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ANOTHER Night Box Thread...

Discussion in 'Tortoise Enclosures' started by Tom, Mar 15, 2014.

  1. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    I did it again. :)
    And I'm going to keep doing it too! :D

    Here is the latest night box. Its similar to the others, but I wanted to show more of the electrics involved and how I use them. I made this one for my two returning Gpp females. I gave these two girls to a friend in 2010 and he raised them. They both turned out to be female, while most of mine are male. He offered to give them back to me in the hopes of producing some babies in the future. They will live alone for a couple of months for quarantine and fecal exam purposes, but then they will join the other girls.

    Here we go...

    Here is the almost finished box showing the yet uncovered insulation inside the walls.
    [​IMG]



    Here is the assortment of equipment going into this box:
    [​IMG]



    The heat mat and radiant heat panel have been mounted here, as has the shoe box that will hold all the excess wires.
    [​IMG]



    Here you can see all the cords and the thermostat all hooked up and stuffed into the shoe box. You can also see my thermostat probe hanging on the wall on the "cool" side. Notice the "drip loops" on the cord coming in to the box and inside the box. More on that later.
    [​IMG]



    Close up of the shoe box:
    [​IMG]



    See how nice it looks with the cords all contained? :) Notice that drip loop again...
    [​IMG]



    A wider view of the whole thing. In this one you can see my GFI circuit that I'm plugged into:
    [​IMG]



    Here is that "drip loop" that I keep talking about. I learned this back in my early aquarium days. You see, water runs downhill. Amazing right?! In the event of an earthquake or other aquarium splashes, the idea is that if you have a "loop" so that your cords always run downhill first and then uphill into your outlets, water will not be guided into your outlet. Instead it will come to the bottom of the loop and drip down to the ground harmlessly. I did one outside this new tortoise box and inside, just to be safe.
    [​IMG]



    Here it is open for business.
    [​IMG]


    In my excitement I forgot to get pics of the new inhabitants. I'll get some pics and post those later.
  2. Team Gomberg

    Team Gomberg IXOYE 5 Year Member

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    Do you have issues with the boxes not being under extra cover? Like with rain, or does the exterior paint on the wood protect it?
    If it sits in full sun, will the box heat up?

    I haven't had to worry about rain or shade because my box is under a covered awning but I wonder how necessary that really is. I'm considering moving it. I'm also building insulated house #2 right now and the spot I want to move it to, isn't covered.
  3. JennBell0725

    JennBell0725 Active Member

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    I'd like to know that too. I just put a tarp over mine until we get enough good weather then I'm going to put some metal on it. The Louisiana monsoon like weather has really tested mine. I don't think the wood will hold up too long uncovered here
  4. pam

    pam Well-Known Member

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    That is awesome :)
  5. Team Gomberg

    Team Gomberg IXOYE 5 Year Member

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    just to clarify the rain half of my question:
    I understand how the drip loop works with the cords. I do that, too. I'm specifically curious about the flat, painted roof and how it holds up in the rainy weather. I notice all of your boxes are exposed to the elements. My non insulated tortoise houses all have a roof tilted back at an angle covered with roofing shingles. So, I know the rain just runs down towards the back.

    Thanks Tom. You help us out more than you know :D
  6. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    No issues. I've had some boxes sitting outside for years. It looks a little weathered, but it still works just fine. On the rare occasion we get rain, it just runs off. The insulation works both ways. Keeps them warmer in winter and cooler in summer. On 100+ days, the boxes creep into the 90's. They get full sun in the morning but shade all afternoon. The enclosure is about 20' deep and I run about 7' of shade in the summer, and 3' in winter.

    I've considered using roofing tiles and waterproofing the top, but the lids are already so heavy. Especially on the 8' boxes.

    You need to bring the family and come up for a tour. We gotta stop procrastinating.
    [hr]
    I've heard about that wood rotting LA weather, but we just don't have that problem here. It is so dry all the time.
  7. Team Gomberg

    Team Gomberg IXOYE 5 Year Member

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    Tom, I already planned to email ya about it. I figured we'd come in Spring when everything is at it's prettiest :D

    Thanks for the answers. And I like this new shade of green you used :p
  8. DeanS

    DeanS SULCATA OASIS 5 Year Member

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    I can't believe you didn't tell how you came up with this new color...good stuff! ;)
  9. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    Looks great Tom as always. Thanks for always sharing.
  10. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Spring? What are you talking about? We had two weeks of winter at the end of November and its been spring ever since. Didn't you notice? :p
  11. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Okay. I'll tell them.

    I wanted the tortoise night boxes to sort of "blend in" a bit more, so I took a sample of the dirt down to HD. They put my baggie of dirt in their color analyzer machine and my new tortoise box is the color the computer came up with. I rather like it and it does blend in much better than the green ones.
  12. Team Gomberg

    Team Gomberg IXOYE 5 Year Member

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    hahahahaha- Tom the color story is hilarious!! Honestly, I was never a fan of your original green color. That's why I commented on this new shade of green :D :p
  13. argus333

    argus333 Active Member 5 Year Member

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    looks good, i think I'm going to hardwire my next box directly to house box. i used plastic floor covering on my last house makes for easier clean ups.
  14. kathyth

    kathyth Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    That is just wonderful, Tom!
    Thanks for the step by step photo's!
    :)
  15. marcy4hope

    marcy4hope Active Member 5 Year Member

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    glad to see this thread tom. i had your other thread saved about your night box with the leopards in it, and was wanting a design for one sulcata, so this is perfect. getting started next week hopefully. can't wait to get "lois" outside full-time. i'm in misouri though, with extremely cold winters and muggy humid summers - any thoughts on changes i should make as a big difference in our climate from yours?
  16. marcy4hope

    marcy4hope Active Member 5 Year Member

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    another couple questions, tom - what size was this night box - and what wattage do you have on that radiant heater?
  17. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    If your climate is humid, you probably won't need, and shouldn't use, the water tubs in the box. Other than that, I'd do it the same.

    This box is 4x4x2'.

    That is an 80 watt Radiant Heat Panel. It is the 12x21" one. And the Kane mat is 18x28" and also around 80 watts.
  18. Shakudo

    Shakudo Active Member

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    Wow very nicely done!

    Joey
  19. samsmom

    samsmom Active Member 5 Year Member

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    night box looks great! my husband is in the process of building ours. have a few questions: are the heat mat and RHP both plugged into the thermostat, do you have any type of substrate inside the box and just curious as to why you have the thermostat inside a baggie? our box is 4x3x2 and for a 2 yo sulcata.
  20. Dizisdalife

    Dizisdalife Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I like the new color. Are you going to use a fan for circulation?
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