I need heat, man

Status
Not open for further replies.

GeoTerraTestudo

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
3,311
Location (City and/or State)
Broomfield, Colorado
Hi, all. Question about heating. I have always used 150-W CHEs to provide basking heat for my tortoises' hot spots (my redfoot in Florida, and my Russians here in Colorado). They usually worked fine, although I did have one recently that lasted only 1 year instead of 3-5 years, like they should. :rolleyes:

Anyway, the past few days, Mork and Mindy appeared to have a diminished appetite, and when I checked the temperature in their hot spots this morning, it was only about 85*F, and not 95-100*F like it's supposed to be.

The ambient temperature in our house is about 70*F, which should be fine, no? The temperature an inch away from the CHEs is about 105*F. Is that okay? Maybe the substrate has fallen low enough (from cleaning) that it is now too far from the CHE ... although I think it's still about 1 foot, which should be good, right? Do you recommend I switch from CHEs to incandescent bulbs? Maybe ambient temperature is too cool after all. If there's nothing technically wrong with my CHEs, what can I do to elevate the ambient temperature in the pens without heating up my whole house? Please advise. Thanks!
 

hunterk997

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2013
Messages
897
Location (City and/or State)
Wayland, NY
I'm not an expert on any of this so someone may disagree, but for the basking spot I use a normal bulb. Right now I'm using a 72 watt, but will be switching to a lower watt soon. But I would suggest just switching to normal bulbs, they do a really good job for basking spots. It keeps mine at 95* while being 16 inches away from the substrate.
 

GeoTerraTestudo

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
3,311
Location (City and/or State)
Broomfield, Colorado
Okay, so I swapped out my ZooMed wire cage clamp lamps with 150-W CHEs, for ZooMed deep domes with 150-W basking spot lamps. And wow, those things are mighty! Now, instead of trying to see how low I can hang my devices to increase temperature, I'm having to raise the devices to keep the basking spots from getting too hot. But that's a problem I'm glad to have. Now I'm optimizing their height above the substrate to get a nice temperature of about 100*F.
 
M

Maggie Cummings

Guest
I use black light bulbs from K-Mart. That's what I have always used. I recently was given a couple of CHE's and I discovered they don't put off as much heat as the 60 watt black bulb. Your ambient air should not be much hotter than 75 as you want your animal to thermoregulate. He cools off in the ambient air then goes under the basking bulb to warm up...at least that's the theory. Since I have recently experimented turning off the black bulbs in the day time I see my animals are more active then there were with their ambient air warmer. I hope this makes some kind of sense as I seem to be having a problem explaining myself...whew!
 

Jd3

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
253
maggie3fan said:
I use black light bulbs from K-Mart. That's what I have always used. I recently was given a couple of CHE's and I discovered they don't put off as much heat as the 60 watt black bulb. Your ambient air should not be much hotter than 75 as you want your animal to thermoregulate. He cools off in the ambient air then goes under the basking bulb to warm up...at least that's the theory. Since I have recently experimented turning off the black bulbs in the day time I see my animals are more active then there were with their ambient air warmer. I hope this makes some kind of sense as I seem to be having a problem explaining myself...whew!

A 60 watt Che puts off more heat than a 60 watt incandescent. The simple fact that a lightbulb produce light/heat with the energy consumed and a Che only produces heat. Using a proper larger reflector is very helpful. A standard incandescent is less efficient than a Che.

The black light bulbs do screw with the way animals see. They aren't producing pure "black" light and thus change the colors. Turtle do not see in the way we do.
 

GeoTerraTestudo

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
3,311
Location (City and/or State)
Broomfield, Colorado
Just 60 Watts, eh? And just 72 Watts for Hunter above. Hmm, I'm wondering if I might have to decrease the wattage down from 150 Watts in my lamps, too. Right now I've got them near the maximum height above the substrate, and it's still too hot (about 110*F).
 

Jd3

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
253
A dimmer can be used on your Che to get what you need for cheaper than new bulbs... And more flexibility.
 

GeoTerraTestudo

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
3,311
Location (City and/or State)
Broomfield, Colorado
The CHEs were not quite hot enough at maximum output (no dimmer). I raised the bulbs again, and now they seem to be closer to the 100*F ideal for Russians.
 

GeoTerraTestudo

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
3,311
Location (City and/or State)
Broomfield, Colorado
I raised them way up, and now temperatures seem stable at right around 95*F. Perfect. My Russians seem to be enjoying basking in there, moving in and out periodically. Their appetites seem to be back, too. Yea! :)
 

tortadise

Well-Known Member
Moderator
5 Year Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
9,563
Location (City and/or State)
Tropical South Texas
I was about to say. I always use the 150w+. Easier to take away than add. Glad its working good now.
 

lynnedit

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
5,730
Location (City and/or State)
Southwest Washington
GeoTerraTestudo said:
I raised them way up, and now temperatures seem stable at right around 95*F. Perfect. My Russians seem to be enjoying basking in there, moving in and out periodically. Their appetites seem to be back, too. Yea! :)

You did exactly what I was going to suggest! Either an incandescent 100w or 150w with a brooder or deep dome fixture. Glad you monitored the situation and figured it out!
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
53,899
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Two 150 watt bulbs. Sheesh. I use one 65 watt flood in a hood and lower it to get my 100 degree basking spot. Man, you are burning some power.

Something doesn't sound right with your CHEs. Mine last for decades. I use them in ceramic based Home Depot style 11" hoods and they produce around 20% more heat than an incandescent bulb of the same wattage, because they are not "wasting" any electricity producing light. CHE = 100% heat. Incandescent bulb = 20% light and 80% heat, roughly.
 

GeoTerraTestudo

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
3,311
Location (City and/or State)
Broomfield, Colorado
Tom said:
Two 150 watt bulbs. Sheesh. I use one 65 watt flood in a hood and lower it to get my 100 degree basking spot. Man, you are burning some power.

Something doesn't sound right with your CHEs. Mine last for decades. I use them in ceramic based Home Depot style 11" hoods and they produce around 20% more heat than an incandescent bulb of the same wattage, because they are not "wasting" any electricity producing light. CHE = 100% heat. Incandescent bulb = 20% light and 80% heat, roughly.

Yeah, these 150-W bulbs are really powerful. I had to max out the height on the stands, and lower the level of the substrate to make sure the basking temps don't go over 100*F. Next time, I would probably get a 100-W or less.

And yes, something does appear to be screwy with my CHE setup. I don't know what it could be, because I do use "regulation" ceramic base hoods. I've tried both the black-hooded and the wire-frame types, but it just seems like over time, the output decreases until the hot spot no longer reaches even the bare minimum basking temperature (90*F). The one I had in Florida was fine, but here in Colorado, it seems like they don't last as long. Maybe the contacts get corroded or something in the dry air? Except, if anything, I would expect that to be more likely in a more humid environment. Maybe something is making the CHEs short out? I don't know. What gives?
 

Jd3

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
253
Essentially a che IS just an electrical short. Both wires terminate together and produce heat.
 

GeoTerraTestudo

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
3,311
Location (City and/or State)
Broomfield, Colorado
Jd3 said:
Essentially a che IS just an electrical short. Both wires terminate together and produce heat.

Well, I think it's a resistor. The current backs up in the coils, and that generates heat. If the heat has decreased, that says to me that there is less electricity coursing through the device.

BTW - When I looked at the connector of one of my last hoods (which was failing), the copper spring looked kind of degraded. Maybe that was corrosion reducing the conductance?
 

GeoTerraTestudo

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
3,311
Location (City and/or State)
Broomfield, Colorado
Now that spring has come to Colorado (finally!), I am switching back to my CHEs, because now with higher indoor ambient temperatures (75-78*F), I just can't keep the basking spots under 100*F with those 150-W incandescent bulbs.

The good news is, the CHEs appear to be working normally again, now that I've screwed them into the new Deep Dome hoods. I attribute this to better electricity conduction. Not only do the new hoods have nice, new connections, but I also scraped some "black stuff" off the ends of the CHEs before screwing them in. I suppose that "black stuff" was some kind of carbonized material, interfering with conduction. Fortunately, they are now they are working again. :)
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top