Heating and humidity question

Court562

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I'm getting a new leopard tortoise, and I had a question on lighting. I have a UVB tube that's placed on the top of the set up during the day. I'm trying to get a heat source that's effective, as well as cheap. I wanted to know if anyone know the difference between a reptile heat light such as a Powersun UV 100w Mercury vapor lamp or a heat bulb found at stores like Home Depot, maybe similar ones to what's used with baby chickens. I live in California and it's not very hummid. Also, It's hard to withhold heat unless I place the cage in a room without Windows.
 

JoesMum

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A Mercury Vapor Bulb provides combined UVB and basking heat. You don't need a tube UVB with it.

The ordinary reflector, sometimes (misleadingly in my opinion) called UVA, is much cheaper because it only provides basking heat. A tort needs a separate UVB source with it - the tube or regular time outside every day year round.

With your tube, get the cheaper one :)
 

JoesMum

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What brand do you recommend? I'm trying to be cost mindful.
Any incandescent reflector (silvered) bulb does the job for basking; an ordinary household one is just fine. It's the wattage that matters.

I'm in the UK so brands are different here :)
 
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JoesMum

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Court562

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Yeah that's what I was thinking of getting. From Home depot that is. What do you all use for heat/ UVB? I'm also looking into ways to make humidity.
 

Court562

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I'm picturing my 40 gallon tank on a shelf in my kitchen. If I do this, I need a way to close off the air, and create a barrier with the wind. What's a good way not to burn down my house with my bulbs close?
 

Yvonne G

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I doubt a 40 gallon will be big enough. How big is your new tortoise?

You need to keep a baby tortoise warm and don't allow it to get cold at all. So during the day you need this:

mercury vapor bulb.jpg

...and it will be mounted in this:

Clampon.jpg

...but make sure you get the fixture with a ceramic base, not the Bakelite base as shown in the picture. Also, don't use the clamp, remove it. Hang the light from some sort of frame. Hanging a MVB shortens the life of the bulb, plus those clamps sometimes fail.

In order to keep the baby warm at night you need this:

ceramic heat emitter.jpg

...and it screws into a fixture with a ceramic base also.

In order to keep the warm, moist air inside the habitat for the baby tortoise, you will need to cover it totally, not just a shield cover on one side. This is what my baby leopard habitat looks like:

baby leopard enclosure 4-11-16 a.jpg baby leopard enclosure 4-11-16 b.jpg

You can use anything to cover it, but for me, plastic was the easy choice.
 

Alexio

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This is my 55 gal. Leopard tank. This setup will not work for you exactly because the 55 gal tank is much taller which allows me to hang the MVB and the CHE inside the enclosure.



These are 40 gal tanks. You can also mount the light above the tank similar to Yvonne's setup , but instead of draping the material over the lights to create a canopy , I made a sort of makeshift insulation lid that holds heat and humidity it. You would need to add another bulb for night heat on the other side.

As far as humidity you do need it all the time. 75-95% with a humid hide as well should be sufficient. The easiest way to accomplish this is by using a tree base substrate. Cypress mulch, Co-Co husk, are a few examples.
Avoid using sand , soil with perlite, ceader, and pine.

You must get the substrate very damp and moist when the heat light lights hit the damp substrate the moisture rises in the air creating humidity. With a lid or a canopy on top of the tank you can turn your tank into a "closed chamber" which will seal the heat and humidity your making inside.

I also highly recommend you get a thermostat for your ceramic heat emitter. They can be inexpensive and a simple on/off will suffice and is much cheaper than a pulse proportional thermostat.

These are the two types of on/off I use.




 

Court562

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That is very helpful. I haven't seen her in person yet but she's about the size of the Palm of your hand. Just past the hatchling stage.
 

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