I Need Help on Out Door Heating


New Member
Sep 30, 2018
Location (City and/or State)
I moved our Torti outside this summer here in sacramento, He did really well and loved being outside. He dug himself a hole and would sleep in there at night when the nights where warm. From I kept a zillow red min hood on his hole and he liked his sleeping place. For his new year round home my son helped me build him a 20 x 20 inclosure which he patrols with diligence and a sleep house that is 7 x 7 fully inclosed with a roof so all electricals and lights are safe for him and us. The proiblem I have run into is keeping him watm at night. I had read that some had used ceramic heat (bulbs) with care due to their derictional heat radiance. I have three double sets in the room spaced evenly for coverage and a zillow mini on his sleep box in this room. the problem I have is that it is getting colder and the ceramic setup isn't working at night when i check the temps, the area heat range is around 75 at 11pm. I heat gun his shell in his box and he is at 75. BUT>>>>> in the early morning it dips and gets cold in his house. I can't keep it over 60 and until the day starts to heat up and the heaters start to catch up.

I want to keep his room at around 75 with a min in his box. I can't do it with the heaters i have, I right now have three doubles and his mini. I am thinking of trying a Presto Parabolic Heater space heater or a ceramic space heater. Of course i would take every precaution to prevent overheating. Timer, low settings and whatever else i would need. He likes being outside. Right now i am bringing him in at night but his inside home is 2 small for him now.

Can anyone direct me to some plans or have any expereince in their setups?

Probably next year I will work and learn to hibernate him, but since this was his 1st outside and I;m not up on hibernating for tight now.

Any help is appreciated.

We got Torti at the Sacramento Repitile show in 2015 and his has grown and grown. His vet say he is a healthy male, he weighs about 45 pounds.

Thank You

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Jul 22, 2014
Location (City and/or State)
I'm pretty sure sulcatas don't hibernate. Same as Leopards - they have to have heat all year around 24/7. Not all tort species hibernate.
I think 75 may be a bit low. Have a look at the caresheet to check the recommended temps, diet, substrate etc.
There is a lot of other good up to date information about keeping sullies here too.
Is his house well insulated?
Some people use oil filler radiators in their nightboxes along with che or radiant heat panels and maybe even kane mats on the floor or wall mounted.
Thermostats will make sure they don't overheat.
If you do a search for nightboxes you'll find some good examples @Tom is a good person to advice about those.
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Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Nov 13, 2017
Location (City and/or State)
Cincinnati, OH
Are you able to post a pic of the area / enclosure? What are the dimensions? That will aid us in helping you determine the proper size and type of heater.

On a side note, your ambient temperature should be kept at a minimum of 80 degrees. I'm not a big fan of ceramic heaters either. In my experience, they suck all the humidity out of the air leaving the enclosure too dry, more so than certain other types of heaters.


Well-Known Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Oct 14, 2017
Location (City and/or State)
Palm Bay Fl
Welcome, how well is the enclosure insulated? Many members use RHP(radiant heat panel). Some members mount them on the ceiling some mount them on the side walls.