Setup and suggestions for 4 x 8 indoor enclosure

crimson_lotus

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I could really use some help on my tortoise's new enclosure! The pictures are attached of my attaching the pond liner and adding coco coir. The ramp is a bit steep currently for my tort so I will have to modify with something. I was thinking traction tape?

My issue is the lights. So, in order for me to put the liner in, I had to take the doors off and the extra space for the ramp room. You can see the enclosure fully assembled attached as well.

I purchased 2 x 36" uv strips for each side (4 x 4). Currently my tortoise lives in a 4 x 4 and uses 2 CHE's for heat during the winter (100w and 150w), plus 1 UV strip light (t5). I know I can set up the strip lights but am having trouble with figuring out how and where to mount the CHE's, and with what hardware. Any thoughts? I was thinking stainless steel eyelets with reinforced zip tie but would love some suggestions.
Given the size of the enclosure, is 4 x CHE's too much? Would anyone suggest an alternative? I live in MA and the temperature in the house is 60. Tort is a redfoot and needs 80f heat and 80-100% humidity.

Another issue is the ramp material. So the entire enclosure is made of pressure treated wood. My instinct is to add a coat of something or wrap pond liner around the ramp. Does anyone know more about the danger of pressure treated wood in an enclosed, indoor hot and humid environment?

Thank you in advance. I realize these are a lot of questions but I really want to make sure my tort is OK in there. I live in MA and she will, for the majority of the year, be inside.
 

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Maro2Bear

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Lots of questions... ?. As long as you use THERMOSTATS with remote probes with your CHEs you should be fine. They will turn off and on to maintain your temps.


As far as pressure treated wood on your ramp, I’m sure some will disagree, but the manufacturers have come a long way in what they use to treat the wood. Personally, i would use on your ramp.​

If the wood has a greenish tint then it has been pressure-treated with CCA. To address the pressure treated wood safety concerns, in 2002, the United States' Environmental Protection Agency convinced lumber manufacturers to find a non-arsenic based formula for treated. The result is ACQ (Alkaline Copper Quartenary) treated lumber. Two types of treatment now a day amine copper quat (ACQ) and copper azole (CA). CCA, which stands for "chrome, copper and arsenic", is applied under pressure to force it deep into lumber and then cured in a "fixating" process which attaches these chemicals in a highly dispersed fashion to the cellulose of the wood. This turned out to be economical, safe and long lasting. It has become the standard for preserving wood around the world. There have been efforts to use less toxic chemicals, but Borax based treatments tended to leach out and leave the wood exposed although the better of these have evolved to Copper Azole type B or CA-B. ACQ has been around for a long time but has only become common because of an ecological phase-out of CCA. Why was it used and safety ignored, simple Arsenic was cheap. Most of new chemicals rely on copper, which isn’t cheap. So to keep the cost reasonable, lumber now is treated according to its intended use, with the copper content in the preserving chemicals varying from around 20 to 95 percent.​

The new ACQ treated lumber contains a very high level of copper to replace the arsenic. While this reduces the desired risk of poisoning, it does present a different, but very dangerous problem: increased levels of corrosion. The EPA is mainly concerned with the levels of chromated copper arsenate (CCA) in pressure-treated lumber, as the arsenate in CCA is a type of arsenic, which is a carcinogenic. We’re exposed to arsenic—mostly organic forms—every day because very small amounts are present in all soil, water, and food. We typically eat 25 to 50 micrograms (a microgram is a millionth of a gram) of mostly organic arsenic a day. Low levels of arsenic are in everything we eat. The biggest source is shellfish. Soils contain both organic and inorganic arsenic. Background levels of arsenic in soil (amounts due to geological weathering, not to human contamination) typically range from 0.1 to upwards of 10 parts per million (ppm), and up to 40 ppm is considered tolerable, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Above that level, detectable amounts start showing up in children’s urine, because kids ingest dirt.​
ps - an alternative to CHEs are the Radiant Heat Panels.
 

crimson_lotus

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5 Year Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2013
Messages
1,379
Location (City and/or State)
Massachusetts
Lots of questions... ?. As long as you use THERMOSTATS with remote probes with your CHEs you should be fine. They will turn off and on to maintain your temps.


As far as pressure treated wood on your ramp, I’m sure some will disagree, but the manufacturers have come a long way in what they use to treat the wood. Personally, i would use on your ramp.​

If the wood has a greenish tint then it has been pressure-treated with CCA. To address the pressure treated wood safety concerns, in 2002, the United States' Environmental Protection Agency convinced lumber manufacturers to find a non-arsenic based formula for treated. The result is ACQ (Alkaline Copper Quartenary) treated lumber. Two types of treatment now a day amine copper quat (ACQ) and copper azole (CA). CCA, which stands for "chrome, copper and arsenic", is applied under pressure to force it deep into lumber and then cured in a "fixating" process which attaches these chemicals in a highly dispersed fashion to the cellulose of the wood. This turned out to be economical, safe and long lasting. It has become the standard for preserving wood around the world. There have been efforts to use less toxic chemicals, but Borax based treatments tended to leach out and leave the wood exposed although the better of these have evolved to Copper Azole type B or CA-B. ACQ has been around for a long time but has only become common because of an ecological phase-out of CCA. Why was it used and safety ignored, simple Arsenic was cheap. Most of new chemicals rely on copper, which isn’t cheap. So to keep the cost reasonable, lumber now is treated according to its intended use, with the copper content in the preserving chemicals varying from around 20 to 95 percent.​

The new ACQ treated lumber contains a very high level of copper to replace the arsenic. While this reduces the desired risk of poisoning, it does present a different, but very dangerous problem: increased levels of corrosion. The EPA is mainly concerned with the levels of chromated copper arsenate (CCA) in pressure-treated lumber, as the arsenate in CCA is a type of arsenic, which is a carcinogenic. We’re exposed to arsenic—mostly organic forms—every day because very small amounts are present in all soil, water, and food. We typically eat 25 to 50 micrograms (a microgram is a millionth of a gram) of mostly organic arsenic a day. Low levels of arsenic are in everything we eat. The biggest source is shellfish. Soils contain both organic and inorganic arsenic. Background levels of arsenic in soil (amounts due to geological weathering, not to human contamination) typically range from 0.1 to upwards of 10 parts per million (ppm), and up to 40 ppm is considered tolerable, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Above that level, detectable amounts start showing up in children’s urine, because kids ingest dirt.​
ps - an alternative to CHEs are the Radiant Heat Panels.​

Thanks so much for your reply. I am going to look into the heat panels, but am a bit worried I don't have enough surface area on the ceiling to place them.

I also figure if I do cover the ramp, even if the wood is harmless, it will just make me feel better :)
 

Dbrocato2

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Love your enclosure! I also live in MA and I have a Eastern hermann's. Keep us updated on your progress!
 

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