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Basking Area and CHE

Discussion in 'Tortoise Enclosure Lighting' started by RussianTortsNF, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. RussianTortsNF

    RussianTortsNF Member 5 Year Member

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    The new enclosure is almost done. I have two 24 inch uvb lights that are going in- Reptisun 10.0. I’m trying to decide what to use for the basking area? If i keep a CHE in there, can I get away with one heat lamp for the basking area or should there be 2? The enclosure is 24x36x81. I’m just trying to figure where to hang the lights from the ceiling. I am doing a closed chamber. Thank you for your help.
  2. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    Is this for a hatchling? If it's an adult, closer chamber is not needed and probably not the best for an adult Russian.
    The amount of heat fixtures depends on what the temp reads when you have one Che whether you would need more then one.
  3. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Hang the 24" UV tubes end to end right down the middle.
    Hang the basking bulb on one side or the other.
    Hang the CHE near the middle, but not blocking the UV tubes. You might need 2 CHEs in a 81" long enclosure, but your thermometer will have that answer for you on the first night. If you use two, they can run on the same thermostat, and you should spread them out evenly to warm the entire enclosure.
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  4. RussianTortsNF

    RussianTortsNF Member 5 Year Member

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    Okay great!! Thank you. I knew you would tell me exactly what to do. So one basking light is enough? I did buy the thermostat you recommended as well! I appreciate all your help
  5. RussianTortsNF

    RussianTortsNF Member 5 Year Member

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    Thank you. It’s for a sulcata. I’ve opted for closed chamber as it’s easier to regulate the humidity. I’ll start with one CHE and see if I need a second, I’m thinking I will
  6. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    Sorry, I assumed Russian cuz of your forum name lol. Yes, you will probably need to Che's then with that size enclosure.
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  7. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Try it with one, and only add another if you need it. Closed chambers hold in heat surprisingly well. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how little wattage you'll need to maintain the correct temps.

    During the day with you heat lamp on, the ambient temp tends to creep up into the high 80s or low 90s. This is good. Simulates the hotter temps of mid day. Your CHE and thermostat will keep the temp from dropping too much once the heat lamp goes off.
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  8. RussianTortsNF

    RussianTortsNF Member 5 Year Member

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    Yes! I started this journey with Russians and rescued a Sulcata last month. The family told me it was a Sulcata. I realized it wasn’t but had to save her. Now I’m starting over and learning tons
  9. RussianTortsNF

    RussianTortsNF Member 5 Year Member

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    Thank you Tom, you are so helpful. I did raise the height to 24 inches like you said. I currently have a Phillips heat bulb that is 125W. Keeps the basking area at 97 from about 16 inches above. What bulb and wattage do you recommend in her new area? I plan to do 4 inches of substrate, is that sufficient? She is about 6 inches. I’ll order accordingly.
  10. RussianTortsNF

    RussianTortsNF Member 5 Year Member

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    Thank you for all your help!! So far so good IMG_3066.jpg IMG_3065.jpg

    Still trying to figure out how to get and keep the humidity at 80%
  11. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Looks great.

    You might need to dump some water into the substrate. Start with about a gallon and see what that does. Nice thing about orchid bark is the water will collect at the bottom and be absorbed by the bark, while the upper layers will remain dry-ish. If humidity is still too low, then look at how much ventilation there is and figure out where your warm humid air is leaving the enclosure.
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  12. Maro2Bear

    Maro2Bear Well-Known Member

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    Looking very nice there. Good work.
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  13. RussianTortsNF

    RussianTortsNF Member 5 Year Member

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    Thank you. This has been a long Process lol
  14. RussianTortsNF

    RussianTortsNF Member 5 Year Member

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    I added a gallon and it’s at 75. I will add another tomorrow!! Should I add coco coir so she can borrow outside her hide? She has deeper in her hide
  15. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Let the humidity stabilize for a day or two before adding more water. What what it does over the next couple of days.

    I wouldn't add coir. Too messy.
  16. RussianTortsNF

    RussianTortsNF Member 5 Year Member

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    Thank you!! Yes I do not like coco coir. I put the orchid bark in her hide and a big bag of hay. She seems to like it. I may get more of the orchid bark for her hide if the hay doesn’t work. Shipping is a fortune though.


    Do you just spot clean?
  17. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    You can't use hay with damp substrate. It will mold.

    Yes, I spot clean as needed and with regular soaks, they never poop in the enclosure.
  18. RussianTortsNF

    RussianTortsNF Member 5 Year Member

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    Ok I will take hay out of her hide tonight and put coco coir in there, she can dig better in that. I leave thermostat set at 80 all the time, is that good?

    No matter what I do, she always poops in her enclosure. She has not once pooped in her soak.
  19. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    You don't need the coir. The orchid bark in the hide works just fine. The coir is not harmful, it is just messy and unnecessary.

    How long are you soaking? Go longer. Leave her to soak for an hour or more. Keep the water warm the whole time. I've never had one that wouldn't poop in the soak. All of mine unload almost as soon as I put them in the water.
  20. RussianTortsNF

    RussianTortsNF Member 5 Year Member

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    My issue is I don’t have enough on her hide for her to burrow. I have to order more but it’s 85.00 for four bags because of shipping. I’m going to order more next month.

    I soak for 20 minutes. I’ll try longer usually she’s trying to climb out after 20 though. I start get the water to 93, I’ll start adding warm water to keep it around that temp and try longer. She’s gained 200 grams since 10/18 so I’m doing something right I guess
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