Really wanting a platynota. Have some questions.

thecrawlingchaos

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I've recently gotten the Burmese star bug. I've been reading the threads here and am trying to figure out if it's a good idea or not.

My first step was to look at the temps/humidity in my reptile room and see where I need to go from there. This brings my first question. My temps during the day without any supplemental heat are in the 83f range this time of year. My humidity is around 50 percent, but that's something that obviously will get worked on if I decide to get one. As for the temps, do I need any additional heat in this situation? Maybe a low wattage flood bulb? I have a pile of CHEs of various wattages and will def use one to maintain night heat, which still hangs around 80. Seems like a thermostat will be key here.

My second question pertains to UV. Am I reading right when I see people recommending limiting UV exposure? I doubt mine would get much sun, so some artificial source will be needed. Is 2-3 hours enough?

Lastly, I keep reading about closed chambers. Is it best to get a closed chamber with no vents at all? Most prefab PVC cages seem to have at least some small side ventilation. Am I better off having someone build a plywood enclosure that can contain everything with zero ventilation? I'm not great at fabrication, but I can build a box. Doors would be the tough part for me.

I lied about the last part being the end. This question is more out of curiosity than anything. Is it best to get two or three hatchlings of you think you might want a group in time, or should you start with one, then add to the group? I seem to see people buying multiple babies a lot. I wasn't sure if it made any real difference.

Thanks, everyone. I really appreciate all of the knowledge people provide here.
 

TeamZissou

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I've recently gotten the Burmese star bug. I've been reading the threads here and am trying to figure out if it's a good idea or not.

My first step was to look at the temps/humidity in my reptile room and see where I need to go from there. This brings my first question. My temps during the day without any supplemental heat are in the 83f range this time of year. My humidity is around 50 percent, but that's something that obviously will get worked on if I decide to get one. As for the temps, do I need any additional heat in this situation? Maybe a low wattage flood bulb? I have a pile of CHEs of various wattages and will def use one to maintain night heat, which still hangs around 80. Seems like a thermostat will be key here.

My second question pertains to UV. Am I reading right when I see people recommending limiting UV exposure? I doubt mine would get much sun, so some artificial source will be needed. Is 2-3 hours enough?

Lastly, I keep reading about closed chambers. Is it best to get a closed chamber with no vents at all? Most prefab PVC cages seem to have at least some small side ventilation. Am I better off having someone build a plywood enclosure that can contain everything with zero ventilation? I'm not great at fabrication, but I can build a box. Doors would be the tough part for me.

I lied about the last part being the end. This question is more out of curiosity than anything. Is it best to get two or three hatchlings of you think you might want a group in time, or should you start with one, then add to the group? I seem to see people buying multiple babies a lot. I wasn't sure if it made any real difference.

Thanks, everyone. I really appreciate all of the knowledge people provide here.

Here's a post that has all the care info you need:


Regarding the ventilation, no chamber is totally sealed; there are small gaps around the doors, and some air gets exchanged when you open and close them. This is sufficient. The closed nature of the chamber helps keep the humidity up. You can either built or buy. If you build, seal wood with Rustoleum countertop paint. Preferably, you'd build it out of expanded PVC board. Places like Animal Plastics sell PVC enclosures.

Yes it's good to limit UV to no more than is necessary to avoid UV-induced pyramiding. People are finding running the lamp only an 1-1.5 hours is enough. With some outdoor time a few days per week you can avoid buying a UV lamp.

Get one, or three (or more) pairs don't work.

Lastly, I know a guy who has some available. They are kept in ideal conditions:


 

turtlesteve

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Are you keeping them just as pets, or hope to breed when they grow up?

If you want to breed my advice is to buy a bigger group to try and make sure you get both sexes. I bought two hatchlings, raised them, and ended up with two females. Then I had to pay more for adult males. A worse (and unfortunately common) situation is getting all or mostly all males.
 

Tom

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I've recently gotten the Burmese star bug. I've been reading the threads here and am trying to figure out if it's a good idea or not.

My first step was to look at the temps/humidity in my reptile room and see where I need to go from there. This brings my first question. My temps during the day without any supplemental heat are in the 83f range this time of year. My humidity is around 50 percent, but that's something that obviously will get worked on if I decide to get one. As for the temps, do I need any additional heat in this situation? Maybe a low wattage flood bulb? I have a pile of CHEs of various wattages and will def use one to maintain night heat, which still hangs around 80. Seems like a thermostat will be key here.

My second question pertains to UV. Am I reading right when I see people recommending limiting UV exposure? I doubt mine would get much sun, so some artificial source will be needed. Is 2-3 hours enough?

Lastly, I keep reading about closed chambers. Is it best to get a closed chamber with no vents at all? Most prefab PVC cages seem to have at least some small side ventilation. Am I better off having someone build a plywood enclosure that can contain everything with zero ventilation? I'm not great at fabrication, but I can build a box. Doors would be the tough part for me.

I lied about the last part being the end. This question is more out of curiosity than anything. Is it best to get two or three hatchlings of you think you might want a group in time, or should you start with one, then add to the group? I seem to see people buying multiple babies a lot. I wasn't sure if it made any real difference.

Thanks, everyone. I really appreciate all of the knowledge people provide here.
You definitely want a closed chamber. Venting is good, but too much venting is not. The idea is to contain the humidified air inside the enclosure. Too humid? Open up the vents and lets some humidity out. Not staying humid enough? Close up some of the venting. In practice this is very easy.

I used to build my chambers. Wood just doesn't hold up with this kind of heat and humidity. Works much better if you buy a proper closed chamber made of expanded PVC. @Markw84 makes fantastic ones. I'm picking up my second from him this weekend. I also helped a friend assemble two doubles, and they are amazing. You'll want humidity for this species to be 80-100% all the time. Monsoon conditions. Adults are fine when kept drier, but growing babies need that humidity.

83 is on the cool side for any star. That is a good minimum ambient at night, but during the day, ambient temps should climb to the high 80s or low 90s. They still need a basking area too. A heat lamp in a closed chamber will usually accomplish this.

If you buy a UV meter and use it outside, you will see that there is a spike in the UV levels mid day. Very little in the morning or afternoon. There is no point and no need to run high levels of UV all day every day. An hour of access to sunshine once or twice a week is plenty. If your climate prevents that. Indoor UV is fine too. Use the HO tubes, if indoor UV is needed.

This species has a terrific personality. They seldom fight in any grouping at any age and with any sex ratio. Buy a bunch and raise them together. When you can finally tell male from female, separate them. Let the females live as one group, and the males as another. Once the female exceed 3000 grams, you can add in a male or two. Its so simple with this species. Males get along just as well as the females of some other species. I have six unrelated females, and you can get other unrelated babies from other sellers. Only buy from breeders who soak daily and keep them mostly indoors in warm humid closed chambers. Don't buy from a breeder that keeps them outside all day.

Questions are welcome.
 

Mrs.Jennifer

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I've recently gotten the Burmese star bug. I've been reading the threads here and am trying to figure out if it's a good idea or not.

My first step was to look at the temps/humidity in my reptile room and see where I need to go from there. This brings my first question. My temps during the day without any supplemental heat are in the 83f range this time of year. My humidity is around 50 percent, but that's something that obviously will get worked on if I decide to get one. As for the temps, do I need any additional heat in this situation? Maybe a low wattage flood bulb? I have a pile of CHEs of various wattages and will def use one to maintain night heat, which still hangs around 80. Seems like a thermostat will be key here.

My second question pertains to UV. Am I reading right when I see people recommending limiting UV exposure? I doubt mine would get much sun, so some artificial source will be needed. Is 2-3 hours enough?

Lastly, I keep reading about closed chambers. Is it best to get a closed chamber with no vents at all? Most prefab PVC cages seem to have at least some small side ventilation. Am I better off having someone build a plywood enclosure that can contain everything with zero ventilation? I'm not great at fabrication, but I can build a box. Doors would be the tough part for me.

I lied about the last part being the end. This question is more out of curiosity than anything. Is it best to get two or three hatchlings of you think you might want a group in time, or should you start with one, then add to the group? I seem to see people buying multiple babies a lot. I wasn't sure if it made any real difference.

Thanks, everyone. I really appreciate all of the knowledge people provide here.
I have a PVC enclosure that my husband, my father and I built. I do not have vents, but the wires for heating and lighting run through two 1.5" diameter holes. I control the humidity by how much water I pour into the substrate and how often I add it. It works like a dream! No more humidifier or space heater trying to keep up the humidity and temperature in the Connecticut winter. If we can build one, so can you. We followed this tutorial found here on the forum:

 

thecrawlingchaos

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Thanks for the replies, everyone. I checked out the Animal Plastics site and their enclosures are a lot more reasonable than I had expected. As for that, how long would a 48 by 30 last a single hatchling? Two? Is there any downside to starting with a larger one in order to avoid spending more money on a new one within a year? You've all given me a lot to consider here.
 

Tom

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Thanks for the replies, everyone. I checked out the Animal Plastics site and their enclosures are a lot more reasonable than I had expected. As for that, how long would a 48 by 30 last a single hatchling? Two? Is there any downside to starting with a larger one in order to avoid spending more money on a new one within a year? You've all given me a lot to consider here.
48 x 30 should last about two years for a single or a trio. I'd never recommend a pair. I find it works best if you have a large outdoor enclosure to use during warm weather too.

I get the 96x36" ones and divide them in half for babies. I use the 18 inch tall ones because I stack them three high, but the 24-30 inch tall ones work much better if you aren't stacking them three high.

AP enclosures are fantastic and reasonably priced, but the wait is 7-8 months after ordering. @Markw84 also makes superb enclosures and the wait time for his is usually less than a month. Often only two weeks depending on how many people have ordered.
 

thecrawlingchaos

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I have another question about lighting: Do I need to run the T5HO fixture the entire length of the enclosure? Is it better to go with a larger say 24-48 inch bulb in a 4ft chamber or will a 18 inch bulb get it done?
 

Tom

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I have another question about lighting: Do I need to run the T5HO fixture the entire length of the enclosure? Is it better to go with a larger say 24-48 inch bulb in a 4ft chamber or will a 18 inch bulb get it done?
I don't think they make an 18" HO. I use the 22" Arcadia bulbs in a 48" enclosure.
 

thecrawlingchaos

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Alright, I think I have things running to where they're where I need them. My humidity is between 83-87 all day , and my daytime ambient with a 60W flood is 87 most of the time. It never goes under 77 without a CHE, which I'm running atrial with for the next few days. I can't imagine it won't get over 80. I have a Tropic Sun fluorescent for ambient light and a T5H0 5.0 in a 24 inch fixture for UVB.

I had my first drop in humidity today. It went to 67 for the first time, but went back to 86 after I added some water to the bark. This is the first time I've added any since last Sunday. Is that a normal amount of time to start needing to add water? I'll see how it holds thru Friday. I have a water bowl (terracotta) and a black dish tub hide set up. My pothos and spider plant seem to be doing okay, although the pothos has had some yellowing in the leaves. They are both huge old plants that will provide lots of cover. Just need to iron out a few things, like a timer for the T5HO and possible a thermostat for the CHE and it will be time to add a tortoise!
 

TeamZissou

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Alright, I think I have things running to where they're where I need them. My humidity is between 83-87 all day , and my daytime ambient with a 60W flood is 87 most of the time. It never goes under 77 without a CHE, which I'm running atrial with for the next few days. I can't imagine it won't get over 80. I have a Tropic Sun fluorescent for ambient light and a T5H0 5.0 in a 24 inch fixture for UVB.

I had my first drop in humidity today. It went to 67 for the first time, but went back to 86 after I added some water to the bark. This is the first time I've added any since last Sunday. Is that a normal amount of time to start needing to add water? I'll see how it holds thru Friday. I have a water bowl (terracotta) and a black dish tub hide set up. My pothos and spider plant seem to be doing okay, although the pothos has had some yellowing in the leaves. They are both huge old plants that will provide lots of cover. Just need to iron out a few things, like a timer for the T5HO and possible a thermostat for the CHE and it will be time to add a tortoise!

What did you end up getting for an enclosure?

I would get rid of the fluorescent for ambient light. Regular fluorescent bulbs produce a lot of UVA which can cause excessive drying of the carapace and induce pyramiding, especially in species prone to pyramid such as stars.

LEDs don't produce such UVA and also run a bit cooler, use less power etc. Depending on the length of your fixture, you can buy a LED bulb to fit it. AgroMax makes a 48" 6400k color temp LED bulb. Otherwise, I would look for 'under cabinet' LEDs on Amazon in a ~6400k color temp.
 

thecrawlingchaos

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What did you end up getting for an enclosure?

I would get rid of the fluorescent for ambient light. Regular fluorescent bulbs produce a lot of UVA which can cause excessive drying of the carapace and induce pyramiding, especially in species prone to pyramid such as stars.

LEDs don't produce such UVA and also run a bit cooler, use less power etc. Depending on the length of your fixture, you can buy a LED bulb to fit it. AgroMax makes a 48" 6400k color temp LED bulb. Otherwise, I would look for 'under cabinet' LEDs on Amazon in a ~6400k color temp.

Well, I found out that there was a greenhouse that my mother had given my wife out in our shed. It has a metal frame and a cover that goes over the frame. I built the frame around a 75 gallon tank and then placed the cover over the frame. I hung the lights from the high bar fo the frame, which provided about 8 inches of additional height for the heat sources to hang from, another plus. None of the heat sources are in contact with the outer skin. I've put both tube lights over the center brace away from the heat sources. It's holding humidity better than I thought it would, although I am having to add water every 4 days with the heat sources running. It's never gone below 78 percent and gets as high as 89. It's average is 83-85 percent.

I have a grow shop nearby, so I will look for a LED plant bulb for ambient light. Is the Arcadia Jungle Dawn useful for this purpose?
 

thecrawlingchaos

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I had not heard of these. Yes it seems to be an appropriate bulb since the color temp is 6500 K. Looks like it does require its own fixture, which Arcadia also sells.
I skipped the bulb and bought the Jungle Dawn LED Bar. It says it plugs straight into the wall.
 

thecrawlingchaos

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I'm seeing that most are using the Arcadia T5 12% bulb. I assume I need to go higher than the Zoo Med 5.0? I don't see Arcadia 12% T% bulbs anywhere, just 14%. Will this be fine or maybe the Zoo Med 10.0?
 

TeamZissou

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Here's the 12% bulb:


You could also use the ZooMed 10.0 bulb. The 5.0 bulbs are said to put out very little UVB but I have never tested one. They are probably most useful in very low height situations.

Ultimately you'll also need a Solarmeter 6.5 if you do not already have one. You'll need to alter the height and measure the UV Index (UVI) and dial it in to whatever value is recommended for platynota, probably around 3.0. I'd only run it for 1.5 hours at most, midday.

Here's one of the cheapest sources I've found:
 
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