Cool Down Vivarium in Hot Weather?

Tommy03

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Hello,

My adult Russian has been in his new indoor enclosure (https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/opinions-advice-on-updated-enclosure-care.190794/#post-1933851) for almost 2 months now but I'm a little concerned it's becoming too hot with the weather improving this week here in the UK as he has been eating a little less and spending more time in his hide, especially if it gets any warmer. The only heat source he has is an Arcadia 60W floodlight during the day but the vivarium is about 81-82F across both sides, reaching a maximum of 83F, (it usually ranges from 72-78F) during the day and has been mid 70Fs at night (rather than 67-68F). He had a soak yesterday morning, the vivarium doors are slightly open, and the windows of the room are open during the day but our house seems to get very hot, with the room being 77-78F itself. There are 5 circular vents along the back but they are near the walls so I was considering getting some more for the sides to increase airflow. Does anyone have some tips as to how I could cool the vivarium down please?

Thanks! :)
 

Maro2Bear

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Hello,

My adult Russian has been in his new indoor enclosure (https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/opinions-advice-on-updated-enclosure-care.190794/#post-1933851) for almost 2 months now but I'm a little concerned it's becoming too hot with the weather improving this week here in the UK as he has been eating a little less and spending more time in his hide, especially if it gets any warmer. The only heat source he has is an Arcadia 60W floodlight during the day but the vivarium is about 81-82F across both sides, reaching a maximum of 83F, (it usually ranges from 72-78F) during the day and has been mid 70Fs at night (rather than 67-68F). He had a soak yesterday morning, the vivarium doors are slightly open, and the windows of the room are open during the day but our house seems to get very hot, with the room being 77-78F itself. There are 5 circular vents along the back but they are near the walls so I was considering getting some more for the sides to increase airflow. Does anyone have some tips as to how I could cool the vivarium down please?

Thanks! :)

Greetings. None of those temperatures really seem very “hot” to me. 83 is a nice warm trmp.

How large is your viv? Maybe upload a pix.
 

harrythetortoise

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Hello,

My adult Russian has been in his new indoor enclosure (https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/opinions-advice-on-updated-enclosure-care.190794/#post-1933851) for almost 2 months now but I'm a little concerned it's becoming too hot with the weather improving this week here in the UK as he has been eating a little less and spending more time in his hide, especially if it gets any warmer. The only heat source he has is an Arcadia 60W floodlight during the day but the vivarium is about 81-82F across both sides, reaching a maximum of 83F, (it usually ranges from 72-78F) during the day and has been mid 70Fs at night (rather than 67-68F). He had a soak yesterday morning, the vivarium doors are slightly open, and the windows of the room are open during the day but our house seems to get very hot, with the room being 77-78F itself. There are 5 circular vents along the back but they are near the walls so I was considering getting some more for the sides to increase airflow. Does anyone have some tips as to how I could cool the vivarium down please?

Thanks! :)
Turn the AC on maybe?
What is the basking temp?
 

Tommy03

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Greetings. None of those temperatures really seem very “hot” to me. 83 is a nice warm trmp.

How large is your viv? Maybe upload a pix.
Okay, thank you! I was just aiming for 80F maximum and maybe was a bit paranoid because he was a little quieter the past few days but has seemed better today. He has an 8x3ft vivarium and there are some photos on this thread: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/opinions-advice-on-updated-enclosure-care.190794/#post-1933851

What would you say is too high just in case it gets warmer over the Summer?
 

Tommy03

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I tested the basking temperature whilst he had his soak by raising the slate with a box to try and match shell height, & putting a digital thermometer on the slate for just over an hour. It was definitely between 95-100F before but it's now 103.8F, with the enclosure being about 81-82F, so I'm not sure whether I should be concerned. I don't know how to lower the temperature because I can't raise the bulb any higher, sink the slate into the substrate any lower or find a lower wattage Arcadia flood as I already am using the 50W & there aren't any incandescents available here. Does anyone have any advice please as to what to do? I unplugged it for a while today
 

wellington

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Take the slate out from under the basking spot and temp the tort when he is basking. If that doesn't work then raise the light or use small watt.
If you have AC in your house and keep your house at a normal temp then it really shouldn't raise the tanks heat.
 

Tom

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All of those temps sound ideal. It gets a lot hotter than 83 where they come from in summer. I wouldn't change anything.
 

Tommy03

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Take the slate out from under the basking spot and temp the tort when he is basking. If that doesn't work then raise the light or use small watt.
If you have AC in your house and keep your house at a normal temp then it really shouldn't raise the tanks heat.
Thanks for your response, I think the problem is that the room itself is 27C (so not much different to the vivarium) which is higher than normal for us, & we don't have AC unfortunately
 

Tommy03

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All of those temps sound ideal. It gets a lot hotter than 83 where they come from in summer. I wouldn't change anything.
Okay, thank you! I'll leave the basking bulb on then. He has been spending some more time in his hide but is otherwise still active & alert. Just in case it gets warmer over the Summer, what would you say is too hot across the vivarium and for the basking temperature?
 

Tom

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Okay, thank you! I'll leave the basking bulb on then. He has been spending some more time in his hide but is otherwise still active & alert. Just in case it gets warmer over the Summer, what would you say is too hot across the vivarium and for the basking temperature?
Basking temperature should always remain around 36-37C. Adjust the wattage of the bulb, or the height of the fixture to maintain this. Or run the bulb through a rheostat.

Overall ambient is fine up to around 35C. This species comes from a climate with snow in winter and day time highs over 38C in summer.
 

Tommy03

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Basking temperature should always remain around 36-37C. Adjust the wattage of the bulb, or the height of the fixture to maintain this. Or run the bulb through a rheostat.

Overall ambient is fine up to around 35C. This species comes from a climate with snow in winter and day time highs over 38C in summer.
Thank you for your reply. I can't raise the fixture anymore, &
Arcadia don't seem to do a lower wattage than the 50W he's already got so I'll try & get a rheostat. Do you mean something like this:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08K2PTR9C/?tag=
Or like a plug-in dimmer?: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B078PKLSN7/?tag=
 
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Hi there,
Its nice to meet you, I also have a Russian. His name is Toto.
I'm not a professional and as much as I'd like to give you advice, I'm 100% not qualified to do that.. I'm new too so I'm still learning about proper care myself.
However, Tom did give excellent advice.

I just wanted to ask where you got your enclosure from (unless you built it)?. I saw it in your other post and it looks amazing. I was looking for places to get large vivs in the UK but I'm running out of luck 😅 xx
 

Tom

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Thank you for your reply. I can't raise the fixture anymore, &
Arcadia don't seem to do a lower wattage than the 50W he's already got so I'll try & get a rheostat. Do you mean something like this:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08K2PTR9C/?tag=
Or like a plug-in dimmer?: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B078PKLSN7/?tag=
Both of those are dimmers, aka rheostats, but be careful of the wattage. Get one rated for much more wattage than you'd ever use. These dimmers cannot be used with MVBs, so you'd have to be using a regular incandescent flood or round bulb.
 

Tommy03

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Hi there,
Its nice to meet you, I also have a Russian. His name is Toto.
I'm not a professional and as much as I'd like to give you advice, I'm 100% not qualified to do that.. I'm new too so I'm still learning about proper care myself.
However, Tom did give excellent advice.

I just wanted to ask where you got your enclosure from (unless you built it)?. I saw it in your other post and it looks amazing. I was looking for places to get large vivs in the UK but I'm running out of luck 😅 xx
I got his enclosure from here: https://southdown-aquatics.co.uk/shop/8ft-vivariums/8ft-x-2ft-h-x-3ft-d-vivarium-copy/
I believe they only deliver within a certain range though but all the details are on their website. Hope you manage to find something suitable for Toto :)
 
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I got his enclosure from here: https://southdown-aquatics.co.uk/shop/8ft-vivariums/8ft-x-2ft-h-x-3ft-d-vivarium-copy/
I believe they only deliver within a certain range though but all the details are on their website. Hope you manage to find something suitable for Toto :)
Thank you for your reply😁. I actually looked around and found this website. I think they deliver to my address but I'm glad to see someone using their enclosures. It gives me reassurance that these are good vivs. Thank you.
I hope everything goes well with your Tort. Xx
 

Tommy03

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Both of those are dimmers, aka rheostats, but be careful of the wattage. Get one rated for much more wattage than you'd ever use. These dimmers cannot be used with MVBs, so you'd have to be using a regular incandescent flood or round bulb.
Great, thank you. I wouldn't use it with an MVB, just the Arcadia flood. I'll try and get one for up to at least 300W then, especially in case I need to to use a higher wattage bulb than 50W over the winter.

How often do you recommend checking the basking temperature?
 

harrythetortoise

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Great, thank you. I wouldn't use it with an MVB, just the Arcadia flood. I'll try and get one for up to at least 300W then, especially in case I need to to use a higher wattage bulb than 50W over the winter.

How often do you recommend checking the basking temperature?
I check mine every day
 

Tom

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Great, thank you. I wouldn't use it with an MVB, just the Arcadia flood. I'll try and get one for up to at least 300W then, especially in case I need to to use a higher wattage bulb than 50W over the winter.

How often do you recommend checking the basking temperature?
Once you've got it set, it shouldn't change unless the ambient room temp is changing. No harm in checking it daily, and once you find a bulb that works, get a couple of back-ups to have on hand. They always seem to burn out on holidays when the shops are all closed.
 
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