Indoor enclosure

Pearly

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Looks great!!!! It's been really cool to watch it grow and take shape. I'm very happy for you that you've been able to do this
 

NDevon

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Just read all of this, it's stunning! What are the 4 black boxes on the walls we can see in pictures - 3 on back wall one above window, yellow and white wires going in/out? At first I thought they were speakers, do your tortoises like to DJ in the evenings?
 

Anyfoot

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Just read all of this, it's stunning! What are the 4 black boxes on the walls we can see in pictures - 3 on back wall one above window, yellow and white wires going in/out? At first I thought they were speakers, do your tortoises like to DJ in the evenings?
Yeah, their favorite is 'wet wet wet'. :D

They have got thermostats in them. The yellow wires will go to the mains. The white wires come from heat panels. The boxes are to keep water and humidity out of the stats.
I've got the heat on at the moment trialing it out. Seems OK. May need another heat panel. Not sure yet. I'm getting about an ambient of 24c. Caves are 27c to 29c. I need another area around the 30c mark near the opposite end to caves for juveniles in tables. Bare in mind it's still -1 to -3c at night here.
I planted loads of seeds a couple of weeks ago so have kept out of there for a bit. Got a guy coming soon to wire it up to house and get running water in there.
 

NDevon

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Oooh I bet there are loads of songs they would love, got me thinking now!

Is 24 about the right level for the ambient temperature? What sort of heaters are you having to use to achieve that with minus 3 outside? And what sort of power does it take to achieve that temperature?

I'm thinking way ahead and coming up with ideas, I'm interested in the concept of heating a large volume of water in a tank (insulated, not a glass aquarium) and possibly using solar energy to generate some of the heat, then pumping the warm (ideally very warm) water through the soil, so a little like an underfloor heating system. The other idea is somehow heating a large volume of heavy material that holds heat well, maybe earth, maybe clay, so that it releases the heat overnight.

No idea if it can work, just having fun coming up with ideas really!

Please keep posting pics and updates, it's a great read and you should be very proud. When do you hope to get the tortoises in?
 

Anyfoot

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Oooh I bet there are loads of songs they would love, got me thinking now!

Is 24 about the right level for the ambient temperature? What sort of heaters are you having to use to achieve that with minus 3 outside? And what sort of power does it take to achieve that temperature?

I'm thinking way ahead and coming up with ideas, I'm interested in the concept of heating a large volume of water in a tank (insulated, not a glass aquarium) and possibly using solar energy to generate some of the heat, then pumping the warm (ideally very warm) water through the soil, so a little like an underfloor heating system. The other idea is somehow heating a large volume of heavy material that holds heat well, maybe earth, maybe clay, so that it releases the heat overnight.

No idea if it can work, just having fun coming up with ideas really!

Please keep posting pics and updates, it's a great read and you should be very proud. When do you hope to get the tortoises in?
Power wise, I don't know yet. But I have 1880watts in there at the moment. This won't be on permanently, they are all on proportional stats which means instead of on or off they drip feed electric. Supposedly keeps a more ambient accuracy and results in cheaper to run.
I'm aiming to get the ambient to about 27c.
The heat panels are infrared and only operate at 95c +/-5. In each cave I have a 200watt. Directly under the CHE's I've got it at 30c at tort level.

I considered running hot water pipes up from the central heating system in the house. But would have gone into mega bucks. Boiler not powerful enough. Also I'm not sure how accurate the temps would be using water. Water takes time to cool, and heat, not sure how it would work battling with weather temps.
 

NDevon

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I don't think it would be practical to take the pipes out of the house connected to central heating, as you said very costly and would need a big boiler. I'm looking at warm water through pipes as a way of getting the base temperature up, so instead of needing aor heaters to take the temperature from near zero it's heating from a higher level, reducing costs and less strain on the heaters. No idea how practical it is as I said.

Under 2k is much lower than I thought you would say, and if it's not all on at once that's not going to cost a fortune to run. I saw how well you insulated the roof, and obviously having the large amount of soil in is going to help retain heat. The brick built hides should hold a lot of heat too.

Are you planning any comfy seating I there so you can sit and enjoy the tortoises? Not very 'natural environment' but I think I'd be out here all the time!
 

Anyfoot

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I don't think it would be practical to take the pipes out of the house connected to central heating, as you said very costly and would need a big boiler. I'm looking at warm water through pipes as a way of getting the base temperature up, so instead of needing aor heaters to take the temperature from near zero it's heating from a higher level, reducing costs and less strain on the heaters. No idea how practical it is as I said.

Under 2k is much lower than I thought you would say, and if it's not all on at once that's not going to cost a fortune to run. I saw how well you insulated the roof, and obviously having the large amount of soil in is going to help retain heat. The brick built hides should hold a lot of heat too.

Are you planning any comfy seating I there so you can sit and enjoy the tortoises? Not very 'natural environment' but I think I'd be out here all the time!
I agree on your aspect with hot water as a background heat then topped up with heaters. If you can heat water with gas it's cheaper still.
I originally thought I'd need 2.3k of wattage. Think it's heading that way. I should be able to get a lower tariff too when using more wattage.
Building this has made me appreciate space or lack of a lot more. This is 300sq ft, and I can't do everything I intended doing. Yes I need to have an area so we can chill and just watch our torts. Beats watching EastEnders and Corry. Lol. I'm hoping they are in in the next couple of months. Dawn wants her room back. :D
 

NDevon

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Should have made the pond into more of a pool, then you could have enjoyed a swim in there too! Did you have to build the structure from scratch too or have you converted something? You've probably said somewhere in the thread but don't remember seeing it.
 

Anyfoot

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omarnegron

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Not much new to see with the eye.
Got all soil in.
I seeded almost everything with grass, white clover, red clover, crimson clover(in patches) dandilions,broad plantain,narrow leaf plantain and 5 types of edible wild flowers.
Put a few plalms in. One white and one red grape vine (hoping these grow along the cave fronts). One hibiscus in the middle, and a type of fig tree that should, hopefully grow up the wall.
I'll keep adding plants as we go.
Going to have window boxes on the walls to to grow stuff.

Next I need to finish of waterfall and wier area. Also need to some how put some grip on that ramp.
Still a bit to do yet. But thought I could let it start growing for now.
View attachment 165855 View attachment 165856 View attachment 165857
Wow!!!
 

NDevon

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Look at this thread. Let me tell you, cleaning 2500 bricks is no fun. :D

http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/my-new-tortoise-site.111412/


Amazing work, your tortoises are very lucky and you should be very proud. It's so nice to see so many people on here who care so much for their animals, too many people want to stick them in the smallest space possible and leave it at that, I love to read about people looking to push the boundaries and seeing how much space they can possibly provide the tortoises.
 

NDevon

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Just been reading this again, I can't see if you said how big the room is - what size is it?

And he heat panels, I've found them ranging from around £60 to £150 each, what sort of price did you pay? I always worry with electrical stuff, such a risk of buying something that doesn't work, if something is too cheap I wonder if it's not up to the job, but not sure what sort of price these should be.
 

Anyfoot

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Just been reading this again, I can't see if you said how big the room is - what size is it?

And he heat panels, I've found them ranging from around £60 to £150 each, what sort of price did you pay? I always worry with electrical stuff, such a risk of buying something that doesn't work, if something is too cheap I wonder if it's not up to the job, but not sure what sort of price these should be.
Room is 4x6m. Went for longer than wider to get a better heat gradient hopefully. With the upper tier on caves I've managed to get about 300sq ft.
The heat panels were £115 without ceiling brackets. From warm4less. 320watt. They do bigger like 580watt but my stats are only 600watt. So thought that was a bit close to the bone. Also each panel is on its own stat incase something goes wrong with one they don't all go down. Obviously a powercut would still be a nightmare. Although we've not had a powercut in the 3 yrs I've been here.
 

NDevon

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Nice size. I'm pondering some kind of good quality but temporary building - posh shed I guess - until I can do a big build.

Those prices seem very reasonable, I like that they can go on pulsing stats as well. Plus they look good and are very unobtrusive.

Power cuts are a real problem for me. Our power goes out regularly, we have trips at least once a day and most days it happens a few times, this isn't too bad if everything resets correctly when it comes back on as it's never off for long when it trips. We do have a fair few longer outages that are not local - the trips are down to the complicated mains on the farm, but the outages tend to be caused by something in one of the nearby villages down the line that knocks it out. I'd guess we have had 3 since Christmas Eve that have lasted hours, it went at 4pm Christmas Eve and we were told it wouldn't be sorted until Boxing Day, luckily it was back on later in the evening or it would have been BBQ turkey!!

The guys are getting new generators in the milking parlour but we can't tap into that really, not sure I want to start delving into back up generator systems, last time I looked the costs made me shudder. I guess if things were well insulated it shouldn't be too bad if it went out, it's rare that it's out for more than a day.

I hadn't even thought of power cut implications until you mentioned it...... Urgh!
 

NDevon

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Apologies if I missed it, but are you using any UV lighting in there? Not sure I have the time to read it all again just for that, it's easier to ask!!
 

Anyfoot

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Apologies if I missed it, but are you using any UV lighting in there? Not sure I have the time to read it all again just for that, it's easier to ask!!
My UVB not in yet. It's the last thing I'm putting in. I need to know where plants establish and where the torts go the most for best uvb position. I'm going to use 160watt mega Ray. These project uv for up to 8ft. I will have them on a timer from 10am to 2pm.
 

Anyfoot

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Apologies if I missed it, but are you using any UV lighting in there? Not sure I have the time to read it all again just for that, it's easier to ask!!
My UVB not in yet. It's the last thing I'm putting in. I need to know where plants establish and where the torts go the most for best uvb position. I'm going to use 160watt mega Ray. These project uv for up to 8ft. I will have them on a timer from 10am to 2pm.
Ahh yes I remember you mentioning the Mega Ray - anything that sounds like a space gun must be good!
160watt Mega Ray ZOO is the 8ft projection. Normal 160watt Mega Ray does 3ft.
Hopefully if that works out ok I can put the misting system below the level of all my lights and heat panels.
 
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