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Closed "Chambers"

Discussion in 'Debatable Topics' started by Tom, Sep 2, 2011.

  1. kobe629

    kobe629 New Member

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    I was wondering at what age do you stop using the closed chamber setup for less humidity?
  2. Erik Elvis

    Erik Elvis Member

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    I was wondering this too for a sulcata.
  3. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Pyramiding is caused by growth in conditions that are too dry. So as long as the tortoise is growing, you need that humidity. The best looking sulcatas are grown in FL, Louisiana and SE TX here in the USA.

    In a practical sense, I try to raise them mostly indoors until they are too big to live in a 4x8' closed chamber. When they are around 10", I move them outside full time. My climate is very dry and this transition slows their growth and ruins the smooth and symmetrical growth that I get with them indoors. I use tubs of water inside their heated night boxes to offer some humidity some of the time, but the dry climate really takes a toll. They have a few years of some pretty rough looking growth, and then at about 40-50 pounds, things begin to smooth out and look good again.
  4. Ramsey

    Ramsey Active Member

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    Interesting. My climate is very similar down here. I was wondering how effective keeping the outdoor night-boxes humid via controlled methods like a humidifier are.

    Do you know?

    So once they move outside, will the 8+ hrs a day they spend in the night boxes have a large positive impact if they are kept high humidity during this time?
  5. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    I don't use humidifiers. I just use tubs or buckets of water and that does it well enough for my tortoises. Humidification of the night boxes does seem to help smooth out the growth on my tortoises.
    trickspiration likes this.
  6. trickspiration

    trickspiration Member

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    @Tom @Yvonne G what top would you recommend for this enclosure setup to maintain heat and humidity better?

    Currently we have an open topped cement mixing bin with coco coir substrate and the heat lamp is affixed to the side of the bin to vertically hang over it. We bring our baby Greek outside for 1 hr each day for UV exposure and natural sunlight. Temps on the cooler side have been kept at mid 70s and humidity between 60-70% (read from digital hygrometer). Basking area is 95-100 and warmer is high 80s.

    Suggestions for changes?

    Attached Files:

  7. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    You could try a mini ‘greenhouse’ like this to provide a closed chamber. This one can be bought on Amazon UK. I assume they sell similar in the USA.
    279B6F22-380F-447F-870E-B561E9B3CA10-6580-0000096CF22DA12D.jpg
    Tropics likes this.
  8. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    I'd recommend a different enclosure that is a closed chamber instead of an open tub.
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  9. trickspiration

    trickspiration Member

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    Should it be an entirely closed chamber or can it be partially closed? If partially closed, should the closed portion be on the cooler side or warmer side (where the heat lamp is)? And this would help with maintaining humidity and temperatures, correct?
  10. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Any opening is going to let all your warm humid air out. It does not need to be air tight, but openings and air vents will completely defeat the purpose of making it a "closed" chamber. They get plenty of air from all the leaks around the doors and the rest of the enclosure, and whenever you open the doors for daily maintenance like feeding, cleaning, changing the waters, and soaking the tortoise.
  11. Chizbad

    Chizbad Member

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    I just finished with this.... have a few things to finish up on it but you get the idea. IMG_0096.jpg
    Tom likes this.
  12. Chizbad

    Chizbad Member

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    Question... Should I make the basking spot available for 12 hours a day? I have a uvb tube as well along the back left wall and a ceramic bulb for when the uvb/heat bulb isn’t on. The little one seems to want to stay under the spot potentially a little more than it should
  13. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    • Basking lamp should be on for 12-13 hours everyday.
    • You should be using a flood bulb, not a spot bulb.
    • basking area will work better if there is a flat rock or piece of sandstone or slate directly under the bulb.
    • If the tortoise is staying under the basking area too much, it is usually a sign that the ambient, or the basking area is too cool. What is the ambient temp, and what is the basking area temp directly under the heat lamp?
    • CHEs should be set on a thermostat so that they keep ambient high enough 24/7, regardless of what the other bulbs are doing. If the other bulbs are keeping things warm enough during the day, the thermostat will keep the CHE off all day until it is needed.
  14. Chizbad

    Chizbad Member

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    -Using a SolarGlo 80w for 12-13hrs a day
    - the tube light is a repti-glo 10.0(on with the solarglo)
    -Ambient temp is around 86-90degrees
    -basking spot about 95 degrees
    -humidity about 85%, a little less under the lights
    -I will eventually go to a thermostat set up but haven’t yet, for now just turning the solarglo off in the afternoon and the ceramic on at night seems to keep everything in the correct parameters.
    - maybe I should have started by asking, how much is too much? I’d say yesterday my little one spent a total of 5-6hrs under it and was also very active for much of the day moving and eating elsewhere in the tank
  15. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    The basking lamp needs to be on all day. Your tortoise will move into and out of the heat as it needs it. The 95-100F under it must be available on demand. Your tortoise cannot thermoregulate by sweating like you can; it moves to the right position in the enclosure for its needs at any moment. Without being able to bask, it cannot digest food or be active.

    When the ‘sun’ goes down you have to ensure your tortoise stays warm enough to remain healthy and so it can move into the basking spot to start the next day.
    Chizbad likes this.
  16. Chizbad

    Chizbad Member

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    I think I’m just being a little too OCD about it then... everything I’m doing seems to be correct. For what it’s worth, the little one seems active happy and gaining about a gram a day :)
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  17. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    You sound like most of us. You never stop worrying completely... and quite rapidly you tell your tort’s weight to the nearest gramme just by picking it up :rolleyes: :D
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