ANOTHER Night Box Thread...

Big Charlie

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It doesn't matter which of the Kane mats you get. Whatever you get, you will crank it all the way up, and your thermostat will turn it on or off, depending on the temp.

When temp drops below 80, the thermostat will turn on both the RHP and the Kane mat. If the temp rises above 80 in the box, the thermostat will turn both items off. If your torte gets too warm because the RHP and heat mat are on all night on a cold night, he can move off of the mat.
Thank you!
 

bouaboua

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Hi Tom: @Tom

At what temperature, you set up the red heat mat in this enclosure? Thanks. I have a heat gun, so I can make sure my setting after I learn from you.

IMG_2176.JPG
 

Tom

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I don't set the temperature of the heat mat. I set the thermostat to turn the heater on or off according to the air temp on the cool side of the box. In summer I set the thermostat to around 70-75. In winter 80-86. I'm certain the the surface of the heat mat is much warmer than that. Its probably close to 100, which gives the tortoise the ability to warm up. They can also get off of the mat, but still be in the warmer air, anytime they want.
 
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I did it again. :)
And I'm going to keep doing it too! :D

Here is the latest night box. Its similar to the others, but I wanted to show more of the electrics involved and how I use them. I made this one for my two returning Gpp females. I gave these two girls to a friend in 2010 and he raised them. They both turned out to be female, while most of mine are male. He offered to give them back to me in the hopes of producing some babies in the future. They will live alone for a couple of months for quarantine and fecal exam purposes, but then they will join the other girls.

Here we go...

Here is the almost finished box showing the yet uncovered insulation inside the walls.
3310ths.jpg




Here is the assortment of equipment going into this box:
30bk60g.jpg




The heat mat and radiant heat panel have been mounted here, as has the shoe box that will hold all the excess wires.
s5vm6v.jpg




Here you can see all the cords and the thermostat all hooked up and stuffed into the shoe box. You can also see my thermostat probe hanging on the wall on the "cool" side. Notice the "drip loops" on the cord coming in to the box and inside the box. More on that later.
s1kkk5.jpg




Close up of the shoe box:
2ngd1dx.jpg




See how nice it looks with the cords all contained? :) Notice that drip loop again...
mcub1l.jpg




A wider view of the whole thing. In this one you can see my GFI circuit that I'm plugged into:
2uy6n4p.jpg




Here is that "drip loop" that I keep talking about. I learned this back in my early aquarium days. You see, water runs downhill. Amazing right?! In the event of an earthquake or other aquarium splashes, the idea is that if you have a "loop" so that your cords always run downhill first and then uphill into your outlets, water will not be guided into your outlet. Instead it will come to the bottom of the loop and drip down to the ground harmlessly. I did one outside this new tortoise box and inside, just to be safe.
i4o7pk.jpg




Here it is open for business.
5lteuu.jpg



In my excitement I forgot to get pics of the new inhabitants. I'll get some pics and post those later.
This is great!
 

AZtortMom

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Hi Tom!
Can you talk a little more about how you have RHP and you heat pad hooked up to the thermostat? I'm about to do this feat with mine.
Thanks!
 

Tom

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Hi Tom!
Can you talk a little more about how you have RHP and you heat pad hooked up to the thermostat? I'm about to do this feat with mine.
Thanks!
Most thermostats have three open plugs to use.

Just plug the thermostat into the wall, put the probe on the cool side where the tortoise can't reach it, set the temp where you want it, and plug your heater and RHP into the thermostat's open receptacles. Tidy up the wires a bit and let it run. Check temps for a few days before adding a tortoise. Adjust as needed.
 

Yvonne G

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This is what the inside of mine (that Will built for me) looks like:

night house b.jpg

You can see the probe hanging alongside the wires on the lid. When the lid is closed, the probe hangs down about in the middle and almost to the floor, but is not bothered by the tortoises. Here's a look at the controller:

night house c.jpg night house d.jpg

He's got a white extension cord with 4 outlets on the end and he plugged the three RHPs into the white cord. Then the white cord goes up to the controller. The black cord coming out of the controller goes to the electrical outlet. In that controller picture you can see the probe hanging. He left it just long enough to miss touching the floor (or leaves).

This has worked out great for the application. The night box is inside a greenhouse. If there's any sun at all, the greenhouse quickly warms up to tortoise type temperature. On cold gray days when there is no sun, Will mounted a fluorescent tube light on the other side of the plastic strips, in the "vestibule", so to speak, and on those days I feed the tortoises there in the vestibule and don't open their door.
 

AZtortMom

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Most thermostats have three open plugs to use.

Just plug the thermostat into the wall, put the probe on the cool side where the tortoise can't reach it, set the temp where you want it, and plug your heater and RHP into the thermostat's open receptacles. Tidy up the wires a bit and let it run. Check temps for a few days before adding a tortoise. Adjust as needed.

Thanks Tom.
Any recommendations on a good thermostat?
 

AZtortMom

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This is what the inside of mine (that Will built for me) looks like:

View attachment 201052

You can see the probe hanging alongside the wires on the lid. When the lid is closed, the probe hangs down about in the middle and almost to the floor, but is not bothered by the tortoises. Here's a look at the controller:

View attachment 201053 View attachment 201054

He's got a white extension cord with 4 outlets on the end and he plugged the three RHPs into the white cord. Then the white cord goes up to the controller. The black cord coming out of the controller goes to the electrical outlet. In that controller picture you can see the probe hanging. He left it just long enough to miss touching the floor (or leaves).

This has worked out great for the application. The night box is inside a greenhouse. If there's any sun at all, the greenhouse quickly warms up to tortoise type temperature. On cold gray days when there is no sun, Will mounted a fluorescent tube light on the other side of the plastic strips, in the "vestibule", so to speak, and on those days I feed the tortoises there in the vestibule and don't open their door.
Thank you for the pictures
That helps a lot!
I will post pics when mine is done.
 

Tom

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Thanks Tom.
Any recommendations on a good thermostat?
I usually use these and they work well for me in all sorts of applications:
https://www.lllreptile.com/products/13883-zilla-1000-watt-temperature-controller
https://www.hydrofarm.com/p/MTPRTC

More expensive options exist, and those all work for me too. Look up Ranco, Helix Controls, or Spider Robotics for those. I can't say these are "better" since the $30 ones work perfectly for me too, but they are more precise. I don't really need precision for my night boxes...
 

AZtortMom

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I usually use these and they work well for me in all sorts of applications:
https://www.lllreptile.com/products/13883-zilla-1000-watt-temperature-controller
https://www.hydrofarm.com/p/MTPRTC

More expensive options exist, and those all work for me too. Look up Ranco, Helix Controls, or Spider Robotics for those. I can't say these are "better" since the $30 ones work perfectly for me too, but they are more precise. I don't really need precision for my night boxes...
Thank you Tom. :)
I'm hoping to have most of the tort night houses wrapped up short of the painting.
 

Daisy

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Thank you Tom & Yvonne for the great night box ideas! Daisy is my 5 y.o. Sulcata and we have set up a night box based on Tom's set up shown in this post; with a linoleum floor. She LOVES it! I have a clean-up question for you though and hope you have some magic words of wisdom! At 5 years she is no longer making cute little baby tortoise poo/urine and is now producing more voluminous products to say the least. I don't mind the clean up but she has a tendency to urinate on the Kane mat. We thought the sheet of linoleum would be easier to clean up. However the volume of urine is enough that it gets to the bases of the walls (where they meet the floor). Do you have any suggestions for keeping the urine better contained so that it does not do this? Is there a "tray" of sorts that would be safe to sit the Kane mat in?

Leslie
 

Bass.Isles

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I did it again. :)
And I'm going to keep doing it too! :D

Here is the latest night box. Its similar to the others, but I wanted to show more of the electrics involved and how I use them. I made this one for my two returning Gpp females. I gave these two girls to a friend in 2010 and he raised them. They both turned out to be female, while most of mine are male. He offered to give them back to me in the hopes of producing some babies in the future. They will live alone for a couple of months for quarantine and fecal exam purposes, but then they will join the other girls.

Here we go...

Here is the almost finished box showing the yet uncovered insulation inside the walls.
3310ths.jpg




Here is the assortment of equipment going into this box:
30bk60g.jpg




The heat mat and radiant heat panel have been mounted here, as has the shoe box that will hold all the excess wires.
s5vm6v.jpg




Here you can see all the cords and the thermostat all hooked up and stuffed into the shoe box. You can also see my thermostat probe hanging on the wall on the "cool" side. Notice the "drip loops" on the cord coming in to the box and inside the box. More on that later.
s1kkk5.jpg




Close up of the shoe box:
2ngd1dx.jpg




See how nice it looks with the cords all contained? :) Notice that drip loop again...
mcub1l.jpg




A wider view of the whole thing. In this one you can see my GFI circuit that I'm plugged into:
2uy6n4p.jpg




Here is that "drip loop" that I keep talking about. I learned this back in my early aquarium days. You see, water runs downhill. Amazing right?! In the event of an earthquake or other aquarium splashes, the idea is that if you have a "loop" so that your cords always run downhill first and then uphill into your outlets, water will not be guided into your outlet. Instead it will come to the bottom of the loop and drip down to the ground harmlessly. I did one outside this new tortoise box and inside, just to be safe.
i4o7pk.jpg




Here it is open for business.
5lteuu.jpg



In my excitement I forgot to get pics of the new inhabitants. I'll get some pics and post those later.

this is awesome! can you tell me the ballpark of about how much the whole thing cost to build? including the lumber and electrical stuff?
 

Tom

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Mike's

this is awesome! can you tell me the ballpark of about how much the whole thing cost to build? including the lumber and electrical stuff?

The and all the materials are about $150-200. The electrical stuff is about $300, but its the best way to go.
 
M

Maggie Cummings

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Thank you Tom & Yvonne for the great night box ideas! Daisy is my 5 y.o. Sulcata and we have set up a night box based on Tom's set up shown in this post; with a linoleum floor. She LOVES it! I have a clean-up question for you though and hope you have some magic words of wisdom! At 5 years she is no longer making cute little baby tortoise poo/urine and is now producing more voluminous products to say the least. I don't mind the clean up but she has a tendency to urinate on the Kane mat. We thought the sheet of linoleum would be easier to clean up. However the volume of urine is enough that it gets to the bases of the walls (where they meet the floor). Do you have any suggestions for keeping the urine better contained so that it does not do this? Is there a "tray" of sorts that would be safe to sit the Kane mat in?

Leslie

The mat can handle the urine. Bob was 125 pounds and he could really put out the urine, and that same mat is still working and has been handed over to another pee-er. I used a string mop and vinegar, easy enough to clean, and put all that Sulcata poop in a dirt hole, turn it once in a while and you'll have worms for the boxies, and great fertilizer for the plants.
 

Dave S.

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Hey Tom. Have you researched or tried Solar panels on the roofs of your Night Boxes? I'm about to build one and don't want the mess of cords running throughout my yard and was wondering if anyone has tried using solar panels as energy sources for heat lamps/panels.
Saw something like this on eBay:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Solar-Light...818649?hash=item4d4f4b5459:g:ynEAAOSwo4pYNuOr

Thanks for your input.
-Dave
 

JoesMum

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Hey Tom. Have you researched or tried Solar panels on the roofs of your Night Boxes? I'm about to build one and don't want the mess of cords running throughout my yard and was wondering if anyone has tried using solar panels as energy sources for heat lamps/panels.
Saw something like this on eBay:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Solar-Light...818649?hash=item4d4f4b5459:g:ynEAAOSwo4pYNuOr

Thanks for your input.
-Dave
You would need lamps/panels that can run off batteries. And you would probably need quite large batteries for high wattage equipment run all night and potentially all day as well in winter.

The panels only generate when the sun is out; not at night and not in bad weather
 

Daisy

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The mat can handle the urine. Bob was 125 pounds and he could really put out the urine, and that same mat is still working and has been handed over to another pee-er. I used a string mop and vinegar, easy enough to clean, and put all that Sulcata poop in a dirt hole, turn it once in a while and you'll have worms for the boxies, and great fertilizer for the plants.
 

Daisy

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I have seen the pics and read a lot of the stories about your sweet Bob! Thanks for the advice! I started putting a bit of the coconut coir around the bases to act as an absorbent (kind of like kitty litter) and this seems to help wick up some of the moisture and keep it from running off too much. I know that's not the most cost effective way to go but I thought that dirt would just turn into mud! This is reminiscent of my younger days when I had horses!!! Hahahahaha!

ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1493119074.645135.jpg ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1493119184.077681.jpg
 
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