand in a closed chamber. You hang the lights from the ceiling. And to adjust the height of the light on my stand you lengthen or shorten the cord.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
89,314
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
I wonder if using peg holes to elevate or lower based on intensity of lights as the lights go through stages of their useful life, could be used to make it more adjustable.

The other question, how could this be done in a closed chamber system?
In my Vision cage closed chamber Will mounted a closet rod in the walls for the light to hang on:

vision cage d.jpg
 
Top