Heating questions, not the first wont be the last

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if i use a basking light, and have a radiating heat panel, do I need a CHE? Would it be okay for a sulcata or leopard tortoise to have a basking light during the day and then just the heat panel going at night? i would love nothing more than to care for a tortoise but i am on a budget. thanks for your advice
 

Yvonne G

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So you didn’t need to use a basking lamp?
The overall temperature in my babies' enclosures is 80-85F and the fluorescent tube is UVB. There is no need for a basking spot. The RHP is the roof of a cave (panel sits on the edges of two bricks, forming a cave) and inside the cave is slightly warmer than outside the cave. After they eat, they all congregate under the UVB tube, then they go into the cave. So I guess you would say they are basking under the fluorescent tube.
 

Minority2

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The overall temperature in my babies' enclosures is 80-85F and the fluorescent tube is UVB. There is no need for a basking spot. The RHP is the roof of a cave (panel sits on the edges of two bricks, forming a cave) and inside the cave is slightly warmer than outside the cave. After they eat, they all congregate under the UVB tube, then they go into the cave. So I guess you would say they are basking under the fluorescent tube.
1. Is this method being currently used only for Leopards or for all species of tortoises?

2. What are the results after a typical 3 year period? How much pyramiding? How are the average growth rates over the basking bulb method?

3. In your experience, have you noticed any changes in appetite and or their daily activities since switching to this method?
 
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The overall temperature in my babies' enclosures is 80-85F and the fluorescent tube is UVB. There is no need for a basking spot. The RHP is the roof of a cave (panel sits on the edges of two bricks, forming a cave) and inside the cave is slightly warmer than outside the cave. After they eat, they all congregate under the UVB tube, then they go into the cave. So I guess you would say they are basking under the fluorescent tube.
Strange, Tom said that even with the radiant panel that they would still need a basking light, idk what to do...
And where did you purchase your panels at? I wanted to order from reptilebasics but they’re sold out of the ones i need.
 

Yvonne G

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1. Is this method being currently used only for Leopards or for all species of tortoises?

2. What are the results after a typical 3 year period? How much pyramiding? How are the average growth rates over the basking bulb method?

3. In your experience, have you noticed any changes in appetite and or their daily activities since switching to this method?
I have two sulcata hatchlings in one Vision cage (set up as above) and the other Vision cage contains 12 hatchling desert tortoise with a hatchling three toe box turtle in a little shoe box set in one corner of that enclosure.

My tortoise partner, @Will, takes the leopards home about every three months and sells them, but he has kept a couple hold backs for a few months and they're just as smooth as can be, no pyramiding (he keeps them the same way I do). They grow very nicely, but this has a lot to do with diet as much as environment.

I only keep the desert tortoise babies a year, then I adopt them out, but at the end of that year, they're still nice and smooth, and growing great.

You'll have to get basking bulb info from @Tom, as I don't use a basking bulb. I think @DeanS doesn't use lights either.

Appetite seems to have increased using this method.
 

Yvonne G

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Strange, Tom said that even with the radiant panel that they would still need a basking light, idk what to do...
And where did you purchase your panels at? I wanted to order from reptilebasics but they’re sold out of the ones i need.
@Will brought me the RHP, I don't know where he got them. Read up on what @DeanS says about basking lights. He's raising babies without harsh lighting.
 

Tom

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if i use a basking light, and have a radiating heat panel, do I need a CHE? Would it be okay for a sulcata or leopard tortoise to have a basking light during the day and then just the heat panel going at night? i would love nothing more than to care for a tortoise but i am on a budget. thanks for your advice
Yes. The basking light is to make a warm spot during the day, and the CHE or RHP is for maintaining ambient temps above your set point on your thermostat 24/7.

You'll need either a CHE or a RHP. Not both. One or the other. These two items do the same thing. I prefer RHPs because they spread the heat out over a greater area.

I've tried several experiments over the years trying to grow them without using basking lights, and it has never worked well for me. I've done it several different ways. They don't die or anything, they just don't grow and thrive as well as when they have a basking lamp.

Here is the most involved experiment:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/2015-growth-experiment.119874/
 

Tom

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@Will brought me the RHP, I don't know where he got them. Read up on what @DeanS says about basking lights. He's raising babies without harsh lighting.
No one I know of has duplicated Dean's results. I've tried and failed. I don't know of anyone else who has tried with sulcatas or leopards.

I know of several people that raise radiata this way and it seems to work very well for them, but I've not seen anyone but Dean raise a sulcata this way successfully.
 
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Yes. The basking light is to make a warm spot during the day, and the CHE or RHP is for maintaining ambient temps above your set point on your thermostat 24/7.

You'll need either a CHE or a RHP. Not both. One or the other. These two items do the same thing. I prefer RHPs because they spread the heat out over a greater area.

I've tried several experiments over the years trying to grow them without using basking lights, and it has never worked well for me. I've done it several different ways. They don't die or anything, they just don't grow and thrive as well as when they have a basking lamp.

Here is the most involved experiment:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/2015-growth-experiment.119874/
So would you keep both your basking light on during the day, and then just the RHP at night, or would you only turn the RHP on at night
 

Tom

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There are four elements to heating and lighting:

  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt floods from the hardware store. I run them on a timer and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them.
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. You'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT.
  3. Light. I use florescent tubes or LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most tubes at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. If you want it anyway, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height.

To answer your question directly: The CHE or RHP needs to run on a thermostat. This maintains your ambient temp day and night all the time. The basking bulb is on a timer for about 12 hours day for tropical species like sulcatas, stars and leopards

Here is the thermostat I usually use:
https://www.lllreptile.com/products/13883-zilla-1000-watt-temperature-controller
 

Minority2

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I have two sulcata hatchlings in one Vision cage (set up as above) and the other Vision cage contains 12 hatchling desert tortoise with a hatchling three toe box turtle in a little shoe box set in one corner of that enclosure.

My tortoise partner, @Will, takes the leopards home about every three months and sells them, but he has kept a couple hold backs for a few months and they're just as smooth as can be, no pyramiding (he keeps them the same way I do). They grow very nicely, but this has a lot to do with diet as much as environment.

I only keep the desert tortoise babies a year, then I adopt them out, but at the end of that year, they're still nice and smooth, and growing great.

You'll have to get basking bulb info from @Tom, as I don't use a basking bulb. I think @DeanS doesn't use lights either.

Appetite seems to have increased using this method.
Agreed. Some external factors at play may possibly explain why this method seems to work for some and not for others, especially for people that live in similar regions. I'm very interested in the practicality portion of this method because universal success would be the end of all heat bulbs lamps, mercury vapor bulbs, and other intensely dehydrating sources of heat.

If and when @DeanS ever posts his care sheet in tortoise forum, can you and @Will also comment on possibly the similarity and differences of your care to his? More information and feedback may possibly help narrow down those factors to make this method possible for all.
 

H2447INTX

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Ok so @Tom or @DeanS
And Tom I know I have msg you before.

I have an enclosed chamber , 100w CHE for basking spot &warmth 95° & 22" T5 12% they come on at 1045AM and go off at 430pm. Temps run 85-87° when during this time


From 6AM to 1045AM the T8 is on and again 430 PM to 6PM
So the lights alternate to simulate UV level.

Night time the 60w CHE is on to keep box warm. 430PM to 1045AM alternating with the 100w

After a few days now it seams that the humidity drops on the warm side to 77-78% but mid 82-90% on cooler side. And Visa versa as the CHE and lights switch from day to night.

Temps at night ar 79-80° cool side and with the 60w CHE 82-83°warm side being it's only the 60w running.
humidity switches from side to side as well. But still maintain 79-81% warm side and 88-90% on cooler side.

My box never gets up to 90°+.
it does have the 95° basking
I read the links posted to you alls experiment and I do get them out side when posible, we are getting into our cooler months.

Do you guys feel the slight dip blow 80°/80% would couse issues. Or have a slower growing effect? Possibly affect eating habits ? Laziness?

Any input word be greatly appreciated.

All the temps and humidity numbers are a +- , depending on accuracy of the thermostat or hydrometer.

If need be i get bigger CHE or kick the 2 on .
 
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