Using che in an closed encloser

Cleopatra 2020

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Closed chambers work best when all the heating and lighting is contained INSIDE the chamber. This makes for the most stable conditions for the tortoise by avoiding the chimney effect, and also greatly reduces electrical usage. The CHE will not be too hot because it will be controlled by a thermostat.

  • There are four elements to heating and lighting:
    1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt floods from the hardware store. I run them on a timer and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. You can mount a fixture on the ceiling, or hang a dome lamp from the ceiling. Go lower or higher wattage if this makes the enclosure too hot or not warm enough. Do not use "spot" bulbs, mercury vapor bulbs or halogen bulbs because these bulbs are overly desiccating and cause pyramiding even in good living conditions.
    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 like sulcatas or leopards. I like this thermostat: https://www.lllreptile.com/products/13883-zilla-1000-watt-temperature-controller. Put the probe in the coolest corner away from all heating elements. You may need more than one heating element to spread the heat out for a given enclosure.
    3. Light. I use florescent tubes for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most tubes at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. I've been using LEDs lately and they are great, and run cooler than a florescent. This can be set on the same timer as the basking bulb.
    4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. If you want it anyway, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. I like the ZooMed 10.0 HO, and the Arcadia 12% HO. Which type will depend on mounting height. It helps to have a UV meter to test and see what your bulb is actually putting out at your mounting height. Plexi-glass or screen tops will filter out some or all of the UV produced by your bulb.
and by the way thanks for all that information Tom that was extremely enlightening
 

Tom

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So does the humidity hide go at the hotter end? And the dryer hide goes at the cooler end?
In a closed chamber, its all the same ambient temp inside, so it doesn't really matter. My preference is to have a hide at both ends. And I typically have two water dishes too.
 

Cleopatra 2020

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In a closed chamber, its all the same ambient temp inside, so it doesn't really matter. My preference is to have a hide at both ends. And I typically have two water dishes too.
well I just figured cuz the heat emitter makes it much hotter directly underneath it which is kind of off center... can you use that hotter spot as a basking spot or does it need to be from a light because of the U V's? Sorry didn't mean to change up the questions just was curious about that as well
 

Tom

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well I just figured cuz the heat emitter makes it much hotter directly underneath it which is kind of off center... can you use that hotter spot as a basking spot or does it need to be from a light because of the U V's? Sorry didn't mean to change up the questions just was curious about that as well
Ceramic heat emitters (and radiant heat panels too...) are for maintaining ambient heat. They are not for basking. They should be set on a thermostat to shut off when ambient temp reached the set point of around 80 for a leopard.

A basking bulb is not on a thermostat. Its on a timer. The basking bulb is to make a localized area that is warm and bright, simulating the sun, where the tortoise will instinctively move to when it wants to be warmer than ambient temps. The "sun" should on for around 12 hours a day in most cases. Temperature directly under the hottest part of the bulb, at tortoise height, should be around 95-100.
 

Cleopatra 2020

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Ceramic heat emitters (and radiant heat panels too...) are for maintaining ambient heat. They are not for basking. They should be set on a thermostat to shut off when ambient temp reached the set point of around 80 for a leopard.

A basking bulb is not on a thermostat. Its on a timer. The basking bulb is to make a localized area that is warm and bright, simulating the sun, where the tortoise will instinctively move to when it wants to be warmer than ambient temps. The "sun" should on for around 12 hours a day in most cases. Temperature directly under the hottest part of the bulb, at tortoise height, should be around 95-100.
didn't you mean turn on instead of shut off when it reaches 80?
 

Tom

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didn't you mean turn on instead of shut off when it reaches 80?
If it turned on at 80, it would continue to warm the enclosure above 80. It should be off around 80, and turn on if the temp drops below 80. This is used to maintain the minimum ambient temp at 80 day and night.

Like Randy, I like my day time ambient to warm up to 85-90 during the day, and usually the basking lamp and any other bulbs, like a florescent UV tube, will do that in a closed chamber. During the day, since the other bulbs keep temps above 80, the CHE should remain off all day. The thermostat should kick the CHE on at night after all the other bulbs have turned off and the enclosure cools down below 80. In a more open enclosure in a cooler room daytime temp might drop below 80 even with the other bulbs on, and in this case, the thermostat would turn on the CHE to keep temps above 80.

In addition to all of this, the basking lamp will make one area directly under it somewhere around 95-100 degrees.

To recap:
  • Minimum ambient temp is maintained by the CHE and thermostat at 80 day and night.
  • Overall ambient warms up to 85-90 during the day due to heat form other bulbs.
  • Basking lamp makes an even warmer area directly under it during the day.
 

Cleopatra 2020

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If it turned on at 80, it would continue to warm the enclosure above 80. It should be off around 80, and turn on if the temp drops below 80. This is used to maintain the minimum ambient temp at 80 day and night.

Like Randy, I like my day time ambient to warm up to 85-90 during the day, and usually the basking lamp and any other bulbs, like a florescent UV tube, will do that in a closed chamber. During the day, since the other bulbs keep temps above 80, the CHE should remain off all day. The thermostat should kick the CHE on at night after all the other bulbs have turned off and the enclosure cools down below 80. In a more open enclosure in a cooler room daytime temp might drop below 80 even with the other bulbs on, and in this case, the thermostat would turn on the CHE to keep temps above 80.

In addition to all of this, the basking lamp will make one area directly under it somewhere around 95-100 degrees.

To recap:
  • Minimum ambient temp is maintained by the CHE and thermostat at 80 day and night.
  • Overall ambient warms up to 85-90 during the day due to heat form other bulbs.
  • Basking lamp makes an even warmer area directly under it during the day.
Thx Tom that clears up any confusion...also was curious if the quarter in gap between the che socket and lid cause chimney effect? and if so how does that affect them?
 

Cleopatra 2020

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If it turned on at 80, it would continue to warm the enclosure above 80. It should be off around 80, and turn on if the temp drops below 80. This is used to maintain the minimum ambient temp at 80 day and night.

Like Randy, I like my day time ambient to warm up to 85-90 during the day, and usually the basking lamp and any other bulbs, like a florescent UV tube, will do that in a closed chamber. During the day, since the other bulbs keep temps above 80, the CHE should remain off all day. The thermostat should kick the CHE on at night after all the other bulbs have turned off and the enclosure cools down below 80. In a more open enclosure in a cooler room daytime temp might drop below 80 even with the other bulbs on, and in this case, the thermostat would turn on the CHE to keep temps above 80.

In addition to all of this, the basking lamp will make one area directly under it somewhere around 95-100 degrees.

To recap:
  • Minimum ambient temp is maintained by the CHE and thermostat at 80 day and night.
  • Overall ambient warms up to 85-90 during the day due to heat form other bulbs.
  • Basking lamp makes an even warmer area directly under it during the day.
Also for the Basking light I was thinking of using a LED 60 watt bulb it's just a regular medium base bulb but led which should be cooler than the regular non LED since I was planning on hanging it from the ceiling of the lid like you mentioned earlier
 

Tom

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...also was curious if the quarter in gap between the che socket and lid cause chimney effect? and if so how does that affect them?
A 1/4 inch gap shouldn't be any problem. Closed chambers are not supposed to be completely air tight. The idea is to reduce airflow enough to easily keep it warmer and more humid inside than out.

Your thermometer and hygrometer will tell you if you have a problem.
 

Tom

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Also for the Basking light I was thinking of using a LED 60 watt bulb it's just a regular medium base bulb but led which should be cooler than the regular non LED since I was planning on hanging it from the ceiling of the lid like you mentioned earlier
The purpose of a basking light is to create a warm area below the light for the tortoise to heat itself. Essentially, this imitates the sun in our indoor enclosure. LED genernate no heat, and so they don't work for this purpose. You need an incandescent flood bulb for basking. LEDs are great for adding light to the enclosure, if you need that.
 

Cleopatra 2020

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The purpose of a basking light is to create a warm area below the light for the tortoise to heat itself. Essentially, this imitates the sun in our indoor enclosure. LED genernate no heat, and so they don't work for this purpose. You need an incandescent flood bulb for basking. LEDs are great for adding light to the enclosure, if you need that.
I was just thinking that that bulb would be way too hot because it's a flood bulb compared to what I've been working with and then putting that one even closer to the substrate since it'll be hanging off the bottom of the lid seems like it would being ungodly hot in there
 

Tom

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I was just thinking that that bulb would be way too hot because it's a flood bulb compared to what I've been working with and then putting that one even closer to the substrate since it'll be hanging off the bottom of the lid seems like it would being ungodly hot in there
Every enclosure is different. You'll have to use your thermometer to check whatever one you try. You might need to go lower than 65 watts. They also sell 45 watt flood, and in summer, I use 25 watt round bulbs in some of my closed chambers in my hot reptile room.

You can also use a rheostat to dial down the wattage on any size bulb.
 

Cleopatra 2020

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Every enclosure is different. You'll have to use your thermometer to check whatever one you try. You might need to go lower than 65 watts. They also sell 45 watt flood, and in summer, I use 25 watt round bulbs in some of my closed chambers in my hot reptile room.

You can also use a rheostat to dial down the wattage on any size bulb.
Is that basically the same thing as a dimmer?
 

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