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Outdoor enclosure questions
Posted: 11/04/2016 by MollyandFrank


Please advise me on the following as we have built an outdoor enclosure for a horsefield called Frank who is 10 years old and recently re-homed with us- thanks!

1) Heat: we use a heat only bulb at night and when it's cold but temps are only 25 or so directly under the lamp. Elsewhere they can fall to 12 degrees even during the day. Should he have the combination bulb on during the day too?

2) I have been opening up the enclosure for him to roam in our secure garden every day- should I leave a lamp on inside in case he gets too cold? He normally just buries himself in our borders.

3) there is condensation constantly on the Perspex roof: should I be concerned and how would you recommend solving this?

Frank seems very lethargic unless I put him in direct sunshine. He was much more lively when in his indoor table top but always trying to get out!


Re: Outdoor enclosure questions
Posted: 11/04/2016 by MollyandFrank

This photo gives an idea of the size of the enclosure! Missing it's Perspex roof

Re: Outdoor enclosure questions
Posted: 12/04/2016 by Tom

Hello Molly,

In April ground temps are low, more so  if there is regular rain & cold night temps., as with this year. 
Looking at the 10 day forecast locally [Northants], night temps are 5C or below, 'til at least the 21st. My torts' are confined mainly to their greenhouses, except for odd part days. Some years are much better than others.

1) The combination bulb should be on during the day - I'm not sure what you mean by "during the day too." 
You don't give details of the type of bulb or wattage.

2) As stated conditions are largely poor outside. Horsfields naturally burrow or tunnel e.g. in your borders.
Condensation is caused when warm humid air meets colder air outside his house, just increase the ventilation slightly.

3) They need 15+ cm of compacted soil in a tort table, also the table needs to be big in the case of a 10yr old.


Re: Outdoor enclosure questions
Posted: 12/04/2016 by MollyandFrank

Thanks so much for your response Tom

To clarify, at the moment we just have a ceramic bulb (100w) on at night and during colder days, so I wondered whether we should be putting on the MegaRay combined bulb (light and UVB, 100w)  in there during the day to keep temps sufficient whilst the ground temps are so low? 

He is not in a table top anymore, I just meant his behaviour is markedly more lethargic now he is in an outdoor enclosure so I am just worried he is too cold.

Do you keep a heat source on in your greenhouse during the day at the moment?

Many thanks

Re: Outdoor enclosure questions
Posted: 12/04/2016 by Tom

That's ok,

There's no point in having the Mega' in there if it's not used. [30cm above the top of his carapace].

Understood but in this weather, it is probably best in the table, as you are struggling to achieve an optimum temp except below the bulb. 


Re: Outdoor enclosure questions
Posted: 13/04/2016 by MollyandFrank

Thanks Tom, much appreciated


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