A few UVB lighting and housing questions

Vintage

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I bought a 2 year old female redfoot tortoise, I'm picking her up tomorrow. Her shell length is approximately 6 inches.

For the enclosure I plan to use a big two foot by four foot tub for now. I am planning to use the lid of the tub to keep the humidity in, with the CHE's and light underneath. Substrate will be moist coir under a layer of bark chips. Heat will be from a 50 watt CHE on each end. I have a thermostat and timer as well as 2 digital thermometer/hygrometers from the hardware store and a temperature gun.

Unfortunately when I was putting everything together I dropped my UVB fluorescent light fixture, now it and the bulb are kaput. It will take me a couple of days to replace them. I do have an extra powersun type bulb but I know the redfoots don't like too much light. For light alone, I have an extra fixture and a household LED bulb which doesn't give off heat. Can she do without the UVB for a couple of days?

For natural sunlight I have a balcony that's sunny in the morning and early afternoon, however I live right beside a major freeway and there's a lot of pollution from cars. I'm guessing not much UVB can penetrate window glass. Are tortoises very sensitive to air pollution?

I'm open to any suggestions about my enclosure, as I've found a lot of conflicting information online about redfoot tortoise husbandry. I'm mainly trying to follow the advice here first. My plan is based on the "Easy red foot enclosure" thread.
 

Yossarian

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If you can get him direct exposure to sunlight for 2-3 hours a week then you dont really need the UVB supplementation. You are correct, most silica glass blocks about 85-95% of UVB though so cant be through a window. You can get special quartz glass that does not block UVB but it is fairly expensive. As for air pollution, Its unlikely that a few hours a week would have a significantly detrimental effect, unless you have air purifiers in your home, you are both breathing the pollution anyway.
 

Vintage

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If you can get him direct exposure to sunlight for 2-3 hours a week then you dont really need the UVB supplementation. You are correct, most silica glass blocks about 85-95% of UVB though so cant be through a window. You can get special quartz glass that does not block UVB but it is fairly expensive. As for air pollution, Its unlikely that a few hours a week would have a significantly detrimental effect, unless you have air purifiers in your home, you are both breathing the pollution anyway.

Thanks for the info!
I mainly wanted to make sure she'd be ok without a UVB light until I can get the UVB fixture and bulb. It shouldn't take more than a few days. In the meantime we're having a sort of heat wave in Toronto, sunny and 70 degrees, so I will take her outside if needed.
 

Mark_jaa

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If you can get him direct exposure to sunlight for 2-3 hours a week then you dont really need the UVB supplementation.
Where'd you get that info? I've been trying to know this, since I only have access to a 5.0 compact bulb and don't want to use it to prevent blindness.
 

Toddrickfl1

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Where'd you get that info? I've been trying to know this, since I only have access to a 5.0 compact bulb and don't want to use it to prevent blindness.
It's true, just a couple hours of sunlight a week and you don't need artificial UVB.
 

Toddrickfl1

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Thanks for the info!
I mainly wanted to make sure she'd be ok without a UVB light until I can get the UVB fixture and bulb. It shouldn't take more than a few days. In the meantime we're having a sort of heat wave in Toronto, sunny and 70 degrees, so I will take her outside if needed.
Your tort will be fine a few days without UVB, no worries.
 

Vintage

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Your tort will be fine a few days without UVB, no worries.

That's good to know! In the meantime I did get her an 18" T5HO light, which I installed across one end of her enclosure.
Another question: How many hours of light should they get? Right now I have it set for 9 hours per day on a timer. Or should I have a separate light just for visible light, and only have the UVB on for a shorter time? Her heat comes from 2x50W CHE's on a thermostat.
 

Toddrickfl1

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That's good to know! In the meantime I did get her an 18" T5HO light, which I installed across one end of her enclosure.
Another question: How many hours of light should they get? Right now I have it set for 9 hours per day on a timer. Or should I have a separate light just for visible light, and only have the UVB on for a shorter time? Her heat comes from 2x50W CHE's on a thermostat.
You don't really need to run your UVB light all day, you can set it for just a few hours. You can have a regular LED or florescent bulb for light on all day and just have your UVB light come on for a couple hours at mid day. I run my LED lights from 7am to 8pm.
 

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