Basking bulb not hot enough?

Jenna Ryanne

New Member
Apr 6, 2020
Location (City and/or State)
Hanford, California
Hello! My husband and I are setting up the enclosure for our future Russian tortoise hatchling, and we are having trouble getting adequate temps in the basking spot. Right now the temps are reading at an even 90 degrees. I read on multiple forum posts though that the temps need to be between 95 and 100 for a Russian. We have a 40 gallon glass terrarium, and we bought a 5.5” THRIVE dome lamp equipped with a 100 watt bulb. Right now we have the lamp sitting on the metal screen top; however, we had planned on purchasing the THRIVE lamp hanging feature which would elevate it another couple of inches above the tank. I’m wondering how we can get the temps up higher. Did we buy a bad brand or is the wattage not high enough? I’m really not sure as I’ve never owned a tortoise or any other reptile before, so I have no experience. Any help that you guys could give would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!


Well-Known Member
Feb 27, 2020
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
Working with species that have requirements different from Room Temperature does mean some trial and adjustments. You are smart to work on this now rather than after Cutie comes home. =))

You may need a stronger bulb...but check that the fixture you have is rated for higher than 100W.

Alternatively, you may find that two fixtures are better for your enclosure (if you post some photos, people can get a better sense of where you are starting and where you want to go). There are bulbs that only put out heat (Ceramic Heat Emitters), so you won't be adding too much blaring light if you want to up the temps.

This is the Russian subforum where you will find care sheets and other relevant discussions: