How to set up heat in new enclosure?

Mattopb3

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I just scored on a used 4x2x2 closed enclosure. It came with a socket I will put a 60w che in. And also 4' lighting fixture with a t5ho bulb by zoo med in it. So how should I set up the heating? Do I need to add a basking light? I also have the double light fixture I believe
 

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NorCal tortoise guy

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Yes you will also need a basking lamp that gets the ground right under it to about 100f also you will need to set the Che up on a thermostat to keep the cage 80f day and night. Set the uvb bulb and basking bulb on a timer to run 12 hours a day or so. Set everything up and run the cage for a few days before adding your tortoise to make sure temp are right were you need them to be
 

Tom

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I just scored on a used 4x2x2 closed enclosure. It came with a socket I will put a 60w che in. And also 4' lighting fixture with a t5ho bulb by zoo med in it. So how should I set up the heating? Do I need to add a basking light? I also have the double light fixture I believe
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. You can mount a fixture on the ceiling, or hang a dome lamp from the ceiling. Go lower or higher wattage if this makes the enclosure too hot or not warm enough. Do not use "spot" bulbs, mercury vapor bulbs or halogen bulbs.
  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 like sulcatas or leopards. I like this thermostat: https://www.lllreptile.com/products/13883-zilla-1000-watt-temperature-controller. Put the probe in the coolest corner away from all heating elements. You may need more than one heating element to spread the heat out for a given enclosure.
  3. Light. I use florescent tubes 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. I've been using LEDs lately and they are great, and run cooler than a florescent. This can be set on the same timer as the basking bulb.
  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. I like the ZooMed 10.0 HO, and the Arcadia 12% HO. Which type will depend on mounting height. It helps to have a UV meter to test and see what your bulb is actually putting out at your mounting height. Plexi-glass or screen tops will filter out some or all of the UV produced by your bulb.
 

Mattopb3

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Which 65w flood light bulbs do you use? Right now I'm using the zoo med repti basking spot lamp and if you think I shouldn't use it I'll go get what you recommend.


Also the enlcosure looks plain any ideas on bringing it to life? Plant wise or decorating
 

Tom

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Which 65w flood light bulbs do you use? Right now I'm using the zoo med repti basking spot lamp and if you think I shouldn't use it I'll go get what you recommend.
Also the enlcosure looks plain any ideas on bringing it to life? Plant wise or decorating

You need a "flood" type bulb. Spot bulbs concentrate too much heat and IR-A into too small an area and they make pyramiding worse. I use regular incandescent floods from the hard ware store. I buy 6 or 12 packs of the Sylvania or Philips bulbs from Home Depot or Lowes.

Plants are tough. My tortoises always try to eat plastic or silk fake plants. Don't want impaction. Real plants can work, but they will eat and trample them unless potted. You can't buy potted plants because they are all grown with toxic systemic pesticides that last in the plant's tissues for a year after purchase. You have to start your own plants from cuttings of long established plants and pot them in safe soil with no perlite. Its a tall order. I don't bother. Indoor enclosures are only temporary for me for a year or two until I can grow them large enough to live outside in well planted enclosures.
 
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