CHE vs RHP for Ambient/Night Heating

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Good evening everyone, and thank you in advanced for your consideration in regards to my inquiry.

I am a new member to tortoise forum, and I am looking for advice/opinions in regards to your experience with Ceramic Heat Emitters or Radiant Heat Panels for ambient/night heat in closed containers for Sulcata and Leopard tortoises. I am leaning toward CHE due to cost effectiveness since I will have multiple enclosures, but I want to make sure that I am meeting all of the needs of the torts!

I do have a little bit of time since they haven't hatched yet, but I just want to make sure that I am fully educated and ready for them when they arrive!

Thank you again for all of your help!
 

Toddrickfl1

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I recently switched from CHE's to radiant heat panels. I like the radiant heat panels much better. Much easier to work with when building an enclosure and doesn't create a super intense hot spot underneath it like the CHE's do.
 

Tom

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Hello and welcome.

Either can work, but I much prefer a RHP in a closed chamber. They really spread the heat out over a greater area and cause less desiccation.

Its great that you already know that you'll need a closed chamber. Most people "research" the species and then make an open topped enclosure where the babies are exposed to room temperature and low humidity.

Where are you, and where are you getting the babies? Feel free to not answer if you feel like I'm being too nosy! I'm in Santa Clarita, near Magic Mountain.
 

maggie3fan

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I have recently switched to all RHPs in my indoor enclosures. I really prefer them.
ack! really???After all the black light bulbs I hadda buy over the years??? I recently switched to CHE's in the house. In the tortoise shed outside, are 2 flood lights for basking, and oil filled radiator heater for ambien heat and a pig blanket in the sleeping box...when I got rid of all the black light bulbs and changed to CHE's my electric bill went down abt $25 a month...
 

maggie3fan

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Hello and welcome.

Either can work, but I much prefer a RHP in a closed chamber. They really spread the heat out over a greater area and cause less desiccation.

Its great that you already know that you'll need a closed chamber. Most people "research" the species and then make an open topped enclosure where the babies are exposed to room temperature and low humidity.

Where are you, and where are you getting the babies? Feel free to not answer if you feel like I'm being too nosy! I'm in Santa Clarita, near Magic Mountain.
#Tom...what is desiccation?
 

haydog_99

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I have recently switched to all RHPs in my indoor enclosures. I really prefer them.
What vendor/model do you use for your enclosures? I have a 4' x 2' x 2' enclosure and I currently have two 100 watt CHEs, one on each side, connected to thermostats to keep my enclosure warm at night. Thanks
 
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Hello and welcome.

Either can work, but I much prefer a RHP in a closed chamber. They really spread the heat out over a greater area and cause less desiccation.

Its great that you already know that you'll need a closed chamber. Most people "research" the species and then make an open topped enclosure where the babies are exposed to room temperature and low humidity.

Where are you, and where are you getting the babies? Feel free to not answer if you feel like I'm being too nosy! I'm in Santa Clarita, near Magic Mountain.
Thank you, Tom. I actually learned about the closed chamber hatchling enclosures from a care sheet that I was referred to that I believe may have been written by you. If that is the case, thank you for putting that together!

Sadly, my first Sulcata hatchling died about 6 months after I got it from the reptile shop. Looking back, I never should have bought from there because they had about 20 hatchlings in a tortoise table with one heat source and 1 water bowl. The employee who sold me the tortoise told me I needed to buy a premade tort table to raise it in and I could never get the heat/humidity right regardless of the 4 heat lamps and 2 "humid hides" that I had. By the time I did my own research and decided to put it in a closed chamber, it was too late. The little guy had already lost his appetite and got a respiratory infection. I felt so bad after that I decided to take a break from the reptile hobby, but I feel that over the past few years of educating myself and preparing the right way, I am ready to get back into it.

To answer your question, I actually got connected to a hobby breeder in Arizona who breeds leopards primarily and raises them right. He recently bred his Sulcatas and I'm hoping to get 3 from him, but may only be able to get my hands on one since he already had people interested in almost the whole group. Do you have any Sulcata hatchlings or yearlings available, Tom? I live in the San Clemente area in Southern California.

Lastly, the enclosures that I am building out are going to be made out of a plastic tote box with the dimensions of 46"x24"x18" if that helps in making decisions for the method of heating...
 

Tom

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I've got a few hatchlings that aren't sold yet, so I'd be happy to send you some if you want.

Most breeders don't start babies correctly. Read these two threads and you'll know what questions to ask of any breeder. You might also recognize what you saw the first time around:
 
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I've got a few hatchlings that aren't sold yet, so I'd be happy to send you some if you want.

Most breeders don't start babies correctly. Read these two threads and you'll know what questions to ask of any breeder. You might also recognize what you saw the first time around:
Those articles hit it right on the head! Thank you for sharing. How many do you have available and what is the price of your babies?
 

Yvonne G

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What vendor/model do you use for your enclosures? I have a 4' x 2' x 2' enclosure and I currently have two 100 watt CHEs, one on each side, connected to thermostats to keep my enclosure warm at night. Thanks
I don't know, as my tortoise partner, @Kapidolo Farms , set them all up for me.
 

Kapidolo Farms

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One thing: all heating devices should be controlled with a thermostat.
RHP NEVER get so hot you should worry about directly touching them, if the touch or lean against something they should not cause a burn or start a fire. The surface temp may get to about 100F to 110F. CHE's even low wattage ones like the nano 25 watt, can burn your skin with prolonged contact.

RHP's can be mounted on the wall of the enclosure allowing the tortoise to have actual contact, or sit a few inches away and still get warmed. I have most experience with the models made by Vivarium Electronics, those have some kind of thermal switch, so in the event the thermostat fails they heat panel will shut itself off. Very safe for your tortoise and your home.
 

Sa Ga

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You can find them cheaper, but you can't find them healthier or better started.
Really? Cheaper than $60? That seems darn reasonable as is. That's a lotta tort for just $60!!!

Lol. Worry not! I believe your babies would be rock solid, steel-toed little beasties! 😁 Wish you bred Russians!
 

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