Heat Lamp Question

Carolyn M

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Okay so today I changed my tortoises heat lamp because the first bulb died. (This is the first time I changed bulbs because I just got Rolo last week). However, after barely a minute the lamp started to smoke and smell really bad, like something was burning. I quickly turned the lamp off and opened the windows. The bulb is 150 watt infrared basking bulb and the lamp says up to 150 watt, which I assumed included 150 watts. Was I wrong? I can't figure out what happened. Also is the smoke or whatever dangerous?? What should I do?
 

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johnsonnboswell

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I suspect you have a wonky lamp. Take it back to the shop. Does it have a ceramic socket?

Red heat bulbs aren't good at all. A ceramic heat emitter is a good choice if you need heat - no colored light.

Reptisun bulbs offer heat as well as UVB. A good choice.

What kind of tortoise do you have? What is your night time house temperature? What are you using for UVB?
 

Carolyn M

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I have a Russian tortoise which I just inherited unexpectedly. He came with the bulbs in the picture and I had to buy the lamps and UVB bulb. The UVB lamp is shipping and I am still waiting for it. It's a 24" 10.0 Reptisun strip. For now he is spending his days outside when it is nice to get UVB. He is in a sun room which mimics the temperature of outside, but I close it up at night to keep the heat in.
 

Tom

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Carolyn, Do you have a thermometer? Several times we've asked you your temps and I haven't seen an answer. Its pretty important to know and adjust your temps for a reptile. You can get a decent thermometer at the hardware store for $10-20.

Home Depot also sells "clamp lamps", sometimes called "shop lights" for about $12. These have a heavy duty cord and a ceramic fixture and they can handle hot reptile bulbs. Don't rely on the clamp though. Hang it from over head. This makes it easy to adjust the height of the fixture to get the correct basking temperature under it.

150 watts is pretty high. You can usually get the job done with a smaller hardware store flood bulb. You don't need specialized (expensive) reptile bulbs since you tortoise is getting regular sunshine outside. Colored bulbs should not be used. It makes things look "funny" to the tortoise.

There is very little useful tortoise supply at pet stores. I get almost everything I need from the hardware stores.

All of this and more is contained right here:
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
 

Carolyn M

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Hahaha thanks!! I do have a thermometer, sorry, the room right now is about 70 degrees F. It's a rather cool day but it is usally closer to 80 in the summer. I'm at home depot now. I got a clamp lamp 8.5" but they only have metal ones.. is this okay? Also the lady at home depot (who uses them for her iguana) says it will work but recommended that I still use reptile bulbs because the flood bulbs will get too hot and will heat the whole cage instead if just one spot. What do you guys think? And what wattage would you suggest for a flood bulb if I got one from home depot?
 

crimson_lotus

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If you're at home depot, look for an Acu-Rite hygrometer. $10. It sounds like you are reading your temps in the room but you want to know what it's like in your tortoises enclosure right on the substrate level. The hygrometer will also measure humidity levels, which I believe is less important for adult Russians as long as your substrate it a bit damp and your tortoise is able to dig in it.

I don't know anything about flood bulbs, sorry. Just wanted to mention the temps.
 

Carolyn M

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Thanks. I have a hygrometer too. The thermometer is reading about 75 degree and the hygrometer is at just over 60%. However, they haven't moved for a while so I don't know if they are working properly. At Home Depot, I ended up buying a clamp lamp and a 75 watt halogen bulb (although it says it only uses about 53 watts). I read before that halogens are okay to use for tortoises. Just want to double check with you guys if that's correct?
 
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