Enclosure updates

pawsplus

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OK. So building off my "Humidifier Angst" thread . . . I have reworked some things. I still have a humidifier (another brand than the one that leaked) on the way. I can keep the humidity up without it, but if it works, great! If this one leaks too, I will probably give up and just keep pouring and spraying.

But it occurred to me that I can keep both humidity and temp up more easily in my open topped tortoise table with a few tweaks. Note: I am not interested in an enclosed chamber. Please allow us to agree to disagree on this. I think that ventilation is important and, after all, tortoises are not in enclosed chambers in the wild. :) But by closing off the ROOM I can keep the heat in. The room the enclosure is in is small (7x14) with a very low, slanting ceiling. It is connected via a wide doorway to my open plan LR/kitchen, with high cathedral ceiling, so I imagine that right now, heat leaves the small room and heads up to the ceiling of the big room. See first pic, with enclosure on the left. As you can see, putting in French doors would be impossible and the handyman tells me that pocket doors might or might not work--he won't know until he tears my wall up. So no.

room-opening.jpg

BUT I can put a heavy curtain/drapes in that doorway. I have ordered fabric and have a friend who will make it for me. That way, I can put an oscillating space heater with a thermostat in there, which will enable me to keep the ambient temp where I want it without my usual winter machinations, and without ME sweating all winter LOL That will be welcome. And if the new humidifer works, it will keep much of the humidity in that room as well.

I am also planning an extension of the enclosure, probably for next summer. It is currently 4x6, built around 2x3 concrete mixing tubs. In the drawing, the original pen is on the left. The new addition is on the right. It will add 18 SF, for a total of 42 SF. Please note that Beasley has a 10x40 outdoor pen as well, which she is in 12 hours a day for 5 mos of the year. This is used only at night and during the wintertime. There will not be a lot of room left in that room, but hey, I don't use it for anything else anyway. I gave up using it as a dining room years ago. :)

I think this will work nicely, and the curtain should be attractive.

pen-schematics.jpg
 

Blackdog1714

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At ifrst glance I think your handyman is being truthful, that looks like a load bearing wall. I like the idea of making the whole room into the enclosure kinda thing, but I would be concerned about the humidity increase and its affect on the woo, walls, and paint. You could easily soak drywall and the wood trim. That is why so many exhibits have fairly rough astetics. Know I am just knocking this idea around but what about creating a hot box for the humidifier air to pass through before entering the enclosure. You could use an RHP to heat the box up and add a computer type fan to push the air through then you have a vent system to deploy in the enclosure. You could put this box over the short end of the L where you have the hide and run the around the edge of the L. You could probably use PVC that you could insulate and box in to maintain your finish. For the Humidifier box you could make so that the a panel lifts up for you to get the humidifier. As a handyman this would be a much more interesting job. I dont' know if I helped or just confused you more! :D
 

pawsplus

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I don't think that will happen. My current method (pouring warm water on the deep substrate) keeps the humidity close to 70-90% without anything else. If the humidifier doesn't leak and gets to stay, it will only run 10 min an hour or so to supplement that. Many years ago I did this in a closed room for my tortoise and my iguana (who has passed on), and the walls survived.
 

pawsplus

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I'm not doing anything that requires my handyman. He is swamped and I just barely made it on the schedule to get my porch floor replaced, so I doubt I can ask for anything else anytime soon. And I need to watch costs. It's all DIY now (thanks to porch floor and HVAC!). I'm going to start with this and see how it goes. I do think that very little humidifier action will be needed, based on how things are now.
 

Blackdog1714

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I'm not doing anything that requires my handyman. He is swamped and I just barely made it on the schedule to get my porch floor replaced, so I doubt I can ask for anything else anytime soon. And I need to watch costs. It's all DIY now (thanks to porch floor and HVAC!). I'm going to start with this and see how it goes. I do think that very little humidifier action will be needed, based on how things are now.
This has been a really rough and odd year! My guy is two weeks behind on replacing my porch posts so I just have to deal with it. Good luck and that was me rambling 😂. I browse and post during the day and sometimes my mind wanders! Check out the discussions on not using indoor UV and just getting some outdoor time under the sun. I am keeping mine off for now and seeing since my leopard has a few bumps but eats like a pig! I had what I thought was good enough then built an 11x3 closed chamber that will be my Russian’s winter digs.
 

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pawsplus

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As I said, she is outside 12 hours a day 5 months of the year. I figure a little UVB in the winter can't hurt. It's not a lot -- they aren't going to get much from a 100 watt mercury vapor. She mostly just gets under it when she eats, and it helps keep that side warmer. :)
 

pawsplus

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I went for years not doing UVB in the winter, just relying on what she gets in the summer. But the fact is that, as a redfoot, she stays in her house during the hottest part of the day, even though her pen is partially shaded. So I'm not sure she gets a TON of UVB in her 5 mos outside.
 

Blackdog1714

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I went for years not doing UVB in the winter, just relying on what she gets in the summer. But the fact is that, as a redfoot, she stays in her house during the hottest part of the day, even though her pen is partially shaded. So I'm not sure she gets a TON of UVB in her 5 mos outside.
That is a big debate on redfoot s and UVB given what conditions they actually live and how so many a t in captivity. Almost like they know to avoid the sun directly and just get it every so often. And some of the discussions here look towards more control of heat and humidity with just a sprinkling of UVB. Anyways enjoy the project during our extended lockdown!
 

pawsplus

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Yeah, I'm aware of the debate which is why I haven't used it in recent years. I do think, based on what I know about the mercury vapor lamps, and how you cannot put them too close to the shell b/c of the heat, that it's doubtful the tortoise is getting very much where it counts (legs/head). Esp. the 100 watt flood.
 

Blackdog1714

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Yeah, I'm aware of the debate which is why I haven't used it in recent years. I do think, based on what I know about the mercury vapor lamps, and how you cannot put them too close to the shell b/c of the heat, that it's doubtful the tortoise is getting very much where it counts (legs/head). Esp. the 100 watt flood.
I am an RHP guy now it is amazing how nice they are and how much the tort likes them! Who knew Pet Torts = $$$$ like they use for listing restaurants for expense of dining 😂 . My Chow Chow just had double eye surgery for Entropian, but I do have pet insurance with the major surgery rider.$900 and I was reimbursed $750 so it was a net loss of $150. ONe RHP and a Dual Digital Aquarium Heater Controller BOOM $150 and no reimbursemnt just dirty looks from my Russian when I am late with the food. Why o why do I do this:tort::<3:
 

jeannettep

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The drapes seem to be the best option with a load bearing wall. You could get thick insulated drape fabric & have your friend line the drapes with it. That fabric does not fray, so I don't have to hem it. Even if the drape fabric you bought has insulation lining, you may want to add it. My son had me make some drapes for a way since he cant paint it. I was surprised how nice it looked. I think the hardest part is keeping the humidity up with all the heat elements. Would putting people humidifiers or bowls to hold water in front of the heater help? I run a large water capacity humidifier by my parrot when it is dry. I really like my reptile humidifiers I sent you the link too. I can direct where I want it to go. When it is dry, I'll place a bowl near the heat bulbs & a car wash sponge in it to soak up the water & evaporate near the area where it seems dry.
 

pawsplus

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My humidity in the enclosure runs 70-90% (depending on where you are) without any humidifier or any drapes at all, so I am not terribly concerned about that. I am adding a reptile humidifier with tubes going down into the enclosure (as long as the one that is supposed to arrive today doesn't leak like the last one did!), and then I may not have to pour hot water and spray daily all winter, but that method has provided appropriate humidity. I don't want it wet. I've avoided shell rot for 22 years and am not about to trigger that!

She has a large "pond" which is next to the heat lamp. That probably does help. I replace the water with warm every AM.
 

Blackdog1714

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My humidity in the enclosure runs 70-90% (depending on where you are) without any humidifier or any drapes at all, so I am not terribly concerned about that. I am adding a reptile humidifier with tubes going down into the enclosure (as long as the one that is supposed to arrive today doesn't leak like the last one did!), and then I may not have to pour hot water and spray daily all winter, but that method has provided appropriate humidity. I don't want it wet. I've avoided shell rot for 22 years and am not about to trigger that!

She has a large "pond" which is next to the heat lamp. That probably does help. I replace the water with warm every AM.
Just make sure to use distilled water. The clog up with minerals in a second and die
 

Blackdog1714

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I never used distilled in the other humidifiers I used. They worked a decent length of time.
The reptile ones are more of a fogger style and distilled water is the key. It has no calcium in it so it can’t build up. Walmart carries it for about $1
 

pawsplus

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Well, my reptile fogger arrived and so far doesn't leak (knock on wood). Working on the timer now. The instructions say to clean well once a week to eliminate the risk of buildup, and do not say to use distilled, so I will give it a try. I cannot get into having to purchase distilled water for the thing!
 

Blackdog1714

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Well, my reptile fogger arrived and so far doesn't leak (knock on wood). Working on the timer now. The instructions say to clean well once a week to eliminate the risk of buildup, and do not say to use distilled, so I will give it a try. I cannot get into having to purchase distilled water for the thing!
Good luck!
 

jeannettep

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We used zero water filter it just runs regular water thru it. I used it with most things. My husband put a inexpensive filter on the faucet, so far it's worked great. We have really hard water, so any equipment here would not last long without something. Lucky people who don't!
 

ZEROPILOT

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Well, my reptile fogger arrived and so far doesn't leak (knock on wood). Working on the timer now. The instructions say to clean well once a week to eliminate the risk of buildup, and do not say to use distilled, so I will give it a try. I cannot get into having to purchase distilled water for the thing!
Is it a MISTKING?
I use a MISTKING for my 3 Chameleons.
Do not waste your money on distilled water. Use tap. And clean your nozzles in some LIME-A-WAY once a year.
I've got seriously hard water and mine still work great at 8 months.
 

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