Closed "Chambers"

Tom

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Do you know why I can’t see any of your pictures? There’s just a sad emoji.
The forum didn't used to have the ability to attach pics directly. We all had to use a third party pic hosting site and copy/paste the IMG codes after uploading our pics. These sites are all shutting down over the years, so our pics just disappear along with these sites. For the last few years, we've been able to load our pics directly to TFO, so this shouldn't happen any more as long as TFO stays operational.
 

Ca136244

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Tom, I'm pretty sure you have said in the past that you don't use UVB lighting for your babies because you get them outside so much. The problem I have is that I can't get mine outside every day, so I feel that it is best to provide them with UVB light. I am currently using a 100 watt Powersun MVB (the smallest wattage it comes in), and it gives off so much heat that if I have it the proper distance from the surface and enclosed my entire table, it would quickly heat the whole thing up to well over 110 degrees.

Do you Have any suggestions? Would it be better to replace the MVB with a lower wattage heat bulb so that I can enclose the entire table even though I only get my torts outside twice a week right now? Or do you think it is better to continue as I am with as much of my table covered as possible. My little guys do seem to spend lots of time in their humid hide which is generally around 70% humidity.

when is a s skalata tortuous not considered a baby
 

boxraddict

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I wonder if a 100watt heat bulb or a 60watt Che inside a 20 gallon long (30x12x12) would be overkill?
 

Blackdog1714

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I wonder if a 100watt heat bulb or a 60watt Che inside a 20 gallon long (30x12x12) would be overkill?
Either way you would want to link to a thermostat so you don't overheat. A 60 watt CHE would roast that small of a chamber unchecked. I have a 3'x11' closed enclosure that I heat to 90 on the warm end and 84 on the cool end with one 120 watt RHP and a 100 Watt CHE.
 

boxraddict

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I have a zilla thermostat but am unsure about how to using it with a che bulb? I use them with my heat mats for snakes and my leopard gecko.... I was advised against using them with heat bulbs..
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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I have a zilla thermostat but am unsure about how to using it with a che bulb? I use them with my heat mats for snakes and my leopard gecko.... I was advised against using them with heat bulbs..
FIrst, only use a CHE with a ceramic based hood that is rated for a larger wattage than your CHE. I prefer the ones from Home Depot.

Generally, I put the CHE over the middle of the enclosure if I am trying to maintain ambient with it. Sometimes you need two CHEs spread out to evenly heat a larger enclosure. I place the probe in a far corner, down low but out of reach of the tortoises, and away from all heat sources. This will ensure that the coldest part of your enclosure stays above the minimum temp. I find the dial on the thermostats to not be very accurate, but that is a good starting point. Set it to 80 for tropical species. Then use a thermometer or two spread around the enclosure to check temps, and make adjustments to the thermostat dial as needed to get the temp in the enclosure correct.
 

Alexolivia

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Hello Tom,
I am in the process of getting everything set up before I order a hatchling from you and wanted some tips. This is from the last tortoise I had. Since then I’ve bought a tub uvb. I was wondering if it’d be easier to make this a closed top or to start over? I was also curious how to attach the lights in the inside, the will they be too close? The closed enclosure is just for hatchling stage, correct?
 

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Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
53,756
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hello Tom,
I am in the process of getting everything set up before I order a hatchling from you and wanted some tips. This is from the last tortoise I had. Since then I’ve bought a tub uvb. I was wondering if it’d be easier to make this a closed top or to start over? I was also curious how to attach the lights in the inside, the will they be too close? The closed enclosure is just for hatchling stage, correct?
Closed chambers simply separate the room air from the enclosure air. This makes it easier to maintain heat and humidity. When appropriately sized, they are good for any size tortoise.

They must be a minimum of 18 inches inside and 24 inches is better. In my 18 inchers, I use flush mounted light sockets and low wattage bulbs, instead of hanging domed fixtures. LEDs, UV tubes, and RHPs can be mounted to the ceiling.
 

Chip0282

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Dec 2, 2020
Messages
36
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Semarang
Been meaning to do this one for a while now...

Over the years I have kept a lot of reptiles in a lot of different ways. I've learned a lot of stuff about a lot of species. Since finding and joining this forum almost two years ago, I've learned a TON more. Now I'm not just stumbling around alone in the dark. Now, with the help of all the fantastic TFO members, I can see and experience everyone else's enclosures and styles too.

There are a lot of good ways to house a tortoise indoors. Tank, tub, trough, table, and... closed chamber. Different methods work best for the various species and ages. Through all of my "experiments" and sharing the vast experience of others here on the forum, I have reached my current conclusion that "closed chambers", with a basking lamp inside, are the best means of housing the babies of most species. Everyone's situation is different, and we all live in different climates... heck our torts are all from different climates too. Still, overall, I have personally experienced the best results and seen the best results from others, in this style of enclosure. Several people come to mind, but Tyler, Neal, Kristina and KBaker, have especially shown their enclosures and the results. There are lots of others too, but these members have had the biggest influence on me recently.

Only in a closed chamber can I control the humidity properly. Its very dry where I live, and its a constant battle to maintain any humidity at all in most enclosures. In a closed chamber, its a piece of cake. I've used glass tanks and various styles of tortoise tables for years to house my chelonians, but the open tops let out all that beneficial humidity and heat. By putting my heat lamps and CHEs INSIDE the closed enclosure, they do NOT dry things out AND they use a lot less power to give me the same amount of heat. Plus, once they heat everything up and the thermostat kicks them off, the heat just stays in there. I'm using less electricity on my 4x8' closed chamber than I am on my 40 gallon open topped glass tank! (I have little electric meters called "Kill-A-Watt EZ"). The humidity is lower directly under the heat lamp, but its as high as I want to keep it all around that area and the rest of the enclosure.
105a0qf.jpg

radxzl.jpg


In theory this all sounds reasonable, but what happens in the real world? I've gotten the best results I've ever gotten in this type of enclosure. On a lot of my glass tanks I end up covering as much of the top as I can. It seems like the more and better I cover them, the better the results I get. But I still lose all my heat and humidity out of the hole that has to be there for my light fixtures. Like this one:
1z8002.jpg


This leads me to a big problem that has come up recently with several potential new tortoise keepers. Where does one go buy a "closed tortoise chamber" for their new pet? Most conventional enclosures are too shallow to have a closed top and still allow enough room for a hanging fixture with a hot bulb in it. I like the Vision tubs, but they are too short for this purpose. My leopard enclosure is 24" tall and that just barely accommodates things safely. When I build the next one it will be around 30" tall. I have not seen a pre-made enclosure with the right dimensions. Tyler showed me this one that he is using. I can't remember which species he is housing in this.
k9hm5z.jpg


Remember we are talking about housing babies. Not adults or even juveniles. Discussion is welcome here. I'm always wanting to le
Been meaning to do this one for a while now...

Over the years I have kept a lot of reptiles in a lot of different ways. I've learned a lot of stuff about a lot of species. Since finding and joining this forum almost two years ago, I've learned a TON more. Now I'm not just stumbling around alone in the dark. Now, with the help of all the fantastic TFO members, I can see and experience everyone else's enclosures and styles too.

There are a lot of good ways to house a tortoise indoors. Tank, tub, trough, table, and... closed chamber. Different methods work best for the various species and ages. Through all of my "experiments" and sharing the vast experience of others here on the forum, I have reached my current conclusion that "closed chambers", with a basking lamp inside, are the best means of housing the babies of most species. Everyone's situation is different, and we all live in different climates... heck our torts are all from different climates too. Still, overall, I have personally experienced the best results and seen the best results from others, in this style of enclosure. Several people come to mind, but Tyler, Neal, Kristina and KBaker, have especially shown their enclosures and the results. There are lots of others too, but these members have had the biggest influence on me recently.

Only in a closed chamber can I control the humidity properly. Its very dry where I live, and its a constant battle to maintain any humidity at all in most enclosures. In a closed chamber, its a piece of cake. I've used glass tanks and various styles of tortoise tables for years to house my chelonians, but the open tops let out all that beneficial humidity and heat. By putting my heat lamps and CHEs INSIDE the closed enclosure, they do NOT dry things out AND they use a lot less power to give me the same amount of heat. Plus, once they heat everything up and the thermostat kicks them off, the heat just stays in there. I'm using less electricity on my 4x8' closed chamber than I am on my 40 gallon open topped glass tank! (I have little electric meters called "Kill-A-Watt EZ"). The humidity is lower directly under the heat lamp, but its as high as I want to keep it all around that area and the rest of the enclosure.
105a0qf.jpg

radxzl.jpg


In theory this all sounds reasonable, but what happens in the real world? I've gotten the best results I've ever gotten in this type of enclosure. On a lot of my glass tanks I end up covering as much of the top as I can. It seems like the more and better I cover them, the better the results I get. But I still lose all my heat and humidity out of the hole that has to be there for my light fixtures. Like this one:
1z8002.jpg


This leads me to a big problem that has come up recently with several potential new tortoise keepers. Where does one go buy a "closed tortoise chamber" for their new pet? Most conventional enclosures are too shallow to have a closed top and still allow enough room for a hanging fixture with a hot bulb in it. I like the Vision tubs, but they are too short for this purpose. My leopard enclosure is 24" tall and that just barely accommodates things safely. When I build the next one it will be around 30" tall. I have not seen a pre-made enclosure with the right dimensions. Tyler showed me this one that he is using. I can't remember which species he is housing in this.
k9hm5z.jpg


Remember we are talking about housing babies. Not adults or even juveniles. Discussion is welcome here. I'm always wanting to learn more.
Can anybody report Tom's picture ? Because now it's all become no longer available. And I want to see this great idea
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
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Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
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Can anybody report Tom's picture ? Because now it's all become no longer available. And I want to see this great idea
Those pics are gone, but here is the general idea:
 

Chip0282

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Dec 2, 2020
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36
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Semarang
Those pics are gone, but here is the general idea:
with that system, you didnt spot any mold ? we dont have orchid bard like many member in this forum use. suitable substrate we have here only coconut coir. Before when i put water, within some days, coconut coir at the bottom have mold, gray dot . Or something i did wrong so the mold come up ?
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
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Joined
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Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
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with that system, you didnt spot any mold ? we dont have orchid bard like many member in this forum use. suitable substrate we have here only coconut coir. Before when i put water, within some days, coconut coir at the bottom have mold, gray dot . Or something i did wrong so the mold come up ?
Coco coir won't support mold by itself. Your coir must be contaminated with something organic that the mold can grow on. Can you get ZooMed products there? If yes, you can buy repti-bark.
 

Chip0282

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Semarang
im in Indonesia, too bad zoomed repti bark is not available here. all the forest bark here using pine, so our choice only coco coir. Humidity at here usually 60%-75% , your opinion, still need to do closed chamber with substrate ?

majority tortoise keeper here use open top or box with ventilation, and only use pvc carpet
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
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Joined
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Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
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im in Indonesia, too bad zoomed repti bark is not available here. all the forest bark here using pine, so our choice only coco coir. Humidity at here usually 60%-75% , your opinion, still need to do closed chamber with substrate ?

majority tortoise keeper here use open top or box with ventilation, and only use pvc carpet
Depends on the species. Babies of most species should have 80% or higher humidity all the time. Some of the Testudo species are okay with less humidity. All will benefit from the use of a closed chamber.
 

Chip0282

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Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Semarang
One more thing. I try closed Chamber, but how to keep temperature from peaking out when you turn on basking lamp ? Because basking lamp (I try smaller wattage already) but still increase the ambiace temperature too much if turning on for long time. Or how long should we turn on the basking lamp ? (Che is there connected with thermostat) so basking lamp is only for basking purpose.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
53,756
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
One more thing. I try closed Chamber, but how to keep temperature from peaking out when you turn on basking lamp ? Because basking lamp (I try smaller wattage already) but still increase the ambiace temperature too much if turning on for long time. Or how long should we turn on the basking lamp ? (Che is there connected with thermostat) so basking lamp is only for basking purpose.
You have to use low wattage basking lamps in a closed chamber. I use 45 watt ones in winter and 25 watt ones most of the year. You may also need to increase ventilation, but do keep an eye on humidity. The basking bulb should be on for 12-13 hours a day. A CHE controlled by a thermostat is used to keep ambient temp above the set point. The basking lamp should be able to do this during the day, so the CHE will usually only come on when needed at night. All these things must be balanced.
 
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