My first tortoise enclosure, anything wrong?

Jan A

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Ok, I am very confused. Everywhere else I see says I need uva light but "Tom" says it I bad to have it. I will add a cover, top layer of cypress mulch and a better uvb bulb, but I am still confused on lighting.
As a newer member without a tort, the newest aspect of concerns about UVB lighting is (1) certain brands don't work or work for only a short period of time & then fail, (2) cannot be measured as to output without a guage, (3) may be responsible for harming the the tort's eyes or causing the tort's shell to dry out & cause pyramiding, & (4) may be unnecessary if your tort can be outside for an hour or so in sunlight 3 or 4 times/week. If you look thru some recent threads, you will see a debate ongoing about UVB lighting among several owners, including Tom, about new recommendations regarding UVB.

With respect to keeping temps & humidity up in indoor enclosures, especially for hatchlings & young torts, Tom's right. In any climate with colder temps, you can't with open enclosures. Again, look thru the recent threads. There are many owners who use a greenhouse tent over the open enclosure, mount their lights, etc., for cheap buying the tent on Amazon.

There are all kinds of ways to get thru the care sheets & make adjustments, & almost everyone on this site has done it or this forum would not be here. They do it & they talk about what works & what doesn't work. We support each other all around the world.

Do the very best you can do for your tort & offer him the best care you can. The care sheets represent the very best & current info we have, put together by owners & breeders with years & years of experience. And all of it is subject to factors like your climate, your home, your family, other animals you own, your job, your health & everything going on in your life.

Use the forum for questions. Look on Craigslist for used equipment. There are ways to get done what you want to get done, so don't be discouraged. There are people to bounce things off of & think things thru here. We are here to help.
 

Lady Boxsworth

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Jun 2, 2021
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I just built my first tortoise table, I originally had my baby redfoot I a Tupperware container but decided he deserved better. It is 6 foot by 2 foot with a hot hide and a cold hide. I am getting sphagnum moss later this week. I was wondering if there was anything I could improve.
Just keep UVB light and high temp and humidity not one too low or high from the other. A recommend a reptile humidifier. Plus a place it can crawl into and soak. Good work
 

KarenSoCal

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So should I take out the uva bulb and put a CHE there instead?
I just purchased a non spiral uvb bulb and a ceramic heat emmiter from flookers.
The heat emitter is good. It will mostly be used at night when the lights are all off. The CHE requires a thermostat to control it automatically. The CHE gets plugged into the thermostat, and the thermostat plugs into the wall. You set the thermostat to the lowest temp you will allow the enclosure to get. When the temp goes below that setting, the t'stat will turn on the CHE. It will bring the temp up a few degrees, then the t'stat will shut off the CHE until the temp falls again...

The non spiral UVB bulb that you got is probably not the kind of UVB that you need. The non spirals do not tend to burn the eyes, so that's great! However, they are unreliable re' the amount of UVB that they actually put out. Additionally, if you got one that is a 'spot' type bulb, they funnel the heat and light into an intense 8spot. That concentrated point of light tends to dessicate the carapace, and eventually it actually burns the shell.

The proper UVB setup is a fluorescent tube type. The first purchase you must buy the fixture, and that usually comes with a bulb. After that first time, you only need to replace the bulb.
You only need a small dim light...this would work for you.

If you look at post #32 on this page you'll see that I already showed you what you need to get, but you went and got another bulb that's no good for your tort. We are trying to help you, but you need to allow the help. Tell us before you buy stuff, and we'll help to prevent buying wrong equipment.

Since you don't need a basking light, and the UVB light only needs to be on for 2 hours/day, you may want to leave the UVA bulb in there just for light to see. Or some folks put some LED lights in to light the tank dimly. Either works...it's your preference.
 

Jaxattack

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Aug 7, 2020
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Location (City and/or State)
Ohio
The heat emitter is good. It will mostly be used at night when the lights are all off. The CHE requires a thermostat to control it automatically. The CHE gets plugged into the thermostat, and the thermostat plugs into the wall. You set the thermostat to the lowest temp you will allow the enclosure to get. When the temp goes below that setting, the t'stat will turn on the CHE. It will bring the temp up a few degrees, then the t'stat will shut off the CHE until the temp falls again...

The non spiral UVB bulb that you got is probably not the kind of UVB that you need. The non spirals do not tend to burn the eyes, so that's great! However, they are unreliable re' the amount of UVB that they actually put out. Additionally, if you got one that is a 'spot' type bulb, they funnel the heat and light into an intense 8spot. That concentrated point of light tends to dessicate the carapace, and eventually it actually burns the shell.

The proper UVB setup is a fluorescent tube type. The first purchase you must buy the fixture, and that usually comes with a bulb. After that first time, you only need to replace the bulb.
You only need a small dim light...this would work for you.

If you look at post #32 on this page you'll see that I already showed you what you need to get, but you went and got another bulb that's no good for your tort. We are trying to help you, but you need to allow the help. Tell us before you buy stuff, and we'll help to prevent buying wrong equipment.

Since you don't need a basking light, and the UVB light only needs to be on for 2 hours/day, you may want to leave the UVA bulb in there just for light to see. Or some folks put some LED lights in to light the tank dimly. Either works...it's your preference.
I got the fluorescent bulb. Thanks for the help dude. Also does the CHE just go into a heat lamp?
 

Jaxattack

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I'm also pretty sure the CHE I got doesn't have a thermostat so I might just turn it on at night
 

KarenSoCal

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Jul 8, 2017
Messages
5,165
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
I got the fluorescent bulb. Thanks for the help dude. Also does the CHE just go into a heat lamp?
I'm also pretty sure the CHE I got doesn't have a thermostat so I might just turn it on at night
The CHE can just go into a ceramic socket, or into a dome holder that has a ceramic socket. CHE's burn VERY hot, so the ceramic is essential to not melt the socket.

The thermostat does not come with the CHE...it's a separate purchase. If you turn on the CHE, even only at night, it will constantly be on and could cook your tort. Plus it will cost a lot of electricity to run.

The t'stat will turn the CHE on only when the temp drops enough for it to be necessary, then shuts it off when the temp gets a few degrees warmer, just like the t'stat on your furnace at home.

They are not very expensive. You can order one from Amazon, or buy one at a well stocked pet store.

This is a really nice one. It has 2 outlets in case you need another CHE, and you can set a temp for daytime and a temp for night. Inkbird is a good product.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01486LZ50/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20
 

Jaxattack

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Joined
Aug 7, 2020
Messages
23
Location (City and/or State)
Ohio
The CHE can just go into a ceramic socket, or into a dome holder that has a ceramic socket. CHE's burn VERY hot, so the ceramic is essential to not melt the socket.

The thermostat does not come with the CHE...it's a separate purchase. If you turn on the CHE, even only at night, it will constantly be on and could cook your tort. Plus it will cost a lot of electricity to run.

The t'stat will turn the CHE on only when the temp drops enough for it to be necessary, then shuts it off when the temp gets a few degrees warmer, just like the t'stat on your furnace at home.

They are not very expensive. You can order one from Amazon, or buy one at a well stocked pet store.

This is a really nice one. It has 2 outlets in case you need another CHE, and you can set a temp for daytime and a temp for night. Inkbird is a good product.
Thanks for all the help dude!
 
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