Using che in an closed encloser

Cleopatra 2020

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Just got a 150w che which I'm installing in an closed encloser....the tote is 39L x 19W x 20H so I'm assuming about 50+ gal...I'm using a plywood lid that I've put a 10" square pattern of foil tape on the bottom side where the che is poking thru in the middle and hangs a good 4-5 inches under the lid while the socket is positioned halh way in the hole...what I'm wondering is should I use a dimmer switch to controll the heat so it's not too hot.....and does anyone use this method and how well does it control the heat....the che guide said 150w che should be used for 50 gallon enclosure or bigger....but it gets really hot in there100°+... if a dimmer is safe enough to use I will try that route maybe even get a thermostat if doable any suggestions? Picture of the tote attached 20200402_185205.jpg
 

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If you have it on a thermostat that's fine, but without the thermostat to tell it when to turn on and off, 150 is probably too big for that enclosure.
 

Cleopatra 2020

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If you have it on a thermostat that's fine, but without the thermostat to tell it when to turn on and off, 150 is probably too big for that enclosure.
100w ? Maybe....a dimmer might help... maybe I'll just go back to PetSmart tonight and Exchange it for a hundred Watt
 

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If you use a dimmer, you will constantly have to adjust it all day every day. Use a thermostat. Set it and forget it. Well... don't forget it completely. Keep an eye on the temperature, but you know what I mean. The thermostat will maintain the correct temperature day and night 24/7. During the day when the basking lamp is on and the enclosure warms up, the thermostat will keep the CHE off since it is not needed. If its a cold day in your house and the basking lamp isn't keeping the enclosure warm enough, the CHE will make up the difference. If its a hot summer day, the thermostat will keep the CHE off until its needed in the middle of the night when temperatures drop and the heat lamp is off.

I use this one, but there are other ones too at a similar price.
If find them to be very reliable. I've been using a dozen or more of them all over my ranch in multiple applications and in 10 years of daily use of 12 of them, I've had two fail. One failed because it got submerged in a flood. Hardly the fault of the thermostat. The other one stuck on in one of my dirty outdoor night boxes for adult tortoises. I noticed the temperature was too high, replaced the thermostat with an extra that I had on hand, and there was never a problem. That is a pretty good track record in my book. None of them have ever failed in indoor conditions.
 

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Cleopatra 2020

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I just bought this one I seen a post from one of the other members of The Forum and said this works really good for great price I just have to wire it myself which I am completely capable of doing....lol.. the only bummer is it doesn't get here till Friday so I'll have to use the dimmer and keep my eye on things until then
 

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Cleopatra 2020

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If you use a dimmer, you will constantly have to adjust it all day every day. Use a thermostat. Set it and forget it. Well... don't forget it completely. Keep an eye on the temperature, but you know what I mean. The thermostat will maintain the correct temperature day and night 24/7. During the day when the basking lamp is on and the enclosure warms up, the thermostat will keep the CHE off since it is not needed. If its a cold day in your house and the basking lamp isn't keeping the enclosure warm enough, the CHE will make up the difference. If its a hot summer day, the thermostat will keep the CHE off until its needed in the middle of the night when temperatures drop and the heat lamp is off.

I use this one, but there are other ones too at a similar price.
If find them to be very reliable. I've been using a dozen or more of them all over my ranch in multiple applications and in 10 years of daily use of 12 of them, I've had two fail. One failed because it got submerged in a flood. Hardly the fault of the thermostat. The other one stuck on in one of my dirty outdoor night boxes for adult tortoises. I noticed the temperature was too high, replaced the thermostat with an extra that I had on hand, and there was never a problem. That is a pretty good track record in my book. None of them have ever failed in indoor conditions.
well I was thinking of using it during the day with the UVB light so there's enough Heat and the reason I didn't put a basking bulb in yet is she's only 3 months old on the 12th she hasn't come in the mail yet but I want to be prepared in advance
 

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well I was thinking of using it during the day with the UVB light so there's enough Heat and the reason I didn't put a basking bulb in yet is she's only 3 months old on the 12th she hasn't come in the mail yet but I want to be prepared in advance
They need a basking area on day one. Age has nothing to do with it.

The CHE should be used for ambient heat maintenance, not for basking heat.

You can run a rheostat on the basking bulb to dial in the correct basking temp.
 

Cleopatra 2020

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They need a basking area on day one. Age has nothing to do with it.

The CHE should be used for ambient heat maintenance, not for basking heat.

You can run a rheostat on the basking bulb to dial in the correct basking temp.
I'm using the che for night heat since I'm eliminating the purple night bulb...I located the che in the middle for consistent temp all over
 

Cleopatra 2020

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They need a basking area on day one. Age has nothing to do with it.

The CHE should be used for ambient heat maintenance, not for basking heat.

You can run a rheostat on the basking bulb to dial in the correct basking temp.
However that being said I can put a basking bulb at one end but the temp will be cooler at one end
 

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What is the best basking temp for a young leopard? Mine tried to get to 105 today so I raised it a bit...
 

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I'm using the che for night heat since I'm eliminating the purple night bulb...I located the che in the middle for consistent temp all over
Perfect. Now using a thermostat will make sure it holds a minimum temp for you. Put the probe for the thermostat dow low near tort level ov
 

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What is the best basking temp for a young leopard? Mine tried to get to 105 today so I raised it a bit...
You did perfect. I prefer 65 watt flood bulbs, but I'll go higher or lower wattage as needed to get the correct temps.
 

Cleopatra 2020

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Oh okay sounds like I could plug in the Basking bulb to the thermostat during the day and plug in the che to it at night for Darkness sounds perfect
 

Cleopatra 2020

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hey Tom I noticed you said you use your c h e for ambient temperature can they be installed inside the enclosures? Someone had a a ceramic base they use to mount there is I'm pretty sure it was a c h e down inside the enclosure though just curious if this is really too hot for any size c h e to be down inside the enclosure... any thoughts?
 

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Oh okay sounds like I could plug in the Basking bulb to the thermostat during the day and plug in the che to it at night for Darkness sounds perfect
No. Your basking bulb should not be plugged into a thermostat in most cases. You don't want the "sun" to be going on and off all day. If your basking bulb is overheating your enclosure, then get a lower wattage bulb, or run it on a rheostat and dial it down a little.

The thermostat will need to be dedicated just to the CHE and it will maintain the correct temperature day and night.
 

Tom

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hey Tom I noticed you said you use your c h e for ambient temperature can they be installed inside the enclosures? Someone had a a ceramic base they use to mount there is I'm pretty sure it was a c h e down inside the enclosure though just curious if this is really too hot for any size c h e to be down inside the enclosure... any thoughts?
Closed chambers work best when all the heating and lighting is contained INSIDE the chamber. This makes for the most stable conditions for the tortoise by avoiding the chimney effect, and also greatly reduces electrical usage. The CHE will not be too hot because it will be controlled by a thermostat.

  • There are four elements to heating and lighting:
    1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt floods from the hardware store. I run them on a timer and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. You can mount a fixture on the ceiling, or hang a dome lamp from the ceiling. Go lower or higher wattage if this makes the enclosure too hot or not warm enough. Do not use "spot" bulbs, mercury vapor bulbs or halogen bulbs because these bulbs are overly desiccating and cause pyramiding even in good living conditions.
    2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species like sulcatas or leopards. I like this thermostat: https://www.lllreptile.com/products/13883-zilla-1000-watt-temperature-controller. Put the probe in the coolest corner away from all heating elements. You may need more than one heating element to spread the heat out for a given enclosure.
    3. Light. I use florescent tubes for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most tubes at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. I've been using LEDs lately and they are great, and run cooler than a florescent. This can be set on the same timer as the basking bulb.
    4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. If you want it anyway, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. I like the ZooMed 10.0 HO, and the Arcadia 12% HO. Which type will depend on mounting height. It helps to have a UV meter to test and see what your bulb is actually putting out at your mounting height. Plexi-glass or screen tops will filter out some or all of the UV produced by your bulb.
 

Cleopatra 2020

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Closed chambers work best when all the heating and lighting is contained INSIDE the chamber. This makes for the most stable conditions for the tortoise by avoiding the chimney effect, and also greatly reduces electrical usage. The CHE will not be too hot because it will be controlled by a thermostat.

  • There are four elements to heating and lighting:
    1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt floods from the hardware store. I run them on a timer and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. You can mount a fixture on the ceiling, or hang a dome lamp from the ceiling. Go lower or higher wattage if this makes the enclosure too hot or not warm enough. Do not use "spot" bulbs, mercury vapor bulbs or halogen bulbs because these bulbs are overly desiccating and cause pyramiding even in good living conditions.
    2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species like sulcatas or leopards. I like this thermostat: https://www.lllreptile.com/products/13883-zilla-1000-watt-temperature-controller. Put the probe in the coolest corner away from all heating elements. You may need more than one heating element to spread the heat out for a given enclosure.
    3. Light. I use florescent tubes for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most tubes at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. I've been using LEDs lately and they are great, and run cooler than a florescent. This can be set on the same timer as the basking bulb.
    4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. If you want it anyway, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. I like the ZooMed 10.0 HO, and the Arcadia 12% HO. Which type will depend on mounting height. It helps to have a UV meter to test and see what your bulb is actually putting out at your mounting height. Plexi-glass or screen tops will filter out some or all of the UV produced by your bulb.
Here's some pictures of it finished ...I worked on it all night she'll be here tomorrow as you can see in the first picture the lids cracked open I put a lighter in there to show scale size second one just side view where you can see the heat emitter poking down and the last two pics are of it in the closet where I actually have it to help maintain ambient temperatures with those doors shut and a piece of foam rubber in the last shot when you're looking down at the top you can see it in front of the enclosure where I slide the door shut I usually slide the foam rubber up a little to help keep the tub warm since the air condition runs and off through the night... also I think I'm going to take that 150 watt bulb back and get a smaller one even if I have to put a dimmer switch on it to get that heat lower until my thermostat gets her Friday that's what I will do the UVB light I use is a fluorescent 5.0 high output which Heats it up in there to between 80 and 85 degrees which will work for now during the day until I can get that basking bulb in there humidity is rocking at about 90% I just watered that plant poured a whole glass in there and took a spray bottle and spray down all the substrate really good and the log was soaked in warm water in the tub so there's a lot of humidity....lol... also the plants I put in there are some clover in one chunk another chunk is grass and weeds in the last chunk is a small lettuce that was growing in my garden organic of course
 

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