heating conundrum. too much conflicting info.

YoshiDavid

New Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
19
Location (City and/or State)
St. Catharines
Hey guys, I have used the forum very sparingly (forgive me if i'm posting incorrectly). I reached out once before about my red foot's inappropriate enclosure about a year ago. On all of your advice I now have a custom (treated and sealed) 8 by 4 by 3ft wooden indoor enclosure. The builder oriented it in a way that has 3 arcadia ceramic lamp holder bracket pros internally mounted in the shape of a triangle and a 4ft uvb tube light running diagonally through the middle of them. My issue is trying to get the heating right (i'm a little paranoid because in my original setup I had a desiccating light that was harming her). My plan was to have some combination of CHE's and deep heat projectors because the actual light levels are low and the UVB could provide any light needed. The builder suggested to go with one 80W DHP and two 100W halogen bulbs. The halogens are what worry mean as Ive been told they are quality lights but insanely powerful. There is currently 32 inches distance between the light and the substrate. Additionally, he is bringing me a custom hide (height unknown), with a "basking area" on the top and suggested it go directly beneath the lights. If shes in her hide this doesnt seem like a horrible idea but if she were to go ontop im guessing there will be a pretty short distance between her and the lights. His logic was that she could move away from it when she desires; which is true enough but ive got some reservations. Can anyone suggest an alternative to 100W halogens or advise whether they would be suitable? I'm already sold on the DHP because I trust arcadia and John Courtney Smith's explanation on why its superior to commonly used reptile lights. I hope this wasnt too unfocused and i apologize for the ramble. I just really want my girl to have the best life possible, she has suffered enough at the hands of the previous owner and, regrettably and uniwttingly, even at my own. If pictures or further descriptions are needed then dont hesitate to ask. Thank you in advance.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Moderator
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
25,524
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
A lot of that doesn't sound ideal for a Redfoot. Specifically the part about the light choices:
Redfoot don't like bright lights and don't require high heat. In fact harsh light stresses them out and temperatures just in the mid 90s can get dangerous levels of stress without a way to get cooled. Less than 100° can cause serious issues including heat stroke.
These are not desert tortoises.
And you didn't indicate a UV source. You'll need a T5 HO strip florescent tube lamp. How about one of those and a few CHE for warmth set on a thermostat?
You need an ambient 80 to 86ish temperature 24/7. At least 70% humidity and a T5 HO UVB. Or some time spent outside in the sun (with shade) for a few hours a week.
 
Last edited:

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
56,852
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
CHEs set on a thermostat is the best way to go. Then the UV tube that ZEROPILOT suggested. You don't need DHPs and shouldn't use halogens over tortoises. That's bad advice.
 

YoshiDavid

New Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
19
Location (City and/or State)
St. Catharines
A lot of that doesn't sound ideal for a Redfoot. Specifically the part about the light choices:
Redfoot don't like bright lights and don't require high heat. In fact harsh light stresses them out and temperatures just in the mid 90s can get dangerous levels of stress without a way to get cooled. Less than 100° can cause serious issues including heat stroke.
These are not desert tortoises.
And you didn't indicate a UV source. You'll need a T5 HO strip florescent tube lamp. How about one of those and a few CHE for warmth set on a thermostat?
You need an ambient 80 to 86ish temperature 24/7. At least 70% humidity and a T5 HO UVB. Or some time spent outside in the sun (with shade) for a few hours a week.
Hey ZP,

In terms of UVB I was planning to put in a 4ft T5 light but the builder provided one for me (however not a brand I recognize). It’s from a company called sunblaster which I’ve never heard of but he claimed it was for plants and told me to look into it because it might not be enough for red foot. He did say the T5 HO that are common can be used with his hood if needed. If anyone has heard of sunblaster maybe they can shed some light. I’m totally in agreement with ditching the halogens in favour of CHE. What che wattage would you recommend for each? I also have an inkbird thermostat for control. I would be interested on hearing your opinions on dhp. It seems like a good option bc it’s said to “go deep” into muscle without visible light so I was thinking better than che bc it provides something beneficial in terms of infrared where che has no added benefit; just heat. I do have a question regarding using thermostat though…..my inkbird provides 2 outlets for heat sources, if I were to hypothetically use 3, would plugging the termostat into a power bar allow the third source to be controlled for heat and timer even though it’s technically external to thermostat. Sorry if that’s confusing. And as for the outside option that won’t be possible during winter as it’s 2 degrees Celsius here and dropping. Thanks for your speedy reply!
 

YoshiDavid

New Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
19
Location (City and/or State)
St. Catharines
CHEs set on a thermostat is the best way to go. Then the UV tube that ZEROPILOT suggested. You don't need DHPs and shouldn't use halogens over tortoises. That's bad advice.
Hey Tom. I’m completely on board with your recommendation but as I posed to ZP…I just wanted to hear the reasoning for no DHP. Based on what I’ve learned it seems like it would be great bc it’s deep radiating heat without the light whereas CHE is just heat with no benefit. I was thinking of the two che as suggested and 1 dhp. If they are regulated it shouldn’t be overkill but if you really think I should ditch it then I guess I’ll have to get used to the empty plug lol. Thanks for your input. Halogens are out!
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Moderator
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
25,524
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
All T5 HO tubes are not UVB tubes. I'm sure you understand that. And PLANT LIGHT UVA tubes are not UVB tubes either.
I have heard of that brand name mentioned on this forum before. But I have no experience with them.
A 4' T5 HO UVB tube with a fixture of any brand would probably produce similar levels of UVB. Either 5.0 or 6% or the more powerful 10.0 or 12% respectively. But the Arcadia is probably superior to all of them. I use ZOOMED because it's what I found available at the time. And I like them, myself.
As for the other light choices, I've only suggested what I've used and what works. To try to help and keep you from spending money and on experimenting with other sources.
If you had a high heat animal such as a Uromastyx. That deep heat might sound feasible. To me, it just doesn't seem fit for a Redfoot somehow.
Again. I'm only suggesting what I know that works.
I'm not sure that there is much contradiction in information about Redfoot care on this forum.
Although there's a lot of it outside of the forum. ESPECIALLY on some of those whack-job FACEBOOK groups.
 

YoshiDavid

New Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
19
Location (City and/or State)
St. Catharines
All T5 HO tubes are not UVB tubes. I'm sure you understand that. And PLANT LIGHT UVA tubes are not UVB tubes either.
I have heard of that brand name mentioned on this forum before. But I have no experience with them.
A 4' T5 HO UVB tube with a fixture of any brand would probably produce similar levels of UVB. Either 5.0 or 6% or the more powerful 10.0 or 12% respectively. But the Arcadia is probably superior to all of them. I use ZOOMED because it's what I found available at the time. And I like them, myself.
As for the other light choices, I've only suggested what I've used and what works. To try to help and keep you from spending money and on experimenting with other sources.
If you had a high heat animal such as a Uromastyx. That deep heat might sound feasible. To me, it just doesn't seem fit for a Redfoot somehow.
Again. I'm only suggesting what I know that works.
I'm not sure that there is much contradiction in information about Redfoot care on this forum.
Although there's a lot of it outside of the forum. ESPECIALLY on some of those whack-job FACEBOOK groups.
Thanks for the help. I may reach out again once I have this hide bc I’m not sure how much distance she’ll be from the light/heat. Btw when I mentioned contradictions in my title it was for lack of a better descriptor and just a generalization. It wasn’t directed at the forum but rather the internet in general. The reason I came to you guys is bc I find your information much more rational. Thanks again.
 

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
22,431
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Pictures of the new enclosure would help you get it right.
 

Canadian Mojo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
211
Location (City and/or State)
Ontario
Thanks for the help. I may reach out again once I have this hide bc I’m not sure how much distance she’ll be from the light/heat. Btw when I mentioned contradictions in my title it was for lack of a better descriptor and just a generalization. It wasn’t directed at the forum but rather the internet in general. The reason I came to you guys is bc I find your information much more rational. Thanks again.
Definitely come back and ask, but your tort probably won't spend much time on top of the hide if it's to hot and bright. RF's aren't much for bright lights and basking.

Edit to add: they do like to wander and clamber over things, so it might become a popular thing climb onto over and over but not actually sit on.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Moderator
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
25,524
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
Thanks for the help. I may reach out again once I have this hide bc I’m not sure how much distance she’ll be from the light/heat. Btw when I mentioned contradictions in my title it was for lack of a better descriptor and just a generalization. It wasn’t directed at the forum but rather the internet in general. The reason I came to you guys is bc I find your information much more rational. Thanks again.
Any time
It's a pleasure to help you
 

YoshiDavid

New Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
19
Location (City and/or State)
St. Catharines
Another thing I was curious about is that my 100 watt CHE’s say they are meant for 30-40 gallon enclosures which ofcourse is much smaller than what I have; will I be able to create an appropriate gradient or zone with just the two CHE’s? There is no heat source anywhere other than that cluster on the far left side. I was also pouring over some things on the site today and saw a thread where keepers were actually putting some sort of blocking material over the che so that the shell apparently didn’t dry out if they basked for too long. Is this necessary practice? I’m waiting to hear back from the contractor about the height of the hide, I think that may help answer some questions as well. Thanks again. (Also is this reply going to everyone in the thread or just a single poster?)….im not very savvy with the layout and just kind of blast away on the first reply button lol.
 

Bjones6686

New Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2021
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
Indianapolis
Another thing I was curious about is that my 100 watt CHE’s say they are meant for 30-40 gallon enclosures which ofcourse is much smaller than what I have; will I be able to create an appropriate gradient or zone with just the two CHE’s? There is no heat source anywhere other than that cluster on the far left side. I was also pouring over some things on the site today and saw a thread where keepers were actually putting some sort of blocking material over the che so that the shell apparently didn’t dry out if they basked for too long. Is this necessary practice? I’m waiting to hear back from the contractor about the height of the hide, I think that may help answer some questions as well. Thanks again. (Also is this reply going to everyone in the thread or just a single poster?)….im not very savvy with the layout and just kind of blast away on the first reply button lol.
I personally think you need to have you CHE spread out evenly in the enclouse to maintain the proper temperature. With the height of your enclosure I don't see the purpose of a blocking material over the CHE. This chart is approximately what temperatures will be at those distances with a 100w Exoterra CHE. Screenshot 20211221 210857 Chrome
 

YoshiDavid

New Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
19
Location (City and/or State)
St. Catharines
I personally think you need to have you CHE spread out evenly in the enclouse to maintain the proper temperature. With the height of your enclosure I don't see the purpose of a blocking material over the CHE. This chart is approximately what temperatures will be at those distances with a 100w Exoterra CHE. View attachment 337878
so are you suggesting one che on either end for a total of two or to add a third. also what would be the best location for the uvb? i always hear uvb should be paired with heat sources. i also read that uvb beyond 12 inches doesnt offer much benefit which is obviously an issue for me considering the height. might it be best to side mount the uvb? my final and most important question as i am now considering repurposing this enclosure and adding another with less height is; what would be the ideal height for an 8 by 4 foot enclosure that allows them to get what they need, keeps them safe an doesnt waste any height? thanks for the chart!
 

Bjones6686

New Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2021
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
Indianapolis
so are you suggesting one che on either end for a total of two or to add a third. also what would be the best location for the uvb? i always hear uvb should be paired with heat sources. i also read that uvb beyond 12 inches doesnt offer much benefit which is obviously an issue for me considering the height. might it be best to side mount the uvb? my final and most important question as i am now considering repurposing this enclosure and adding another with less height is; what would be the ideal height for an 8 by 4 foot enclosure that allows them to get what they need, keeps them safe an doesnt waste any height? thanks for the chart!
I would put 3 CHE in a fixture that large. One on each end and one in the middle. May be able to get away with 2 or may need 4. All depends on the ambient temperature of the room the enclosure is in. Make sure to use a thermostat with the CHE. You'll need to find a way to suspend the UVB light fixture to get it in the effective range. Google florescent lamp suspension kit and you'll come up with some universal chain or cable kits to suspend the UVB light. See pic below for what I'm talking about. Screenshot 20211221 223709 Google I have my UVB over the food and water dishes on the opposite side of the enclosure of where my tortoise hides and sleeps. That ensures it gets UVB while it soaks in the water and eats food. These charts are from Arcadia lighting website. It will give you an idea of the UVB light percentage at different heights with the bulbs they offer. The second photo is the bulbs they reccomend for a redfoot and what distance from rhe lamp to the animal. Screenshot 20211221 222043 Chrome Screenshot 20211221 221808 Chrome
 

YoshiDavid

New Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
19
Location (City and/or State)
St. Catharines
thanks for the recommendations BJones. In regards to spacing out the CHE's, would it be a good idea to have the one on the opposite end set to 75 and the others at 85 so it maintains a gradient. ive got the two in use now on a thermostat but of course that means they must be run at the same rate. I like your idea of having the UVB over the food and water as i think that would regulate things a little more. to give you a visual of changes im considering;

left side ("basking side") CHE set at 85...or higher?; here i would have hide and maybe a water bowl
middle CHE set at 80; here i could put some plants
right CHE 75; here i would have another water bowl and food

PS: last night i let the enclosure heat up over night before introducing her, i also wanted to test the thermostat.
at 6AM i watched the stat change from 75-85 so all was well. when i came home i put her in and she promptly christened the new pad with a poop and started scratching her butt on the water bowl. i did however notice that the thermostat had only actually achieved 78, my humidity is struggling also. i dumped a couple litres of water all around and put the water dish below the CHE's. My thought before i get to reorienting the setup was to simply increase the temp setting (sidebar- do you know what heat a 100 watt CHE can even achieve?). I am considering stacking another 4x8 ontop of this and cutting the height in half and just using this one for a different animal bc my concern is that its going to take a lot to get the values right with such a cavernous space. god that was a long blurb....sorry (can you tell im stressed aha)
 

Bjones6686

New Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2021
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
Indianapolis
thanks for the recommendations BJones. In regards to spacing out the CHE's, would it be a good idea to have the one on the opposite end set to 75 and the others at 85 so it maintains a gradient. ive got the two in use now on a thermostat but of course that means they must be run at the same rate. I like your idea of having the UVB over the food and water as i think that would regulate things a little more. to give you a visual of changes im considering;

left side ("basking side") CHE set at 85...or higher?; here i would have hide and maybe a water bowl
middle CHE set at 80; here i could put some plants
right CHE 75; here i would have another water bowl and food

PS: last night i let the enclosure heat up over night before introducing her, i also wanted to test the thermostat.
at 6AM i watched the stat change from 75-85 so all was well. when i came home i put her in and she promptly christened the new pad with a poop and started scratching her butt on the water bowl. i did however notice that the thermostat had only actually achieved 78, my humidity is struggling also. i dumped a couple litres of water all around and put the water dish below the CHE's. My thought before i get to reorienting the setup was to simply increase the temp setting (sidebar- do you know what heat a 100 watt CHE can even achieve?). I am considering stacking another 4x8 ontop of this and cutting the height in half and just using this one for a different animal bc my concern is that its going to take a lot to get the values right with such a cavernous space. god that was a long blurb....sorry (can you tell im stressed aha)
Try closing off the vents and see if it helps maintain the heat and humidity level better. I personally would want the whole enclosure temperature to be 80-85 degrees. Buy a few digital temperature and humidity gauges and mount them on both ends of the cage and possibly one in the middle too. That will give you a better ideal of the actual tempature and humidity in the enclosure versus what the thermostat is saying. I bought these at Lowe's and they work great. https://www.lowes.com/pd/AcuRite-Co...Z6p5hRc7ofvbYozX-AhoCyrgQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
 

New Posts

Top