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Hello! I recently changed the ceramic heat emitters for my 2 year old Indian stars because I discovered using a probe thermometer that their hot side temps were too high. I moved them down to a 50 watt instead and now hot side temps are perfect (high 90s Fahrenheit directly under the bulb, about 90 surrounding) and humidity is 60 in hot end and 80 in cool but the temps in cool end have dropped to 76 and I’m not sure how to get them back to the 80s where they need to be. Any higher on the lamp and it’s scorching in the hot end, and if I move lamps on top of the cage I can’t seal it properly to keep humidity up. Does anyone have ideas? Seperate cages but the same setup, and the double dome only has one 50W CHE in it. Thank you!
 

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Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Mark said what I was going to say. Run two CHEs. Or install a RHP over there.

Looking at your set up, I don't see a basking lamp. You need one. CHE should be over the middle, not the warm end. A CHE is used to maintain ambient heat. It is not for basking because it emits no light.

Move the CHE to the middle of each enclosure. Instal a basking lamp on the end where the CHE was. Put your thermostat's probe over on the far side far away from any heat source. This will sort out all these issues and keeps your temps perfect.

This may help:
There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. In most cases you'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night.
  3. Ambient light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in LED bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. In colder climates, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12% HO bulbs from Arcadia. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html A good UV bulb only needs to run for 2-3 hours mid day. You need the basking bulb and the ambient lighting to be on at least 12 hours a day.
 
Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
35
Location (City and/or State)
Texas
Mark said what I was going to say. Run two CHEs. Or install a RHP over there.

Looking at your set up, I don't see a basking lamp. You need one. CHE should be over the middle, not the warm end. A CHE is used to maintain ambient heat. It is not for basking because it emits no light.

Move the CHE to the middle of each enclosure. Instal a basking lamp on the end where the CHE was. Put your thermostat's probe over on the far side far away from any heat source. This will sort out all these issues and keeps your temps perfect.

This may help:
There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. In most cases you'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night.
  3. Ambient light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in LED bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. In colder climates, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12% HO bulbs from Arcadia. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html A good UV bulb only needs to run for 2-3 hours mid day. You need the basking bulb and the ambient lighting to be on at least 12 hours a day.
Thank you for such a thorough and detailed reply! I hadn’t realized there was a difference in purpose between basking and the CHE, so I’ll work on setting that up right away and hopefully that’ll smooth out my issues. Just to double check to confirm I understood the information properly - I’m wanting my CHE to just keep the cage around 80s throughout, and I want my hot end’s temps to come from the basking light?
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
57,231
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Thank you for such a thorough and detailed reply! I hadn’t realized there was a difference in purpose between basking and the CHE, so I’ll work on setting that up right away and hopefully that’ll smooth out my issues. Just to double check to confirm I understood the information properly - I’m wanting my CHE to just keep the cage around 80s throughout, and I want my hot end’s temps to come from the basking light?
Exactly! You've got it. It may get warmer than 80 directly under the CHE, but don't worry about that. 80 over in the corner farthest from the heat lamps and CHE is what we are after. Stars like it hot. My Burmese stars will still bask under the heat lamp when ambient is in the low 90s. Indians like it even hotter than that. Its very important to maintain high humidity and good hydration will all the electrically generated heat. Soak every day and keep that substrate damp.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
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Easy. Just add a single ceramic light socket and add another CHE over the “cool” end. CHEs come in all different wattages, so install a separate socket, CHE & thermostat.
Thank you for the advice!
Exactly! You've got it. It may get warmer than 80 directly under the CHE, but don't worry about that. 80 over in the corner farthest from the heat lamps and CHE is what we are after. Stars like it hot. My Burmese stars will still bask under the heat lamp when ambient is in the low 90s. Indians like it even hotter than that. Its very important to maintain high humidity and good hydration will all the electrically generated heat. Soak every day and keep that substrate damp.
Will do on all! Thanks so much again, that makes much more sense to me now. My main concern now would be that directly under the CHE gets about 100, should I get a lower wattage if I’m introducing another heat bulb or would that be an acceptable temperature? Sorry for all the questions, I just want to be sure I don’t cook the poor things while implementing new heating!
 

Lyn W

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Thank you for the advice!

Will do on all! Thanks so much again, that makes much more sense to me now. My main concern now would be that directly under the CHE gets about 100, should I get a lower wattage if I’m introducing another heat bulb or would that be an acceptable temperature? Sorry for all the questions, I just want to be sure I don’t cook the poor things while implementing new heating!
Are you using a thermostat with the CHE?
That should switch the CHE on and off to get the right temps.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Are you using a thermostat with the CHE?
That should switch the CHE on and off to get the right temps.
Not at the moment, but I’ll definitely grab one if that’s what y’all are using to regulate. Guess that solves that question pretty quickly haha thank you! I think I understand what all to fix and add now.
 

Lyn W

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Not at the moment, but I’ll definitely grab one if that’s what y’all are using to regulate. Guess that solves that question pretty quickly haha thank you! I think I understand what all to fix and add now.
CHEs should always be run through a thermostat - it stops the temps getting too hot and stop your tort cooking. It will keep the temps even within the range you need.
I use something like this but there are digital versions available too
1647820010807
 
Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
35
Location (City and/or State)
Texas
CHEs should always be run through a thermostat - it stops the temps getting too hot and stop your tort cooking. It will keep the temps even within the range you need.
I use something like this but there are digital versions available too
View attachment 342092
Awesome thanks for the reference! I’ll get some ordered right now
 
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