Vivarium tank vs. Tortoise Table - THE TEST - SOME RESULTS

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Re: Vivarium tank vs. Tortoise Table - THE TEST - SOME RESULTS

Postby Tamie Milne » Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:24 pm

Another thought, I appreciate that this one particular topic is causing a little stir amoungst a few.

However, I wish the topic about a highly dangerous viv, as discussed here:

posting.php?mode=reply&f=3&t=1832

was equally discussed and seen on other forums to act as a warning and potentially save not only animals but humans (if a house fire resulted in its use).

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Re: Vivarium tank vs. Tortoise Table - THE TEST - SOME RESULTS

Postby Tortoise Trust » Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:54 am

That report is now also available via the main Tortoise Trust website:

http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/vivreport2.html

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Re: Vivarium tank vs. Tortoise Table - THE TEST - SOME RESULTS

Postby Tortoise Trust » Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:58 am

Now we are back, we are continuing these tests. The Tortoise Table test will be following shortly.

Just a few points to add in relation to comments received.

1) A few people have stated they think the tests are "biased". No, they are not. They are as objective as possible. We even include the raw data so you can judge for yourself.

2) Some people have said that it proves nothing (except that these two particular models are clearly very poor). I would have to take issue with that, as I think it is very clear that any unit of a similar design and size will exhibit very similar behaviour. The key problem is the lack of airflow/convection. This could be improved, but only by making major modifications. The same with lamp height and control - if you know what you are doing, yes, you can improve the results. The point is, however, these things are being sold to people who do not know what they are doing. They just follow the instructions provided - as we did, as evaluating the instructions was part of the testing criteria. I could modify these vivaria to obtain better results, but frankly, it would be easier to start from scratch or adopt a completely different approach. The point is a simple one: as sold in shops to new keepers they are a total disaster.

3) Could you make a 'good vivarium'? Yes, of course. It is very difficult to make a good small, vivarium, however - the basic physics are against you. With an adequate base size, good equipment, good controllers, and good airflow (using fans for example) you can achieve quite good results - but this requires knowledge and experience beyond that possessed by the average purchaser. I could (and have) done it myself. So have other experienced keepers - but I return to the stark fact that this is not what is being sold to people. They are being sold glorified fish tanks with poor accessories and inadequate instructions.

4) Some of the people who claim great results from vivariums have simply never tested them adequately. They rely on cheap consumer thermometers and hygrometers and do not follow reliable testing protocols. From these results they deduce that everything is fine. I can only stress that you must use reliable measuring devices and you must use them properly if your results are to be meaningful.

5) A couple of people questioned why we decided to run these tests in the first place. It is very simple, it is getting depressing having to deal with an endless stream of deformed, damaged and in many cases, dying tortoises that have been kept in these things since they were purchased.

6) Some people need to learn to read properly. We do not state - anywhere - that ALL vivaria are bad. What we actually say is to avoid similar designs to those tested. There is a difference.


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Re: Vivarium tank vs. Tortoise Table - THE TEST - SOME RESULTS

Postby Bentley » Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:24 am

It seems to me that these vivariums being sold to anyone who purchased a reptile in general would be not only putting their newly acquired pet in danger but putting themselves in the path of possible fatal injuries as well, Only truly dedicated people would find something out like this and actually do something about it, It has been going on for all to many years and at some point needed to stop,

Thank you for the results on those tests, greatly appreciated, my friend has now transferred his rather large corn snake to a whole new enclosure, Although I would like to ask, the fluke thermometer and humididy reader you use, do they have a compact model with a probe that you can use from a few feet away? as it seems to me that this would be a good thing to have at the hot end of my tortoise table when I get it :D

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Re: Vivarium tank vs. Tortoise Table - THE TEST - SOME RESULTS

Postby Tortoise Trust » Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:05 pm

Bentley wrote:
Thank you for the results on those tests, greatly appreciated, my friend has now transferred his rather large corn snake to a whole new enclosure, Although I would like to ask, the fluke thermometer and humididy reader you use, do they have a compact model with a probe that you can use from a few feet away? as it seems to me that this would be a good thing to have at the hot end of my tortoise table when I get it :D

Bentley


Bentley,

Fluke do not, as far as I know, but there are various consumer type combi hygrometer/thermometers that do in the sub £20 range. They are not going to be anything like as accurate, but should give a reasonable indication. For remote monitoring, I just tend to use data loggers. There is no instant readout, however. You have to collect, then process your results.

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Re: Vivarium tank vs. Tortoise Table - THE TEST - SOME RESULTS

Postby Bentley » Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:48 pm

Righto I have a couple of Probe thermometers waiting in the shopping cat at Darrens kimbos reptiles, so ill keep those in there and buy a data logger at a later date,

Thanks for the reply much appreciated

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Re: Vivarium tank vs. Tortoise Table - THE TEST - SOME RESULTS

Postby Matt » Thu Aug 27, 2009 6:25 pm

Bentley,
A thermometer might still be useful to set up the data logger, other wise you will have to plug it in to your computer every half hour until you get it right.
Also the software is on offer till the end of the month viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1037
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Re: Vivarium tank vs. Tortoise Table - THE TEST - SOME RESULTS

Postby Bentley » Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:12 pm

Matt,
Yeess, I noticed It was on a special but I have absolutely nothing in the bank at the moment :P, and yes I will buy the two thermometers that are in my cart because I want to have a live and upto date temperature to look at on either end of the tortoise table when I its set up :D

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Re: Vivarium tank vs. Tortoise Table - THE TEST - SOME RESULTS

Postby Tortoise Trust » Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:14 pm

Darren has a logger with simultaneous LCD readout:

http://www.kimbosreptileworld.co.uk/dat ... p-187.html

Could certainly be useful. One issue with these things is that sometimes you need quite a lot of them running, and you do not want incompatible ones.... so.. you makes your choice and you commit to a particular system - otherwise, you compromise your data (and it gets VERY expensive).

If you think you might like a simultaneous readout, the loggers Darren has listed are very good. I have not used them personally, but the specs are very acceptable.

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Re: Vivarium tank vs. Tortoise Table - THE TEST - SOME RESULTS

Postby Tortoise Trust » Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:24 pm

This is one of our loggers, next to a Garmin GPS to give some sense of scale/size:

Image

These are tiny... no LCD readout but very accurate and so small you can even stick them to a tortoise.

When used in the field, we usually record the exact coordinates using the GPS.

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