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Outdoor Heating & Lighting


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#1 Tommy

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 06:00 PM

Hi

I'm new to the forum, I've read quite a lot of the posts but am still a little unsure. If anyone could advise on a few things I'd appreciate it.

I've just bought a 6'x3' wooden coldframe from woodpecker joinery, it's really well designed and constructed.
I plan to place it on to a brick base filled with topsoil/sand as substrate etc... The base will also have an extended outdoor area with weld mesh cover to allow for natural basking etc...

I will be running electricity to the cold frame in order to power lights, heater and timers etc... This is what I need help with...

The coldframe will have a tort house in one section, what is the best but most importantly safest way to heat the house during night and or cold days?

What is the best way to provide artificial sunlight, I use a combined mercury bulb by zoo med when the tort is indoors, this obviously provides both sun and heat (but understand they can not be used on a thermostat).

I understand equipment will need to be connected to or used in combination with thermostats etc... however I just don't know what to buy and really need some guidance.

Any help gratefully received,

Whitless with technology...

#2 wizzasmum

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 09:12 PM

This sounds very similar to my old coldframe Tommy. I replaced it with a greenhouse when it became harder for me to access, but worked well for the tortoises. You won't need heat overnight during summer, as a drop in temps overnight is important. So long as your tortoise has access to outdoors, you won't need any uvb as the sun will provide this. I put the lamps on for an hour or so in the morning, leaving them on longer on bad weather days. You don't need thermostats, the same as indoors as tortoises need to be able to choose their own climate. Hope this helps :)

#3 Tommy

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 09:49 PM

Outdoor heating & lighting

#4 Tommy

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 09:57 PM

Hi

Thanks for the reply.

Would a pig type holder and shade with an infra red build be the best sort of basking heat ?

But what about when it's really dull and cold and he won't venture out to access the sun? Under the impression supplementary sunlight was necessary?

Also, I was under the impression he would need to be kept at a min temp during late summer early autumn in order I can bring him in to start his managed winding down to his normal fridge hibernation.

What do you suggest?

#5 Tommy

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 09:59 PM

Hi

Thanks for the reply.

Would a pig type holder and shade with an infra red build be the best sort of basking heat ?

But what about when it's really dull and cold and he won't venture out to access the sun? Under the impression supplementary sunlight was necessary?

Also, I was under the impression he would need to be kept at a min temp during late summer early autumn in order I can bring him in to start his managed winding down to his normal fridge hibernation.

What do you suggest?

#6 wizzasmum

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 12:14 AM

Hi
Thanks for the reply.
Would a pig type holder and shade with an infra red build be the best sort of basking heat ?
But what about when it's really dull and cold and he won't venture out to access the sun? Under the impression supplementary sunlight was necessary?
Also, I was under the impression he would need to be kept at a min temp during late summer early autumn in order I can bring him in to start his managed winding down to his normal fridge hibernation.
What do you suggest?


Pig lamps are great, but make sure the infra red heat is clear and not a red bulb. Coloured bulbs confuse. You need bright light for tortoises. Use a good vit D3 supplement. This is the same as offering uvb. I allow my tortoises to start wind down naturally and only offer all day heat in bad weather.

#7 babettebeau

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 05:49 PM

Hi Tommy

 

Like you I had no clue about heating and lighting when i started, and thanks to the very experienced forum members including my breeder Sue ("Wizzasmum") and some research, I became less clueless!

This is how I did the set up in the cold frame for my two Hermann babies (they are 20 months):

 

Pig lamp with 100MW infra red clear bulb for the mornings to get them going when they wake up. Connected to timer. Also it will be on on bad days as appropriate.

 

Background heater - Connected to thermostat. For when it is too cold on days or nights. Basically if the temps fall down below 10 degrees Celsius at night in the cold frame and also when too cold for their physiology during the day.

https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

40W Infrared ceramic heater /heat emitter for heat on ground at night. Connected to thermostat. On when temps fall below 10 degrees Celcius at night. It will be off during the day. I will put it in one corner in the cold frame.

http://www.exo-terra...amic_heater.php

 

In the link below you will be able to see the set up in the cold frame

https://goo.gl/photo...vYyR7qxafWhPjf6

 

The cold frame has a piston which opens its roof automatically if it is too hot inside. Starts to open gradually from 17-25 degrees celcius, then opens to a max of 45cm when reaching 30 degrees celcius. You might want to make research on that if this is something that you might need. Here is a link on how the pistons look like. 

 

https://www.amazon.c...6DZ9DY8CSVED8EB

https://www.amazon.c...643K2E7XQWSB8TD

 

The roof of the cold frame must be protected when opened to avoid predator intrusions.

 

I hope this helps.

Sabina



#8 Tommy

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 08:10 PM

Hi

Many thanks for your help, very much appreciated.

If it isn't too much of a pain could you also recommend or let me have links to the timers and thermostats etc...

Glad I've joined up to the forum, learning much faster when able to ask questions rather than info in the abstract.

Thanks again

Sure I'll have more questions in due course...

#9 babettebeau

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 08:28 PM

Hi Tommy
I'll reply tomorrow on the timers.
Which specie is your tortoise? How old?
Thanks
Sabina

#10 Tommy

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 09:57 PM

Hi

Male Hermann (named Tommy) age 17yrs on paper (vet thinks he's older).

Hibernates in fridge without problem.

Thanks for your help, very reassuring knowing I'll buy the correct equipment.

Cheers...

#11 wizzasmum

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 11:56 PM

Do you have pics?

#12 Tommy

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 07:48 PM

Not sure how to upload a picture, sorry.

#13 Tommy

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 02:01 PM

Picture of Tommy attached.

What do you think, older than 17yrs?

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#14 wizzasmum

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 02:47 PM

Difficult to tell. A lot depends on how he has been kept as wear can be different. I'd say 17 is a good guess. What does he weigh, plus do you have pics of him from behind and underneath?

#15 Tommy

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 03:18 PM

Hi

Not sure how he was kept before I got him. He's lived in large indoor rabbit cage in winter and outdoors since being with me (last 4 years). Hibernates in fridge.

He's approx 15.5cm and his weight fluctuates between 570g - 640g.

Photos of rear and underside attached.

#16 Tommy

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 03:20 PM

Hi

Not sure how he was kept before I got him. He's lived in large indoor rabbit cage in winter and outdoors since being with me (last 4 years). Hibernates in fridge.

He's approx 15.5cm and his weight fluctuates between 570g - 640g.

Photos of rear and underside attached.

Attached Files



#17 wizzasmum

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 05:00 PM

Did you have papers with him when you got him? I'm thinking he could very well be around 17 years of age. How old did the vet think he was? He's looking more like the hercegovinensis or Dalmatian subspecies and his weight for such an age would be about right for one too. He's a lovely looking tortoise and I'm sure he will be grateful for spending time outdoors. Well done you for turning his life around :)

#18 Tommy

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 08:13 PM

Hi

Yes, he's got papers etc... recently moved house so no idea where they are to establish if it states the sub-species. All I remember was is that he was a captive bred import from Slovenia?

Done more research after you suggesting he's Dalmatian and it all points that way.

Thanks again

#19 Tommy

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Posted 11 June 2017 - 08:13 PM

Vet thought he was mid 20's +

#20 mildredsmam

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 04:13 AM

Hi Tommy,

Your tortoise is just lovely :)  I've been looking at timers and got this one recommended to me I still need to get it like :lol:   https://l.facebook.c...KZHR9z8SyBWFclQ






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