Newbie Set Up

Kala

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Well, I'm not in the UK, but in Cyprus. But electricity costs and "how to cool the tortoise" are real problems for me as well :)

Actually, lightning and heating costs for a small tank are neglible (montly cost is approximately just as a few hours of running an electric heater or AC).
Oh god yeah, Cyprus is HOT so I can imagine the issues in the summer 😅 Electricty is much more expensive here, 35-40% more than Cyprus I believe (and 500% of the average cost in the US) but that’s good to know that it doesn’t use a great deal of energy thanks 😊
 

Kala

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No, this one is not good. These "double barrel" fixtures give too narrow beam of heat and light. Also, it's better to space CHE and the basking bulb: CHE is needed to keep the "cool side" at acceptable temperatures.
Oh bugger, just trying to minimise the DIY needed 😅 Does the CHE need a particular lamp?
 

Tom

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Oh bugger, just trying to minimise the DIY needed 😅 Does the CHE need a particular lamp?
CHEs and flood lamps for heat each need a "ceramic based" aluminum domed hood. A long heavy duty cord is a bonus too. These fixtures can be found at any hardware store. Don't buy the black plastic "bakelite" based fixtures. They can't handle the heat and continuous use.

Here is what you need, or something similar, but remove the clamp and the little guard wire thingies. NEVER use the clamp. They fail and the fixture will fall into your enclosure and possibly burn the whole house down. Ask for help to securely hang these heating elements and hot bulbs if you are not confident in how to do it yourself. This is about safety. There is no shame in being safe about this sort of thing. See the white ceramic end piece in the picture? That is what you are looking for. Also notice the little metal hanger near the white part. THAT anger is what you hang on your properly installed coffee cup holder hook.
fl-302pdq8_1.jpg
 

_The_Beast_

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You're planning for a Russian hatchling right? If so, you might not need the CHE if the ambient temp in the enclosure doesn't drop below 21°C-ish at night. I'm in Canada, lower latitude than the UK but still Canadian winters, and I haven't had to get additional heating as our closed chamber enclosure retains heat (and humidity) quite well. The ambient day and night temps stay within the proper range with just the basking light for heat during the day and the natural drop at night. Good to plan for it in case you do need it, but if you're going with a Russian you might not.
 

Kala

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You're planning for a Russian hatchling right? If so, you might not need the CHE if the ambient temp in the enclosure doesn't drop below 21°C-ish at night. I'm in Canada, lower latitude than the UK but still Canadian winters, and I haven't had to get additional heating as our closed chamber enclosure retains heat (and humidity) quite well. The ambient day and night temps stay within the proper range with just the basking light for heat during the day and the natural drop at night. Good to plan for it in case you do need it, but if you're going with a Russian you might not.
Yes that’s right, I highly doubt the temperature will drop below that. I think I’ll get the viv set up without the CHE and test it to make sure it maintains the temperature/humidity overnight. If not I’ll buy a CHE before we collect the little one :)
 

Kala

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CHEs and flood lamps for heat each need a "ceramic based" aluminum domed hood. A long heavy duty cord is a bonus too. These fixtures can be found at any hardware store. Don't buy the black plastic "bakelite" based fixtures. They can't handle the heat and continuous use.

Here is what you need, or something similar, but remove the clamp and the little guard wire thingies. NEVER use the clamp. They fail and the fixture will fall into your enclosure and possibly burn the whole house down. Ask for help to securely hang these heating elements and hot bulbs if you are not confident in how to do it yourself. This is about safety. There is no shame in being safe about this sort of thing. See the white ceramic end piece in the picture? That is what you are looking for. Also notice the little metal hanger near the white part. THAT anger is what you hang on your properly installed coffee cup holder hook.
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Like this?
 

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zovick

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The ceramic socket is correct, however that fixture doesn't have the metal loop attached which will allow you to hang it without using the unsafe clamp. Look at the picture Alex posted and note the little metal loop near the base of the socket. You need one which has that.

I can tell you those clamps fail from personal experience. I had some fixtures with the exact same clamp set up as the one in your picture. I have two nicely charred tortoise enclosures to prove that they will fail eventually. It was just lucky that my house didn't burn down.

You might be able to find a suitable fixture in a feed and grain store if you have them there. Often people who have chickens or other livestock use them with infrared heat bulbs to keep their animals warm.
 

Kala

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The ceramic socket is correct, however that fixture doesn't have the metal loop attached which will allow you to hang it without using the unsafe clamp. Look at the picture Alex posted and note the little metal loop near the base of the socket. You need one which has that.

I can tell you those clamps fail from personal experience. I had some fixtures with the exact same clamp set up as the one in your picture. I have two nicely charred tortoise enclosures to prove that they will fail eventually. It was just lucky that my house didn't burn down.

You might be able to find a suitable fixture in a feed and grain store if you have them there. Often people who have chickens or other livestock use them with infrared heat bulbs to keep their animals warm.
No, no such thing as a feed and grain store here. I searched the exact words Tom wrote with his picture and this is what came up. I wasn’t planning to use the clamp, I didn’t realise it’s missing the loop you’re talking about, I’m not really sure what you mean.

Is someone able to post a link or give me the name of a suitable lamp please?
 

_The_Beast_

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No, no such thing as a feed and grain store here. I searched the exact words Tom wrote with his picture and this is what came up. I wasn’t planning to use the clamp, I didn’t realise it’s missing the loop you’re talking about, I’m not really sure what you mean.

Is someone able to post a link or give me the name of a suitable lamp please?
I had this problem too. I ended up going with this one (linking to Amazon UK), which has a hook that can be used for hanging (it doesn't show the hook in the picture, it's in the box it comes with and you can purchase extras). The hook goes in the little holes you can see near the socket. If you search for reptile lamp fixture or brooding (for baby chicks, not sadness lol) lamp fixture 'with hook' or 'hanging' you may have more luck finding ones that aren't clamp fixtures.

I paired it with this 100w Fluker's bulb (started lower wattage but ended up going up to 100w to get the heat where it needed to be). You can get cheaper bulbs from hardware stores, but I was feeling overwhelmed and didn't want to mess anything up, so I started with this one because I new it would be ok and plan to explore cheaper options once I have more bandwidth to do so. Happy to link to more stuff in my set-up that I can find on Amazon UK if that's helpful :) You're doing great!
 
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Kala

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I had this problem too. I ended up going with this one (linking to Amazon UK), which has a hook that can be used for hanging (it doesn't show the hook in the picture, it's in the box it comes with and you can purchase extras). The hook goes in the little holes you can see near the socket. If you search for reptile lamp fixture or brooding (for baby chicks, not sadness lol) lamp fixture 'with hook' or 'hanging' you may have more luck finding ones that aren't clamp fixtures.

I paired it with this 100w Fluker's bulb (started lower wattage but ended up going up to 100w to get the heat where it needed to be). You can get cheaper bulbs from hardware stores, but I was feeling overwhelmed and didn't want to mess anything up, so I started with this one because I new it would be ok and plan to explore cheaper options once I have more bandwidth to do so. Happy to link to more stuff in my set-up that I can find on Amazon UK if that's helpful :) You're doing great!
Oh perfect. Yeah I found that one but didn’t see a hanger so bypassed it!

Thank you so much! I’ve found the viv, the basking bulb (and now the holder), uvb strip & holder, LED & holder, coco coir, cuttle bones, terracotta saucers, thermostat, socket timers, slate for basking, thermometer/hygrometer, infrared laser thermometer, calcium & vitamins. Have an empty sweet tub to turn in to a hide (like Tom did) and my daughter’s going to pick out some tortoise friendly plants to pot as well as some artificial ones.

Food might be a little tricky at this time of year, but I live next to a creek and there must be some dandelions in there somewhere!
 

Tom

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No, no such thing as a feed and grain store here. I searched the exact words Tom wrote with his picture and this is what came up. I wasn’t planning to use the clamp, I didn’t realise it’s missing the loop you’re talking about, I’m not really sure what you mean.

Is someone able to post a link or give me the name of a suitable lamp please?
People in the UK have horses. Over here we call places that sell horse supplies "feed stores". What do they call horse and barnyard supply stores over there? They sell "brooder lamps" for chicks at these places, and those work. You want something with a wide dome. 10-11 inches.

When possible, its best to avoid pet stores as the stuff they sell is over priced and often of poor quality. The picture that I linked is from a hardware store chain over here called The Home Depot. Do you have Home Depot in the UK? Any large hardware store should sell "clamp lamps", also called "work lights" or "shop lights" sometimes.
 

Kala

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People in the UK have horses. Over here we call places that sell horse supplies "feed stores". What do they call horse and barnyard supply stores over there? They sell "brooder lamps" for chicks at these places, and those work. You want something with a wide dome. 10-11 inches.

When possible, its best to avoid pet stores as the stuff they sell is over priced and often of poor quality. The picture that I linked is from a hardware store chain over here called The Home Depot. Do you have Home Depot in the UK? Any large hardware store should sell "clamp lamps", also called "work lights" or "shop lights" sometimes.
Oh yes of course, we have lots of ‘tack shops’ that sell feed for horses, I didn’t put the 2 together. From what I’ve read online, it’s becoming increasingly rare for people to use those lamps for chicks because of the fire hazard, there seems to be new gadgets replacing them! We don’t have home depot and I checked Wickes, ScrewFix and Homebase which are the main hardware stores, and none of them had anything like these. @_The_Beast_ has sent a link for one on Amazon though 😊
 

Tom

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@_The_Beast_ has sent a link for one on Amazon though 😊
That one is too deep and too narrow and its only rated for 160 watts.

The hardware stores must have something like this. I'm sure its just called something else over there. Try calling and describing it. Its a light fixture with an aluminum dome and a ceramic or porcelain base, with a long heavy duty cord. They are usually rated to 300 watts.
 

_The_Beast_

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That one is too deep and too narrow and its only rated for 160 watts.

The hardware stores must have something like this. I'm sure its just called something else over there. Try calling and describing it. Its a light fixture with an aluminum dome and a ceramic or porcelain base, with a long heavy duty cord. They are usually rated to 300 watts.
For basking 160w seems sufficient. Not for a CHE, but for an incandescent?
 

Tom

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For basking 160w seems sufficient. Not for a CHE, but for an incandescent?
People in the UK often keep their houses much colder in winter than what we do here in North America. They often end up needing 150 watt heat lamps. It says it is rated for that, but that is cutting it awfully close. Too close for my comfort. I'd much rather have a 300 watt fixture and be totally safe with a wide margin of error.

I also don't like the shape and depth of this dome. Much better to have a wide dome to spread the heat and light out over a greater area. If Kala can't find anything else, I think it will do, but it makes me nervous, and as you said, it won't be sufficient for a CHE either.
 

Kala

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People in the UK often keep their houses much colder in winter than what we do here in North America. They often end up needing 150 watt heat lamps. It says it is rated for that, but that is cutting it awfully close. Too close for my comfort. I'd much rather have a 300 watt fixture and be totally safe with a wide margin of error.

I also don't like the shape and depth of this dome. Much better to have a wide dome to spread the heat and light out over a greater area. If Kala can't find anything else, I think it will do, but it makes me nervous, and as you said, it won't be sufficient for a CHE either.
We have discussed the temperature of my home already and how the pipes from our hot water tank run directly under my daughter’s floor, so she has free ‘underfloor heating’. Our house is on a 24/7 thermostat and never drops below 20 degrees.
 

EppsDynasty

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I honestly think it would have been less stressful getting a dog instead 🙈😂
You are almost there ... the finish line is just around the bend. This "stress" will be only a one time thing. It will dissipate at the finish line you will be a tort expert. You will be soooooo much happier with a tort, just my thinking. I commend you on all your efforts just stick with it.
 
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