Overnight heat

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Bex
Posts: 192
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 19:37

Overnight heat

Post by Bex » 02 Sep 2020, 11:01

Hi guys,
Hope all are well, I’ve inherited a bit of money and decided to spend it on Speedy's all weather house! I have a builder starting today and really excited!
I have gone for roughly 1.5 metres by 1 metre, it will be fully insulated all round incl floor and I’ll have an electric box outside so less risk of fire etc! I am still petrified that’ll happen again!
What ‘greenhouse’ heater is best for overnight heat? I saw the link for the Hausen ones but wat size would I need?
Would I run it from a normal Habistat thermostat?
I have a double thermostat so was thinking I can run both the daytime heat lamp and the overnight ‘Hausen’ heater off of that?

Many thanks,
Bex

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lin
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Overnight heat

Post by lin » 02 Sep 2020, 13:44

Hi Bex. Just a quickie about the building you are having constructed right now. I know this message is going to sound so critical and I do apologise for that but I dont want you easting your money.

You are having a nice indoor enclosure built for your little treasure that is 1.5 x 1 m and although your little one is only small right now in a few years it will possible be almost a meter long so it will have nowhere to walk around and excersize for most of the year that it is shut in from our English weather. If you can go to something much bigger (and remember it will have to be insulated) it will last more than a couple of years and give space for walking around, and room for you to fit in too. I am visualising a bedding area where the tube is fitted (see photo) My tube was 4 foot and it went in the bedding area of both the leopards and sulcatas along the back wall, and because of the carpet runner at the front it contained the heat nicely. These are very secure and safe as are the ceramic heat emiters but cover a bigger area. They can be plugged into a thermostat and a timer. They are covered with a wire front but I think thats to prevent butns to plants and fingers. It gives of a nice gentle ambient heat and gives a nice warm bedding area. The length - depends on what size the shed is. and the wattage is the same. The higher the wattage the less time it will be on and these are very efficient to run. https://www.wearetubularheaters.co.uk/ Make sure you price these and get a good deal. They last forever.
Daytime heat can be obtained from PAR 38 bulbs but not the LED ones as these do not give of heat. I recommend these because if they blow they will not break or I also found the tortoises loved the brightness of the work lights. Halogen, gives of a nice bright light and heat, are cheap enough to but the whole unit https://www.homebase.co.uk/120w-portabl ... ht_p386614 and again if the lamp blows the tube stays in one piece. Its also an idea if you go for this one to get a couple of extra tubes as on the page so you know what to get next time.

I meant to add that mine was lined with plaster board, the blocks at the bottom was to prevent sulcata damage and the walls are emultioned white to reflect brightness. I assume you have the UVB sorted out - lol. I have gome on, havn't I.

I hope I have given you some ideas Bex, and answered your questions and as always, do come back if we can be any more help.

Lin




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Bex
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Re: Overnight heat

Post by Bex » 11 Oct 2020, 08:49

Hi guys,

Thanks Lin, I’ve made it as big as I cud afford!

It’s not finished but introduced Speedy to it y/day and she seemed happy! She kept going in and out, sitting under each heat source, munching the graze on etc!

I did get a tubular heater but it’s way to big! So ordered a slimmer one, just waiting for it to arrive and then hopefully she can stay in it overnight unless we get snow, then I’ll bring her in! I’ve had a gate made so I don’t have to lift her cos she’s nearly 4 stone now :lol: just gotta practise tortoise herding!!
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Bex
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Re: Overnight heat

Post by Bex » 11 Oct 2020, 09:12

I only need it to last a cpl years, when Nan passes we have to move and hopefully if I can get a garden I’ll do it all again!
I went for larger ground space rather than height, I can just sit in there to see to the electrics etc! It’s good being short sometimes :lol:
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Bex
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Re: Overnight heat

Post by Bex » 11 Oct 2020, 15:08

Just took me an hour to plastic strip the doorway but well worth it, can feel how warm it is in there already! Great stuff that, make sure she nice and toasty :)
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Nina
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Re: Overnight heat

Post by Nina » 11 Oct 2020, 16:11

Bex that looks absolutely brilliant, and thanks so much for the photos! Speedy looks really happy too!

Do you have one of those weather station things? The sort where you have a unit outside and then another one indoors that tells you the temperature where the unit is? I was just think that if you have one of those it would enable you to see the temperature at any time (for example on a cold night) in Speedy's little palace). Something like this (but you can probably get them cheaper) https://www.weathershop.co.uk/shop/tech ... mVEALw_wcB

My only question is whether there is an extra covering that you can put over the plastic flaps if it gets very cold, as they will certainly let some of the heat out and if temperatures get really low you want the unit to be a sealed as possible.

Speedy is looking very healthy, by the way!

Nina x

Bex
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 19:37

Re: Overnight heat

Post by Bex » 11 Oct 2020, 23:13

Hi Nina, thank you for your advice, greatly appreciated as always!
Yes I will def look into a temperature thing. I’m having cameras installed inside so I can watch her on my phone and check on her and the temperature.
Like I said it isn’t finished yet but I was excited to show you! I have draught excluders and felt to put on the doors and there’s more cladding to be put on outside. Can you think of anything else that would work?
I’m thinking of covering most of it with tarpaulin, and have a flap that covers doors when there closed.
If it gets too cold I will bring her back inside, she’ll always have the meter cupboard ;) I’m leaving that set up for when it’s needed.

Thanx Bex

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Nina
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Re: Overnight heat

Post by Nina » 12 Oct 2020, 17:39

Hi Bex,

I think you've done a grand job, and as long as you can see what the temperature is inside Speedy's new palace and can bring her in if necessary, it should be fine. Unfortunately the website was playing up yesterday, and it was difficult for us to post things. I know that Lin will come in with good ideas. She's away today and might not be around tomorrow much, but I know she'll post something as soon as she can. In the meantime, bit was lovely of you to keep us updated and I think you've done a brilliant job. The tarpaulin should help with waterproofing and add an extra layer of insulation as well.

Nina

Bex
Posts: 192
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 19:37

Re: Overnight heat

Post by Bex » 19 Oct 2020, 16:46

Hi, have my Tort Cam all set up! It’s so cool, it tells me when she moves on an app on my phone....it’s been going off all afternoon lol :lol:

I spent a bit more and got a Ring Outside Wireless Camera approx £90 but it so easy to set up, if anyone gets one it takes approx 9 hours to charge the battery before you can use it though!

Even the night camera is a great picture 8-)

The temp got up to 28c with what I have in there, so once the strip heater goes in I think I’ll achieve the 30c. But it’ll do for her during the daytime at the moment.
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Nina
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Re: Overnight heat

Post by Nina » 28 Nov 2020, 10:03

Oh dear, I am finding a whole group of posts that came in, in the middle to end of October where we weren't notified, so never responded. Am so sorry -- but incredibly impressed with your hi tech set-up -- it looks absolutely super!

Nina

Bex
Posts: 192
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 19:37

Re: Overnight heat

Post by Bex » 28 Jan 2021, 10:26

I was wondering! I thought I’d upset you all :lol:

Had a bit of a nightmare, it is way too low and within a week she had climbed up a corner and brought down some of the wires and got herself all tangled upside down! At the time I was out driving and the camera kept going off... my daughter rang from college to tell me what was happening, as she has the camera app too! I have never driven so fast back home to rescue her!

So next month the builders are coming back to do a cpl layes of breeze blocks, a better roof, total boarding all round inside and also to raise the floor as it’s so difficult to clean it out!
I’ve added a cpl pics, who says they can’t climb eh? :lol:
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Bex
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Re: Overnight heat

Post by Bex » 28 Jan 2021, 10:29

A couple more of the rescue :)
So glad I had the camera in there!
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Nina
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Re: Overnight heat

Post by Nina » 28 Jan 2021, 11:48

Tnanks, Bex -- that was a close call -- aren't they little devils. I'm so glad that you came to the rescue!
For people who still think that tortoises aren't good climbers, here are a couple of photos to show how clever they are.

Nina
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lin
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Re: Overnight heat

Post by lin » 28 Jan 2021, 20:12

Wow Bex.
I was the same as Nina and had no notification of the wonderful setup you have spent all your inheritence on. It really is anoying because if you do not reply to someone then you will not be notified again so thats the reason neither of us answered any of your posts.
And the rescue...How lucky was that, you should have its own slot on TV. What a good job you installed the camera though.
Speedy has got you right where he needs you. Bless him.
Take care.
Lin

Bex wrote:
> A couple more of the rescue :)
> So glad I had the camera in there!

Bex
Posts: 192
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 19:37

Re: Overnight heat

Post by Bex » 31 Jan 2021, 16:39

Thanks guys :)

Look at that 2nd photo! OMG they are amazing :lol:

Cannot wait for spring and get Speedy back outside, she’s currently took up residence under the piano stool and keeps having arguments with the piano pedals!! Keep hearing a ‘Dong’ every now and then! Still she seems happy!

Hopefully we’ll have a repeat of last March/April’s weather and I can get lots planted up and things done in the garden, only thing that kept me sane during last lockdown.

Bex x

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Nina
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Re: Overnight heat

Post by Nina » 31 Jan 2021, 17:50

Lol, a musical tortoise -- taking up residence under the piano stool! :D
Yes, bring on the spring. It won't be long before I start sowing my chilli pepper seeds (I grew 9 varieties this year), and tomatoes. I have so many weeds in my garden already that I don't usually sow anything for the tortoises, but it does lift my spirits to start sowing my veg. I usually start with those two in February, then the courgettes and cucumber, and various types of basil, then the French beans. The early peas I sowed in November are two inches high now, and the garlic I planted in December is also growing well. Don't know what I'd do if I didn't have the garden!

Nina

Bex
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 19:37

Re: Overnight heat

Post by Bex » 01 Feb 2021, 09:15

Yeah totally agree! When I walk the dogs I get seed heads from various weeds/flowers etc, I have a very large garden now and the top bit I have a cpl large raised beds and there just tortoise food, dandelion, sow thistle, mallow, plantain etc... I also grow runner beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, pak Choi, courgettes mainly... never tried peppers, might do this year, I also have a large strawberry patch that I try to look after, but I’ve noticed I have loads of lords & ladies starting there so must clear that 1st! It’s such a pain, I cleared a load last year, put weed sheet down and stones but it’s still coming up round the edges :cry: hate the stuff!

I got bored and joined a cpl sulcata groups on Facebook but had to stop cos they just have NO idea, what is the humidity thing about? Blowing steam onto them?? I thought they didn’t like over humid environments? And the food they feed them, just bizarre! But there mainly in America so maybe things are different over there? I’ll just stick to you guys 8-)

Anyway take care and will let you know how the rebuild goes once the nicer weather comes etc.

Bex x

Mark
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Joined: 04 May 2021, 22:36

Re: Overnight heat

Post by Mark » 04 May 2021, 22:57

I have read any many posts that 15'ish degrees is good for a night(non hibernating) low temperature. My question is what temp for low during hibernation for a horsfield?

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Nina
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Re: Overnight heat

Post by Nina » 05 May 2021, 09:28

Hi Mark,

Yes, 15C (which is 59F or 60F) is a good temperature for nighttime for a Horsfield, and it could go a few degrees cooler as well. In the daytime they need a warm area of around 30C and a cooler area of around 20C, so that they can wander in and out of those areas in order to thermoregulate.

When a Horsfield is in hibernation the temperatures should range between a low of about 2C or 3C to a high of about 7C or 8C (36F - 46F), and the ideal temperature to aim for is 5C (41F). If the temperature goes below 1C or 2C the soft tissues of the tortoise can freeze, and if it goes above about 10C then the tortoise will start losing body fat, so it's necessary to monitor the temperatures in hibernation carefully.
It is really important that tortoises go through a preparation period before they start to hibernate, so that they enter hibernation with no food in their stomach, and if you want information on how to hibernate let us know.

Nina

Mark
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Joined: 04 May 2021, 22:36

Re: Overnight heat

Post by Mark » 05 May 2021, 22:04

Nina,
I am definitely interested in information about hibernation. Thanks for the temps. I live in Southern California, USA and I believe the winter temps I get will be condusive to hibernation. I just worry about the amount of warm, sunny days we get in winter. My average nighttime outside temp during winter months is 40. But days can easily be in the 70's. The turtle house is located in the shade during winter months that will help it stay cool inside.

I agree it will be a learning experience and monitoring temp well will be key. I have a ceramic heat lamp on digital thermometer and an additional heat/humidity monitor inside house.

I very easily could just overwinter them by keeping warm at nights, correct. Winters have plenty of daytime sun and our average rainfall is pretty low where I live.

Thanks for all the advice.
if easier. grrrshot@gmail.com

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Nina
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Re: Overnight heat

Post by Nina » 06 May 2021, 10:14

Hi Mark,

I'm afraid I don't think you will be able to hibernate your tortoise in Southern California, with the temperatures you have. They need a steady temperature of between 36F - 46F or 48F 24 hours a day if possible, and the ideal constant temperature for them is 41F. If there are warm days he will start to wake up, but probably not enough to eat, and will lose body fat. It is true that California Desert Tortoise Gopherus agassizi) hibernates naturally in California, but they are more adapted to those conditions, whereas a Horsfield requires colder conditions to hibernate.

Strictly speaking, tortoises don't actually hibernate -- they brumate, which is to enter a period of dormancy as a response to cold weather, but we use the word 'hibernate' because it is easier.
What most people do now is to hibernate their tortoise in a fridge. I know that sounds strange, and a bit barbaric, but the ideal temperature of a fridge is 41F, and it works perfectly. Some people use those good sized drink cooler units, which are smaller than fridges, and others just use a spare small fridge (but it must be a fridge without a freezer compartment).

Preparing a tortoise for hibernation is absolutely crucial, as they must be perfectly healthy and go into hibernation with no food in their stomachs, but well hydrated. Here is a link to a sheet on preparation for hibernation:
https://www.tortoise-protection-group.o ... cedure.pdf
Here is a guide for fridge hibernation:
https://www.tortoise-protection-group.o ... Sept16.pdf
Here is a guide for box hibernation (but you should only use this if you can guarantee fairly constant cold temperatures):
https://www.tortoise-protection-group.o ... OV2016.pdf
and here is a guide for waking from hibernation:
https://www.tortoise-protection-group.o ... 080608.pdf

There is an interesting article if you want more reading, written by Chris Leone, who is the leading authority on Hermann's tortoises (which are very similar to Horsfields/Russians in their care and needs. He lives in New Jersey, so a very different climate to yours, but he discusses the various methods of brumation/hibernation and although his perspective and advice differs slightly from what we practice in the UK, I would still support what he says. He does stipulate that if you are not using an artificial aid to hibernation, like a fridge, then you need to ensure that the temperature where your tortoise is hibernating stays pretty much in the low forties fahrenheit for the duration of the tortoise's time in hibernation.
https://www.reptilesmagazine.com/how-to ... -tortoise/

Have a read and see what you think, and do please come back with more questions if you have them.

Nina

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