Indoor enclosure

Jennyknight

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I have recently enlarged my indoor enclosure. I think my Russian may be getting too cold as he has almost stopped eating and is sleeping a lot. He is booked in for bloods etc as a precaution. I have two basking bulbs at one end and two t5 lights. It’s open topped. I think I need to warm more of the enclosure up without it costing the earth to run l. Any advice would be helpful. Thanksimage.jpg
 

wellington

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You only need one uvb light and one basking light. Move one of the basking to the other end and add one or two ceramic heat emitters and a regular light or two for brightness.
What are the actual temps? To appropriately help, we need to know exact temps.
Basking area, 95-100
All over should range from 75-80 and night should be room temp but not colder than 60.
Also, they will hide more in a new enclosure until they get comfortable with it
I wouldn't worry about a vet visit until you know all temps and lighting are corrected and correct.
A vet visit could cause more issues as too many know nothing about tortoises.
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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I have recently enlarged my indoor enclosure. I think my Russian may be getting too cold as he has almost stopped eating and is sleeping a lot. He is booked in for bloods etc as a precaution. I have two basking bulbs at one end and two t5 lights. It’s open topped. I think I need to warm more of the enclosure up without it costing the earth to run l. Any advice would be helpful. ThanksView attachment 373292
The enclosure is really nice!

Unlikely you will need to raise temperatures even in UK summer - Russian tortoises are cold hardy species. But for the colder seasons you may need it.
To save on heating you can cover the enclosure with polycarbonate or polystyrene (perhaps, cheapest and easiest) sheets or reflective insulation roll. You also might need to make a frame out of wood, PVC pipes or aluminium railings for the insulated cover if you opt for heavier or flexible material. Glass walls also dissipate a lot of heat, so it will make sense to place insulation between them and room walls.

Instead of longer UVB lamp you can install LED bar/strip to provide good ambient lightning.

As for the rest I second wellington's post above.
 

Jennyknight

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Joined
Feb 3, 2024
Messages
14
Location (City and/or State)
Uk
You only need one uvb light and one basking light. Move one of the basking to the other end and add one or two ceramic heat emitters and a regular light or two for brightness.
What are the actual temps? To appropriately help, we need to know exact temps.
Basking area, 95-100
All over should range from 75-80 and night should be room temp but not colder than 60.
Also, they will hide more in a new enclosure until they get comfortable with it
I wouldn't worry about a vet visit until you know all temps and lighting are corrected and correct.
A vet visit could cause more issues as too many know nothing about tortoises.
Basking is 30 and colder end 20. With ceramic heaters do I need thermostats attached and also where would you place them. Thanks
 

Jennyknight

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Joined
Feb 3, 2024
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Uk
The enclosure is really nice!

Unlikely you will need to raise temperatures even in UK summer - Russian tortoises are cold hardy species. But for the colder seasons you may need it.
To save on heating you can cover the enclosure with polycarbonate or polystyrene (perhaps, cheapest and easiest) sheets or reflective insulation roll. You also might need to make a frame out of wood, PVC pipes or aluminium railings for the insulated cover if you opt for heavier or flexible material. Glass walls also dissipate a lot of heat, so it will make sense to place insulation between them and room walls.

Instead of longer UVB lamp you can install LED bar/strip to provide good ambient lightning.

As for the rest I second wellington's post above.
Could I just insulate the hot end as don’t want to lose the viewing ability as I like to sit and watch him x
 

Jennyknight

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Feb 3, 2024
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Uk
You only need one uvb light and one basking light. Move one of the basking to the other end and add one or two ceramic heat emitters and a regular light or two for brightness.
What are the actual temps? To appropriately help, we need to know exact temps.
Basking area, 95-100
All over should range from 75-80 and night should be room temp but not colder than 60.
Also, they will hide more in a new enclosure until they get comfortable with it
I wouldn't worry about a vet visit until you know all temps and lighting are corrected and correct.
A vet visit could cause more issues as too many know nothing about tortoises.
I’ve booked in with a specialist but not for three weeks as wanted to try a few things first such as heating etc x
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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Could I just insulate the hot end as don’t want to lose the viewing ability as I like to sit and watch him x
It's up to you :) More insulation - more savings. The most effective is covering top. You can use plexiglass or plastic film - they won't be as effective, but effect still will be noticeable.

You can also leave the front wall non-insulated to watch your tortoise (I absolutely understand your wish!) and place insulation behind back and side walls.

Insulating only warm end won't help you much - ceramic heaters (CHE) on thermostats will be running 24/7 warming your room as well as the enclosure. Using a thermostat with CHE is highly recommended (simply because it's "set and forget" thing). There are thermostats with two outputs two connect two heaters or you can use a powerstrip. Also, installing CHE in wide domes (like chicken brooder lampshades) will make heating more effective.
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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Basking is 30 and colder end 20. With ceramic heaters do I need thermostats attached and also where would you place them. Thanks
Basking area should be between 35-40C. Place a thermometer probe under the basking lamp and leave it for 1-2 hours to get an accurate reading of the temperature.

20C in the cold end is fine.
 

Jennyknight

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It's up to you :) More insulation - more savings. The most effective is covering top. You can use plexiglass or plastic film - they won't be as effective, but effect still will be noticeable.

You can also leave the front wall non-insulated to watch your tortoise (I absolutely understand your wish!) and place insulation behind back and side walls.

Insulating only warm end won't help you much - ceramic heaters (CHE) on thermostats will be running 24/7 warming your room as well as the enclosure. Using a thermostat with CHE is highly recommended (simply because it's "set and forget" thing). There are thermostats with two outputs two connect two heaters or you can use a powerstrip. Also, installing CHE in wide domes (like chicken brooder lampshades) will make heating more effective.
Thank you. I will instead late sides and sort top out. Great advice x
 

wellington

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Your temps are too low. Basking needs to be 95-100, 38C
The 20C is good for night not day. Needs to be a range from 75F cooler end to 80 warmer end and then the basking area of 95-100.
Get the temps right and you should see a change.
An adult doesn't really need a covered enclosure. But it will help holding heat in if you are worried about the cost.
Place the basking light at one end. The uvb light near it but towards the middle and then another heat light and che at the other end. Put the night hide at the opposite end from the basking end.
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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Hi! Welcome to the forum!

Your enclosure looks really cool! I’d love to see a photo of the full thing?😃

I think adding a ceramic or two like the others suggested will definitely help with your heat here😊all CHE’s should be ran on thermostats, always safer.

What kind of basking bulbs are you using out of interest?🙂an incandescent floodlight is what’s recommended, I’ll attach an example just in case you needed to change it.

Like wellington said, I’d put the floodlight near just the one t5 uv(can save your other one to replace then😁)on your warmer end, uv slightly more in the middle, maybe check under the basking bulb with a temp gun to see if directly underneath is reaching the desired 95-100f👍then add the CHE’s on a thermostat

You can hang some ambient lighting on the same 12 hour timer as the basking light🙂

Hopefully your temps start to improve with those changes and your guy perks up🥰
 

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Jennyknight

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Joined
Feb 3, 2024
Messages
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Uk
Hi! Welcome to the forum!

Your enclosure looks really cool! I’d love to see a photo of the full thing?😃

I think adding a ceramic or two like the others suggested will definitely help with your heat here😊all CHE’s should be ran on thermostats, always safer.

What kind of basking bulbs are you using out of interest?🙂an incandescent floodlight is what’s recommended, I’ll attach an example just in case you needed to change it.

Like wellington said, I’d put the floodlight near just the one t5 uv(can save your other one to replace then😁)on your warmer end, uv slightly more in the middle, maybe check under the basking bulb with a temp gun to see if directly underneath is reaching the desired 95-100f👍then add the CHE’s on a thermostat

You can hang some ambient lighting on the same 12 hour timer as the basking light🙂

Hopefully your temps start to improve with those changes and your guy perks up🥰
Thanks . I’ve ordered a pulse thermostat and ceramic heater. I use Arcadia halogen bulb. Should I go back to flood light. I’ve ordered a new dimmer thermostat so I can increase basking. Must say he does stretch to the light so might be trying to get more heat. Before I got him he had 8 years of just living in a house with nothing. I’m saving the insulation for another month as this cost a lot. X
 

Jennyknight

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Joined
Feb 3, 2024
Messages
14
Location (City and/or State)
Uk
Hi! Welcome to the forum!

Your enclosure looks really cool! I’d love to see a photo of the full thing?😃

I think adding a ceramic or two like the others suggested will definitely help with your heat here😊all CHE’s should be ran on thermostats, always safer.

What kind of basking bulbs are you using out of interest?🙂an incandescent floodlight is what’s recommended, I’ll attach an example just in case you needed to change it.

Like wellington said, I’d put the floodlight near just the one t5 uv(can save your other one to replace then😁)on your warmer end, uv slightly more in the middle, maybe check under the basking bulb with a temp gun to see if directly underneath is reaching the desired 95-100f👍then add the CHE’s on a thermostat

You can hang some ambient lighting on the same 12 hour timer as the basking light🙂

Hopefully your temps start to improve with those changes and your guy perks up🥰
Thanks . I’ve ordered a pulse thermostat and ceramic heater. I use Arcadia halogen bulb. Should I go back to flood light. I’ve ordered a new dimmer thermostat so I can increase basking. Must say he does stretch to the light so might be trying to get more heat. Before I got him he had 8 years of just living in a house with nothing. I’m saving the insulation for another month as this cost a lot. X
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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Thanks . I’ve ordered a pulse thermostat and ceramic heater. I use Arcadia halogen bulb. Should I go back to flood light. I’ve ordered a new dimmer thermostat so I can increase basking. Must say he does stretch to the light so might be trying to get more heat. Before I got him he had 8 years of just living in a house with nothing. I’m saving the insulation for another month as this cost a lot. X
Pulse and dimming thermostats are a bit an overkill. CHE work fine with cheaper on/off thermostats (unless you need super-precise temperature control like in eggs incubator). Dimmer thermostat with a basking bulb does a little help - usually you just pick correct wattage bulb and adjust mounting height. So you may return them, if you want to save some money.

Halogen lamps have very strong output and simple or flood incandescent lamps are recommended for tortoises because they provide more dissipated and mild heat.

What kind of insulation have you found? 3/4 inch, 4x2ft expanded polystyrene board should cost about 2-3 pounds.
 

Jennyknight

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Joined
Feb 3, 2024
Messages
14
Location (City and/or State)
Uk
Pulse and dimming thermostats are a bit an overkill. CHE work fine with cheaper on/off thermostats (unless you need super-precise temperature control like in eggs incubator). Dimmer thermostat with a basking bulb does a little help - usually you just pick correct wattage bulb and adjust mounting height. So you may return them, if you want to save some money.

Halogen lamps have very strong output and simple or flood incandescent lamps are recommended for tortoises because they provide more dissipated and mild heat.

What kind of insulation have you found? 3/4 inch, 4x2ft expanded polystyrene board should cost about 2-3 pounds.
Will look for the polystyrene as I was looking at rolls of reflective insulation stuff. He has finallly eaten today after a bath and a big wee and poop and then gone straight to bed. Would rather use stats as safer and cuts down on electricity a bit. X his poo sample has gone to the lab.
 

Jennyknight

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Joined
Feb 3, 2024
Messages
14
Location (City and/or State)
Uk
Pulse and dimming thermostats are a bit an overkill. CHE work fine with cheaper on/off thermostats (unless you need super-precise temperature control like in eggs incubator). Dimmer thermostat with a basking bulb does a little help - usually you just pick correct wattage bulb and adjust mounting height. So you may return them, if you want to save some money.

Halogen lamps have very strong output and simple or flood incandescent lamps are recommended for tortoises because they provide more dissipated and mild heat.

What kind of insulation have you found? 3/4 inch, 4x2ft expanded polystyrene board should cost about 2-3 pounds.
Will look for the polystyrene as I was looking at rolls of reflective insulation stuff. He has finally eaten today after a bath and a big wee and poop and then gone straight to bed. Would rather use stats as safer and cuts down on electricity a bit. X his poo sample has gone to the lab. Will change his bulb back to a floodlight x
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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Joined
Dec 28, 2023
Messages
1,465
Location (City and/or State)
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Thanks . I’ve ordered a pulse thermostat and ceramic heater. I use Arcadia halogen bulb. Should I go back to flood light. I’ve ordered a new dimmer thermostat so I can increase basking. Must say he does stretch to the light so might be trying to get more heat. Before I got him he had 8 years of just living in a house with nothing. I’m saving the insulation for another month as this cost a lot. X
Yeah definitely switch to the floodlight and always avoid anything labelled halogen. Pulse thermostats, whilst more expensive, I do like them for the CHE’s so that’s cool you got one, on/off would work ok too.
For the dimming thermostat, if you get your hands on a temp gun, hang the floodlight and check the temp directly underneath, you shouldn’t need that on a dimmer, you could save some money there🙂
 
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