Help me make a new tortoise checklist!

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imranuddin93

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Hey guys I'm trying to make a checklist for all the things I will need for my new tortoise that I will get after I actually buy everything needed for an indoor enclosure! I'm sure this will help many other people too so your contributions are welcome! Also suggestions for specific brands of the things listed below are welcome too!

So far I'm looking at:

  • enclousre
  • substrate (cypress mulch)
  • UVB Light
  • Heat lamp/Heater (clamp light)
  • Hides
  • Dishes
  • Thermostat

Anyone have suggestions on the heater part, I've been reading a lot of things everywhere and not sure what to get for that.
 

Yvonne G

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You'll need two light fixtures. Try to find the ones with large domes...10 or 12". They must have ceramic bases, not bakelite. You can use a CHE (ceramic heat emitter) for night time heat. Don't get a small one. Get at LEAST 100 watt.

I use plastic plant saucers for water and if the tortoise is very small, I line the bottom with pebbles so its not too deep.
 

dannel

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CHE are pretty good. I'd also recommend a thermostat for a heat bulb. They can be somewhat expensive, but ensure that the enclosure doesn't ever get too hot/too cold.
 

imranuddin93

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So when talking about CHE, they're just bulbs that you put on one of those clamp on lamps am I correct? And adding thermostat to the checklist!
 

bigred

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imranuddin93 said:
So when talking about CHE, they're just bulbs that you put on one of those clamp on lamps am I correct? And adding thermostat to the checklist!

CHE = ceramic heat emitter, what kind of tortoise are you setting up for
 

shellysmom

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When you said "New Tortoise Checklist" I thought we were going to help you make a list of all the tortoises you want to get. Oh, well. ;)
 

imranuddin93

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@bigred I'm trying to start setting up for a cherry head

@shellysmom One step at a time :)

One thing I'm confused about is that is the CHE supposed to heat up the whole enclosure? Or just the warm side of the enclosure?
 

imranuddin93

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Sorry for posting again but I can't edit my old post since it's been over 30 mins.

However I'm confused with his whole lightning thing. I need the UVB on one side right? Does the UVB serve as the basking light? Do I also put the CHE on the same side as the UVB? I'm trying to figure out how to keep the whole enclosure warm enough for the tortoise but then also keep one side cooler than the other, and I am very confused!
 

dannel

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I'd advise using a UV strip light like Reptisun or something like that. DON'T use the coil bulbs because they can damage a torts eyes. The strip light can be on top of the whole enclosure. You need a separate basking bulb to keep one side of the enclosure so the tort can choose how hot or cold it wants to be. Doesn't matter where the CHE goes, just make sure you put it on one side of the enclosure. Is your tort table enclosed? Any pics of it?
 

Tortus

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As far as the thermostat goes, I highly recommend the hydrofarm digital thermostat. You can get it for under $30 on Amazon and you can set the exact temp you want digitally. It's very easy to use. No guessing like the zoo med one. Just put the probe on the substrate and it will automatically turn on/off the heat source at the exact temp you program into it.

This is only good if you're using a CHE as the main source of heat, or a heat mat for night heat which I use. You wouldn't want a basking bulb going on and off all the time via thermostat. That would probably stress the tort out. And annoy you also.
 

imranuddin93

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dannel said:
I'd advise using a UV strip light like Reptisun or something like that. DON'T use the coil bulbs because they can damage a torts eyes. The strip light can be on top of the whole enclosure. You need a separate basking bulb to keep one side of the enclosure so the tort can choose how hot or cold it wants to be. Doesn't matter where the CHE goes, just make sure you put it on one side of the enclosure. Is your tort table enclosed? Any pics of it?

I'm working on building it, making it out of wood. I was planning on having it as an open enclosure. So imagine a 4x6ft wood enclosure open on the top. Would an 18 inch strip held up on the middle of the enclosure be good? Then I can put a basking light on the left side and then a CHE on the right side?
So all in all, its a total of 3 lightning/heating things? The UVB, the CHE, and the Basking light?
 

dannel

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You dont need both the basking bulb and the CHE, i just like the CHE because on cold nights you can turn it on without disturbing the tort B/C it gives off no light.
 

Tortus

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I have all three in mine, although I could probably eliminate the basking light. I only use the CHE when the tort sleeps in an unusual location. It's attached to a zoo med lamp stand that I can move around and position wherever it decides to sleep. The house gets cold at night and I want to keep its temp around 80 degrees at all times.

Mine sleeps in various locations right now. So I'm always prepared to keep it warmed up.
 

imranuddin93

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Thank you guys so much for your replies so far! It is really helpful for a newbie like me! :)

So basically the basking light and CHE serve the same purpose? So if the CHE is working to heat up the whole enclosure, that means I would need a pretty big dome like a 10 inch as emysemys had suggested earlier?

And if the CHE is hooked up to a thermostat, then I could just easily control the daytime and nighttime temperatures?
 

dannel

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Yes, some thermostats can automatically drop the temp slightly at a certain time, you just have to make sure the one you have has that. Yes, get a large dome and at least a 150 watt CHE if you're heating up an opened top enclosure of your size. Is it indoors? I'd reccomend building a closed top enclosure like the one on THIS THREAD. That way your electrical bill wont be so high because the heat stays in the enclosure. Also easier to maintain humidity.
 

Tortus

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imranuddin93 said:
Thank you guys so much for your replies so far! It is really helpful for a newbie like me! :)

So basically the basking light and CHE serve the same purpose? So if the CHE is working to heat up the whole enclosure, that means I would need a pretty big dome like a 10 inch as emysemys had suggested earlier?

And if the CHE is hooked up to a thermostat, then I could just easily control the daytime and nighttime temperatures?

Yeah, a basking light and CHE do nothing more than heat the tort up. They're just heat sources. UVB, as I'm sure you know, gives the tort vitamin D in order to absorb calcium and prevent metabolic bone disease.

But even a big dome fixture won't let one CHE heat up the entire enclosure. It's more like a basking spot. It will keep one area warm. Since my house gets really cold in the winter, I have a heat mat under the cold side with a thermostat so the entire thing never gets below 80 degrees at night. You could use a another CHE also to keep the temp in spec.
 

imranuddin93

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Alright awesome, this has been super helpful!
So any recommendations on thermostats?
 

Tortus

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I already gave you a recommendation on a thermostat. But if anyone knows of a better one I'm sure they'll chime in.
 
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