Coldframe / Cloche experiment for you

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Re: Coldframe / Cloche experiment for you

Postby lilacdragon » Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:20 pm

Hi, Stuart.
I think it's really important that you confirm that the one you get is the Lumisol Clear, not the Lumisol Diffused.... most of these trade name products have several versions. There are 2 versions of the Sunmaster, too, one is Sunmaster Clear and the other is Sunmaster Diffused. By coincidence Rom Muryn was here last week and we quickly tested diffused vs. clear pieces he'd brought with him, it was either the Lumisol or the Sunmaster but foolishly, I can't remember which it was!! The diffused version had lower UV transmission.
There is very little difference between the Clear versions of the two brands in terms of UVB transmission, to be honest. They are both really good!
Here is the Lumisol brochure:
http://www.bpivisqueenhort.com/media/FE ... DOCX-1.PDF
Frances Baines
www.uvguide.co.uk
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Re: Coldframe / Cloche experiment for you

Postby Stuart » Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:50 am

Thanks Frances! :)

The frame I was looking at comes with Sunmaster. They said they could supply it with Lumisol but it might cost a bit more because of the wastage on the roll, depending on the size of mini-polytunnel I wanted. I'll await the price comparison.
Stuart
Hermanns (old female and 5 home-bred offspring), iberas (two), kbn (rescue), leopard, horsfield (rescue), stars (2 - long term loan), red-eared sliders (5)
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Re: Coldframe / Cloche experiment for you

Postby Tortoise Trust » Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:26 am

There are two separate aspects - UVB and Infra Red handling - and also other variables, specifically with regard to your location and how much UVB you deem necessary. From the IR point of view, all of these perform extremely well. Differences are quite insignificant. In cloudier, cooler, lower UVB environments the 'clear' will allow maximal transmission, though the levels in the others are still quite impressive and I suspect would be adequate for most species. I would point out that you cannot directly compare the levels required of artificial lamps to the levels required in natural sunlight or when using these materials because the infra red (heating) performance is so different. Under many artificial lamps heating performance is uneven and poor - impacting directly, and negatively, upon the UVB to D3 conversion process. The heating performance with these materials is so superior that the conversion efficiency will be far higher, even if gross levels are lower. It is also the case that the animal will receive quite extended exposure, rather than being 'blasted' in one small area with negligible levels elsewhere. It will be interesting to get some 'real life' measurements once more such systems are in use.

Our plans will be out next month!
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Re: Coldframe / Cloche experiment for you

Postby Stuart » Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:17 pm

Tortoise Trust wrote: Our plans will be out next month!


Thanks for your encouraging comments, Andy. The company I was thinking of buying from ( http://www.robinsonpolytunnels.co.uk/sa ... thene.html ) have said it will cost me another £7.50 on top of their standard charges if I want Lumisol (Clear).

Without wishing to encourage you to steal your own thunder, or to compromise your long-awaited publication of plans, would you think my scheme of an 8'X4' (I could possibly go to 10'X4') mini-polytunnel, the hoops and plastic attached to a wooden frame (to which I intend to attach lifting poles/handles so that I can move it around the garden/paddock/field ) will work as a temporary grazing enclosure for a leopard tortoise, who is currently 2.6 kg and 26 cm. SCL? (I've had her for coming up 9 years, and she could have been 3 or 4 when I got her) Or will I be kicking myself if I go ahead with this purchase now, and read your plans next month?

She'd be inside over winter, as it is easier to maintain appropriate temperatures, I think.

I haven't really got the wherewithal (finances/space) to construct permanent outdoor housing at the moment, although I know this would be the ideal.
Stuart
Hermanns (old female and 5 home-bred offspring), iberas (two), kbn (rescue), leopard, horsfield (rescue), stars (2 - long term loan), red-eared sliders (5)
Stuart
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Re: Coldframe / Cloche experiment for you

Postby Tortoise Trust » Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:15 pm

Stuart,

My experience in the UK with polytunnels is that they work very well, and you can create excellent microclimates in there. We used them for about 10 years. I'm sure you have seen the pictures before, but here they are again anyway:

Image

Image

Image

That was in Wales! Flowering opuntia....

It proved possible to breed quite difficult species using polytunnels. If you have the space, go for it, because they are excellent for tortoises... they really boost temperatures from April-October in particular. Obviously, in very cold or extended dull periods they are not a complete solution, but they offer a very substantial 'boost' over what you can achieve without them, and you get many additional benefits, lower running costs, healthier overall environment, etc.

You can also easily control humidity, from bone dry to humid.
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Re: Coldframe / Cloche experiment for you

Postby Stuart » Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:29 pm

I don't think I've seen all of those pictures before...the flowering opuntia is especially impressive!

Ultimately I'd love to create a bit of South Africa for the leopard tortoise, and a bit of the mediterranean for the others...but space and financial considerations prevail...in the meantime, I think I'll have to go with my moveable mini-polytunnel scheme. At least the leopard will be able to eat fresh grass...
Stuart
Hermanns (old female and 5 home-bred offspring), iberas (two), kbn (rescue), leopard, horsfield (rescue), stars (2 - long term loan), red-eared sliders (5)
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Re: Coldframe / Cloche experiment for you

Postby Tortoise Trust » Sat May 09, 2015 11:32 am

The preliminary version of the 'Climate Frame Terrarium' is now online.

http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/climateframe.html

We will be adding to this in due course, with practical construction details, etc.

It is a very versatile, easy to build unit that we have tested in various permutations over 2 years. We are satisfied that used as directed, it is both safe and effective.

Comments welcome. If you have any questions, just ask away...
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Re: Coldframe / Cloche experiment for you

Postby Sue Doxat » Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:16 pm

Where can I buy a sheet of this new plastic and how much is it approx. I am in Southern England. Is there a minimum size that would still be effective if very expensive.
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Re: Coldframe / Cloche experiment for you

Postby Tortoise Trust » Sun Sep 13, 2015 5:52 am

It is certainly not expensive. More like ridiculously cheap, considering what it does. Roughly £1.50 to £1.70 per square meter, depending on quantity.

£35 will buy you a considerable amount.

Widely available now from polytunnel material suppliers.

http://www.robinsonpolytunnels.co.uk/sa ... thene.html

http://www.northernpolytunnels.co.uk/lumisol-clear.html
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Re: Coldframe / Cloche experiment for you

Postby Tortoise Trust » Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:17 am

Extra construction detail photos now added (thanks to Big Joe!).

Does make fixing of sheet to frames and frame construction easier to understand.
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