Night Heat

klawran1

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Good morning, all! I'm in a bit of a bind and need some help.

Back when I got my first leopard in the late 2000s, all information stated that she needed a hot, dry environment. If you've seen any pictures of my girl, she has a good bit of pyramiding due to this information and her set up. After a lot of research recently pointing to more humidity, I closed her tortoise table. Humidity levels range from 68-78 throughout the day as of a few weeks ago. Her basking temps range in the 90s and opposite side of the enclosure stays around 84 degrees.

Here is my issue. I live in Florida and the temps don't drop much here. At least not in the room where I keep all of my reptiles. Unfortunately, I noticed this morning that the temp in her enclosure is around 66 degrees. Cold + Wet = sick baby. I definitely need to fix this immediately.

I've looked into infrared and black lights, but most veterinary sites state that exposure to these bulbs cause long term problems. I looked into getting a Ceramic Heat Emitter, but I worry that it will overheat, cause problems, melt my lamps (though they are ceramic based), or I'll set it up incorrectly and be asleep if something happens.

Can you tell me what you use, or advice on keeping her warm until her heat lights come back on? I thought having her enclosure covered would hold the heat in. It might for a few hours when the lights go off, but definitely not all night. All advice is appreciated!
 

Yvonne G

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I use incandescent 60watt black bulbs at night for indoors. Outdoor habitats have a pig blanket on the floor and a 160watt red brooder bulb mounted high from the ceiling.

When you read about exposure to black lights, they are referring to the fluorescent type. The incandescent bulb is just like a regular light bulb, only the glass is painted a very dark blue.
 

Yvonne G

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Yes, that's it. You can sometimes buy them pretty cheap at party supply stores.
 

klawran1

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Okay, thank you. Just need it to get through the winter! I'm right near a Home Depot so I'll just snag one from there. I appreciate your help.
 

klawran1

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So I tried using this bulb and it barely added a degree to the temperature. The closed table is 4ft x 8ft. Anyone have success/horror stories using Ceramic Heat Emitters?
 

Tom

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Ceramic heat emitters are the way to go for this application. I've been using them for years with no issues. I like it dark at night. I don't like the incandescent bulbs (black or any other color) because they burn out all the time. If they burn out on a cold night after you are asleep, you won't even know that your tortoises was too cold until its too late.

The thing you are missing is the thermostat. These are about $30 and can be found in any pet shop or online. Plug it into the wall, set the temp and plug your CHE fixture into the thermostat. Watch the temps and make small adjustments up or down as needed. Once you have it set, that's it. It will maintain your ambient day and night, and never overheat anything. The thermostat shuts off the CHE when temps are warm enough and turns it back on automatically when temps drop below your set point. Simple.
 

klawran1

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Thank you very much! I'll look into that right now. I've been worried to try it because of all the horror stories you find online. I'll have to do this for my 3x6 Russian enclosure also. Do you use a particular fixture, or just a ceramic bottom fixture? Is there a particular wattage you would recommend?

For the thermostat, something like this?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/310605442752?lpid=82
 

Tom

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I would not use that second one. I buy my domes at Home Depot. Always use a ceramic based fixture and check the wattage rating. It should be rated to handle higher wattage than whatever bulb you want to use in there. So if you want to use a 150 watt CHE, make sure your fixture is rated to at least 200 or 250 watts.

The first link will work just fine, and those look a lot nicer than the Home Depot ones.
 

el_ote

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Lots of good info here! I just went with the Ceramic Heat Emitter as well. I still need to get a thermostat controller but for right now, its manually turning on the CHE at night and OFF in the AM.
 

klawran1

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That's the way I was going to do it, but I got paranoid and got the thermostat as a precaution. Don't need them overheating while I'm sleeping.
 

Hermes

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That's the way I was going to do it, but I got paranoid and got the thermostat as a precaution. Don't need them overheating while I'm sleeping.
Yeah a thermostat is the way to go with a CHE and they aren't expensive at all
 
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