What is a CHE?

ZEROPILOT

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A CHE is a ceramic heat emitter.
They provide heat without light.
Perfect for night time heat or with tortoises that don't require/ want bright light.
The also don't tend to dry the tortoises carapace like the super hot MVB.(Mercury vapor bulb)
I use them in my Redfoot night houses. I had used "black" incandescent bulbs in my heated night houses. But @Tom schooled me that the black lights always burn out right when you need them. And he was absolutely right.
Last night it got cool here and I went outside to set up the timers,etc.
BOTH of my black bulbs were blown.
So now I'm sold on CHE and now that I have these in my hand, I'll show anyone that doesn't know what they are what they look like.
There are variations in styles. Manufacturers and wattage. But the all look similar.

20181206_163754.jpg

ceramic heat emitter.jpg
 

ZEROPILOT

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My wife just reminded me that last winter, I also had issues with those bulbs.
I will not use them again outdoors.
But they are still a cheap and effective short term, night time heating option indoors in a pinch.
 

Pastel Tortie

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I think this is a good thread to have, because the question does come up regarding CHEs on a regular basis.

All the CHEs I've seen have either been ceramic black or ceramic white. I want to say Zilla's are black. I know that ZooMed's are white.

Unfortunately, ZooMed's deep dome and mini deep dome fixtures (single or double) are not designed or rated for a CHE. Often you have to resort to using the wire cage-like fixtures. When keepers are consider converting to CHEs, they need to realize there may need to be some tweaks to hardware to go with it. Not that the tweaks aren't worth it. Most of the time, they are, but that needs to be considered.

Also, I would strongly encourage keepers using CHEs to have them tied to thermostats or other active temperature monitoring system. You have to be able to tell when it's on or not. Since a CHE doesn't light up, keepers need to be extra careful to make sure the CHE is on when it's supposed to be, and off when it's supposed to be.
 

Loohan

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These domes from Home Depot work well for CHEs, or any other reptile bulbs:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Woods-3...-10-in-Reflector-and-Bulb-Guard-166/301132854

I take the little cage wire thingies off.

Yes, that's the type i use. I suppose if one used a real hot CHE these might overheat but i only use 50-60W CHEs at an angle and the domes never get hot. I tried a wire cage holder once but that wastes most of the heat. The domes direct it where you want it.
I do get the impression CHEs dry out my boxies' shells though.
 

ZEROPILOT

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I think this is a good thread to have, because the question does come up regarding CHEs on a regular basis.

All the CHEs I've seen have either been ceramic black or ceramic white. I want to say Zilla's are black. I know that ZooMed's are white.

Unfortunately, ZooMed's deep dome and mini deep dome fixtures (single or double) are not designed or rated for a CHE. Often you have to resort to using the wire cage-like fixtures. When keepers are consider converting to CHEs, they need to realize there may need to be some tweaks to hardware to go with it. Not that the tweaks aren't worth it. Most of the time, they are, but that needs to be considered.

Also, I would strongly encourage keepers using CHEs to have them tied to thermostats or other active temperature monitoring system. You have to be able to tell when it's on or not. Since a CHE doesn't light up, keepers need to be extra careful to make sure the CHE is on when it's supposed to be, and off when it's supposed to be.
Yes, that's the type i use. I suppose if one used a real hot CHE these might overheat but i only use 50-60W CHEs at an angle and the domes never get hot. I tried a wire cage holder once but that wastes most of the heat. The domes direct it where you want it.
I do get the impression CHEs dry out my boxies' shells though.
I have 60 watts in there.
One in each house.
Just to make things a little warmer..
We don't exactly get that "Arctic Blast" down here.
 

Pastel Tortie

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Yes, that's the type i use. I suppose if one used a real hot CHE these might overheat but i only use 50-60W CHEs at an angle and the domes never get hot. I tried a wire cage holder once but that wastes most of the heat. The domes direct it where you want it.
I do get the impression CHEs dry out my boxies' shells though.
I don't know if the CHE dries out my boxie's shell, but it sure does make the substrate in her indoor enclosure dry out faster.
 

Pastel Tortie

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I just really like how they don't burn out constantly. I've been using the same one for five years without issues.
A good (decent) CHE is supposed to have a lifespan of at least five years. Or longer, as @Tom shared from his experience.

I don't know what a CHE looks like on the inside, but comparing a CHE (designed to produce only heat) to a bulb designed for producing light is probably like comparing apples to watermelon. ;)
 

Tom

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I don't know if the CHE dries out my boxie's shell, but it sure does make the substrate in her indoor enclosure dry out faster.
Any electric heat source is going to dry things out. This is something we've been working on finding solutions for.
 

Pastel Tortie

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Does anyone have experience or guidance regarding use of CHEs for a glass tank enclosure with a metal screen lid on top of the tank?

I haven't tried it. Too many questions I haven't sorted out, and I haven't done any experimenting. I was wondering if anybody else had tried it (installing a CHE on top of or above a metal screen top), or knew of someone who had.
 

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Does anyone have experience or guidance regarding use of CHEs for a glass tank enclosure with a metal screen lid on top of the tank?

I haven't tried it. Too many questions I haven't sorted out, and I haven't done any experimenting. I was wondering if anybody else had tried it (installing a CHE on top of or above a metal screen top), or knew of someone who had.
I used one for a water turtle I kept for a few months.
The heat did broadcast through the screen.
 

Stig060

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Pet shop gave me a heat mat and our redfoot is due to arrive tomorrow.
We have a vivarium setup.
I was directed to this thread and glad I was.
I’ll be moving to a CHE tomorrow and if not then by the weekend!

I’m based in the UK and it’s gets colder here so want to ensure everything is setup correctly ASAP.

Couple of questions:
1. Do I need a guard for the CHE?
2. In a vivarium what’s the best place to position the CHE? I’ve got cut out rear air vent ports to push cables through.

Thx all
 

ZEROPILOT

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I'd position the CHE centrally to distribute heat through most if not all of the enclosure. If one is not large enough for your enclosure. Use two. Two lower wattage CHE would be better than one higher wattage CHE.
If you use clamps. Secure the clamps again with zip ties or wires as insurance that the fixture will not fall into the enclosure.
Heat mats for a Redfoot in a closed chamber are a no-no. Pet shops will sell you what they have. That's how they stay in business.
Try for 80 to 86 degrees Farenheit. A little cooler at night is ok. But much warmer is dangerous.
Warm not hot. Lights for UVB but no bright lights. High humidity. Lots of shade. Flat, low sided water dish for drinking and self soaking.
These are my parameter suggestions.
Also, the mat heaters are usually placed either under the substrate or under the glass bottom of a terrarium. Inside, under the substrate would be problematic because it will be getting wet and staying wet. The whole water and electronics dangers.....Not good. And when placed under glass. One area can get quite warm/ hot. That area can get dry. When you wet the substrate again, the cool water hits that hot glass. The glass cracks into shards. I do not reccomend heat mats. And I've tried them several times.
 
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Stig060

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I'd position the CHE centrally to distribute heat through most if not all of the enclosure. If one is not large enough for your enclosure. Use two. Two lower wattage CHE would be better than one higher wattage CHE.
If you use clamps. Secure the clamps again with zip ties or wires as insurance that the fixture will not fall into the enclosure.
Heat mats for a Redfoot in a closed chamber are a no-no. Pet shops will sell you what they have. That's how they stay in business.
Try for 80 to 86 degrees Farenheit. A little cooler at night is ok. But much warmer is dangerous.
Warm not hot. Lights for UVB but no bright lights. High humidity. Lots of shade. Flat, low sided water dish for drinking and self soaking.
These are my parameter suggestions.
Also, the mat heaters are usually placed either under the substrate or under the glass bottom of a terrarium. Inside, under the substrate would be problematic because it will be getting wet and staying wet. The whole water and electronics dangers.....Not good. And when placed under glass. One area can get quite warm/ hot. That area can get dry. When you wet the substrate again, the cool water hits that hot glass. The glass cracks into shards. I do not reccomend heat mats. And I've tried them several times.

Thank you! I’m learning so much already here!

So just to clarify CHE with a guard ? And I’ve heard no basking lamp so I need to ditch that now.
 

Pastel Tortie

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The CHE will be above the reach of the tortoise, same as any other overhead heat source, so you will not need a guard like the ones you may see on brooder lamps.

Brooder lamps were designed to keep baby chicks and adult chickens warm. In that situation, the guard on the lamp fixture may keep the birds from bumping into the CHE or accidentally getting burned.
 
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